Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Image Collection and FAQ

Last update: 1/22/10

Over the years I've built up a collection of images for use in roleplaying games- character portraits, landscapes, pieces of equipment and so on. The collection now has thousands of images, which can be viewed online and/or downloaded via Picasa (which you can then immediately uninstall with no consequences, I've checked myself).

A quick FAQ...
Q: Why?
A: Two purposes in mind. Originally I was after references- when running a game or presenting someone with a character sheet, a good image is invaluable for bringing the ideas to life. These days, I usually use them for inspiration. And once you're sitting on a big pile of cool images, it'd be damn selfish not to share them.
Q: How long have you been collecting these images?
A: A glance at the file data informs me that I started saving images I liked in late 2004, then actively began to gather them in early 2005.
Q: Do you just spend your life scouring the internet for images, or what?
A: Hey, there are people out there who amass far larger collections, and some of them aren't even porn! But in all seriousness: In this modern day and age, the world is full of extremely talented artists, and these artists have websites. Said websites often contain links to the websites of other artists. Deviantart alone is the source of about 40% of my images; I've often spent an hour or two going through someone's favorites folder and checking out the galleries of any artist whose piece shows promise, saving fifty or so new images in the process.
Q: Do you have a favorite artist?
A: Tons. Wen-M, Gold Seven and Storn Cook are probably my personal favorites- they're constantly producing new artwork and have built up a huge body of work involving all sorts of genres. Their art looks fantastic and shows a lot of intelligence and imagination. And they sometimes draw people with their hair/clothing blowing in the wind, I'm a sucker for that.
Q: What criteria do you use?
A: I try not to overthink my decision-making process. In the end it boils down to a combination of originality and personal aesthetic appeal. On the subject of chainmail bikinis and the like: It's fine by me if the character is sexy, but I'm not interested in art created just to titillate the viewer. On the other hand, I've altered several pictures to be able to include them while keeping the collection worksafe. My standard have risen somewhat since I first started the collection.
Q: Can you help me find an image of _____?
Sure- I won't do an extensive trawl, but I can spend 5-10 minutes using various tricks to hunt down a few images that'll fit a given set of criteria. HOWEVER: Do specify which criteria you "want" and which ones you "need". Spear-wielding female fighter in light armor? I've got 10! She needs blue hair? Hmm.
Q: Do you have a link to the artist who made _____?
A: Some basic detective work using google and the filename will often be the fastest way to find a picture's creator, but I'm certainly willing to help out if that fails. Since I'm downloading these images without asking permission, the least I can do is help make sure credit's given where it's owed.
Q: What about organizing the collection some more? Tags, maybe?
A: I'd like to do more to make it easy for people to track down the kinds of images they need, but singlehandedly reviewing the thousands of images I've already downloaded is too much. The only exception's been to go back and rename all the portraits I'd gotten from /tg/ ("1169313704193.jpg" to "armored warrior woman", for example). However, if you'd be interested in implementing something yourself (even just tagging which genders are present in a character portrait) then I'll be happy to cooperate and could apply the same methods to any further images I add.


Anonymous said...

How about making the albums downloadable? It's a pain to download it picture by picture.

Dagda (Brooks Harrel) said...

Sure they're not downloadable already? They were when I first set things up, I know that much.

If not, I'll look into it.

Anonymous said...

Someone else:
Nope, they're not downloadable if I go to the picasa gallery. I can download individual images ( I think), but not the whole shebang.

Dagda (Brooks Harrel) said...

You have to use the actual Picasa program.

Solveig said...

Really cool world you have!!