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Old 2012-01-22, 14:49   Link #21
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kagayaki View Post
All the annoying avatars are actually small files though. They're the flashing ones or the really short, fast, jerky loops. Longer, slower, smoother loops with more complex motions are almost always less annoying, IMO. Everything that makes animated avatars look good is facilitated by higher filesizes, not lower filesizes, so I don't see how placing a filesize limit gives animators any incentive to create less annoying pictures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
To be perfectly honest, the following are annoying to look at,
  • crappy animation
  • crappy image quality (artifacts, overopetimization)
  • choppy animation resulted from optimization
  • avatars with animation puasing midway
  • some other optimization issue (bluring, crappy cropping, etc)
But maybe that's just me.

I don't know if I care too much about avatar size as much as I care for signature size limit. I don't see how something with 8 times the surface area is constraint to a LOWER file size! (50k bytes < 50KB) It's probably gotten way worse over the years with modern artwork becoming more detailed and refined compared to the blobs of color of old.
Excellent posts. This gradual added detail and refinement is why I think avatar and sig size limitations - In the sense of bytes of data rather than actual surface area dimensions - Is something that should be regularly updated.

I was fine with Anime Suki avatar and sig size limitations until recently, but I've recently noticed how anime images are becoming ever more and more high-res, and as such I think there could be some benefits in shifting from a 50 Kb limitation to a 100 Kb limitation. And since nobody seems to be seriously arguing that bandwidth is the reason why the limitations are what they are, then I don't really see a good reason to not shift from a 50 Kb limit to a 100 Kb limit.
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Old 2012-01-22, 14:54   Link #22
Kusa-San
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
I'll would like to echo this sentiment (assuming the original point wasn't referring to profiles). For general use a with of 100px is ideal. The only other variant I've found to be adequet is 100x125 (basically photographic proportions) but people are more used to squares so it's probably best left at 100x100
Profiles ? You mean the possibility to add a picture in your profile ? Nah don't worry, I don't really care about this option .

However, I'm not against an increase of the weight. 100kb seems fine to me.
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Old 2012-01-22, 20:22   Link #23
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(Disclaimer: these are all my own personal opinions, and should not be taken as an official policy statement on behalf of the site staff.)

I guess I'll take up the "moderately against" argument. I'm not generally a fan of animations in avatars, because I think they're typically poorly-done and distracting. I don't think this is just due to a file size limit, like "oh I could only make an annoying animation because I don't have enough frames"; usually, I think it's more an issue of concept/design than execution. I suspect that allowing double the file size for the same 100x100 pixel square will just encourage people to use that much more animation, and it isn't something I see as so important to encourage. I would rather the page load more quickly on my sadly-not-too-great broadband connection (1.5 mbps) and mobile phone when on 3G (which has a 1 GB monthly data cap). I'm not convinced that increasing the file size limit will encourage most people to make better avatars, but just to be more wasteful/sloppy and do less optimizing -- it'll could double the data pulled for some avatars without any tangible benefit to me.

That doesn't mean I'm dead-set against an increase, but I'm not really that sold on the need for it either. The "HD anime art is more complex" argument only goes so far when you're talking about a 100x100 pixel square, and I'm not convinced that most people will use the additional file size effectively even if you give it to them. I think it's really a problem of education more than limitation. I suppose I could support a modest increase (call it "art inflation" or something ), but I'm not convinced that a drastic increase is needed, warranted, or all that beneficial.
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Old 2012-01-22, 23:35   Link #24
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
(Disclaimer: these are all my own personal opinions, and should not be taken as an official policy statement on behalf of the site staff.)

