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Thread: Could we allow larger photo upload size?

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member Sentryduty's Avatar
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    Could we allow larger photo upload size?

    While using the photo attachment tool I frequently run into the issue that my photos exceed the maximum upload size, which requires me to manually resize each photo before uploading to the forum.

    When capturing photos I am not always targeting my work to just forums and always shoot in the largest format and quality as practicable so that a picture might be suitable for later print or publication. Typically my digital photography results in a file size of 5 MB or less.



    My current workaround has been to use my mobile phone application "Tapatalk" for photo posting, as it seems to host and post a photo of any size very rapidly, and then re-edit the text portion of my post with a computer. Typing out a detailed post on a touchscreen is downright silly, but I do spend less time working over my photos in post production, uploading, posting, and then retyping on a keyboard.

    I was hoping we could streamline my authoring process with simply allowing the attachment uploader to handle larger file sizes and automatically downsize as normal.

    Is this something we could have occur without ruining the forum?
    - Darren
    1 PL West Nova Scotia Regiment 2000-2003
    1 BN Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 2003-2013

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    I think it may all have to do with the sites allocated storage as I looked at up loading a vid from the other day and it was like 67.5 MB so I gave it a miss Badger may help us some pics I view open up quite large from this site whilst others I think place them into Large or small web size which does make it difficult to view the finer detail.

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    Contributing Member Sentryduty's Avatar
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    Understood, however unless I am mistaken, it appears the site (as does the other VBulletin systems I've administrated) does employ a compression engine which washes the quality and file size, which I have no issue, just an allowance of starting with a larger file for the compression engine to tackle.

    While we aren't giving up much in image size with the uploader compression we are losing a lot of valuable image data, all of the image samples on here that I have checked have are running at 72-96 dpi, which is fine for web use, however they would be unsuitable for printed publication, which requires in truth, a minimum 300 dpi.

    Basically I don't want to re-invent the wheel with the online storage size, I would just like the photo uploader to accept a larger initial file for compression. So I don't have to take a initial 800x600, 300 dpi file @ 5mb, and compress it using a photo editor to 800X600, 150 dpi @ 2mb, to have the uploader recompress the image to 800x600 72 dpi @ 0.065 mb (65kb). The example is in actuality the exact process I have to go through to post a photo.

    Really unless there is some programming limitation, it should be no huge issue, and as it was put by an insightful friend of mine: "Eliminate the Department of Redundancy Department" or processing photos twice.

    If we can do it, great, if not, I woill continue with my workaround.
    Last edited by Sentryduty; 02-27-2016 at 12:34 AM.
    - Darren
    1 PL West Nova Scotia Regiment 2000-2003
    1 BN Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 2003-2013

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    Ok, let’s try to clear up a few things …

    There’s a difference between pics that are uploaded directly to a post or thread using the Attachment Manager built into our vBulletin program site software, and pics that are referenced by a link to other sites, using the vBulletin's [img]https://www.milsurps.com/[/img] BBcode.

    This latter external link method is selected using this mini-icon ----> , which is shown at the top of any post/thread editing menu bar.

    How our site handles those external links is fully explained fully here in this help thread.

    Why are my images from Photobucket, ImageShack etc. copied to milsurps.com?

    Now, let's talk about pics that are the topic of this thread, which are ones that a member uploads to our servers using the Attachment Manager, built into our vBulletin program site software.

    This method is selected using this mini-icon ----> , which is shown at the top of any post/thread editing menu bar. It opens a new browser window for a member to select and upload his pics to the post or thread he's composing.

    Here's two JPG type pics which are identical, except the first one is the original, taken with a digital Canon camera.

    Here's the original ...

    6,329,762 bytes (6.3 MB on disk)
    Dimensions: 4752 × 3168 pixels



    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    I bet that pic above took a fair bit of time after you clicked to view it, before it appeared on your computer screen.

    That's because of its large size. It should be much faster the second (and subsequent) times you click to view it, simply because your computer's browser will store it in your local memory cache after the first download. Of course, if you clear your browser cache, it will once again be slow for that very first view (download).

    Here's the same pic below, except prior to uploading, it was scaled down using a 50% reduction factor with a program I have on my Apple Mac called Batch Photo Resizer. There are dozens of programs for both Windows PC's and Apple computers that easily do this with pics and many of them are free. There's even on-line web sites users can take advantage of to resize the images on their computers. Here's just one example of those called PicReSize - Free Online Picture Resizer. Personally, I prefer to have these kinds of programs residing on my computer locally, as opposed to using on-line versions, but both methods work.

    After re-sizing as described above ...

    703,405 bytes (705 KB on disk)
    Dimensions: 2376 × 1584 pixels



    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Note: The first pic is 9 times larger in file size and twice the pixel size in [Width by Height] dimensions !!

