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Thread: A Guide on how to find high quality (Digimon-)images on the web

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    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    A Guide on how to find high quality (Digimon-)images on the web

    A Guide on how to find high quality (Digimon-)images on the web

    There are probably quite many people here who, especially in times of constant news like now, like to scurry through the Internet on the search for the newest Digimon curiosities, often in form of images. Maybe a new scan surfaced, or there's new artwork released, maybe a new cover or, a screenshot or a photo of a figure; In any case you might find a delicious image of something new, so you download it, you link it you share it... BUT WAIT!
    What if I told you that you just downloaded or shared wasn't the real deal? That there might be a larger or higher quality version just a few keystrokes away and you didn't even notice? Because exactly this is the case with many sites that instead of offering the full resolution images only link to resized and highly compressed versions of said images in their articles or galleries. But that doesn't mean that (somewhat) higher quality is out of our reach... at least not when you know how a given site structures its uploads.

    This is why I will use this thread to compile methods for several websites that will help you check and modify their Image URLs in order to make sure you'll always get the best they have to offer. You could see this as a tutorial, or as a PSA or me just being generally pendantic about the fact that lower-than-neccessary quality pictures get featured on the news pages every single damn time.
    This guide will encompass quite a few different sites, and obviously the methods described also work on images unrelated to Digimon. But of course I will restrict myself to sites that at least offer some Digimon images.

    General tips: Use the reverse google image search and common sense whenever you find a new image of something. Even using the tips shown below some sites simply might not offer the same quality as other sites so it's always worth to check if a larger version exist on another site (but beware of the upscales).

    So let's start off with something familiar:
    Twitter

    A surprisingly good source of high quality images but you wouldn't know it just from browsing normally.

    This is a typical Twitter image URL:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSlLWqxUEAEL-Ei.jpg
    not much quality here. The image is small, the compression is high (notice how the jpeg artefacting takes over the grain in the picture). In the case of links like these the width of the image is restricted to 600px.
    ...But this is only because we are looking at a medium quality link here. When an image is uploaded to twitter various quality versions of it will be generated. In order of size the versions are

    • thumb: 150px width and height
    • small: 340px width
    • medium: 600px width
    • large: 1024px width

    Normal links to pictures posted on twitter (as shown above) will automatically be presented in medium size.

    apart from "thumb" height doesn't seem to be restricted, or if it is the maximum value is so high that it won't matter in most cases. Compression decreases as size increases.
    In order to tell twitter to show us a size other than medium all we have to do is append the version identifier at the end of the image, separated by a colon.
    the thumbnail version of our example image would be:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSlLWqxUEAEL-Ei.jpg:thumb
    ...But that's not the direction we want to go to. "https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSlLWqxUEAEL-Ei.jpg:large" seems to be the better option of course and as twitter sometimes links images with the "large" modifier its existence is fairly well known. However it's still not good enough. After all it's still a compressed version with a fairly low maximum width, what we want is the original. And as it turns out there is a special identifier for it, which as far as I know is never "naturally" generated for links and thus even less known:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSlLWqxUEAEL-Ei.jpg:orig
    THIS is what you want to append to every twitter image URL, as it will remove any size restrictions (other than limitation regarding the uploading capabilities themselves of course). If an image's width is below for example 600 pixels the size obviously won't increase further with :large or :orig but it's still worth appending to get rid of the additional compression.


