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How do I post art on this forum?

How do I post art on this forum?

Since we get this question so often, we decided to put together this little guide to help people out. we're not going to assume much knowledge here, so if it seems like we're explaining obvious stuff, just skip those parts.

1) Sign up for our forum.

You need to register a username on our site before you can post. Also, make sure you get the activation email after you signup and click the link in that email or else you won't actually be able to post.

2) You need to prepare your images on the computer.

Presentation is key and if you take a few moments to clean things up, more people are likely to take the time to look at your art and help you out.

Now, the first thing to worry about is the format you're going to use. If you look at the images on your computer, they will have a file extension that designates what format they are. These are usually the last 3 letters of the file name and will be something like .jpg, .png, .gif, or .bmp.

You need to make sure you use a compressed format like jpg, png, or gif (which you can convert to in most image editing programs). This is to reduce the file size and make sure people aren't spending all day waiting for your files to download. DO NOT USE BMP as it is too large.You can tell how large a file is in windows explorer. Also check out our FAQ section for another guide put together by Alucard1515:

http://www.polykarbonbbs.com/faq.php?faq=polykarbon_faq#faq_new_faq_item

Next, make sure the dimensions of the file aren't too large (usually shouldn't need to be larger than 600x800 pixels. If people can't see the image clearly, they will not want to help you out. A good rule to follow is that if you have to zoom in/out, or scroll to see your image on screen, you have it too large.

3a) You can attach the image file in your post.

When you attach an image file it will display a thumbnail at the bottom of the post. Youre allowed to attach 2mbs of images total, if you fill up your account then you wont beable to attach anything else untill you delete your previous images. You can manage the images you uploaded in the User CP.

3b) You can also store your images somewhere else on the internet.

With this option you can post images at their full size rather than thumbnails, and you can store much more than 2mbs. You can also post as many images as you want (within reason).

So, the next step is to find a web provider. There are some free ones that you can check out, or you can generally get good, cheap hosting if you want. Either way, you need to have a place that can be linked to on the internet.

Here's some places we've compiled and you should check out:

http://www.polykarbonbbs.com/faq.php?faq=polykarbon_faq#faq_where_host_site_for_free

One thing you'll want to keep in mind is that some sites (like deviantart.com) do not allow you to link to the images directly and force you to link to a different webpage. Some people don't mind going to the external site, but you might want to checkout whatever website you look at to see if they allow "offsite linking" or "external linking" of images.

Next, you need to put your images on the new site you setup. For this, we would recommend reading your provider's questions section, but most likely, you can use an ftp program. Here are some options:

http://filezilla.sourceforge.net/
http://www.smartftp.com/
http://www.ipswitch.com/
http://www.smartftp.com/

After you put your compressed, properly sized images on the new site, you'll be ready for the next step.

4) Create your new post.

First, note there are 3 main forums to post your art in: Works in Progress, B&W Art, and Colored Art. When you're ready to post, pick which forum makes the most sense, and go there. Next, click on the "New Topic." near the top of the screen.

Here, you can enter your description, title, and put in your images for critique. To put your images in, you'll need to know where it is on your new website, and the links will look something like this:

http://www.my-new-webhost.com/pics/my_image.jpg

In the text area where you're writing your description, you'll want to put this link between img tags, like:

[img]http://www.my-new-webhost.com/pics/my_image.jpg[/img]

If you happen to be using a site that does not allow linking offsite, you can also just present a url like the ones above like this:

[url]http://www.my-new-webhost.com/pics/my_image.jpg[/url]

Next, take a good look at the 2 buttons on the bottom. One say's "Submit New Thread" and the other "Preview Post." You will usually want to preview your post first, since then you can see what it will look like and make changes, if necessary. Don't worry though, because after you actually do submit the post, you can still go back to it and hit the "edit" button to go back and fix mistakes, but previewing is still a good idea.

After you have crafted your lovely message, you'll be ready to wait for responses. Don't get impatient though or beg since sometimes it can take a little while for people to see things and "bumping" your post with new comments to get attention is frowned upon.