I guess I'll take up the "moderately against" argument. I'm not generally a fan of animations in avatars, because I think they're typically poorly-done and distracting. I don't think this is just due to a file size limit, like "oh I could only make an annoying animation because I don't have enough frames"; usually, I think it's more an issue of concept/design than execution. I suspect that allowing double the file size for the same 100x100 pixel square will just encourage people to use that much more animation, and it isn't something I see as so important to encourage. I would rather the page load more quickly on my sadly-not-too-great broadband connection (1.5 mbps) and mobile phone when on 3G (which has a 1 GB monthly data cap). I'm not convinced that increasing the file size limit will encourage most people to make better avatars, but just to be more wasteful/sloppy and do less optimizing -- it'll could double the data pulled for some avatars without any tangible benefit to me.
If not for a recent policy/format update by Anime Suki (I'll get to that in a second), your argument here would be compelling to me, perhaps even an understandable "deal-breaker" against increasing from a 50 Kb limit to a 100 Kb limit.

It's certainly true that, depending on an individual AS member's taste, increasing from a 50 Kb limit to a 100 Kb may result in gif avatars that you already find obnoxious likely getting that much more obnoxious.

However, there's already a handy-dandy method for dealing with that - The recently added ability to block individual avatars/sigs. Most gif avatars that I find distracting to a bothersome degree are ones that I've already set to block. If a few more end up like that due to an avatar/sig Kb size increase, then I'll just block a few more. This is something that all AS members can now do, of course.


But now, what if we have even just a few skillful avatar/sig makers on this site (which I have no doubt of) that could do so much more with an increase from 50 Kb to 100 Kb? While avatars already disliked may end up seeming worse, some avatars will get better. Some avatar makers are likely to take advantage of the increase to make crisper, cleaner, smoother images.

So it seems to me that most (all?) of the potential downsides of a 50 Kb to 100 Kb increase can be negated by the block avatar/sig function, while the potential upside remains. If the net effect of increasing Kb size limits for avatar/sigs is that a few more get blocked, but some of the ones we still see look better, then I think that's a net gain myself.


Now I don't care a great deal about this issue, but I have to admit I'm curious to see what the avatar/sig makers of this site could do with extra Kb to work with.
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Old 2012-01-23, 04:33   Link #25
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for me flashing and blurring are not annoying as long as they know when to use and how to use it. look at square enix and capcom for example! the real annoying was almost all animations everywhere are came from episodes/clips or the converted one claiming it's their animation by only changing the time per sec with fantastic moves without systematic layerings. if you're doing animations so far, basically you know the outcome if the size limit is 100kb plus the negative effects!

@topic: 150x150 is too big. maybe 128x128 is better but 100x100 is the best",
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Old 2012-01-23, 05:19   Link #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
However, there's already a handy-dandy method for dealing with that - The recently added ability to block individual avatars/sigs. Most gif avatars that I find distracting to a bothersome degree are ones that I've already set to block. If a few more end up like that due to an avatar/sig Kb size increase, then I'll just block a few more. This is something that all AS members can now do, of course.
Well a few things:

The block avatar feature is a useful trick/hack, but it's not to the point yet where I can really recommend it as a rationale for increasing the bandwidth requirements globally. It requires you to go into your settings, figure out someone's UserID (a.k.a. User Number), and so on. If you want to restore someone's avatar, you have to sort through the comma-separated list and figure out what number to remove... It's really a feature for Advanced Users only designed for specific situations (edge cases), not really meant as an all-purpose tool someone would use regularly (and it's also only for registered users, not our many guests). The increased bandwidth of the size change would be imposed on everyone, and I'm not sure saying "oh just block the bad ones" is a good rationale. Maybe we could improve the feature to be more comprehensive and easier to use (and thus more accessible to the masses), but I don't think we would consider doing that until at least we upgrade to the new vBulletin.

Besides, let's say you're on a mobile browser and have limited bandwidth and notice a large avatar. By that point you've already downloaded it and it's in your cache, and it would probably take more bandwidth to navigate to the options to disable it than it would to just ignore it at that point. And, in addition, it's not always that easy to notice large-sized files anyway; if it were just large animations that'd be one thing, but I'm sure I could make what seems like a really simple animation fill up the entire 100KB quota just by adding color depth and not doing proper noise/gradient cleaning.

