Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelinesFile use policy → Image use policy
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines.

Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

This page outlines the rules and guidelines that specifically apply to the use of images on Memory Alpha. They are not absolute, for the most part, but it is generally expected that they be observed unless there is a good cause for ignoring them.

The basic overview:

  1. The rules and guidelines as outlined in the file use policy also apply to images.
  2. Use the correct format:
    • JPG or PNG - for photographic images, such as screen captures.
    • SVG (preferred) or PNG (if no svg is available) - for diagrams and other low-contrast images.
  3. Don't include any watermarks or text in the image (this includes copyright notices; those belong on the file description page).
  4. Unless Memory Alpha has explicit permission to use a promotional image of an actor (or such), it may not be uploaded.
  5. It's generally not necessary to resize an image, as this can be done when needed by the wiki software.

Remember that Memory Alpha is not an image gallery! Please upload images solely for the purpose of illustration. We endeavor to make the most of the images that are uploaded into the database, and request that uploads be strictly limited to article use, and the occasional article talk page.

To avoid redundancy, images of the same subject should be substantially different if more than one image is required. Multiple images are acceptable to better illustrate a topic, especially on longer articles, though it is generally preferred that the fewest number of images possible be used.

Finally, images are not to be used in signatures, and any image link used in such a way will be removed by an administrator.

Format Edit

Use the following guidelines to determine what file format should be used for your images:

  • Drawings, icons, political maps, flags and other such images (basically those with large, simple, and continuous blocks of color) should be in SVG or PNG format.
    • GIF format images can be uploaded if the contributor is unable to convert the image to PNG or SVG himself. However, the {{pna-replace file}} notice should be added to these uploads, and the image should be converted as soon as possible.
    • SVG format images should not be created by automatic conversion from a low resolution source image, as this leads to images of inferior quality.
  • Photos and photo-like maps should be in JPG or PNG format.

In general, if you have a good image that is in the wrong format, convert it to the correct format before uploading. However, if you find a map, flag, etc in JPG format, only convert it to PNG if this reduces the file size without causing artifacts.

Try to avoid cropping or otherwise editing JPGs too frequently – each edit creates more loss of quality. If you can find an original of a photograph in TIFF, edit that, and save as JPEG before you upload. If all you're doing is cropping JPGs, consider using lossless cropping with jpegcrop or saving the cropped files as a PNG.

Note that it is not recommended to use animated GIFs to display multiple photos. The method is not suitable for printing and also is not user friendly (users can not save individual images and have to wait before being able to view images while other images cycle round).

File description page Edit

All images need to be described and include the correct copyright licensing information on the file description page as outlined in the file use policy. In addition to that, image files may require other, image specific information:

  • If the image is from a remastered version of an episode, change the episode citation template to indicate that the image is remastered. For example, for an image from the remastered version of "The Cage", change the citation from {{TOS|The Cage}} to {{TOS-R|The Cage}}.
  • Recreations should name the original author, have a link to contact said author, and confirm that the image is posted with the author's consent. This may require leaving a notice on the image's talk page.

Size Edit

There are many technical hints in this section that some people may not have the tools or expertise to deal with themselves. If, for example, you find a great image that needs to be cropped, resized, or recoded and you don't know how to do that, ask someone on Ten Forward to do it for you.

File sizeEdit

Full screen captures should be uploaded as JPG or PNG images, in the same pixel aspect ratio and resolution as the original DVD or Blu-ray source material without additional compression. Screen captures that are cropped should still have the same pixel size as the original source material. Although the moderate enlargement of cropped images of very small objects is allowed, it's generally not necessary as the image can be resized as needed by the wiki software. Any cropped or resized image should still have the same pixel aspect ratio as the source material, or in other words they should not be "stretched" or "deformed" when compared to their original source.

Blu-ray images should be used whenever possible for captures from TOS, TNG, Enterprise, and the Star Trek films. For television releases, the full-resolution dimensions for TOS and TNG Blu-ray images are 1440x1080px, and for Enterprise the dimensions are 1920x1080px.

For standard definition DVDs (TNG, DS9, VOY), the Region 1 resolution is 720x480. Uploading an enlarged screencap does not add any extra information, and may actually reduce the quality and blur otherwise sharp parts of the image. Also, if the image is being scaled to fullscreen the pixel aspect ratio may be changed. A full screen capture should be taken while viewing the DVD in the "windowed mode" with the "100% Zoom" setting of the DVD playback software. This can then be cropped if needed, preferably with a tool like JPEGcrop that does not recompress the image or saved as a PNG.

There are specific exceptions to this, images that have been rotated and/or perspective-corrected may not retain the same pixel aspect ratio and resolution as the original, and should be uploaded sparingly.

In articlesEdit

Scale images to a size appropriate for the article. Keep in mind that some browsers still use 800x600 displays, and so images wider than 200-300 pixels may overwhelm the article. Larger images also take more time to download over slow links. Likewise, images smaller than 100 pixels wide may be difficult for users of larger displays to see. An optimum size for images with text flowing around them would be 180-200 pixels. Images without text on the side can be wider.

Images appearing in a sidebar will be resized to a width of exactly 292 pixels; larger images would stretch the sidebar while smaller ones would leave an unused border. Don't put all images in a sidebar, though – floating, or thumbnail, images are preferred. (See Image Markup for the available syntax.)

Otherwise, images should never have a pixel size (px) listed, except on list articles when it should be 150px.

See alsoEdit