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I quite like seeing the evolution of a piece, although Venger's suggestion to have a link in lieu of the WIP pic might well work. Maybe have a test run for a few weeks with the link and see how it feels ?
As far as the content of the wip thread, is there any change to how we post? For example, if you post a wip, make an attempt to comment/crit at least 1 person etc? It would help the kind of exercise/class experience as well.
I think taking the WIPs out of the final thread would definitely make it cleaner for voting purposes. A mandatory post in the WIP thread with a link to it sounds like a great idea (I'd have to work hard to remember to do that in the future, because I'm still terrified of posting my WIPs and always put it off until the last possible moment, hehe).
'Cuz life is full of your regrets, and I should be one...
Isn't the initial Chow Theme Description thread basically a WIP thread?
I'd say that you have to post a WIP in that thread. And to show all iterations and evolutions of your work, update your first post in that thread, and link to that.
But you can still post replies to get crits and give crits that are current/up to date, since many people probably won't keep checking the old posts.
Maybe we could have a "ChOW ### WiP Spaces Thread" wherein we keep updating our "space" (one post) with the latest wip? That way, you can see all of the wips in one spot rather than trying to see the evolution of someone's piece by scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.
Just a thought!
Hi! Newbie here...
I'm kind of dumb, and feel embarrassed asking this question, but do you specifically join a TEAM? With another group of artists or can you ride solo??
And where do you go for current weeks 'charatcer descriptions?'
hugs and kisses.
So a friend referred me to ChoW and I've been reading over the rules and guidlines etc. I was curious about one thing I didn't see mentioned. Are you allowed to have more than one figure in your piece. For example, if the characters were a "comic duo".
Ok, so, wow. Skimming over this thread I realize that the "illustration v straight-up character sheet" debate has been a hot topic for the past 3 years or so. And there has been nothing conclusive in wrapping it up....
Also, so far as I can see, it really is an issue of personal preference. I mean, both types are within the rules, so long as they show 3/4 of the character. (Maybe it would be helpful to stipulate more than 3/4 for a final image?)
However, seeing beautiful illustrations win time after time is rather intimidating for a beginner. (*cough*me*cough*) But, because my primary function here is being a stalker, the more illustration-based wips are wonderful learning tools for me. So as long as they fit within the rules I see no harm or advantage to either style. If you're just crotchety or bitter because you're a beginner like me with no hope of winning, or a professional out-shinned by someone with a flashier style I'll just quote what S.C. Watson said in the beginning of this thread,"Poll is not the end all be all of CHOW, CA, my life or yours, so get over it. Enjoy the entries, and the process and keep in mind that we bust our butts for you so you can have an enjoyable experience, but ultimately in the great lay of things, it's meaningless."
Also, reading this thread there were some other topics that amused me:
A clean thread? It's like an oxymoron... If you're having trouble keeping up with the thread and getting frustrated because of all the reading you have to do, then I say stay out of the kitchen because obviously you can't stand the heat. Threads are messy and everyone has different ideas on how best to organize things. Personally, I prefer the time-line method (which is when you just keep scrolling and things progress--no bothersome link clicking!)
Although I do understand the frustration with over-large images in the forum. It's tiring having to scroll up and down to see the whole thing. Might I suggest enforcing that images be about 600 pxls high? That should fit onto most screens.
The links for wips within the finals threads are something else I understand. So many images, as well as a poll at the beginning, makes my computer have spaz attacks. But once that is done, the simple task of scrolling to see all of the work done for that week is much nicer then figuring out whose wips I want to see and going through the hassle of opening up tabs and clicking links and all that jazz. Of course that is just my preference. This is another problem that is probably best to just let the individual deal with as they see fit.
As for the topic about people not receiving/giving critiques. It is one I still struggle with. Crits take time, effort, and an invested interest to do and not everyone is in possession of these necessities. I know not getting a comment or crit (even if you asked for one) is tough and it sucks, but its best not to let it get to you. Just keep truckin and sooner or later someone with an opinion or comment will throw their two-cents your way. Bear with us, we're only human after all.
