I think the time frame, amount of characters, and descriptions were all right-on. As for how to work effectively as a group... I still don't know.
Part of me is tempted to say that having an art director would be beneficial. Our team got hung up sometimes, particularly on the Shadow, as we had some wildly different takes on the character and some strong opinions on which way was the way to go! Time was lost; while if there was a dictator the matter would have been settled swiftly. I think that a director would allow for a more cohesive world/vision for the characters also.
However, I think our team's lack of a director led to some ideas that would not have happened if we had designated someone to approve/shoot-down ideas. I'm pretty sure that, though we have similar interests and inspirations amongst our group members, there are some key differences between us and how we think. Sometimes a balancing act would take place and the final ideas would be shaped for the better.
Our pacing was erratic. As Lalilulelo said, we got off to a slow start. We also tried to have Mr. Visions pencil all the characters in final form a week from the deadline and basically ended up trying to render the final versions of the characters in the last day or two. And we all work full time (including weekends for me) so... didn't end well. A week set aside to render would have been nice. Then we could have tried passing them around to each other to have a more unified style.
I also think we should have done more ideation/iteration. We all seemed to prefer to draw out our own vision for a character, pit them against each other, and decide which one was best, sometimes taking some ideas from the others. We probably became too invested in our sketches when we really hadn't found the most interesting shapes yet.
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I really enjoyed popping in on different teams sketchbooks throughout the month and seeing different interpretations. I didn't participate myself though so I can't really speak to the setup itself, but from reading around it seems like the main problems were just people's lives getting in the way (imagine that). I think around 6 is a good number of entries per team as well.
But I would really like to participate in the next one so please bring team CHOW back.
p.s. Daestwen, would you like suggestions for future rounds of this? If so, please let me know where to post them because I have a few ideas.
Hm! I was just reading the brief for CHOW157 and thought, there should be an optional to make a team or at least a 2 person joint effort for Chow's in general. We could make a user name specifically for that end shared between the two members or just establish a consistent call-sign. It'd get the community working together more frequently perhaps!
@ Burt- I was fighting the urge to just be dictator/director with a lot of things for risk of poisoning the water but next time I'll have to just be more iron-clad.
Last edited by Lalilulelo; May 3rd, 2009 at 08:41 PM.
Well, I was assigned to random team #2.
I think there were a few problems we ran into. First being the time zones. I don't think any of us were online at the same time. Perhaps if people are matched a little closer together but I guess that involves a lot of extra work for you.
The other was a timing issue at least for me and I have noticed for a few others as well. I think a lot of people participating are in school and the timing of it was ending pretty close to the end of the semester.
On the plus side I learned a lot about working with other people. A schedule would have helped us a lot I think. But hey first time and all. I would definitely do it again I imagine it would be easier the second time around.
I also learned a great deal from looking at the other teams sketchbooks, Mood boards are genius.
Thats about it. Will definitely sign up again if you decide to do it.
My team had the advantage of being able to sit down with each other for the first half and talk face to face. This was also during exams and finals mind you so these talks were mostly between working on those projects.
I must admit I was kinda the weak link in my team and I know I caused some stress with how my final images came in a little later than the rest of my team would have liked, but overall it was a good experience and I'd like to try doing a paint chat for planning if there's a next time, which I sincerely hope there is.
Overall the number of characters and the time frame to finish them in was pretty much right on. Any longer and I think there'd be too big a risk of loosing even more people to real life, any shorter and there wouldn't be enough time to develop or talk with team members.
one third of team Mighty Minkies here. We didn't complete, largely due to my computer buying the farm four days before the extended deadline. I know there were some other major RL issues for cmalidore that gave him limited time to work. So lots of RL issues that prevented us (me, literally) from finishing.
But our experience....
We decided to do some personal sketching/brainstorming to see where we were comfortable, would give each other feedback, and then decided to take two characters apiece to finalize.
I jumped right into sketching characters and brainstorming. If I didn't have the computer failure, I would have finalized and been finished the Wednesday before the deadline. In fact, one character was entirely completed and ready to go.
One thing that is a staple of other CHOWs that I felt was really missing here was the lack of social interaction/feedback for all pieces. Having our own sketchbooks was great for team interaction, but aside from a handful of "good jobs" there wasn't the usual pattern I see of each artist going down the list of all the other artists, giving very helpful critiques and comments. I don't know what the solution to this would be, other than posting a weekly WIP or something in a main thread.
6 characters was good diversity. I think its easily handled if another time is there. 5-6 weeks seems to be ample time, however the extension given was a Godsend, even if we didn't finish. (of course, it should be kept to a number of weeks, as some months are longer than others obviously.) The briefs were perfect.
Our team suffered from RL problems that ate at our time, sometimes even preventing us from communicating regularly in the sketchbook. I'm not sure if some better organization would have been more helpful or not. But in all, we were satisfied with each other and are VERY willing to give it another go. Bring on another Team Chow!
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I didn't take part, so my only concern now was the timing. I know a lot of people, myself included, couldn't make it because April can be an intense time in schools, usually the finals hit then. At least it happened to be the busiest four weeks of my year! So I really hope it'll be repeated again, hopefully this summer, because I'd love to participate.
This was a seriously refreshing challenge!
It was an absolute breeze working with Trevor, though to be honest we do have the advantage of pretty much having to be on the same page everyday at work So yeah, communication and planning was not an issue.
4 weeks for 6 characters is PLENTY of time. Even between 2 people that's less than 1 character a week. If it seems like too much to handle but it's still something you really want to do, then figure out a way to make it work. That's really one of the best things these challenges can teach you. I completely understand that real life has a way of changing your plans for you, but learning how to work your way out of seemingly impossible situations can only help you in the long run.
