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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping someone can help me since Amazon customer service offered me nothing...

The preloaded screen savers in my Kindle 2 look fantastic, but any photos that I add end up looking terrible. They seemed to look much better on my Kindle 1.

The pictures have these splotchy shadow looking things all over it and not at all crisp like the preloaded screen savers. I've tried using large size .jpg files, small ones, color, black & white, 800x600, etc., but all seem to look the same. It also doesn't matter if I have the dithering option on or off on the Kindle. I've attached a screenshot of one of the pictures that really shows off what I'm talking about.



Can anybody offer me some help on how to fix this? I'm sure it's a picture file issue since the screensaver pictures look fine.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Can you clarify the problem:

Do the pictures look crisp on your computer?

Are the pictures at the correct 600x800 pixel resolution?

If so, can you post one of these pictures?

 

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they are at a low grayscale setting.

What type of program are you using to edit the files? Photoshop?

 

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here is online photoshop express - i think it is free - not sure - will have to look into it when i have a bit more time. (lunch maybe?)

anywhoo - this may be the answer to many users on the board and I will be happy to spell out how I optimize pictures.

https://www.photoshop.com/express/landing.html
 

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I can't help you with the picture editing, but I really have to tell you...

That is the cutest picture ever!


And that was your first post - WELCOME!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know very little about photo editing, but never had to do anything when I had my Kindle 1. Whether the picture was color or black & white it looked fine on the Kindle. And whether I resized it or not it still looked ok.

I've used Microsoft Office Picture Manager to do whatever editing I had to do - resize, black & white, etc - because that's the only program I believe I have.

I've attached the original photo to show that it looks fine compared to how it looks in the screenshot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
kim said:
I can't help you with the picture editing, but I really have to tell you...

That is the cutest picture ever!

And that was your first post - WELCOME!
Thank you. She's got dad wrapped around her finger real early. ;)
 

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She's a cutie all right...

I haven't done the custom screensavers on mine yet, but I will do so this afternoon and see how your pic turns out.... I downloaded what you sent, desaturated the color, and put it in the proper aspect ratio.... I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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Thank you for the compliment Heather! ;D i'll do my best!

Ok - photoshop online is too limited - nice, but limited.

I found you a good site though.

http://www.picnik.com/app#/home/welcome

It's called 'Picnik" (don't tell Yogi Bear!) It has some good tools. I think it may work. Try this picture below, I edited it and cleaned it up. But you'll need to put it on with the screensaver directions - if you want it as a screensaver. If you just want it in a folder with pictures you can view - that's even easier. I think Heather wrote up the screensaver steps in a simplified manner. She or someone else will point you to them. for the view folder - follow the steps below.

First save this picture below to your computer. (right click/save) Then plug in your Kindle to your computer.

Now - open up your Kindle by double clicking the icon for the Kindle. Probably under your 'My Computer"

Now look for a folder/directory called 'pictures' - if you don't have one make it - go to file-new-folder and call it 'pictures' once it is made, double click it to open it. now make another folder inside of it the same way and call it whatever you want - say 'baby pictures'

ok - now drag and drop the picture you downloaded below into that folder.

eject your kindle - right click and choose eject

now - still with me? good - cause we're almost done. press the buttons on your Kindle keyboard labled 'Alt' and 'Z' at the same time. This will tell the Kindle to look for the 'Baby Pictures' folder. Now this folder should appear in your homescreen somewhere - just like a book. Now you can open it and view your pictures and show them off.

See if this pic looks better - if so - we'll go through the picnic steps later.



modified ONLY with picnik - it's not too bad. Notice the detail that is now visible in the ribbon, the sash and the finger (drool). I just used the big picture she posted and took it to picnik and cleaned it up.

That site may be a good thing for those people on the board that want to clean up pics but don't want to buy photoshop. It has some nice tools on it.
 

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berklee46 said:
I know very little about photo editing, but never had to do anything when I had my Kindle 1. Whether the picture was color or black & white it looked fine on the Kindle. And whether I resized it or not it still looked ok.