And speaking of two-cents, I just want to throw mine into another topic real quick. The idea of people posting character bios. I feel like its a necessity. Not only does it give a direction for the artists to go in, but it helps those who wish to comment to give helpful criticism about how to best illustrate what the artist is going for. Of course we should be able to read what/who the character is in the final image without needing a bio, but in the wip stage it is crucial to character development.
I agree with Phrix about character bio's indeed.
First idea: - How CHOW could focus more on character, possibly with the understanding of how they are applying the brief.
My example follows the call for a more character heavy study and goes like this. If concepting a computer game character, then a three point image should be expected at final. If concepting a cartoon character, then multiple images to suggest how they move/act, their mannerisms and possibly head shots should be expected at final. If conceiving the costume and feeling of a character for film, general cinematic shots focused on the character should be generated at final.
I think that maybe my thoughts on CHOW may have actually opened things up more however it should focus people on how they are delivering the final images and the audience it will be used for. There is no thought/work progression demonstrated in the current requirements. The only chance for this to be highlighted is through crits, which are not as common or focused as hoped for. Basically, someone should compile the different areas character design can be used for and focus our work, through strict guidelines, towards meeting industry standards. It is no coincidence that the best amongst us know how to present their work to the best standard.
Second thought, the idea of character illustration is mint. Why dont we have a IOW Illustration of the week, which incorperates the character and any other 'of the week' running during the time. For example, as it stands on the 4/4/11 this would mean an 'Illustration of the Week' brief would be to Illustrate
Red Riding Hood – IN: (EOW) An insects perspective – with a (IDW) futuristic Chinese take out box.
I mean seriously! That Illustration brief is WTF for the win, which means the art of actually illustrating, as opposed to elaborating a character design will be pulled into focus also.
Anyway, I would like to know how to present my character work when focusing on different areas of industry and study. I think CHOW can implament some form of practical guidance so we can get accustomed to the ways of got presentation and complete briefs. CA+
Here is my Sketchbook. Please have a look if you have time. Thanks.
ohh and just an observation on my behalf - it seems that CHOW is putting more and more requirements to the brief and how we need to present the characters but this doesn't stop entries that follow the brief very losely to win.. so where is the fine line? Is there a point to put more requirements if in the end it is still 90% about who has crazier rendering lol? i wanna hear some insights!
I like your idea of mentioning specific audiences/commissioners with in the briefs, UCT. I think that it would go a long way to helping those who are unaccustomed to the industry. It would give them the chance to consider who will be seeing and reviewing their images while they make them.
This could also be applied to Illustration of the Week (if it ever goes through). So that people can figure out what moods work best for different projects; such as anything from a gaming website to a Christmas card.
Also, on a side note: I was wondering if anyone else would prefer seeing some of the artist's research within their WIP shots?
I mean, if it was put into the brief as a necessity it would go a long way towards demonstrating how professionals design their concepts. I know that many people here tend to get frustrated with others when it looks as though their concept is half-baked due to a simple lack of research. But I also know that many people new to the field of concept designing are unsure of how to go about researching topics. I'm not saying that it should be included within the WIP thread (after all, no reason to give out all of your secrets right away--this is a competition!), but it would be nice to see the research done for the character within the finals thread. Just so that people can get an idea of how research is done or see other methods that may work better for them.
EDIT: After reading Elixy's new post it seems as though research and thoughts/bios about characters are encouraged but not demanded. Would it be alright to specify that miniature mood board/reference boards need to be included along with the final WIPs? Or would it be too much hassle?
emerging What goes into the poll is up to the mods. If they decide that it fits the brief, then I won't argue. After that it is up to the individual to vote on which one fits the brief best to their standards.
In any event, this site is meant to help people get used to the industry. Within the industry, the best drawing is the one that gets chosen. Beautiful images sell. The person commissioning the project from you is going to want something that they can sell to their high-ups easily. It saves them time and subsequently, money.
