Improving the EOW - thread for feedback, March 2013
 
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View Poll Results: Improving the EOW

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30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Have Chuck Norris host it

    1 3.33%
  • Keep doing what you're doing Vulgar, I like it

    27 90.00%
  • More variety of topics/topic suggestions should be implemented

    7 23.33%
  • Not sure

    2 6.67%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
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    Improving the EOW - thread for feedback, March 2013

    Hey guys.

    I wanted to know if you have any thoughts on how to make the EOW activity better. What do you think needs work, what's been lacking etc? More topic variety, or maybe your topic suggestions have been overlooked and you really want to see one implemented? I've been trying to get the EOW winner's badges sorted again but in light of recent CA.org changes it might be fixed sooner than I thought..

    I'm here for you! Speak your minds.



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    I was thinking, i know right,

    have a rule that you have to post adleast once in the wip thread, otherwise you aint included in the finals thread.
    the thought behind that is to enhance the community part of thread, in the very least adleast help it appear as thou there is a community still in existence.
    also when i see others post in the wips thread it helps apply some pressure to try harder.

    i was also thinking have a paint over 1 week challenge, get some art that every one can try paint over.

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    Hmmm, maybe limits on palette or brushes as a way to mix things up. I know it would be interesting to see what happens if we are stripped of our favorite brushes. Something like, "for this EOW only a square brush can be used or the brush attached."
    By the way, Vulgar` - fantastic job moderating these.

    -J

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    this place is great Vulgar. In fact I blame myself for not contributing enough.

    My biggest worry is about IDOW. I think, If possible most of us should lend a hand there .

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    Ok, so I voted twice, mainly because I like the job Vulgar' is doing, and even though I rarely have time to actually finish one of these anymore (job demands are crazy these days) I am almost always looking at the topic and generating more ideas than I know how to deal with as far as wips go. I really like one idea and never move on to the others. However this is about the EOW not me, so I thought I'd give my two cents.

    1. I would like to see some more constraints on what we have to produce...not on every EOW but have a more defined brief. We are on a conceptart website and are trying to produce that, not just what we can liberally interpret as the topic. So for starters something like this.

    Topic - Fire Caves

    Description - The fire caves of Endrest are the only known passage through the Fargast Range, many adventurers die each year traversing these fiery caverns to reach the ruins filled with treasures on the other side.

    Brief: You are asked to interpret this topic for Storyboarding purposes.
    Environment rendering can be Anime Comic Style, Western Comic Style, or Manga.
    Please mock up three angles of perspective, at thumbnail quality.
    One finished quality perspective is required.

    2. I like the idea of limiting brushes, but maybe limit to three or four brushes.

    - Allowed brushes, Hard Round, Soft Round, Hard Square, Pallete Knife.
    - Dual brushing and texturing of the brush are prohibited this round.
    - Shape dynamics, Scattering, and Other dynamics are allowed.

    I mean if people are serious about being concept artists, they are going to need that sort of design pressure to get it done. It doesn't have to be super defined, but sometimes you're designing for a movie, or a poster, or a book, or game levels. That sort of thing gives you not only a lot of constraints but also provides some freedom, you don't have to reign in the subject yourself and you can go wild with a game level thinking about all the options and things that the player will need to do, or sparklies to pick up, or whatever, or maybe someone needs some ideas for the movie they are producing and so you mock up some Ice Fjords to help them get a sense of the dramatic nature of the world. We don't have to tell a story like the Illustration thread, but we do need to give a sense of the world that's being inhabited for whatever we're doing.

    Also, I think this should be stickied, I think this thread should live on, even after the poll is closed.

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    @AdrianNagorski: Can you give me an example of what kind of paintover you would like to see? That's a nice idea. About the WIP requirement, I think it would help out the community process like you said, but is it too strict? What about the last-minute stragglers who just manage to sneak their entries in before the deadline? Maybe I have too much empathy ;-)

    @tsujni: Yes, I will try that once or twice but I don't really think 'limitations' are important whereas guidelines may be the element that's been lacking here. Not being a concept artist myself, I don't put many restrictions on the brief or limit the palette; these are my shortcomings, so I will use what you all have suggested.

