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Why does my icon look distorted?

May 16, 2014, 09:55 (This post was last modified: May 16, 2014 10:05 by Matthysdt.)
Post: #1
Why does my icon look distorted?
Hi, this is my first post in this forum.

I have a 128x128px image, that I export to a Windows Icon file 32bbp, 8bit, no palette, uncompressed using Gimp.

The icon file, copied to the desktop looks as expected, but when I assign the icon to any shortcut, the icon seems distorted with rough edges and no semi-transparent pixels, see the very left icon in the screenshot.

I'm running Win 8.1

[Image: 8lbh.png]

Closer look:
[Image: gsqq.png]

Thank you in advance!
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May 16, 2014, 10:36
Post: #2
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
How big is it when it's used as a shortcut?

If it's not 128 square then you are seeing Windows scaling your image. Try creating your icon file with all the various sizes that Windows will use so that it doesn't have to scale it for you.

For example I've done something similar at work (so no example file) where I made layers in the file for 16x16, 32x32, 48x48, 64x64 and 128x128 by resizing an original 256x256 logo.

Kevin
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May 16, 2014, 11:17
Post: #3
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
(May 16, 2014 10:36)paynekj Wrote:  How big is it when it's used as a shortcut?

I have tried a layered icon with various sizes going up to 256, but ran into the same issue.

I think the problem may be with the semi-transparent pixels (i.e. pixels with opacity < 100) . But I'm not sure.

I've downloaded another 128px icon (and it's PNG) online and it looks fine when I use it, but when I convert the PNG to an icon, I get similar quality loss, that's why I'm wondering if I might be doing something wrong in GIMP.
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May 16, 2014, 11:24
Post: #4
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
Hi Matthysdt,

When you export your image to a .png, can you show a screen shot of the export settings you are using.
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May 16, 2014, 11:30
Post: #5
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
Maybe you should ask in a Windows forum, because if the exported file is correct what happens afterwards is beyond Gimp's reach?

Otherwise I get marginally better results when I scale the image directly to the required size in Gimp.

Remember also that the ICO format has been invented to contain several sizes so that the system can pick an image which is natively at the size required because at these small sizes nothing scales really well, so designers can produce directly the necessary sizes. It seems that if you export as .ICO, Gimp takes each layer to be an icon size.

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May 16, 2014, 11:49
Post: #6
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
(May 16, 2014 11:24)fluffybunny2 Wrote:  Hi Matthysdt,

When you export your image to a .png, can you show a screen shot of the export settings you are using.

I never export to PNG, I create and save the image as a PNG from the start.
Will it help if I export it?
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May 16, 2014, 11:59
Post: #7
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
(May 16, 2014 11:49)Matthysdt Wrote:  
(May 16, 2014 11:24)fluffybunny2 Wrote:  Hi Matthysdt,

When you export your image to a .png, can you show a screen shot of the export settings you are using.

I never export to PNG, I create and save the image as a PNG from the start.
Will it help if I export it?
my mistake - I have just re-read your original post. Confused
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May 16, 2014, 13:40 (This post was last modified: May 16, 2014 13:42 by paynekj.)
Post: #8
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
I've knocked off a quick test file with a multitude of sizes in it. (I've had to zip the ico file because it's not allowed to be attached to posts)

How does it work for you? If you have a problem with that then I would suspect it's something to do with Windows 8.

Kevin


Attached File(s)
.xcf  circle.xcf (Size: 82.23 KB / Downloads: 17)
.zip  circle.zip (Size: 16.1 KB / Downloads: 20)
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May 16, 2014, 14:13
Post: #9
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
Thank you for the trouble Kevin

Your icon looks fine, but it has very little detail to distort:
[Image: 4ial.png]

Can you perhaps make an icon of my PNG? (attached)

   
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May 16, 2014, 16:11
Post: #10
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
(May 16, 2014 14:13)Matthysdt Wrote:  Thank you for the trouble Kevin

Your icon looks fine, but it has very little detail to distort:
[Image: 4ial.png]

Can you perhaps make an icon of my PNG? (attached)

Try this


Attached File(s)
.zip  Image11.zip (Size: 19.78 KB / Downloads: 22)
.xcf  Image11.xcf (Size: 61.05 KB / Downloads: 19)
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Jun 9, 2014, 11:15
Post: #11
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
Thank you paynekj

Sorry for taking so long to respond.

You icon distorts less than my own, even when I convert your xcf to icon it looks better than when I convert my own PNG to icon. Do you have any tricks that may help me obtain better quality?

Is there a reason why you opted for the XCF file format rather than PNG?

Thanks!
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Jun 9, 2014, 11:20
Post: #12
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
For a quick reply (not sure when paynekj will be on again)

My guess for the .XCF attachment is so you can see how the layers are composite(put together)
Plus it retains the original quality. When you export to .png or another format, there are many export options.

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than fear of failure." BC
[Image: 29uocaf.png]
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Jun 9, 2014, 12:42
Post: #13
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
(Jun 9, 2014 11:15)Matthysdt Wrote:  Thank you paynekj

Sorry for taking so long to respond.

You icon distorts less than my own, even when I convert your xcf to icon it looks better than when I convert my own PNG to icon. Do you have any tricks that may help me obtain better quality?

Is there a reason why you opted for the XCF file format rather than PNG?

Thanks!

May I repeat here what I said above?

Icons (.ICO) are not meant to be resized!

A .ICO file contains several images of different sizes. You are assumed to provide all the required sizes, so the resizing can be done explicitly in Gimp (or in some cases, it can even be a completely different drawing). The normal behavior is to retrieve the image with the required size from the provided set and use it pixel for pixel.

If your icon is resized, it is because you didn't provide the required size.

Now answering your questions on
https://Gimp-Forum.net
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Jun 9, 2014, 12:59
Post: #14
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
Thank you for your inputs Ofnuts.

I never attempted to resize any icons.

All my icons have "layers" for all the different dimensions ranging from 16px to 256px.

The multi-dimensions aspect is not the issue here IMHO.
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Jun 9, 2014, 14:06
Post: #15
RE: Why does my icon look distorted?
Thanks iForStyle007

Seems the image format is not to be blamed here.

I created a new icon from scratch by combining the following images in a single a single layer:
16.xcf
32.xcf
64.xcf
128.xcf
256.xcf

I attached the resulting image in xcf format to this post, when I export the image to ICO, it looks terrible.

Yet somehow paynekj did exactly the same and his icon looks way better, so what am I doing wrong?

One difference that I did pick up was that all my layers seem centered, where paynekj's layers all seem top-left-aligned.

Thanks!


Attached File(s)
.xcf  icon.xcf (Size: 29.09 KB / Downloads: 15)
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