WebP Graphics Format

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Specular
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WebP Graphics Format

#1 Post by Specular » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:57 pm

[Moderator note: this thread was split from the InDeep Software thread.]

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Midas wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:06 pm
Supports WEBP now...
This reminded me that I recently I discovered Pictus supported it, after opening a WEBP with it by accident (turns out it was added back in v1.6). Was a bit heavier on the CPU performance-wise though.

Is WebP a format we should look into advertising in entry descriptions do you think? I've noticed some large sites now serve WebP to compatible browsers instead of JPEGs, and I'd imagine some users might think there aren't many available image viewers if they perform a search and it isn't listed among the supported formats.

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#2 Post by Midas » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:48 am

It's a growing concern with me: I'm finding more and more instances of trying to open (mislabeled) JPG and PNG files offline only to find out they're in fact WEBP -- in which case, I commonly resort to PhotoDemon to convert them, but it makes it no less of a nuisance... :|

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#3 Post by webfork » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Specular wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:57 pm
Is WebP a format we should look into advertising in entry descriptions do you think?
The short version is: if it's worth advocating for, I couldn't tell and I'm not seeing much interest in the format.

Having advocated for another new graphics format (Animated PNG), I did some digging for this post to see if there was any improvement and came up a little light on details / benefits. The format does appear to have an open license and supports lossless (PNG) and lossy (JPEG) compression, so it should be ideal, but most of the info I was able dig up about it are for moving it back into PNG or JPEG format.

When I looked into it a while back, the only reason I found to use WebP over other formats was for thumbnails. Otherwise I'm not seeing clear view that sets it apart from other, more widely supported formats. Basically looks like something Google got behind (they serve a lot of thumbnails) and due to their size and status, it got adopted by everyone else.

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#4 Post by SYSTEM » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:07 pm

webfork wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:12 pm
Having advocated for another new graphics format (Animated PNG), I did some digging for this post to see if there was any improvement and came up a little light on details / benefits. The format does appear to have an open license and supports lossless (PNG) and lossy (JPEG) compression, so it should be ideal, but most of the info I was able dig up about it are for moving it back into PNG or JPEG format.

When I looked into it a while back, the only reason I found to use WebP over other formats was for thumbnails. Otherwise I'm not seeing clear view that sets it apart from other, more widely supported formats. Basically looks like something Google got behind (they serve a lot of thumbnails) and due to their size and status, it got adopted by everyone else.
WebP is technologically superior. It offers better compression ratio with the same image quality. JPEG, from 1992, in particular is an ancient format.
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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#5 Post by webfork » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:19 pm

WebP is technologically superior. It offers better compression ratio with the same image quality. JPEG, from 1992, in particular is an ancient format.
I agree that JPEG is ancient and could be improved upon, and I think the AVIF format (underway jointly by Mozilla and Google) will go a long way to replacing JPEG.

As far as PNG, I'm not seeing great change. I don't doubt that there's some improved compression here -- I don't think it would have been accepted if there was no change. It's just not clear from the tests I'm finding that this is a major improvement. Better sample sizes, more than a few images, avoiding overlapping comparisons between lossless PNG and lossy WebP, etc. It's also often not clear what compression has been used on the PNG files that are used in the comparisons. Most graphics tools just use very basic compression so their programs don't seem slow, but a little time spent on compression (e.g. PNGOptimizer or FileOptimizer) can go pretty far.

While digging I found some interesting background on the format: https://www.cnet.com/news/firefox-to-su ... aster-web/

Explanation on why Firefox resisted WebP: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/commen ... ting_webp/

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#6 Post by Specular » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:36 pm

webfork wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:12 pm
The short version is: if it's worth advocating for, I couldn't tell and I'm not seeing much interest in the format.

When I looked into it a while back, the only reason I found to use WebP over other formats was for thumbnails. Otherwise I'm not seeing clear view that sets it apart from other, more widely supported formats. Basically looks like something Google got behind (they serve a lot of thumbnails) and due to their size and status, it got adopted by everyone else.
I've seen it used on a large classifieds site for its main (full size) user listing photos when using an up to date browser (otherwise it serves JPEG) and also on Github's official store (renamed with .JPG extensions). The difference is APNG hasn't seen a particularly visible adoption from what I can tell so I wouldn't personally think the two are comparable in relevance. See this Google Trends comparison for search queries related to the two and WEBP has seen a dramatic rise in searches in the past two years while APNG has remained dormant.