Oh, and the brief was awesome. There were plenty of great details to get the ideas moving and the setting was open enough to really have some fun.
Someone suggested editing links to sketchbook threads into one single post and have weekly summaries posted in the main thread. This sounds like a great idea to get the teams to interact with each other more.
Yeah, definitely count me in for the next round of this (especially if it's the antagonists to this rounds heroes)
a lot of people mentioned conflicting time zones, i never thought about that
i have to admit for marco and i it is pretty easy
we live near each other
have been working together the last year
and would have been getting together to draw anyways as we do a few times a week
long distance work can be rough but i would suggest DLing skype and talking face to face at least a few times during the process
i have found with certain projects i have worked on long distance this helps LOT i know the time zones can be difficult but im sure at least once a week you could organize a team meeting
it makes it a bit more personal and easier to communicate
i was also guilty of not going into enough of the other SBs this time around
i peeked but didnt comment too often
part of it i blame on the fact that we didnt join in the beginning (just completely forgot it was going to happen)
and part i blame on what seemed to have killed a lot of teams, real life.
i really want to see more of these and if i can help that happen i would be more than happy too. maybe teams could select an AD from
pros who are willing to spend some time helping folks get the feel for a real freelance project. (was something like that done for COW before?) the squad decides the theme of the chars and the story and the AD guides them and keeps them on schedule and on topic
just some ideas
whooooaaa that last back to back post was not planned but like marco said
we DO have to be on the same page pretty much every day hahahah
THIS i would be incredibly interested in, so if any of the professional folks in Chow are interested in helping out in this way, please PM me.
Originally Posted by trevor
Lalilulelo: Normal Chows will *never* be team-based. Strictly against the rules. That's why Team Chow was created!
Otherwise, I'm working out a way to get the social aspect fixed - thanks for the feedback so far, guys, I really appreciate it.
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I think overall everything went pretty well. The brief was great. Finish 6 characters in one month isn't too much to ask (although I only contributed one character). I feel that the biggest problem for our team was the lack of communication and feedback within our team which I know the real world played a huge part in this. Now one thing that we did was "elect" an art director for our team which had it's advantages and disadvantages (hopefully not stepping on anyone's toes ). The advantages were that we were fairly quickly able to establish the setting and feel for our characters; had a pretty good idea of which characters each team member was to contribute and I guess, at least to me, a sense of being under someone and sense of trust knowing through it all it would get done. The disadvantages were being under somebody and not necessarily just being able to do whatever.
Again overall, great experience! I, more than likely would do it again. I would be interested to see how smaller teams of 2 to 3 do in production/quality vs larger teams of 4 to 6. I say this because I feel like a smaller team , depending on skill level and motivation, could produce more unified pieces of work. It also seems like it would be easier to communicate, just for the fact that there's fewer people to try to get on the same page at the same time. I know personally I would feel more motivated knowing that there was more riding on my shoulders and not being able to rely on so many team mates. Now I'm just rambling.
Good job to all those who participated and a big thanks to daestwen and an even bigger thanks to my team mates dwinbotp, sung-jae-kim and ghostbrush. Great job guys!
Oh yeah! I really like this idea!
Originally Posted by trevor
maybe teams could select an AD from
pros who are willing to spend some time helping folks get the feel for a real freelance project.
Some see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I just try to see the glass!
I'm not sure what 'social' aspect you mean, Daest, but I enjoyed the hell outta this event. The time zone thing was the only aspect we had to juggle a tad, and Mercuralis pretty much covered everything in her post, for Team Weird.
I just want to mention that probably the most important aspect of this challenge was scheduling deadlines and organization. Working with a team, vs. alone, is a whole 'nother ball of wax. Very cool event, though! I'd love to see the antagonists next...
Last edited by quickreaver; May 4th, 2009 at 12:20 PM.
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great job everyone
This was my first challenge in the community challenges. It was an awesome experience. I'm a student still learning and growing and I know now Chows will only help in my development as an artist. The month the challenge started was hell since I already have so much on my plate with other projects. When Daestwen posted the team chow thread I got really excited an couldn't resist the urge to participate and be apart of team chow history .
I believe communication and teamwork are elements most artist lack. We're so use to creating and designing in our own heads I think its hurts in our development overall if we don't break out of our own little worlds and compromise a little. This idea is the awesome Daestwen.
I was lucky with my teammate because we live together so the communication part wasn't really lacking. I will say though I wish we were a little more critical with each other in the cohesiveness of our final designs. There should have been more discussion and reference searching in nailing down our theme.
I think 4 weeks is a good amount of time for the team chow with 6 characters, especially with the options of having 4 members. Our problems came down to time management with the chow and life/school related projects. The last 10 days of the challenge was 80% of the work for the both of us. Will fix that and hit the gates running next time around.
I really loved the briefs, awesome work daestwen
I feel the team chow sketchbooks need to be consolidated in seperate area so there can be more input from other teams instead of having to swim through all the other sketchbooks trying to see what everyone else is up to. there were many sb I didn't see, I should have done a better job of posting in other sb's also.
For all who participated you've all gained my respect, its not easy working with others in trying to get a team project completed. Compromising is a very hard thing to do especially when you believe you have the best idea or vision and its not excepted.
Great work everyone,
I really enjoyed this challenge very much I have to say that I have learned much about myself in relation to deadlines and I have to say I have a shit ton of work to do.
I really liked the teamwork aspect of this event and plan on participating in many more of these events in the future.
Great work everyone who participated I really had a blast and cannot wait for the next one.
Great work Daestwen way to organize a very fun and inspiring event!!
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