Warrax
 subscriber, 284 posts
Wed 30 Sep 2020
at 20:18
Re: Portrait Submissions
Ah yes, the Captain America portrait, thank you for catching that this was also added :)
tibiotarsus
 member, 193 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Wed 30 Sep 2020
at 23:33
Re: Portrait Submissions
Not to be a killjoy on the perfect portrait front, but maybe there should be some kind of notice somewhere to make sure newcomers don't think they have to submit their own specific portrait to play? Only the latest few casual ladies are really similar to the ones on the first page of the gallery in terms of "Hollywood average" mid-20s Caucasians rather than useful-for-everyone additions like girls, old shopkeep types and everyone we don't have already.

Could just be people who couldn't be bothered to check or who find a nose tilted a bit differently to be a dealbreaker, but eh...it's just vaguely frustrating as a GM when you have to make everyone's mothers have "a young-looking face", for instance, or not make proper NPC slots for some people who can't be represented by a pretty white twentysomething (and by the time an appropriate portrait clears the system the game might've moved on from their entire town). </ramble>

A related thought - Are users encouraged to submit tags with new portraits (as suggestions) so they could be copied over and searchable at once, or would that not actually help at all with how the upload system works?
Warrax
 subscriber, 285 posts
Wed 30 Sep 2020
at 23:54
Re: Portrait Submissions
People are encouraged to submit portraits for all different variables. We're not really selecting for what people want to submit on that front, nor will we begin to do so. Diversity has been something of a challenge over time for sure, but people will submit what they want to and that's what we've got to work with. There is also the fact that there are portraits scattered all about with what you want. The act of cleaning up the entire library of portraits isn't anything likely to happen any time soon, so ear-marking portraits for future use is of some value.

Good thoughts. Nothing we haven't run into before, but a perpetual trial for GMs and players alike, to be sure. The best thing is to just start submitting portraits of various sorts even if you don't need them for a specific character. Eventually, the selection will improve.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 336 posts
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 00:38
Re: Portrait Submissions
If you're patient enough to dig through literally every portrait, you can find just about anything you might want. Just about.

...unless you want a specific person, because that's the person you envision for the character. It's shocking sometimes to realize just how many portraits there are of some people, while there are none (or practically none) of others. I can't vouch for why other people submit portraits, but if I'm submitting one it's usually because I want Specific Person X and there's either nothing of them at all, or what does exist of them is the wrong look - by which I don't mean 'bad lighting' but something like 'wrong hair color or style for the character' (very common with female celebrities, given the frequency of hair color changes...) or 'obviously incorrect age for the character'. The racial and age-range diversity of the portrait collection has really started to grow since submissions started up again. Mixed-race are still a bit more scarce, but I have faith that will grow too.

With regards to NPCs, though, tibio... if you just need a quick reference portrait for an NPC and can't find one/don't have time to submit one, it works pretty well to slap up a 100x100 image (that you host) with a left-align at the top of their posts. It's not a legit 'portrait', but it's close enough for government work. =)
Morgan Coldsoul
 member, 316 posts
 29+ years RP experience
 I'll forget again later
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 00:46
Re: Portrait Submissions
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 373):

That's often what I do for temporary NPCs who don't warrant a persistent profile, or for people who demand a really specific portrait that hasn't made it into the gallery yet.
Warrax
 subscriber, 286 posts
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 01:09
Re: Portrait Submissions
SunRuanEr:
If you're patient enough to dig through literally every portrait, you can find just about anything you might want. ...  It's shocking sometimes to realize just how many portraits there are of some people, while there are none (or practically none) of others.


Yup, that's certainly true. They do come in waves, too, based on what's popular at the time (on and off RPOL).

quote:
The racial and age-range diversity of the portrait collection has really started to grow since submissions started up again. Mixed-race are still a bit more scarce, but I have faith that will grow too.


Yeah, and we're quite happy about that, as it happen.s

quote:
With regards to NPCs, though, tibio... if you just need a quick reference portrait for an NPC and can't find one/don't have time to submit one, it works pretty well to slap up a 100x100 image (that you host) with a left-align at the top of their posts. It's not a legit 'portrait', but it's close enough for government work. =)


Yes, not enough people use the Description section to its best ability, and you can embed images directly into posts from time to time in order to reinforce a particular actor or visualization for your character as well.
tibiotarsus
 member, 194 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 08:18
Re: Portrait Submission
Ha! I talk about polite notices in case the problem isn't bias and y'all go straight for the elephant in the room. All right, I'm not saying to do this, but I will point out that the "super-similar portraits get rejected" rule could be used if the site wanted to trim the ratio of 10,000 blondes to 1 black teen (I'm not sure there is a younger black teen, unless that Indian-looking girl is one - certainly if you're out in Historical, you're stuffed). I assume that would be too much work per month and too much wailing from those who need the eyebrows "right", though, so that observation is just pointing out that a systemic solution is possible, in the same way you're pointing out that if the 2 GMs that aren't playing off-the-peg Eurofantasy do enough shovel work they could maybe catch up in a decade or so. Sure. Both these things are true, but we're both doing stuff voluntarily. I get it. Just saying. Not a dig.

