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Re: [Enigma-devel] [Enigma-announce] Enigma-announce Digest, Vol 13, Iss

From: Erich Schubert
Subject: Re: [Enigma-devel] [Enigma-announce] Enigma-announce Digest, Vol 13, Issue 3
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 11:38:08 +0200

Hi all,
While of course SVG would be a good choice for a scalable format -- and there may be need to support more resolutions in the future, think of Macbook Retina and Chromebook Pixel -- it is not that good for *low* resolutions.
It's not as if you can scale *down* a SVG to, say, 16x16 pixels and it is still guaranteed to look good.
It's guaranteed to look "the same" as the larger image, just scaled down.

Even if you enable hinting, the images will still not be as good as hand optimized for the small resolution.
You might need to increase the line width, but in a number of cases you will need to rethink the whole design, actually.
Just have a look at scalable icon sets, such as Tango icons.

Have a look for example at this overview shot:

The photo apparatus (upper set: second row, first image. lower set: second row, sixth image), the playing cards, the microphone, the movie player.
These are good examples of how it may be necessary to simplify icons beyond just scaling them down.

However, this may be a good workflow:
generate the textures first using a SVG at a rather high resolution - maybe at 64x64 with a 32x32 grid.
Then scale them down and _optimize_ them for the lower resolutions, too.
It probably is easier to simplify an icon until it is easily recognizable than starting with a low resolution and trying to scale it up.


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