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Forums » RP Discussion » Thoughts on characters without images?

Tried to search if this has been brought up before, but didn’t come up with any results. So...
How do you guys feel about characters without art, references, or images? Does that go well here, or will it be hard to find RP partners?
Personally I have absolutely no problem with characters who don't have images. (Mine never do, because I can't draw and don't have money to commission.) A good text description of their appearance is always nice (which also makes a profile more accessible to people who are visually impaired). Of course, visual references can be cool to have, and they might help some people with immersion or something... but yeah, to me it makes no difference whether or not a character has images on their profile.
Kim Site Admin

I come from a text-only background of many many years, so to me, images is still just a weird fun novelty. If the character is clearly described in text, then that's all I need. :)

I know there are some people who are extremely visual who prefer images, but I don't think it's everyone or even a majority.
Same! If a profile has clearly had a lot of thought and love put into it, I don't need a picture!
A picture is worth a thousand words.

No matter how good you are at describing something, it will never have the same amount of detail and embed into someone's mind as an image.

I think of images as a way to convey your character's appearance the exact way you want it to. I like to see images on characters profiles, it helps me have a better mental image of them, the image that their creator wanted me to have.
I’ve gone either way with this. Images are nice, but a good description works well and I can search out my own images based on the description. It’s kind of like the difference between TV & Radio. Both good, just different.

The only thing I would say as far as characters go here on RPR, if you go with a description and no image, then go with no image. Just upload the default icon and it removes the question mark image.
I like pictures because I am a visual person, and if I want to draw my partners character it gives me a more surefire way not to be wrong and need to scrap the whole thing, however I see any profile with an image as a novelty. It is cool to have and it doesn't hurt anyone to have a picture, but really what is most important is the description. TBH, the physical description is nice but one thing that a single picture can NEVER get across is how a character carries themselves. This to me speaks volumes over describing hair color or the number of freckles they may have and gives me the mental picture to go along with every post and really get to know them and their mannerisms, not to mention it helps to collect what may be lost in post because humans are social creatures and there are always things that are possible to be lost in text when there aren't facial or body language clues.

If you think about characters in books, most of the time their description is rather mild, "He had his moms mossy green eyes, a lightning bolt scar across his forehead, and messy black hair that fell down to hide it... or whatever." In reality, that's not a lot of information to go off of, but it's as much as we need to get a clear picture of what the boy in the cupboard under the stairs looks like.

Though, honestly, in the end no description is really needed at all, mostly because if you play the character true to themselves what comes cross most strongly and memorably is the personality. Which in the end IMO is what makes the character the creation many will be itching to RP with. Though take this with a grain of salt because while it is how I feel, it's really only my opinion of how I judge others character pages and character descriptions.


TLDR: I don't think a picture is needed at all as long as the writer has a clear idea of who they are playing I will come to learn all I need about them through time and play.
I love when characters have visuals, especially if it's custom art made for that character. In part it's just nice to see, but I also have a very poor imagination for visualizing things.

But I don't require it. Partly because I know that it can be really difficult to obtain a depiction that feels right. Partly because that poor imagination extends into not really "seeing" things played out much anyway. I kinda envy the folks with the brain-movies, but I still get the concepts and emotions and stuff.
Personally as an artist I prefer profiles with images because I love to draw my OCs interacting with other people’s characters. It’s also just really hard to sometimes be on the same page with another writer with text alone and sometimes they imagine something entirely different... but with an image of the scene it’s so much easier to be on the same page! As well as a character, for those gritty details that would be awkward to shove into a reply or starter.

I just think the best is images paired with writing, to really get across what you’re describing. Coming from a dungeons and dragons background I like to enrich things with other forms of media to really immerse my players, partner, and myself.

But I don’t discriminate against profiles that don’t have these sorts of “enrichments” it’s just a preference. Even when a partner doesn’t have an image, which is a novelty, it’s just a tad bit harder to make it work. Not impossible.

I’m aware others don’t have the ability to draw or they just don’t think as visually as me. But I’m also aware that a good image can be what makes someone click on your profile as well.
JetReigns Topic Starter

I see, thanks for the input guys. Hopefully I can strike a balance and have both a picture and a description at some point.
I'll toss out there that I often use dollmakers. Gives some balance of getting a suitable art style, a lot of customization to get as close to your character as you can, built-in ideas to develop their appearance if there's details you haven't considered yet, and most (but not all, so it's good to check to make sure and see what the requirements are) are fine with you saving and uploading what you build elsewhere. The one I've probably used the most so far is Hero Machine, but there are a lot of options out there.

Of course, I fully support commissioning artists for truly custom work when you can afford to.
While I have a preference for characters that have images, I'm also biased as an artist that if a character has a bunch of (art) images that look like they were ripped from google / pinterest** rather than personally commission / purchased, than no amount of images is going to make me happy about that character - lack of proper artist credit rubs me the wrong way.

So while visual images are a preference (ala commissions or dollmakers), it's definitely not a requirement.

I find that I'm less picky about whether a character has images or not if they have a longer / more in-depth written description; If a character has zero images, but writes a very full description of a character that looks distinct in my mind's eye, the lack of images isn't as big of an issue; A character with no images and three basic bullet points of "Pale skin, black hair, green eyes" doesn't entice me to care about that character - there's nothing distinct or individual about them.

This all being said, peple have different preferences for writing, detail, visual elements, etc. etc., whatever, so to each their own and everything - but as a visual person I like to have an in-depth written description at least, and/or personally made / purchased visual elements.




**I'm fine with someone having a pinterest board of "General hairstyle aesthetics" and three images or whatever; Where I, personally, take an issue is when an art piece is ripped from google / pinterest and just given a basic "Credit to the artist" or "Found on pinterest, not mine!" or whatever; If you can't give proper credit, don't use the art imo
I think it's the writer's choice if they want to put visual references for their character. You can easily describe a character with words just like you can describe a character with illustrations. Personally, it's easier for me to draw than write because I'm a visual learner, and putting things into words has always been hard for me. But everyone has their method for doing things and not having pictures won't effect your chances of finding an rp partner.

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