Warrax:
Good thoughts. Nothing we haven't run into before, but a perpetual trial for GMs and players alike, to be sure. The best thing is to just start submitting portraits of various sorts even if you don't need them for a specific character. Eventually, the selection will improve.


This is allowed now? I always had the impression the rules meant you had to submit portraits for folk you immediately needed to play.

As for trawling the galleries, boy howdy have I done a lot of that, and can confirm for instance that we have one (1) teen girl of ambiguous long-haired brownness to be all your Native, Hispanic and Desi characters between 12-16. There is one (1) casual-looking young Desi guy, who might be Mexican. Most of our Aboriginal guys are out in the middle of Male Rugged, but if you want ladies there's a choice of my guide, I think an ambiguous older lady, and...no, that's it. Running a Western, you run out of the entirety of Native portraits with an average party and something like four NPCs, assuming you use that one First Nations lumberjack and say he's on holiday. Want to set something in the Pacific Northwest? Siberia? Well, there's three native Siberians now who can just about pass for Tlingit or something (you're welcome - the boy is stuck out in the modern female category, mind) but otherwise it's like something out of Cannibal! the Musical trying to get people with  the broadest phenotypic traits for the areas. Brought Masks of Nyarlathotep to Egypt? Better not interact with more than a handful of older male locals, or you'll have to talk to that blatantly-a-cultist weirdo out of The Mummy (which I love, but because it is a toasted cheese sandwich) *ahem*

@SunRuan - yeah, it is possible to make fake portraits for non-Young-White-Fashion-model NPCs, but that's kind of like "the back of the bus goes to the same stops", y'know? To reverse that suggestion, why not make Team Perfect Eyebrows use one of the many, many existing portraits and put their ideal version of standard-pretty white lady up big in the description doodad where everyone can see the specific variations of their nose or eyebrows or what have you? At 50x50, I assure you that even if I could tell actors apart...just go for hair colour. Seriously. We don't need the same celeb again with different hair. Not when you can't have anyone from the entire continent of Asia as a player in Kids on Bikes without a month-minimum wait.

There was indeed a little joyous blip of grandmas for everyone, and I was excited, but it seems to have dropped off.

Also, if the suite of NPCs just aren't there ready to grab because people are getting by with the second-class rig-up system and never getting round to putting those portraits in it discourages playing anything other than generic Eurofantasy (or putting anything but north-western Europeans in their Eurofantasy). The wait time for everyone to get portraits in (or the insistence on the copy-paste method) for something like Harlem Unbound would lose you players and maybe sink a game. Then other potential players look about and go "huh, guess they don't play that here" and donate their time/selves to Pathfinder.


Anyway, aside from the elephant - tags? Ease of finding would maybe cut down on the repeats, and if they were coming in with tags that'd make the backlog/effort to tackle same smaller, was my thought.


edit: dodgy descriptor changed for the results of my trying to find a British Asian-looking dude under 40 without a suit.

This message was last edited by the user at 08:28, Thu 01 Oct.

SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 337 posts
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 13:16
Re: Portrait Submission
I don't know what to tell you. If you need something specific that isn't included in the gallery, submit something. That's what submissions are for. The workaround I suggested was for if you didn't have time to wait for a submission to go in before you needed it, or only needed it for a post or two and couldn't justify burning your 1-per-month submission on it. It was not remotely a suggestion that non-white portraits should go 'to the back of the bus' and just be jury-rigged in. /shrug

I understand that the gallery submissions tend to skew towards White-People-Glamour-Shots, but tearing down people who submit what - to them - is the perfect representation of their pretty white blonde girl character that couldn't already be found in the gallery isn't going to get more non-white portraits submitted. If you run or play in games that need something specific that isn't already available in the gallery, submit something. Get your players to submit things, for themselves or for your NPCs if they're willing. Just because you're capped at one portrait a month and it needs to be used (which I have always interpreted as meaning 'assigned to a character, even if that character is a hidden NPC that won't come into actual play for a year') doesn't mean the person that submits it has to be the person using it.

Gallery diversity isn't going to be improved by telling people they can't submit portraits just because they're the same age/skin/hair color of portraits that already exist. You need people to actively submit portraits for (as you put it) 'non-Young-White-Fashion-model' types to do that.
Warrax
 subscriber, 287 posts
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 14:03
Re: Portrait Submission
tibiotarsus:
This is allowed now? I always had the impression the rules meant you had to submit portraits for folk you immediately needed to play.


