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Affinity not for webdesign? No webp? Still?

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This will somehow lead to another fruitless discussion, as often seen before here, since people will in general have different opinions and priorities here.

My impression of the WebP format is that third parties bit by bit (slowly) do adopt it, which might have overall to do with no wider support/usage in software and also certain competitor related technology politics etc. Actually I see it's web usage mostly by online image- and news agencies, there used by their content management and editorial systems.

We will see if it will prevail as another image format in the IT field or not.


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57 minutes ago, Ben said:

Apple have concluded that other formats return better results than webp - that might well shift the balance if they adopt them instead.  There are always other reasons for companies pushing tech - whether it be to get around patent or rights, etc.  It's not always about the pay off to the end user.

And MickeySoft doesn't support it. Not at this time. Though there is a 3rd-party codec available that allows one to view them in Windows and convert to jpg.

So who has the larger install base? So the argument could be why support that format?

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I'm also informed that Webp has no support for floating point or HDR.  Web seems quite behind the curve compared to other conduits for media presentation - HDR will soon become the baseline for displays, as it is already for TVs.  Apple might still have influence on which formats are most future suited when they announce their support for HDR tech soon.

Looking at the wider picture - webp doesn't look like it will be the long term winner.

 

The future isn't 8-bit, and it isn't SDR.


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To my knowledge webp is mostly about the quality to size ratio - offering faster page loads and significantly smaller transfers of data between servers and visitors. Both as a replacement of PNG and JPG. "Media presentation" is a lot of things.

We have around 50 million visitors a year on our website and although we utilize SVG more and more for symbols we have to use a lot of jpg's and some PNG illustrations. The smaller the better. The bandwidth used on displaying these images to 50 million visitors is significant. We always have bigger fish to fry than optimizing images but from time to time our architects mention images, page load times and the extreme peaks of visits we have more and more often. When we do have to optimize images the winner will be the smallest image file size.

Different scenarios - different file formats.

I remember when Google removed a few chars from their Google Search page and saved quite a bit of bandwidth yearly. An amazing amount, actually. Bits matter in both ends. The future is money and speed too.


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Agreed. Webp is a unique format in that it combines both lossy image compression combined with alpha transparency. It is a great format for 2d hand-drawn game graphics, for example, for which I use the format. PNG takes up too much file space, and the art looks just fine with a lossy compression.

Jpeg wouldn't work since it does not support transparency/alpha. On a web page often a lossy compressed image with full alpha works just as nicely as that PNG version, but hugely saves on bandwidth. To reduce a PNG file in file size, colour reduction is the only option, but it can only be taken so far before it degrades the image too much.

For example, a typical asset that would be reduced to 1024 colours with alpha transparency at ~600x600px would take up around 130KB file size after running it through a PNG optimization power tool (forget saving an optimized PNG version from Affinity Photo). Saving this same asset at full colour in a lossy webp format results in 55kb. Running the 1024 colour version as a webp version shaves off even more.

And both the alpha and colour data can be independently processed in Webp, offering a lot of optimization potential.

By now all major browsers support the file format. Only Apple obstinately refuses to do so. Webp potentially saves a lot of bandwidth, and thereby a lot of energy.

By not supporting webp export, Affinity is only shooting itself in the foot.

But all is moot anyway: Affinity still to this day does not allow the user to preview what the assets look like optimized. I can't even consider Affinity for image optimization work unless that is implemented. And quality/export control over PNG is terribly limited in Affinity as well (and to be fair in most design apps), so I use Color Quantizer (a dedicated PNG optimization tool) to perform the final optimization step. It will also export Webp.

To be entirely honest, the entire export persona in Affinity is not that useful to me in its current state. But I do confess to be a complete nitpicking asset optimization nutcase! So it is probably works just fine for the average user.

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Given that the whole point of webp is smaller file sizes, it makes sense that it would be limited to 8-bit representations.  I believe it was designed mostly to get the transfer sizes down for the benefit of mobile users on relatively slow metered connections, for whom larger files (such as floating-point or HDR) could actually cost them more money, in addition to the slower load times.  For such users the format is likely "good enough" for most sites.

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We use webp extensively as image resources for our Android mobile apps because it greatly reduces the apk size and thus reduces the download time of our apps. This would be a really nice feature to add.

Edited by ChrB

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Thank you for all the arguments in favor of WebP. I personally would like to point out:

  • Google PageSpeed Tools recommend Webp because it speeds up loading time. In my job, I can't close my eyes to this. Due to the fact that Afinity doesn't support it, I have breaks in my workflow because I have to use 3rd party tools. I didn't think I would have to deal with Gimp again. Annoying.
  • For me privately, I also find it nicer when my image archives are considerably none with subjectively the same quality to almost 100% JPEG exports.
  • The trend towards WebP became clear years ago. There are even smartphone foto apps that save in WebP.

Dear Affinity Team. Affinity Photo is innovative in so many ways. What are you waiting for?

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