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  • Using the Sonic Database Media Gallery

     Created: by Dreadknux
     Edited: by Dreadknux

    The Media Gallery is a powerful feature of the Sonic Stadium's information section, that offers a standalone depository for all official Sonic the Hedgehog artwork and imagery. It also serves as a connected resource for the information-focused Sonic Database.

    Organisation of the Media Gallery

    sonicdb-gallery-faq-albumview.jpg

    Media Gallery albums are organised into categories and sub-categories to keep things from getting too chaotic. Because of this, the origin and source of any new media must be considered before it is uploaded. Artwork that originates from Sonic Unleashed, for example, but used in other media should be organised into the Games > Sonic Unleashed category.

    If the origin or source of an image is not confirmed, or its general usage in official media complicates its origin, it may be organised into one of the general official artwork categories created. New categories need to be manually created by an SSMB Admin before any albums can be placed within them.

    Although albums are categorised in a similar fashion to the Sonic Database, an album does not necessarily need to be placed in a specific category in order for it to be connected successfully to a Sonic Database record. The Sonic Database always cross-references the 'Sonic Database Link' field in an album's record entry page.

    Media Gallery albums can be cross-linked to more than one Sonic Database entry. For example, if an album can be related to multiple products (such as, 'Sonic the Hedgehog Screensaver's artwork, which originates from a number of sources such as Harmony magazine, and is also featured in the game Sonic Jam), editors can cross-link the album with Sonic the Hedgehog Screensaver, Sonic Jam and Harmony magazine and the album will appear in all three Database records' 'Media' tab.

    For this reason, organising an album in Media Gallery should be a case of common-sense placement - in our example, it may make most sense for the aforementioned 'Sonic the Hedgehog Screensaver Artwork' album to be placed in the Games > 'Sonic the Hedgehog Screensaver' category as it is most commonly related to that release.

    Creating New Categories

    The creation of new categories in the Media Gallery is currently limited to Dreadknux and other SSMB Admins. Please contact them if a new category needs to be made. Not all requests will be granted, if it causes issues with general Media Gallery organisation and navigation. Please consider the overall organisation and structure of the Media Gallery before suggesting new category creation.

    Adding to Existing Galleries Versus Creating New Galleries

    It is worth considering whether the media you are planning to add to the Media Gallery would be better placed in an existing album, or in its own new one. In most cases, it is best to add to existing albums (for example, any newly-discovered concept artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Mega Drive could simply be added to the existing 'Concept Artwork' album that exists in that game's category).

    However, there may be instances where separated albums make sense. Examples include scans of game manuals, which involve multiple pages and may clutter a game's existing "Box Artwork" album. If there is any doubt or concern, it is worth raising this within the 'Talk' section of the relevant Sonic Database record.

    Uploading Images to the Gallery

    sonicdb-gallery-faq-image.jpg

    In a Media Gallery album creation page, the separate "Images" field underneath the WYSIWYG editor relates to the page's gallery itself. Bulk uploads are permitted in this field. The images you add to this field will be automatically generated in a gallery structure after the album is created/edited - you will not see this in the WYSIWYG editor.

    During this beta phase, there is currently no way to re-arrange or organise the images added to this Images field. Please make sure you upload images in order if this is important for the gallery you are creating. 

    At present, only SSMB users within the 'Database Curator', 'TSS Staff' and 'Admin' usergroups can upload to and modify Media Gallery album entries. As we evolve both the Media Gallery and the Sonic Database out of beta, this may be extended to 'Sonic Community' usergroup members.

    Adding Image Descriptions

    sonicdb-gallery-faq-desc.png

    Descriptions currently can not be added to individual images uploaded to the "Images" field. Editors will need to use the 'Album Description' WYSIYWG editor field to include any text. Good practice is to use a Numbered List and run your descriptions in order of appearance in the displayed gallery, such as the example above. Please keep descriptions brief and concise - the Media Gallery is not the place for in-depth information.

    Linking Media Galleries to Database Entries

    sonicdb-gallery-faq-dblink-field.png

    The create/edit page of a Media Gallery album includes a custom field for editors to cross-link Sonic Database records. To use it, simply start typing into the text field to search for the record you need - search results will appear dynamically underneath the text field. When you find the record you want, click the search result to link it to the album. You can cross-link multiple Database records to a single album, but not individual images.

    Be aware that when searching, the full text of what you are typing is considered. So, in order to successfully find "Sonic and the Black Knight", your search needs to include 'Sonic' first, then 'and', then 'the', and so on until you can narrow down the results. Simply typing 'Black Knight' may not yield the search result you're looking for.

    Viewing a connected Media Gallery album on a Sonic Database entry

    sonicdb-gallery-faq-dblink.jpg

    Media Gallery albums that have been successfully linked to a Sonic Database record will automatically appear in that linked record's "Media" tab. If no albums have been linked at all to a Sonic Database record, the "Media" tab will not be displayed. Above is the view of a linked Gallery album on desktop - on mobile, the Database record's tab bar will be reduced to a dropdown menu, and the "Media" tab will be available from that dropdown.

    Albums viewed via a linked Database record will dynamically show all images in exactly the same fashion as if it was viewed via Media Gallery directly. Image descriptions will also be displayed, above the collection of images. Quick links to view and (for users with the appropriate access) edit the album directly will also be visible for simplicity (the design and positioning of these quick links may change over time). Clicking "View this Gallery" from a Database record displays the full Gallery in a pop-up 'dialog' area, so the user journey is not disrupted and taken off of the Sonic Database record entry.

    Media Gallery Best Practices

    • NOTE: Please be aware that the below guidance may be changed and/or new guidance added over time. We will evolve best practices collaboratively with the Sonic Database/Media Gallery curation team and the wider community so please make sure you check back here often to stay up to date.

    Sourcing and Crediting

    Definitions:

    • 'Sourcing': Defining the origin of an image (i.e. an assets disc, magazine, press releases)
    • 'Crediting': Recognising a third party for discovery or original publication of an image (i.e. IGN, Sonic Retro, Sonic User 123)

    Crediting:

    In the majority of cases, images uploaded to Media Gallery should not require any credit, as most official artworks are the original property of SEGA, Paramount and other corporate sources. For example, a third party website publishing a new piece of official art in a news story does not qualify for a credit, as these would be images ultimately sourced by official PR agencies and/or SEGA themselves.

    Similarly, websites and social media channels publishing and sharing images does not make them the source of the material, and thus should not be credited. Just because you may have seen an image for the first time on a particular website, does not mean that website should be credited or defined as the source of the image.

    However, under special circumstances it is right to credit a publication or user/channel that has been proven to originally discover an image. An example of this would be a long-lost piece of concept artwork that would have never surfaced if not for a particular user/channel/website's publication.

    Sourcing:

    Sourcing is important when dealing with scanned material and official artwork that has originated from a non-obvious source (i.e. a Japan-only distributed press assets disc). Official assets' sourcing should be kept brief, but for scanned material it is best to be specific where it makes sense; when dealing with magazine scans for example, note the title of the magazine, the issue number, and the page/s the scan covers.

    Sourcing and crediting an asset should be done when writing the description of an image (in the Album Description WYSIWYG field).

    Scanned Material

    Be careful when handling scans of third-party material, such as magazine scans and print advertisements. These images may be subject to copyright and, while there may be a public interest use case for including a scan of a Sonic the Hedgehog review or feature for archival reasons, we do not want to fall foul of infringing another publication's IP and rights.

    It is best to keep scans of such material to archived publications that are no longer on general sale or available for back-order. Scanned material must only include relevant content and information - full-page scans should not be uploaded unless the content covers the whole page.

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