[Pro] Colors smudging, streaking

I am a newcomer to web design and Freeway. I completed the Freeway tutorials in fine fashion, but have run into a problem early on in making my first design that is making it hard to get off the starting line.

My perception of the problem is that it involves interaction between items causing unpredictable “streaking” or “smudging” of colors.

The elements I have in place are:
The page background uses a vertical tiling strip which was made (using the good guidance of this forum) with the Fill Master Action, then File>Export etc. to created a gradient background.
On top of that is what I think of as the body of the page, a centered graphic item with a gradient generated by another Fill Master Action, on which I wish to have various elements (Items) appear.
The immediate symptom is that when I created a graphic item and gave it a background color with any opacity less than 100%, the resulting color is uneven and sort of streaked. This effect does not appear in Master or Page view; only in Preview and/or when previewed in browser (same result in Safari or Firefox). Have done the “Publish Site” command, Page>Force Republish, refreshed the browser page, cleared the browser cache, restarted Safari, restarted Freeway.
I was having a similar problem with the “page body” described above looking odd (strange linear pattern appearing and persisting as in above paragraph. Somehow I managed to make that go away, but darned if I know how; pretty much blindly flailing away…maybe by starting over with a non-CSS layout, which is what I have now).

(Am trying to grasp the layer concept as I somehow think the root of my problem lies there. Waltd’s post on the subject is helpful in that regard: < http://freewaytalk.net/thread/view/48672>)

I hope that my descriptions are coherent enough that someone can shed some light on my path; I have a bad case of situs non-startus going of here.

thanks,

Karl

Freeway Pro v. 5.4.2


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HI,
first off, can you post a page in the web somewhere where we can see what is going on? The maxim “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies here.

Anyway, as spot of educated guess work. It sounds as if your images are outputting as JPEG. JPEG is great for photographs - images where there is a lot of colour change (or noise). They are not so good with graphical elements - such as logos where there are a lot of solid colours. To keep the file size down, the JPEG format discards information. When the image is reconstituted, that missing information is rebuilt, but more by guesswork than by accuracy. The result will be an image that looks slightly fuzzy. In a photograph, this fuzziness is not as obvious, but with an image such as yours, it could break the illusion of quality.

My suggestion - try electing the image and use the Inspector Palette to switch the image to the PNG and select Millions of Colours. This will make for a larger file size, but the transparency settings should be preserved. PNG is a format that is becoming more popular due to better browser support, more bandwidth and the fact that compressed images don’t look like a dog’s dinner when reconstituted.

If this solves your problem, then good. Otherwise, could you post a page showing the problem?


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Paul,

I accept you as my personal saviour.

Seriously, that seems to have done the trick. Now the question is why it took me two weeks to post this question to the forum; well, I’m reluctant to ask for directions when driving, too.

Can you venture a guess as to the downside (from the user’s perspective) of using PNG over JPEG? A bit longer to load a page, I suppose.

Many thanks from Berkeley California.

Karl


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HI,
yes - PNGs can be larger, and will obviously increase downloading times. PNG is quite clever - if your image is mostly solid flat colours, then it will compress more efficiently than if the image is a photograph. I don’t know how big your image is, but I’d say that if you were presenting a large photograph, then try to find a way to present it using a JPEG instead of a PNG. The file sizes can balloon.

You can see the file size by selecting the image and looking at the Inspector Palette after publishing.

You could also opt to use a less active background for your page, which will move the streaky effects of the JPEG compression. You won’t have to use the PNG format, and file sizes will be kept to a minimum.


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Thanks again Paul,

Have just done some Google-ing and read a bit on PNG vs. JPEG but never would have known to look down that alley on my own. I was hoping that Freeway would obviate my having to absorb more tech stuff, but, what the heck. With timely responses like yours on this forum I should be able to deal with the the (hopefully) occasional patch of head-scratching.

best,

Karl


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