Please feel free to submit whatever portrait you want to see in the gallery when you make your submission, yes.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15941 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 15:12
Re: Portrait Submission
There has never been a conscious effort to produce a gallery with a perfectly diverse set of portraits.

Instead people were told that, due to space limitations (and the fact that the galleries were (until very recently) hosted on volunteer-provided servers, and paid for by those same volunteers) they should ONLY submit images for characters that they, personally, intended to play.

So if nobody was planning to play a character from (for example) Papua New Guinea, then there would not be any such portraits submitted (while still allowing for somebody to submit one if they did plan to use such a character).
Warrax
 subscriber, 288 posts
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 15:35
Re: Portrait Submission
bigbadron:
There has never been a conscious effort to produce a gallery with a perfectly diverse set of portraits.

Instead people were told that, due to space limitations (and the fact that the galleries were (until very recently) hosted on volunteer-provided servers, and paid for by those same volunteers) they should ONLY submit images for characters that they, personally, intended to play.


Yeah, the portrait system was a lot of Shannara bossing out and doing what she could as a one-person show until what, a couple of years ago? So we're slowly trying to handle things a little differently now that we've the resources to do it.
tibiotarsus
 member, 195 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 18:26
Re: Portrait Submission
Warrax:
<quote tibiotarsus>Please feel free to submit whatever portrait you want to see in the gallery when you make your submission, yes.


Sweet! Longterm plotting to give this site the ability to run a certain game hopefully coming out next year commences...I may have a comrade to help with the MoN issues.


SunRuan, it looks like there's a bit of cross-purposes here: you're talking about single PCs, I'm talking about GMs having the ability to play in a setting with relative ease. I'm already doing my best, but at 1 portrait a month it's like...there's stuff you literally can't do (I'd mention settings I'd like to run but it'd probably count as an ad). I'm sorry you feel torn down by having non-white/young/Hollywood ladies take up slots that could be used for a new hairstyle, that wasn't my intention, but we honestly have so many of those ladies the hairstyles probably exist already if the new submitters did the searching there was an implication I hadn't. ...and would be easier to find if tagged. Hence the tag helping query, because I would love to help.

I mean, I also like things to be efficient, and submitting portraits only useful for oneself in a limited system seems inefficient for the system as a whole, which is why I haven't flooded the system with native Siberians, instead providing our only historical Asiatic mum-age lady and a couple of kids in Russianised clothing people can pretend are several ethnicities.

As BBR said, no-one's suggesting - or has ever suggested - we make the gallery diverse just because Planet Earth, Sol System, is, but a better range of humans breaks the loop of having a few well-worn stories it's easy to tell and everyone else having to work twice as hard with shoddier materials (which means those stories get shoved to the back burner because who wants to work on their fun time, which means it's easier to talk about mediaeval England, but Potatoes, Again, etc. etc.). More communally-available variety causes no problems, whilst more of things we have already objectively pads out the size of the haystack at least some GMs are patiently fishing needles from in a system that's struggling with its search capacities.

If you don't know what to say to me, please don't. I only wanted to ask a question/make a suggestion about gallery efficiency, and Warrax is very patient with such (thank you).
Warrax
 subscriber, 289 posts
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 18:28
Re: Portrait Submission
tibiotarsus:
but at 1 portrait a month it's like...there's stuff you literally can't do


Just for clarity, you can submit a portrait whether you need it for a current (N)PC or not, but we are sticking to the 1 portrait per cycle limitation.

As always, we appreciate the feedback the community gives us and we're happy to work within given constraints to try and make the gallery a better tool for everyone here on the site. It's been awesome for us over the years, so it's nice to be able to give back a little :)
tibiotarsus
 member, 196 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Thu 1 Oct 2020
at 20:19
Re: Portrait Submission
Absoloutely understood (longterm plotting is longterm, yes), and again, thank you for being patient, approachable, and doing a sterling job with enthusiasm. It's deeply appreciated and I'll get off your update thread now.
El Taco Taco
 member, 1 post
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 18:14
Re: Portrait Submission
Really glad that portrait submissions are back up and running. :) The lack of custom portraits was my biggest pain point in running games here, so having these submissions open again is greatly appreciated.

Would there be any way we could get a confirmation reply that the portrait has been received or if it's been rejected? Given that we can only submit one a month, it's a little disappointing to submit a portrait, see it not go up, and then have to spend another month submitting it again. I know I try to triple check that I've done it right, but this has happened to me multiple times now, even when I'm dead certain I didn't mess up.

