Help:Creating Images

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The two primary goals for the images are:

  1. Make the attack easily identifiable by players who only slightly know the character and have seen each attack once or twice at most.
  2. Be a visual aid to explain how an attack works.

Image Guidelines

  • Use high quality PNG screenshots taken with a capture card, or straight from the PC version of the game.
  • Characters should use default colors, and face right (as if they are player 1).
  • Name images with the following format: (game abbreviation) (character name) (moveId from data page).
    • Example: Lucas's Jab in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate would be named SSBU_Lucas_LucasJab1_0.png.
    • For moves using multiple images, add the image numbers after the input.
  • Hitboxes should be named similarly, but with "hb" at the end, and should be in .webm format.
    • Examples: Lucas's Jab hitbox in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate would be named SSBU_Lucas_LucasJab1_0_hb.webm.
    • For moves with multiple hitboxes, the number should come before "hb".
    • Only use letters and numbers, -, _, (), and ~ in file names.
  • Images that have clarifying text should use the font Arial bolded, for the sake of consistency.
  • Combine multiple images together if the attack does an animation that can not easily be understood by one image alone.

NOTE: If the image fields are filled on the data page for a character, uploading the image for them is as easy as clicking the red link and uploading it, as the name field will be filled automatically.

Image Editing Tools

  • Photoshop
  • Gimp
  • Paint.NET
  • Krita

Consider taking a learning course (YouTube) on image manipulation basics to help you learn what tools are at your disposal in these programs.

Taking Screenshots

  • Have the character in default colors/costumes
  • Make sure the stage doesn't obscure the attack. Find a stage (or part of a stage) with colors that don't blend into attack
  • Be consistent with the stage. Use one stage for all the screenshots for that character. Using a different stage for another character is fine.
  • Screenshots should be indicative of the most "distinct" portion of the attack. For most attacks, this will probably be the first active frame, for others you may have to use better judgement to determine what is best indicative. For example, one may screenshot projectiles shortly after being cast instead of the exact moment they are cast, or sword attacks may be screenshot at the end of their arcs to show their full range.
  • Hide things that aren't related to the move in question if you can.
  • Avoid having the opponent in the screenshot unless needed (Ex throws, Sephiroth's Shadow Flare orbs etc.)
    • If they are needed, make sure they are easily distinguishable from the attacker (no mirror match, different colors).
      • A good choice for a dummy is a character related to the other in their series or lore.
    • It's okay to crop out parts of the opponent like an outstretched arm.
  • Try to avoid having the HUD in the screenshot if you can. Try moving HUD elements up/down slightly in the game's display options. Some games even allow you to hide the HUD completely (or via mods).

Images Need to be Readable When Zoomed Out

Remember, these images are shrunk on character pages, so make sure text and diagrams are still readable when shrunk. Before uploading an image, open it on your computer and zoom out to see if the image is still readable.

  • Crop the image so that extraneous details such as long ponytails do not take up too much space.
  • Consider moving objects closer together - these images are to help readers identify the attack and not necessarily show the attack's range.
  • Use colors for text and arrows that don't blend into the background. Consider adding an outline to them to better help them stand out.

Images with Transparent Effects

Building images with transparent effects are crucial for helping with move clarity and readability. This is especially true if a move is effect-heavy. In simple terms

  • Get a greenscreen mod for the game in question. These are usually found on modding sites like Gamebanana.
  • If you are capturing from original hardware via capture card, you don't have to worry about resolution as the Switch is at 1080p when docked. If you are emulating, be sure your game is in full resolution (1920x1080).
  • Perform the move and use a freeze-frame technique to capture a good screenshot image of the move.
    • In Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, you can hide the Combo Display in training mode, and run the game frame-by-frame in the options menu.

Once you have a good greenscreen image, there are many programs that can allow you to chroma key the greenscreen out, such as Photoshop or other similar image manipulation programs. You can do such, and upload it to the website with proper naming conventions. Below are some guides using common programs with chroma keying capabilities that aren't Photoshop, if you aren't able to obtain that program:

Davinci Resolve Chroma Keying method:

  • Open your screenshot in DaVinci Resolve, and drag it onto the timeline at the bottom.
  • Go to Effects at the top-left > Open FX > Filters > Resolve FX > 3D Keyer, and drag this effect onto the screenshot image.
  • Before you get started chroma keying the image, be sure to switch to the "Open FX Overlay" mode at the bottom-left of the preview window, above the timeline. Doing this makes it so your edits will actually appear and apply on the media.
  • Open the Inspector tab at the top-right of the whole window, and then select the 3rd element, the "Effects" configuration tab. Once you do that, select the first eyedropper and click the green to mark it as the color to be keyed out. This should instantly get rid of most of the green, except for any around VFX that's closer to the character.
  • You will probably see that there is still a lot of green surrounding any elements and discoloring any VFX. Look further down on the Effects tab, under the "Behavior Options" section and you'll see the "Despill" slider. Slide this all the way up to 1 to get rid of any remaining green clipping or hue around your subjects, leaving a perfect transparent background image.
  • Right click the media in the timeline, and now click "New Compound Clip" in the menu. From here, you can now switch to the "Fusion" tab at the bottom and you'll see the media you just chroma keyed, with a transparent background. Right click it > Save Image > name it whatever, but make sure you save as PNG to preserve the transparency.
  • The job isn't done yet, as there is likely a lot of blank space left over. Open the image in GIMP or any other image editing program, navigate to the "Layer" tab at the top and select "Crop to Content" to crop out most of the unused transparent space in the image. You may need to use the built-in "Crop" tool to manually crop out any remaining space being occupied by straggling VFX.
  • When you are done with this, go to File at the top-left > Export As > name it whatever or name it properly, be sure to export as PNG once again, and then you are free to upload the image to the website wherever it needs to go.

