Adapting Comics for the Amazon Kindle

mandag 5. september 2011

Make sure you’re using as high quality an original image as possible, and then:

  1. RESIZE the image first! Do not do any of the below until you’ve completed that very important step. If you resize later you’ll be left with some very ugly images indeed. Resize to 72-96dpi (300dpi is unnecessary when speaking of digital, and makes overly-large file-sizes, which the Kindle doesn’t handle so well) 
  2. CROP ALL EXTRANEOUS MARGINS. You’re already downsizing to fit a small-ish screen. Why let any precious space be taken up by white or black margins? 
  3. SHARPEN your image. If you’re using Photoshop, the best thing to do is use the Filter “Sharpen Edges”. If the text is hand-drawn or overly tiny (unable to by resized), then also use plain ol’ vanilla “Sharpen” to boot. The image will look overly crisp on your computer monitor, but it’ll make a huge difference on the fuzzier Kindle screen.
    UPDATE: This will depend entirely on the original art itself. Some art will not require this sharpening and indeed look pixelated and horrible with it, and some will depend entirely upon it, appearing as if behind a veil of digital fog without it. Fun, eh? We highly, highly recommend that you find someone with a Kindle to test your art for you before you publish. It’s necessary. 
  4. INCREASE THE CONTRAST TO 100% – or if not 100%, increase it to where the white and black (or dark and light) areas are extra separated from each other. Since the Kindle is actually shades of GRAY and not at all black-and-white, it needs whatever help in can get to help divvy up the shades and keep your picture sharp and crystal clear. 
  5. BRIGHTEN OR DARKEN the image. Depending on the original art, and what occurs when the Contrast is increased, it will likely be best to increase the Brightness or decrease it. If the image is overly dark, brighten. If it’s overly white/bright, darken. 
  6. Save as a PNG-8, 16 Colors, “Perceptual” color reduction algorithm, and “Noise” Dithering. PNG-8 because anything more is lost on the Kindle’s 16-shade only screen, and would simply create an overly large file with zero gained result. 16 Colors to match the 16 shades of Kindle 2 e-Ink. “Perceptual” and “Noise” because they toss in additional very small specks of shade that help fool the Kindle into believing there are more shades of gray than there actually are. 
And that’s it! You’ve got a perfectly adapted-for-the-Kindle comic image!
Robot Comics

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