That's about it. Hopefully that answers most of your questions, but if you have others, first, try our Frequently Asked questions section here:

http://www.polykarbonbbs.com/faq.php?

You can also check out our compiled list of tutorials and references here:

http://www.polykarbonbbs.com/showthread.php?t=10

If that doesn't help, you can always ask a question on the forum (try to put it in the appropriate section), or email the mods at http://www.polykarbonbbs.com/sendmessage.php.

Good Luck!


Why can't I post even though I registered?
Why can't I post even though I registered?

First, make sure you check your email. You should have received an activation email after you first registered. You will not be able to post until you read that email and activate your account by clicking on the link inside.

Next, make sure you used a proper email address when you signed up and didn't make a typo. If you used a fake or invalid email address, you will need to reregister with a valid one so the activation email can reach you. This is a security measure to prevent people from abusing the forums. Make sure you didn't accidentally type it wrong, as it's common for some people to accidentally type things like "www.my-email.com" by mistake.

If everything looks ok and for some reason you did not receive that email, let the mods know atClick Here. and we'll have the email resent.


Who are the mods?
Mods can be identified by the color of their names (currently Orange).

The mods are:

OtakuLad, Bigtyme, Shousetsu, Alucard, Darkreaver66, DynamiteNeon, ColdKodiak, Captain Meth, Naoko Chan, Moodring*, Johnnywishbone*, Spike's Cafe* and Puhead*...with a little AzTech on the side.

If you have a general question for the mods, you can email them at click here , otherwise you can find contact information for each mod in their personal profiles. Feel free to private message or email mods if you have questions about the board or need to report a problem.

How do I become a Mod?
You dont.

If Pat feels the board needs another mod, he'll elect one. No amount of campaigning or bribery will work. Although attempts at giving him cold hard cash are encouraged.

Attack of the Giant Images!
Originally posted by Alucard1515

After trying to frequent the critique threads more often, I've noticed a horrible new trend (new to me at least): YOUR IMAGES ARE GIGANTIC! There is no sense in images of those dimensions being even 200kb, or in many cases, MUCH larger. It's not uncommon to come across an image that's nearly half a meg.

A lot of people complain about not getting a lot of comments, this isn't helping. Not only does a large image turn some people away (we don't all have cable modems...), but if you're using a host like geocities, who shut your site down for an hour if you excede the bandwidth, you're running the bandwidth down QUICK! Anyway, I didn't start this to complain, but to (hopefully) help people learn how to compress their images more efficiently. If anyone else has anything to add, please share.

I'll start with this image:

Nevermind the fact that it's not exactly a work of art, that's not the point. It's 4 colors total, no anti-aliasing, a very simple image. Anything similar to this (limited pallete, no anti-aliasing) should be saved as a gif. In Photoshop you can go to the "Save for web" option, and it will only save as many colors for a gif (the max is 256) as are needed. This image is VERY small, not even 1kb. By comparison, here is a jpg version of the same image:

Again, I saved this through the "Save for web" option. (I won't mention this again, same goes for the rest of the images) It's a jpg, saved as 70% (which is usually good quality at a reasonable size). It looks about as good as the gif, but notice the size: it's nearly 6kb as opposed to the gif's 1kb. Keep in mind how small in dimensions these images, for larger images, these size differences will be huge. So okay, that's 70%, you could always lower the quality. What happens when you do?

This is saved at the lowest compression (0%), and it's STILL about twice as large as the gif. Not only that, but it looks like @#%$ while the gif is lossless.

Okay, so gif was better in that case, but not always so. Let's see what happens with this next image:

Looks decent, but the gradiation is getting distorted (would be worse in a larger, more detailed image), and the size is 12.7kb. Now here's the jpg:

Looks better, gradiation is all in tact, and it's only 3kb (less than one quarter as big). Looks better, and smaller, definitely go with jpg. Any type of image with a lot of different color, and subtle gradiations should be saved as jpgs. Again, this was saved at 70%, which is pretty good most of the time. You may need to go higher on certain images, depending on how it looks for that particular image.

