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Thread: AnimeWallpapers Guide/FAQ for Wallpapers

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    Default AnimeWallpapers Guide/FAQ for Wallpapers

    Anime Wallpapers FAQ/Guide to Wallpapers
    Version 1.95

    This is a thread designed to help quickly and effectively help you get your wallpapers uploaded to Any miscellaneous other questions can be asked in this thread. THIS IS NOT A CRITIQUE THREAD FOR YOUR WALLPAPERS. It will only serve as a basis to address problems with the AnimeWallpapers system and discuss small artistic principles should you choose to design a wallpaper.

    A wallpaper, or desktop image, is a computer graphic made to customize one’s computer display. Think of it as a ‘signature’ for your computer. Just a larger one. Below is a screen shot of one of my wallpapers on my desktop.

    Click image for larger version

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    For purposes that suite us, we will answer questions and give you guides through this order.

    The index is below.

    A: Introduction
    B: Size
    B-1: Size FAQ
    B-2: Ratios
    B-3: Resolutionary
    C: Watermarks
    C-1: Watermarks FAQ
    C-2: Purpose
    D: Space
    D-1: Space FAQ
    D-2: Negative and Positive Spaces
    E: Light and Color
    E-1: Light and Color FAQ
    E-2: Use of Lighting
    E-3: Color
    F: From Good to Great; Great to Bad
    F-1: FAQ
    F-2: Do Nots
    F-3: Expanding

    A: Introduction

    This FAQ and Guide is designed to give some direction and answer all of the common concerns brought up.

    If you are new to this, let us welcome you to AnimeForum, and thank you for taking the time to try and design a wallpaper for us. Your time is valuable, and we will try to help you get your wallpaper to where you want it to be. Lets start with the obvious question, where am I uploading my wallpapers?

    You are uploading them on this website: It is maintained by the staff here. It is organized based upon animes and video games, and other miscellaneous other items. But, if you have a wallpaper for an anime we don’t have, we will add it in for you.

    Wait wait wait, its asking me to log in. I have to register again?

    No, the profile you have on Animeforum is the same for all the Anime- websites we own including AnimeWallpapers (or AW for short).

    Well that’s convenient, when I finish my wallpaper, how do I upload it to your site?

    At the top of the website page, there is a blue tab that says ‘Submit.’ After you click that, you will be brought to the submissions page, and follow the simple instructions there. After you submit your wallpaper, it will be added to a queue of other wallpapers submitted by other users.

    From there, your wallpaper will go into a validation process that involves a staff member approving or rejecting your wallpaper based on quality. This process should only take a short amount of time depending on the number of submissions given and the staff’s general workload.

    Okay, I submitted and my wallpaper was rejected. Can I resubmit it if I work on it a little more?

    Yes, we advise you start a thread and read the rest of this Guide if you need more help.

    B: Size

    Size, resolution, and ratio are the most important things to consider while making a wallpaper. These decide how many people will be able to use your wallpaper. Typically, you should begin with the LARGEST size available and then scale the wallpaper down when finished. This, however, will not always work so start with what is most comfortable.

    B-1: Size/Resolution FAQ

    1. "How do I find out my own resolution for my computer?"

    Windows: Right click on your desktop, and click on ‘Properties.’ On the tabs of the Properties Menu, click on ‘Settings.’ Your resolution in on the bottom left.

    Mac: Click the apple logo on the top left of your Apple Menu Bar. Click on 'About this Mac' First choice in the drop down. You'll get a pop-up about your Mac. Click on the 'more info' button. It'll give you an overview of your Mac. At the top of this popup look for 'Displays' and it'll give you something like this: ??-inch (???? x ???) The underlined portion is your resolution.

    2. "What is this site’s smallest and largest accepted resolution?"

    The smallest acceptable size for AnimeWallpapers is 1024 by 768 pixels. There is no cap for the largest size as long as the file (the JPEG) is less than 4 Megabytes (MB).

    3. "I'm new to wallpapers, what resolution is best for a beginner?"

    Typically you want to start large and then work your way down. We recommend either the standard 1024 by 768 pixels, or a 1920 by 1200 which is for a widescreen.

    4. "Which size/resolution is the most popular?"

