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Topic: Levels of anthroness in tagging ?

Posted under Tag/Wiki Projects and Questions

Hello everyone!

So here is this pic:
post #654450
And i think it would be great to have something like this on this site. For the first level we have the humanoid tag and the fifth level is feral ofcourse but we don't have tag for atleast for one of the levels ( because there is a semi-anthro tag) but i think it would be great to have a more precise system.
The only problem is that it would be hard to go trough all the anthro tagged posts, but currently im tagging all the posts wich are missing the feral or anthro tags, so i could tag these from now on, with for example AL:1 (2. level) AL:2 (3. level) AL:3 (4. level) .
What do you guys think?

Updated by Crispix

Give me a hour and i create a objective system for this problem. But i think i'll postpone this 'till tomorrow.

Updated by anonymous

There's probably room for something like semi-feral (or whatever you'd call characters with a more-or-less feral shape but bipedal with thumbs) and I'd certainly appreciate a tag for characters who aren't quite either. I think though that's too much grey area to definitively categorize things in a multi-tiered system. Even just including semi-feral might get questionable and might be affected by things like clothing, style, or pose.

Updated by anonymous

Really, 2, 3, and 4, I think, are all anthro. I don't think 4 counts as semi-anthro. Our semi-anthro is more like 4.5.

I wouldn't object to having some other tags for levels of feral/anthro/humanness, but we'd need some objective standards on which to judge these things, otherwise the divisions would be far too subjective.

Updated by anonymous

Genjar

Former Staff

Hexdragon said:
Give me a hour and i create a objective system for this problem. But i think i'll postpone this 'till tomorrow.

We haven't even managed to create an objective system for tagging anthro and feral, as can be seen from all the tag wars. Not to mention that many users never check the wiki at all. If the categories gets even more muddled, I'm not going to even bother trying to tag those anymore.

There's very little practical difference between 2, 3, and 4, and posts are rarely drawn by such scales. Consider these, for example:

post #365100 post #779302 post #667468 post #820948 post #139234 post #325284 post #705361

Ask five users where they think those fall on the anthroness scale, and you'll get five different answers.

Updated by anonymous

Genjar said:
We haven't even managed to create an objective system for tagging anthro and feral, as can be seen from all the tag wars. Not to mention that many users never check the wiki at all. If the categories gets even more muddled, I'm not going to even bother trying to tag those anymore.

There's very little practical difference between 2, 3, and 4, and posts are rarely drawn by such scales. Consider these, for example:

post #365100 post #779302

If I can use a compass analogy here:

  • AAAFF (feral face with anthro expression, mostly anthro trunk, anthro/feral hybrid legs and arms, feral posture, boobs at front) -- should be tagged busty_feral I guess
    *FFA (feral face without anthro deformations, anthro posture, truncated view) -- (inherently) ambiguous IMO

post #667468 post #820948

Both AAAF - face structure is the only thing that is clearly feral.
In Gumball's case it's more ambiguous what might be an 'anthro' structure/expression and what is cartoonish exaggeration.
Of course expecting everyone to do this kind of balance and consideration of falsifiability is too much, but they are IMO at a clear point on the feral - anthro scale.

post #139234

Same as the red one but more anthro expression and implication of more clearly anthro posture (see forearms). FFAAAA - anthro or semi-anthro.

post #325284

FFFAAAA - anthro or semi-anthro. Feral bits 'tacked on to' a basically anthro structure.

post #705361

Actually ambiguous because lizards can stand more or less like that, but so do humans. FA

I think the basic problem is 'what are people actually searching for', and putting them on anthro/feral scale might be missing the actual point. We have these different questions:

  • feral or anthro head -structure-?
  • feral or anthro expression (latter may imply deformation if structure is feral)?
  • bipedal or quadrupedal posture?
  • tail (usually the case, but milder 'anthro' forms might not have)?
  • feral, anthro, or hybrid leg/arm structure?
  • others?

