Hi there, welcome to "Building a Better Wiki", a blog series originally started on Anime Vice where I aim to explore different aspects of our wiki database to find out how to best utilize them or improve upon them to make our wiki even more awesome.
The default/main images used on people and character pages are perhaps one of the most inconsistent aspects of the wiki. Some images are just the face, some are full body shots, some even have the person or character disappearing into the distance. This not only makes the pages inconsistent across the wiki, but also makes lists (user created lists or lists built into the wiki in various places) look bad because icons and thumbnails don't match. Depending on what image has been used, sometimes a character or person's face isn't even visible when that image becomes an icon.
So, to improve consistency, here are my suggested guidelines:
Cropping the Image
- Dimensions: 300 x 450 (position the face within the top 300 x 300 pixels)
- Format: PNG (the small icons look horrible in JPG format)
- Preferred Sources: high resolution photos, high quality screen captures
- Do Not Use: transparent PNG of GIF, vector trace, fan art, old pictures. Try to find the most recent picture of the person or character.
- Caption each image "Name (Profile Portrait)" e.g: "Emma Watson (Profile Portrait)" or "Jean-Luc Picard (Profile Portrait)"
- Add each image to the appropriate profile portrait gallery page: Fictional Characters or Real People
- On the person or character page, add a gallery called "Profile Portraits" and add the image there
- View the image and click "Make Default Image" (if you don't see that option just ask someone here to do it)
- Finally, post your profile portraits in this thread, that keeps the thread alive and encourages more to join in
Here are some examples using these guidelines:
As you can see, the images are consistent and translate well into icons which appear throughout the wiki. This format should work for 90% of the people and characters in our database, with the exceptions being things like monsters and other non-humanoid characters, for those we can just use 300 x 300 images.
While these guidelines aren't set-in-stone rules right now, I hope they make sense and very much encourage you to use them. It's already made a big difference over on Anime Vice, so myself and my fellow Screened moderators thought it would be a good idea to implement these guidelines here, too.
For those of you having trouble re-sizing and cropping images, here's a tutorial to hopefully make things a little easier. This tutorial uses Paint.NET, a free image editor for Windows (sorry Mac/Linux users) though if you use Adobe Photoshop this guide may still be helpful.
Profile Portrait Tutorial
This tutorial will show you how to create profile portraits and show you where to upload the images.
- Paint.NET (download for free here)
- Template Image (download here)
- Character/Person Image (for this tutorial I used this screen cap of Elesa)
Creating the Portrait
- Launch Paint.NET and open the template image.
- Drag and drop your character image onto the template, pick the Add layer option.
- Go to the Layers box and move the image layer below the template layer.
- Optional: Zoom Out to make re-sizing easier, especially with large images.
- Go to Tools and select the Move Selected Pixels tool (the blue cursor icon).
-- You should now see a black outline of your image, if you can't see it, move the image around or zoom out more.
- Important: Hold down the Shift Key on your keyboard (this maintains the aspect ratio) and re-size the image by dragging the corner points. Move the image and re-size until the head is inside the top square section of the template.
-- Generally you want to keep the head inside that square, the top of the head touching the top and the chin touching the bottom. Don't worry if some hair goes outside the template, focus on the face and head.
- Hit the Enter Key on your keyboard when you're done.
- Go to the Layers box. Delete the template layer.
- Go to Image in the toolbar and select Canvas Size, change the width to 300 pixels and height to 450 pixels. Make sure the Anchor is Top Left.
-- Your image should now be cropped to the correct size, if something went wrong, you can undo edits using the History box.
- Done? Go to File, Save As, change the type to PNG and click Save. Leave settings on Auto-detect and click OK.
Ta-da! You should now have a nice new portrait image for a character or person page. If so, pat yourself on the back. If not... start again and read each step carefully.
~Thanks for reading, keep up the good wiki work!