    Amazon

    At least for newer releases Amazon is a good source for high quality images of covers and other product photos; if you are lucky, clicking on the preview image on the product page will reveal the orignal size of the picture to be gigantic. But even those large images used in the zoomable area are sometimes only the tip of the iceberg. To get to the real resolution click on the image to open the gallery view for the product and use the "View Image" function on the large image (or drag it into your adress bar, whatever works) and you will end up with an URL like this:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/A1p1U3OznJL._SL1500_.jpg
    (I'm using the image for the first volume of the Digimon Adventure Zero Two VHS release just for the sake of irony as for some reason it has a better quality scan than many of the more recent Digimon game and DVD releases)
    Note that even though amazon stores of different countries use country specific domains for their store the image server will always be ecx.images-amazon.com.
    What tells us that the Image has been resized is in the case of amazon the extension "._SL1500_" (because of 1500px being the maximum width). We get the original, most likely bigger image by simply removing that extension, so only the base name remains, in our example case:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/A1p1U3OznJL.jpg
    Quite a jump in size and even though not all images size up this nicely it just shows how much you might be missing by not paying attention to your URLs.
    Thereare also a few other spects to amazon's downscaling, 1500px might be the maximum size but interestingly for images below this width a slightly compressed version with the same dimensions will be generated as evidenced by this image for the Digmon The Movies BD Box:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71S2tUddA-L._SL1000_.jpg
    Again, we remove the resize suffix, (._SL1000_) but because the original file wasn't actually bigger the resolutions remains the same. Other details change however, going into the image properties for both versions of the image will show a difference, in this case of about 30 Kilobytes.
    To see the difference in the image itself switch between the two versions rapidly while concentrating on the magenta stripes on the ferris wheel gondola's on the cover. on the .SL1000_ version of the stripes will appear slightly dimmer and less pronounced: The jpeg compression is reducing both color quality and details. It's very hard to notice without the direct comparison but this isn't about what's noticeable, this is about what is closer to perfection.

    miscellaniuos notes: the resizing (or rather compression) suffix on sub-1500px images isn't limited to any standard rounded values like 1000, 500 or anything but can take pretty much any arbitrary value based on the image. An example or that is this suffix of "._SL1136_" this image:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81Y4NYsTdDL._SL1136_.jpg
    (Cover of the "Digimon Adventure 02 Accesoires Disc" and yes I'm pretty much only bringing this up to notify you that this is a thing that exists)

    There are also other resizing suffixes besides "SL" such as "SX" like in this URL: "http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TEEZW96BL._SX330_.jpg" (pictured is the cover of the "Digimon World 3 Complete Guidebook" which might be something else than the "Digimon World 3 Perfect guidebook" but who knows), however with URLs other than SL you can't expect the original image to be much bigger than the resized version.



    Tumblr

    Tumblr works pretty much the same way Twitter does when it comes to images, generating multiple versions in various different sizes, however by not offering the option to view the original at all and restricting all images to a width of or below 1280px tumblr isn't a good source for high-resolution anything.
    the tumblr generated sizes (maximun width in pixels for each) are as follows:

    • 100
    • 250
    • 320
    • 400
    • 500
    • 540
    • 640
    • 1280

    The size is always appended after an underscore like this:

    https://40.media.tumblr.com/ee0529a8cd74eae6f82d6ef3e741206a/tumblr_n0lgyxc2oB1sebnc4o5_1280.jpg
    For lower resolution images the higher resolution versions are of course not generated (for example no 1280 version for images below 640px width), higher quality links will work but output the same size and unlike previous sites there are also no differences in compression. But there's no downside so I'd use the _1280 version anyway just to be sure to get max quality.



    iOS App Store
    This will of course mostly only be useful for official Digimon mobile games but the original sizes of images on the app store tends to be really huge, so I think this is worth mentioning. First off, the images are "protected" against direct clicks by being covered by an ::after pseudo-element that's part of their "picture" element, so in order to get the image source you'll have to use your browser's "inspect element" feature or a custom css style.

    Once you have he image URL it will probably look like this (if it doesn't it's probably from an older app and we'll talk about that case later):

    https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Purple128/v4/88/7e/63/887e6334-c06d-ccb8-4365-a43ee6fad1c0/pr_source.jpg/217x0w.jpg

    We can already see that the re-scaling takes place at the very end of the URL but there are two important factors here: Most, if not all images are available in both compressed jpg and png formats and secondly the original images are also stored on the servers so we won't have to fiddle with the rescaling numbers at all.

    This boils down to three changes:
    1. Replace the "thumb" part of the URL with "pf".
    2. Delete the last filename in the [number]x[number] format entirely.
    3. Change the extension of the remaining filename to .png if it isn't already one.