Even if CHoW went with more traditional character sheets, the best drawn character sheet would still win, right? Would it even the playing field? Not likely. Would it push people to doing something more challenging? I'd say so.
Besides, the prompts are just here to help people challenge themselves and see how others do their work. They aren't meant as an ego boost.
Last edited by Phrix; April 6th, 2011 at 12:06 PM.
Providing a character biography just overcomplicates things. The character biography is usually in each challenges description, and anything further is provided as a link by the moderator. If the individual wishes to invent a back-story for the character, then that is their prerogative, however, making it a 'requirement' is inappropriate. Chow is concerned with visual design, not written, therefore the design should speak for itself and be self-contained. This is not a story-telling competition, but story-telling can exist within the design of the character via expression, posture, gesture and attitude. There is an old adage in the world of literature, which is equally fitting for image making: 'show, don't tell'. The best story telling exists without the need for props and extras. A good animator makes a sack of flour have character; bear that in mind when portraying your design.
Of course, adding a character biography is up to the individual artist. I don't think that anyone said that it needed to be a requirement. Merely, that it was a helpful tool for others if they wish to give critiques, and that it provides a mood for the artist to portray. And hey, if they think that they need one to explain what is going on, then perhaps they need to re-think the story telling quality of their image.
However, I do not think that it should be banned from the threads, as was previously implied in this sticky.
Last edited by Phrix; April 6th, 2011 at 12:05 PM.
emerging Really? All of the past few winning images seem to have fit the prompt to me. But, you know, that's the thing. What one person will see as a legit entry, another will see as a vanity piece. That's where the voting comes in handy. People are able to vote how they will. Some people decide that rendering is more important, while others consider how closely the image/s stuck to the brief. Some look for both. Still others look for creativity, mood, etc.
But, I do agree, those who allow themselves more freedom in their interpretations do tend to get more votes. This is because it gives them necessary wiggle room. They are then able to put more of themselves into their drawing. It allows their love of drawing and their passion for their subject to come through, which makes a more dynamic and interesting illustration.
And, yes, the industry does look at how well an concept artist is able to represent the proposed idea. But, more than that, they are looking for how creatively they are interpreting the idea too. Most of the time employers aren't just looking for little computers that can generate exactly what they ask for. They are looking for people with that creative spark who are able to take the proposed idea and make something marvelous out of it.
emerging Ah, yes yes, I do see your point.
Though I would say that because these challenges don't focus on specific styles as requirements, people focus more on the other side of the spectrum: the brilliance of the rendering. It is a common favorite, after all. And beautiful rendering is always going to be preferred over shoddy coloring. In this way, I would say that the polls do reflect the industry.
But because these characters don't have specific bios, people's interpretations of the prompt are going to be more varied then what one would find within the industry.
For instance, using your example of "post apocalypse paladin who makes his armor and weapons from whatever he can find": one person may have him using strapped on scrap metal, while one might have him in a full suit of armor. Of course the first design would seem to follow the prompt better. But what if he was able to salvage a metals shop and had the technical know-how to mold some of his own armor out of scrap metal?! Or what if he raided a high-tech weapons depot?! We don't know @-@
So long as the armor isn't brand-spankin' new or tailored to perfection, I'd say that it would be a legitimate design and allow it entry. Meanwhile, someone else might disagree and say that it doesn't fit the prompt. But because there isn't one designer looking for something specific, the poll has to be open to all options and all opinions.
So, yeah, in this aspect the challenges won't prepare people for how the industry functions. That level of specificity would be rather hard to mimic in a public forum. Especially when a majority of the people (I'm assuming) are doing these CHoWs as a hobby and a for-fun project. They use CHoW to get ideas, discover new techniques, and as a forum where they can allow their creative juices to flow.
Your comment about styles is interesting, though. I had previously mentioned that CHoW could help people understand the industry (and themselves) better if from time to time the target audience was specified within the prompt.
This would (perhaps) make some artists reconsider their styles and its limited visual appeal. I mean a beautifully rendered circus freak is always going to look marvelous, except when its making a young child wet their pants from fright.
Just an idea, though.