Better Image Detection

September 02, 2008 | Posted by Demitrious Kelly

Just a quick note on a subtle improvement…

In the past when you have uploaded an image to that was not a png, jpeg, or gif, we presented you with a big fat error page (which nobody, ourselves included, likes to see.)  So as of now we do some back end trickery to attempt to get any image you try to use into a format that we can handle.  It wont work with every possible image type, but most of the really commonly attempted ones should be handled (such as svg, bmp, and tif!)

Happy uploading!

32 Responses

  1. CPU-7990 says:

    Не думаю, что это уж такая большая проблема для пользователя – перед загрузкой “перегнать” картинку из одного формата в другой. Хотя, конечно для новичков – это должно облегчить жизнь. 🙂

  2. Elad says:

    When the default is set to ‘identicon’ and a ‘jpg’ file extension is used, a ‘png’ file is returned and not a ‘jpg’ one.

    Thanks 🙂

  3. Elad says:

    Opps, forgot to give the example.

  4. Omarm says:

    hai!!!my jodoh… bila nak jumper jodoh… carik jgn xcari….

  5. Omarm says:

    mana gambar.. tak kuar lagi….

  6. akın says:

    kumluca radyo asta yabancı yayın yapıyorum…

  7. yorgyb says:

    Congrats on the improvement…..

  8. Dougal says:

    I just tried uploading some TIFF images out of iPhoto/PhotoBooth, but it didn’t accept them. :-/

  9. Thunderm00n says:

    Hey there!
    Nice work, but why don`t you accept moving gifs or why we have to resize our avartas (just use a type of width and height attribute, min-height/width should be 80px max-height/width should be 120px)

    but its a great work. Keep on!

  10. amolpatil2k says:

    Frankly this is a shock to me. If images are your mainstay, how can you be so backward (for lack of a better word) in dealing with various formats.

  11. apokalyptik says:

    @Dougal — I just sent over an email asking for some examples, I’ll see what I can do when you send them over…

    @Elad — Wow! talk about attention to detail. I’ll have this fixed shortly. Though it will take a while for all the in-cache images to expire and the change to be globally recognizable. But it’ll happen

    @Thunderm00n — It was a conscious choice not to accept animated images. On the whole most people don’t like them, and it can seriously detract from the look and feel of a site. Since we (all) are guests on peoples web pages we do our best to play nice with the other kids while we are there.

  12. avtorentacar says:

    This sounds nice, it will help to the non-technical users to upload an image

  13. Geakz says:

    Keep up the good work. Your efforts are appreciated by the blogging community – if I may be so bold to say.

  14. Dougal says:

    Sample image sent! I just converted the TIFF to a JPG on my end and re-uploaded. But maybe you can figure out what it didn’t like and fix it for the next person who might have the problem.

  15. ChaosKaizer says:

    Nice experiment guys. Should just stick with common jpg/png images type.

  16. […] Gravatar, being the only of these services whose sole purpose is to serve icons, does just about everything you’d want. It maintains transparent areas in PNGs, provides a tool to crop to their square shape (80px and 32px), and lets you store more than one image. Gravatar serves icons for, many WordPress-powered sites, Disqus, and probably a bunch of other sites and services. Update 20080903: Gravatar should now work with a few more image types. […]

  17. Omarm says:


  18. Thunderm00n says:

    Thanks for your answer, just wonderin`where my post have been gone^^You`r right, many people doen`t like animated avatars but many do like them, so its kind of everybodys own choise. I can understand you choise, really. Was just a question 😉

    Keep on, you`r doing well

  19. Bert says:

    Good news 😉

  20. mikael says:

    @amolpatil2k: Did you read the same news post? They just added support to convert your images in other formats, they didn’t remove it. 🙂 Good job!

  21. hfrmobile says:

    What the f… is .svg 😉

  22. cubesteak says:

    As a small aside to this – what is the optimum size of graphic to upload? I have seen that the images get kinda pixelated and wondered if this was just a necessary evil, or if there was something that I could on my end to mitigate against that.

    Thanks much for such a great service! 🙂


  23. Omarm says:


  24. apokalyptik says:

    @cubesteak – For best results make a 512×512 pixel image with just the subject inside. Upload to gravatar, and expand the cropper box to encompass the entire image. That will give you the absolute best quality for your gravatar.

  25. Elad says:

    Any update about the jpg extention issue?

  26. nimd4 says:

    apokalyptik I did – and – nothing!.. the image comes out funky, although it’s an 80×80 on a 512×512 canvas; something needs to be fixed here, for gravatar to even (actually) work…

  27. nimd4 says:

    ..doesn’t seem possible to edit previous comments; the problem occurs with transparent PNGs only.

  28. wcraigtrader says:

    Congratulations on supporting more formats.

    I’ve just started using Gravatar, and the first thing I noticed was that it insists on square avatars and doesn’t give you the option of padding your images out to square, only cropping them down to square. What’s up with that?

  29. G0nd0 says:

    Congratulations on supporting more formats!!!!

  30. Is it possible to display my Gravatar on Trackbacks as well? Most blogs display my Gravatar when I comment directly on another blog, but when I send a trackback an anonymous image is displayed.

  31. M says:

    Everytime I try to sign in, I enter the fields, press the button, and nothing happens. Anyone have a solution?

  32. Retodon8 says:

    Nimd4, I take it you’re not talking about your Quake III Gravatar, which looks fine here. Could you show the one that doesn’t work?
    Btw, apokalyptik already mentioned it, but, I wouldn’t suggest a tiny 80^2 image in a 512^2 canvas. Normally Gravatars are shown smaller than that, meaning your actual subject would be just a speck most of the time.

    wcraigtrader, Gravatars are probably square because squares are easiest to implement in any site design.
    why would you even want to add padding to your Gravatar? Adding padding actually means removing image detail, since you overwrite it with black bars (or similar).
    I guess you want transparent bars to fake non-square Gravatars, but as nice as the cropping tool is, it’s “just” a cropping tool, not an image editor. It’s nice and simple to use now; not a good idea to complicate it for a feature I haven’t heard anybody else request.

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