What Is AVIF?

AVIF is an image file format developed by the¬†Alliance for Open Media¬†that can be used by anyone. It can store both still and animated images with the “.avif” file extension, using¬†lossless or lossy compression. AVIF stands for AV1 Image File Format on account of its use of AV1 compression. It is widely seen as a replacement for¬†HEIC (High-Efficiency Image Container), which uses HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) instead of the newer AV1.

In case you’re confused:¬†AV1 compression will eventually replace the older HEVC standard. Since the old HEIC container relies on HEVC, AVIF has been introduced as a new image format that makes use of newer AV1 compression. AVIF supports both¬†high dynamic range (HDR)¬†and standard dynamic range (SDR) content, including the commonly-used sRGB and BT.2020 color spaces. It supports color depths of 8, 10, and 12-bits, film grain preservation, transparency like¬†PNG¬†images, and animations just like¬†the GIF format.

AVIF and WebP are engineered to outclass traditional formats like JPEG in compression efficiency significantly. AVIF, leveraging the advanced AV1 codec, generally achieves superior compression and, thus, smaller file sizes for equivalent image quality.

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