Google's new WebP software brings animated graphics and 25% faster display times

By Justin Kahn
Mar 24, 2014
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  1. Google has been developing WebP software for some time and has now introduced a new version into the latest Chrome beta. The company has been trying to speed the internet up with its yet to be fully supported web image...

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    Wouldn't smaller sizes only be half the benefit? If you can make the picture smaller, without losing quality, then couldn't you also increase quality without increasing size? When you upload to facebook, doesn't it compress the picture (or video) so that it can be easily viewed? It could now make those pictures higher quality without making them any bigger. That sounds like a better benefit to me.
    Robinson Ochoa likes this.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Yeah I agree.
  4. No matter how hard they push WebP, it won't get an actual foothold until desktop applications and/or OS-es also start to support it natively, without plugins or codecs.
  5. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 643   +226

    The author has posted a single .PNG image showing comparisons of the 3 different image formats. Is that a valid way to make a comparison? Just curious. I can't see the difference in quality in any of the 3 virtual images that are part of the single .PNG image.
  6. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I think the aim was to illustrate the difference in file sizes not quality. As a matter of interest how many browsers can display the WebP format?
  7. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 643   +226

    But showing the difference in file sizes without a comparison in picture quality is meaningless, is it not? I can create my own image format that has a file size of 16 bytes. It probably won't look anything like the original image but the file size will definitely be smaller. :) If the author wanted to show the difference in file sizes without bringing image quality into the discussion he probably shouldn't have done it the way he did. Its confusing. A bar graph of percentages? A pie chart? A line graph. Why show a penguin 3x that looks exactly the same. My conclusion would be that the whole world should abandon .JPG immediately because there is no discernible differences in the image quality per the included image in the article.

    I am taking a wild guess here and assuming that at the very least the Google Chrome browser can display WebP images. That is my default browser on Windows 7 at the moment and has been for the past couple of years.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  8. kuroiei

    kuroiei TS Enthusiast Posts: 93   +31

    As a CGI person I imagine lots of trouble downloading pictures from web (like textures, reference images etc.) and feeding them into various applications not necessarily compatible with the format. Adding more steps (image conversion in this case) in sometimes already convoluted process of creating 3D art or something similar sounds like a pain. Saying that, I think it would take a huge effort of the whole industry and software providers to introduce something like that.
  9. havok585

    havok585 TS Booster Posts: 121   +19

    Long live Mozilla !!
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,339   +1,938

    It's a Google initiative so I'm sure Chrome can.
  11. MikeAcker

    MikeAcker TS Enthusiast Posts: 30

    As long as it goes open source I'm for it -- as an option.
  12. jsonUK

    jsonUK TS Rookie

    Google is normally generous when it comes to making new standards. They often offer it as open source software.
    WebP is open source software but it's going to take many years until there is wide spread adoption for it on major platforms and software.

    PNG and JPG have been aging formats for a very long time and have been yearning to be replaced.

    ie. PNG was approved as a new image format in 1996 to replace GIF. Web support for PNG was very weak until around 2005. Since then, it gained enough popularity to eventually replace the use of GIF's for daily use.
  13. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 643   +226

    Please go on. I am fascinated by your post. Why are these formats 'yearning' for replacement? Because people have ADD? I never realized these formats were so terrible.
  14. jsonUK

    jsonUK TS Rookie

    Compression wise they are better solutions.

    For instance, there are commercial benefits, companies that store photos (for instance Flickr and Facebook) can save on storage space by using the new formats - and even better, since they are a smaller file size, they can be served a lot quicker. By saving bandwidth, the server can cope with more page requests, and hence perform its tasks faster.

    So in fact it's not just a small benefit using an improved format, but the overall benefit.

    The same will be the case for video format h265 replacing h264 which brings improved compression and support for 4K.

    Edit: To be honest, these formats will never be 'replaced' but 'added to'. JPG, GIF and PNG will be around until the end of time. It's just an evolution. The only thing it will be replaced, is the preferred format for web usage. Regardless, if WebP does not fill this role, another format will at some point in the future.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  15. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 643   +226

    Phhhfffttttt!!!! I think you are exaggerating the bandwidth issue a bit. In the world of technology it seems that people are on a never-ending quest to make technologies better than they currently are. That's awesome. I love that. But sometimes I think the never-ending desire to improve things only makes things worse. Even though a technology might be superior doesn't mean it should cancel out everything else before it. The only people who care about image file sizes right now are people who don't have broadband connections, I.e., rural folks living out in the sticks. I could care less about file sizes. I care more about advancments in storage technology and increasing storage capacities than I do about reducing, and possibly compromising, what data we have now. Compression technologies are a good thing but only if the original data isn't compromised to a point in which the quality of the data becomes much less desirable. That's why I stated in my earlier post that telling us that WebP images can be reduced by a certain percentage(whatever it is, 40%, 45, 50%) is meaningless unless we can verify that the compression is an acceptable alternative to the larger image file sizes.

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