This blocking solution also doesn't deal with the concept of multiple environments. So, for example, if I'm on my computer at home, I may be okay with viewing all the avatars, but on my bandwidth-constrained cell phone I may want to turn it off. Until we upgrade to the new version and can implement a mobile skin (perhaps a "low-bandwidth" version of the skin with avatars/signatures turned off but can still work as a posting interface), the per-user block still doesn't really seem like what I'd want as a solution. I could probably implement something on my end to impose the policy the way I want it (for example, disable images in my browser settings or something), but again that's imposing a change on a large group of people and saying that individuals who don't like it can bypass it manually. And this just so that people can have slightly less-choppy animated GIFs?

(Also, it's useless to me as an Mod/Admin anyway because I need to see everyone's avatars/signatures to ensure they're not breaking any rules. Granted, that's not a problem most people have.)

So yeah... still not sold, I guess. Like I said before, I'm not so dead-set against it, and a moderate increase would probably be okay, but I'm not so sure that it's all that beneficial. Again, only my own opinion.
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Old 2012-01-23, 08:04   Link #27
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^Then would you explain that if you're on a 3G connection with monthly cap, and browsing a forum, do you REALLY need to see any avatars at all? The blocking individual avatars may be bothersome, but you can block them altogether like it says on your options - An option for those with slow connection

'' You have the option to show or hide various elements of messages, which may be of use to users on slow internet connections, or who want to remove extraneous clutter from posts. ''

Same option works for signatures too.

Surely you're not now about to say that it makes it still bothersome because you now have to go to your Options and tick/untick a box when on phone/computer?
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Old 2012-01-23, 13:34   Link #28
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It's not really a big deal to detect and auto-enable that, if that was really a issue.
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Old 2012-01-23, 16:17   Link #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dist View Post
Surely you're not now about to say that it makes it still bothersome because you now have to go to your Options and tick/untick a box when on phone/computer?
Again, my point was that you're arbitrarily opting everyone in to a greater data load, and your solution is "if that's a problem for you, create an account, go into the options and change your settings" (to either remove the avatars/signatures entirely or disable them selectively). In the case of people who browse both on their home computers and on their mobile devices, it's potentially "change your settings each time you switch devices". And this just so we can have slightly-smoother animated GIFs...? Why is this in everyone's best interest?

Like I said before, I'm not dead-set against an increase, but I'm also not convinced that doubling the allowable file size is necessary or will bring an appreciable benefit to the forum. If I could be convinced of that, maybe I'd agree that the drawbacks are worth it. But again, this is just my own personal opinion.
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Old 2012-01-23, 17:06   Link #30
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Why isn't this an issue for all graphical content, not just avatars and sigs? If anything, a 1280x720 image inside [img][/img] tags would pose a much bigger problem on mobile devices than a 100K gif. What about members' galleries?

There's so much graphical content on AS nowadays that avatars and signatures seem like the tip of a very large iceberg to me.
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Old 2012-01-23, 17:12   Link #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Why isn't this an issue for all graphical content, not just avatars and sigs? If anything, a 1280x720 image inside [img][/img] tags would pose a much bigger problem on mobile devices than a 100K gif. What about members' galleries?
Large images in threads are an annoyance as well, and we generally want people to a) use thumbnails instead of posting large images in-line (most image hosts offer this functionality built-in), and b) not hide large images inside spoiler tags (which is really annoying, since they have to load anyway for most people). Please feel free to report large images you encounter, particularly in non-image threads, and we will make the adjustments and issues warnings/infractions as needed. Thumbnails are always preferred.

As for members' galleries... these are areas you specifically have to go to for images, so I don't think someone who is bandwidth-crunched would choose to go there if they were really worried about it.
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Old 2012-01-23, 18:43   Link #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Large images in threads are an annoyance as well, and we generally want people to a) use thumbnails instead of posting large images in-line (most image hosts offer this functionality built-in), and b) not hide large images inside spoiler tags (which is really annoying, since they have to load anyway for most people).
Experience suggests that members either don't know about these exhortations or, if they do, they don't follow them. As you know, I'm not shy about hitting the Report Abuse button, but I don't think I've ever reported a large graphic. How often does that happen in practice?

