The images of the show on this wiki are usually obtained by taking screenshots of the episodes. This page will outline some of the best techniques for obtaining screenshots and uploading them to the wiki.
Finding a good source to take screenshots from is important. Most commonly used sources include iTunes videos and YouTube videos.
These are the best sources for screencaps as they do not have the hub watermark, and because they are at 720p or 1080p resolution, meaning that they are at the highest possible quality.
Where to find
These are of course purchasable from iTunes in both 720p and 1080p, currently on the United States and Australian iTunes. It is possible to simply download the iTunes copies from various sites, however.
These are generally unadvised for screencaps once the iTunes versions become available. However, until the iTunes versions come out, which can be a delay of a few days after the episode airs, YouTube videos are the best bet for screenshots.
Just be sure to be viewing the video in the highest quality possible (720p or 1080p). If such quality options are not available, find a higher quality video.
Various other sources are also available. Anything that is not high-quality and/or requires PrintScreen to capture is unadvised.
Remember not to fullscreen the video and take screencaps via Printscreen or the equivalent. This will stretch videos on larger monitors, and lead to unnecessarily large files. YouTube videos can be downloaded in various formats with the help of a number of browser extensions such as DownloadHelper (Firefox), Ultimate YouTube Downloader (Chrome), YousableTubeFix (Opera). Proper still frames from these videos can be taken by video playback software such as:
A good program for viewing videos and taking screencaps is VLC player. It is able to play most common video formats, including MP4 and MKV formats.
To take a screenshot while viewing a video, simply click the video tab and choose "Snapshot". It will output a screenshot of the video at the time you took a screenshot into the base Pictures directory. It will have a standard VLC filename consisting of "Vlcsnap" followed by a timestamp.
VLC is also excellent for YouTube videos. Simply copying the YouTube URL and hitting CTRL-V with the VLC window open will prompt the user to stream the video to VLC, making it much easier to take screenshots.
Media Player Classic
Media Player Classic is also a good program which can play a wide array of video formats.
To take a screenshot while viewing a video, click File->Image (or press Alt+I) and enter the file name.
Note: To be able to save the screenshots change the default setting for "DirectShow Video" parameter (Overlay Mixer) in Options->Playback->Outback.
Files should be saved in the .png format. VLC player will by default output screenshots in .png format, as will the screenshot function on Mac OSX and Windows 8. On other versions of Windows, when saving a screenshot by pasting it into Paint and saving it, make sure the file format it is being saved as is .png.
.png is a lossless file format, so it gives better quality images than .jpg or other formats.
Files must be given descriptive names.
Please read Help:Descriptive name for more information.
Files should be categorised according to episode and by characters focused on in the image.
Preferably, images should be as true to the source material as possible. Minor changes that don't impact the details may be made:
- Cropping. Images may be cropped to the desired size or to omit details. For example, when using an image to illustrate a cutie mark, the cutie mark can be cropped so no other details are showing. Please avoid cropping objects out of their background.
- Color adjustments. Brightness, saturation, contrast, color levels, and gamma value may be adjusted to better suit standard computer monitors or calibrated computer monitors. Please avoid any changes to the hue or white point, and any other filters and options that manipulate the image other than the five listed.
File names of images with non-minor changes should begin with "FANMADE". These non-minor changes include:
- Adding details or drawing on the image, for example placing arrows, circles, text, watermarks, or overlays.
- Compositing: taking part of an image and joining it with a different part, even when neither part has been altered.
- Filters other than brightness, saturation, contrast, color levels, and gamma value.
- Changing or removing the background.
When not to use a high-quality image
Sometimes it's preferable to use smaller files at the expense of image quality to ensure faster page load times. Interface elements should load quickly. Some examples for interface elements are the front-page slider, and the wiki's background.