Hi there, welcome to "Building a Better Wiki", a blog series where I aim to explore different aspects of our giant wiki database to find out how to best utilize them or improve upon them to make sure we're building the best anime and manga wiki out there.
As this is the first blog in the series, I thought I'd start off with something simple: default images on character pages, or what I like to call "Profile Portraits". Over the years (and I mean that very literally, I remember joining this site when it launched in 2008... yikes...) myself and other wiki editors have used a variety of different images. Artwork, screen caps, concept art... cropped images, full-size images, transparent PNG images... so on and so forth. Not only do each of these choices come with their own set of pros and cons, but using these different kinds of images all over the place results in our character pages looking really inconsistent.
The guys running MyAnimeList.net seem to have the right idea. Unlike us, they have specific guidelines for character images. With a little tweaking, these guidelines also work perfectly for our wiki. They use official artwork (or an anime cap/manga scan if none is available) and a fixed size of 225 x 350. That size is too small for us, so I scaled it up and trimmed it a little to get a solid 300 x 450, which works out nicely.
So based on that, here are my suggested guidelines:
As you can see, the images are consistent and translate well into icons which appear throughout the wiki. This format should work for 90% of the characters in our database, with the exceptions being things like small Pokémon and Digimon (particularly the ones that are basically talking heads) in which case we can just use 300 x 300 images.
Though obviously, if you have a nice full-size image of a character, why not put it in the article itself? Add a paragraph talking about the character design and throw that image in there!
While these guidelines aren't set-in-stone rules right now, I hope they make sense and very much encourage you to use them.
For those of you having trouble resizing and cropping images, here's a tutorial to hopefully make things a little easier. This tutorial uses Paint.NET, a free image editor for Windows (sorry Mac/Linux users) though if you use Adobe Photoshop this guide may still be helpful.
This tutorial will show you how to create profile portraits for characters and where to upload the images.
Ta-da! You should now have a nice new portrait image for a character page. If so, pat yourself on the back. If not... start again and read each step carefully.
~Thanks for reading, keep up the good wiki work!