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FreakingNews FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

ENTERING CONTESTS

VOTING

FORUM

LEGAL INFO

ABOUT THIS SITE

STATS

CREDITS

PERSONAL SETTINGS

ENTRY PAGE

GENERAL

ENTERING CONTESTS

  • What cannot be used in an entry?
    • Entries that are not Safe For Work.
    • Images with total surface less than 400,000 square pixels. To check whether your image qualifies, simply multiply image height by image width - e.g. image with size 800 pixels by 500 pixels still qualifies, as it's surface 800x500=400,000 square pixels. Keep in mind that the smaller the image, the lower its detail quality is and thus you are strongly encouraged to submit larger images. We allow up to 500 KB file size for submissions which leaves plenty of room for larger images. The "full view" version of your submission will feature image of 1000 pixels wide, so we naturally encourage our users to submit larger images. Our system will automatically resize them and make two versions of it - for contest view (800 pixels wide), and full view (1000 pixels wide).
    • Low resolution images (blurry or pixelated). Such images are considered low qualiity images and are hard to look at - they are usually the result of picking low-resolution sources. So finding good sources is a paramount step in your entry.
    • Any reference to Nazis and Hitler.
    • Low quality entries that took very little effort.
    • Entries that are off-theme (do not follow the contest directions).
    • Resubmits of your previous entries from FN contests, or recycling some of your photoshop work from your previous contest entries.
    • We no longer accept images that were entered on any other Photoshop contest site.
    • Copyrighted images. (Including entries that weren't made by you)
    • Images that include obscene gestures, e.g., the bird, the finger, et alia.
    • Entries made entirely with 3D rendering programs are also not allowed.
    • Composing an entry consisting mainly of a previously used entry or photoshopped components of a previously used entry may be grounds for disqualification.
    • Entries using any of Norman Rockwell illustrations are not allowed as they are protected by copyright laws.

    Last updated: 9/19/2014 10:08:06 AM by NewsMaster

  • Submission guidelines
    Before you start:
    Take a look at the submissions in any previous contests at Freaking News. You will see that all the best ones, especially the top three or four, have a number of things in common:
    • they are based on strong ideas;
    • they use clear, high-resolution images;
    • they have been carefully altered to make the finished image as believable as possible.
    Notice that the first two of these three characteristics have been looked after before these contest winners have even opened up their Photoshop software (or PaintShop, or Gimp, or MS Paint … whatever they are using). If you have a chance of winning, you need to understand what the past winners of Freaking News contests have been doing so well. Let’s deal with them in order.
    The Idea:
    • Most likely, the first idea you have is the same first idea that a half dozen other Photoshoppers have when they decide to enter a contest. Unless you want your entry to be similar to others, you need to be a little more imaginative. And if you have really looked at the entries to past contests, you will see that the same handful of celebrities and politicians keep turning up in many of the non-winning entries. With six billion people on this planet, surely Barack Obama and Mr. Bean aren’t the only two who have ever had their pictures taken. Over-used celebrities are another clue that the idea wasn’t given a lot of thought before the Photoshopping started.
    • Why go to all that work if the idea is weak? Think about how you want to separate your entry from the others. Not every idea has to be original to be successful, but you have to believe that it’s a good enough idea for you to spend the next few hours of your life coming up with a creation that will make you proud. The best way to do this is to resist the temptation to start chopping right away, even though you think you have a killer idea. Sit on it for a while. Most times, you have up to three days to work on your submission, and just about the best way you can spend most of that time is deciding what you want your submission to look like, without actually Photoshopping.
    • And when you finally have a plan, make sure it conforms to the contest rules (I added this suggestion at the last minute, for a very good reason. Don’t ask.).
    The Images:
    • Freaking News contest entries will be resized to 800 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high if either of the dimensions of your entry is larger. The "full view" version resizing specs are 1000 pixels wide by 1300 pixels high. As you browse through previous Freaking News contest submissions, see if you can find a winning entry that is less than 800 pixels wide. I doubt that you can, because they look skimpy and cheap against the larger images. But with the luxury of at least 800 pixels comes the challenge of finding images that fill all that space, and are high enough resolution to look great when you’re finished.
    • Set some high standards for yourself. If you are searching for source images in Google, for instance, choose Advanced Image Searches and select Wallpaper-sized images as your first choice. If you can’t find what you want, go to Very Large images, but no smaller. Your final image needs to be 300 pixels wide to have any chance of winning, based on its original resolution. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a picture that was 200 px to start with and has been resized to 300 to meet the minimum will look terrible. Don’t waste your time.
    • And finally, the images you select need to have common characteristics. You need to consider, for instance, how someone’s face will look if you replace it with someone else’s. Are the angles right? The shadows? Was the new face photographed in bright sunlight, while the face you’re replacing was photographed indoors? Will you be able to erase the white background behind someone’s hair in order to make it match a new dark background? Searching for the right images can save you a lot of time trying to eliminate shadows, or add them, or correct angles, etc.
    The Photoshopping:
    • Freaking News thrives on Photoshopped parody. Most of the submissions involve combining two or more images, especially faces on bodies, to produce a third image that interprets the News within the rules of the current contest. Do yourself a favor. Before you open your software, read our tutorials and learn how the experts do it: Photopshop tutorials
    • The rest is up to you. Google for “Photoshop Tutorials” (or “PaintShop Tutorials”, etc.) and you will find that there are dozens of people out there who are willing to share their knowledge with you for free. Teach yourself to use the software, but regardless of what else you learn, be absolutely certain that you learn how to use levels and masking. They will save your life.
    • When your image is complete, save it in its native format (psd for Potoshop, psp for paintShop Pro, etc.) so you preserve all the layers, and you can do more editing if it’s needed. Check the submission deadline to see how much time you have left, then use that time trying to be objective and critical of your submission, to the point of being picky. Get others to look at it as well, and listen to their advice. Set it as your wallpaper, so you see it constantly. View it on another monitor if you can. Be prepared to spend even more time getting it right, even though your brain is trying to tell you that it’s finished.
    • Once you are satisfied with the way it looks, save it in jpg format and get it to under 500 KB.
    • Then, submit it before the deadline. Your major objective should be a Top Four finish, and at the very least, a Jury Pick (gold star).

