Table of Contents 1. A Brief History of this Forum 2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 3. Board Rules 4. Monthly Art Challenge Guidelines 4.1 Contest Rules and Requirements 4.2 List of Past Contests5. Information, Inspiration, Resources and References 1. A Brief History of this Forum Only a year after the Trek BBS community was founded in early 1999, a sub-forum dedicated solely to Star Trek fan art was added in May 2000. Originally called “Trek Art”, the forum was retitled “Fan Art” ten years later in January of 2010, when the forum was grouped together with “Fan Fiction” and “Fan Productions”. The position of forum moderator has been filled by five people in the past: Necromancer (who was its first moderator), drbob, Santana, @Vektor and @Ptrope. Serving for the longest periods of time have been @Vektor (2002 – 2005) and @Ptrope (2005 – 2017). One of the oldest traditions of the forum is the monthly art challenge, first introduced in 2003, when @Vektor moderated the forum. As of this writing there have been more than 150 editions of the contest. 2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q: Am I allowed to post non-Trek artwork here? A: Well, this is the Fan Art forum on a bulletin board dedicated to Star Trek, but it’s not prohibited to post artwork unrelated to Trek. As a rule of thumb, new posters should probably start with something pertaining to Trek and keep the non-Trek stuff under half of what they post from then on. Q: Is it okay to ask people to make stuff for me, even if it’s for free? A: Depends on what you're asking for. A lot of people in here will gladly do up a Website banner, a blu-ray cover, put your head on a Starfleet uniform, etc. while asking nothing in return except proper credit. On the other hand, you should probably think twice about asking people to do something they would normally earn hundreds or thousands (or tens of thousands!) of dollars for doing professionally. You should have no expectation of people doing that kind of work purely out of the goodness of their hearts, and don't be surprised if some of them take offense at even being asked to do so. They don't like the implication that their talents and efforts are essentially valueless. In short, you can ask, but at least try to understand what you're asking for. Q: Why are so few people responding to my posts? I've got dozens of views but almost no responses. A: Before you assume people are sending you a message with their lack of response, stop and consider what you've given them to respond to. A lot of people will respond just to say they like what you're doing and want to see more, but many more people will respond if they feel they can be part of the process. That’s why threads involving works in progress (WIPs) tend to be so popular. You will also usually get direct responses to direct questions. And don't underestimate the significance of how many views you're getting, regardless of the number of responses. If people didn't like what they were seeing then they wouldn't keep coming back for more. On the other hand, if your work really isn't that good or just fails to strike a chord for whatever reason then you may not be getting many views or responses, in which case you may just have to live with it. Not everyone is a Picasso or Leonardo Da Vinci. Just understand that people aren't deliberately trying to be rude by not responding. Q: I want to build 3D starships, too! How do I get started? A: First, understand that 3D modeling and animation is not something you just decide to dive into one day on a lark. The learning curve to be able to produce anything more than boxes and spheres is quite steep and typically takes years to master. Second, most of the software for creating this stuff is spendy, upwards of two or three thousand dollars. There are, however, some very inexpensive or even free packages like Blender and Rhino that are very good, especially for someone who is just starting out, and can be downloaded right off the Internet. Third, there is a certain amount of talent and natural ability involved in creating computer-generated imagery (commonly called CGI or just CG); contrary to popular belief, the computer does very little of the actual creative work for you. If you're a good artist in more traditional mediums and have a pretty good sense of spatial perception then you probably have a shot at being a good CG artist. Then again, there are some awesome CG artists out there who can't draw a decent looking stick man so it really depends on the individual. If none of those issues present a problem for you then the best place to start is with one of the free or inexpensive packages, test the waters to see how you like it and how good you are at it, post some stuff here in Fan Art and let the feedback guide you from there. Q: Where can I get a copy of [insert name of costly software here]? A: Short answer: Not here. If you're looking for a bootleg copy then nobody here can help you. The Trek BBS is not to be used in any manner, shape or form for the distribution or procurement of illegal software. If you already have an illegal copy and you're using it to post your artwork, we don't want to know about it. Or more accurately, you don't want us or anyone else to know about it. The people here don't condone it and they will not look kindly upon it. You've been warned. Q: How do I keep people from stealing my work or using it without proper credit? A: The only foolproof way is not to post it at all, but there are less exclusive methods to help protect your intellectual property rights. The most common is to simply put