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felix 2011-03-27 18:38

Avatar proportions
Currently avatars are square. This has been a tradition on forums, but is purely arbitrary.

I propose changing avatar proportions to better serve the general theme of what people use and have used. The square shape isn’t ideal for faces, other then a side profile (which nobody uses), yet faces of characters are what most people have as avatars. More recently people have also started using real life photos far more often. Aside from faces, the human body is also not square. Typically this results in cut offs, either the head, or the body. Since neither the head nor body are square, very few gestures or poses by characters fit into a square as well.

How about tweaking the dimensions so they fit general camera proportions. The most common (as far as I know) are 4:3 and 3:2. That means, assuming we keep the width close to the current 100 px mark we’re talking dimensions like 100:150 (2:3) or 100:130 (~3:4). Additionally dimensions like this also (conveniently) correspond well with drawing dimensions: the width is 2/3 of the height for face facing forward—for the general guidelines.

So what does everyone think?

Dist 2011-03-27 20:20

I think it'll look weird and stupid because there will still be people using 100x100 so then we'll have threads full of weird and different shaped avatars. Also wouldn't bigger avatar mean less space under your name => Possibly have to extend the space meaning the posts take more space even if there's only little text.

RadiantBeam 2011-03-27 20:45

Eh, I have no complaints with how the avatar proportions are right now. I think they work fine as they are.

synaesthetic 2011-03-27 20:48

They probably wouldn't want to make them wider because it pushes out the user info pane. Some people browse on devices with lower resolutions (such as a smartphone, which may have only 800 horizontal pixels) and having more space eaten up by an icon is not that cool.

Just be happy we even get 100x100, vbulletin defaults to 80x80. :D 100x100 is such a common icon size that I'm perfectly happy with it, since I can use my icons from here almost anywhere.

felix 2011-03-28 06:24

@synaesthetic, what do you mean by wider? I only suggested making them taller. :) And you can think of it as extra space to work with. You can still use 100 by 100 and so forth.

@Dist, we have people using weird and oddly shaped avatars already (round, height less then 100, 80 by 80, etc) and it hasn't bothered anyone.

ganbaru 2011-03-28 10:56


Originally Posted by felix (Post 3548248)
@Dist, we have people using weird and oddly shaped avatars already (round, height less then 100, 80 by 80, etc) and it hasn't bothered anyone.

Talking about me ?

felix 2011-03-28 11:21


Originally Posted by ganbaru (Post 3548457)
Talking about me ?

People have used it before you. :p And I was thinking of KiNA.

JRendell 2011-03-28 11:31


Originally Posted by synaesthetic (Post 3547813)
100x100 is such a common icon size that I'm perfectly happy with it, since I can use my icons from here almost anywhere.

This. I don't see any need for change.

Dr. Casey 2011-03-28 13:09

I support this man's idea.

SeijiSensei 2011-03-28 13:29

Why do we need to change anything? Nothing's kept me from having non-square avatars (obviously), and the file size limitation sometimes requires shrinking animated ones down to stay under 50KB like this one.

As long as it's not wider or taller than 100px, what difference does it make what shape it is?

felix 2011-03-28 16:34

I’m not talking about avatars with larger width then height Seiji. And I already answered your question in the first post.

SeijiSensei 2011-03-28 18:13

Well if you think avatars should be taller than 100px, I'm opposed. Postings with little content are already tall enough as it is when you include all the other things that appear in each left-column entry.

Dist 2011-03-28 18:46

Indeed .. Just compare your post space and SeijiSensei's ... Yours is much larger because you use 100x100 avatar. Just imagine 50px more for more height ... Yeah, it's too much. Especially since as it was mentioned, a lot people browse this forum with their phones or devices like that ... It would just add to the unnecessary scrolling + less posts per page.

Well of course, it only affects posts with line or two but there are quite a lot of those ..

relentlessflame 2011-03-28 23:04

I'm not in favour of changing the standard/default avatar icon dimensions. Keep in mind that your avatar is used in more than just the regular posts; it's also used in the friends list, for visitor messages, and elsewhere on your profile. The Friends Listing in particular was designed with this sort of "icon grid" in mind, and it generally looks better given that most people have standard square icons. I also agree with the argument recently raised about not wanting to increase the height of the info column, which already forces enough height for each post (that was my first thought as well).

You already do have the flexibility to change the dimensions if you wish, but this way people are naturally encouraged to stick with the standard size. Not to mention, increasing the dimensions leads to the question of increasing the maximum permitted file size, and as was already explained in a previous recent discussion, there is no interest in adjusting the file size restrictions at this time.

So I'm going to lock this thread now. There really isn't a significantly-compelling argument to encourage avatars to be anything other than 100x100px squares, but you already have the flexibility of changing the proportions if you wish so long as neither dimension exceeds 100px. Square icons are a standard virtually everywhere (arbitrary or not), and that's basically what an avatar is.

If anyone has any significant concerns or compelling arguments as to why this change should be made, please feel free to PM myself or any other member of the staff.

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