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This is a topic specific FAQ. To read the FAQ for the entire Worth1000 site, go here. To visit another section specific FAQ, choose from the topic list on the right.

Photo Effects FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What cannot be used in an entry?

The following are items that we don't allow because of annoying overuse, lack of realism, controversy, illegality, being off-topic or because using them is lazy. They are usually disqualified on sight by the administrators, at their discretion. Enter anything on the following list at your own risk.

Controversial/illegal entries

  • Your entry has elements that are not safe for work (i.e. blurred out porn/hate crimes/injury/sickness/obscene gestures) in a contest that is labeled appropriate for all audiences.
  • Your entry has elements that would likely be offensive to the majority of people who see it.
  • The intent of your entry is blatantly to make a controversial political statement.
  • Your entry contains children for which you personally do not have a model release. If you have a model release you must state so in your author's comments.
  • Your entry contains material that you didn't have the legal right to use. It's your responsibility to determine if your source images are copyrighted, and you must ask for the permission of the copyright holder to use the image BEFORE submitting it to a contest. You must post a copyright release statement in your Author's Comments. (e.g. "I have permission to use this copyrighted image")

Lazy entries

  • You reused a past B2B contest's source picture in a different contest (and it's obvious that you had access to it).
  • You resubmitted an entry that had previously been voted on in ANY contest.
  • Your entry used an idea too similar to a previous entry. Entries that are deemed too similar risk disqualification.
  • You used the image as a whole in a different background, instead of actually editing the image itself. (i.e. Taking the source image in a B2B contest and inserting it into a scene of a painter painting it as his artwork, or the background of a postcard, or as a framed photograph on a wall).
  • Your entry abuses program filters. (i.e. changing a b2b source themepost to a charcoal sketch using a simple filter and submitting that as your entire entry; using excessive or gratuitous lensflare filters)
  • You changed an insignificant part of an otherwise outstanding image that you didn't create (regardless of whether you had permission and/or credit it appropriately).
  • Your entry is a re-creation (source for source) of an existing photo manipulated image or tutorial, whether hosted by or not.
  • Your entry contains someone elses' material that you did have a legal right to use, but without crediting them, it appears as if you are the sole creator.

Non-photorealistic images (unless called for in the contest rules):

  • Your entry is an image montage.
  • Your entry contains text that floats on the image. Text on an entry is fine as long as it could be original to the image (e.g. A road sign, an advertisement, a movie poster, etc.), and the lighting/angles/perspectives match your entry in a photorealistic way.
  • Your entry contains a cartoon speech/thought bubble added to the image
  • Your entry contains thumbnails of the original overlaid on the image.
  • Your entry contains 2D cartoon elements (in their cartoon form) as a part of the real images.
  • Your entry contains gratuitous borders on your image. A simple 1-2 pixel wide black border will be allowed, so images that would otherwise just blend into the background, have something to delineate themselves. Any other color or size border will be considered gratuitous.
  • Your entry is animated.
  • Your entry does not meet the general quality level we require on the site for an Advanced contest.
  • Your entry contains a visible signature. If you want to sign your work, embed or hide your signature in your image so that it's 'invisible' (unobtrusive to the casual viewer). Don't add obvious signatures or sig-images to your images.
  • Your entry contains a web address. (all areas)
  • Your entry contains illustrated elements that are illochop/painterly in a contest where the intent is realism.

Annoying, overused entries (cliches)

  • Your entry contains scantily clad women (i.e. in bikinis) for no practical reason.
  • Your entry contains the World Trade Center buildings.
  • Your entry contains Adolf Hitler, or Nazi references.
  • Your entry contains Osama Bin Laden or terrorist references.
  • Your entry contains a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Your entry contains Krispy Kreme references.

Off-topic entries

  • Your entry doesn't meet the intention and worded requirements of the contest rules.

useful reading - site copyright info, voting scale, voting karma, commenting guidelines

How does the site define Photorealistic, Non-Photorealistic, and Illochop/Painterly

By default Photo-Realistic and Non-Photorealistic images (as defined below) will be allowed in every contest unless otherwise noted in the rules. Contests where only Photorealistic images will be accepted will have the following posted in the contest rules, "This is a hoax contest, and photorealism (as defined in the FAQ) is required for this contest."

These guidelines apply to FX as well as FXB contests. FXH contests are open to the rules defined by the competitors.


A photorealistic image at Worth can be best described as a potential hoax image. It *looks* like it could be a real photograph. Even if the image depicted is impossible, it *looks* like a real photograph. These types of images have the potential to appear on Snopes.

Note that the above definition does *not* take into account how much of the image is hand drawn or how much is taken from photographic sources. If it looks real, it's allowed.



A non-photorealistic image at Worth can be best described as any image that is not intended to be viewed as a possible real photograph; they are unrestricted by reality. Caricatures, ModRens, propaganda posters, advertising, fantasy/imaginative styled images, etc. fall into this category.

Note that the above definition does *not* take into account how much of the image is hand drawn or how much is taken from photographic sources.



Illochop/Painterly - Used interchangably, they describe an image that is more illustrative than photographic. In an effort to keep the voting on an even playing field, these images are *not* permitted in the FX section, except when the Illo/Painterly guideline is waived in the contest rules.



What are the size requirements for an entry?

