Foreword by Prophanti.
We really appreciate the time and effort that many of our members put in when posting up the details of their latest modelling/painting project. Images are a vital and concise way of showing the progress and final results of your efforts. We have several superb guides to Photographing Miniatures, by our membership, available here.
However, please bear in mind that very large images widen the page width, forcing people with smaller monitors to constantly scroll horizontally to see the picture and read every post on the same page of the thread. This can get extremely tedious if one has to do it too often.
We recommend Photobucket, their message board size (640x480) is more than adequate for posting pictures to the ATT forums. Photobucket also has an easy-to-use editing facility too, which can be used to resize pictures before linking them to this site.
A Guide to Posting Images via Photobucket
- Step One: Go to the required photograph in your collection on Photobucket.
Step Two: You have several choices for selecting code. The preferred one you need is "Img Code".
Step Three: Left Click once on the box containing the image code. A small yellow box containing the word "Copied" may or may not appear. If it does not, please Right Click on the highlighted code and select "Copy" from the menu.
Step Four: Return to your ATT post and left click where you wish to enter your picture.
Step Five: Right click on the screen and select "paste" from the drop-down menu which appears. Your picture will be posted in the chosen spot.
'Share this Photo' on Photobucket.
You can also check different Link Options on the left side of the Photobucket page listed under "Share this photo". This will allow you to use Direct Link and Thumbnail codes. Using these codes to post your pictures will allow a much smaller picture or simply a link to appear on ATT, with the option for folks to click on it to see the original fullsize picture.
Editing pictures on Photobucket.
Although using the thumbnail option mentioned above will pretty much alleviate any problems with huge photographs, there will often be those pictures which have too much extraneous detail or which have a lot of "spare space" all round the main subject. This can easily be dealt with using Photobucket's editing tools.
First things first: Select your picture to be edited using the 'Edit' tag above the photograph. This initiates Photobucket's editing screen. You will see the picture you wish to edit with a selection of options above it. These include "Crop", "Resize", "Rotate" and "Flip" which will be the most likely ones you'll want for basic editing to your picture for ATT.
This allows you to shrink the picture to eliminate any unwanted details or 'excess' space. Click on the "Crop button". You will now be instructed to select an area of your picture. This is done by placing the cursor at any point on your picture and first dragging it horizontally and then vertically in order to encapsulate your main subject in a new box. The new picture will have 'drag handles' in the corners and at the mid-points on all the sides. This is to allow you to correct/adjust your original encapsulation in case you made a slight mistake.
Once you are happy with your newly cropped picture, you can either right click on the new image and select your choice from the drop-down menu or else you can click on the "Crop selected area" button above the image. The next screen will show you your new image.
Below this new image is a choice of three buttons: "Cancel", "Save a copy", or "Replace original".
Self-explanatory, but clicking on it gives you three further options: Cancel, which just seems to cancel the image; 'Save' which overrides the cancel, and 'Close anyway' which overrides all editing and returns you to the original picture.
Save a copy
This will mean that you will have both the original fullsized picture and also your resized version in your album.
Means exactly that: the old picture is replaced by the new one. Clicking on this will start Photobucket's machinery to save the edited picture to the album.
Does exactly what it says on the tin! When you select "Resize", the next screen offers you several options which will allow you to either shrink or enlarge your picture. In the bar above the picture you will find the current size of the picture both vertically and horizontally. To the right of this you will see a sliding scale with "width" and "height" written above each scale. To the right of this you will see two options. One says "use percentages", the other says "keep proportions". Further to the right are “apply" and "cancel" buttons.
'Sliding Scale' and the 'Percentages' and 'Proportions' elements
Moving the round buttons on the sliding scales will alter the size of your picture. However, the result of this movement depends on what you have selected from "use percentages" and "keep proportions".
'Keep proportions' button
Selecting this button ensures that the existing proportions of your picture remain the same regardless of the size you eventually choose for your picture. With this option selected, you will only need to move one of the slider controls to resize the picture to your choice.
You may of course wish to create a “hall of mirrors” effect on your picture, and this is done by deselecting “Keep proportions” and moving each slider control separately.
Using the “percentages” option allows you to redetermine the size of the picture as a percentage of the original. The current size measurements are replaced by a percentage value, with 0% being the left end of the sliding scale and 100% being the right end. Moving either top or bottom slider will change the size but retain the proportion of the original, as long as the “Keep Proportions” button has been selected. Deselecting the “Keep Proportions” button again allows you to change the picture by moving each slider control separately.
Once you have arrived at your desired picture size, you should click on the “apply” button. This shows you the resulting picture with the "Cancel", "Save a copy" and "Replace original" options below it.
Selecting this option returns you to the starting screen options for editing your picture. If you are happy with your picture, you have the same three options open to you as for the Cropping operation: Cancel, Save a Copy and Replace Original. Follow the advice given already about this.
Very straightforward, with two options: ‘Rotate anti/counter-clockwise’ and ‘Rotate clockwise’. Sometimes your pictures may be unintentionally uploaded on their side or upside down. These tools allow you to solve that problem. before doing anything else to the picture. However, sometimes the resolved picture may *look* ok in your Photobucket folder (ie the right way up), it will actually post in the original way before you turned it when you actually post it on a forum. If you find that this is happening, the way to avoid it is to return to the picture again, select “Save a Copy” then add a different name to it compared to the original (for example “Tau FW” might become “Tau FW#2). Saving a copy gives you two versions of the same picture in the folder. You can then go to that Photobucket folder and select the corrected picture for posting to a forum.
