A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comment

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Ptrope, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. BJensen

    BJensen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    :lol:

    you could say that.

    The ornament is the final product, not the picture of it displayed here. Paradox resolved. That's how I see it at least.
     
  2. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I didn't say it should be a requirement, which is why it's listed under the Contestant Guidelines section. I do think, however, that contestants are well-served to generate advance interest in their entries by posting a WIP thread, and the Trek Art forum is well-served also by giving everyone else cool stuff to look at between voting threads.

    But by all means, if you don't want to post a WIP thread, you shouldn't have to.

    Hey, I'm open to persuasion on this one. I do believe time is a relevant factor, though, and it doesn't seem quite fair to me that someone should be able to take something they might have spent months or years creating and put it up against stuff that other people had to finish in two or three weeks. Speaking as a CG artist, the more time I have to work on a model or a scene, the better it tends to look.

    I'm not saying that entries have to be created entirely for the contest, but it doesn't seem like too much to ask that people should have to put some time and effort into it during the actual period of the contest. Of course, there's probably no way to verify it unless the work a person intends to use has been seen somewhere else before, but in that case it just comes back to another one of those honor issues, which ain't nothin'.

    I wholeheartedly agree.
     
  3. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    One more time just to be clear, I never meant to suggest that WIP threads should be a requirement, and it frankly never occurred to me use them as a mechanism to bust cheaters. How about this as a refinement to Contestant Guidelines item #1:

    Maybe it should be addressed at both the contestants and the voters, but I disagree that it should only apply to the latter and not the former. If nobody bothers to provide some fully developed compositions with their entries then it hardly matters whether it appeals to the voters or not.

    This is a matter of personal preference. I would like to see more elaborate compositions consisting of things other than starships and props and gadgets, just for a change of pace, but that's just me. If it's not really a great interest or priority for the rest of the forum then I won't be the one to try to force it.

    However, I won't promise not to make it a requirement of some future contest that I may win the right to name. ;)

    Again, not everything I listed above was intended to be a hard and fast rule. Greater attention to composition and presentation certainly was not.
     
  4. biotech

    biotech Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    To me what it all boils down to is what you define as contributing to a contest.

    There are a number of ways to contribute to a contest

    1) When the contest starts, open a WIP thread, share with everyone your progress and ideas, and when the end of the month comes, people can see how much work you have put into your image.

    2) Still work during the month, but save your image until just before the poll comes up, so its fresh in peoples minds when its voting time.

    3) Enter something youve already made, but with new additions created just for the month, show the new parts being added in a WIP.

    4) Enter something you made ages ago and do nothing to it at all.

    All these are examples that have been used with varying degrees of sucess by the contestants.

    But when it comes to being part of a community, 1 and 3 show the most community spirit because you are sharing your working, potentially giving the others in our community ideas and tips for future projects.

    A finished work presented towards the end, or even at the start, gives us nothing but a nice picture to look at, and while they might win, what have we gained from them?

    People keep saying the contests are just for fun, and that they dont enter to win, well if thats true, why not show your WIP from the start?
     
  5. TPoptarts

    TPoptarts Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I can't speak for others, but personally I posted my finished entry in every challenge I entered for a variety of reasons:

    - I usually don't have much time to work on my entries, so most of the work is squeezed in the end of the month, just before submission time anyway.
    - Even when I post an entry I decide to change later, I usually don't have the time to edit it before submission time and the posted entry remains as the finished submission.
    - I'm a 2D artist, so I really don't think anyone would be interested in an outline of an armless Trip, or a half-colored T'Pol... :o
    - I'm aware my entries are a bit on the... insane side (admitting I have a problem is the first step! :p), and I just don't wanna spoil them.
    - And maybe it's just me, but when I know for sure I'm gonna change something, I don't even bother to save a .jpg file.

    ...I... did...? I'm pretty sure I lost every challenge I entered...? :confused:
     
  6. biotech

    biotech Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I think people are less woried about entrants using art they had made prior to the month when its fairly ovbious they didnt spend more than a month making it.

