on Tue, 07 Dec 1999 Max Moritz Sievers wrote:
> Hello,
> is there a plan to support JPEG2000?
> with regards
> Max Moritz Sievers

In case you do not know yet what JPEG2000 is, here is an article from ZDnet:

JPEG 2000 to give the Web a new image
Next version of graphics file format might even dazzle the pros.  
By Luisa Simone, http://www.pcmag.com/
April 22, 1999 10:51 AM PT  
Despite their different aesthetics, professional artists, business users,
and home computer enthusiasts agree on one thing: They need a graphics file
format that makes digitized images easier to create, use, and manage.  

The ideal format would be an open industry standard -- one that every
application could read and write. It would compress high-resolution data to a
very small file that would be convenient to store and transport. And it would
enable a single file to be reused for everything from high-quality printouts to
Web-based viewing. 

The next version of the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) image format
promises to deliver these features -- and much more. JPEG 2000 is a
fundamentally different file format from the JPEG format used today. The
current version of JPEG can achieve high compression ratios, but its lossy
compression technique and data encoding method (Discrete Cosine Transformation,
or DCT) ultimately degrade the image, both by discarding high-frequency color
information and by dividing an image into compression blocks that are often
visible in solid areas or along color boundaries. 

Incremental decompression
In contrast, JPEG 2000 delivers extremely high compression ratios and still
guarantees high image quality. On the simplest level, JPEG 2000 will offer both
lossy and lossless compression. 

More important, it abandons DCT compression in favor of wavelet compression.
Wavelets are mathematical expressions that describe an image in a continuous
stream, and so avoid the blocky artifacts associated with DCT compression. 

As an added benefit, the continuous wavelet stream can be uncompressed
incrementally, so the same file can be viewed (or printed) at a multitude of
different resolutions. "You can truncate the wavelet stream at virtually any
point. Doing so cuts out the high resolution components, but you will still
have a usable image," explained Craig McGowan of the Digital Imaging Group, an
independent standards group working with the JPEG 2000 committee on the

The Internet provides a perfect example of wavelet technology in action,
because it will let you download the same image at different resolutions
depending upon the available bandwidth. For instance, with a T1 link you'd be
able to download more of the wavelet stream (for higher-resolution display)
than you could with a 56K connection. 

This ability to uncompress multiple resolutions on the fly can also pay big
dividends in print production workflows. Imagine a single small file, easy to
store and transport, that when partially uncompressed is suitable for
relatively low-resolution screen display and local proofs, but when fully
decompressed contains enough resolution for final output.

The advantages of JPEG 2000 don't stop there. While today's JPEG files
contain only RGB data, JPEG 2000 will handle up to 256 channels-enough to
describe alternate color models such as CMYK or CIE Lab and store alpha
channels internally. JPEG 2000 will also work within a color managed
environment, because it will include ICC profile information. And extensible
metadata fields will make it possible for developers to add all sorts of
information to the file. 

For example, a digital camera could insert the date and time a picture was
created. Or an image management application could make identifying codes or
keywords an integral part of the picture file. 

Plug-in possibilities
JPEG 2000 does have one drawback: The specification won't be finalized for
another year. If you want wavelet functionality now, you'll have to opt for a
proprietary compression tool. LuraTech provides straightforward wavelet
compression as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop or as an Xtra for Macromedia

LizardTech offers a much more ambitious wavelet solution. Originally
developed for the geospatial industry, LizardTech's patented MrSID
(Multiresolution Seamless Image Database) format offers a number of bells and
whistles in addition to high-ratio wavelet compression. 

In addition to multiple channels, ICC profiles, metadata, and progressive
uncompression, MrSID supports an exact coordinate system that lets a user zoom
in on an area of the picture. By uncompressing enhanced resolution data for
only the region of interest, MrSID delivers a high-quality screen image while
processing the least amount of data. The MrSID for Publishing Suite consists of
plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop 5.0 and QuarkXpress 4.0. Plug-ins for the
soon-to-be-released Adobe Acrobat 4.0 and Adobe InDesign will be available on
LizardTech's Web site at no additional charge.

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