Using Neptune v. 13, I'm trying to get a handle on how to achieve desired thumbnail sizes. Using 9 images, all 4:3 with 900px height, 5 landscape, 4 portrait, max table width 1000px. If I set Images/Image bounds/Thumbnails to 165x125, all 9 images or in one row with the landscapes 130x100, and the portraits 70x100. If I choose Layout/Fixed shape, there are 7 in the first row, all 130x100. If I use Images/Image bounds/Thumbnails of 180x135, fixed, there are 6 in the first row, all 142x108. Remove the "fixed" and there are 8 in the first row, landscapes still 142x108, portraits 78x108.
If I set the image bounds to 1000x160, the landscapes are 175x130.
Is there some "rule of thumb" that I can use to get a desired landscape width, or desired height? I normally do not use the fixed shape.
You're going to find that this is a "moving target."
First, let's consider fixed-shape thumbnails. If you choose image bounds of 300x200, Neptune displays them at 80% of that size - 240x160. Why? Two reasons. First, the thumbnails expand when you hover on them. If they were already being shown at their full size, the expansion would drive them into "fuzzy" territory. Second, the skin does this so that if you switch between fixed-shape and justified, the transition isn't so extreme that it requires new image bounds.
But now we get to the fun part - the justified gallery. Make an album. Preview it. Now grab your mouse and make the browser window narrower, then wider again. You will quickly discover that the row height changes. Why? Because it has to. That's the only way it can maintain fully-justified rows of thumbnails. I do some limiting of the row height, to prevent blurring. But I also set the target row height to 75% of the thumbnail image bounds height, also to prevent fuzzy images. But that's just a target, not an exact measurement.
In short, you simply can't let yourself get fixated on the precise measurements involved, because the row height will vary, depending upon the thumbnails and the viewport width. In fact, just changing the sequence of the images will often change the row height! Again, the only way to achieve a justified gallery, without cropping the images, is to let the row height float.
Pick bounds that create an album that looks good to you. Thumbnails too small? Set the bounds a bit larger, like 330x220, or 360x240. That's all you can do, unless you want to use fixed-shape thumbnails.
Thanks for the very detailed explanation. I have done just what you suggested with the 7 or 8 Neptune albums I have made - that is, trial and error to look for a combo that gets near where I want to be. But I thought (hoped?) there might be a magic formula that I could use. Oddly, the one that seems to get close to my desired appearance is the 1000x160. I have no idea why I tried those image bounds at some point, but several of the recent albums have worked with that. You should see what I got when I used those image bounds and then chose fixed shape!
I'll keep playing with it until I find a combo that seems to get near where I want to go with all of the new albums, which are pretty consistent with one another in image size and layout.
Oddly, the one that seems to get close to my desired appearance is the 1000x160. I have no idea why I tried those image bounds at some point, but several of the recent albums have worked with that. You should see what I got when I used those image bounds and then chose fixed shape!
Oh, yes, that would be a disaster. It would, of course, make every thumbnail precisely 1000x160px, which would produce a strange result, indeed. "Fixed shape" really does mean "fixed shape!" But for justified thumbnails, the wider image bounds are better at handling originals that have more extreme aspect ratios, e.g., something more than 2:1.
Now that Neptune allows fixed shape thumbnails, I've changed the default bounds to 300x200, precisely to avoid that unpleasant outcome. The release notes warn about it, in fact.
I've chosen 300x200 because the 3:2 aspect ratio matches a lot of digital images, so it's a good "most cases" choice.
I've gradually started gravitating to larger thumbnails. As long as you've got a responsive layout, there's no huge penalty to letting them get a bit bigger. And bandwidth isn't as much of a concern as it used to be. In fact, I tend to use "high DPI" thumbnails more often - the image files are larger, but they really do look better.
My own family album uses Pluto (same thumbnail layout as Neptune), justified thumbnails, bounds of 330x220, high DPI, and folder thumbnails at 140% height. But my public "travels" album uses Neptune, justified, 1000x160, non-high DPI, and folder thumbnails at 150% height. But I'm probably going to bump some of that up a notch.
Good info to chew on. I've tried all of the skins in the current series, and while Saturn can be made to be pretty close to Neptune, I still prefer Neptune. As I mentioned before, clicking off-image to return to the index page (a la Matrix) is still essential for me and my long time Matrix viewers. I'm gradually changing over all of my on-going Matrix albums to Neptune as they get updated, which has not been as big a task as I thought it would be.