    If youve been working on something for half a year, its bound to be good, and noone else whos actually doing theirs in the month could hope to compete.
     
  7. Kail

    Kail Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I'm sorry. I must have been thinking of someone else.

    edit: I was, it was Lonegungirl
     
  8. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    ^^ :lol: Who could forget "It's a good die to dry!" ??

    ...but her entry fit with Biotech's concern, that while it was already in hand it obviously didn't take six months to make.
     
  9. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I don't think that the leader would be missing out on anything if they weren't allowed to enter - they can still create something for their theme, and show it off to others. In fact I think they should be encouraged to do so. I just think that at the end of the month, their name shouldn't be in the poll. It just seems the most fair way of doing things.
     
  10. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I see I am late to the party. I have to say that I agree with what Klaus has said. I mostly just look and comment in this thread mostly because I don't do 3D art. I have done some simple things just to have fun when it was a topic I like, but not to many.

    I really don't see why it would be a problem to limit the medium that a winner gets to chose for a contest. Usually when a limit is set it is usually the 3D crowd that has a problem with it. I have never seen anyone else ever complain. I think that limiting the medium would breed more interesting contest, instead of just looking and different 3D model scenes every month.

    Next don't see what the problem is with someone using something that they already have laying around. Just because they have been working on it for a year does not mean it will get more votes.

    Don't see the need to prevent the winner from entering their contest. Winning the contest and choosing the topic is half the fun. I am sure most people just have something they have been dying to do. I know I do.

    As far as the other issues, was not here last month so I don't know what the issue was. I have an idea that I will not say that was the root of some of it. The internet being like it is I can see the need to have a minimal post limit to vote but not enter.

    That is my penny. Opinion not worth much more than that.
     
  11. The Axeman

    The Axeman Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    On limiting the medium...
    This is an art challenge first and foremost to promote creativity and community on the Trek board, to get people creating, posting, talking and sharing their art. If we then say "Right, this month only sculptors can join in" then we instantly alienate many of the members who would otherwise like to participate. Yes, they might be able to enter, but it's not their oeuvre and they probably wont have the experience, tools or knowledge to produce a winning entry. Likewise we never said "3D artists only, create a...." for any of the challanges, since once again those without the tools or know-how would be left out. No one should be excluded, it's not the spirit the contest was created in.

    Since the challenge is to create art, we can make the challenge part be the subject or theme for that month, not the medium it's presented in. Stuff like "present to us a new Trek alien" includes all comers, be they physical or computer modelers, painters or comic-book artists. They can use their own medium in which they are most skilled to present their vision, and we as a board can share in it. My own medium is CGI, so you would not expect me to create my best work in oilpaint or styrene, even though it would be an undoubted challenge for me to create anything more than a mess in those areas.

    All I'm saying is that the challenge should be in what we're asked to create, not how we create it.
     
  12. BJensen

    BJensen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    ^ Frankly it's always been my experience that 'challenging' yourself across a variety of criteria is how you become a better artist. I'm not looking for challenges that purposefully try to divide or alienate part of the community, but I think it's sad that we have a very vocal group developing that consider the very idea verboten. My 5 year old works with 'media restrictions' in various art projects, and it's just part of growth and experience. I think if people took less offense to the idea that not every challenge has to be written in a way that gives them an equal advantage we'd be better off.

    This is just one component of the challenge ( and of making 'art' ) we're discussing anyway!
     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I gotta go Absolutely Right(TM) on this one.
     
  14. biotech

    biotech Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I dont see how being forced not to use 3D makes you better at 3D, if 3D is your chosen field, you probably chose that because its the best field for you, and that you arent that good at the others.

    You cant learn a talent you dont have, sure you can make stuff, draw stuff, even paint stuff, but it wont be as good as you could have made in 3D.

    I dont recall any compition that was exclusivly 3D ever being made, and I'm sure if there was there would have been an outcry.

    I just wonder if all the people saying that you need to work outside your own field now and again will be downloading blender or one of the other free 3D programs and trying that out for themselves, you know, just to challange themselves.
     
