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Thursday, 30 August 2007

Free Software graphics problems illustrated

With Adobe's John Loiacono made some noise with its post title "Innovate or Integrate?". And although publishing Adobe products under an open source license wouldn't prevent them to integrate and innovate, I understand that Free Software graphics solutions cost more when used intensively than the license cost of Adobe's products.

I've already blogged about my problems with FOSS graphics solutions, and here's another illustration. I need to provide a 120x120px logo of the Profoss. As I have material in SVG, I generated a bitmap from Inkscape. This is a png of good quality:

The problem is that I have to send a GIF. Krita in Ubuntu doesn't support GIF. ImageMagick(s convert command is easy to use:

convert profoss-logo-120.png profoss-logo-120.gif

and gives this result:

Disappointing isn't it? The URL is nearly unreadable, and doesn't look professional.

After looking at IMageMagick's documentation, I tried
convert -background White -flatten -channel A -threshold 65% logo-profoss-120x120.png logo-profoss-120x120.gif
gives a better result:

Let's try with the Gimp (indexed to default settings):
Still not good...

I tried to specify the color index in Gimp, to change the color of the text, to no avail. Finally I asked to a friend to generated a gif, and he used Adobe's ImageReady, and here's the result:

It's much better, isn't it? And I specifically asked if settings had to be adapted to get this result. The answer: "Just an export".

The funny thing is that he wanted to use Fireworks to do the export, but it refused to start (for an unknown reason, it worked fine before!) , so he had to fall back on ImageReady. Clearly shows even proprietary graphics software has its quirks :-)

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