    written by FreakingNews Juror TiddlyCove
    Last updated: 8/21/2014 12:14:40 PM by NewsMaster

  • Where can I find source images for my entries?
    We encourage users to use free stock photo sites as well as Google image search.
    Last updated: 8/21/2014 12:17:41 PM by NewsMaster

  • How do I submit an entry to the contests?
    In any active contest you will see a "submit entry" link in the top right box (titled "Contest Options"). Click this link and follow the on-screen instructions.
    Last updated: 8/21/2014 12:25:52 PM by NewsMaster

  • What are credits anyway?
    Credits are the reward points on the site. 1 credit is worth $0.05 USD. As registered users win photoshop contests they get credits, which are redeemable for real cash at the end of every month and are paid on the first week of the next month to member's PayPal account, once a request for payment is made. (Members need to message us with a request for payment providing their PayPal email to be paid to.

    Those who cannot use paypal will be paid by bank wire transfers (and will receive the instructions on what info they need to provide me for it, once they make a request for payment), but because of the wire fees you will need to accumulate at least $100 worth of credits if you want to be paid by a wire.

    Current conversion rate is: 100 credits = $5

    As the site grows and we get more advertising income, we will try to increase the rate, but it will never go below $5 per 100 credits rate.

    To gain credits on this site, there are multiple ways:
    • 1 credit for a voting star if you also voted on every entry
    • 1 credit per caption submitted to any entry in an active contest
    • 1 credit per entry, no matter whether it wins any trophies. (If it does win any of the trophies it gets respective jackpot credit winnings added too)
    • 100 credits for the first place in any contest
    • 60 credits for the second place in any contest
    • 40 credits for the third place in any contest
    • 20 credits for the fourth place in any contest

    Last updated: 8/21/2014 12:31:44 PM by NewsMaster

  • When do contests start and end on this site?
    Contests usually start daily at 6pm EST. Submissions are open for two days and are followed by a day of voting. After the voting is finished a contest is closed and the trophies and credits are given.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 11:16:32 AM by NewsMaster

  • I have just missed the submission deadline. Is there still a way to submit my entry?
    Once submissions are closed for any particular contest, no more entries can be submitted there. However, we encourage users to submit their "missed" chops into our weekly Freak Show contest which has an open theme, and starts each Sunday 6pm EST.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 1:38:51 PM by NewsMaster