Not all of these questions can be clearly answered for a given post. But what's important is to find out what people are actually trying to find.

Updated by anonymous

I hope this kinda makes sense, but here goes. XD You don't have to use these, but my own personal definitions go like this:
Feral: body is drawn more-or-less in its natural state and posture, with allowance for style.
Semi-Anthro: Drawn with a human posture and some human features like hands, but could be drawn in its natural posture with little to no changes to its proportions and anatomy. If drawn bending over, it may look like or almost like a feral, save for minor details like having thumbs. Typical ways this varies from anthro would be shorter legs, longer arms, narrower shoulders, a longer 'drop-crotch' torso, and skin webs between the heel and butt instead of defined calves and thighs.
Anthro: Body shape is anthropomorphized to a point it couldn't be drawn in its natural posture without either looking awkward or making significant changes to its anatomy and proportions.

A quick test for where an image fits would go "Is the subject in its species natural posture without excess human features like hands?" If yes, it's feral. "Could the subject be shown in its species natural posture comfortably with few/no changes to its proportions?" If yes, it's semi-anthro.

Using this, all of those images would be classified as anthro. To use established copyrights, Chip and Dale would be semi-anthro as they retain proportions similar to a feral of the same species in the same style would have. Zootopia would be kind of a grey area between anthro and semi-anthro as some characters do fit into the definition, and others do not, as demonstrated by this image: https://dancingwithgazelle.com/us_assets/images/intro--img.png I personally would classify the tigers as semi-anthro, but Gazelle as anthro. An example of something in a grey area between feral and semi-anthro would be post #850557 because it is difficult to tell what his posture is due to pose, though the thumbs to me suggest that he would be semi-anthro.

Another grey area is animals that already are bipeds (in most styles there'd be little difference between a feral and semi-anthro kangaroo) and things like Pokemon or Digimon whose natural state may be a talking biped with thumbs.

Updated by anonymous

regsmutt said:
Using this, all of those images would be classified as anthro.

That point has been made before. But it just renders 'anthro' overly broad, so that people only would search it for 'not entirely feral'.
I feel like this is a basic mistake, to make definitions and then ask 'how will people search this', instead of the reverse. Is there any reason for tagging outside of letting people find images they like?

BTW: not sure what you mean by 'drop-crotch' torso. Pelvis height? Angle? Depth? Some other thing relating to the parameters of the abdomen? Location of leg attachment (ferals have less degrees of freedom in limb movement)?

Updated by anonymous

Genjar

Former Staff

savageorange said:
That point has been made before. But it just renders 'anthro' overly broad, so that people only would search it for 'not entirely feral'.
I feel like this is a basic mistake, to make definitions and then ask 'how will people search this', instead of the reverse. Is there any reason for tagging outside of letting people find images they like?

But that's the reason why those are split as they are: for searchability.

Some users want to search only for feral animals, therefore feral shouldn't be made any broader. And then there's the users who want to search for anthropomorphic animals, but don't want to see ferals (´because that's bestiality', etc). Which is why anthro is so broad: users who search for it don't generally care about the degree of anthropomorphism, as long as there's some.

Updated by anonymous

savageorange said:
That point has been made before. But it just renders 'anthro' overly broad, so that people only would search it for 'not entirely feral'.
I feel like this is a basic mistake, to make definitions and then ask 'how will people search this', instead of the reverse. Is there any reason for tagging outside of letting people find images they like?

BTW: not sure what you mean by 'drop-crotch' torso. Pelvis height? Angle? Depth? Some other thing relating to the parameters of the abdomen? Location of leg attachment (ferals have less degrees of freedom in limb movement)?

I feel like 'anthro' by nature is going to be overly broad. A lot of the degrees of anthro can be attributed to style e.g. 'funny animal/toony' style vs 'furry' vs 'Bojack Horseman'. An accurate specific way to do it would likely be too fussy for most to bother with.

