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with CoverFactory
Tip 10: Creating Animations, Transparent Images and GIFs

CoverFactory produces 24-bit (high color) images.

Currently, there is no well-established web file format that supports that 24-bit images with animations and transparent images at the same time. (yes we do realize that there are some graphics file formats which can do this, but most user's browsers simply don't support these file formats).

Thus, if you want to produce a cover image with transparency or an animated cover image, you will need to convert the cover images to GIF (which only supports 8-bit color images). In order to this conversion, you'll need a painting program that can convert into GIF.

When you convert to GIF some color and detail will inevitably be lost, but there are a number of things that you can do to ensure best results:
  1. In CoverFactory, when you select Render To File... render into a lossless format (BMP or PNG).

  2. If you are going to eventually make a transparent GIF, in CoverFactory, turn off shadows and reflections, and choose a background color which is completely diferent from those in your cover.

  3. In CoverFactory, try to avoid using the Gradient fill options if you intend to eventually convert the rendered image to GIF.

  4. If using version 2.10, you should make sure that the Soften Edges option in in Render Options is turned off.

  5. If you intend to scale down or resample the cover image in your painting program, do this on the 24-bit color image, before converting the image to 8-bit color.

  6. Use a good quality painting program and when converting to 8-bit palette images, look for an option to use an Adaptive color palette (avoid half-toning, error defusion and fixed palettes).

    To illustrate this point:

    • Here is a 24-bit PNG cover image that came out of CoverFactory:

      Piranha Feed

    • Here is the image after being converted to a GIF using the Internet Explorer color palette (ugly or what!):

      Piranha Feed

    • But here is the same image converted to a GIF using the Adaptive setting in Corel PhotoPaint (much better!):

      Piranha Feed

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