    The resulting full size link will look like this:
    https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/pf/Purple128/v4/88/7e/63/887e6334-c06d-ccb8-4365-a43ee6fad1c0/pr_source.png
    But let's take a look at some special cases: With some games such as Digimon heroes you will find a link in which the source image has no extension:

    https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Purple117/v4/37/cd/ce/37cdce31-1574-f7af-6b71-552fb0aabceb/source/392x696bb.jpg
    We can't use our previous method, which guarantees the source file, with this image since without an extension we can't access the source file at all (simply adding one doesn't work, we'll still get a "No source image found" error).
    So we do have to work with the resizing options. I won't go into detail about how the different resize parameters at the end of the filenames work... but so far my experiments have shown that setting it to "0x0ss" outputs the original resolution reliably. The jpg/png replacement works here as well, so in that case our final URL is:

    https://is1-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Purple117/v4/37/cd/ce/37cdce31-1574-f7af-6b71-552fb0aabceb/source/0x0ss.png
    That's it for the app store. If you find any image that does not have the "/image/" part of the URL (mostly occurs with very old apps), that means that this image is not resized through the app store api and you're probably stuck with the size you got.



    Google Play
    The second big mobile game resource... always check if the app you want images from is also in the app store (which tends to be the case with Digimon games) because they tend to have better images.

    Anyway this is an easy one:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_rLyNwyFGzjDaWGZFpWEtBw5nXyyOQdfAZz4hixonVIJP1mY1R WuyrBLuH6IBrUIhO8=w1920-h944
    The scaling part of the image is, again, obvious. there are two types of scaling used: two value scaling as seen above with separately defined width (w) and height (h) values that will scale down the image while respecting its aspect ratio, and a single value scale with a single scale (s) value that will apply to whatever the larger side of the image is. Setting a value to "0" will disable any scaling restriction for the side it applies to, which means we get full size images by setting the scaling to "s0":

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_rLyNwyFGzjDaWGZFpWEtBw5nXyyOQdfAZz4hixonVIJP1mY1R WuyrBLuH6IBrUIhO8=s0
    ...and there we go.



    P-Bandai

    Premium Bandai tends to show quite a few product pictures but the resolution isn't anything to write home about at least when looking at what you normally get. In most cases the highest resolution that will directly be shown as an image is the second best version of the image, with the actual best one being reserved for mouse-over previews. You can still access these images through their urls however.
    If you stumble upon an image linked from this site it should look like this:

    http://bandai-a.akamaihd.net/bc/img/model/xl/1000106532_9.jpg
    This is our first directory based URL modification as the version we get is defined outside the filename. Instead the /xl/ part of the path is telling you that you get the best version of because it's the biggest of five version they have of the image. Many of the older products don't seem to have an XL version, ut since in that case the "xl" link links to the "b" version (the next best one) it would make sense to check anyway

    • ss: 60px (thumbnail)
    • s: 100px (small)
    • m: 200px (medium)
    • b: 560px (big)
    • xl: 1200px (biggest)




    Weibo
    This might be a quite important one. Not only have there many instances where we got things like first magazine scans from chinese sources but Weibo is also very restrictive about showing you the larger versions of images, you get to see the medium version and for the full size the sites wants you to log in. And while registering a weibo account isn't much trouble in itself, let's face it, having to register on an foreign social media site you probably don't even speak the right language for is just kind of a hassle. Anyway, when viewing an image the url you'll get will look like this:

    http://ww2.sinaimg.cn/bmiddle/6e0fbf9agw1ex4f1rnwlfj20t3164k6l.jpg
    The size you get is directory based and there are three different variations:
    • square: thumbnail size, 80x80px.
    • bmiddle: medium size, 440px maximum width.
    • large: full size.

    In our example case the link to the best quality image looks like this

    http://ww2.sinaimg.cn/large/6e0fbf9agw1ex4f1rnwlfj20t3164k6l.jpg
    ... that's it, no registration required.



    CD-Japan

    Like with P-Bandai we got images of lots of products here but most aren't particulary large.

    Still, to make sure you won't end up with something post-card sized it's good to know that we're dealing with another site that uses three different versions based on the directory; We'll take the Digimon Adventure Micro Fiber Mini Towel "Takeru & Hikari"

    http://st.cdjapan.co.jp/pictures/l/04/10/NEOGDS-157426.jpg?v=1
    What does the "?v=1" mean? Who knows. you can replace the 1 with any other number and it won't make a difference to the image so why not just keep it. All three versions are named as follows:
    • s: 128px max width (small)
    • m: 240px max width (medium)
    • l: 500px max width (large)




    This is the part where I'll be mostly going on about some more obscure and quite situational news sites that might sometimes feature the odd article about Digimon with new images.


