Welcome to the [Super helpful, well presented and totally awesome] BIG guide to the character of the week challenge, aka CHoW. This is one of those one stop shop type places where you can find out everything you could need to know about taking part in a CHoW challenge!
So let's get started....
What is CHoW?
CHoW stands for Character of the Week. It is a challenge held over here at Conceptart.org on a weekly (Sometimes fortnightly) basis.
In its simplest form, CHoW is a place where artists have the opportunity to create new and fantastic characters based on a weekly theme set by the challenge moderators. However it is also a great place to develop core skills, not just in character design, but also general art techniques.
CHoW is all about stepping out of the comfort zones and really striving to create interesting characters. Challenges can range from being completely open to a very strict brief and cover as many different styles, genres, settings and character types as possible, so there is always something for both new and established artists.
Who are the challenge Moderators?
The current moderators are: Quinn Simoes and Havok Reed.
The role of the moderators includes setting the theme each week, posting the Finals/Voting threads and setting up the weekly poll. They also keep the forum as clean as possible by deleting spam threads, moving posts to their appropriate location and updating the various challenge images.
Mods are also a source of help and information. Any queries, concerns or questions can be directed to them via private message or in the topic threads. However the moderators are all volunteers with lives and jobs outside for the forum, and whilst they do their best to respond as quickly as they can, it is not always possible to reply to everyone immediately.
How do I enter?
Each sunday, the moderators will post a new thread with a new challenge title. The format of the thread names are as follows:
CHoW#[NUMBER] :: [TOPIC NAME]
Artists may then use this thread to post updates of their works and offer feedback for other concepts. Posts which are off topic or considered spam, will be removed.
When posting updates of concepts, it is highly advised that artists use the CA attachment manager as it is free, there is no hotlinking required and the images won't suddenly disappear.
How do I upload my concepts using the attachment manager?
Click the "Go Advanced" button in the Quick Reply section of the bottom of the thread.
Once on the advanced reply section, scroll down to an area called Attachments and click the "Manage Attachments" button.
A new window or tab will open with the upload manager. To upload a new image, click the "Add Files" button at the top right and select the image from the computer.
The new manager keeps into memory your previously uploaded images, so if you wish to upload a previous image, simply find the one in the list and drag it into the area just below where it says "Drag previously uploaded files into this area to attach them". When you have the files you want uploaded, click "Done" on the bottom right corner.
Is there a set size or aspect ratio for uploading images?
Whilst there is no specific resolution for CHoW, extremely large images make people do this: pld: and cause the mods to make this face:
A good rule of thumb regarding images is to keep the longest side of the image a maximum of 800px when posting them in the topic thread.
If an image exceeds what the mods deem 'acceptable' then it will be removed. The same will happen to images which are inappropriate or without taste.
Can I post my image elsewhere to get feedback?
There is no rule against getting criticism from outside the CHoW forum, however it is generally considered to be not in the 'spirit' of the challenge. Once the challenge week is over, artists are free to use their concepts however they wish.
What do I do when my image is finished?
Finished images are posted in the Finals Thread along with two (2) works in progress (WIPs) images. The Finals thread can be identified by the name which is in the following format:
CHoW#[NUMBER] :: FINALS :: [TOPIC NAME]
and by the topic icon which has the word: Finals and several in the background.
The finals thread is posted on the Friday before the deadline.
General discussion, comments and crits are not allowed in the finals thread until AFTER the poll has been posted! All posts of this nature will be removed!
How do I submit my final image?
First of all the image has to be saved in the correct format. All final images must contain the Artist's name and the CHoW#Title at the bottom or top of the image like so (TYPED, NOT WRITTEN). A frame is not necessary, but have at least a footer bar:
Final images are submitted in the same way a work in progress shots in the main topic thread. Artists are required to use the CA Attachment Manager to upload the following:
- ONE final version of the image with a maximum height or width of 1000px
- A single image containing at least TWO work in progress shots
Can I enter more than once?
No. Simply put, CHoW gets far too many entries without having to deal with multiple entries from the same artist. Artists are free to create as many images as they wish during the week of the challenge, however only one will be accepted to poll.
But the challenge asked for more than one character, do they have to be in the same image?
No, multiple characters can be shown in different images as long as they are submitted in a single file. However, Artists may not submit multiple designs for a single character.
When is the deadline for challenges?
The usual deadline each week is Sunday at 10:00PM GMT+1.
NOTE: In the winter, this time is whatever the time is in the UK, plus one hour, however in the summer, the UK switches to British Summer Time (BST) which is the same as GMT+1. If in doubt, you can check the time HERE
After the deadline has closed, the mods will post a poll of the successful images and change the title to the following format:
Poll: CHoW#[NUMBER] :: VOTING :: [TOPIC NAME]
At this point, users are able to vote for their favorite concepts and post feedback on finished images.
May I vote for more than one image?
Yes. The poll is a multi-vote which means that you can select as many images as you like, however a lot of artists restrict themselves to voting for their top three!
Why are some images not successful?
The simple answer is that they have not followed the rules. CHoW gets a huge number of entries and whilst it is only a bit of fun, the rules are there for a reason.
Common reasons for images NOT making it into the poll include the following:
- Posted after the deadline
- Submitted under-developed, incomplete or rushed concepts
- Did not place their name and CHoW# on the final image
- Did not follow the brief or general rules