I'm not saying I don't agree with limitations. I just think that the focus on avatars and signatures overlooks a lot of graphical content that pose problems for bandwidth-limited and screen-limited browsers that are at least as great as those items.
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Old 2012-01-23, 19:38   Link #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Experience suggests that members either don't know about these exhortations or, if they do, they don't follow them. As you know, I'm not shy about hitting the Report Abuse button, but I don't think I've ever reported a large graphic. How often does that happen in practice?

I'm not saying I don't agree with limitations. I just think that the focus on avatars and signatures overlooks a lot of graphical content that pose problems for bandwidth-limited and screen-limited browsers that are at least as great as those items.
We do get reports about large images, but particularly when they're on the rather extreme side (i.e. they cause the post window to stretch), but I agree that there isn't a clear understanding of these concepts or where exactly the line should be drawn, so a lot of people probably don't know when it's a good idea to report it (or what is and isn't okay to post). We should do better in that regard.

I think one of the ways we've partly addressed this issue is by creating image threads for shows that have sub-forums, which tends to at least group all the images together (and people who are bandwidth-constrained can know to avoid these places). But that obviously doesn't help for shows that don't get sub-forums, and you sometimes see people post images there as if it were an image thread (for lack of a better place to put it). I'm not sure what the best solution is there other than clearer guidelines for image posting (or, indeed, for people who are bandwidth-constrained to turn off images in their browser entirely -- I've done that before).

In any case, your overall point stands that taking a hard line against this issue on bandwidth grounds seems rather pointless when a much bigger "offender" in terms of bandwidth undeniably exists. And while I'm not sure that's the best argument in favour of the change, it is indeed the best argument I've seen about why it doesn't make much sense to be against it on those grounds alone. To be honest, I sort of undid my bandwidth argument on my own when I conceded that avatars are cached and only loaded once anyway; these other images are "unlimited" (as in undefined/unrestricted) and can be found anywhere on any thread without warning, so are indeed a much more relevant concern. I would still like to address the inline image issue independent of whether a change to the avatar limits is made.

As for this avatar issue, I was mostly trying to approach this from a pros-vs.-cons perspective, and it seemed like most of the pros were adequately represented.


Pros:
- More flexibility for artists to create better-quality avatars (more color fidelity, more animation frames, less choppiness, etc.)

Cons (or "Cons"/Potential Cons):
- That much more data to load (mitigation: avatars will generally be cached on first view, other images posted in threads can present a greater bandwidth threat)
- Potential for more animation in avatars, which can annoy some people (mitigation: this is a matter of taste, and avatars can be disabled either globally or on a by-person basis, if you're a registered user)
- Potential increase in the amount of file storage needed on the server for hosted avatars (mitigation: we're not really lacking in space at the moment, and we allow galleries anyway which take up even more space).

Other Issues:
- No easy way to enable a "low-bandwidth" mode on the fly for people on bandwidth-constrained devices (mitigation: once vBulletin 4 is implemented, a mobile skin could be introduced that would change the way images are handled throughout the forum)
- Lack of clearly-articulated and consistently-enforced policy about inline images throughout the Forum (mitigation: ...needed)
- Increasing the file size doesn't mean that people will create better avatars, just that they'll take up more space (mitigation: ...it can't be helped? )

So basically, there are mitigation measures for all the cons (at least that I can think of), but the mitigation measures in some cases aren't too great, and I don't feel that the pro argument is so strong to start with (it's a bit arbitrary). Particularly, why 100KB? Why not 60KB? or 75KB? If the current limit is really too strict and hinders creativity and potential, what is a fair/right alternative? How to decide?


