Saturday, July 12, 2008

picture proportions

There have been several threads off and on in the Etsy forums about involuntary cropping of pictures caused by Etsy's three ways to display an image. I hope this can make it a bit easier for people to get the biggest views of their items possible, without cropping off the edges.

All five (if you use all five) of your pictures show as the square thumbnails at the side of the large picture in a listing. The first one shows as that same square when your shop is viewed in List view. That same first one shows as a rectangle in Gallery view, as a featured image in the shop, or in a treasury (or of course Front Page if you get there).

When a thumbnail is clicked, the large view is shown 430 pixels wide and as tall or short as it is -- no cropping for this view. And if you click it, you get the original uploaded size in a new window.

So there is no cropping for the main view . The only consideration is that if your original is SMALLER than 430 pixels wide, it will be enlarged by Etsy and look blurry and awful.

Etsy recommends 1000 pixels for the uploaded shot. I actually usually use 860, which makes my original fill the screen nicely in the zoom view, and I fancy it eliminates any tiny distortions of scaling by being exactly 2:1 for the reduction. Some people upload an image exactly 430 wide. It is always disappointing to click on the zoom for them and nothing happens. At the other extreme, some upload hi-res images 2000 pixels wide. Aside from taking AGES to upload, these are a nuisance because the zoom is two or three times wider than the screen.

OK, for the cropping. All five pics will be cropped to the square thumbnails. Also the first one will be cropped for gallery, feature, or treasury use. The size is 155 x 125 pixels, or very close to a 6-to-5 ratio. If you make your uploaded image that size, but leave the right and left ends of it blank background or unimportant image, then it will look fine as the square thumbnail. If you upload a square, but keep anything important out of the top and bottom edge, it will look fine in gallery view. The proportions are shown in the sketch above. If the image is a 6x5 rectangle that just fits the gallery view, the gray ends will get cropped off to make it square. If it's square like the red outline, the orange areas top and bottom will be cropped to get gallery view.

If your image is really tall and narrow, or wide and short, it will be badly cropped to fit either gallery or square thumbnails, with only a strange, often mysterious center section visible. Better save those odd-proportioned pictures for the second through fifth images, rather than the one that you are depending upon to bring a click on the item.

Hope this is useful.



Blogger Judy Evans said...

Thanks for great info. I'll definetly use your ideas.

July 12, 2008 7:57 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thank you this is a great reference.

July 12, 2008 8:12 PM  

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