Tutorials/Creating a pog

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Creating a Pog

The Comic Genesis website has a series of randomised round mini-adverts, called "pogs", for its comics on the main page. These instructions are for any Comic Genesis artist who wishes to contribute one.

The Template

Firstly, you need the pog template. This is a zip file with all the bits of the pog you need. All that you need to do is drop your own picture into the template. The template is in two formats - a Photoshop file (PSD) and a TIF file. You will need an art program that can handle layers, such as Photoshop, to make a pog as the template has three seperate layers.

Temporary Note: The file seems to be corrupted and/or damaged and needs replacing. Try the link above first, but if it doesn't work or the file hasn't been fixed yet, click here to get a copy of the template. { Provided by Dr Neo Lao }

The Layers

  • The "background" layer contains a black circle. This makes up the background of your pog and should always remain a circle of that exact size and shape. However, you can change the colour if you wish.
  • The "graphic" layer is where your pog graphic goes and will be empty to start with. The pog graphic you use may not extend beyond the edges of the background circle. In Photoshop, you can make sure of this by following these steps when you've finished your pog...
    1. Hold down control (CTRL) and left-click the Background layer.
    2. Go to the "Select" menu and click "Inverse".
    3. Click on the "Graphic" layer where your pog is and press delete on the keyboard.
  • Finally, the border layer contains the white border for the pog. You should not change this.

Saving

You should save the pog as a PNG-8 file with a transparent background (this simply means a PNG with 256 colours or less); click here if you don't know how to do this. GIFs are acceptable if you can't save as a PNG, but PNG is preferred. JPGs are not suitable because they don't allow for transparency.

Reasons why a pog will not be approved for technical reasons are:

  • Exceeds the width or height (will be rejected at upload)
  • Duplicate pog (will be rejected outright)
  • Incorrect transparency (eg solid background instead of transparent, will be rejected by GTC)
  • Unclean transparency (white pixels outside the circle, caused by using the Tiff version as a template.) 2012 - this is the most frequent reason for not being approved.
  • Drawing overlaps the circle. (Rejected by GTC)

Some tips...

  • The biggest thing to remember is that your pog needs to be representative of your comic. Whatever you have a picture of, it should in some way represent the style, tone, feel, setting, characters or main character in your comic.
  • Faces are the most obvious and probably the most effective thing to put in a pog. How you draw faces represents your artistic style extremely well. (Mind you, if everyone's going to use faces it may be worth trying to think of something a bit more original, too!) The expression on the face can help a lot. It can tell you a lot about the character, but also about the story. A realistic face screaming implies horror, for example. A cartoony face screaming implies fun, harmless and humourous violence (such as in Looney Tunes).
  • The space is very limited so make sure the picture in the pog can be understood for what it is once it's been shrunk and cropped. Also make sure it's not too dark. It might be worth showing it to some friends just to make sure they can see what it is.
  • Just comics, thanks. The main page advertises the pogs as representing comics and comics are the main product of the site. Anything else popping up when someone clicks on a pog is just going to irritate them. This includes dropdowns. After all, we have the genre categories on the main page which do the same job anyway.
  • Use your own artwork, not fanart! The pog is supposed to represent your comic, after all.
  • No animation! It will simply be an annoying distraction on the page. Animated pogs will not be used.

Submitting your Pog

  • Making sure you're logged into the forum, head on over to site admin.
    • If you haven't done so already, you'll need to add your comic to your account by using the appropriate fields.
  • Click on your comic's name and then click on ""Comic name" Promo/Banner/Newsbox/Pog/Chan images (BETA)".
  • Upload your file.

You're done! Now you just need to wait for it to be approved by an admin and it will get to the front page. Ideally, your pog should be approved within a week of its submission.

When do Pogs show up?

Be aware that once your Pog is approved and in the system, you don't need to do anything else.

Keep in mind that the Pogs shown on the front page are chosen at random. However, comics that have not updated in the previous seven days will not show up! If you update every day or at least once a week, then this is not a problem. If you update only once a month then your Pog will be in rotation for the first seven days then it won't show up for the remaining three weeks.

Also keep in mind that the Pogs represent only a small percentage of your advertising potential. A banner in your sig on various forums will give you a better advertising return (though having your Pog show up on the front page of Comic Genesis is pretty cool).

Submitting a New Pog

If you already have an approved pog and you wish to replace it, here are the steps to take:

  • Create a new pog, following the same steps you did for your first submission.
  • Make sure that you save this new pog with a different filename from your old one; failure to do so will result in the unavoidable deletion of both your old pog and the new one.
  • Send a private message to Keffria or Joel Fagin containing the date and time of your old pog's approval so that they can delete it.
  • Wait for your new submission to be approved.

Problems?

Barring NSFW content and animated images, pogs are not deleted for content reasons. Thus, if you find that your submission has been rejected, here are some common formatting issues you should check for before you re-submit your pog:

  • Is your pog in PNG-8 (preferred) or GIF format?
  • Did you enable transparency when saving it?
  • Are there any dots or other patches sticking out beyond your pog's border?
  • Did you leave the border layer alone?

If you find you're still having trouble then Comic Genesis has a help forum where you can ask questions.

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