  • Will I have to host my images on some third party sites when I submit them to Freaking News contests?
    When you upload images to any contest here, we store it on our own servers. Furthermore, we also give you a personal "media folder" (located in "My account" menu) when you can store any additional images - avatars, source photos, etc.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 11:21:58 AM by NewsMaster

  • What sizes do my entries need to be to fit on your pages?
    Don't worry about it - just make the best quality/size image under 500 KB, and our system will automatically resize it for contest pages, and "full view" pages. Try to make entries at least 1000 pixels wide, and keep them under 500 KB.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 11:24:15 AM by NewsMaster

  • What happens if one of my entries is disqualified?
    The moderators will email you the reason why, and will offer you suggestions on how to fix it, so you still have time to re-submit the edited version. Most disqualifications happen when members don't carefully read contest rules and thus make off-theme entries. (Disqualified entries disappear from your stats completely.)
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 11:27:50 AM by NewsMaster

  • What are the Apprentice Contests?
    Apprentice Contests are for those up and coming choppers who need a place to sharpen their teeth and hone their skills while competing with others doing the same thing.

    Anyone with less than 5 gold trophies of any type on their desk are welcome to participate.
    Submissions for apprentice contests normally last for 7 days, which gives plenty of time to read the critiques from other members and edit your entries before the voting starts.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 11:30:21 AM by NewsMaster

VOTING

  • How does voting work at Freaking News?
    Each member can rate an image on a scale of 1 - 10. You can not rate your own images. Repeated voting on the same image is not counted (only the first vote counts). Depending on your voting record, your voting power (karma) can increase or decrease.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 11:34:44 AM by NewsMaster

  • What is "voting karma"?
    Karma is your voting power. It determines how much weight your vote will carry among the votes of others cast on each entry. Karma starts at 1 for new members and can grow up depending on your voting habits. At the end of each contest where you voted, your karma can increase or decrease. Here are some insights on that:

    Karma works with each particular entry - it looks at the final average on the entry and compares it to your vote. If the deviation is high (more than two points), it adds a small penalty. If the deviation is not high (within two points), it adds a small gain. Then all your karma gains and penalties are added for all entries, and there you have your total karma change for a contest.

    If an entry's weighted average score is a 7.4, then anyone who votes within 5.4 - 9.4) is probably voting fairly. Because you can only vote in integers, in the above example, good votes would be: 6,7,8,9

    So we do allow for variation in tastes by giving two points range. I think you would agree that voting 5 for a chop that ends up with a score of 7.4 is probably too low.

    Karma is maxed at these levels:

    For members with no trophies: 100
    For members with trophies: 200
    For jurors and admins: 300
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 12:15:33 PM by NewsMaster

  • What is vote "deviation", and how does it affect my voting karma?
    Deviation is how much your vote on some particular entry deviates from the final average of this entry. Karma works with each particular entry - it looks at the final average on the entry and compares it to your vote. If the deviation is high (more than two points), it adds a small penalty. If the deviation is not high (within two points), it adds a small gain. Then all your karma gains and penalties are added for all entries, and there you have your total karma change for a contest.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 12:18:49 PM by NewsMaster

  • Do I need to rate all images in a contest I enter?
    Only when you vote on all the entries in a contest you can gain karma (voting power). If you vote on just one or two, your possible karma gain will be lost. However, we realize voting is not always possible when you are short of time and the contest has too many entries. Again, it's not required, but is considered a good citizenship.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 12:57:01 PM by NewsMaster

  • What are the voting guidelines for rating entries?
    Voting scale (1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest):
    1. If the entry is so bad it deserves a 1, it should be flagged and removed from Freaking News.
    2. An entry that is horrible too, and should also be removed. EXAMPLE: Horrible layer masking with jagged edges. No blending effort whatsoever.
    3. Not horrible but definitely below average. Needs an extra hour to fix the obvious editing mistakes.
    4. Extra 15 minutes of work on this entry could have made it a good one. It was probably a quickie where the author forgot to fix some things and submitted it in a rush.
    5. Mediocre entry. Not too bad, but not yet good.
    6. Slightly better than average.
    7. Decent entry, much better than average. Strong idea and execution.
    8. Great idea and clean execution technique.
    9. Genuis idea and extraordinary execution - something you may expect to see in magazines and media.
    10. Perfect entry in every possible way, professionally done. One of the best entries I've seen on the site.