    There isn’t one we can say is more popular than others. A good rule of thumb is, as stated before, to start with a large wallpaper size, then trim it down to fit other resolutions/ratios.

    5. "What is the difference between a ratio and a resolution?"

    Well for starters the ratio or more formally 'aspect ratio' is the proportion of the height and width of your screen. For example, a 1:2 ration could yield an image of 1 by 2 pixels, 2 by 4 pixels, 50 by 100 pixels, ETC.

    Resolution deals with how many pixels your screen has (those square dots on in your screen). It is the specific numerical amount of Height and Width.

    6. "How do I upload multiple versions of the same wallpaper at different ratios?"

    This is still being worked on, for the moment you can only upload one wallpaper to AnimeWallpapers, at only one ratio. AnimeWallpapers will automatically read your wallpaper’s ratio, and will create smaller versions based upon the ratio. It is advised you begin with a large resolution wallpaper size.

    For example, a wallpaper with a resolution of 1600 by 1200 pixels is a 4:3 ratio. AnimeWallpapers will read this and automatically host your 1600 by 1200 pixels version AND create a version that is 1024 by 768 (which is also at a ratio of 4:3).

    B-2: Ratios

    A ratio is the fraction that determines a wallpaper’s basic scale. Consider that some people’s screens are wider than others, while some people use more than one monitor to display their wallpapers. Ratios are not actual dimensions, but are fractions that describe a number of sizes that run on the same fraction.

    Okay, less complicated version, the ratio of 4:3 basically means that for every 4 pixels of width, there are 3 pixels in height. So the 4:3 ratio can have images within its parameters like the below:

    4 by 3 pixels, 400 by 300, 800 by 600, 1024 by 768, 1200 by 900, 1920 by 1440, etc.

    The underlined numbers are wallpapers sizes. Below is a list of ratios and common resolutions that you can use.

    4:3 Ratio: 1024 by 768, 1200 by 900, 1920 by 1440
    5:4 Ratio: 1280 by 1024
    16:9 Ratio: 1280 by 720, 1365 by 768, 1600 by 900, 1920 by 1080
    16:10 Ratio: 1280 by 800, 1440 by 900, 1680 by 1050, 1920 by 1200

    For more information on even larger sizes, other ratios, you can go here:

    Below are THUMBNAILS of boxes at each of the above 4 ratios so you have an idea of how wide some ratios are compared to others.

    Click image for larger version

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    B-3: Resolutionary

    With a list of wallpaper sizes at your disposal, I’m assuming now you would just run and make a wallpaper? Well, you should be considerate of the extent of how many people will be able to use it. For example, I could make a wallpaper at 1024 by 768, but means people who have a larger resolution of that particular ratio (such as a 1920 by 1440) will not be able to use it.

    In order to better plan your wallpaper, and make sure more people are able to use it, it better to start are a big resolution and then scale it down when finished. Planning ahead is key, and it’s also important to practice.

    IMPORTANT: When people work on a wallpaper, they usually are always viewing it at a fraction of its size so they can work on it all at one time. ALWAYS test your wallpaper on your own desktop. From a distance, things look nice, less blurry and more in focus, but up close they can look completely different. This is important, because your wallpaper will be used at its full size, not a fraction of the size.

    C: Watermarks

    Here at we require each submission to have a watermark on it. Here is where we'll go into more details about why that is and questions we have had regarding them.

    C-1: FAQ

    1. "Where is the best placement for my watermark?"

    The bottom of the wallpaper, preferably. The reason for this is when the wallpaper is applied, the watermark will be hidden underneath the task bar in Windows.

    2. "Is there a type of font that works best for watermarks?"

    Something readable. The watermark’s purpose is two fold. First, it is to display that you made the wallpaper and display what websites you are hosting your wallpaper on so as people can potentially see your other work. The other is to give proper credit to anything you may have used to construct your wallpaper (ie. a character, an anime, a stock image provider).

    3. "Can I use a "nickname" or another name I go by besides my SN on"

    You should put all the names you use on your wallpaper. Your AnimeWallpapers screen name, and the names you use on any other sites you are hosting the wallpaper. For example, I usually put on my wallpapers “Serated at, Serated13 at, etc, etc.”