    @Coool Brain: Good idea! Each week I will advertise our sibling the IDW in the latest EOW topic threads.

    @Flame_Unquenchable: Excellent, thanks for your thoughts. I will make this happen.

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    To be honest, I think a 'brush' limit is kind of bullshit. You use the tools at your disposal to get the job done as fast and as good as possible. When you're talking about giving people design pressure for pumping out stuff which communicates what it needs to while adhering to the brief, the last thing you want to do is cut off one arm or leg But that's just my two cents

    Other than that, good job Vulgar. I actually like the openness of the briefs mostly (sometimes they're a bit too vague..) because for me it's something I do besides my dayjob, but hey: different strokes ^^

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    Vulgar: I don't think its to strict having some one post in the wip thread, even late comers use the finals thread to notify you of being late, they could just post that in the wip thread and have our beloved finals thread pure and clean.

    Paint over - you'll have to get permission from one of the artist who perhaps won a round before and use their finals image, i know that sounds crazy, and then in the finals thread you have the original image posted there as well for comparison.
    Lets start with Corrick, lol or even other second place artists all depends whos willing to let there art be painted over some artist are pretty defensive on this subject.

    all good man! Cheers

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    Vulgar`, I agree - my suggestions where for a limited run, maybe one or two EOWs.

    Pixeltuner, my suggestion of brush limiting was to illustrate the difference for "new" digital artists that may see some of our work and think that this is all painted with a standard round. My suggestions where meant to be seen as limited to a handful of EOWs not startdard practice. Second, I disagree that limitations (stylistic or technological) hamper our ability to express. One just has to look at the development of Islamic calligraphy and decoration in an environment of strict prohibition of representational art; a misapplication of the Quran in my opinion. Or even video games, where tech limitations force creative solutions to get around the number of polys or draw distance limits. Your comment, though, reminds me of Craig Mullins' comment regarding his Fallout 3 work. Let's see it was something like, "if I didn't use photographs in my work, I'd be at a severe disadvantage in this industry."

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    I think there are already some good ideas. I really like Adrians idea of making it a rule to contribute a wip to the wips thread. For me it always is the best part of these challenges to see others works progress, to see how others solve their problems and to learn by this.
    And same as Adrian i think this is not too strict. Even if you are late and the deadline is close it takes just 2 minutes to post something and since Vulgar is happily so generous with his interpretation of the deadline i dont see there any problem at all.

    At the moment i dont know exactly what to think about the overpaint thing. Maybe because i've no real idea how this could look like. But somehow it feels a bit strange to me to paint on top of someone elses work. Maybe you could use a photo instead of another artwork, might be a bit more `neutral´. Feng Zhu demonstrates a nice method to work with a photo in his latest video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZppE...jAGFAA&index=1 ). But since we have all kind of artists participating in this challenge, beginners to professionals i dont know if this is a good idea either. Like Feng says in his video especially for beginners there is the danger that the photo "dictates" the artist what to do and controls him instead of the artist controlling the photo. I think the same counts if you paint on top of a top artists work like Corricks for example.

    I second what Flame said. I like his idea about a more defined and precise brief, at least from time to time this would be great. Although i like Vulgars open briefs, maybe some more variety here, sometimes the brief is pretty much open, sometimes more strict.

    And finally i second what Pixel said. Brushes are just a tool especially for saving a lot of time and time is something i personally dont have enough I think to work with limited brushes is something everyone can do by himself as practice and it definitely is a good practice to work for example just with a hard round brush, but to make it a restricting rule for a challenge is something i dont like too much.

