Image 'softness'

Hi there

I am finding that images pulled from my Photos app on iOS appear soft in Scrivener. I first noticed this when I tried to add a screenshot to illustrate a manual I am writing for an instruction class. I am currently using 2 different sizes of iPad Pro both running the latest public beta of iOS10, but I have also made comparisons with an iPad Air 2 running iOS9.3.3 and all give the same result.
Is there some kind of down sampling being perform when importing pictures to account for this softness. As a control I made comparisons with another well known product (being with a U) and the images retained their crispness here, so for me it’s definitely a Scrivener issue. I’ve searched the forum but no one else seems to be mentioning this issue.

Anyone with any thoughts?

Al

does the softness show up in the compiled version? maybe it’s just a display optimization?

Hi Ron

It is still present in the compiled version - I’ve tried creating a PDF and opened it in PDF Expert, and an ePub opened in iBooks shows similar softness. I’m thinking for now I’m going to have to put placeholders in my work and add the images in the ‘other’ app but it’s really going to slow me down. I’ve even tried upsizing images before I add them to Scrivener but that doesn’t help either. I can’t see why this should be an issue local to my devices but no one else seems to have reported this problem.

Thanks

Al

I am seeing this softening of the image too. It seems to pertain only to images embedded in documents.

Compare the result of:

  1. Going into Photos.app and Copying a photo, then Pasting it into a text document in Scrivener.
  2. Import the same image directly into the Scriv project from your photo library (using the import button at the bottom of the binder). The result of (2) is a solo photo document in the Binder. Tap on this new binder item and then zoom the image out to the same view size as the image appear in (1).

The image in (1) is notably softened and softer than the image in (2) which seems as sharp as ever.

That’s exactly the same here, it’s a shame that images in the Binder cannot be used when a document is compiled. The difference is quite dramatic though, and especially with screenshots, which is my particular use for images in the manual I am trying to compare. I’m glad someone else can see it though, at least it proves the issue is not local to my devices. :wink:

Thanks

Al

Hi,

Some softness is expected in the editor, but you shouldn’t experience it in Compile (although PDF export is an exception which I can fix).

The iOS TextKit that Scrivener uses for its rich text editor has horrendous slowdown issues when images are embedded in the text. If you add a couple of reasonably large images to the text, typing can slow to a crawl. To work around this, I scale all images inside the text view so that they have a maximum width of 600 points. This keeps typing fast. Note, however, that the underlying data is not changed. The full-sized image is stored in Scrivener, but a scaled-down version is used for display in the editor to keep things fast. If you export to .docx format, you should see the image is fine, for instance.

The problem with PDF export is that to generate a PDF I have to create all the pages and render them, and I do that using a version of the text view used for the editor - so the PDF export is also using the scaled-down version of the image. I’ll fix that for the next update - I just have to tell it to use the full data rather than the scaled version in Compile. Although there might be memory issues there, so we’ll have to see how it works in practice.

All the best,
Keith

I wondered what was going on with images, and why larger, higher quality, images where being downsized and (seemingly) downgraded. It’s the only thing I’m disappointed with so far. Other than that it’s an amazing App, not least for version 1.0.

I understand why you’ve made the decision, and can see it’s the best default choice for usability. But I’d still really love some control over images (i.e. an ability to override the default display options). Adjusting the size (or at least not downsizing) and being able to display the in high quality is pretty important to me.

Thanks for the kind words. The trouble is that if you chose to display them in the editor in high quality, the editor would become unusable - typing anything in there could take a second for each letter.

All the best,
Keith

As I test I exported a .docx to Pages and the image quality is certainly better than with my previous attempts using a PDF. I then used split view on my 12.9 iPad Pro and compared the original image (in Photos) to the same sized rendition in Pages and the embedded picture in Pages is still a bit soft - whether it’s too soft for me is a judgement I have yet to make. I think for the majority of people there wouldn’t be an issue here, my use case is unusual in that I am using screen shots that’s obviously are normally crisp.

I am now wondering whether scaling the image before insertion to 600 points might help the situation, as presumably there will be no need for up/down sizing to take place within Scrivener.

I’ll have another play…

Thanks

Al

Al, no idea if this helps, but I just tested this on my iPhone 6 Plus (retina) running iOS 9.3.2, importing from Dropbox into Scrivener a 2MB .jpg of a graphic I created in OmniGraffle Professional 5.4.4 saved at 200 DPI (pretty low, actually). I also ran the same kind of test saving another, extremely complicated graphic from OmniGraffle, supposedly 3299x2549 (that’s pixel dimensions, I guess), 3MB, saved at 300 DPI, then imported into Scrivener. Both were absolutely crystal clear in iOS Scrivener, even using pinch to zoom in extremely close. Finally, I imported a photo from the camera app. Same deal: looked perfectly clear in iOS Scrivener. I’m wondering if the “softness” is because you’re on an iPad, with presumably much higher resolution than my iPhone 6 Plus’s measly 1920x1080.

@random_pattern

Were these files embedded into a document, or as files in the Binder? When I import files into the Binder they are fine, it’s just the embedded ones that are softer.

Thanks

Al

Random_pattern is not doc-embedding those. I can tell because of the reference to pinch-to-zoom which is not available on images embedded in text docs.

Random_pattern: the softness only shows up in images embedded in text docs. As a preview that’s okay, but it also shows in compiled pdf output. The maker has confirmed all this above, so it is all true!