Alternate method using only GIMP (or other similar free photo editors):

  • Open the image in GIMP, select Color > Color to Alpha, and use the Eyedropper tool to select the color of whatever the chroma keying background color is on your screenshot.
  • Adjust the Transparency and Opacity settings to get rid of as much of the background as possible, but also be sure that the options do not key out any pixels from the character themselves. This may need to be done multiple times to get an ideal transparent background. Eventually, you should have a good enough transparent render for the move. Export and upload as described above.

Troubleshooting characters that make use of green graphics or VFX:

  • There are red, blue, and black screen mods available in the Dragdown Discord. You can join us there and download any of these, and repeat the capture and chroma keying steps but with that alternate background to see if it serves you any better for the character.
  • In certain cases, no specific background mod may help on their own. In the event of this, you can try compositing, or layering multiple transparent captures of different screen background chroma key results in an image editor. Pyra is a prime example of this, as her VFX uses green, red, and teal, and the character has too much pure black color on her for a black screen to be effective on its own. Getting multiple captures and layering them on top of one another in an editor so that the missing graphics from each are filling and are filled by the missing graphics of others lets you create the full visual from multiple parts.

Exportation and Upload

Once the image has been created, you can export it to a PNG and upload it to the site. We recommend using PNG-8 as the file type for image uploads, since the compression helps keep file sizes low without losing much quality.

After all that is done, navigate to our Special:Upload page (which can be found under the "Wiki tools" heading of our sidebar) and upload the file with the correct title. Remember, the naming convention of Dragdown images is "(Game Title Abbreviation) (Character Name) (moveId on Data page)", or you can click the red .png or .webm links on the character's Data page to upload there without having to rename.

Video Content

Video content is primarily used in Combo Theory boxes and other places on the site that benefit from visual information. In order to keep file sizes low, it is strongly advised to compress them. Removing or lowering the sound of the videos is also recommended as they will be played at maximum volume by default. The following method is recommended:

1) Download ffmpeg:
Linux: sudo apt install ffmpeg

2) Open it in a cmd/terminal and type the following command:
For 16:9 games:
ffmpeg -i "input.blah" -vf scale=-1:480 -b:v 1000k -vcodec libvpx-vp9 -threads 4 -y -an "output.webm"

For 4:3 games:
ffmpeg -i "input.blah" -vf "crop=iw-480,scale=-1:400" -b:v 1000k -vcodec libvpx-vp9 -threads 4 -y -an "output.webm"

Replace "input.blah" with your file name and extension, and "output.webm" with what you want your end file name to be, but keep the .webm extension.

Ideally, these commands divide the size of the videos by a factor of 8~9.

Note: On Linux, if the ffmpeg command doesn't work even after installing it, it might be necessary to use "usr/bin/ffmpeg" instead. If it still doesn't work type "whereis ffmpeg" in a terminal and use that result instead.


-vf scale=-1:480 | Resizes the video to be in 480p.
-b:v 1000k       | Reduces the video bitrate.
-y               | Overwrites the input video.
-threads         | Decrease the amount of time required to compress the video but increases CPU load.
-an              | Removes the sound.

Trim the video:
ffmpeg can also be used to trim part of video with the -ss and -to options. They are respectively used to define the start and stop times.
bash ffmpeg -i "input.blah" -ss 0:03.000 -to 0:08.000 -vf scale=-1:480 -b:v 1000k -vcodec libvpx-vp9 -threads 4 -y -an "output.webm"

Only keeps the part of the video between the 3rd and 8th seconds.

Keeping Audio:
If sound is required for audio cues, it is recommended to lower the volume of the video as they will be played at maximum volume by default. This can be done by replacing -an with -af "volume=0.1".
ffmpeg -i "input.blah" -vf scale=-1:480 -b:v 1000k -vcodec libvpx-vp9 -threads 4 -y -af "volume=0.1" "output.webm"

Other parameters tested:

-fps: Had very little impact on video size, and preserving FPS is ideal.
-crf (constant rate factor): Had very little impact on video size. Adding --crf 40 can help reduce the video size a little bit but will affect quality. Increasing the value lowers the quality/size even further.
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