Low quality appeal

Posts: 53 · Views: 763
  • 19975

    Uploaded 2nd time as lower resolution but there are still unwanted artefacts all over the wallpaper like on first one.

  • 19979

    Can we finally have actual guidelines for those mythical "artifacts"? From the cases I remember, there is no logic to it besides that precisely one mod always seems to reply about those.

  • 19981

    I still don't see any artifacts, just brush strokes. Whatever, guess I just won't bother uploading anymore ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • 19987

    Artifacts happen when you use certain compression methods to store your data. These are almost always (In the case of images) caused by saving or distributing the images as jpeg's. Jpeg is a lossy compression which means that it uses a predictive way to store your data rather than actually storing that data. This is a great thing for websites where you can upload thousands of images, video or audio because of storage reasons but not so great for the quality of those things.

    In practical terms this means that you will start to see blurry parts at lines and edges in the images (and occasionally the whole thing). The easiest way to spot artifacts is to look around the borders of text, sharp lines or solid colors.

    For the wallpaper in question it's very noticeable in places but I will take the 2077 part as an example. You can clearly see the boxes with mixed colors around the numbers and the lines in between. There is also clear loss of distinction for the dots between the numbers.

    If you want to learn more about compression artifacts you could always look up the Wikipedia article about it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_artifact There is also a small series by computerphile about how jpeg works. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzH6n4zXuckoAod3z31QEST1ZaizBuNHh

    If you have any further questions about the issue I will try my best to answer them for you.

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  • 19988

    spraayer - See now that is actually helpful. Unlike the usual "I see artifacts so go f*uk yourself" responses we seem to get.

  • 19989

    Haha, It's a shame that it sounded that way to you but we can't go in-depth about the issues with every wallpaper because we would hardly get anything done otherwise. I (and every other staff member) understand that it's frustrating for people to have their wallpapers removed but we do aim for a high quality standard.

    I hope that this issue has been resolved and that you have a good day.

  • 19990

    Thanks for the clarification. I really try and look deep in my wallpapers searching for these artefacts, but sometimes I just can't see them. Many times they can be mistaken for zoomed-in or stretched pixels.

  • 19992

    spraayer - thanks, that is a really nice and in-depth reply.

    The main question is - how severe can they be, and are there any "common sense" exceptions? In my case I once had 3 or 4 images removed due to "artifacts", which were... on a black (or almost black) background covering about 10% of the image, which is to my knowledge natural and inevitable with digital photography. The pictures were overall excellent quality and very professional. (Well, if you see the stuff I mostly upload - much in the same vein.)

    My point is that basically if the image is great quality and overall a good wallpaper, nuking it for artifacts on some section of it that you have to zoom in to see is bizarre. If the artifacts are actually noticeable all over the image, that's a different case entirely, of course.

  • 19996

    I will start off by saying that this is my personal opinion and nothing else.

    I don't believe that a wallpaper with any artifacts should be tolerated, if there are any it will always affect the quality of the image and thus the quality standard we would like to maintain. If there are wallpapers with artifacts but it isn't noticeable they wouldn't get deleted because staff would not notice it either.

    However, what I think you're talking about in your example is an issue of image/color gradient where color banding happens rather than artifacts. This is something where abrupt changes happen between color changes. But this is only an assumption because I haven't seen the images in question (and also another topic of discussion). You often see this in images of a blue sky where there appears to be different layers of blue the higher up you go. I believe this is a camera issue but I can't say for certain.

    Lastly I would like to make a point that you would need to see a wallpaper in full resolution rather than it's zoomed out version. There are often wallpapers where issues like artifacts don't/barely show up when viewed this way. This does become an issue when you view the wallpaper at it's true resolution. this is what we judge the quality on.