    4. "I've noticed some people do not have watermarks? Can I not put one on mine too?"

    It is highly advised that you do put a watermark on your wallpaper. It helps us be sure that you were the one who actually made it.

    C-2: Purpose for watermarks

    A watermark is the thing an artist puts on their work to show that it’s theirs. Its sort of like a signature on a painting, it is designed to prove ownership. Below is an example of one of my water marks.

    Click image for larger version

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    Your watermark MUST include your name and ‘’ in order to be accepted. However, you may add any more information you like, such as the date you completed the wallpaper, the name of the character/anime, any other websites you plan on uploading it to, or whatever else you think may be important.

    D: Space

    This section is on space and how it should be used. Remember that a wallpaper is more than just an image designed to look pretty on a screen. You must also be aware that people have desktop icons to folders and files. So determining how your space is used and what fills it up are important.

    Below, this FAQ will help you better understand how to use the space in your wallpaper.

    D-1: Space FAQ

    1. "I've seen the term 'negative space', what is that?"

    Negative space in the artistic term is the space of your art that helps reinforce your focus object. For example, a background, or anything that helps direct your minds eye to a visually pleasing area.

    The non artistic term, is the area in which desktop items will be placed if the wallpaper is used. These areas should be flat, and make it easy for the desktop items to be distinguished from the wallpaper.

    2. "Should I consider leaving an empty space for peoples files?"

    Yes. Always make sure you test your wallpaper on your own computer and how your own icons react to space you leave open for them. It's usually safe to leave space on either the left, or right side of the wallpaper. If you can, leaving both sides open is usually a good way to accommodate either way.

    3. "Where is the best place to position a character?"

    Center of the wallpaper. Preferably. Consider that a wallpaper has a very large amount of space to be filled, so your should begin with a large source image.

    D-2: Negative and Positive Space

    In order to simplify this, there are two types of space: positive and negative. Think of your positive space as all your cool stuff; your character(s) and all the cool effects that make your wallpaper alive. Your negative space is the background and anything else. This space is used for desktop items.

    Using the same wallpaper from before, the positive space is the girl in the center; the negative space is the grass and sky.

    Click image for larger version

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    Most people do not consider the negative space, but you should, because of desktop icons, shortcuts, and other things people have. This is important, because wallpapers filled with too many effects cause the icons to get lost within them.

    Compare the two examples below. The first wallpaper has not used its space well, and the icons are getting lost, or are just in general hard to see against it. Whereas the other has used its space well and icons can be deciphered.

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    Click image for larger version

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    E: Light and color

    Light and color play a major role in the wallpaper you plan on designing. Light plays a role in determining the overall brightness of your wallpaper as well as determining the areas of shadow, creating a balance. Color is another role player as well, using the right colors can increase the depth and vibrancy of your wallpaper and add another level of balance.

    This section is used to help give you ideas in terms of what colors you will use to construct your wallpaper.

    E-1: Light and Color FAQ

    1. "I can't figure out where to place my lighting effect in correspondence to my stock, Any ideas?"

    Yes. I have made a simple guide to lighting for your reference to help. It's a visual example of lighting placement and other things you should consider when working on lighting.

    2. "How can I tell if my wallpaper is too bright or dark?"

    A general rule of thumb is, if it's hard to make out what's going on in your wallpaper clearly it's too dark. People want to be able to see what exactly they are using for their wallpaper. As for telling if it's too bright. We suggest using it as your background and looking at it late at night. If it's too intense and bothersome, it probably needs to be toned down.

    E-2: Use of Lighting

    Let me state the obvious, because it’s mostly overlooked, the wallpaper you design is going to be seen on a constant basis by who ever is using it. This factor is important but also overlooked because everyone wants their wallpapers to look ‘pretty.’

    But, if your wallpaper is too bright, this could give the potential user headaches. Please consider that computer screens are constantly emitting light from them which can be dangerous to your eyes. So making a wallpaper with good lighting and color combinations is very important to how much it will be used.

    Consider the below, this is a lens flare. The image is nothing more than a simple gradient going from black, to white into the center, but it appears very bright.

