Note that what will follow is only because i fail to see what is wrong and i am in no way angry or willing to debate in an endless argument war, and i am also quite aware that administrating the art team can be a pain, Neither i will provide the admin name since i have nothing against him directly but more about the fact (and that not a recent issue) that the same model could be accepted or denied depending who get on it.
However, the point is due to a recent denial of one of a custom i made for a ship.
The reason given was that the model wasn't a 2D graphic or 3D model and so far there's not such a rule for custom. And since now all my custom were perfectly matching all rules.
I can understand that for standard images for rules page need drastic measure, but for custom that's quite too much. And if that's a matter of quality, i also think this model is certainly better than many custom ships image based on 3D models.
It also really can disappoint you after having worked on such custom, doing your best to match the rules, and finding the rare good model to work with over the net.
Here the rules list
1. All 100x100 images must have a 100% intact Combine frame.
2. All images must have a solid black background.
3. No pixely or blurry images will be accepted.
4. No animated images of any sort.
5. Text on entities must be in good taste and real life symbols are generally a no.
6. Images must be the actual entity, no other entities are allowed in the image.
7. Entities from other universes are unacceptable.
8. Slight modifications are allowed but must be recognizable as said entity.
9. All NPC images must represent the correct race.
10. Engine flare must be kept to a minimum and must not discolor the background.
11. Lights on entities must be proportionate to the size of the ship and not cause any major flare.
12. Custom items only have role playing purposes, they may not reflect current or future items (lightsabers and such).
13. All offensive material will be rejected.
And there, the custom.
Maybe it would be nice to implement an admin tool for the art team based on a voting system.
There are only 2 people with the ability to accept or decline custom images at this time. There were 2 more, and they left recently. A Voting system... Not only I don't see how it will be implemented, it's basically ineffective and has no purpose IMO. It will take longer time for things to be implemented, and how can two people vote for a rejection reason?
Now that this is cleared out, I'll clear another. The rule for Photorealism was always in place, only recently it has been applied to NPCs as well as the other entities. The updated rules list since the last administration is not up yet, it will be as soon as the Director sends it to the admins as a replacement for the old. But to be honest, there are no new rules in the updated list, just clarification of the old ones. As Ellias said, this ship was denied because it was hand-drawn. Some drawings has been accepted in the past for going beyond the drawing line and becoming a 2D graphic image - though this process is long and usually takes a lot of skill.
You are right that it depends who accepts or decline the image, but more or less the Art Team's decisions are shared, and people don't take their own views. If someone doesn't know if to accept or decline an image, he/she leaves it to the other to review. I will check the problem with the team, but that doesn't make the image acceptable. If images of this kind were accepted in the past, we can replace those images for you with new ones with no CP loss.