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Thumbnail + Popuplayer as JPG

After working with your excellent plugin for a while, these are two requests that would make my life much easier. If there is a workaround today or something I've missed, please let me know.

 

1) Custom page thumbnails

Everytime you export the vertical an automatic thumbnail of the page is created. But since HTML-code on the page isn't rasterized the thumbnails ends up partially blank. I know I can manually replace the tumbnail in the folder structure (which then will be overwritten at every export) and I also recall something about using an image as a placeholder for the HTML-code (which could be an alternative but not optimal).

Being able to have a custom thumbnail could also introduce a better navigation experience for some projects – instead of just scaling down a big page to an unreadable small one you can create a custom made thumbnail that is readable/understandable at thumbnail-size.

It could be implemented in the Mag+ Vertical-tab as a link to a custom image-file.

 

2) Option to render popup-layers as solid JPEGs (no transparency)

I've noted that putting images on popup-fileds always renders the images to PNG in the exported vertical. For my project which was supposed to be "popup-intensive" :) this could lead to an app weighting in approx 200 MB more than if the popuplayers would be rendered as JPEGs.

I guess the reason for this is to be able to have popups with transparency, but a checkbox in the Mag+ Vertical to "Disable transparency for popuplayers" and then have it rendered as JPEGs instead (using the quality-settings for JPEG that is already there) would be really sweet.

If there is no workaround for this already I will have to use less popups for this project or maybe use HTML-content for the popups (much more work).

If you would be able to use JPEGs for popups I guess it could have a significant impact on app-sizes in a lot of projects.

 

All the best,

Petter 

Petter Stahre

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Hey Petter -

Thanks for the note.

One the first request there, the way to deal with video or HTML elements not being blank in the thumbnail is to put a graphic in the box that you're placing the element in. From the MIB's perspective, that space is a web browser (or a video player) so it leaves it blank, but if you put a graphic in there the way you would in any box in InDesign, it will preserve and export that for the thumbnail. Other folks do just replace the image in the folder structure later, which is a simple drag and drop - the key of course is to do that at the end of your workflow so it is not overwritten. But I can also talk to our plug-in devs about linking to a custom thumbnail preview either in the plug-in or the Prod Tool - we'd just have to look at level of effort against level of demand.

For the second one there, you're right that the plug-in makes popups as PNGs because they so often have transparency, and we don't have a force JPG setting because we found it led to too many support requests from people who didn't understand why their transparency went away. However, if you use the MIB Optimizer tool (iOS only) [http://support.magplus.com/entries/21868426-The-MIB-Optimizer-iOS-ONLY], one of its tricks is to go through all the image files in the MIB and look at the transparency channel in PNGs - if it is below a minimum threshold (I think 2%) it converts it to a JPG - so that would be a good way to get the file size savings - you can often reduce retina MIBs by as much as 30-40%. We've looked at building the same intelligent analysis into the plug-in export and found it made the export a lot slower, but we're always looking for ways to export better and smarter.

Mike 0 votes
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Hi Mike, thank's for your fast response.

About thumbnails, yes I understand there is a workaround (replace thumbnails manually in the end) it's just one of those things you would like to handle in advance. But an image in the HTML-box is an alternative I will try this out more.

About popups as PNGs... Thank's I've read about that application but thought it was only for iPad? Since I'm doing a version of the MIB for iPhone 5&4 I have the same problem there.

At the page you refer to it reads "The optimizer should ONLY be used for iPad mibs at this time." but the headline says "iOS only". 

Can you confirm it works for iPhone?

Last: While this optimizer could be perfect for me (if it works on iPhone also) it feels experimental (I refeer to the warning-message on the page). A way to adress this PNG/JPG-problem already in the production environment is still preferable at least to me.

( You mention added support problems when you tested this but how was it implemented? Maybe the functionality was perfect but the implementation diffuse? I could understand a checkbox like "Export all layers to JPEG and save space" would trigger lots of happy action and support problems while some kind of a "Destroy transparency between all layers" :) could potentially lead to less problems? Or? I just hate to see good functionality being thrown away, due to people misunderstanding it. )

 

Petter Stahre 0 votes
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Hi Petter -

Yes, the Optimizer works on iPhone as well - it's all iOS - just not Android, as the image renderer on Android is different from iOS. I wouldn't worry about using the tool - it's been out for more than a year now and we've never had a single complaint. Plus, it saves a new separate file, so you can test it and if something isn't right, you still have the original MIB. I'm keeping it in the Labs section only because I would rather eventually build the functionality into the plug-in than officially release this as an additional tool. And yes, you're probably right about the language around the features - always a key.

Mike 0 votes