Posting Conventions

Discussion in 'Forum Information and Issues' started by Big Train James, 23 July 2015.

  1. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    So I would like to start my first build thread. I presume that most of what I post will fall into the "Area 51" sub-forum since it will most likely deal with US outline modeling. But I have a couple of questions.

    1) Do I need to specify a scale. I see that little bubble with 7mm in it on some posts. If I'm working in O scale, is that equivalent to 7mm? Do I need to say so?

    2) I see a lot of threads titled something to the effect of "So and So's Workbench". Is this another convention? Do I just type that in as the thread title?

    3) Is it better to include full size images or should I leave them as thumbnails. Does this affect bandwith usage to the detriment of Western Thunder

    I think that's it for the moment. I want to start a thread. I've actually got something I'm working on!!!:eek:

    Dog Star likes this.
  2. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I can probably answer your queries while the Flying Squad are asleep (if they are sensible) as it is nearly lunchtime here so you can get on with posting. Area 51 will be the most suitable location. I tend to post my non UK modelling to my thread in the Members Area but you don't need to, particularly with the level of interest in large US diesels amongst a number of WT regulars. 1) No, you don't need to specify a scale and US O scale is 1/4 " to a foot so 6.35mm/foot so not 7mm scale. There might be a 1:48 tab one day. 2) You can choose any name you wish for your thread and just type it in as you have done for this thread, clever or amusing is good. The "…Workbench" thread names mean you don't need to change the name every time you get distracted and build something different. It is easy to change the thread titles as it is an option when editing the first post in a thread. 3) Insert images as full size as it is a lot less annoying when viewing them, they show as thumbnails if you are not logged in. But do reduce the file size to 600 x 800 or a bit larger before posting the images, there is a size limit but too large images do slow down viewing on mobile devices without any real benefit to visible image quality. Some members use linked images from other hosts and these do show as full size whether or not you are logged in but there could be problems if the other host disappears some time in the future.

    Now lets see what you are working on...
    Jordan and Dog Star like this.
  3. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Yep, that's about right.

    Just get stuck in:) Once you get more familiar with the place, and if you're not happy with how you have displayed something, you can always go back to edit it. There are some things you can't do, like move or merge threads, but PM one of the moderators (Flying Squad) and we'll do it for you.

    Welcome aboard, and have fun.

  4. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    What the others have said is right enough.

    I'm one of those that posts new workbench threads for each build. I do this to keep the threads relevant to the main content, and because I have a lot of builds on the boil as a professional builder. It also helps because I can throw a thread into the most appropriate forum, and one thread per build doesn't get too unwieldy.

    As someone who visits this forum more times in a day than should be healthy, and reads almost every thread that's going no matter the subject, I look forward to your build threads, James!
    Dog Star likes this.
  5. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    Oh :shit:, that's an awful lot of pressure.:eek:

    Thanks for the tips. First build thread will post tomorrow with pictures. It won't be anything groundbreaking, but one must start somewhere.

    Jordan and iak63 like this.
  6. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I tend to post slightly larger pictures than the convention, generally 1200x800 with the odd super large for details, I've found it's not the actual image size that slows pages it's the file size, so long as they remain around the 400kb range they load just fine, even on remote devices, others mileage may vary though.

    Ifranview (free) is a nice editor to reduce the file size but maintain the image size with minimal loss to quality.

    Threads, I tend to keep it as few as I can, I often fail to remember where I've written stuff so only having two or three large threads is easier to update or manage than 10 or so smaller ones, especially if they are 'fringe' interests and drop off the recent postings rather quickly, in which case I then book make that page in my browser to find it again later, the W1 thread is a good example that only gets updated every few weeks.....which reminds me, I now have to go back and find my DCC MP15DC thread so that when I update it I can find it easily. There are other ways to do this, but this works best for my mess of a mind ;)

    In short, I don't think there is a right or wrong way, just 'your' way :thumbs:
  7. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad


    I post up my images at 700 pixels wide and they are quite clear.

    On my computers all the threads with bigger images take longer to download, some more than others for reasons that aren't clear to me when you examine their pixel size.

    I have more or less given up looking at some threads on here for this reason, so if you want your threads to be as accessible as possible keep 'em small.

    The founder of this forum, a very clever and savvy bloke, gives the following advice:

    If you want to share supersized images then its best to pm them - or you could always set up your own forum for the purpose of course...

  8. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I must admit I may be falling foul. I now almost exclusively use my iPad to document my workbench stuff, and the ease of "pick and place" in posts means I haven't noticed how large the images actually are. :oops:

    Previously I would shoot with a small compact digital, then process the images and export to a smaller size. I shall have to revisit my methods to see if I can modify the size of my images in the future.
  9. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    The delay is largely down to the actual file size as it's dragged from the server, not it's phsyical size in pixels, thus a compressed 1200x1000 could easily load quicker than say an uncompressed 700x500.

    The only other downside is those that run large screens, say 1920x1600 and upwards find 700x500 little bigger than a large thumbnail.