  15. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I second what Axeman said. And to expand what biotech is saying, one could even make a contest be a 2D only contest where you must draw your entry. Yeah, people could physically put pencil to paper and draw something, but not all have the talent to make that "something" anything that looks good enough to compete with. As bio said, people choose their fields of art because that is what they are good at, and people compete with what they are good at.

    IMO contests are not a way to learn a new type of art, they are a way to see how good your very best creation holds up against those from others.
     
  16. Blamo

    Blamo Commodore Commodore

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    Agreed, just because your working within your chosen medium doesn't mean you aren't going to push yourself, or even learn new skills.

    I do understand that there are transferable skills in the different mediums.

    Most importantly, the challenge is meant to be fun. Restricting people to art forms they don't enjoy will most likely alienate them.

    An example:
    A modeller would enjoy the process of putting together a model, feeling the structure come together. Someone else though, may look at the construction process as a bothersome chore, being only concerned with the outcome.

    Or if I were to use an analogy:
    An artist doing his chosen medium, is like a sunny drive down a clear motorway in a convertable sports car.
    An artist working in a medium he isn't enthusiastic about, is like driving down a busy potholed motorway in a rusty pink robin reliant with it's two backtires flat.
    One will enjoy the journey, while the other just can't wait until it ends. Both will reach their destination.
     
  17. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    I think you guys are misssing the point. I think to a lot of people this is a 3D art forum by the default. Again if you look at the people that have an issue with limiting the medium, it is the people that do 3D art. I am sorry but I don't see it as a right that you have to have a chance to win ever contest. If you can not draw and the contest cause for you to draw on paper then that monthy you will lose, if the next month the contest causes for you to do something in 3D art then you have a real good chance in winning. When it comes down to it, that is the way life is.

    Just look at the reaction people had when they saw a contest that they could actually enter and had a chance to win. You could just see their eyes light up (as much as you can on a message board). That is what would make this forum really take off instead of always looking at the work of the same members each month with very few new people being adding to the mix unless all you really want from the forum is to get more traffic and less people participating. I think it would be great to see a different group of people entering the contest each month and seeing different types of art and not just 3D art.
     
  18. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    As has been mentioned before, no one has ever excluded the non-3D artists from participating and even winning on occasion. If there's a problem with the way things are run, I'd say it's a general lack of encouragement for other forms of art besides CG.

    Which brings us back to another fundamental problem. Traditional artwork simply does not compete well with the CG stuff. For whatever reason, voters in the monthly contests and the forum in general seem to be more interested in the latter, and I think I know why.

    Over the last couple of days, I've been tinkering around with my old USS Constitution model. In a matter of a few minutes, I was able to tweak some brightness and contrast settings, position the model at just the angle I wanted against a stock astronomical background, and produce a strikingly realistic and visually impressive rendering. I like to think of myself as a halfway decent traditional artist as well as a CG guy, but I seriously doubt I could produce anything comparable at all using traditional mediums, and it probably would take weeks even if I could.

    My point is that the CG guys can turn out ooh-and-ahh worthy images with every WIP rendering whereas the traditional artists, unless they are very, very good, have a much harder time getting the same reactions, even with their finished product. Not that CG is better than traditional art, it just tends to be more impressive, at least as far as what we typically see here in Trek Art is concerned.

    So what do we do about it? Without dividing the forum into separate camps of traditional and CG artists, I'm not really sure what we can do. Actually, that's not true, I have at least one idea that I think could make a big difference. Contest topics could be better chosen in terms of subject matter to appeal more to the traditional artists and perhaps less to the CG artists without actually excluding them. Not that a lack of appeal for anyone is the objective, but if you really want to encourage the traditional artists then you need to give them something they can do as well or better and more easily than the CG guys once in a while.

