"Why are the pictures fuzzy?" (or, "But it looked so good on Google...")

Importing images into VizZle is awesome--but it can be frustrating when the image turns out to be blurry (also known as "pixelated") when the lesson is played.  This article describes how to choose images that will stay clearly in focus.


There are lots of great sources on the Web for finding images to use in your VizZle lessons.  Both Google and Yahoo have specific searches just for images.  Both these sources also display all the information you need to decide if the ideal image is going to stay ideal in lesson playback.

If you find an image that seems perfect, you need to check on its size to be sure it will stay "perfect".  A very small image will get all fuzzy and blurry if it is blown up beyond its limits.  A huge image will take an huge amount of time to load.  You want a medium sized image.  So how can you tell?

The information you need to consider is located underneath the small image representation (called a "thumbnail") in the search return.  The first line of information is the image's title.  The second line describes the image's size.  When choosing an image, you need to check this second line of information.


The first two numbers (separated by an "X") are the width and height.  You want to choose an image with both numbers somewhere between 300 and 900 ideally.  The third number is a different representation of the size.  You want that 3rd number to be in the 100 to 500k range ideally.  That third number should always be followed by a "k"--if it has an "MB" it will be too large.




Another important thing to remember when using one of these resources is that the picture you are looking at in the initial search returns IS NOT the actual image--it is just a thumbnail.  The thumbnail is a small representation of the image.  Thumbnails are used so that representations of all the pictures you have to choose from will load quickly.  But the thumbnail is too small to work in any other kind of application.  So if you like one of those images, don't just right-click and "save as" on the thumbnail--it won't work.   Click on the thumbnail and find the source image to save, or you will be disappointed in the results.




Image size (also referred to as image resolution) can be a tricky business, but the info here should be enough to help you choose what you need.  However if you'd like to learn more about image size, you can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_resolution.

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