This section provides guide to managing an Elfwood Gallery in the Extranet, with the occasional tip, trick, and explanation to keep you from banging your head off your desk. For simplicity within it I have almost always used the term 'image' or 'picture,' however, everything is equally applicable to sculptures and other non-2D art uploaded to Elfwood.
Much like a similar section in the Library, this section gives a complete listing of all the images you have uploaded, along with the information associated with the pieces, such as keywords, descriptions, and even size information, organized by columns. The far right column also contains a number of tools for working with your pictures, allowing you to view them, edit their info, view & edit the comments for them, and utilize the all-important resize tool.
Images in galleries are required to be 700 X 700 pixels or smaller. Some people complain that this robs higher-resolution images of detail, but it is in essence a compromise between the maximum possible quality of the image and its viewability. Remember that there are still plenty of people out there with lousy monitors and low resolutions (some of them even write Woodworks articles). However, despite the fact that the picture must be a specific size or less before the extranet will let you publish, it is possible to upload an image larger than the requirements.
When you do this, the image's dimensions will show up on the Your Pictures page in red. A tool has been provided to allow you to fix the image, though; just select "Resize" for that picture. A page will appear to let you fiddle with the image's size and quality, already preset to resize to the maximum possible values. When you click "Try this size" you will be shown a preview of the image, and given the chance to either try another resizing, or to select that as the new image size. Once you select it as the image size, however, it cannot be undone, except by uploading the original version from your computer and starting over.
This is where you go to upload a new image to your account. The page presents two options: Upload a NEW Picture, or Replace an Existing Picture with a New Upload. The second is useful for uploading a new version of a picture you've already published, and want to update it without losing your comments... but be careful not to change the filename when you do so! Even altering the extension on a replacement upload can lead to you losing all your previous comments for a piece. When you select this option, you'll also be given a chance, much like in the picture list, to edit the information for the piece.
Uploading a New Picture
This is, very obviously, your picture's title, but there are a few things to keep in mind when inputting it. The picture areas of Elfwood have images organized two ways: the large image containing the thumbnails, and then the text list at the base of the thumbnails. However, each method lists the images differently. The thumbnails list will display things alphabetically according to title, so take that into account when you name your piece! One mildly obtrusive way to make sure the images appear in your thumbnails the way you want them to is to stick a number at the beginning of each picture, such as 01, 02, 03, 04. Of course, to most of us getting the order precise doesn't matter quite that much, but it's useful to remember that if you title a picture 'Unicorn' and then title another picture 'Detail of Unicorn', the detail piece will appear before the main piece. If you want it to appear after, it would be far better to title it 'Unicorn - Detail'.
This is your description of the piece. The non-essential nature of this particular item leads to many people seriously short changing it and sending their pictures out into the world with descriptions like, "A thing I did," or, "This is pretty kawaii dun u lik it?" Speaking from personal experience, while neither of those things is forbidden, and they might not necessarily hurt you, they certainly aren't going to be of any help either. A well done description enhances the experience of the picture. If nothing else, it's never a bad idea to use the description as a place to note when the picture was done (such as "Completed March, 2002," or "I did this couple of years ago, I'm not sure when, as I just found it recently") and what materials/medium/etc the image uses (such as "prismacolor pencils on paper" or "oil on canvas"). Descriptions are used in the Elfwood search engine, so anything you put in there also enhances the chances of your artwork being found on a search. The area can be used to include poetry, a little story about the image, acknowledgements of anyone who helped you with the piece, dedications - the possible list goes on and on. However, the more text you include, particularly if it is a mini-story about the piece, the more essential it becomes to at least give the description a once over for gross errors, and to be clear. Netspeak may be easy, but it seldom wins you admiration and can, from those who dislike it, cost you points.
Picture Text Keywords
Keywords are considered by many on the Internet to be, at best, puzzling beasts. After all, if done right, the entire point of a keyword is that it will never be seen. They exist solely to help with searches, and if you don't have the knack of it, figuring out what your keywords are can be deeply frustrating.
One easy trick is to describe, then boil down. You look at your image and say something like, "This is a picture of a naked girl bathing in a pond at the base of a waterfall, in the summertime, while being leered at by a fairy in the rushes. I made it with pencil and ink." The more you describe about the image to start with, the better. Then you go and pick out the key nouns, and any important verbs (see? English class was useful!): nude, girl, bathing, pond, waterfall, summer leer, fairy, rushes, pencil, ink. There you have your keywords for the image. Keywords are input without commas or 'and's, with each word instead being separated by spaces.
Picture Violence/Sex Category
This is basically determining the content rating of your picture, and it actually works a lot like basic United States movie ratings. Actual sex is, of course, not allowed in Elfwood, but there are plenty of things, such as nudity and scenes with, shall we say, intense content, which can come close. Images that you'd assign a G rating would probably fit fine as "General Audience," PG images might go under "Young," PG-13 images correspond to "Teen," and anything you'd rate as R would naturally go under "Mature." You don't have to be absolutely perfect in figuring these out, but it never hurts to err on the side of caution. You can also always visit the MPA's guide to movie ratings to learn how they do it.
Selecting the picture theme is simply a matter of checking off, from the listed possibilities, everything which applies to your picture. Unless it's a very basic picture, you'll seldom only pick one. Taking the picture used as an example in Keywords, you might check off Body study; Faery, Fay, Faeries; Humourous or Cute things; Landscape, nature, panoramic; Romance, Emotion, Love (who are we to judge what that leering fairy feels?); and Woman, Women.
Picture Techniques Used
This works much the same way Picture Theme does: check off all that are applicable. In this case, you just select everything you used to make the image.
Picture Based on Work by/Inspired by Author
Again, a setup like the two above, but this one is only applicable and to be used if you're uploading something like a book illustration, or an image with obvious influences from something you've read or watched. Obviously, if you're checking off something that you've watched, such as the TV-show categories or the Star Wars, Star Trek category, or checking off the Harry Potter category, the image you're uploading needs to be destined for FanQ. Anne McCaffery/Pern inspired work isn't acceptable anywhere in Elfwood due to lawsuit/copyright issues, so if you find yourself checking that, just give up on the picture, but illustrations for other authors and series are fine in either Loth or Zone, depending on the nature of their content.
To complete the upload, you browse to the file on your computer. However, like Title, Filename isn't as straightforward as it may seem. The text links on your main gallery page, as well as all the images on their individual pages, organize themselves by filename, rather than Title as they do in the thumbnails. This requires that you keep any order you may want to have in mind as you name the file itself. Returning to the above example of "Unicorn" and "Unicorn - Detail", if you name "Unicorn" as unicorn.jpg, and wish to have the detail image appear after the main one in both the text list and the individual pages, you would need to name it "unicorndetail.jpg" and not "detailunicorn.jpg". However, as adding numbers to filenames is a lot less intrusive than adding numbers to titles, if you want to organize your pictures in a specific order this way, you can always name them 01filename.jpg, 02filename.jpg, 03filename.gif, and so on.
As mentioned in the Library portion of this guide, file names need to be kept to a certain length - 20 characters or less. Unlike file size, you won't be unable to go through publish with a longer filename, but the moderators are almost certain to reject you.