    Just my two cents and thanks to Vulgar for all the effort you put in these challenges, you're doing fantastic!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixeltuner View Post
    To be honest, I think a 'brush' limit is kind of bullshit. You use the tools at your disposal to get the job done as fast and as good as possible. When you're talking about giving people design pressure for pumping out stuff which communicates what it needs to while adhering to the brief, the last thing you want to do is cut off one arm or leg But that's just my two cents

    Other than that, good job Vulgar. I actually like the openness of the briefs mostly (sometimes they're a bit too vague..) because for me it's something I do besides my dayjob, but hey: different strokes ^^
    I like to use my special brushes as much as anyone, and I hope I didn't come off to mean limit them in every round, I agree with Tsujni in concept for certain rounds, and this is a 'Challenge' so I mean sometimes we need to challenge ourselves to work with whatever we had at hand. I was listening to Sickbrush on Youtube talk about some of the things that his art teacher challenged the class with, to do sketches/drawings with anything other than a traditional art device, no pens, pencils, brushes, etc. He ended up sketching an elephant with a candy bar and some grape juice splashed on paper for coloring.

    Sometimes, I think the 'Challenge' should really challenge us out of our comfort zone, doesn't have to be all the time, but it makes you think.

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    Even though I don't participate in the challenges as much as I used to, I still visit to see what people are working on and to see how they are interpreting the topics.

    With that said, I would like to cast my vote that:

    1) Vulgar is doing a great job.

    2) The idea of limiting brushes once in while for specific topics is not bullshit. It's actually a great idea. Flame_Unquenched is correct in stating that it might be a good way to push the participants out of their comfort zone, and it only need be implemented every now and then. Yeah of course having all your tools is good, and you might produce better work quicker. But for too many people custom brushes become a crutch. It's like taking a figure painting class where sometimes you have only 2 minutes to capture a pose and the professor tells everyone to use a big filbert brush. And so everyone complains when the work doesn't come out very good. Then you see the professor do it with the same limits and you start to understand the value of the lesson - that you can do more with less than you think and you will be that much better when you go back to your full toolbox. Look at Feng Zhu. He uses custom brushes and photographs. BUT he can also do very quick and accurate paintings with just that one simple streaky-caligraphy brush he uses in all his videos.

    Along that line, some challenges might stipulate things like: must be in 1-point perspective, must be in 2-point perspective, must be done in grayscale only, must be done off of a photograph "plate" and show the photograph for before and after shots, etc. Just ideas to change it up and push people to be creative in ways they would not otherwise be.

    And here is the best part: If a certain "rule" is implemented for a round and everyone hates it / no one participates, then it just never gets used again. Very simple and problem solved But I think it is good to at least try.

    For my part I will try and participate again on a more regular basis, or at least vote and give people crits.

    Keep EOW alive!

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  26. #13
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    All of your points about the brushes are valid, but I for one know that I can paint the same stuff I normally do with a simple round or block brush as well. It'll just take me tons of time which I simply don't have. If anyone has a week to spare and wants to commit to such a thing: fine. Those will be the rounds I will not be participating ^^

    Tuner people, not Turner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianNagorski View Post
    Paint over - you'll have to get permission from one of the artist who perhaps won a round before and use their finals image, i know that sounds crazy, and then in the finals thread you have the original image posted there as well for comparison.
    Lets start with Corrick, lol or even other second place artists all depends whos willing to let there art be painted over some artist are pretty defensive on this subject.
    Good idea Adrian, Personally I wouldn't mind ever getting paint overs

    I agree with pixeltuner about the brush limit thing, if you want limits its better to limit the color palette, or set stricter demands to certain props we can use.

    "Take credit for anything embedded in the edit as long as you ment it when you said It"

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    Some people agree on some stuff and some people don't, like in the case of 'brush limitation'.

    I think the question of what is right or wrong depends on why we are here?

    Are we here to do another job? (for which we don't get paid )
    or are we here to practice more for our job?
    or are we here to practice more as a student?
    or are we here to take a break from the regular job and face an interesting challenge?

    I am definitely here to face an interesting challenge. Now it doesn't really matter to me whether you say brush limitations, or paint overs, or more brief or less brief or whatever. To me, all of them are interesting challenges and I am in.
    I can suggest some stuff to Vugar` just for the sake of it but I sincerely doubt if it would be constructive.
    I feel that things are fine as they are. I think getting down to work is more important than deciding which/whose suggestion is apt.

