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Cropped images and general wiki guidlines

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Are there any guidelines related to them? As I honestly despise combined/cropped screenshots seeing as wiki pages end up being so inconsistent and ironicaly on some cases the cropped images themselves are heavier than the larger, full ones. They also mean unnecessary extra work and effort put into something which looks really odd to me at least.

 

Could we also get some wiki article guidelines? (things to do, things not to do and all that) 

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I believe the wiki should have some guidelines regarding images. For example, .PNG should be the standard format, not just for in-game screenshots but for game covers as well, since .JPG leave a lot of artifacts due to compression. Cropping images also doesn't benefit anyone. It's distracting and removes information which in the end doesn't benefit the reader.

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JPGs look fine, as long as they are saved at the maximum quality settings.

 

Not exactly. As a thumbnail there's always a lot of macroblocking on JPGs. PNG is better.

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I take screenshots as PNG, crop it if there's massive amount of useless space, combine them if menus are seperated over two screenshots (Good example is Osu! where graphics settings would've otherwise taken three images, another one Skyrim where one or two settings would've gotten hidden and posting whole new screenshot for one setting seemed useless) then convert them to JPG with 97 compression if filesize with PNG is over double as I'm not sure does wiki prefer lossless images or lower filesize. 

 

As for cropping and combining it makes settings easier to see while scrolling article and usually cropped part is useless, I can see some may prefer regular screenshot but it would require users to click on thumbnails to see it meaning more bandwidht usage. I do agree that guidelines would be great and if lossless PNG is preferred then I will simply start using them instead from now on. 

 

 

I believe the wiki should have some guidelines regarding images. For example, .PNG should be the standard format, not just for in-game screenshots but for game covers as well, since .JPG leave a lot of artifacts due to compression. Cropping images also doesn't benefit anyone. It's distracting and removes information which in the end doesn't benefit the reader.

But usually covers are only found in JPG format for various reasons, biggest ones being they are usually big images without need for alpha channel. JPG does leave artifacts yes, but does it matter with something like games settings screenshot? And if compression is low then there's so small artifacting you can usually restore image completely if you for some reason edit or use it somewhere. Even Steam uses JPG by default. PNG is best as it's lossless but filesize is usually the biggest issue.

Like I said earlier cropping benefits in way that user doesn't have to click on thumbnail to see what's in the image. Good example is Skyrim mentioned earlier, you can see on thumbnail what settings are, without cropping or combining settings would be in two images set and you would have to click both to see them. 

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We don't create covers ourself, we can't cherry pick the format they're in. We get what we get given, or what we find - usually official, and most official ones I've seen have been JPG. I always crop the screenshots I take of settings to detract focus from any irrelevant space, it contains the settings and that's all it should contain. Fancy background artwork serves no purpose.

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I take screenshots as PNG, crop it if there's massive amount of useless space, combine them if menus are seperated over two screenshots (Good example is Osu! where graphics settings would've otherwise taken three images, another one Skyrim where one or two settings would've gotten hidden and posting whole new screenshot for one setting seemed useless) then convert them to JPG with 97 compression if filesize with PNG is over double as I'm not sure does wiki prefer lossless images or lower filesize. 

 

As for cropping and combining it makes settings easier to see while scrolling article and usually cropped part is useless, I can see some may prefer regular screenshot but it would require users to click on thumbnails to see it meaning more bandwidht usage. I do agree that guidelines would be great and if lossless PNG is preferred then I will simply start using them instead from now on.

Even cropped images require the user to click on the thumbnail since the size of the picture in the article is too small to read directly from it. Also, if one were to read directly from the thumbnail, PNG would still be the best format since the letters lose clarity thanks to the artifacts from JPG compression.

 

 

But usually covers are only found in JPG format for various reasons, biggest ones being they are usually big images without need for alpha channel. JPG does leave artifacts yes, but does it matter with something like games settings screenshot? And if compression is low then there's so small artifacting you can usually restore image completely if you for some reason edit or use it somewhere. Even Steam uses JPG by default. PNG is best as it's lossless but filesize is usually the biggest issue.

Like I said earlier cropping benefits in way that user doesn't have to click on thumbnail to see what's in the image. Good example is Skyrim mentioned earlier, you can see on thumbnail what settings are, without cropping or combining settings would be in two images set and you would have to click both to see them.

 

We don't create covers ourself, we can't cherry pick the format they're in. We get what we get given, or what we find - usually official, and most official ones I've seen have been JPG. I always crop the screenshots I take of settings to detract focus from any irrelevant space, it contains the settings and that's all it should contain. Fancy background artwork serves no purpose.

The same way we can convert screenshots we can also convert game covers. I'm not saying we should forbid JPGs for covers, but if someone uploads a PNG version (with better quality) it should take precedence. Same thing for in-game screenshots, those should always be in PNG because macroblocks affect readability.

 

P.S: I do agree with Soeb's guidelines. An ability to tag an image for deletion (including a link of the better version) would be great for better file management due to duplicates.

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I hope you do not mean converting jpegs to png. That's wasteful.

Not at all. A conversion to PNG allows the image to be displayed as a thumbnail without any macroblocking.

 

Also, psst, here :)

Ah, my bad then.

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OK so from now on it's PNG only from me (expect covers) :P 

 

Not at all. A conversion to PNG allows the image to be displayed as a thumbnail without any macroblocking.

But because of JPG artifacting PNG file will be insanely huge and no quality change to image itself, unless done some photoshop/gimp in between conversion which may clear up image but does alter it as well from original file. Is mediawiki thumbnail maker really that bad that converting JPG directly to PNG help that much on small thumbnail? In normal situations you would never ever convert lossy fileformat to another lossy or lossless format unless really needed. 

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But because of JPG artifacting PNG file will be insanely huge and no quality change to image itself,

Only if the picture is of huge resolution. We don't need pictures so big for the covers. As long as they have at least 282px wide, it's enough.

 

Is mediawiki thumbnail maker really that bad that converting JPG directly to PNG help that much on small thumbnail?

It removes any macroblocking that the thumbnail compression causes.

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Not exactly. As a thumbnail there's always a lot of macroblocking on JPGs. PNG is better.

 

They always looked fine to me and most users are going to see those images for probably a few seconds, I've always saved much more space by turning a PNG into a JPG, without ever even compressing it and it looked exactly the same, although natively saved JPGs with Fraps look shite. 

 

Also I really believe cropped images should be avoided as the wiki should at least try to be a bit more consistent, and as I said already sometimes a cropped image might be larger than the original screenshot itself oddly enough.

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They always looked fine to me and most users are going to see those images for probably a few seconds, I've always saved much more space by turning a PNG into a JPG, without ever even compressing it and it looked exactly the same, although natively saved JPGs with Fraps look shite.

Whenever you convert a PNG to JPG, you are compressing the file. It may seem the same, but it's definitely not the same. You save space because JPG is a lossy format, but it will always lose quality (the amount of loss is variable, of course). If you're using Fraps, it's better to set PNG as the default format for screenshots.

 

As for game covers, if the JPG is 282px wide, there won't be any improvement over a PNG since there won't be any compression whatsoever. But if it's bigger than 282px, you will notice a difference in the thumbnails.

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Yes I know, I always used PNGs by default... the differences between the converted PNGs are very minor and most users will never care about such minor differences really when some larger pngs can have up to 3MBs while a converted png to jpg might have 1MB - 800 Kb instead.

 

Edit: I think my main issue with cropped images is the fact that they are generaly done fairly poorly (no extra space left when cropped, crammed texts) or because they either do never really follow a certain format/resolution for every resized picture.

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