your name, logo or some other identifying mark on everything you post. Such markings can be removed, but those who are inclined to steal your work in the first place are usually too lazy to bother. Some markings are harder to remove than others, full-frame watermarks, for example, that cover the actual image without obscuring it. Q: I want to use part of someone else’s work in some of my own. How do I give them proper credit? A: This is a case where cluttering up the image is not a matter of choice. Proper credit should appear on the image for elements that you yourself did not create. If you like to render 3D fleet battles containing dozens of starship meshes by other authors then every single one of them must be credited. If you don't know who created the element you want to use then at least acknowledge that its creator is unknown so there’s no confusion that you might be claiming it as your own. The format is fairly typical: “Enterprise mesh by Dennis Bailey” or “Photomanipulation by Captain Robert April.” This also applies to image elements from sources outside of the Trek BBS, such as the NASA website or sites with astronomical images. One exception to on-image credit would be stock images, objects and characters purchased for use in images and art, such as 3D content to be used in programs like 3DS, Maya, Vue, Poser, etc. — most of these contain licenses that allow their uncredited use in other works, but one should read the EULAs carefully and abide by them; if the EULA requires credit to be given, or does not allow public use at all, that is the guideline to follow. Q: Is there a limit to how large posted images can be? A: Not necessarily. Especially in the Fan Art forum picture-heavy threads and large images come with the territory. No matter how big the image is, the board software will automatically scale the image down to fit the width of the page. Clicking on the image will enlarge it to its original size. However, please don't forget that large images mean longer loading times for visitors of your thread. So it's wise to keep the number of super-sized images on one page down to a reasonable amount wherever possible. Q: Where can I host images online so I can post them in my threads? A: The most reliable place is in your own bought-and-paid-for webspace. You can either buy some or use one of the numerous free hosting services, such as imgur.com, tinypic.com, flickr.com or postimage.org. Q: The image I wanted to post actually belongs to someone else so I just linked right to their Webspace. Is that okay? A: No, it's not. That practice is called “leeching” or “hotlinking” and is frowned upon on the internet. Hotlinked images will be removed by the moderator. Q: How far can I go with screen caps, video and audio clips of Trek episodes and other copyrighted material? A: This is a very good question with a very complicated answer. In general, the limit has always been that you can't post anything that is likely to infringe on any copyright holder’s profit potential. For example, you can probably get away with adding a few seconds of captured video from the TOS episode “Balance of Terror” to your CG recreation of the F/X shots, but you would be in big trouble if you tried to post a copy of the entire episode. The former is not going to remove the necessity of anyone going out and buying the series if they want to see it, whereas the latter very well might. Another example might be screen captures; there are very few scenarios in which posting a screen cap is going to deprive Paramount or anyone else of due compensation. One more example worth noting would be printed materials from books or magazines: If you scan something like that and post it at an equal or even comparable quality and resolution to the original then you're infringing on the profitability of that publication and Trek BBS cannot be a party to it. Q: What are the limits on nudity and other adult themes in posted materials? A: Explicit sexuality has never been a really big issue here in Fan Art. Every once in a while someone will post a fairly suggestive character sketch, but "adult themes" just don't tend to play much of a part in Trek related artwork. As stated in the Trek BBS board rules, adult content like nudity, near nudity or anything like that is not allowed. The boards sponsors comes down hard on that. Q: How do I update my works in progress without it being considered spamming? A: Most of the definitions of “spamming” from the Trek BBS rules apply equally here as with anywhere else on the board (i.e. don't post the same thing multiple times, don't make posts with no real content or relevance, don't post more than two or three threads in a forum within a reasonable length of time). However, there is one variation which may, at times, be unavoidable: It is possible you may need to post more than twice in a row in your own thread because a.) you have created new images, b.) the time to allow editing of your posts has elapsed, and c.) no one else has posted anything in your thread since your own previous post(s). If this is the case, don't feel that you can't post because you will risk a warning. However, bumping a thread with irrelevant posts, posting multiple times within the feasible editing window instead of editing the existing post, and other such avoidable behavior will still be assessed according to the existing board rules. Q: I want to change the title of my thread or correct a mistake in my poll; can I contact the moderator? A: Yes, no problem. Just ask in the thread or feel free to send the moderator a private message if you need help editing your thread.