I've used Microsoft Office Picture Manager to do whatever editing I had to do - resize, black & white, etc - because that's the only program I believe I have.

I've attached the original photo to show that it looks fine compared to how it looks in the screenshot.
What you're seeing is an artifact of the reduction in colors, from the 16 million colors available in the original JPEG image to the 16 grey levels on the Kindle, and it's a good example of why you don't want to let the Kindle do the reduction in grey levels for you. What happened is that all of the grey scales in your image got lined up in descending order from white to black, and then reassigned to their closest equivalent on the Kindle's display, causing what is called 'banding', where you get solid blocks of one shade, then a sudden jump to the next shade, even though the original had a smooth transition.

When you use a graphics editing tool to reduce the number of colors yourself, you can use more sophisticated functions. One of these is called "error diffusion"; what it does is to go through each pixel in turn, compute what the closest color is, set the pixel to that color, and then distribute the difference between the original and adjusted color to the adjacent pixels for when it is their turn to be processed. The image below shows how it works:



The top bar is a 16-million color gradient running from white on the left to black on the right. The next bar is the same gradient reduced to 16 colors using the "nearest color" method. You can see that it isn't smooth any more; it's divided into bands of flat color (there's an optical illusion that makes the left side of a jump in shade look brighter than the rest of the bar to its left, but it's really all one shade). The bottom bar is teh same gradient reduced to 16 colors using error diffusion, and it looks almost as smooth as the top bar; if you look closely at the image, though, you'll see that what has happened is that the adjacent shades have been dithered together, sort of like the way a photograph is screened into dots for printing in a newspaper, to spread the perceived change from one shade to the next out so that you don't get the hard difference between shades.

If you do the reduction to 16 colors on your computer before you save the image to move to your Kindle, what you see on your computer is how it will display on the Kindle. If you put a 16-million-color image directly on your Kindle, you're at the mercy of the Kindle's rendering engine, and, as you've found out, Amazon cut a corner by picking a fast 'nearest color' rendering rather than a more processor-hungry rendering.
 

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I just downloaded your picture and tried something in Photoshop.  I saved it the way I saved all of my screensavers.  Try it and let me know if it works. I renamed the picture cute.jpg
jp
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the quick responses and advice. I appreciate it.

I've attached a screenshot of how Wilsondm2's edited photo looks on my Kindle. Definitely much better than before, so I really appreciate the work, and please don't take this as complaining.

I just don't seem to remember anywhere near as much blotchy-ness with my Kindle 1. if you look at her arms and face you'll see what I mean. I loaded that Kindle up with my own photos with absolutely no editing and tought they looked great, so I'm a bit baffled why this new one is supposed to look better and requires editing of pictures and still doesn't look as good as the original Kindle did?

Maybe I'm expecting too much from the Kindle's display or just remembering the older one as being better than it was?

 

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No - I tried that on my kindle too and it looks blotchy on mine too - it's gonna need a photoshop like program to fix right - i'll fix it.

 

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Stuck working on the political campaign today (on third glass of Chardonnay right now). Promise to work on your beautiful picture tomorrow.... I'm sure we'll work it out.
 

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OK - this is the best I cpuld do with my limited skills - if this doesn't work, I don't know what to do......

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wilsondm2, Thanks again for all the work. Rather than post a screenshot which I think can look distorted, here is an actual photograph of how it looks on my Kindle.

I think I'm mostly concerned that maybe there is a hardware issue, although the Kindle screensavers look great... Does this look the same as it does on yours?



These last three I edited to 600x800 and made to greyscale in Photoshop on my own.



 

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She's all splotchy on my Kindle, too.... It's where the image is bright white, it all gets washed out.
 

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I noticed the same thing on my K2 with most of my 'lightening' screen savers.

I am using Photoshop Elements.  I found that I could minimize the issue by using the "save for web" option and selecting a PNG file and selecting 16 colors.  (the images were already converted to greyscale within the program itself.)

The discussion of image banding above is spot-on.

I never had a K1.  The screen doesn't have as many shades of grey available, but it may have a better conversion tool.
 
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