I've got a folder of several portraits I'm working through, and at this rate, it'll be well over a year before I can get them uploaded ):

I can imagine it's just as frustrating for y'all to get the same portrait or the same mistake over and over too. I feel like this would go a long way for improving both sides of the process, even if it's just a 'hey, this is after the submission date for this month so it's going up next month' or 'sorry, it's being rejected because XYZ'.

Thanks for the consideration!
RosstoFalstaff
 member, 195 posts
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 19:07
Re: Portrait Submission
In reply to El Taco Taco (msg # 384):

Imagine having to write a short answer line for hundreds of pictures, on top of the work the uploaders already are doing.

It might seem like a small amount of effort for you, but that's partially because you WANT this outcome.
El Taco Taco
 member, 2 posts
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 19:59
Re: Portrait Submission
I mean, yeah, I have no idea how much is going on behind the scenes or how it's done \_(ツ)_/ All I have to go on numbers wise is the number of portraits reported as uploaded, which has seemed to be about a dozen a shot lately.

If it's more work than it's worth, then I have no problem with that not being implemented. But as it is an outcome that I would, in fact, like to see, I figured I'd ask to see if it could accommodated.
Warrax
 subscriber, 290 posts
Thu 8 Oct 2020
at 19:59
Re: Portrait Submission
No harm in asking.  We will discuss it and see what's what.
Morgan Coldsoul
 member, 317 posts
 29+ years RP experience
 I'll forget again later
Fri 9 Oct 2020
at 17:25
Re: Portrait Submission
@El Taco Taco your portrait actually was uploaded, it's #930 in male/modern/casual.
Varsovian
 member, 1517 posts
Sun 11 Oct 2020
at 22:18
Re: Portrait Submission
Hey guys, a question: if I submit a portrait tomorrow or on Tuesday, when - more or less - will it appear in the gallery?
Morgan Coldsoul
 member, 318 posts
 29+ years RP experience
 I'll forget again later
Sun 11 Oct 2020
at 22:23
Re: Portrait Submission
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 389):

Today's the 11th, so it would go in the next batch that's scheduled to be uploaded before the end of this month, which means if all goes well it would be available no later than October 31st.

This coming Wednesday, the 14th, is the cutoff date for the current cycle, so anything received by then will be included in the current batch, and anything received starting at 12:01am Thursday will be part of the next.
Varsovian
 member, 1518 posts
Sun 11 Oct 2020
at 23:19
Re: Portrait Submission
Thanks! Should the portrait be submitted in 100x100 size, or do you do the resizing yourself? Do you do any retouching etc. to the images to make them more clear, or do you upload them as submitted?
Morgan Coldsoul
 member, 319 posts
 29+ years RP experience
 I'll forget again later
Sun 11 Oct 2020
at 23:31
Re: Portrait Submission
You're welcome to just send in the image you want and I'll cut it down and polish it for the gallery upload.

If you want to do the editing yourself, then the final product needs to be a 100x100 pixel JPEG file less than 5kb in size, and it should look as clear and high-quality as you can make it. In cases where users submit already-altered files, I do sometimes try to brighten or sharpen them a bit if they look fuzzy, if I can, but otherwise it's whatever you send us.
El Taco Taco
 member, 3 posts
Thu 15 Oct 2020
at 17:51
Re: Portrait Submission
In reply to Morgan Coldsoul (msg # 388):

I did see that, thanks!

My pain point was when I checked the thread for the update of which portraits had been uploaded the following month, it wasn't listed as included in that batch. I didn't actually ever see it included in the list of uploads the following month, either. I only happened to stumble across the fact it was uploaded by chance.

I was fairly sure I had submitted it in time for the month's batch. (This was months ago, so I could absolutely be wrong about the timing, I have no idea what day is what anymore.)

It's been the same experience with every portrait I've submitted, and while it could absolutely be a matter of timing, the lack of response and 2 month long delay does leave me feeling a bit like I'm just shouting into the void.
Morgan Coldsoul
 member, 320 posts
 29+ years RP experience
 I'll forget again later
Thu 15 Oct 2020
at 18:53
Re: Portrait Submission
The submission in question was received and processed in August and uploaded in September, after the delay caused by the server migration. There was an announcement that includes 1 male rugged portrait which is what it was originally tagged as in processing, but somehow it wound up in casual at the end. My guess is that was simply an oversight in the announcement, and a male rugged entry was listed rather than the male casual to which it was changed. Seems like probably just a bookkeeping error, which is bound to happen from time to time.

I can't speak to similar experiences you may have had, just encourage everyone to always double-check that you included your username, that the file is an embed or attachment, and that you only submit one per cycle if you want to be sure that one is the one to go through.