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A Few Thoughts On MOCs
Posted by Perry on March 29, 2002 at 11:43 PM CST:
Having worked with a few of your photos for awhile now, here are some observations on how to help your creations look their best. These steps may seem tough at first, but don't be discouraged. The more of them you can follow, the better your MOC will look both before and after I get it ready to publish. (Yes, this also makes my job easier, but that's just a side benefit. After all, the less time it takes me to edit photos, the faster I can post them!)

MOC Photo Guidelines:

1) Please preview your photos before you send them! This is a very easy way to catch problems--and remember, the easier your photos are to work with, the faster we'll be able to put them up.

2) Please keep your photos between 800 x 600 and 1280 x 1024. Photos smaller than this are difficult to edit; photos larger than this can choke the software.

3) Also, check the file size of your photos. You should save your photos as JPEGs, and keep them under 1 MB. That way, e-mails containing more than one photo won't bounce, or clog our MOC-herder's inbox.

4) Please make sure the subject of your photo is completely in the frame. That doesn't mean you have to put the entire creation in frame every time; if you just want to take a closeup of one of the sections, like the head, the arms, the legs, or the body, that's great. Just make sure that you're aiming right at what you want to show us. If not, your audience may miss what you're trying to show. Also, keep just enough space around your subject to give viewers' eyes some context. Whatever you're trying to show us--the entire body of your creation, or a close-up, should dominate the picture, rather than get lost in it, or be the only thing visible.

5) We know that not everyone has a top-of-the-line digital camera; our current MOC-herder doesn't even have one at all! But regardless of the camera you're using, try to keep your subject in proper focus. This is key to letting other MoD users see your creations at their best, and one of the most common difficulties in editing.

6) Lighting is incredibly important. The best way to set up your lighting is to place it in front of your subject at about 45 degrees from the direction you're aiming the camera. That way, your creation will cast a very nice shadow, but it won't distract the audience or obscure the shape of your MOC.

7) When you preview your photos, in addition to making sure your subject is properly centered, completely in frame, and in focus, watch your colors--sometimes, colors get lost somewhere between the camera lens and your computer. Compare the image on your monitor screen with the original. Are they the same? If not, you might be able to use the photo editing software that came with your camera or scanner to change them. The closer you get, the better.

8) Telling your audience how you built your MOC is a great addition to your photos! It's not required, but it's a very nice thing to do. We know that doing photo instructions is really tough, so if you just want to include text, that's fine. Be sure to tell us what parts came from which original kits, so if others want to try to build them, they'll have a good start. If your MOCs are extremely complex, any other instructions you provide will be a huge help.

9) There is no step 9.

10) Please tell us the story behind your MOC. Stories make BIONICLE? one of the most entertaining toy lines, and Ole Kirk Christianson founded LEGO? in part because he valued imagination. We love seeing LEGO? builders' minds at work, and it's even better if you tell us how you came up with your creations!

11) Don't worry if your MOC doesn't show up immediately. Your MOC-herder has quite a few MOC photos to wrangle, and that takes time. It could take awhile to get yours ready to post.

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