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Old 10-22-2010, 07:27 AM   #1
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Posts: 402
Karma: 5538
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bay Area
Device: Kindle DXG
Comics/Manga on the kindle - the right way (using PS)

OK, using the PDF viewer sucks, the margins are large, and the background is nonwhite. Using mangle is bad, because it dithers images horribly (images have a weird pattern and look sandy/cloudy). If you don't dither, comics take up MASSIVE amounts of space because they are converted to PNG (>1mb each!). We will be using GIF (~150k each).

Now this is a very very very bad/stupid idea.

So let's get into some basics.

The kindle uses a 16 shades of gray, I printed out a screenshot (it encodes it as gif) I extracted that pallet. I have attached this pallet to the document. You will need this.

So now, we need to know the max height of your screen:
DX: 1200 x 824, so we will use 1200
K3: 800 x 600, so we will use 800

Extract your comic book/manga (cbz/cbr rename to .zip/.rar and extract with winrar to some directory)
Now open ONE SINGLE IMAGE in photoshop, this will be a test image for recording an action, you will only need to do this one time EVER.

-The first thing we need to do, is go into Photoshop, and record an action.
-Window -> Actions
-Click on the bottom right of the pane (new action)
-Name your new action something like "create comic"
-Now, click the record button

*note everything you do will be recorded, if you mess up you can delete individual actions, but "undo" won't be reflected in the recorded actions.

-Go to image -> image size, chose 1200 for dx, 800 for k3, select (bicubuc sharper).

*If you need to zoom/pan you can change the WIDTH to 1200 for DX and height to 800 and go landscape but the viewer will probably crash and I do not reccomend it.

-Go to filter blur -> smart blur, chose 6 radius and 6 threshold, high quality, normal mode.

*This will remove artifacts from image compression, and allow us to convert down to 16 colors without creating artifacts. If it causes too much loss of detail, or if you have really high quality scans, reduce these values accordingly, but 20/20 or 15/15 are very small and you should not notice these values in the end and they should not degrade readability of text.
*Also at this step you can add sharpen filters in or whatever else you want if you need extra post processing, image brightening, or whatever you want.

-If you want to control dithering for better results go to and get the free Ximagic plugin. The image quality will be greatly improved. Find a dither to your liking.

-Go to image -> mode -> index color. Under palette select custom, and then chose LOAD, use the attached file kindlecolors.act.
-Enter 16 colors, NO TRANSPARENCY, no dither.

-Go to file -> Save As -> Compuserve GIF -> Normal

Now You can stop recording your ACTION

Your action should look like this:

Good job! Now you are set for evar!

Go to File -> Automate -> Batch
For action, select Convert Comic
Chose the directory of the unzipped images you want to convert
Select a destination directory to export to, or select (save and close) to put the gif images in the same directory as the original images.

Here is an example of a hi-res cover I found @ amazon:
Resized IN PS

Coverted IN PS

Converted IN KINDLE Viewer

For more help with making actions go here:

Plugin Dithering Samples:
Threshold (this is more or less the method kindle uses)

Dispersed 8x8 <-- This is the pattern that I am using, because I believe it to look the best!


Random method (it's its own mattern, not just a random of the other options)

You really need to try and see these images on your kindle. They look A LOT DIFFERENT than they do here. The kindle does not show low shades of gray very well for example the clouds are nearly white on a computer monitor, but on the kindle they are dark grey + white, and you can see a crosshatch grid with some dither patterns. Test them out, fiddle with settings. Regardless, using any methods above will get you amazing results.

White backgrounds WILL BE WHITE, text will be crisp and readable, and images will look a whole hell of a lot better.

Edit: Also noticed another good option, the Error dithering option in the plugin is quite good if you are getting two tones/patterns on page backgrounds and don't want to use threshold mode. You can eliminate these patterns by using error dithering instead of threshold dithering, and using a small value such as 30-40%. It's either this, or go into thresholds and up the brightness by merging lightness together a bit.

As I said earlier, the kindle doesn't handle display of off-white well, so killing them by editing levels will make force it to use those 16 colors of gray on better things...
Attached Files
File Type: zip (189 Bytes, 480 views)

Last edited by curstpriest; 10-23-2010 at 04:30 PM.
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