Twinbee's judgement criteria for the Showcase section at Neopages

Update to the rating system
Updated the rating system a bit. Now includes 'Simplicity/purity' level - which is similar to the old Aesthetic/beauty rating in that it defines how well the 'components' of the picture (however few of them) fit together.

However, unlike before, it's now much easier than before to score highly in this new rating if the picture is simple =) - but beware, the higher the "Intricacy/detail" level for your picture is, the harder it will be to obtain a relatively high score for the 'Purity/Simplicity' rating ;) (but it's by no means impossible to score highly in both - which of course would represent the very best pictures).

Anyway, both combine to form an overall rating. All scores are logarithmic as usual - so a difference of around 2-3 points will mean a double in actual quality. Also, the scores have expanded a bit since before, so an Overall rating of an old 25, will score something more like 27 in the new scoring system.

Hope all that makes sense. I think it's a more scalable system than before, and takes a more objective approach in defining the elemental attributes of a picture. All this in theory of course, and no-one can be too sure about anything when it comes to something like rating beauty, so any constructive critisicm is welcome ;-)

See the end of this page for the limits in the scoring system.
I love to rate everything, so from now on, I'll rate every single picture I review :-) There are two ratings so far, both combining to form a third final rating. I might add more in future, but for now these'll do.

The "Intricacy/detail" rating basically looks at the amount of directed detail. Does the picture consist of a few lines and circle, or is it a super complex masterpiece with all the subtleties theoretically possible? It also takes into account how 'much' of the picture there is. Something could be incredibly detailed, but if there's not much to see, then this score won't be as high as it could be.

The "Simplicity/purity level" rating looks at how 'refined' the picture is. It takes into account the style, use of colour graduation, colour mixing, contrast, 'fractal-ness' and the way all the shapes in the picture combine to form the overall picture - thus giving an aesthetic judgement. This score will usually be from around 30 to 50 points, but it's worth mentioning that the higher the level of detail the picture contains, the harder it will be to score highly in this category. Likewise, if the picture has a low amount of detail (example, a simple sphere or effect), then it will be easier to score higher in this category.

(nb: Generally, human shaped forms will have a slight default advantage in the Simplicity/purity rating, becase of the universality of the cool human form, but (perhaps on average!) a lower rating in the Intricacy/detail rating. Also, photos will (often, but not always) have a higher detail rating than usual. This is to be expected).

The "Overall" rating will be a carefully factored equation of the above elements, but perhaps with a slight adjustment if I feel there are other factors I have overlooked (in which case, I'll include a reason why).

All 3 ratings will have a mark out of 60, but because the rating system is logarithmic, I should make it clear that an extra 2 or 3 points will actually mean a double in quality, so a rating of 36 means the picture is twice as good as a rating of about 33.

How good is good?

I'll do my best to make sure the ratings are consistent on a universal level of what makes something look good. Here's a rough indication of what those scores will mean:
On average, I'll probably award an overall rating of about 17-27 for most pictures - this is by no means bad. Above 20 is good. If your picture gets around 30 or above, then that's very impressive! If however it gets more than 45.... well, I don't actually expect this to happen in my lifetime to be honest! ;D
So far, the highest I've ever rated a picture for the showcase is about 33-35 points.

Also, these ratings are obviously tailored towards pictures, but if people make music or some kind of other 'presentation', then I'll rate those aswell using a couple more criteria.

Why am I doing this?

Because it's always fun to see how good a picture actually is. It will also encourage higher quality art for the showcase! =)
If others would like to rate too, then all the better!

Further ranking detail explored in this FAQ:

You count high detail as a good thing. Does this mean a relatively simple picture won't score highly?

Not at all. Simple art can look good, especially if there is 'purpose' in the structure of this art. In this case, perhaps the detail/intricacy won't be quite as high, /but/ there would (very possibly) be an increase in the simplicity/purity and overall ratings for this degree of art. It's clear that simplicity can be a good thing, and will possibly even be better in some ways than something that's more complex. I guess my point is that complex designs will actually lack the same kind of beauty as simple designs (even if the complex design is 'better overall').

Scores seem to be too close to each other, hovering around 20-25. Why is this?

As said at the top, all ratings are logarithmic, so a score of 25 is twice as good as a picture with a rating of about 22 or 23. This would mean that a score of 30 is around sixteen times as good as a picture with a rating of 20 points.
To calculate the linear score, calculate 2^(x/2.5) where x equals the score given.

Why are you rating the overall score out of 60 if you're so confident that no one will create a picture that will score above 40?

Well for one thing, it shows the vast range and breadth in quality that's theoretically possible from a picture. Apart from this, there's always the slim possibility that someone /will/ create a picture so fantastic, that it exceeds a score of 40 (but I won't hold my breath yet... ;)

Are these scores completely objective and accurate?

I always try to be as fair and impartial as possible, but no doubt I'll probably make a good number of small errors (heck, maybe even some big ones too if I'm not careful ;-) ...but I'm getting to grips with this whole rating business, so bear with me.

Aren't you missing the originality/creativity rating type?

So far, I have the attributes: intricacy/detail and Simplicity/purity, but no mark to indicate how 'original' the piece of art is. There is a good reason for this exclusion though, since it's the kind of rating which would alter over time - and will vary from person to person according to how much, or how little something has been seen before.
For example, a colourful mathematical fractal design or sunset would score fairly highly in the objective criteria (purity & intricacy), but their apparent beauty is lessened somewhat - because 'everyone' has seen them - and knows what they 'tend' to look like. To sum up, I prefer to only include 'definitive' or 'empirical' criteria/rating types where the subsequent scores will never change - not even in a thousand years time.

Aren't you missing the meaning/expression rating type?

This is a seperate property of the picture, which will (indirectly) give the picture an 'extra dimension' (in the same way that the the meaning behind a song's lyrics are a seperate property from its tune).

No doubt that conveying a sense of emotion (sadness, humor, reflection, 'scariness' etc.) can very easily give the viewer something else to 'chew on', but rating may be fairly subjective, since a picture will mean different things to someone according to their lifetime's experience.
A good example is how a picture can inadvertently trigger off memories or thoughts which aren't exactly an intrinsic part of that picture. If this is the case, then it's not just the picture being rated - it's also the viewer's emotions and memories of which the picture initially triggered. Perhaps in some styles of picture though, there is a 'fully self-contained expression' which is intrinsic to that picture, so one has to be careful if rating something like this. Another difficulty is that a high level of detail/purity may 'naturally' increase the score for the meaning/expression type (and vice versa).

For now, I'll leave the meaning/expression sub-rating type out, but bump up the overall score rating if I feel such a decision to be justified (in which case, I'll include a note which mentions this).

Is it possible to score highly in one of the ratings, and low in the other (or vice versa) ?

Yep. As said previously, a picture could be rate very highly in one category, but low in the other. There are limits though; A picture with an 'Intricacy/detail' rating at say... 20 will never score more than 16 points above this (36) for the 'Overall' rating, no matter how refined the design is. Likewise, a picture with a 'Purity/simplicity' rating of 60/60 will always score at least 16 points for the Overall rating - no matter how simple the design is.

I'm still working on these concepts though, so these criteria might change as I gather a more thorough understanding of how to accurately quantify pictures in terms of quality :-)

For further information on why all pictures and music have an unknown but absolute
score, also visit
here for my article on Universal Aesthetics.