    For example, what if the topic was something like "First Landing on Alpha Centauri"? It has to involve a Centauran landscape, a landing craft of some kind, and a crew of explorers venturing out to see what they can find. Right off the bat, I can tell you that a lot of the CG guys, including me, are going to have a hard time with the landscape and the crew members. The people here who use programs like Poser would have less difficulty, but in general, those types of organic subjects require a lot of time and effort to create in CG.

    The traditional and 2D artists, on the other hand, could have a field day. I know that I, for one, would find it much easier to draw or paint almost any human figure much more easily than I could model one in 3D, and the same probably goes for the alien landscape. In fact, if you're going for more of a stylistic presentation, like one of the paintings or woodcuts out of your old grade school history books, the traditional and 2D people might even have a marked advantage.

    I think the biggest problem we have is that a lot of people are just not willing to think outside the box in terms of topics, subject matter, artistic mediums or anything else. On the other hand, I don't believe the solution is to force them to work in ways they dislike or are unaccustomed to.

    If there are to be requirements attached then require that certain things be included, not excluded. For example, Thomas Models could have said that the ornament had to look homemade and be presented in some appropriate context, such as hanging on a tree, without requiring that it be an actual, physical object. That would have allowed the CG people who are simply not interested in making a real ornament to participate, while still requiring them to give extra thought to what the ornament would be made of if it were real, how it would be displayed and so forth.

    The voters would then have a responsibility to judge how well the contestants fulfilled the requirements with their final presentation. It shouldn't just be about the one that looks the coolest or the most realistic.

    I don't know, maybe that still doesn't amount to a solution to the problem. Or if it does, it still requires a cooperative effort by both the contestants and the voters, as well as everyone else who participates here in Trek Art. I think we would all agree that you cannot legistlate creativity.
     
  19. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    There's one major problem with that analogy, however:

    No one wants to force anyone to drive a Robin Reliant, pink or otherwise. Those who choose to enter a challenge which is outside their preferred medium are still choosing to do so. They may not find it as easy as they're used to, but they've still chosen to do it to, to try something new because they want to, not because they have to - I didn't start frequenting this forum just so I could compete in the challenges, but I started entering the challenges because they gave me an opportunity to do something I wouldn't normally think of doing, and because I work better with the pressure of a deadline ;). I have so many things on my plate that it's hard to finish them at all, because part way through one, I think of something new, and I don't have a deadline looming on most of them to force me to finish them. The challenges are exactly that on every level to me: they challenge me to think outside of my box, and they also force me to make sure everything is in the box when the time comes to call it an end.

    Obviously, people approach these challenges from their own perspectives. Some want to show off what they're good at - some want to try the things they aren't good at (or believe they aren't good at) so they can see what they are capable of.

    Whether anyone mentions media or not in the rules, I would hope that the guiding factor, above all else, would be to do something different. Every day sees a new starship around here, and they're real beauties, but challenging people to design one (unless you're Pocket Books) is like saying, "Today will be just like yesterday, tomorrow will be just like today." Canon or non-canon, people should be encouraged to explore corners of the universe that are left largely unexplored by the mainstream Trek art - mixed visual metaphors, plays on familiar concepts or phrases, things we aren't likely to see or do ourselves.

    Just don't forget that the contests aren't judged - it's really a popularity contest when the poll opens. Most of the members who vote don't know or care how a certain effect was achieved, don't know how long it takes to paint a picture, create a mesh, or manipulate an image. If the picture is exciting, if it's visually unique, it's going to get more votes. That's one of the biggest reasons why people shouldn't hold these challenges up as more important than they really are - they're a way to have fun, nothing more and nothing less, and all of this debate is really missing that point, IMO. But don't forget: I'm only the moderator. I don't run this place; it's yours, and whatever happens, it has to be something you can all enjoy, either as a participant or as a spectator, even if it's not something that everyone can agree upon every month.
     
  20. biotech

    biotech Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Challenge For Everyone - Please Read & Comme

    If 3D has such an advantage over all other media, why are so many art contests in this forum won by other media?

    CGI has been defeated over and over again, other art can beat CGI fair and square, so a non CGI win in a compition where CGI cant enter at all, would just seem a hollow victory by comparison.