One last example, one that I see done wrongly ALL the time, even by people who should know better. I'm talking about lineart. Here's what you should do:

If your lineart is relatively clean, you should always save as a gif. If you're posting lineart, go ahead and remove all color from the image, then do "save for web" in Photoshop. Go ahead and choose gif, then reduce the colors from 256 to 8. I know there are really a ton of grays in there, but I've found in all my images that 8 is plenty. There shouldn't be too much gradation since this is lineart (works much better for inked images), so that gives you 1 color for white, 1 for black, and 6 grays, which should be plenty. Also, it gives you near perfect quality, and the image is only 4kb. Now, let's see what happens when we save as a jpg (like everyone seems to do):

Doesn't look to bad, probably close enough to the uncompressed image for most purposes, but look at the size. It's now 9.9kb, compared to the 4kb gif. Again, these images are pretty small, so if you did this with a much larger (dimensions) image, then the file size would be even worse. Please, save as gif when appropriate. Just for fun, another 0% jpg:

Sure, it's slightly smaller than the gif (3.6 compared to 4kb), but it looks awful. Just trying to point out that even a highly compressed jpg still isn't worth it compared to a gif.

So anyway, I hope SOMEONE got something out of this, because the large images have got to stop. I can't speak for others, but I usually won't even look at an image if it's around 300k, sometimes less than that. If you have an image that can fit on the screen, then there is no reason it should be any larger than 200kb, and should usually be smaller than that.

I realize that not everyone has Photoshop, so they can't use the "save for web" option, but you should still be able to save in different formats, you just might have to do it by trial and error. If you do have Photoshop, get familiar with the option, it's very useful.

Where can I host my site and images for free?
Originally posted by SpikesCafe

This question comes up a lot, lately. To be honest, there are fewer and fewer sites that are excellent for hosting either your web page or your images, and, as far as I know, there are almost no free hosts good for hosting images and web sites.

This doesn't mean your totally sunk, however! Since there are some hosts that are still good for file linking, and other hosts that put reasonable amounts of advertising on your website, it is a good idea to use a separate provider for image linking and web pages.

Where should I host my images?


I could answer this question here, but ezBoard's staff constantly are updating the following list of sites and what they can do for your images. Click here for the list!

Alternatively, and a lot of people are going in this direction, you can trick most any server into letting you outside link your images. Be warned, however, this is often against a host's TOS (terms of service), and if they find your site doing it, they may cancel your services and delete your account. If this does not discourage you, the procedure is as follows:

1) Save your image in a format that is proper for web use (JPG or GIF compression).
2) Upload the file to your web space provider.
3) Re-name the file and change the extension to .txt
Example: You upload mypic.jpg to your Geocities site. You rename it mypic.txt
4) Whenever you want people to see your image on this board, just link it like it's an image.
Example: <IMAGE>www.geocities.com/myaccount/mypic.txt</IMAGE> (but replace the carrots <> with brackets [] )
Example 2: Rename the file to mypic.htm, and follow the same procedure. Naming them to html files may make it more difficult for them to catch your site doing this.

Where should I host my website for FREE?


If you ARE NOT willing to pay any money for your web site, you should read this information. The economics of today's web make it impossible for companies to provide free web space with no ads. Once you know what you can expect, just browse through their arcives and site ratings. Note that not every site they list is free, so you might have to go down the list a little.

What hosts provide low-cost hosting, but allow for both outside linking and advertisement-free websites?


If you ARE willing and able to pay for a web host, there are plenty of good providers who will host you a registered domain for free with no advertisements. This means you get www.yoursite.com, can outside link images, and can build a web site without advertisements. The actual hosting of the site is free, but you have to pay the DNS, which keeps track of domain information and directs traffic across the web, somewhere between $10 and $30 per year, depending where you get it. Don't ask me where to get it cheapest, I don't know. Most such sites, for example DotEasy allow you to register your domain though them, and often this means you get it a little cheaper.

