IN THIS CHAPTER
Exploring graphics file types
Choosing image-editing tools
Using 3D graphics programs
Getting free images off the Web
Avoiding legal problems
When it comes to Web site content, words are perhaps the most important thing. However, no site is visually appealing unless it has some sort of graphical content as well. Unless you're a skilled artist, you need to look elsewhere for help. You need to know at least the basics of the image file types that work best on the Web. And you need to know where to find them, as well as how to stay out of trouble if you use them.
As you learned in Chapter 6, three graphics file types are in common use on the World Wide Web:
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
Each provides its own advantages and disadvantages. With each file type, you must consider, of course, some technical details, but there are also some legal pitfalls to watch out for.
Chapter 6 provides more details on these graphics formats.
GIF, the old standard, is a lossless file format, meaning that every single pixel in the image is always preserved when it is saved. There are tradeoffs with every method of saving images, and the drawbacks to GIFs are a fairly large file size for photographs and that the format is limited to a paltry 256 colors. Nonetheless, even though the GIF file format is pretty old, ...