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Hi,

I have a DB that has alot of Photos in them. Most of them are jpegs in a container field. This has made the file size of the DB rather large and slow. I know that if I convert the jpegs to vector graphics, the file size would be smaller, but I don't know how to display a vector graphic in a container field. Can this be done and if so, how?

If it can't be done, are there other options that will reduce the size of these photos and therefore the file size of the DB?

Thanks in advance

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Disclaimer: I'm not really a graphics guy; but in their absence. What exactly do you mean by "photos"? If these actually are pictures, I don't think you can easily convert them to any kind of vector format, nor would they be smaller. Jpeg is pretty efficient for pictures. There is also PNG, which you could try, but for pictures it may actually be larger.

If however your "photos" began life as vector drawings, you could try saving them as PNG, from the original application. PNG does a better job of converting vector to bitmap, with text also. There is also PDF, which also does a good job; but I don't believe it's natively supported by Windows, yet.

Another option would be to move the graphics to another file. While that would not really make display faster it would relieve the original database file of their size. I haven't seen any real studies of the advantages/disadvantages of doing so however; other than the obvious one of making the other data more portable.

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While it makes sense to vectorize logos etc. to reduce traffic in the network ...is it however only images stored in layouts that benefits from it, because the thumbnailing only handles a certain selection of filetypes.

You can vectorize by using this:

http://www.silhouetteonline.com

...and then ignore the thumbnailing ...but when it comes to it:

...other options that will reduce the size of these photos and therefore the file size of the DB

Yes, there is! You can choose to store only as references, but such a solution gets a little tricky because a shared drive virtual or genuine should be addressed via a relative path ...since the folder where the server lives should be out of reach from the OS level filesharing - to avoid that concurrency is causing file corruption - Filemaker uses it's own protocol!!!

--sd

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I could be wrong in presuming this. Aren't vector graphics really good for a limited amount of colors? If the graphic has a multitude of colors available, like a photo would, it seems like having it as vector would be about the same filesize as JPG or other formats. Am I right in this way of thinking?

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I also could be wrong here but I have always thought of vector graphics as those things that could be described mathmatically.

For instance, a circle can be fully described by stating its center point, radius, line width, and color. A fairly short formula is all that is needed to describe the circle. The computer need only interpret the formula to display the image. Since the formula is small the storage space needed is small too.

On the other hand how would one describe a aerial photograph of a lake mathmatically? There is really no way to do it with a formula. The only practical way is to capture the brightness and color of every pixel. This takes up more space which of course makes the file bigger.

Like the others, I am far from being any sort of expert on imaging but I can't imagine how a typical photograph could be vectorized unless it was a photograph of common geometrical shapes.

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As far as reducing the size, programs like Macromedia Fireworks or Photoshop (Imageready) can be used to increase/decrease the amount of jpeg compression to acheive a balance between quality and speed. Also, if the pictures are only for screen viewing, make sure to change the resolution accordingly (72 or 96 dpi)

Like Fenton said, pdf works very well for vectors on a mac, but renders as bitmap on windows. On windows, you can use metafile graphics (wmf or emf format), but these will become bitmapped on a Mac. Adobe Illustrator can interconvert between several vector formats.

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maybe i'm missing something, but when you insert a picture [ from disk ] into a container field, i always believed that you have the option to store only a reference to the file. [ this is at the bottom left of the Insert > Picture... dialog ]

in other words, the file remains on disk, and the database contains only a path to that image, and only resolves that into the image on a layout whenever it is required to do so.

so your database shouldn't get too big, but it may appear to be slow because it is dragging bits off your drive, which could be getting more and more fragmented.

i have just checked this out. i put a 28 Mb image - by reference - in a single container field in a new database which now has a file size of 12 Kb. filemaker, however, takes its time to render this large file on a layout.

as to converting a photograph [bimap] into a vector [set of instructions], this is possible with applications such as adobe illustrator, but in my experience the result neither looks like a photograph nor a decent illustration. i wouldn't recommend it.

the amount of data in a single photograph has given rise to a vast array of image manipulation applications and a plethora of file formats. how do you describe an image in words ? [ or numbers for that matter ? ]. each format has its benefits and disadvantages, so i would stick to simple widely used cross-platform standards such as JPEG.

when i do something like this, i often have two sources of images, identical except for size, in separate folders. one set of images is small for viewing on screen quickly and is the set of images which is referenced by filemaker.

the other set is composed of the original full-size images which i use for publishing at high resolution.

however, i found it tricky is to get the path to the image from the database. finally, by experimentation, i discovered that i can do it if i make a text field equal, by calculation, to a container field. amazingly it works! and it returns a list of three items, the image size, the image name and the image path. i can then use the image path in a calculation [ changing the final folder name ] to access the high resolution image.

cool

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Siobey

Graphics guy here - let me clarify Vector graphics and Filemaker.

A vector graphic is a mathematically described object. In order to view it, it must be resterized (ie converted) to a suitable format. FILEMAKER DOES NOT RASTERIZE VECTOR GRAPHICS. The reason you might see a vector graphic in a container field is because FM has NOT loaded the graphic itself but A LOW RES PREVIEW of the graphic, usually created from the Application that the original vector image was created in.

An example:

Logo created in Illustrator.

Saved as EPS (with Preview option on).

Import into FM.

FM has imported the Preview (I can tell by the nasty dithering pattern in the solid areas).

Vector graphics are smaller when embedded because the preview for a vector graphic is very low res and thats embedded. You are much better off converting your vectors to gif, png or jpeg first if you want some definition.

Hope this helps.

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You are much better off converting your vectors to gif, png or jpeg first if you want some definition.

Thanks for clarifying, but then again nothing but filemakers own handling of graphic gestalts are particular friendly to networked solutions ...I was merely hoping that something from a 3rd party tool, might let you force filemakers engine to do what we would wish it to do.

I guess that you also find the availaible tools dauting to deal with, given the powers of other more dedicated tools. As engineer am I used to expect more core business than a "Jack of All Master Of None" converging kind of thingy.

But when it comes to it must gif be the only decent thing then?

--sd

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Søren, GIF is OK for converting simple geometric vector objects, but PNG is better for mixed graphics which are primary geometric shapes, but also contain text (which is a specialized vector object); it also supports photographic pixel objects, but jpeg is smaller for pure photographic objects. In short, if it's mixed try PNG. As I said, I'm not a graphics guy, but I used to mess with it (landscape plans). I don't really know how FileMaker 7/8 handles pure EPS vector objects (there are apparently some differences from 6).

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but PNG is better for mixed graphics which are primary geometric shapes, but also contain text (which is a specialized vector object); it also supports photographic pixel objects, but jpeg is smaller for pure photographic objects. In short, if it's mixed

Yes It seems to have escaped my overly ER/Scritp-centric views on the matters ...only to be substantiated by the writings in page 8 header 11 of this pdf:

http://www.moyergroup.com/company/fm7_tips_mar2004.pdf

Thanks for focusing me!!!!

--sd

Edited by Guest
picked the wrong link sorry!
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