In terms of width and height dimensions:

Image entries should be a minimum of 400 pixels in width is recommended (unless otherwise requested by the contest rules), in order to be big enough to see the image. A maximum of 2000 pixels width is also advised. In general, 625 pixels or 1000 pixels width are good sizes, both to work with and to view on screen.

In terms of file size:

Files should not be bigger than necessary, so use the JPEG-format to its fullest. Less than 200KB usually works for a 625 pixel image, and less than 400KB for a 1000 pixel image, but these are only recommendations. For larger images try to stay under 1 MB.

What do I need to know about copyrighted sources?

General Information

When you're selecting sources to use in an Effects contest, it's your responsibility to determine if the source images are copyrighted. You must know before you submit the entry if it's copyrighted or not, and if it is, you must ask permission to use the image BEFORE submitting it to a contest.

If you've found an image that's just perfect and you've sent a message to the photographer but haven't heard back from them, DON'T submit the image. Chances are you'll get permission, but it won't be in time for the contest. In this instance, we encourage you to save your entry for another contest that fits the theme.

If you keep a morgue file of images that you've collected over the years, as many of us do, you need to be cognizant of 2 things. 1) Whether they are copyrighted. 2) If they're licensed under the Creative Commons, you need to know the requirements of the CC license (i.e. do you need to link or attribute the image in your Author's Comments).

By using images from your morgue file without remembering/knowing where they came from, you run the risk of the image being flagged for copyright infringement by members and/or the original photographer/creator.

If this happens, our Admin team will follow the site protocol, and disqualify your entry. You may not receive enough time to contact the photographer after the fact and ask for permission, because according to the rules you should already have received permission PRIOR to submitting the entry.

TIP: If you're using a photos that you've compiled on your hard drive and are unsure of where an image comes from, try using You can upload an image from your computer or from a web page URL, and try to track down information on the photo.

NOTE TO VOTERS: If you are voting and you see a source that you know is copyrighted, please post a link in your flag message for us to verify. There's no need to wear out the internet finding it twice.

Where can I find sources for my entries?

The Creative Commons Search is a fantastic way to search for sources that you may adapt, modify, or build upon for recreational purporses. It searches across multiple websites including Google, Yahoo, flickr, and Wikimedia Commons.

Also, this thread in our FXB forum contains a valuable list of potential source sites.

NOTE: You still need to check each image to ensure it is not copyrighted. Make sure that you have the owners' permission if you intend to use source material that is copyrighted. Otherwise you risk disqualification, and possible legal action from the copyright holder.

useful reading - site copyright info

How much illustration in an entry is too much ?

Entries can be 100% illustrated as long as it's not illochop/painterly.

Example: Photorealistic Illustration vs. Painterly Illustration

useful reading - How does the site define Photorealistic, Non-Photorealistic, and Illochop/Painterly

Are there any restrictions for entering the Photo Effects Contests?

If you've received 3 Gold medals/trophies (in Advanced or Beginner Effects, in any combination), then you're ineligible to participate in FXB (Beginner Effects) contests.


The Effects Topic, is geared towards combining photographs, illustrations, and/or 3D renderings (using the photo-manipulation software of your choice) to create photorealistic entries for themed contests.

The Arenas included in this topic are Advanced effects ("fx"), Beginner effects ("fxb") and private HxH effects matches ("fxh").

useful reading - site copyright info, How does the site define Photorealistic, Non-Photorealistic, and Illochop/Painterly


The Admins keep the Arenas running and are the final authority when making interpretations of the rules of the Topic. Contact them directly if you have questions regarding the Effects FAQ, the rules or your entry.

The Worth1000 Photo Effects Admins for the Advanced Effects Arena, the Beginner Effects Arena, the Team Effects Arena, and the HxH Effects Arena are:


Moderators give out bling and help answer community questions. For a full list of moderators and admins you can contact for help, please see this list. Moderators are usually long-standing members, selected for their knowledge, helpfulness, and participation.

Voting Scale

Please note that the following guidelines are mandatory and apply to all Photo Effects Arenas (fx, fxb, fxh). Don't make up your own system (i.e. awarding bonus points for humor). Also, note that if you think an entry is off-theme, the proper action is to flag the entry, then vote on it as if it were on-theme.

Visual Voting Scale - This will help you visualize how the voting scale applies to an entry.

Rating Entries

Note that Worth1000 is a "wow" site first, and a "humor" site second (except where the contest rules state otherwise). If an entry makes you laugh, but doesn't make you say "wow" it probably shouldn't be rated that high.

Using the available scale of 1 - 10 (one being the lowest and 10 being the highest):

1 Very bad.
Any entry you rate a 1, should be flagged at the same time. If it's so bad as to deserve a 1, it shouldn't be on worth1000. We don't need to list examples. You'll know them when you see them.
2 Any entry that is horrible. It probably should also be flagged. For example, brutal blending and jagged layer edges.
3 An entry that is below average. Definitely needs that extra hour of work or thought. Easy things have been ignored.
4 An entry that could have been good, but is missing that extra 15 minutes of work or thought behind it.

It's average. Not great, not bad.

6 It's better than average.
7 Great idea and execution. It's much better than average.
8 Terrific idea and execution, and something that sets it apart from just being "great".
9 This is almost perfect. The idea and execution are fantastic and there is a special something that makes it really stand out.
10 Wow!
The execution is perfect and the idea behind it is brilliant. This is the best thing I have seen on this site in a while.