1 - Why naming this site "Sonic official Art
Archive"? Is it affiliated with SEGA?
2 - Your Sonic Art Archive rocks! But
I'd like to create an art section and host artworks on my website. Am I allowed to do that? *NEW!!*
3 - Will you open a fan-art section in your site?
4 - Why are images so long to load?
5 - Arrrgh... your site only use PNG images, even for
the skinning!! My browser doesn't display PNG images! Why such a twisted
6 - I can view PNGs (even those from the website) but
I can't download an artwork because QuickTime handles it and sometimes
even displays it at the wrong size, loosing transparency. Must I uninstall
7 - I've got nothing on my computer except Internet Explorer
to view PNG images. And, even with that, double-clicking on a PNG file
doesn't do anything! Do I need something special to view PNGs?
8 - How do I use the artworks
in Paint Shop Pro? They all appear opaque, and surrounded with black!
I have the same problem in Irfan View too.
9 - What does Truecolor+alpha PNG mean?
10 - Why does Dioxaz sometimes
behave strangely on forums or by mail :p ?? Is he mad?
:::: Answers ::::
:::: 1 - Why naming this site "Sonic official Art Archive"?
Is it affiliated with SEGA? ::::
No, this website is not affiliated with SEGA. "Official" means
that it features only artworks released by SEGA (or re-creations, when
the original piece isn't available) and that are free to use, as opposed
to what is called fan-art (original pieces regularly released by talented
artists one can find on Art forums like Deviant Art for instance)
:::: 2 - Your Sonic Art Archive rocks! But
I'd like to create an art section and host artworks on my website. Am I allowed to do that? :::: *NEW!!*
Well, as long as you don't pick up the entire Sonic Art Archive to create a copycat of it on your website,
you're free to take some artworks from here (what you think are the most interesting) and include them into a
dedicated art section. Even if I'd prefer that you keep them in their original PNG format, you can feel free
to convert them to JPEG and/or scale them down as long as quality is not too horrible.
But remember, one thing: if you are about do that, ask me first, please, so I can know what sort of
website you are running, what you plan to do exactly and the most important, even if neither I nor Hivebrain
do own artworks, give credit the Sonic Art Archive by putting a link to it on each art page/section of your
site (or the main art page would be enough if they are centralized).
That would be the nicest thing to do, because of the huge effort involved to gather, optimize artworks
and run the website.
:::: 3 - Will you open a fan-art
section in your site? ::::
That's not possible and not reasonable. This site is here for official
art or re-creation of official art (when the original piece is in a
doubtful quality) only. It would take too much time to care about such
a section anyway. If you want some fan arts, there are plenty places
and forums to go to on the web.
:::: 4 - Why are images so long
to load? ::::
This website is provided as an archive where anyone who wants to create
a Sonic-related item (a website logo, a wallpaper, a poster, etc.) has
the possibility to use near-professional quality artworks in truecolor+alpha
PNG format. It has been created by Hivebrain for functionality, rather
than offering a simple image gallery. PNG images use lossless compression and transparency
on an alpha channel. Although they're often bigger than JPEGs, they're
relatively light to distribute on the web (mainly today with broadband
connections and because of the visual comfort it brings,
image quality is getting more and more important to our eyes... mainly to the Maniac of PNG's eyes :p
). But if you still have a narrowband
connection (aka 56K), you may require a bit of patience to download artworks (most are between 300 and 500 KB).
:::: 5 - Arrrgh... your site
only use PNG images, even for the skinning!! My browser doesn't display
PNG images! Why such a twisted decision?!... ::::
If there is one thing you must fit into your brain is that the Maniac
of PNG (that's my nickname :p) loves PNG. So, I'm not responsible if you
still have a really old browser that doesn't display PNG images. Or,
if you're using Internet Explorer 4 or better and have this problem,
it may come from a bad OEM installation. To fix this, just go to the
Start menu and select Run... A dialog appears. Just type
'regsvr32 c:\windows\system\pngfilt.dll' (without the quotes)
into the text field and click 'OK'. Close all sessions of MSIE
that are still opened. Restart the browser, try to go to Sonic Art Archive
again and try downloading an artwork (preferently one you haven't clicked
on first), the bug should have disappeared ;). Another solution I really
advise you is getting the last version of another browser such as Mozilla
or Mozilla Firefox (all recent non-IE-based browsers have excellent
:::: 6 - I can view PNGs
(even those from the website) but I can't download an artwork because
QuickTime handles it and sometimes even displays it at the wrong size,
loosing transparency. Must I uninstall QuickTime? ::::
Absolutely not. You probably have a recent version of Netscape that
still offers the (discutable) possibility for third-party plugins to
handle PNG format instead of Netscape internal support. Recent versions
(6 and higher) don't need a plugin to handle PNG images as native support
is already excellent. Anyway, you probably forgot to uncheck the PNG
support for "browser plugin" when installing QuickTime. All
you have to do is:
- opening the QT player or viewer
- going to the 'Edit' menu
- selecting 'Preferences...' then 'QuickTime preferences...'