    Last updated: 8/22/2014 12:46:09 PM by NewsMaster

  • Are authors' identities hidden until the contest ends?
    Yes, all the authors are shown as "Hidden author" until the contest ends and identities are revealed.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 1:15:27 PM by NewsMaster

  • Can I vote on multiple entries simultaneously?
    Yes, you can vote and comment on 10 entries at once by casting votes and leaving comments below each of those entries and then clicking "Submit Votes and Comments" button at the bottom of the page. You will then be redirected to the next page and so on. You can even vote and comment for all entries at once - clicking "All entries" link in the "Contest Options" box in the top right corner of the contest page will list all the entries on one long page.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 1:03:18 PM by NewsMaster

  • Can I have more than one account on this site?
    No. Registering several accounts for one individual usually results in all these accounts being banned. If you lost an access to your account, message us and we will help you. If you absolutely need to abandon your old account for whatever reason, and start a new one, also message us, and we will deactivate your old account and give you a green light for registering a new one.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 1:06:44 PM by NewsMaster

  • What's a "No-Vote"?
    A No-Vote is an indication that a user skipped voting in a contest he entered. So 10 No-Votes on some user stats page would tell you this user skipped voting in 10 contests he entered. It is considered good citizenship to vote in all the contests you enter (however we realize it's not always possible).
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 1:22:11 PM by NewsMaster

  • What's the Jury?
    The jurors are members who have higher powers than normal members but lower powers than admins. Jurors are hand-picked from veteran members based on their excellent chopping and voting record on the site. They can grow their karma to 300, and can award juror picks (golden stars) at the end of each contest to any worthy entries.
    Last updated: 8/22/2014 1:26:44 PM by NewsMaster

FORUM

LEGAL INFO

ABOUT THIS SITE

STATS

CREDITS

  • Are there any limitations on credit cashing?
    You will need to have at least $10 worth of credits in order to ask to redeem them for cash.
    Last updated: 11/12/2013 7:44:34 PM by NewsMaster

  • What are credits and how do I use them?
    Credits are the reward points on the site, which are redeemable for cash. 1 credit is worth $0.05 USD. There are multiple ways to gain credits on this site:

    • $5 (100 credits) for the first place in any advanced contest
    • $3 (60 credits) for the second place in any advanced contest
    • $2 (40 credits) for the third place in any advanced contest
    • $1.5 (30 credits) for the first place in any apprentice contest
    • $0.9 (18 credits) for the second place in any apprentice contest
    • $0.6 (12 credits) for the third place in any apprentice contest
    • $0.05 (1 credit) per entry in any contest (advanced or apprentice), no matter whether it wins any trophies. (If it does win any of the trophies it gets respective jackpot credit winnings added too)
    • $0.05 (1 credit) per caption submitted to any entry in an active contest
    • $0.05 (1 credit) for a voting star if you also voted on every entry

    Credits are redeemable for real cash in the first week of every month and are paid to member's paypal account, once a request for payment is made. (Members need to contact us with a request for payment providing their paypal email to be paid to.

    Those who cannot use paypal will be paid by bank wire transfers (and will receive the instructions on what info they need to provide for it, once they make a request for payment), but because of the wire fees you will need to accumulate at least $100 worth of credits if you want to be paid by wire.
    Last updated: 8/23/2014 2:32:32 PM by NewsMaster

  • How and when can I request the payment sent to me?
    You can make a request in the first seven days of every month, once you have at least $5 worth of credits. If you don't request payment for some month and accumulate credits; credits will not be lost, and you can ask for payment in the first seven days of the next month.

    Use this form to make a request (you will need to be logged in). Provide us with a paypal email where you want the payment to be sent.
    If you don't have a PayPal account and want to request a wire transfer, use the form to let us know you want a wire, and we will email you back with the needed info. If you request a wire, remember that you will need to have at least $100 worth of credits, due to the wire fees we will incur.
    Last updated: 8/24/2014 6:44:16 AM by NewsMaster

  • What's the exchange rate for credits?
    1 credit = $0.05
    Last updated: 11/12/2013 7:45:40 PM by NewsMaster

  • Can I redeem credits if I don't have a paypal account?
    Those who can not use paypal will be paid by wire transfers (and will receive the instructions on what info they need to provide me for it, once they make a request for payment), but because of the wire fees you will need to accumulate at least $100 worth of credits if you want to be paid by wire.

    Contact us for details.
    Last updated: 11/12/2013 7:47:15 PM by NewsMaster

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