Two options: horizontally or vertically. Again you will just have the three options afterwards of “Cancel”, “Save a copy” or “Replace original”.
There are other editing options available but these are the ones which you are likely to use the most frequently. Hopefully this has been of some help to you.
Proper use of the Thumbnail function on Photobucket
As indicated before, Photobucket offers an 'IMG Thumb' function under "Share this Photo" on the right side hand of the screen, the use of this thumbnail function is encouraged since not only does it make loading times for people with slow connections a lot more manageable when searching gallery threads, it also reduces excessive scrolling and it makes it easier and faster to find pictures of interest which can afterwards be clicked on to look at the larger image.
Unfortunately, the default setting for this function is not optimal, as it is pre-formatted to use the "Email and IM" code as opposed to the "IMG code", which is more forum friendly. To fix this, you simply copy the pre-formatted "IMG Thumb" straight from Photobucket to your post;
[*URL= insert URL here][*IMG]thumbnail URL here[*/IMG][*/URL]
And then replace the contents of the 'insert URL here' section with the "Direct Link" code provided by photobucket under the "Share this Photo" options.
A Guide to Posting Images via Flickr
- Step One: Go to the required picture in your collection on Flickr.
Step Two: From the "Share this" dropdown menu (over on the left side), select "Grab the HTML/BBCode" option.
Step Three: Select BBCode below the text box, and resize the picture if necessary (using the drop down menu).
Step Four: Copy all of the text from the box and paste it into your post on ATT.
Flickr adds a lot of extra BBCode tags around the actual image one, so if you only want the picture to display in your post (or if you are looking to make the picture your avatar), there's a little more work to be done.
- For only the image in posts: From all of your copied code, you only need to keep the [img] tags. Delete the [url] tag at the beginning of the code and everything after the closing [img] tag. If done correctly, you should just have two [img] tags enclosing a url that ends in .jpg. This will post only the picture in you post.
For using the image as an ATT avatar: To get an avatar on ATT, you need just the address of the picture with no tags. The simplest way to do this is to follow the steps above for putting only the image in posts, then remove the two [img] tags, leaving only an address ending in .jpg. If done correctly, the picture should show up as your avatar.
Just like any picture on ATT, it's important to not use a size that's too big in your posts or avatar. If you've followed one of the above extra steps, the picture that you use will be the original size, which in the case of an avatar could drastically stretch out the forum structure (and be in violation of the Membership Primers). You'll either need to upload the picture that's already the correct size, resize it online, or choose one of the preset size options (the Medium 500 and Medium 640 should be fine) when copying the BBCode, but of course for an avatar this option doesn't work.
Editing pictures on Flickr
Flickr uses an online photo-editing service called Picnik that gives much of the same functionality as a photo-editing program on your computer. Most of the options are probably not necessary for your photos, so this will only cover the ones you are more likely to use.
First, though, we have to actually get to the point where we can edit the photo! In the "Actions" drop down menu (right next to the "Share this" one), select "Edit photo online using Picnik." If this is your first time editing your picture online, you'll have to agree to let Picnik access your pictures. You will also need to turn off your pop-up blocker (or allow pop-ups from Flickr) for Picnik to work correctly.
Within each option, you'll see the actual options for editing the picture, as well as three options over to the right. These three options--OK, Reset, and Cancel--let you either save your work for now or undo it: OK saves the work and brings you back to the home screen, Cancel returns you to the home screen without saving, and Reset undoes all of the changes you've made within the editing options.
The "Rotate" option combines a lot of the functionality that may be split between different options in other photo editing software. Selecting "Rotate" allows you to rotate the entire picture to the left or right in 90-degree steps, straighten the picture from its uploaded version (up to 45 degrees in either direction) and flip the picture horizontally and vertically.
Crop lets you resize your picture in a multitude of ways. You can drag around the corners and edges of the shadow box, as well as move the entire shadow box without changing its proportions, or you can select the exact pixel widths and heights followed by checking the "Scale photo" box to change the picture.
One additional option is the Constraint option. This lets you crop your picture to a specific scaling, such as square (helpful for avatars!) to eliminate some of the guesswork in dragging around corners and edges. You'll need to keep the Scale photo box checked to retain the constraint you put on the picture when you move or resize the shadow box.
This option allows you to scale the photo larger or smaller, useful if your avatar or posted photo is too big. You can put in either percentages or pixel counts in the text boxes, and if the "Keep Proportions" box is checked, you'll only need to enter in values for one direction and the other will fill itself in automatically.
While editing, you also have the option to undo or redo the last completed step (rotating, cropping, etc.) using the options on the home screen off to the right. Similar to the "Reset" option within each editing subset, it removes all of the changes from that step.
Just above those two buttons are the final options, "Save" and "Close photo." Save does just that: it saves all of the changes you've made to the picture and exits out of Picnik. Once you hit save, you have the option of adding a title, description, and setting the privacy of the photo, among others, before the save is complete. Close photo just exits from Picnik without saving anything. Of course, you can always come back and edit it again later!