    Akiba-souken
    (basically just featuring this one because there were some tri news on the site)
    Let's take a look at a typical tri article on the site: https://akiba-souken.com/article/25260/
    Clicking on any of the small images will land you on the article's gallery page now we'll display the large version of the image (some of this can be skipped, as we'll see later), the URL looking like this:

    https://image-akiba-souken.ssl.k-img.com/assets/images/article/000/692/t640_692381.png
    As you should know the drill by know you might have already figured out the cuplrit behind the size restriction: the "t640_" prefix in front of the main filename. Simply remove it to "unlock" the original resolution:

    https://image-akiba-souken.ssl.k-img.com/assets/images/article/000/692/692381.png
    t640_ isn't the only version used by the site. The complete list:
    • t60_
    • t120_
    • t220_
    • t640_

    Each of the first three versions will restrict the width and the height to the value behind the "t" (which probably stands for thumbnail), however the t640_ prefix works a bit differently which is already evident from our earlier example. If you have paid to attention to exact resolution of the image (you should; this is the whole point of the topic) you'll notice that the resolution wasn't 640px on either width or height, and yet the image grew bigger when the prefix was removed, which would not have happened if the original picture was smaller than 640x640.... under normal circumstances that is. What in fact happens is that t640_ actually restricts the image not to 640x640 but to 640x480. Which explains why the t640_ version of our example image had a resolution of 426Ũ480 pixels.




    inside-games.jp
    this site has some nice artwork in the articles about the more recent Digimon video games. it's also notable in that it not only has a directory based system of archiving images in different sizes but also as different file types. an example image from one of the newer Next 0rder articles:

    http://www.inside-games.jp/imgs/zoom/617537.jpg
    First the directory based part: the directory in which the image is saved is called "zoom". However it's not actually that big, so what we want is more zoom... which is exactly what we need to tell the URL, as a bigger version of the image can be found when changing the link to this:

    http://www.inside-games.jp/imgs/morezoom/617537.jpg
    But that only solves half of the problem. The other half comes in the case of many sites in form of the extension ".jpg" at the end of the file. JPEG compression is an ugly thing that can make images unfit for exact editing. In most cases we have to live with it in lack of better alternatives but in this case we can make it at least a bit better: If we simply change the extension in the url to "png" we'll see that inside-games also has a png version of the image on their server!

    http://www.inside-games.jp/imgs/morezoom/617537.png
    ... and gone are many of the annoying compression artifacts. But yes I only say "many" and not "all" as a closer inspection will reveal that many of the .png versions, while uncopmpressed themselves have been converted from already-compressed jpg versions of the same image(our example image included). That's a disillusioning result however a png converted from a jpeg is still better than a png that's been converted from a jpeg and after that got converted to jpeg again, which is what the normal version of the images on this site are.


    Moca-news
    Another News site with the occasional tri article. They sometimes feature very large images... however they really don't seem to want people getting a hold of them and use a variety of methods like javascript and canvas elements to make the images very hard to download... which is exactly why I'm going to show how to get them anyway. In an article with clickable images there is a gallery subpage (unfortunately not all images or articles come with that feature).

    In this gallery we can see a nice big image however as mentioned before most normal methods of retrieving it won't work. There is no context menu, you can't drag it, and thanks to the HTML5 canvas the image link can't be found in the source of the website. They also amde sure the image isn't cached and disabling scripts will cause the image to not load in the first place. But one simple truth remains: If you can see something in your browser the data IS on your computer in some form or another.
    So we need to get to the canvas data. For this we will use the inspect element function of firefox, call it with F12, click the button in the upper left corner. (For some reason this method doesn't seem to work when using chrome so... just don't) and select the image which, as mentioned before, turns out to be a canvas element. Inside the canvas element there is lots of code specifying scripts and styles (the source image is not among the things specified however). What we are searching for is a single snippet of code:

    oncontextmenu="return false;"
    After finding it you double click on it and then either just delete it entirely or just the part between the quotes, it doesn't matter. After this we will be able to right click on the canvas unobstructed. In the context menu we can now either save the image directly or view it. Note that viewing the image will not result in a URL link but the complete Data URI of the image appearing in your address bar.


