5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2006 7:28 AM by Newsgroup_User

    What tool? Images for Window buttons

    Level 7

      We want to hire a particular graphic artist to create images for our
      Window's application. The images should be in both 16x16 and 32x32 sizes to
      load into various buttons. 96 pixels per inch, 16 million(?) colors.

      This is the issue. I would think the graphic artist should use a program
      such as Fireworks so that the images can be created originally as vector
      graphics. Once they are approved vector drawings, they can be scaled to size
      and exported as a BMP file which our IDE will import into the buttons. I'm
      suggesting this because there should theoretically be little quality loss
      between the two sizes, as it is my understanding that vector graphics scale
      better than bitmap graphics.

      The graphic designer wants to use Photoshop to create the images and then an
      Axialis Software product (IconWorkshop?) to convert the Photoshop file to
      various BMP files. I'm not sure where the scaling occures. That is in
      Photoshop or Axialis.

      I should also add that we don't have any idea where else or at what size we
      might want to use these images. And we want to keep our options open as much
      as possible.

      I would like to hear your thoughts on this. What course should we follow?
      Why?


      TIA.




        • 1. Re: What tool? Images for Window buttons
          abeall Level 3
          As long as the graphic artist knows what (s)he is doing, I wouldn't be too worried about creating the icons in PS. Scaling a larger bitmap to a smaller bitmap is not usually a problem, you just can't take a smaller bitmap and make it larger. OSX, which scales it's icon all over the place(imagine the dock effect), uses PNG bitmaps for the icons.

          Of course, I personally much prefer Fireworks for creating icons. :-)

          As for Axialis, never heard of them before now.
          • 2. Re: What tool? Images for Window buttons
            Level 7

            Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. Two questions:

            You say taking a smaller bitmap and making it larger is a problem. I
            guess that's my point. If the artist used a vector file formate and
            Fireworks, then the image size could be increased (for an adverb say)
            without any problem or need to redraw.

            Sorry, I'm a newbie. I don't know what OSX is nor what the dock effect
            is and how it applies to this.

            TIA.



            abeall wrote:
            > As long as the graphic artist knows what (s)he is doing, I wouldn't be too
            > worried about creating the icons in PS. Scaling a larger bitmap to a smaller
            > bitmap is not usually a problem, you just can't take a smaller bitmap and make
            > it larger. OSX, which scales it's icon all over the place(imagine the dock
            > effect), uses PNG bitmaps for the icons.
            >
            > Of course, I personally much prefer Fireworks for creating icons. :-)
            >
            > As for Axialis, never heard of them before now.
            >
            • 3. Re: What file format? Images for Window buttons
              Level 7

              I guess my question is really so much as what tool should be use but
              rather what file format type should be used for the original creation.
              My assumption is, the for the most down stream flexibility, shouldn't we
              have the artist create images using a vector file format?

              My concern is here, we're paying a fair amount of money and spending a
              lot of time reviewing to get about 3 dozen custom icons and we want to
              get as much from our investment as possible.


              Karl wrote:
              > We want to hire a particular graphic artist to create images for our
              > Window's application. The images should be in both 16x16 and 32x32 sizes to
              > load into various buttons. 96 pixels per inch, 16 million(?) colors.
              >
              > This is the issue. I would think the graphic artist should use a program
              > such as Fireworks so that the images can be created originally as vector
              > graphics. Once they are approved vector drawings, they can be scaled to size
              > and exported as a BMP file which our IDE will import into the buttons. I'm
              > suggesting this because there should theoretically be little quality loss
              > between the two sizes, as it is my understanding that vector graphics scale
              > better than bitmap graphics.
              >
              > The graphic designer wants to use Photoshop to create the images and then an
              > Axialis Software product (IconWorkshop?) to convert the Photoshop file to
              > various BMP files. I'm not sure where the scaling occures. That is in
              > Photoshop or Axialis.
              >
              > I should also add that we don't have any idea where else or at what size we
              > might want to use these images. And we want to keep our options open as much
              > as possible.
              >
              > I would like to hear your thoughts on this. What course should we follow?
              > Why?
              >
              >
              > TIA.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              • 4. Re: What file format? Images for Window buttons
                abeall Level 3
                As long as the graphic artist makes the original big enough, it will be good for all icon pruposes. Buy yes, if there's a chance you might want to use the icons for print, then it would be better to create it in pure vector. Keep in mind that PS does have basic editability(layers, very primitive vector based shapes, a few live effects), so it wouldn't be like he only had a flattened bitmap to work with if he needed to enlarge. However, PS is very limited in this regard and it would take at least some work.

                OSX is the operating system used on a Mac. It's a bunch of very nice looking(in fact OSX has pretty much set the standard for modern icons) icons which scale in a wave effect as you mouse through them:
                http://images.apple.com/macosx/applications/aol/images/screenshot.jpg

                OSX is using a large PNG as the base image for all the icons.

                > My assumption is, the for the most down stream flexibility, shouldn't we
                > have the artist create images using a vector file format?
                This is correct... for the *most* flexibility you should have pure vectors, which can go to either bitmap or vector mediums perfectly. If you plan to use the icons for print or Flash, then I'd say start out as vectors.
                • 5. Re: What file format? Images for Window buttons
                  Level 7

                  Thank you. As I had suspected.

                  I'm familiar with the Apple OS. I drool every time I go into a best buy
                  with my son. I just did not recognize the moniker, not being in that
                  mind set and living in a PC world and all......




                  abeall wrote:
                  > As long as the graphic artist makes the original big enough, it will be good
                  > for all icon pruposes. Buy yes, if there's a chance you might want to use the
                  > icons for print, then it would be better to create it in pure vector. Keep in
                  > mind that PS does have basic editability(layers, very primitive vector based
                  > shapes, a few live effects), so it wouldn't be like he only had a flattened
                  > bitmap to work with if he needed to enlarge. However, PS is very limited in
                  > this regard and it would take at least some work.
                  >
                  > OSX is the operating system used on a Mac. It's a bunch of very nice
                  > looking(in fact OSX has pretty much set the standard for modern icons) icons
                  > which scale in a wave effect as you mouse through them:
                  > http://images.apple.com/macosx/applications/aol/images/screenshot.jpg
                  >
                  > OSX is using a large PNG as the base image for all the icons.
                  >
                  > > My assumption is, the for the most down stream flexibility, shouldn't we
                  > > have the artist create images using a vector file format?
                  > This is correct... for the *most* flexibility you should have pure vectors,
                  > which can go to either bitmap or vector mediums perfectly. If you plan to use
                  > the icons for print or Flash, then I'd say start out as vectors.
                  >