Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Several topics concerned with making and using maps as a GM

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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby DOI » 26 Sep 2012, 00:55

You've got me doing some reading now, and I'm starting to like the .png. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Network_Graphics

"when storing images that contain text, line art, or graphics – images with sharp transitions and large areas of solid color – the PNG format can compress image data more than JPEG can, and without the noticeable visual artifacts which JPEG produces around high-contrast areas" - That describes a map. That makes .png look good. But there are so many factors affecting file size: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_N ... ze_factors If we could purposely cause low colour depth, remove ancillary chunks, avoid interlacing... then we'd have some small and clear files. I'm away from my home computer now, but I'll try to look into how we could use Paint.NET to do that, since that program seems to be PlayDip's weapon of choice. (TheCraw and his photoshop excluded)
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby Petunia » 26 Sep 2012, 01:32

I have... a LOT of mapmaking experience in almost exactly the context used at this site.

I can vouch for .png as the graphic file format of choice and for paint.net as the proper editor to use. You can make some really nice-looking map images at a VERY low storage size.
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby Magmaniac » 26 Sep 2012, 16:03

I've always had a problem with the size limit for uploading maps here, so I've made it standard when I run a game to upload my maps to an external site and just link them here. That way I can make them as big as I want, people don't have to deal with bunched up text, every province has enough room for it's name, a unit, and a dot indicating a supply center without any of those things overflowing into a neighboring province, and the site here doesn't have to deal with my files. Win-win. Changing the way people make maps to scrunch them smaller is just not a very good idea IMO.
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby asudevil » 27 Sep 2012, 02:30

BUT, if everyone loads crap to an offsite image host...and that site goes down (does random purges/you no longer are a member)...then we lose all of the maps.

Its really better if you keep the movement images on this site.
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby diplomat42 » 27 Sep 2012, 04:08

asudevil wrote:BUT, if everyone loads crap to an offsite image host...and that site goes down (does random purges/you no longer are a member)...then we lose all of the maps.

Its really better if you keep the movement images on this site.

What he said.
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby Pedros » 28 Sep 2012, 14:28

Shibabalo wrote:Sorry, I'm a bit confused. Does this:
Pedros wrote:Maps for movement phases in all games from now on MUST be uploaded to the site. No problem if the GM wants to link to a larger map for the current (or recent) turns, but a smaller size version of the map needs to be kept for the Archive.

mean that we cannot do this:
Peanut wrote:All the Maps I posted for Seismic #1 were hosted on PhotoBucket so they took up no more space on the PlayDip site than a normal post would.

?

Or am I misinterpreting this? I was considering using ImageShack in a similar manner in order to make my file smaller without making the text impossible to read.

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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby Pedros » 28 Sep 2012, 14:57

One other thing is important here. If there's a complicated map which needs a good-sized image so that players can adequately plan and negotiate based on it, then there's no reason at all why a larger one shouldn't be posted, or alternatively provided on a linked site - provided that after that turn a reduced map is posted instead. It doesn't matter if the archived maps are a bit less clear (I don't mean downright illegible!); they are there for reference after the game is over.
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Case study: Diplomacy Stew

Postby Pedros » 28 Sep 2012, 15:04

Diplomacy Stew was one of the serious offenders. It was based on the Milan map, prepared by modifying the pretty version of regular which several of us have been using for the past year. As usual, file size hadn't been a consideration and I was unaware of the size of the maps I was posting, which turned out to be 350K (JPGs initially because Russia was white and I'd had bad experience with white on GIFs previously.) They were playing a large part in putting me right at the top of the attachments list.

I immediately deleted all builds and retreats, which must have saved a huge amount of space very quickly. The process of reducing the size of the movement maps is a longer one (16 years game time) and is still going on. But I've just done one and here is how it went.

The initial file size was over 350K, way too high. Resolution was already down at 37.8 pixels/cm, so not a lot was going to be gained there (actually, I confess, I haven't tried reduction to say 30). I first reduced it to width of 700K, which I'd found adequate for regular maps I'd reduced previously. This, and saving as GIF, got it down below 200K, but that was dissapointing - previous work on Regular had brought it down on this basis to around 60K.

I then realised that this map is nearly square, whereas the Regular map is much less tall than wide, so the actual area of the map was still larger. I reduced eventually down to a width of 550 and height 520, with resolution at 37. The final GIF is an acceptable 70K; fuzzy yes, but the important thing is that anybody who wants to follow the game can still see what units are where.

I'll check out .png files again, but my impression has been that they are significantly larger.
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby TheCraw » 28 Sep 2012, 17:07

You all do realize that eventually, no matter what space-saving initiatives you come up with, the forums will reach maximum capacity again? Then what?
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Re: Pooling experience in reducing map-size

Postby diplomat42 » 29 Sep 2012, 01:56

TheCraw wrote:You all do realize that eventually, no matter what space-saving initiatives you come up with, the forums will reach maximum capacity again? Then what?


We ask people to delete their attachments, again. Eventually, we'll have to buy some more space, I believe. It shouldn't be expensive.
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