As for what 'drop-crotch' means, I just borrowed a fursuit term because it was the best word I could think of. XD Basically, it means the pelvis/crotch is significantly lower than it would be on a human.

Updated by anonymous

Genjar said:
But that's the reason why those are split as they are: for searchability.

Some users want to search only for feral animals, therefore feral shouldn't be made any broader. And then there's the users who want to search for anthropomorphic animals, but don't want to see ferals (´because that's bestiality', etc). Which is why anthro is so broad: users who search for it don't generally care about the degree of anthropomorphism, as long as there's some.

.. Are you implying that the justification for the anthro tag is basically people being butthurt over possible fictional bestiality ? :D

Joking aside, I'm not arguing that the anthro tag is not currently -functional-. But it can be functional while still being overly broad. AFAICS the existence of this topic (and others like it) imply that people DO want to find images with a finer degree of precision than basically 'feral / not feral' (or maybe feral x not-feral / feral x feral / not-feral x not-feral.. combinatorics ugh).

Updated by anonymous

Genjar

Former Staff

savageorange said:
Joking aside, I'm not arguing that the anthro tag is not currently -functional-. But it can be functional while still being overly broad. AFAICS the existence of this topic (and others like it) imply that people DO want to find images with a finer degree of precision than basically 'feral / not feral' (or maybe feral x not-feral / feral x feral / not-feral x not-feral.. combinatorics ugh).

Hence the addition of the humanoid and taur tags.

However, so far I haven't seen any other suggestions for new categories that would actually be taggable in practice. What exactly counts as 'more anthropomorphic' is too subjective when there's so many features to consider. For instance, human-like hair seems extremely anthropomorphic to some, but only slightly to others. And that's just one feature out of dozens, and made even more problematic by all the various artstyles.

Seriously, I've been tagging long enough to have some idea of what actually works and what doesn't.

It'd be better to keep anthro as a broad tag, and use other tags to narrow down the searches. Existing tags such as digitigrade/plantigrade, humanoid_hands and hair/-[[hair]] already work decently for that, but the searches become problematic if there's a mix of bodytypes (humanoid_on_anthro, etc).

Trying to tag varying levels of anthropomorphism ('anthro levels' such as in the OP, and also semi-anthro) is too subjective to be useful. ...maybe it'd be possible to add anthro subtags such as digitigrade_anthro and plantigrade_anthro, I could see something like that working far better. The problem is figuring out exactly what subcategories the users actually want to search for, so we don't end up creating worthless tags. After all, with 500000+ anthro posts, adding even one subcategory is going to be a massive project that'll last years.

Updated by anonymous

Genjar said:
Trying to tag varying levels of anthropomorphism ('anthro levels' such as in the OP, and also semi-anthro) is too subjective to be useful.

Yeah, I don't disagree with you at all about that. Degrees is not usable and semi-anthro is vague.

...maybe it'd be possible to add anthro subtags such as digitigrade_anthro and plantigrade_anthro, I could see something like that working far better.

On that particular aspect, tagging digitigrade, plantigrade, and unguligrade more consistently would probably work better. Though I think the wiki is not 100% clear on these tags, I suspect it means that you should tag X -if- the leg structure is X (and NOT just because the species is Z) -- eg digitigrade, canine.

There are other aspects like feral heads on an otherwise anthro body (as in that cute zangoose pic you posted), etc. Maybe they already have tags?

The problem is figuring out exactly what subcategories the users actually want to search for, so we don't end up creating worthless tags.

That's ultimately up to users to figure out, AFAICS. A thread focused on what body types users want to search but can't, would be much more productive than anthro/semi-anthro planning thread #15; it would provide some level of data to make reasonable generalizations from.

Updated by anonymous

From that chart, humanoid, anthro, anthro, anthro, feral. That's it. No semi-anthro in that picture, it's fairly rare.