Anyway, with my analysis done, I really have to defer back to the rest of the staff for their feedback and consideration. We'll have to consider if a change is required and what the change should be.
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Old 2012-01-24, 03:36   Link #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Experience suggests that members either don't know about these exhortations or, if they do, they don't follow them.
Yeah,I've always thought I was doing people a favor when I was putting images inside a spoiler tag , I'll be sure to use thumbnails from now on.
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Old 2012-01-24, 03:45   Link #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I suspect that allowing double the file size for the same 100x100 pixel square will just encourage people to use that much more animation
Dont you mean just "enough"

im doing my gifs the "default way" meaning i can just fit in 6 frames for an avy which is bloody nothing, its way too choppy

edit: just notice my avy is already taken by totoum will change it soon
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Old 2012-01-24, 04:23   Link #36
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I still say use 100KB. If other staff doesn't agree, then settle halfway and let's do 75KB. 10KB increase isn't THAT much so I'm against 60KB increase.

Like I said before, if people wanted to make annoying avatars, they could already do within the 50KB limit. But, I haven't seen an annoying avatar yet (aside from the ecchi ones but that isn't really related). 100KB will let us use the same avatar, but now with less choppiness. The duration is still the same, and quality is better, I really see no issue, for example this Shana avatar that I would have used as mine, if full quality had been possible :

Spoiler for :


The duration is about the same. The other one has less frames, but thus has slower timing. The ~90KB doesn't look any more annoying than the 50KB one.

If the avatar size increase is implemented, then, what about the signatures? If you make a full 500x160 signature, the quality will inevitably be bad if the picture has a lot of colors. I would like to see the size also doubled to 100KB. If you're afraid of animated signatures, can't you just remove the url upload, so that only uploads can be made to AS, and then block GIF's from being uploaded? I don't really even see why signatures should also be animated..
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Old 2012-01-24, 08:03   Link #37
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35kb and below will do also a better quality and more frames. well that's my practice",
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Old 2012-01-24, 08:20   Link #38
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Your post makes no sense. 35kb and below does NOT make it better quality than 50kb or above. And your animations only consist of text => Not much color changes => Doesn't take up much space.

I'd like to see you try to resize the 90kb Shana avatar above to your '' 35kb better quality and more frames practice '' because that really doesn't make any sense. And why are you even against this increase?
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Old 2012-01-24, 08:34   Link #39
felix
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To go on what Dist said two posts above, basically the whole argument that keeps popping up each year this is brouth up "50k is a nice size to be at" is flawed; and it's just getting more flawed each passing season. It's definetly not a good size given current standards and the average length in an animation required so you don't get the feeling it's chopped up. If anything it's a pretty damn annoying size; and you could argue "well people have managed with it", but "that was back when every anime only showed the characters mouth moving!", not to mention the lack of people actually doing it is also a sign. Maybe it's a decline, but do you know why it's a decline? It's because it just gets harder and harder and quite frankly even for those of us that can pull it off need to do HOURS of editing work to pull it off (and I'm not even jocking; some things require per-frame edits to do properly, 17 frames, you do the math). The thing is (at avatar size) you might not notice the "improved image quality" and all the new lighting effects used in new anime but it makes whole damn difference to create an avatar for something with a lot of lighting and something more crude like Kill me baby, at the moment. And there is no 1-button you can press to remove all the new effects and animation quality; anything you do to that effect will also make the image almost unrecognizable as well. Notice how most of the new avatars you see are all something like 1s of footage? Yeah that's why!

It wasn't ideal even before, the only reason it worked was because it was somewhat higher then the actual ideal length. The limit has always been completely arbitrary.

@Reverzer0

To put it in layman terms. Any part of the image that isn't moving or changing might as well be a really low quality jpeg. The new frames won't actually store data for non-changing pixels. So if you say have a big logo on your avatar or a background image that's always in view, that's the same as having two images one with those parts and the other as gif. The actual size of your entire avatar for example is something like 32kb for that animation text (and I do mean that 60 by 5 px or whatever little bit at the bottom). Hardly efficient IMO, looks to me like you were lazy with the optimization settings.
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Old 2012-01-24, 09:22   Link #40
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what for if 100kb? for the sake of the eyes, having a better quality, better colors and more frames? are you proud with that achievement? i don't believe that's learning..

yes i'm against with 100kb for the sake of those who have slow internet and with bandwidth cap. not for my sake in the first place.
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