    Personally the most important things for me when attempting any weekly challenges here are:
    1. Search myself for weaknesses(technique-wise eg: material rendering) and break it during the challenge.
    2. Learning unexpected lessons
    3. Last but not least, take a break from regular job and have some FUN.

    Now tell me what changes do we have to do to EOW???

    Sorry if I am being rude to anybody.

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    I don't quite care for the brush limit rule if it's just like "oh use a round brush" or "oh use a square brush". I know that you can create anything and everything with a round brush, but the point shouldn't focus something that specific down to the shape.

    Instead, I think it makes more sense to say "oh you may only do a series of silhouette-like comps" (hard round with lasso or whatnot). And make it mandatory as a WIP and then you can paint whatever the hell you want over it. (Because this is an EoW, not Foundation of the Week). In addition, you could have a shape-only composition ( lasso/gradient/paint bucket with custom shapes) if you're going to focus more different styles of process work.

    Either way, both suggestions about tools and presets are foundational work. I think if Vulgar should implement that, it should be a mandatory way of doing it as a WIP. I see no point in taking a custom-shape painting to finish with only custom shapes-- however, it is a highly valuable step in a process, that we should take account as a step in the process.

    Obviously you have artists like Sparth who can take it to a finish with just custom shapes, but his experiments with it have always been more like "sketches". So Vulgar... if you implement a mandatory TYPE of wip for some weeks-- that'd be super cool!!


    Also I can't seem to locate whoever said it but-- mandatory one point, two-point or three-point perspective is a YES IN MY BOOK.

    On the note of that, I am personally up for technical drawings!! We're not all going to paint pretty mountains and temples! Gotta draw interiors and with high linear quality! Not allowed to hide things with a brushstroke!! *Cracks whip*

    Also Vulgar-boo you're perfect, and I love your leniency with the deadline.

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  33. #17
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    What Hekaton said: Perspective (1,2,3 points whatever) drawing in combination with interiors would be nice as well.

    Tuner people, not Turner.

    A mind that wanders so much, it brings back souvenirs.

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    Thanks all for your thoughts.



    EOW Progress & Changes:

    -- Each IDW will be advertised in the main EOW thread. IDW is awesome! < 3 Pixie

    -- One must post at least once in the WIP thread to be considered for the Finals thread. The purpose for this is to enhance the community aspect, which is essentially why we are on this island: to interact and speak with each other on a collaborative level. “Commune” is a part of the word “community” for good reason. When artists see others post in the WIP’s thread it helps apply some pressure to try harder. It’s always the best part of these challenges to see others works progress, to see how others solve their problems and to learn by this.

    -- The Newly Instituted WIP C.R.E.A.M.: (Work in Progress Can Reach Every Avenue Meticulously)

    While your final piece is completely open to your command over the tools at your disposal, there will be weekly WIP challenges to get your gears in motion and make you think more about different techniques. These will be optional and anyone can suggest them. I might even have a random person every 2 weeks handle this aspect, to keep it fresh and get you out of your comfort zone. Volunteers please PM me! (or if you already suggested one, I will use it)

    Examples of WIP Cream:

    -Only a square brush can be used or the brush attached.
    - Allowed brushes, Hard Round, Soft Round, Hard Square, Pallete Knife.
    - Dual brushing and texturing of the brush are prohibited this round.
    - Shape dynamics, Scattering, and Other dynamics are allowed.
    -Paint Overs (of your own choice, or if allowed by others)
    -you may only do a series of silhouette-like comps
    -a shape-only composition ( lasso/gradient/paint bucket with custom shapes)
    -mandatory one point, two-point or three-point perspective (in combination with interiors)


    ***So just to clarify/recap, NO environment topic will have limits on brushes or tools you can use. That’s why there’ll be WIP Creams to channel that challenge & quench your thirst, a separate accessory to the main event, yet still a part of the collective effort for all to see.

    -- More defined briefs. Now and again there will definitely be open, broad topics, but we are on a concept art website and are trying to produce that, not just what we can liberally interpret as the topic. I’ll make some small tweaks that cause the EOWer to read the brief and be like “Okay, I fully understand what the brief is asking for and I will set out to create a world.” I feel like I have been too consistently open, and sometimes vaguely so.

