what's sizzlin'?

sizzlepig blog - latest news, updates, goings on, etc.

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So what’s the difference between sizzlepig and css/js resizing, sprites, admin cropping, etc?  There are a lot of free tools, why is this such a big deal?

Short answer - there are a lot of big differences and some are more important than others depending on the needs.  

Steps were removed from the old process of resizing and the process (and the results) are faster, higher quality and easier - creating higher quality work and efficiencies.  And…you SEE your work BEFORE it processes, and, it processes very fast.  

Other big differences:

  • Batch to Batch sizing
  • Unlimited images to unlimited resizes.
  • Set up a blueprint for all of your resizes in one place, with different compressions for each size.
  • Set your crop and scale by size and then fine-tune resized images, in real time.
  • Change the compression of all images in a series with one step.
  • Add a new size to a set of images and will automatically process, name and save to Dropbox, Drive, Box.
  • Folder Monitoring for Retouches, New or Replacement Images.
  • Every setting and adjustment is saved and the folder is constantly monitored to look for new images or edits to originals.  All settings are applied to new or replaced images and placed back in the folder.
  • Visual Control
  • Completely visual tool - not action-script based.
  • Can see your edits in real-time.
  • Designers can now create different aspect ratios for a set of thumbnails without having to do a ton of extra work.
  • Multi-screen Output
  • Outputs for retina display and standard in one step.
  • Ubiquitous Integration
  • Cloud, Enterprise servers, media libraries, DAMs, etc. Accessible from anywhere, easy to share with large group of people out of office network, available on any device.
  • File Management
  • Can change the name of all processed files with one click.
  • Quickly audit images/names/edits/version.

There are different use cases for different needs - shoot us a line if you have questions and we’ll be happy to talk about if sizzlepig would benefit you and your team.  We can say that our customers are giving some pretty stellar feedback and saving a ton of time - letting them do the work they actually enjoy (which isn’t resizing images).

down and dirty pixel conversion

We have had a lot of requests for DPI, Inches, and other such tools within sizzlepig. So, just to back up a bit, we originally launched sizzlepig targeted more to the digital side of things, and we were keeping drop downs, menu items etc. to a minimum. That being said, we of course may add these items in the future. If you would like these as features within sizzlepig let us know - the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you a few simple ways to get what you need out if sizzlepig without needing new features added. Here’s a few ways to do it:

Photoshop File>New

Simply creating a new file in Photoshop is basically a PPI and pixel calculator. (I won’t get into DPI, PPI. LPI and all of that, in fact I’m not even sure if it matters that much - most people mean PPI when they say DPI anyway). In this example, I’ll use the standard 5x7 inches @ 300 PPI as an example. So here goes:

Open Photoshop

Select File>New

Make sure inches is selected for Width and Height in their respective drop down menus.

For width, type in 5

For height, type in 7

For PPI, type in 300

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Now, for the magic calculation, drum roll please:

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Change one of the drop downs, say width,  to pixels. Say what? It shows the amount of pixels! (Note: If height didn’t automatically change to pixels, change that drop down to pixels).

Now you have the pixels you need to type into sizzlepig width and height field. Ta Da! Your file is the correct size. You don’t even need to save the file, just put those numbers in sizzlepig or jot them down somewhere and hit cancel in Photoshop to close the new file window.

For existing files, just go to Image>Image Size and, if it is defaulted to inches, just change the dropdown to pixels.

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Another super secret way is to click on the text in the lower left area of Photoshop, where it says Doc: xxM/xxM Just click on the words, not the right arrow: older versions of Photoshop you have to hold down option I think (Mac).

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Art Directors Toolkit

So, this utility has been around forever. And it’s still extremely helpful. It’s 20 bux from code line, not too bad:

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http://www.code-line.com/software/artdirectorstoolkit/

It has a width and height in inches (and everything else) and DPI dropdown. Directly underneath them reads out the pixel amounts. There you have it.

Other links:

If you want to find out more about DPI, check out this simple article:

http://www.focus97.com/blog/photography/dpi-dots-per-inch-explained-how-much-do-i-need-and-what-is-it-anyway/

But really, this is all you need to know. Remember, DPI doesn’t even matter for website and device images. it’s all pixels, baby.

Fine Artist, video and hey Thanks!

sizzlepig

Award Winning Fine Artist Creates How To Video for Digital Photography Image Resizing with sizzlepig

Thank you Jeff Gaydash for taking the time to make this great “How To” video with sizzlepig, Box and your fine art.  Jeff published on YouTube yesterday.  

He uses the tool to resize images for his web gallery.  We couldn’t help but check out his art, take a look for yourself it is breathtaking and soulful.  

