Optimage. How I compress PNG, JPEG, and MP4 files for a blog

How I Processed Media Before Optimage

Once I already split that for processing photos I use two separate utilities: JPEGmini and ImageOptim.

JPEGmini specializes only in JPEG images and is good at compressing images and screenshots that contain ragged graphics: screenshots with photos, volpeers and images with a gradient.

ImageOptim compresses many formats, but it works best with PNG. In this format, it is ideal to upload screenshots of interfaces with monotonous colors and many straight lines. These images take up even less space than JPEGs. Also, only the PNG format supports images with transparent backgrounds.

In general, both programs suited me. The only problems were with the compression of short videos that I wanted to upload instead of heavy and grainy GIFs.

At first I processed the video in iMovie and then tried to compress it through the Permute app. For some reason, not all compressed videos wanted to play in Safari. And those that wanted, weighed not so little. I understand poorly in video formats, so I didn’t manage to deal with video screenshots from a swoop, and I forgot about this idea.

But almost a year ago, someone on Twitter suggested Optimage to me. It turned out to be a great combination of JPEGmini / ImageOptim in one program. At that time, the utility was able to work only with PNG and JPEG, but a few months later an update was released, where its author Vlad Danilov added video compression.

It turned out that the compressed video via Optimage works great in Safari and my idea with video screenshots became a reality:

Sample video screenshot from the review of the CrashGuard NX iPhone case, size – 522 KB

How Optimage works

The algorithm is familiar to everyone – I dragged the files into the program, waited, got compressed pictures or videos.

Especially for this post, I wanted to compare the compression quality of Optimage with its free counterpart ImageOptim. But after sitting for half an hour, I dropped the idea. Setting ImageOptim for optimal PNG compression is a quest. What all these options mean is known only to the developers.

Alas, I didn’t remember my optimal settings for compression modules, and I couldn’t restore them by searching. Well, okay.

Optimage has a different approach. All settings for optimizing files are already balanced in terms of result quality and file size. You just need to drag pictures or videos onto the Optimage window and you are guaranteed to get a good result: without artifacts, display problems and transparency.

There is no torment with configuring modules like ImageOptim does. Put the program and use it. Just for the sake of this simplicity, it’s worth switching to Optimage.

Drag the pictures onto Optimage and it does all the magic. You don’t need to configure anything.

As for the size of the compressed files, they are either the same as my “configured” ImageOptim, or slightly larger. I can tell from those tests that I did a year ago, at the time of switching to Optimage.

Here is what the author Vlad Danilov told me about this:

One of the main differences between ImageOptim is consistent quality. Optimage controls the maximum error, the rest controls the average, and this leads to all kinds of local artifacts. Files can be larger, but this often means that further file size reduction will result in a noticeable loss of quality. In some cases, for example, full-color PNG, files, on the contrary, are much smaller due to new algorithms.
In version 3, the metrics for lossy PNG optimization are improved: before, the average error prevailed, now the strictly maximum error is used. This almost certainly led to an increase in bitrate in some cases, but the quality is more expensive.

Here are some examples of compressing real illustrations for my posts:

Illustration for the review of the CrashGuard NX iPhone case
Screenshots from the review of Gemini photo cleaner for iPhone
Screenshot of the App Store for Mac
Illustration from an article about my 3-tier backup system

All illustrations for articles I do in the vector editor Sketch. Optimage has a Sketch plugin that automatically launches the utility and compresses all images at the time of export. This saves a lot of time.

🧰 Download Optimage plugin for Sketch

Optimage can also convert formats, set the number of frames in the video and reduce the size of the final file in pixels. All this can be set through the settings.

Available settings in Optimage

I practically did not use the conversion options, since I set the final file format in Sketch, and Optimage is set to preserve the original format. The only thing I want to experiment with is the number of frames in video screenshots. Something tells me that the current 25 frames are a mess.

What I like about Optimage:
– it is more pleasant to work with one utility than with three;
– no need to configure anything;
– works with a bunch of formats: JPEG, PNG, APNG, GIF, SVG, WebP, HEIC, PDF;
– Compresses video to MPEG-4, H.264, WebM, AV1;
– excellent balance between the final size and quality of the final file;
– there is a plugin for Sketch;
– can close after completion of work.

What can be improved
The trouble with all such converters is the processing of one snapshot into one processor thread or core. That is, if I need to compress one PNG file, then Optimage uses only one of the six cores of my i7-8700 for this.

Compressing PNG is not a fast process and I would like to use the processor to the maximum. This is especially critical for those with weak MacBooks. In the meantime, you have to wait one or two minutes for a powerful processor to cope with a dozen photos.

Verdict

If you have a personal blog, then a compression utility like Optimage is a must. After optimization, your posts will weigh less, which means they will load faster on the mobile Internet. This will add bonuses to the posts in the search results, because Yandex and Google are very fond of pages that load quickly.

If you have a lot of time and nerves, then you can stop at the free ImageOptim and adjust it so that the result is similar to Optimage. Personally, I’m too lazy to configure something, so I happily jumped to Optimage. This utility has a stable and high quality result.

So, if you want a result without suffering, cook $ 15. Or try investing in 24 images a day. That is how many files Optimage gives you free to process per day.

👉 Try Optimage, free

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