Portraits FAQ

How do I submit a portrait?

Attach your picture to an email message and send it to portraits@rpol.net and it will be added (if approved) during the monthly update cycle.  Submissions MUST include the user's RPoL account name with the submission.

Some email accounts, whose providers are known to allow spammers, are blocked from sending email to RPoL.  If your email cannot be sent, try sending from a different provider.

Please note that there is a limit of only one emailed portrait submission per person every update cycle.  Your submission should preferably only have one picture.  If your email includes two or three pictures we will choose the one we like best (though none may be suitable).  If you submit four pictures or more the submission will be rejected entirely for the update cycle.

Note that an update cycle is roughly once per month.  Each time the portraits are updated it is announced in the General RPoL forum, so the submission period is from one announcement to the next.

What is the standard portrait dimension and size?

When all is said and done in the editing department, portraits end up being 100 pixels high by 100 pixels wide (100x100), and are less than 5 kilobytes in size.

100x100?  But they look much smaller in the games.

In game threads, portraits are shrunk to 50x50 for space considerations.  To view the portrait at its full size, click on it.

I keep hearing about portraits, but I don't see any in the forums.

This might be due to one of three reasons:
  1. You do not have your View Portraits option turned on.  To do this, click the "User Preferences" link at the top left of the screen, and under "Your Control Panel", switch "View Portraits" to "On", then click "Update Details".

  2. Some people and games don't bother to use portraits, and so you might be looking at one of those.

  3. You might be looking at a public forum.  As portraits are for role-playing purposes only, they are not used in forums such as General RPoL, Players - Wanted, and so on.

How do I select a portrait for my character?

In your game, click on the hyperlink at the top of the page that reads,  "Character Details".  From there you'll see a link titled, "Select a Portrait".  Using that link, you'll find yourself in the Portrait Gallery.  Wander through the images found there until you find the right one -- then clicking on it will select that portrait for your character.

Why don't you get rid of some of the dorky portraits in the gallery?

Eventually, we may ditch portraits that are not in use and which are of low quality.  It's a long, slow process, however.

There are no portraits that fit my character.  Can I submit one?

Yes.  RPoL's Portrait Gallery is constantly growing, though, so please only submit portraits you intend to use for a character.  Our file space is limited, and we can't accept portraits which "might" be used at some point, by someone as yet undetermined.

What if I can't edit the portrait to 100x100 and 5k in size?

If you send a portrait larger than 100x100 pixels or greater than 5k in size, the Portrait Editor can edit it to fit the gallery requirements.

What if I send you something smaller than 100x100?

Don't.  Smaller pictures, when enlarged, become too fuzzy to be of use.  Then if the Editor is expected to edit it to satisfactory quality, it could take her an hour or more touching up the picture and sharpening up the features, and sometimes that's not even enough.  It's just better all around if you find another, larger picture and send that.

What about a file that's less than 5 kilobytes?

The smaller the file, the lower its quality.  So long as the quality of the image is satisfactory, the size of the file is negotiable, but it won't exceed 5k when the Editor is done with it.  That's the server space cap we put on our portraits in order to allow for so many submissions.

What type of image files do you accept?

We accept just about anything, but it's a good idea to avoid .gif files.  The Editor prefers .jpg if there is a choice, and all images end up being .jpg files in the end.

Can we submit pictures with animation?

No.  .jpg files do not support animation, and all Portraits are .jpgs, so any animation in a file will be lost in the end result.

Who decides what goes in?

Shannara is the Portrait Editor for the submissions. As such, she has say over which images are approved and which are not.

Why wasn't my picture used?

Images may be rejected if they are too small, if they duplicate or strongly resemble an existing portrait, if they are too blurry to make out their details, if they show nudity, or if there are words on the image. They may also be rejected if they cannot be cropped square.

Why can't my portrait submission have my character's name on it?

Portraits will not be approved if they are associated with just one name.  Portraits in the gallery must be for general use, not for one specific person's character only.

What about copyrighted images?

We cannot accept copyrighted portraits.  It is assumed that anyone submitting a portrait has checked with the artist or owner of the image to ensure it's okay to use it in our gallery.  If the artist or owner comes to RPOL and complains about the unauthorized use of their picture, we will remove it from the gallery without any forewarning.

