View Full Version : Google has rolled its own image format

10-04-2010, 01:58 PM
WebP has much in common with JPEG, the most widely used of the web’s image formats. Like JPEG, the new format is intended to be used for photos on web pages, and like JPEG, the photos in a WebP image are compressed using lossy technology. The images will continue to reduce in quality the more you compress them.

But Google says WebP is more efficient than JPEG, and that it can shave away more than one third of the bulk in web images without any noticeable loss in quality. Google has been testing WebP’s efficiency over the last few months, taking around a million images from the web (mostly JPEGs, but also some PNGs and GIFs) and running them through the new WebP compression technology.

webp Google's new image format (http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/10/meet-webp-googles-new-image-format/)

Will this take off and be the new way of images on the web? Thoughts?

10-04-2010, 02:31 PM
And everybody that uses photoshop will have to upgrade for a few hundred bucks...

10-04-2010, 10:11 PM
I couldn't help thinking that the biggest image problem choking the Internet is not the format itself, but web sites that don't have images optimized. A new format isn't likely to solve that problem. It reminds me of the expression, "If you make something idiot proof, someone will become a better idiot."

It will be interesting to see if this idea makes any significant progress in being supported and adapted.

10-06-2010, 01:43 AM
I couldn't help thinking that the biggest image problem choking the Internet is not the format itself, but web sites that don't have images optimized

According to Google WebP images will shave 1/3 of the file size so I think the idea is to help images be more optimized.

If browsers adopt it and tools become readily available to convert images to WebP I'd have no problem using the new format. I moved from .gif to .png and I'd move from .jpg to .webp if it's a better solution. At the moment though my camera downloads images as .jpgs, Photoshop will save optimized images as .jpgs, etc. WebP would have a long way to go before we're commonly using it. But I certainly don't have any objection to using it if it turns out to be better than .jpgs

10-06-2010, 01:47 PM
Yes, PNG has advantages over GIF, but I still usually opt for GIF because if the GIF is 15k the PNG to look as good will often be 40k.

I can also see the overall impact of shaving 30 percent or so off images. But if the average page has say 10 images each around 20k (total of 200k), then it could be brought down to around 135k. Even on dialup that wouldn't make a huge difference, but if the page has a lot of images, then it will provide more distinct benefits. My point was more about all the web sites that have images at 200k or 1.5 MB when they could optimize them down below 50k and still look great on the page. There are a LOT of those offenders out on the web. If they can't (or won't) optimize JPEGs, I wouldn't expect WebP will make much difference either.

Of course, the vast majority of excessive file sizes come from DIY sites rather than those created by professionals. But because it's so "easy" to do your own web site, the Internet is flooded with digital litter. Granted, most people click off these sites quickly, but they're still there taking up space and sucking bandwidth.

Harold Mansfield
10-06-2010, 01:51 PM
If Google is the only browser to support the format, then I don't see it as being beneficial to anyone. Just the opposite.

10-06-2010, 03:59 PM
I wouldn't expect WebP will make much difference either.

Why? If the file is 1/3 smaller in size then it's certainly an improvement even if it's not optimizing. If you give me a dollar in exchange for a penny I'll gladly take it. If you only offer me a nickel for my penny I'll still take it. I won't turn it down because the nickel isn't a dollar.

I can't say WebP will be a better image format at the moment. All browsers would need to support it and the tools would have to be available to convert current formats to the new format. But if it turns out to be a better format, is supported by browsers, and it's easy enough to use I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't use it.

Yes, PNG has advantages over GIF, but I still usually opt for GIF because if the GIF is 15k the PNG to look as good will often be 40k.

I don't find that to be the case most of the time. Each format .gif, .jpg, and .png will each be the smallest (at the same quality) depending on the particular image. Usually I find .pngs to be no larger than .gifs and often smaller. Are you using png-24 or png-8?

10-06-2010, 10:26 PM
Vangogh, my comment about WebP not making much difference was not about WebP itself, clearly it will. The point was about the first part of the statement. Said another way, I meant that anyone who won't optimize a JPEG isn't likely to optimize a WebP.

On your other question, PNG-8 is basically the replacement for GIF while PNG-24 is better as an alternative to JPEG. The 8 bit will always be a smaller file size for sure. Maybe it's the compression engine in Fireworks, I don't know. Since Macromedia invented the PNG format, I assume that Fireworks probably does the best job of creating a PNG. It seems Photoshop makes larger PNG files, but I create small JPEGs and GIFs in Photoshop. Fireworks doesn't seem to compress either JPEG or GIF as well as PS.

If I use FW, as I recall it will often create a smaller PNG than it does the other formats, so it would be easy to conclude the PNG is smaller. However, PS will take the same file and create a smaller JPEG or GIF. Maybe this is not always the case, but I've had it happen enough times that I don't usually experiment any more.

There, that will either answer the question or make things more confusing. Not sure which.

10-07-2010, 01:44 AM
I agree with you about people not optimizing the new format if they don't optimize the old format. I'm just thinking at least it would be smaller either way.

Makes sense about PNG-24. I find that does make much larger files and I don't really use it much. I tend to compress things to PNG-8 (I use PS by the way), which is usually about the same as a GIF. Sometimes one ends up larger sometimes the other, but they seem to end up being very similar. I can't say I've tested it a lot though. I use PNG-8 over GIF in part because technically GIF isn't an open format. It's owned by someone who could technically tell you you can't use it. I'm not sitting around worrying that could happen, but I figure I'll go with the more open format.

10-29-2010, 01:40 AM
There are plenty of instances when GIF's are larger than JPG and PNG. Ctr+Alt+Shift in Adobe Fireworks/Illustrator/Photoshop bring up web optimization settings where you can quickly play around with different settings and file types. It'd be wise to pass every img on your site through it.

10-15-2014, 07:12 PM
I'm going to bring this thread back to life. It's Halloween time so zombies are OK.

It's been several years, has webp gone anywhere? With HTML5 being out and in full force, is this format worth considering?

Brian Altenhofel
10-15-2014, 08:24 PM
The folks who use it swear it's popular.

The folks who don't use it swear it's irrelevant.

What matters is browser and device support. Only Chrome and Opera support it natively - the rest can be accomplished with yet-another-javascript-shim.

Harold Mansfield
10-15-2014, 08:56 PM
I still look at it like Microsoft Silver Light, and Apple Maps. Still not the standard that I am going to base much on.

11-21-2014, 02:29 AM
I think there is some basic intention hidden with this image format, as we all know Google does not read images, but I think in the future with the help of their own webp image format they would be able to read images as well and this will make website owners to all the images on their website into this format and this could take off in that way else it is possible to overcome jpeg.