Updated by anonymous

Ill' create a fullyobjective algorithm for this. I just need a bit of time.

Updated by anonymous

Added to/related: forum #189471 - Advanced tag discussion: Mutually-exclusive Body Styles (Apr. 2016)
-

There's also post #88044
based on the OP example, which seems to be a type of 'art meme', similar to the facial expressions sheet/art improvement records/other

Full response pending, but for now, just wanted to say that it's very interesting how people have listed anthro multiple times, while ones like feral and humanoid are mentioned once
-
People have touched on how ambiguous the term/definition for 'anthro' is, which seems to be the key issue here about cases like these

@Genjar, @savageorange et al mentioned using features, rather than a still ambiguous, broad scale to differentiate these body types;
Which I think may be the most practical solution here

However, a rather large issue with using is something that has also been brought up multiple times in the past (and in here, but for a different case):

And not knowing about, or tagging in the more specific tags doesn't seem to currently be against site ToS, so there's not much one can do about that (see forum #185961)
-

Which is why there needs to be both general and specific tags that work in conjunction with each other

(not saying that anyone is suggesting otherwise, just that this a very important point to consider when discussing specific/general tag usage)

Updated by anonymous

Well, I feel that is spreading the topic pretty wide.. but I would say in general that to get people to tag better, the very first thing you need, before an actually good tag ontology, is the UI to support it.
That is, a) tag autocompletion, to make entering tags and especially remembering obscure tags easier, and b) mildly intelligent tag suggestion relationships (eg taggings of breasts should suggest other breast-related tags; taggings of greyscale should prevent most color-related tags from being suggested).

I know this has been suggested in the feature request thread before, I wanted to point out that I think this kind of thing is a prerequisite to really --effectively-- improve e621's tag ontology.

Updated by anonymous

The whole anthro/feral tagging and everything in between is hardly the only thing on e621 that goes untagged. Clothing and grouping are a couple of other major ones.

Updated by anonymous

Genjar

Former Staff

GameManiac said:
The whole anthro/feral tagging and everything in between is hardly the only thing on e621 that goes untagged. Clothing and grouping are a couple of other major ones.

Many posts are also missing basic tags such as breasts, penetration, genitalia tags, orientations, genders, etc. There's still tens of thousands of posts that have no species tags at all. And over half of all posts are missing the background tags, though I'm not sure how important those actually are.

Anthro/feral works well enough as is, but if those are made so complex that tagging them is going to require checking a chart or an algorithm, then I'm not going to spend time on those anymore. Not while there's so many other important things left to tag.

(Here's just one example: -male -female -intersex -zero_pictured. The gender tags are just about the most basic of tags to add, but even those are missing from 40000 posts. And that doesn't even find the numerous non-solo posts that have some but not all genders tagged.)

Updated by anonymous

I don't really see this as a big deal that merits much discussion, nor do I see any real benefit from trying to get it hammered into a more finely categorized system of new tags, especially considering what we have covers the vast majority of the example scale:

On the scale in the OP:
1 - animal_humanoid unquestionably
2 - anthro unquestionably
3 - anthro unquestionably
4 - anthro, semi-anthro depending on opinion
5 - feral unquestionably

There is no useful difference between 2 and 3 that isn't covered by using feature tags. 4 is the only one where there is any uncertainty, and we already have tags to cover either side it's judged to fall on, in the form of semi-anthro or anthro. Many that fall into that uncertain category end up with both tags, and honestly, that works out fine for this particular situation IMO. People who aren't concerned with that sub-form category and view it as anthro still see it show up under anthro. People who are looking for that form can still find it by searching it. The only people who might lose out are those trying to do a -anthro semi-anthro search, but I imagine that's excessively rare.

I say just don't sweat it too much in this particular case, leave things how they are, and if you think a feral or anthro post is leaning towards that semi-anthro middle ground, just throw the semi-anthro tag on there in addition.

Updated by anonymous

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