    Along that line, some challenges might stipulate things like: must be in 1-point perspective, must be in 2-point perspective, must be done in grayscale only, must be done off of a photograph "plate" and show the photograph for before and after shots, etc. Just ideas to change it up and push people to be creative in ways they would not otherwise be.
    ^In terms of a certain perspective being assigned as the topic guidelines, I’d have to research a little more on what you mean by this. I’m a writer and not a concept artist so this stuff is really like a third language to me, so I should brush up on my art encyclopedia to better grasp the basics. As of now, I understand the most rudimentary version of this subject. Nothing advanced or technical runs through these Vulgarian veins, lol.

    -- Ahh, and there will always be leniency with the deadline.

    Last edited by Vulgar`; March 19th, 2013 at 09:37 PM.
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  36. #19
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    Oh that was me that mentioned perspective. Here is a quick example of what I meant:

    1-point perspective is where the painting is set up so that all converging lines lead to a single vanishing point on the horizon line, like in the example of Raphael's "School of Athens" painting.
    You see the front "face" of all elements as if they were positioned directly toward the viewer, then you might see only one side of the element plus either the top or bottom, depending on where the object sits in its "space" in relation to the viewers eye-level.

    2-point perspective is the same idea, but you are not looking at the scene straight on anymore so you see 2-sides of most elements. Like this photo of buildings. The viewer is at a 3/4 view, so we see the front at an angle plus one side on each building.
    If you follow the converging lines, one set goes to a vanishing point on the right, one set goes to a vanishing point off to the left. Both VP's are on the horizon line of course, and in this case neither vanishing point is actually located within the picture plane.

    There is also 3 and 4 point perspective, and any setup can be used when painting either an exterior or interior scene. Depends on where the artist wants the viewer to be in relation to the scene. Perspective is one of the main elements of design, and it is shoved down the throat of every single art and/or design student, especially when they are going through the foundation and intro courses.

    Hope that helps Vulgar!

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    All right, is long time no one write here. I even dunno if somebody is reading or moderator considerate what I will write. Is just something I've notice.

    Sometimes, on challage, user post bigger image than 1000 pixels width as rules says. This mean a more sourrounding image and an imposing view of enviroment wich sure helps for get votes. I understand is not fair to reject nice work because the artist forgot to resize it, but is unfair too penalize respectful people. Could be an idea to do not admit oversized works to te poll, untill owner artist resize it. Or maybe moderator could think again about maximum image size. At least people who's here probably has high resolution screen, so even a 1240 or even more could be ok.

    Other thing I'd like to suggest is a "special moderator vote" for the one who more stick on theme. Dunno at the moment if moderator votes, anyway, he could vote from 1 to 5 point (depends on how much resonance that challage has) for the work that better fit and nail the theme.

    Last edited by BlindLynx; November 23rd, 2013 at 07:35 AM.
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    Nice, I really like your idea. Thanks BlindLynx. I know I've been somewhat missing in action in this section aside from handling my moderating duties, but many times in the past I have voted and left feedback for each entry. I should really get back into doing that as it encourages activity and participation. I accept your challenge and will start doing so.

    As for image size, I don't think I can agree that larger image size means more votes. It might be more fulfilling to the eyes of the viewer, but the competition in the EOW is usually very neck-to-neck, or very close in other words, so I don't want to change the size limit and get strict about things that should remain open and up to the designer. If it really bothers you in a specific case, we can see about doing something.

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  40. #22
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    Happy to been helpful. I got lotta help here in this month I've been in, and to partecipate is minimum I can give back. So wer are waiting for you in the EOW! =)

    About size, I though is hardly suggest to keep image to 1000 pixels width (better if 900). If this is open to designer be sure I will not keep it lower than 1240. As the Tomb of Horror poll show "size matters".
    This mean not Vyse ambient wasnt good, it was very good, but make it smal as the others and all that imponence get lost makeking it more pair with others.

    Here is what I'm talking bout : http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=272280
    Btw is my will to make nothing bother me in a fair work place like this =) Isnt that important =)
    Hugs and thanx for yur time!

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