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Tech Note: Handling Pictures
Published On: April 25, 2005

There are numerous ‘standard’ picture formats: PICT for Mac OS, BMP for Windows and the GIF and JPEG for the Internet. There are also formats that are softwarespecific such as PSD for PhotoShop and PSP for Paint Shop Pro. The commands READ PICTURE FILE and SAVE PICTURE TO FILE allow you, through QuickTime, to read and display the formats supported by QuickTime.

However, as any computer file, a picture file is just a succession of bytes organized in a specific manner that defines its contents. Knowing the native format has its advantages: you can create or read a picture at the byte level but, more importantly, you can apply transformations directly by handling the bytes directly.

In this technical note, we will make the distinction between the original format of the picture and the format we will be working in to alter it. Using the command PICTURE TO BLOB, 4D allows us to convert a picture from and to formats handled by QuickTime.

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