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  1. #1
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    Converting huge Adobe Illustrator files for website banner use.

    Dear Folks,

    I am on a Linux Kubuntu 11.10 on a website for which the client has submitted
    1000x288 pixel banner images weighing in at 60 MB each in Adobe Illustrator AI format
    PDF 1.4 vintage.

    I have tried converting to .png and .jpg using Ghostscript and Imagemagick and can get
    files down to 150 kB.

    Can anyone suggest a better tool chain/method for what I am attempting.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nandu View Post
    I have tried converting to .png and .jpg using Ghostscript and Imagemagick and can get
    files down to 150 kB.
    I'm not familiar with Linux, but I think Gimp (similar to Photoshop) works on that platform, so you could see what that gives you. Or maybe you could try running those 150kb images through http://www.smushit.com/ysmush.it/ (an online service).

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    Dear Ralph M.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Gimp does not open AI files so conversion was not possible. I tried smush it but I needed a rather drastic reduction in size so that the images load quickly due to the number of images.

    I finally tried Imagemagick using the following command:

    convert test.ai -colorspace rgb -quality 75% test.jpg

    The colorspace argument is not required if the AI file is already in RGB format instead of CMYK. The quality argument helps to reduce the file size drastically in my case an AI image that was 51MB came down to 84kB when converted to JPG.

    As far as the human eye is concerned I could not notice any degradation in quality. One could also convert the image to a lossless format and then convert to JPG if quality is a big concern.

    Imagemagick is available on all flavours of Unix and can be installed on Windows and Mac OS X. So the above code should work as long as Imagemagick is installed.

    I am keen on improving the above command if anyone has any suggestions.

    Thanks.

    Yours sincerely,
    nav

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    I was thinking in terms of taking the 150 kb image and running that through some kind of save for web process, rather than trying to do that to whole AI file. But I really don't know what I'm talking about (sounds like you have a much better grasp of the issue. )

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    I'd have to see the images in question -- but with since they're illustrator that usually means low color depth, meaning if you want to get them smaller go to 8 bits (256 colors) or less in PNG and see what happens. Manually trimming white-space can also have an effect though to be honest...

    1000x288 treads into what I like to call "Not viable for web deployment" -- and while you see people sleazing out websites with images that large on them, the filesize alone of anything that large would be bigger than the upper limit I usually allow for an entire PAGE on a site; that's images+css+html+scripts.

    Though again, I'd have to see the image in question before weighing in on it -- but if it's 60 megs as a illustrator (vector) image, I almost dread to see it as the only justification for that LOD is details that wouldn't even RENDER at only 1000x288. (you sure it's not 4.1"x2" stack-card size designed at 144dpi, meant for 1200dpi print?)

    When the size of a vector file is 54 times what it would be as a 32 bit unencoded bitmap, something's screwy.

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    Thanks for the info deathshadow60 but unfortuantely I am in the unenviable position where I have no contact with the client I am working for and just handed down work that must be done.

    I am interested to know what you would call the upper limit for an entire page in numbers as it may be useful and perhaps avoid a situation like this again.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by nandu View Post
    I have no contact with the client I am working
    But do you have Illustrator? If so, you do what DS suggested.

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    I work on Linux and do not have access to Illustrator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nandu View Post
    I am interested to know what you would call the upper limit for an entire page in numbers as it may be useful and perhaps avoid a situation like this again.
    My ideal target is 75k in 12 files, the upper limit I allow for a normal content page (things like galleries naturally will go over this) is 150k in 24 files. The file count CAN be more important than the filesizes on that, since every file past the first eight usually adds around a fifth of a second in handshaking overhead on a good day when you're on the same backbone as the server, or up to a second or more each on a really bad connection or isolated off a different backbone. See how my ping-times from New Hampshire to across the pond in Europe are around 150ms, but I see 1200+ ms to the 'networking mecca' of the Chicago-land area which is always bragged about as the 'hub' with the fastest access to the world -- for me, not so much. Handhelds/mobile often sees even higher times.

    Of course, I also still know people in places like Coos County NH, or the Dakotas where 33.6 dialup is a good day... or even 90%+ of neighbors here for whom 768kpbs is the fastest they can afford; All I hear is them *****ing about how useless most of these artsy pages are... I mean, sure, I've got a 22mbps connect and pages topping out at half a megabyte are painful, I don't even want to think about what those folks are stuck dealing with.

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    Thanks for the detailed response I think I now have a clearer idea of what needs to be done and I think I would need to get in touch with a graphics designer who has illustrator to get the size of these images down.

    Thanks once again I could not known how much was involved in this question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nandu View Post
    I think I would need to get in touch with a graphics designer who has illustrator to get the size of these images down..
    Yes, that's the real answer. Unless the designer has confirmed that you have Illustrator, it's not appropriate (in my view) for those files to be sent to you in that format. In this situation, just get the designer to prepare the files for upload.


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