Image preparation

In This Guide

Brightspot contains useful image editing tools for preparing your graphics for publication. For most uses, you don’t need an external graphic editor. This guide explains how to work with images in Brightspot to best showcase visual content for digital audiences.

Editing an image

  1. Open the image in the content edit page.
  2. Above the image, click ​brush.
    Image Description
    Brightspot opens the image in the Image editing form.
  3. Click Edit, and edit the image using the controls described in the following table.
  4. Click Done to close the image editing form.
  5. Complete your site’s workflow and publish the image.
rotate_90_degrees_ccwRotates image counter-clockwise.
rotate_90_degrees_ccwRotates image clockwise.
flip_horizontalFlips image horizontally.
flipFlips image vertically.
BrightnessChanges the image’s brightness.
ContrastChanges the image’s contrast.
SepiaApplies a sepia filter to the original image.
InvertInverts colors on original image, such as black appearing as white.
GrayscaleApplies a grayscale filter to the original image.
ResetDisplays image as it was added to Brightspot.

Setting a focus point

An image’s focus point is its ideal vertical and horizontal center. When automatically cropping images, Brightspot attempts to keep the focus point in the center of the cropped area.

Setting a focus point

You can set focus points for all images, or for individual orientations (landscape, portrait, and square).

To set a focus point:

  1. In the image preview, select the orientation for which you want to set a focus point.
  2. Click on the preview. A target appears.
  3. Click again to position the target on the focus point.

When selecting a focus point, click the point of the image that you want to be as close to the center as possible in the cropped area. In the previous illustration, the focus point is the topping on the pancakes when the image is rendered in landscape orientation.

See also:

Cropping an image

The image editor provides previews of different image sizes as they appear in published content. You can modify the cropping of each image size.

To crop an image:

  1. Above the image, click ​brush.

    Cropping an image

    Brightspot opens the image in the image editor.

  2. In the image editor, under Sizes, scroll down and click one of the previews. Brightspot displays the preview inside a frame that keeps the focus point (if any) as close to the center as possible.
  3. Click and drag the handles to adjust the crop as necessary.
  4. Click the crop area and drag it to move the frame.
  5. Click Done to close the image editor.

The following illustration is an example of a crop area that was resized and moved. The preview matches the cropping.

Cropped image

Resetting an image crop

You can reset a crop so that it returns to one of the preconfigured sizes.

To reset a crop:

  1. In the image editing form, under the Sizes tab, select one of the pre-configured sizes.
  2. Click Reset. The crop area returns to its original size and position.
  3. Click Done to close the image editor.

Preventing blurry images

To avoid blurry images in your published content, upload to Brightspot the largest, highest resolution image possible—ideally three times the size of the image’s largest version. For example, if a blogger’s image ranges from 100 × 100 (avatar) to 600 × 600 (bio page) on your site, upload an original image that is 1800 × 1800.

Blurry images are a frustrating aspect of electronic publishing: the image you add to Brightspot is crisp and clear, yet seems blurry or jagged on a published page. Almost every blurred image is the result of adding or changing pixels in the original image somewhere along a graphic’s timeline.]

Graphic Timeline.png

The previous illustration follows a graphic’s typical timeline. A photographer captures the image; a graphic editor modifies the image and uploads it to the server; the server prepares the image for distribution; and the visitor’s phone displays the image. Each of these stations along the timeline (graphic editor, server, visitor’s phone) can modify the pixels in the original image, resulting in the blurries. The modifications that cause the worst blurries are enlarging an image, increasing an image’s resolution, and reducing color depth.

See also:

Use large images

An enlarged image has more pixels than its original. For example, if an original image is 100 × 100, and the enlarged image is 300 × 300, there are an additional 90,000 − 10,000 = 80,000 pixels that need to be filled in. Ideally, the new pixels contain colors that maintain the contrast between two previously adjacent pixels. The following example illustrates what happens when enlarging an original image with smooth color transitions.

Blurry images large image.png

In the previous example, there is a smooth transition from one color to another in the original image, so filling in the new pixels to maintain the smoothness is easy. The new pixels have colors similar to the original pixels. The blurries are there but barely perceptible.

The following example illustrates the damage done to an enlarged image when the original has many areas of high contrast.

Blurry image enlarged image.png

In the previous original image, the fork’s teeth are an alternating contrast between gray and black, and for the enlarged image Brightspot needs to fill the new pixels with the colors that best maintain that contrast—as well as the contrast with the surrounding vegetables. The results are mediocre: any algorithm used to maintain the contrast inevitably produces results that the human eye perceives as blurry.

The best strategy for avoiding the blurries on enlarged images is to use a large image in the first place. Otherwise, use an original image with smooth transitions from one color to another.

Match color depth

Color depth refers to the number of colors available to use in an image. Many years ago, computer monitors and graphics cards supported 8-bit colors, allowing for only 512 colors in an image. Today, the vast majority of monitors and graphics cards support 24-bit colors, allowing for 16 million (actually 16,777,216) colors. As a result, older monitors convert a 24-bit image by finding the closest one from the available 512.

Blurry images color depth.png

In the previous example, the colors span from the white sun to the dark blue sky, and the enormous 16-million-color palette means any shade of blue is available to make the appearance of a smooth transition. In the 8-bit image there are only 512 colors available, severely limiting the available shades of blue. The device selects the closest available color, resulting in waves of shading.

If your visitors use older monitors, consider uploading to Brightspot images created with 8-bit color depth.

Match pixel density

Pixel density refers to the number of pixels per inch (ppi) on a screen. Suppose you create an image on a low-density monitor, such as 160 ppi, and a visitor is using a high-density screen, such as 320 ppi. At a screen size of 13 square inches, the original image has 334,000 pixels, and the visitor’s screen has 1.3 million pixels: the visitor’s screen needs to fill in far more pixels than are in the original image. Selecting the intermediate colors contributes to a blurry image.

Blurry images pixel density.png
Image prepared on low-resolution monitor

For example, the previous image was created on an external monitor with resolution 300 × 300 dpi. The image’s appearance on a monitor with similar resolution is a bit brighter compared to its appearance on a high-resolution monitors available with a MacBook Pro or late-model smartphone.

If your visitors use high-dpi monitors, consider uploading to Brightspot images created on monitors with similar density.

How Brightspot delivers images

When you upload an image to Brightspot, the image remains in its original form without any cropping or resizing. When a visitor views one of your pages that contains the image, Brightspot does the following:

  1. Determines the context required for the page.
  2. Crops, resizes, and otherwise modifies the image as required by the context.
  3. Delivers the modified image to the visitor’s web browser.
  4. Saves a copy of the modified image for subsequent visits to the page.

When cropping an image to a specific size, Brightspot crops around the original image’s center. In the following example, the image to the left is 594 × 370 pixels, and the sunset is to the far right. In some contexts, Brightspot needs to deliver the image cropped to 224 × 246. Because the default crop is around the image’s center, the sunset is lost.

Original ImageCropped Image
Deliver Images Original.png
Deliver Image Crop.png

To prevent such situations, you can set a focus point inside an image. Brightspot then crops the original image around the focus point. For example, if you place the focus point on the sunset, Brightspot applies the 224 × 246 crop around the sunset, keeping the sunset as close to the center as possible.

Deliver Image Crop around Focus.png