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Making Photo Uploads Work
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Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 1:35 PM
Whether Admin or Classmate, proper photo sizing, formatting and integrating are musts in order to effectively use Class Creator in a meaningful fashion. To save yourself time and frustrations with the Class Creator system/server, you must pay particular attention to the details of your photos, i.e., the size, format and added effects that are a critical part of posting excellent pictures on your classes' website.
In order to conserve space on your website, the preferred width of photos is 420 pixels, although you can post photos up to 600 pixels in width. Of course, you can make them smaller if you prefer, but never larger that 600 pixels if you want to avoid "blowing a gasket" on the Class Creator server. There are protective measures built in to the server, but it's just better all around if you pay attention to size before something awkward happens, and you end up having to answer embarrassing questions.
Format requirements are called out by Class Creator here in the forums, so no need to reiterate information that is readily available in other forums.
Adding effects to photos is another subject all together. If you use a program such as Photoshop (my choice) to add captions or special effects such as borders or special characters, you must be aware of the Class Creator server's limitations when it comes time to post those photos on your site. The primary factor with added effects is integrating them into the internal structure (that stuff that goes on in the background of your photos when they're displayed) of each and every photo that you plan on posting to your website.
In Photoshop, under the "Layers" command, there is a formatting function called "merge down." What that means to you as editor is the ability to make all the layers appear as one layer, rather than multiple layers, in the final, saved version of your photo. This is a must when finalizing postable versions of your photos to your class website.
In my experience, the Class Creator server is designed to "catch" certain image errors and attempt to correct them before photos are allowed to be posted. This is meant to prevent not only improperly formatted images from being uploaded, but to preserve and protect your class website from being hacked and/or damaged via corrupted image files.
Unfortunately, the Class Creator doesn't notify you when an image file is corrupt; it just won't insert the requested photo on your page. So, if you're wondering why a photo won't insert on your page, at that point it's a good idea to go back and look at the image in the program you made additions with, and determine if the revisions you made are still not "integrated" through the "merge layers" function of the program.
Save yourself a lot of time and frustration. In the long run, you will be glad--as either Admin or Classmate--you sized, formatted and integrated your images well before you upload and post them to your class website!
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Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM - Response #1
Thanks Frank, good stuff. Photo widths are very important, but as you mentioned the system will size photos that are too wide down to size. But not if you're pulling images from a third party source, such as Photobucket. Or if you're embedding plugins from third party sites. It's a good idea to understand image and third party plugin max sizes to ensure you don't inadvertently insert something too large. If you do you need to know how to change the dimensions to something appropriate. Check out this thread for max sizes.
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