    That's about it for now... if I come across any other relevant sites I might include them in this guide in the future.
    Most of this text was written while sitting around with a cold and feeling gloomy so I hope I managed to be at least a bit productive.
    Last edited by Theigno; 05-03-2018 at 06:47 AM. Reason: P-bandai update

  2. #2
    I come from the net MasterOfTartarus's Avatar
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    i donīt know if itīs possible but maybe you can add Wikimon? it has the pictures of pretty much every digimon but picture size is limited to keep it compact and to shorten the loading time of the pictures.

    btw maybe if someone is interested here are 2 pictures i donīt think you find on the web elsewhere, Gizmon Javelin full picture(puzzled together) and Deathmon (cmon) i made the the missing arm
    http://i.imgur.com/Pc5E1Sg.png
    http://i.imgur.com/dtLVBEv.jpg

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterOfTartarus View Post
    i donīt know if itīs possible but maybe you can add Wikimon?
    I don't see any reason to. Wikimon doesn't hide anything, you can freely access the biggest version of an image on their servers with two clicks and it's an unobscured and well known part of their site.
    The reason I bothered to write about the sites above is because they never tell their users that it's possible to manually alter the URLs a certain way and most people wouldn't notice that possibility when browsing them normally. Wikimon doesn't need a guide because you can literally get to the image by clicking around in an article randomly. So most of their stuff just generally falls under the "use image search because there's probably a better evrsion out there"-rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterOfTartarus View Post
    btw maybe if someone is interested here are 2 pictures i donīt think you find on the web elsewhere, Gizmon Javelin full picture(puzzled together) and Deathmon (cmon) i made the the missing arm
    http://i.imgur.com/Pc5E1Sg.png
    http://i.imgur.com/dtLVBEv.jpg
    This thread isn't for specific requests. It's for general tools people can use to find the specific images themselves. Possibly a separate thread could be made for smaller requests though.

    but just for fun... The Gizumon image looks blurry because it has been (very badly) upscaled, if the the Video of the savers DVDs used 100% of the available resolution the original source should have a width of 720px so any unedited version should be significantly smaller.
    With C'mon Digimon you are relying on some very old scans, I don't remember any double page spreads featuring Deathmon's base form so it's unlikely you'll find a much bigger picture of it. Sometimes the raws might be in a slightly higher resolution but uncleaned will probably end up looking worse.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    A little update was added about the images on the premium-bandai shop.

    Turns out that they added an additional, bigger size version for images, an "xl" version that has has a maximum width of 1200px, which is quite nice. This seems to be a fairly new addition since I could only find images with XL versions for products released in the last few months. In all those cases, the xl version appears as a mouse-over preview when hovering over the "b" version of that image.

    anyway, the P-bandai part of the main post has been updated with that information (it also contains information about the "ss" thumbnail version but that probably won't be useful to anyone)

  5. #5
    I come from the net G-SANtos's Avatar
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    Is there a better way you can explain the moca-news part? Because even after doing everything you said, I still can't get the image. Trying to view it only gives me a dummy image, and trying to save it also only saves said dummy.
    Anime... PAAWAA!!!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    It seems that they put a whole bunch of annoying scripts on their images, it's still possible to get them by removing the elements covering it or stripping everything except the src tag but by now I guess the best method for getting the image is using the Developer Tools (instructions for Firefox, though other browsers have similar functions as well):
    After navigating to the page showing the image you want open the Network tab of the developer tools over the Tools menu or ctrl+shift+Q.
    Then reload the page with Ctrl+F5 (the ctrl part is important because it forces to the page to reload all the images and not just get them from the cache).
    In the developer tools window you should see a bunch of "GET" request and respones, right over the table you can filter them by type so click on the "Images" button, which will show you all the images loaded.
    You might want to sort the results by size using the columns since the full size image is probably the biggest image on the page and you'll also see a preview next to it or by hovering.
    After you find the image, right click it and select either "Copy as cURL" or "Copy Image as Data URI" (getting the URL is useless since the images are protected against hotlinking). This will copy the image as a byte string into your clipboard.
    Finally paste the content of your clipboard into your browser's address bar and you have the image. You can save it like normal.

  7. #7
    I'm a Maniac Digi_TaKi's Avatar
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    Thanks ! this helps alot allowed me to find higher quality DVD covers

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    Updated the opening post with instructions for getting full size images from the iOS App Store and Google Play (You have ReArise to thank for that lol)

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