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Thread: Lossy image compression: Fidelity vs Appeal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Thanked 64 Times in 34 Posts

    Lossy image compression: Fidelity vs Appeal

    I wrote a blogpost, in which I am making the point that "quality" is a conflated notion and that we should rather think in terms of "fidelity" and "appeal".

    Opinions welcome!

  2. Thanks (3):

    Alexander Rhatushnyak (31st December 2020),Jarek (31st December 2020),Jyrki Alakuijala (31st December 2020)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Thanked 350 Times in 221 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Sneyers View Post
    "fidelity" and "appeal".

    Photoshopping can be fun and useful, but it needs to be a separate and optional layer, not automatically build into compression.

    In my view compression should have only one role: deliver the image as small as possible, but don't auto-beautify it on the way. Don't attempt to make a decision where to put the bits -- like not many bits on the sky as the algorithm just doesn't know if the photographer wants to capture the cirrocumulus patterns or if there is a dramatic effect from the sky that helps to set up the stage for the rest of the photograph. Don't remove wrinkles, speckles of dust, unnecessary bolts, don't be unpredictable like remove tiling patterns from red walls (but not from gray, brown, orange, yellow or green walls), don't auto-make-up the face, don't remove bolts from technical structure, don't remove the crack from the engine block, don't destroy the face of a person of color because your dark shades modeling is not up-to-par, don't take the beauty away from us, don't make a marble statue to look like plastic.

    Lossy image compression should work with a least-surprises principle.

  4. Thanks:

    Jon Sneyers (31st December 2020)

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Kraków, Poland
    Thanked 264 Times in 163 Posts
    Extreme case of low-fidelity high-appeal "compressor" could be replacing ugly photos with different pretty ones

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