    I'll go back and redo the recent images on my threads so that everyone can enjoy them :thumbs:.
  10. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I'm doing much the same as Mick. I may be some time! :))
  11. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Well this is interesting, I went back to some of my threads and it appears the forum is automatically resizing all images to around 998 pixels wide, it only loads the larger image once you click it but the file size remains the same, the forum appears to be limiting the physical size automatically.

    Even more interesting was a quick stab at some other random threads to see what others were uploading in file size and byte size, right click and properties on an image and for example the Larkrail thread, nearly all images were bigger in byte size than the compressed ones on my threads, some up to three times as big and some were only 700 pixels wide.

    I did load some very big 1920 US bogie images a few weeks back (deleted now) and they were compressed to just under 300kb file size, however the forum still limited their size to 998 on the screen ? Some 700 images in the Larkrail thread are in the high 300kb, go figure.
    Last edited: 27 July 2015
  12. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I resample everything down to 800 x 600 jpeg files for uploading which gives a file size between 50 - 150kB. I use Irfanview to do the job which allows cropping and re-sampling to be done very quickly and easily. I've got into the habit of doing this for everything I upload since some forums I post to have strict file size limits and it's easier to conform everything to the lowest common denominator. :)

  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    LOL, anything more than a week old I just delete, it's been read, it's old news and of little interest any more...that speeds things up a little :thumbs:
  14. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Memory is a funny thing. My memory of this matter, from a web design text book which I have been consulting, was that changing the image quality was all that is needed to ensure speedy downloads; this is what I have been doing in Irfanview with an aim to get to a 500Kb target.

    Rechecking the text book gave the following advice:
    1. Reduce the image size to a pixel count that fits the web screen. In this case 700pixel wide.
    2. Save the file in the best format for web display of photographs. This is in jpeg format.
    3. Reduce the image quality when saving the file. Somewhere around 50% will do for us.

    A test that I just carried out took about 10seconds to do all this in Irfanview and reduced the file size from 1.53Kb to 81.9 Kb. So I'll try to keep to this practice from now on.

  15. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Jim, that's a good tack, I had self limited myself to 1000x800 recently (last few months) in an effort to conform better and like you use Irfanview to compress, trying to keep file size below the 300kb. I've always compressed my images on this forum, specifically to aid loading.

    However some images were left larger for details, like the W1 thread etches etc, I figured people might like to see how the tabs and parts were laid out and made, hopefully others will see it's not that hard and follow, I suppose I could have just picked a smaller sample of the etch to make my point rather than the whole thing :rolleyes:

    Simon, your right, it takes seconds to compress images in Irfanview and yes your memory is not fading, file size is the important factor, not image size, I'd been compressing to a factor of 70% but will push lower and drive the files sizes even further down.
  16. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    I must admit that I'm in the camp that likes to see bigger photos. Not all of course, but when there is detail to appreciate, or the photo is worthy of it, then bigger is better.

    Rather than have a hard and fast rule, I would suggest that discretion is exercised. After all, it is a very visual forum.

    Dog Star, mickoo and pakpaul like this.
  17. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    I agree, but rather than fall foul of the FS (or anyone else for that matter) and I did take the point personally as I am in the 'higher' end of the image size camp and posted as such above, which basically kicked all this off.

    I'd hate to think people are walking past my threads because the images are too large and missing out on something, more importantly I may be missing out on their input as opposed to them missing out on what I put to paper. Even more so as I spend as much time compressing and making them as web friendly as I can, to be hinted that even that is not enough is a bit depressing to be honest. Having said that, I am guilty of the reverse and rarely digest (I always view) threads where images are at the lower end, they're just so small on my home PC and show little detail that I just don't bother, and yes I accept I am (sadly) missing out on stuff.

    I did a quick scan of several image heavy threads that I know of and frequent, the average is in the 1000 to 1200 pixels wide range, which I have been following as best I can, many were compressed, some where not.

    Discretion is all very well but it is personally subjective, visual forum or not, and if there are no guidelines you cannot pick up on people who stray outside or frequent the fringes.
  18. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    Bigger is better. Please don't change.
    Pugsley likes this.
  19. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    OK, I think some direction is needed here. We will all have different views - and more to the point different viewing media and internet capabilities.

    Can I suggest we don't post anything further to this thread, but let the FS kick it around.

    In the you were.

    Compton castle and Dog Star like this.
  20. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    Thanks for bearing with us.

    The FS have now discussed the photo size matter and would advise as follows:

    * The recommended maximum size for photographs in normal circumstances is 1024 x 768 pixels. Smaller is fine.
    * If you have a picture of exceptional quality, we will accept larger sizes but not as a matter of course. Do not abuse this privilege.
    * If you are using Irfanview or a similar package to resize, the quality (compression) should be set to 80% when saving, and this will reduce the file size without any discernible loss of quality.
    * Photos should be posted as jpeg files rather than png files.
    * We prefer that photos should be posted as full size in the appropriate part of the text, rather than as thumbnails.

    In truth, this should make very little difference to the majority of posters, who will not need to alter their approach.

    pakpaul and Dog Star like this.