Graphics in the Brotherhood

Graphics are an integral part of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. You see them everywhere, from the main page in the form of the rolling news report graphics, to a member's dossier in the form of lightsabers, robes, accessories, warbanners and avatars, and even in other aspects of the site such as our wiki page and our awards. Official club graphics are controlled and maintained by the Dark Council member known as the Herald and their staff.

However, there are many members in the club that create their own graphics. Some people make their own header graphics for reports and others are artists and draw their own character art. Though, most common are those who create artwork to enter in graphics competitions that are offered quite often throughout the Brotherhood. This course is designed to equip you with all the knowledge you will need in order to participate in a graphics competition yourself as well as show you the graphics that you can use as a member.

1. Graphics Programs

Often, people find themselves using programs such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw to create their graphics. However, if you cannot afford to buy either of these programs (or simply do not wish to) and you do not want to be stuck with the default image programs such as MS Paint, there are some free alternatives available. The main program that the Herald staff recommends is called GIMP, which runs on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and is a small, lightweight but very functional graphics editing program that can do many of the things that the more popular programs also offer. This program is free, a very small download (about 100 megabytes) and will let you do almost everything you will ever need to for a Dark Brotherhood graphics submission. It can be found here.

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Another free alternative is a program known as Gravit. This program is available on almost every single platform - everything from Windows, Mac and Linux, to a completely browser-based version. While it is a little more basic, it also has a unique feature in that it is a vector graphics program that is commercially available - while you cannot just use this as an impromptu graphics tablet, you can use this to make some very powerful vector graphics that can be read and edited with ease across every platform. You can check it out on the company website.

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2. Hosting and Uploading Graphics

Once you've created your graphics and want to submit them to the club, you have a number of options. Submitting a graphic to a competition can be achieved fairly easily. The club website has a function to upload a graphics submission to a competition, which can be found in each individual competition. It will ask you to upload a file, attach some optional text if you so choose, ask you whether or not you want people to be able to view your submission at the end of the competition, then click the Create submission button.

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What if you want to host your image for other people online? Perhaps you've made a report header or a unit logo or something that is not for a competition. For things like this, there are a wide variety of image hosting sites available to the general public, many of them free. Some of them have a maximum size allotment and require you to make an account, though registering an account means you can come back and retrieve your images at a later time, as well as organize them into folders and things like that.

Here is a selection of the options available to you:

  • Photobucket: Photobucket is one of the oldest but most successful image hosting sites on the internet. Once you register an account, all your images contain your account name in the URL, as well as the file name, making them easy to find and retrieve.
  • Tinypic: Tinypic makes use of scrambled short URLs so that the URL is short and easy to enter. You do not need an account to upload, so long as you keep the image link, but an account makes retrieving your image easier.
  • Imgur: Imgur is similar to tinypic but with a very simple and effective layout. This site is popular with (and linked directly to) reddit. It allows a lot of images in what is arguably the best layout, but does have a maximum image allotment of 225 images on the account before you will no longer be able to see and manage some of the older ones.
  • Dropbox: While not just for image hosting, Dropbox is a cloud hosting service that can be accessed on your desktop computer, your smartphone or tablet. You can upload not just graphics, but also text documents, PDFs and other files, meaning you can access (and use them) on any of your devices that you use to log in to your account. There is a smartphone app and a desktop program available for Dropbox, making it highly convenient for use.
  • Picresize: Picresize is a website that allows you to resize your images quickly and conveniently. If you want to quickly resize something for a wiki page or for a competition, this website will allow you to do so quickly.

The Dark Jedi Brotherhood also maintains a deviantart group. Here you can find a number of artworks featured across the club, from some custom lightsabers and robes to works commissioned from other artists that are now used as character images. All members are welcome to join this group and submit their own art for public view.

Finally, for those with high enough positions (for example, Battleteam Leaders, Aediles and Quaestors, even Magistrates, Praetors and Dark Council members), the Brotherhood has an Assets system. This allows you to upload your own graphics to the club website for use in official news posts and use them for reports. While this system is only for formal report graphics and the like, it is very useful to use when you need to write a report - with one line of code you can recall your report graphics and use them. These images are tied to the position so that any future leader can make use of the same graphic if they want to.

3. Member Graphics

All members have a number of graphics available to them from their first day that you can display on your dossier for everyone to see - this will let you show off your personal style and really make your page your own. You start by unlocking some bare-bones graphics during your first few ranks and then can continue to earn more and more as you progress towards the rank of Knight, and then earn even more on through the Equite and Elder ranks. You can modify these graphics in your Administration page - you have the Robe Construction Tool, Weapon Construction Tool, Accessory Construction Tool and the Request Warbanner form available to manage these graphics for you.

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3.1 Weapons

Every Jedi needs a lightsaber, and every soldier needs his blade or blaster. Starting at the rank of Initiate, you unlock your first weapon: Force Users receive a training lightsaber, as well as a proper armory lightsaber; non-Force Users receive an armory blaster and armory vibroblade. As you proceed through the ranks, additional simple options become available. Once you have been promoted to the rank of Journeyman 4 (Knight/Captain/Professional), dozens of options with different kinds of color trimmings will become available to you and you can really start to set your own style. You can unlock your very own personally designed custom weapon such as a lightsaber, blaster or melee weapon made by the Herald at the rank of Equite 2.

3.2 Robes

Every member needs garments that fit their style. At the rank of Apprentice you unlock eight options to immediately put on your dossier and continue to unlock more and more as you progress through the ranks. However, each House and Clan also maintains their own robes, as well as each Order - when you hit the rank of Knight, you will find dozens more options that are special to your unit and your Order, giving you even more rewards for choosing your own destiny. Societies such as the Shadow Academy Society, Inquisitorius and Grand Master's Royal Guard also have their own unique robes available to them. These robes typically are available in the colors of the Orders, though you are not restricted to choosing your order color. These colors are red (Sith), green (Jedi), gray (Force Disciples), orange (Mercenary) and blue (Loyalist).

3.3 Accessories

Accessories - unlike many kinds of dossier graphic - are not a right from earning certain ranks, but are unlocked with achievements around the Dark Brotherhood. For example, the Grand Master's Royal Guard rewards the nine highest performing Rank 10 members every quarter with a unique accessory for the Dark Council member they are assigned to protect. All members are encouraged to participate and unlock as many accessories as they can and display one on their dossier as a sign of their merit and achievement.

3.4 Warbanners

Warbanners are first unlocked at the rank of Journeyman 2 (Acolyte/Courier/Sergeant). A warbanner is a sort of personal heraldry like the knights of old, with your own unique crest that you can select or create yourself and some added features like background patterns and tasset medallions to represent some of your personal achievements around the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. These come in Order colors similar to lightsabers and more shapes, colors and stripes will make themselves available to you as you earn ranks.

3.5 Avatars

Avatars, like warbanners, are unlocked at the rank of Journeyman 2 (Acolyte/Courier/Sergeant). An avatar is a character image that is meant to represent you. These images have a few simple rules attached to them - all images must be drawn or graphical in nature (no photographs) and must not be art drawn by someone else without direct permission of the artist to use it (for example, a character commission from someone on deviantart is okay if you commissioned the piece, but using someone else's is not). You can find the full set of rules on our wiki page.

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