There are some small catches to the free domain providers, and you can find out the details on their sites. A lot of the best such providers are listed at the top of the following site:
100best-free-web-space.com/

Where do I host my images/site? If you do have a little extra money to spend, you might want to sign up for a cheap domain host that has a monthly hosting fee. You get many more features, like CGI, PHP, and a bunch of other things I don't understand, but you also get more space and more data transfer allowed. I used to host with DotEasy.com, which is still a good, free domain provider with a yearly DNS fee, but they now will allow you only 1 GB of transfer per month, after which they cut off your services. That's enough for smaller sites, but as mine grows, I felt it better to go to a site that allows 6 Gb of transfer per month. I host with http://www.your-site.com/ and they've been pretty good. Might want to shop around, though, there is probably better out there if you've got the money. Just... don't go and spend $30+ a month for the king size hosting package if you don't even know what you want to put on your site. It's really not a good investment.

Sorry this is so long, there is just a lot of things that must be considered, and some different options I hope you will take advantage of. :)

What resolution should I scan at?
Pat made a tutorial on this one...check it out:

Scanning tutorial

I can't afford Photoshop...what can I do?
You have a few options open to you:

If you cant afford Photoshop at the retail level ($649.00)

a)and you're a college student. You can get a copy for about $300 through your school's book store.

b) you have an eBay account. You can bid online and usually get a used or extra copy for less that $600.00

c) you can do neither of the above options. You need to get PaintShop pro for $100.00 or the Gimp for free.

downside: Paintshop pro lacks all of Photoshop's functionality..the Gimp has a clumsy user interface.

What's a Wacom and what size should I buy?
WACOM is a company that makes digital art tablets that unlock a lot of usefull functions in Photoshop/Painter/Illustrator such as pressure sensitivity, greater freehand accuracy..brush size, opacity..ect.

They can be purchased online at www.wacom.com
or at any of your major computer stores.

they come in an array of sizes starting at 4X5 and go up to 12X18.

the 4X5 wacom Graphire is a solid tablet for the typical digital artist (this is what I use). It retails for $99.00 and comes with a useless wireless mouse...chuck the mouse and just use the tablet and pen.

the next size up is the INTUOS line of tablets. They feature more levels of pressure sensitivity and "hot key" assignable pads at the top of the tablet for speeding up some of photoshops functionality by automaticing frequently used procedures.

the INTUOS line cost a little more...a lot more, but is good for people who work with super hi-resolution photographs or print media. A bit of overkill for your typical web artist but nice if you have the money.

Where can I buy art supplies online?
Another board favorite:

In case the town you live in is completely devoid of any and all craft supply stores you can still get a lot of stuff online.

Pens, pencils, markers, bristol board
Michael's
Dick Blick

Paints, brushes, light tables...everything:

www.danielsmith.com/intro.html

Comic book art supplies specifically

Anime Gamers

www.bluelinepro.com


Drafting tables and drawing desks:
Michael's

www.officemax.com

I need artists/writers etc...
To all you aspiring manga/comic creators, we wish you the best of luck and we'll offer what help we can in developing your ideas and techniques. But we have one favor to ask before you go trying to assemble a team for your ideas on this BBS:

Develop Your Idea First


Most people value their time. Posting a thread about this great idea you have for a comic and trying to sum it up in 3 sentences just isn't enough to convince the people you'd like to have onboard to join your group/circle whatever... unless of course they're really bored or have been impressed by your past work.

Anyways, try to provide potential work-mates (and that's what it is kids, work) with enough information to let them decide if this is a project they'd really enjoy. Here are some suggestions:

Build a Site
You're going to need one anyway, right?

Develop Storylines
So what's the first issue about? How many pages does Issue #1 have? Does the series have an end point?...

Develop Characters
If you're an artistic type, draw profiles, design outfits, expressions etc. Writers should establish the motivations of the characters, create backgrounds for them, envision the world they live in.
Research.

Determine Your Goals
So what will make this project successful? Is it a portfolio piece? Do you want to gather an online following? How many? Is this going to print?
(And get ready for a whole new set of headaches if it is...)

It's one thing to say, "I've got this great idea...".
It's another to say, "Here, let me show you what I've got."

Why can't I access the arcade!?
There were some people who were just joining the board to mess with the arcade, so now it is set so you must have at least 10 posts before you can play. That does not mean you can spam the board with useless posts just to increase your post count though. If you are caught by a mod, you will be banned.


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