By Michael Still
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A simple input image If you take this relatively simple image and make it a fair bit smaller, then each pixel in the new image will be the average of a number of pixels in the original image. Figure 2-9 shows a zoomed-in version of the process that will make this clearer. Figure 2-9. A zoomed-in look at a simple image after it has been made smaller You can see here that the edges of the circle are a lot rougher than they were in the original image, because the averaging process hasn’t been very forgiving.
Anyway, now that you know why it’s desirable to resize images, let’s assume you want to reduce the size of some pictures so that you can post them on your Web site. I’ll use the picture from Figure 2-5 for the following examples. ImageMagick’s convert command supports several ways of performing this resizing operation. Not surprisingly, one of those commands is resize. Resizing an Image The first way of changing the size of an image that I’ll discuss is the resize option to the convert command.
For example, reducing the side length from 160×120 pixels to 80×60 pixels reduces the size of the file by less than 50 percent, whereas reducing the side length from 2560×1920 to 1280×960 reduces the size of the file by about 70 percent. Figure 2-7 shows a graph of that in action. Figure 2-7. qxd 38 11/17/05 3:17 PM Page 38 CHAPTER 2 ■ PERFORMING BASIC IMAGE MANIPULATION Interestingly, you can also see that reducing the dimensions of the image by a small margin results in a larger file size. This is probably because the JPEG compression algorithm doesn’t handle the new file size as well as the original one because it is not a multiple of 8 pixels wide.