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We are flattered that he took the time make this video.  He’s a busy guy. His series, A Threatened Legacy:  Epilogue, was recently awarded the Silver Award in the 2013 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris in the Professional Fine Art Category for Architecture. His work was competing with thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries.  (Could you imagine what scripts could do to his pieces?  Ugh, gasp, sigh!) 

He’s also known as a pioneer in printing technologies and uses the Piezography printing system, producing the finest black and white digital prints available.  You go Jeff! 

I bet he didn’t even know yesterday was our one year birthday! More on that later but thank-you again for such a thoughtful gift.

We love to see all the different ways our sizzlepig friends use the service. We created to tool to make life better for anyone dealing with images.

How do you use the tool to make your life better?  

'Tis the season, are your images ready for m-commerce?

It’s that time of year where every major, minor and middle retailer is scrambling to secure their share of the Holiday e-commerce pie.  

eMarketer projects Nov and Dec online sales to hit $61.8 billion.   16% of this billion dollar spend is expected to come from activity on our smaller digital screens. 

  • mCommerce sales are expected to grow by 67%.
  • tablet Commerce sales are expected to grow by 89%.

Smartphone and tablet use is only going to grow.

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“Tablets are particularly significant for m-commerce sales…growth in tablet-based online sales should top 87 percent.”   (eMarketer)

InternetRetailer.com’s Bill Sawicki published a report and stated “It’s fair to say that in 2014, the predominant way consumers will spend time with e-retail is via mobile.”  

And an article by Chuck Jones, a contributor on Forbes.com, posted his findings, "MCommerce is on a Tear" showing the climb.

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So, what to do?  Don’t hang your head in defeat if you think you aren’t ready, take a deep breathe and then get moving.   

Concentrate on what you have right now and finesse elements to work harder.  Improve what you can over the next 3 weeks.

Focus on areas where you can make an impact and product photos make a significant difference.

The 2013 Holiday E-Commerce Preparedness Checklist, published by Practical E-Commerce, suggests a series of questions to help you focus. 

Specific to product images:

  • Is the image clear and in focus?
  • Is the product properly lit?
  • Does the photo show current packaging?
  • Would the image make you want to buy the product?

If you have to answer “no” to some of these questions, consider updating product images before the Christmas shopping season.

Images need to work on every screen, in every size, for all required resolutions and for horizontal and vertical displays.  When a tablet or a smart phone is tilted, the image size needs to adjust as does the image crop and focal point.

Resizing images for the perfect crop and scale for each size can be a time consuming task. That is why we created sizzlepig, to take the chore work out of image resizing, and let Designers have full control of their images. However, even with sizzlepig, not everyone can fit image production into their resource pool and timeline, especially during the holiday retail rush.  

We’ve extended our offerings to help Brands and retailers get up to speed fast with our Image Production Service. The same team that built sizzlepig for themselves will happily get your images ready for Holiday sales.  Our team will optimize all of your images, in all of your sizes and for all digital screens.  

Images are one part of the solution, a solid digital communication strategy is imperative.  Take the time in 2014 to plan a holistic digital marketing communication plan to succeed in all e-commerce and be prepared for the next Holiday with a solid mCommerce experience.

Digital Marketing just got a little easier.

We all strive to be more effective in digital marketing.  We look at people, process and product to see what can be done to increase the profit.

Digital production teams are responsible for making content and / or experiences in less time, to function and display on more screens, with more variables, for more placements and with little to no waste.  Those that pay people want them to be happy and stay with the company. image

Teams have to now plan beyond one execution and figure out why and how each piece can be sliced, diced and recycled to be used in as many places as possible, inside and outside of their own organization. These teams have to be faster, better, and smarter and have to have the right tools and the right environments to be able to prepare, share and support the efforts of all.  

sizzlepig has removed steps in the digital image production process, saving customers time and money. We at Grit made the tool to help our own digital production work.  We understand first hand the challenges with digital marketing.

Box has provided a robust cloud environment for safe collaboration, content storage and workflow management and is also saving customers time and money.  Box understand that people and content are what makes their business successful.

sizzlepig joined Box in September and together provide the tool set for teams to process, optimize, share and repurpose their images and photos. Now, the people doing the work can take steps out of their process, share easier and faster with their own colleagues, partners, agencies, groups and with 3rd parties.  The company is able to increase production throughput while gaining efficiencies, and ultimately increase their profit.

Create all needed images for all placements and sizes - email, landing pages, social, web, apps and more to reduce redundant work.  

It’s easy to try out, let us know if you miss all the steps that are gone.image

Set up your files and invite your team.  Don’t forget your tags.  

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We like to have a final approved folder and a production folder with the processed images.  You can set it up however it works best for you.

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No more guesswork and long waits.  

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Go check out your Box folders….it’s all there.

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And of course, if you have any questions on how Box and sizzlepig can help your team, we’d love to chat.