    Click image for larger version

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    Okay, so how can I get better lighting so it will not permanently damage someone’s eyes? Simply, you ‘mute’ the light. Using strong dark areas to contrast your light can help make your light seem stronger without making it brighter.

    Consider the above Lens flare example. Why is it so bright? The brightest area is the white spot in the middle, but you look at blank pages of paper, white pieces of document, etc, many times a day and those aren’t too bright. The lens flare is bright because the dark areas on the outside leading in give the illusion that it is brighter. This deals with a number of lighting principles that I wont go too deeply into.

    For a simple idea in how to make your lighting work and allow your wallpaper better function, consider the below example. The wallpaper is exactly the same, however the 1st example has no lighting effects or tricks applied in it. Notice that is has overall the same level of tonality (basically its an all gray image). The version below it DOES have lighting effects even though it is the same image. Compare the ease of locating the desktop items on both wallpapers and notice how the items appear to jump off more on the second version.

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    Click image for larger version

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    See this simple guide for reference and ideas:

    E-3: Color

    Color is a big thing when it comes to wallpapers, or just art in general. Color can determine mood, balance, flow, blending, it can represent emotion and can be a great trick in creating lighting and depth. Explaining color is difficult, and requires too much detail for a FAQ, but simply put, your color should function similarly to your lighting.

    Keep in mind that all colors are different regardless of what you’ve been told. Red is the purest color, yellow is the brightest. Green has the largest variation, and purple is the darkest color. Consider color contrasts such as how Orange and Blue are opposites. Consider Analogous colors, which are variants of primary colors (Ie. red-orange or vermillion, blue-green or aquamarine blue).

    Lets go even simpler, before you start your wallpaper, before you open any images, or decide a size, think of your basic color palette. Do you want it to revolved around a single color?

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    Are you going to use 2 colors?

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    Or more?

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    Or just a black and white with some color mixed in?

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    F: From Good to Great; Great to Bad

    This section revolves around thing in wallpapers that can help improve and/or destroy it. Below are a number of things you should avoid doing or try thinking about when developing your wallpaper.

    F-1: From Good to Great FAQ

    1. "Where can I find good HQ extractions?"

    Please visit here: We have gathered a few places to gather some HQ extractions as well as other quality resources you can use to make sure your wall comes out the best it can without much quality issues.

    2. "Should I extract my own images or use pre-extracted ones?"

    Unless you have really practiced your extracting and are very clean and comfortable with your cuts and tools we would highly advise you to use some pre-extracted extractions with credit to the extractor. As bad cuts (jagged edges, visible left over spaces, deep cuts) will result in your wallpaper being denied.

    3. “Where can I get image resources like textures and C4Ds?”

    These resources can be found all over the internet, asking other members on the forum or checking specific user groups who share resources can help you. Most resources are hosted on other websites, and simple searches may help you.

    F-2: Do Nots

    This is a simple explanation of simple things we see in wallpapers frequently. These wallpapers are submitted quite often, and are usually rejected. Your objective should not be to look at the below wallpapers and not design them, it should be to design them better. The reason the wallpapers listed below are here is due to their frequency and lack of quality. We implore you to study and post WIP examples of your wallpapers in the forum to receive feedback before submitting.

    The Extraction on a Background Wallpaper. Pretty much exactly what it means, an extracted image placed on some sort of a background image.

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    Using anime screenshots. These low quality images should not be used for making a wallpaper. At their full resolution, they are grainy and pixilated.

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    Unmodified scans. Many websites have things like magazine covers and high resolution scans on them. Submitting unmodified versions of images is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

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    F-3: Expanding

    Wallpapers have a lot of ground to cover. As such people often have a very hard time finding large enough resources and properly manipulating them into bringing the wallpaper together as one solid piece.

    It's the thing that everyone struggles with. The thing we most recommend is start small and go big. Start off with something like signatures, get comfortable with managing your space in signatures and then work your way to large projects. Do something that may be 600x450. Practice and become comfortable with more and more space.

    If you seek, more in depth response to your wallpapers, please create a thread for them. Try using only one wallpaper per thread, in order to get the maximum level of response.

    Last Updated: 08/08/2012
    Last edited by Vintniv; 07-13-2013 at 11:11 AM.

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