Anything else I should know about selecting a portrait for submission?

Yes.  The image is going to be cropped to a square shape.  If you submit an image of a face that is closely cropped, the image normally comes out to be rectangular shaped.  In order to make it 100x100, the Editor either has to cut part of the head away, or add an ugly border on the sides.  Please try to send a portrait that is or can be square.  We hate borders: They detract from the picture's appearance.

I sent my picture two minutes/hours/days ago!  Why isn't it in the gallery yet?

Portrait submissions are taken care of as the Portrait Editor has time to do them.  It may take a month to 6 weeks to see a portrait added to the gallery.  If six weeks have gone by and you still don't have your portrait in the gallery, then you might want resend your image.  You should also check your submission for reasons it may not have been approved (duplicate of / similar to an existing portrait, loss of detail when sized to 100x100, nudity, submission sent as a link rather than an attachment, etc.) before resending.

Why so long?

As explained by the Portrait Editor herself:

  1. The amount of time it takes to go through the process, from checking the gallery for duplicates to cropping/sizing/adjusting for best display to dealing with spam and portraits so large that they take 5 minutes to download on a DSL connection to responding to all the emails has become more than I want to devote to the process.  Even with occasional help, it's taking A LOT of time, and I would like to have more time available for things like ... oh ... PLAYING in the games. ;)

  2. Because the gallery already includes a huge variety of portraits (over 11,000 at last edit of this FAQ).  We already have a greater selection than many similar websites, and as the games are text based, the portraits are meant to provide an approximation of characters, not an individual portrait for every character played or NPC'd.

  3. Size of the gallery is a consideration -- both in the terms of how much space storing the portraits takes up (lesser) to the sheer bandwidth looking through HUNDREDS of gallery pages that many users consume when just selecting a portrait (greater).  At the rate the gallery has been growing, it's just time to rein it back in a little.

Is there anything I can do to get my portrait uploaded sooner?

The Portrait Editor has previously responded as follows:
  1. No.

  2. No, nothing short of hiring me and putting me on salary so that portrait updating is a job I get paid to do.

  3. No.  If you're considering volunteering to lighten the load, the best thing you can do is follow the other rules of the site so that I spend less time on anything related to moderating. ;)  If I find myself looking for things to do when I sign on, then I'll consider doing the updates more often.  Aside from the help I'm already getting with looking for duplicates and cropping/resizing, the rest is really a one-person job.

Where in the gallery is the picture I sent you?

The portrait editor makes a post in General each time the portrait gallery is updated noting which categories got new portraits, and how many they got.  If you submitted an portrait and you're wondering where it might be, try looking at the last few portraits in each category that was updated.  If it was accepted, it will be one of those.

I submitted a full body shot.  Why did you only use the head in the gallery?

When a large image is shrunk down, details are lost in the conversion.  The image loses quality the more you have to shrink it.  By getting a close-up of the head, we don't have to shrink the image so much and much of the detail remains.

My email has been rejected by RPoL -- what should I do?

Some email providers (such as hotmail) have a difficult time mailing RPoL as they tend to host Spammers and so get themselves on the lists RPoL uses to block such mail.  So the first thing to try is using a different email provider.

All portrait submissions go through two sets of filters: RPoL's and the portrait editor's.  Here are some tips to help make sure your submission goes through:

Why can't I link to an image elsewhere?

Five reasons;

  1. Quality control, we make sure the size is the same, the image is as small (in size) as possible without compromising quality, the photo/drawing area are as similar as possible.

  2. Avoiding error/cross boxes (when an image no longer exists), la .

  3. Avoiding inline linking (a.k.a hotlinking, direct linking, offsite image grabs) issues.

  4. Avoiding "bandwidth exceeded" errors/images.

  5. Completely eliminates the possibility of a member using an inappropriate image.

And now, here's credit where credit is due!

Firstly our current and previous portrait editors:  Shannara, Protagonist, and Onion (a.k.a. KabinTheDwarf).

Now, the artists and owners themselves:

Last updated: 11:03, Tue 28 Apr 2015.
Direct link: http://new.rpol.net/help/?t=faqs&page=portraitsfaq