You've decided to create engaging images or videos for flashcards and that is great. This document contains the best practices for media formatting and styling that will ensure high-quality content in Brainscape and a great learning experience for you or your learners.
- PNGs over JPGs except when photos are being used.
- Image - Any visual object that's modified or altered by a computer or an imaginary object created using a computer.
- Photo or photograph - Anything taken by a camera, digital camera, or photocopier.
- IF the photo in question requires a transparent background, then PNGs are the best option available.
- Choose illustrations over photos to keep image sizes low and download speed high (see more size guidelines below).
- Compress and optimize PNGs and JPGs using tools like tinypng.com
- Please do not use SVGs. They are not currently compatible with Brainscape.
- GIFs are compatible with Brainscape but not recommended. Animated GIFs in particular are multilayered images that can take orders of magnitude longer to process upon upload and will make the tool slower than necessary.
- The maximum image resolution is 2800x2000 so that images appear in good quality on all devices. Opt for lower resolution sizes if your image size is too big. To check and confirm the optimal resolution for your image, review what the image looks like on both the web and mobile app.
- Opt for a 4:3 image (more horizontal) instead of a 3:4 image (more square) where possible (i.e. wider than they are tall). Due to Brainscape’s “slide-up” animation, this image formatting looks better and ensures that at least some of the footnote is visible.
The size of images can impact the deck download speeds in the mobile app. Therefore, it’s best to keep sizes as low as possible without sacrificing quality. Use the guidelines below to keep sizes as low as possible without sacrificing quality.
- Ornamental - Just adds personality (e.g. a random China flag in a question about China).
- Pertinent - The card is about this info (e.g. "This is the flag for what country?" / China). If the image is referenced in the text, it’s pertinent. If not, it’s ornamental.
- Med/Tech - Needs to be very detailed so it can be enlarged/zoomed
Images you should be using
- Images of places, people, or things enhance the learner experience and support visual learners.
- Diagrams or infographics to help explain more complex concepts.
- Split-screen images where one file contains two images. This helps portray two visual versions of the same concept (i.e. dried mint versus fresh mint). The images should be placed side-by-side.
Remember that it is not legal to copy images that you don't own or have permission to use. Here are some guidelines for how to properly cite or notate a few types of images.
- Images snagged from a standard free public no-royalties image library -- We would similarly use the caption field to just say "Photo credit: Joe Schmoe" (<-- link to source), including those that we annotate.
- Images provided by photographers that we know, where they explicitly give us permission to use their photos for the purposes of Brainscape -- It would be nice of us to actually put an unobtrusive "stamp" on the bottom-left of the image. (e.g. Ⓒ Joe Schmoe).
- Nonessential description of an image -- We would use the caption field for descriptive text about an image (e.g. "Notice this female Great Blue Heron's red-brown thighs, and the paired red-brown and black stripe up her flanks, both of which are some of the species' distinguishing features.")
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