"Bug" - Issue with image importer converting .PNG files to .JPEG Answered
Update: posting this topic further illustrated that something weird is happening with how Instructables handles images. The image as shown above shows both left and right sides with the text blurry. If you click on the image, the left stays blurry (as it should because it was) whereas the text on the right shows clear and sharp. I give up on the root of the problem, but it's frustrating how the image quality gets messed up.
I put "bug" in quotations since you never know if it's a bug, unintended side effect, technical limitation or external problem. I'll let Instructables be the judge. Regardless, I thought it might be worth bringing attention to since I'm probably not the only one to have experienced it.
While I use RAW images converted to JPEGs in Lightroom for my main project images, which tend to look beautifully, I normally use Canva to design my title images. Mainly due to being able to add text, shapes or any other elements in layers. Canva exports by default in .PNG format, which is probably the most popular image format after .JPG due to its support of transparencies and lossless compression. For that reason it's normally preferred for header images and graphics. I tend to use a ratio of between 4:3 and 16:9 to make things easier for the file uploader, as well as a longest edge of 1024px since that looks like it's what Instructables wants so it won't be resized.
Despite trying to make things easy for the uploader, my title images have always been the blurriest, noticeably more so than the rest of the images or the image uploaded. Today I finally did some tests and found out that on import of .PNG files, the uploader noticeably deteriorates the quality of the image when converting it to JPEG, even if it isn't resizing it. A picture is attached as evidence. It seems to particularly affect portions which are highly saturated or text, greatly desharpening it. It makes a good image look like it's been carelessly edited. For the image to maintain its quality, I have to take the original .PNG and convert to .JPEG on my own (Photoshop), and then upload the .JPEG to Instructables (instead of the .PNG).
As a user, what I'd optimally like to see done is:
- Fix the importer to properly support .PNG images without deteriorating the images. It is way too popular a format to not accept. I do realize it might be a Canva color space or other such issue, but it probably wouldn't be limited to that program anyway. Nonetheless, if this isn't possible, I'd be happy for the system to simply not accept .PNG and to throw-out an error message telling me to convert the images on my own and only upload .JPG. That would at least avoid image quality being inadvertently affected.
- Make available an up to date FAQ page where all information regarding images is available: what formats are natively accepted, what is the optimal ratio for images, what is the optimal resolution for images, to what sizes an image is resized on import, or any other relevant technical image details. I've researched this multiple times in the past and there are a lot of people with the same questions in the forum. Especially when it comes to sizes and ratios (cut off images, etc). Most of the information is from years ago (ex. 2010) and cannot be trusted to be up to date. Up to now I've uploaded plenty of 18 megapixel images when it is unnecessary given that the largest size shown, I think, is "LARGE" size at 1024px (I believe). A place to educate ourselves objectively on this particular site's preferences would be appreciated.
Anyway, thought I'd comment this since it was a relief to finally find out the origin of the problem.