    Compare the two pics and I think everyone will get the idea that size really doesn't matter that much when viewing pics members upload, for other members to view on their home computer screens. In fact, past a certain point, excess pic file sizes and very large pixel [Width by Height] dimensions become a waste of resources for our site's disk storage space, plus it's a much greater strain on our server's single main processor. This is due to the more intense processing time and consumption of extra bandwidth in sending them to be displayed by a receiving member. Further, if the receiving member viewing those pics has a slow ISP (Internet Service Provider) connection to our site, then they'll end up waiting longer times for the pics to get to their computer, where they will still be processed far more slowly by their own computer's processor and Internet browser, before finally appearing on their local computer screen. By the way, I bet that second pic was much faster to view after you clicked on it? That's because the file size that's stored on our servers is a lot smaller and it took less time to get to your computer and less processing time for both your computer and Internet browser to prepare it to display for you.

    For the technical inclined, there's two completely different things going on with uploaded pics. To understand those, one needs to separate file size from resolution. In this regard, the core thing to remember is a 10 Mb file is a 10 Mb file, regardless of the image resolution [Width by Height] dimensions.

    How large a FILE can be uploaded, stored and processed for display on our site? 3 Mb (3,000,000 bytes)

    What [Width by Height] maximum resolution can be displayed? No Restrictions
    The settings in vBulletin allow us to control one or both of these elements of an uploaded pic. Right now and using the Attachment Manager, we allow a maximum file size of 3 Mb (3,000,000 bytes) for any individual pic to be uploaded to our server, with no restrictions at all on what the resolution of that image is. It could be 300x200, 640x480, 1024x768, or 22,000x18,000, as long as it's under 3 Mb in file size.

    To create the best visual experience for our members when viewing uploaded pics sent to our site, we try to balance visual aesthetics against optimized performance and functionality settings. One of the best things we can do to create this balance is to ask our members to help us, by off-loading pic re-sizing to their end, as a pre-cursor to uploading pics when using the built-in Attachment Manager.

    We would ask members to pre-process their JPG or PNG pics locally on their computer before uploading, keeping file sizes to under 3 Mb and with [Width by Height] dimensions of 2592 by 1944, or less. For the best aesthetics when viewing pics uploaded to our site, our vBulletin software will try to optimize and resize images that are smaller than 2592 by 1944, however, the resize attempt might fail if the image is too large to be successfully processed, or if the image type is not supported for resizing. Images that exceed either dimension will not be resized by vBulletin.

    I hope everyone finds this lengthy explanation informative and useful.

    Regards,
    Doug

    Note: After you click on images to ENLARGE them, you may find they automatically size smaller in your browser's window making them harder to view. The auto sizing is your browser's way of keeping images entirely within the screen size you have set. Move your mouse pointer to the bottom centre of the pic and you will see an options panel appear. There will be a small square box next to the large X, which will have a pointer arrow sticking out of it. If it's illuminated, it means the pic you're viewing can be enlarged, so click on this box and the pic will EXPAND and open to its normal original size.
    Last edited by Badger; 03-02-2016 at 11:26 AM.

  7. Thank You to Badger For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Contributing Member Sentryduty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    We would ask members to pre-process their JPG or PNG pics locally on their computer before uploading, keeping file sizes to under 3 Mb and with [Width by Height] dimensions of 2592 by 1944, or less.
    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    the resize attempt might fail if the image is too large to be successfully processed,
    Thank you Doug, this statement pretty much all I was after, and was hoping for a max file allowance increase, however I understand that will not be permitted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    I bet that pic above took a fair bit of time after you clicked to view it, before it appeared on your computer screen.
    It was actually instant on the first try, as quick as any of the other photos, but I do understand the point your are trying to make.

    I will continue with my workaround methods.

    Thank you for the response.
    - Darren
    1 PL West Nova Scotia Regiment 2000-2003
    1 BN Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 2003-2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sentryduty View Post
    Thank you Doug, this statement pretty much all I was after, and was hoping for a max file allowance increase, however I understand that will not be permitted.
    You're welcome partner ..

    With large 5-10 Mb file sizes, I don't think our 2006 era Intel 2.0 GHz 1333FSB - Clovertown (Xeon 5335) (2 Gb memory) server would handle real time uploading and trans-coding styled file resizing very well, plus simultaneously all of the other processing for our entire site with members logged in at the time it was tasked to do that. Maybe some day we should take up a special collection and see if we can get an upgrade for our 10 year old hardware platform.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentryduty View Post
    It was actually instant on the first try, as quick as any of the other photos, but I do understand the point your are trying to make.
    That's excellent... on my 5 Mbps DSL connection, it took about 4-5 seconds for the pic to be received and the thumbnail to appear ready to be clicked on. Perhaps the server processor was performing some other heavy taskings when I sent the click request to open the larger 6 Mb pic.

    Thanks for your understanding ..

    Regards,
    Doug
    Last edited by Badger; 02-29-2016 at 01:19 PM.

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