I'm curious given the photos from Github's store for example were renamed JPEGs how many other renamed WEBP images online might exist most aren't aware of until they try opening them with incompatible viewer.

Edit: looking back I realize how much this discussion veered off from the OP of the topic, perhaps it could be split into a new topic.

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#7 Post by webfork » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:39 pm

Specular wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:36 pm
See this Google Trends comparison for search queries related to the two and WEBP has seen a dramatic rise in searches in the past two years while APNG has remained dormant.
Again, I'm not sure I trust that as it's Google data talking about Google's formats doing well. Like the various WEBP tests I looked into, seeing better data (in this case from an independent source) would be ideal.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if those numbers were accurate. I want to advocate for APNG because there's not really another replacement for GIF files. Every other animation output I've seen is a lossy format, which doesn't give rise to the collaboration that made GIF such an institution. Of all the graphics formats out there, GIF really needs to get replaced.
Specular wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:36 pm
Edit: looking back I realize how much this discussion veered off from the OP of the topic, perhaps it could be split into a new topic.
Yeah absolutely. Splitting threads ...

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#8 Post by Specular » Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:48 am

webfork wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:39 pm
Again, I'm not sure I trust that as it's Google data talking about Google's formats doing well. Like the various WEBP tests I looked into, seeing better data (in this case from an independent source) would be ideal.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if those numbers were accurate. I want to advocate for APNG because there's not really another replacement for GIF files. Every other animation output I've seen is a lossy format, which doesn't give rise to the collaboration that made GIF such an institution. Of all the graphics formats out there, GIF really needs to get replaced.
If you had examples that pointed to such trends skewing/tampering it'd certainly be interesting, though I expect it's mostly due to like you said a player like Google being able to accelerate adoption of tech they implement in their offerings (APNG as we know wasn't native to Chrome for the longest time and with Chrome-based browsers becoming dominant market wise that makes a big difference, though in fairness both formats serve quite different use cases).

As it is, WebP is an image based offshot from their open source VPx video codec which saw adoption by browsers due in part to pushing against the commercial licensing of AVC/HEVC (h.264, h.265, respectively). HEVC support wasn't ever supported in Firefox or Chromium for that reason (even if the OS/hardware supports it and they could allow native decoding!).

For comparison if we look at results for 'VP8' vs 'h.264' trends (directly competing and comparable video tech) we see the results for AVC vastly outnumber those of VP8. All up the users win though since this open vs closed source competition has lead to some excellent open source and adopted codecs (with AV1, the successor to VPx now having backing from a host of major companies like Intel, Nvidia, etc).

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#9 Post by Midas » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:17 am

webfork wrote: Basically looks like something Google got behind (they serve a lot of thumbnails) and due to their size and status, it got adopted by everyone else.
SYSTEM wrote: WebP is technologically superior. It offers better compression ratio with the same image quality. JPEG, from 1992, in particular is an ancient format.
webfork wrote: I'm not sure I trust that as it's Google data talking about Google's formats doing well. Like the various WEBP tests I looked into, seeing better data (in this case from an independent source) would be ideal.

This has been bugging me for a while. So, today I found this via OSNews -- it references AVIF, too...

WebP seems to have about 10% better compression compared to libjpeg in most cases, except with 1500px images where the compression is about equal.

However, when compared to MozJPEG, WebP only performs better with small 500px images. With other image sizes the compression is equal or worse.
Since most of the time WebP is used alongside JPEG fallback, by using WebP you will essentially double your storage costs with little benefit.

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#10 Post by webfork » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:23 am

Very interesting. I also saw a few things in the test around HEIF/HEIC and AVIF:
Firefox has AVIF support but it’s behind a flag and it doesn’t seem to read ICC profiles correctly. Still, it’s more browser support than Apple’s "next-gen" HEIF which isn’t even supported in Safari.
That's hilarious. Apple is a big company so it's always amusing when one arm doesn't seem to know what the other one is doing. Plus, with a near-guaranteed 10%+ of all web traffic, you'd think the Safari browser could make a strong argument for new formats.
I think in the next year or so we might see a radically different landscape. With Chrome on board, we could see supported browsers jump to something like 70% of all browsers which means AVIF would be a pragmatic thing to support in web projects.
Very encouraging.

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Re: WebP Graphics Format

#11 Post by Midas » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:09 am

Time to move the topic, too. What's your pick, "Resources" or "Chit-chat"? I'd say the former, because that's where the one about APNG already is.

EDIT: done!

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