    All in all, it's the staff's decision whether to remove the wallpapers based on their judgement and I don't think half measure rules are going to cut it. If we don't remove a wallpaper because it just tickles our fancy I would put it on dumb luck rather than enforcing the rules. Though you could always appeal to staff member to get a second opinion, I think I've restored like 2 or 3 wallpapers in 5 years time :P

  • 19997

    Just out of curiosity, how many wallpapers reported as low quality turn out to be false positives? Or are all reported wallpapers tagged for deletion and it's up to the uploader to ask for appeal?

  • 19998

    spraayer - my point is mainly when this seems to be more "artifact hunting" rather than something that's a visible issue. I can't really agree with the "full resolution" part if the resolution is like 5000x3000, which is the case for a lot of high-quality photos. No one will ever notice that on a regular 24" or even 27" screen, and if someone has a screen huge enough to actually handle that, I think you realistically need to keep in mind you either need to look more thoroughly or tolerate some slight quality issues on a website where the minimum limit is 1280x800.

    Another thing is when the artifacts are on a part of the image which is obviously just unimportant background (wall/shaded part/whatever) rather than the actual object/view/model. If the interesting part taking up 3/4 of the image looks great, nuking it based on slight artifacts on the 1/4 which no one ever focuses their vision on doesn't make sense.

    My bottom line is: "artifact hunting" removes really good wallpapers and I've seen that happen. There are about 50 more important quality criteria I could think of which are definitely not enforced (starting with that very low minimum resolution - even my ancient 19" side screen has a higher native resolution, but I'd also add things like "overphotoshopping"), so when then a great picture with already a few dozen favourites gets removed because that one black stripe in the background has "artifacts", it completely misses the point of enforcing quality.

  • 19999

    I'm going to be a bit blunt here because I don't know how else to discuss it.

    Artifacts are a visible issue that needs to be looked at as I had explained in an earlier post. You could argue against the degree of artifacts in an image but I already stated my opinion on the matter.

    If we didn't look at full resolution images everyone could simply stretch wallpapers and re-upload them even though this very clearly affects the quality of the images (even if they might look decent zoomed out). If someone won't look at a full resolution image doesn't mean it's not a bad quality image (Schrödingers wallpaper lol).

    I don't recall RAW image files shot by cameras containing artifacts but if they do contain artifacts it would simply be a clear case of low quality photographs (or a bad camera). People may just be uploading the jpeg that's often made when you take a photo. In this case I would advice making a copy of the RAW image and converting it to PNG (and possibly lowering the resolution of the image to improve quality in some cases).

    There is always room for improvement and we will always take suggestions into consideration but I would advice making another thread if you want to share them.

    TL;DR The problem isn't the artistic value of an image but the actual image quality regardless of where it is.

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  • 20001

    Maybe I can add a little bit here.

    RightHandZero Wallpapers can only be deleted by mods/admins, there is no automatic deletion. Every report gets looked at individually. I don't have any stats for you about false positives, though we could technically get those from our database…

    VincentTL We're not just looking at artefacts. Like you've said, there are plenty of other criteria and we enforce those as well. In fact, some of those other criteria are far more obvious and thus result in much faster deletion.

    One thing you need to understand is that resolution has absolutely nothing to do with quality. High resolution photos can have shit quality and small images can have great quality. It simply does not correlate. As for our minimum resolution limit, I own, and still occasionally use, a laptop with a 1280x800 resolution. If you look at monitor usage stats (e.g. here) you'll find that 1366x768 (old-ish laptops) is still more common than FullHD. Of course that portion is significantly smaller for our users but those small resolutions are still very relevant. If you don't need small resolution wallpapers we have a very simple filter system in place for you.

    On the other hand photos at full resolution are rarely good quality. You need a really good sensor and ideal lighting conditions for that to happen. Otherwise they will be noisy (which is a different issue than artefacts). In most cases some downsizing is required, which is completely fine. You said "No one will ever notice that on a regular 24" or even 27" screen", but then what is the point of using a 5000p wallpaper in the first place? We don't need to store wallpapers at full resolution if they look like shit at full resolution. Scale it down to a size where it still looks good at 100% zoom and everybody will be happy.