- in the 'QuickTime settings' dialog, select 'Browser plugin'
into the list
- Click on the 'MIME settings' button
- into the 'MIME settings' dialog, develop the 'Images'
branch, find the 'PNG image file' line, uncheck it and click
Native PNG support into Netscape is now restored (the bug may affect
MSIE too, if this workaround doesn't work, let me know by mailing me
at sonic-discovery @ fr.st). You can find a more detailed description,
including screenshots, for how disabling QuickTime plugin support for
PNG by going to the help section.
:::: 7 - I've got nothing
on my computer except Internet Explorer to view PNG images. And, even
with that, double-clicking on a PNG file doesn't do anything! Do I need
something special to view PNGs? ::::
lol, unfortunately, the two imagery applications bundled with Microsoft
operating systems (I'm talking about MS Paint and Imaging) are the two
exceptions that don't support PNG. In addition, on some OEM installations
(I saw that on a Win2K installation once), nothing is configured to
view images by double-clicking on them (sure you can still select 'Open
with' and Imaging, Paint, or MSIE but that doesn't work for PNGs). For
my part I consider Paint and Imaging not being decent tools for image
manipulation. I recommand you to install IrfanView
and use it instead to view the artworks and have the ability to make basic edits on various images types,
including PNG ones. If you want to manipulate them by using the benefits
of alpha channels, I recommand you GIMP,
which is the best Open Source and free image editing program, similar
to Photoshop. Photoshop, Fireworks and Paint Shop Pro are also great
tools to deal with PNG images but they aren't free (but you can still download
evaluation or trial versions of them).
:::: 8 - How do I use
artworks in Paint Shop Pro? They all appear opaque and surrounded with
black! I have the same problem in Irfan View too. ::::
Just go into the Help section, everything is
explained to show you how to restore transparency on a truecolor+alpha
PNG in both Paint Shop Pro and IrfanView (viewing only for the latter).
:::: 9 - What does Truecolor+alpha
PNG mean? ::::
By definition, a Truecolor image can theorically display all the colors
possible, by combiation of Red, Green and Blue components. There are
256 or 2^8 possibilities (or variations, each component of a pixel uses
8 bits) of each component, that, combined each other, gives us a maximal
number of 16,777,216 colors possible (a truecolor image is also referenced
as 24-bit because R+G+B = 8*3 = 24). An alpha channel is a sort of greyscale
mask that will be glued to the image in order to define in it transparent
and opaque regions. As each pixel of an alpha channel can have 256 degrees
of opacity possible, we can easily have variable transparency on an
image, like softened edges, drop shadows, halos, etc. This helps image
editing to have a cleaner and more professional touch this way. A truecolor+alpha
PNG image is also referenced as RGBA ('A' stands for the alpha channel)
or 32-bit PNG (truecolor=24, alpha=8 and trucolor+alpha = 24+8 = 32
;) ). And to finish, PNG is short for Portable Network Graphics. This
image format has been designed in 1995 by the PNG Group in order to
offer a free and Open Source alternative (and replacement!) to the GIF
format. More info about PNG can be found on the
official PNG website, maintained by Greg Roelofs (also author of
the excellent PNG, the
definitive guide book). :lol: the maniac of PNG has spoken again^^.
:::: 10 - Why does Dioxaz sometimes
behave strangely on forums or by mail :p ?? Is he mad? ::::
lol, I can't imagine you dare asking a smilar question, really ^^;;;
(fortunately it didn't happen yet...). By nature, and unlike how Hivebrain
and normal people seem to be, The maniac of PNG is not a serious person.
Life would be too sad if everyone was serious everywhere. That's why
I tend to use some "excessive" expressions in my replies (on
a forum or by mail) to express my delightness for example or use a very
weird kind of humour. This may have repulsed some of you, but believe
me it's not my purpose. I'm a nice guy in fact :p. You can think I'm
mad if you want, but that doesn't mean I'm irrationnal. Or I wouldn't
be maintaining this site :p.