    RAW photos use lossless compression (usually). Even if they didn't a decent quality JPEG is completely fine. Compression artefacts rarely become relevant unless a higher JPEG compression is used or lossy compression is applied multiple times. When artefacts appear and are noticeable they ruin the image. We want to provide users with high quality wallpapers and not disappoint them when they have finally found an image they really like only to discover some ugly blocks in the background.

    edit: Damn, I missed the 20000th post.

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  • 20003

    Gandalf

    When artefacts appear and are noticeable they ruin the image.

    That's my point. Are noticeable. If they are noticeable, that is indeed an issue and no one is arguing that.

    If you have to hunt for the artifacts to actually notice them, they are not ruining the image. Deleting a wallpaper that 50 people already added to favs because there are some artifacts on a small stripe of dark background that you only see when you fully zoom in completely misses the point of enforcing quality.

  • 20014

    VincentTL

    I think the mods have made it quite clear. When you post a wallpaper view it at its native resolution and look for low quality distortions (whether they be noise or artifacts), and then downscale them from there to make the wallpaper work at a reasonable resolution. From what I've seen in this discussion continued debate will not change their longstanding policy.

  • 20031

    So pissed right now. I wish you could see the person that reported your image for low quality. P.S. Writing a script that reports all pixelated shit

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  • 20039

    404011xz said:

    VincentTL

    I think the mods have made it quite clear. When you post a wallpaper view it at its native resolution and look for low quality distortions (whether they be noise or artifacts), and then downscale them from there to make the wallpaper work at a reasonable resolution. From what I've seen in this discussion continued debate will not change their longstanding policy.

    If it was clear, we wouldn't be having this discussion...

    Unlike most other rules which are indeed pretty clear and explicit, the "spot three artifacts on a black spot" thing seemed to be exclusively the crusade of one specific mod for a long time who always refused to give more details. This thread helped... a little, but it's still not nearly as clear as the "overly sexual rule" which took one post to make clear and understandable for everyone.

    That's also why I'm pretty puzzled. They can and do explain rules clearly. I don't really get it why it's so hard to do here and how is "don't nuke excellent wallpapers because of things you have to zoom in to notice" not common sense. Trying to intimidate someone with a "strength in numbers" approach does not help healthy discussion.

  • 20045

    VincentTL

    My comment on them being quite clear is in reference to their posts above my previous comment. What I stated in my last sentence was in reference to your previous comment continuing to argue against their deletion of wallpapers with various artifacts. Basically, as I've said, continuing to debate this will not change their policy.

  • 20047

    404011xz

    I'm asking them to clarify it, not change it. You seem to know a lot, so you could shed some light.

    They encouraged discussion in the thread discussing the "overly sexual" rule. I'm trying to have a civilised discussion here and apparently it's getting shut down because someone doesn't like it.

    Anyway, I guess this is a waste of time.

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  • 20051

    VincentTL said:

    404011xz

    I'm asking them to clarify it, not change it. You seem to know a lot, so you could shed some light.

    They encouraged discussion in the thread discussing the "overly sexual" rule. I'm trying to have a civilised discussion here and apparently it's getting shut down because someone doesn't like it.

    Anyway, I guess this is a waste of time.

    I just want to know the name of the person that took down my pictures.

  • 20052

    vjeko: I restored your one and only deleted wallpaper just to let other users to see it and judge it (I will remove it again tomorrow).

    [6kwz67]

  • 20054

    Seems like a fair amount of noise to me.

  • 20055

    Looks like film grain. Literally tons of high quality pre-digital photos have it, just look at a National Geographic from the 70's or 80's. I say restore.

  • 20056

    RightHandZero said:

    Looks like film grain. Literally tons of high quality pre-digital photos have it, just look at a National Geographic from the 70's or 80's. I say restore.

    Film grains were fine in the 70's and 80's when cameras were of a lower quality, but this is 2019 so a certain level of quality should be taken into account.

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