Thread: Showcase Guideline | An Extensive Beginner's Guide

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  1. #1 Showcase Guideline | An Extensive Beginner's Guide 
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    Within this section, members will post their digital creations seeking feedback from anyone who'd like to take the time to provide. Though all members are invited to contribute their opinions and feedback on the design, there's a few guidelines we'd like to outline be held in mind. This thread will contain the guidelines for a member's contributing within this section, whether they be showcasing their own work seeking feedback, providing feedback in the form of a critique, or just contributing to the discussion at hand. We don't enforce things with too iron a grip around here, but blatant failure to keep these guidelines in mind when posting will result in punishment as necessary.


    [INDEX]

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    * Throughout time this guideline may be updated.
    * It is the responsibility of members who wish to remain active within this section to stay informed on any changes.
    * Any modifications will noted in the edits portion of each section within this thread.
    Last edited by Thee Wolf; 01-30-2019 at 11:42 PM.
     

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    If you're after feedback on something you've recently finished or are currently working on, this is the place. By posting up your design, you're inviting members to give their opinions (whether they be positive or negative) on your work. Being able to receive feedback in a constructive manner is an incredible resource for improvement, though it's imperative that one's ego doesn't cause contest on someone's feedback. Remember, everyone is going to have a different opinion on what they think looks good, what works, and what doesn't. Within this section of the guideline, we'll be outlining behavior that's acceptable and behavior that is not when showcasing one's work. Once again, all members are invited to showcase their work, regardless of their chosen medium. Remember, however, to use the appropriate subsection for your design.


    The Dos

    Be Courteous - If a member has taken the time to critique your work, don't be negative in a reply, even if they have some points you do not agree with. If anything, ask them to elaborate a little bit on something they may have only briefly brushed on. Remember, member's aren't required to give feedback on your work, so doing so is taking time out of their day to benefit you; act appropriately with this in mind.

    Embed Your Images - Nobody liked clicking external links to see your image as it's excessive and annoying. If you're going to show something off, use a proper image host and embed it using the [IMG] BBCode. Failure to do so will result in your thread being modified by the moderator of the section initially, and excessive failure will result in a warning.

    Provide Context - Is your design half finished? Say so! Art is, at it's very foundation, subjective. If your design is only partially finished and you're after that midway feedback on where to take it next, make sure you mention it so people who're commenting know what you're after. Throwing up a title with an embedded image and calling it quits is just inviting confusion or low effort posts.

    Be Thankful - Remember, members are going out of their way to give your design some feedback. If you believe they've done an exceptional job, the least you can do is rep their post or thank them. It's only properly fair you acknowledge their comments, much to the same tune as them acknowledging your design.


    The Don'ts

    Don't Argue Everything - Don't agree with someone someone has said? Take it on the chin and move on or ask them to elaborate a little. Everyone's going to have different opinions on what they like to see and that's going to be reflected in their feedback. If your design isn't something they're super into and they express that, take from their critique was you can. Never be afraid to ask for more information. Contesting points and become hostile isn't how you improve as a designer, and it certainly isn't how you remain a welcome member of the section.

    Post Joke Images - Though this should pretty much just be common sense, we'll take the time to elaborate a little all the same: this website has a spam section, so if your image is better suited for that, post it there. Images that could be considered jokes or are obviously low effort will be deleted and their poster will be punished.


    Updated: Jan 30, 2019 - Created and posted.
    Last edited by Thee Wolf; 01-30-2019 at 11:47 PM.
     

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    When providing feedback on someone else's design, you're essentially giving your opinion on the time someone has invested in creating something they're passionate about; this should always be a thought in the back of your mind when giving feedback. Being overly harsh for no reason isn't something we'll be too tolerant of, and members who feel like they're contributing by outright flaming the work of other members will be punished accordingly. Feedback should serve the purpose of helping the creator in advancing themselves into the continuity of their current design, or giving them food for thought in their next. When critiquing someone's work, try and be as thorough as possible, pointing out all of the little details you're into, and those you're not. Give suggestions, maybe some advice, and to a degree, just speak your mind on their design. Within this section of the guideline, we'll be outlining behavior that's acceptable when critiquing someone's work and behavior that is now. Once again, all members are invited to give a critique, regardless of their familiarity with the program, though we advise them to make use of these guidelines when doing so.


    The Dos

    Be Courteous - If a member is confident enough to showcase their work, it's not your responsibility to bash them down for it. When providing feedback, it's entirely up to you on how you choose to format or write it, however an outright slam against their work isn't productive for either party. It's expected to point out negative elements, though doing so productively and in a manner that doesn't come off as an attack is encouraged.

    Be Thorough - A good critique takes time. Scan through their work and take note of all the little intricacies that compose it and include your opinion of them in your feedback. Keep in mind this doesn't involve breaking down their process as that's beneficial to absolutely nobody.

    2 Good; 1 Bad - A common rule when providing feedback is the "2 good; 1 bad". This implies that when leaving feedback, every bad point or complaint you have against their work should be matched with two points or positive notes. This isn't something that will be strictly enforced by any means, but it's something to keep in mind. When providing feedback, it's good to find a balance between what needs to be improved and what's been done well; too much of the former could be received as discouraging or hostile, and too much of the latter is just ego fluffing.


    The Don'ts

    Don't Be Lazy - Critiques should take a bit of time when they're done well. Remember, you should be scanning through their work looking at all the little elements that compose it. Leaving messages like "looks nice" or "cool work" do not contribute whatsoever and do not benefit the artist. It's alright to support their work, but do so by thanking the thread if you've nothing to contribute critique-wise. Messages contrary to this point will be treated like spam. The Graphics section is not for growing one's post count.

    Negative Nancies - Nobody likes a Negative Nancy. If your only goal when providing feedback is to tear the work about and spam your negative opinions all over it, don't waste your time. Doing so is only discouraging to the original artist, plus it'll likely end up getting your account punished. Feedback should be productive and requires a balance in being so. If you want to point out faults, that's perfectly fine, but pair them with suggestions on how to improve or elaborate in detail on why you're not too keen on a particular element. Straight up attacking people's work will not be tolerated.


    Updated: Jan 30, 2019 - Created and posted.
    Last edited by Thee Wolf; 01-30-2019 at 11:47 PM.
     

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    Within this section, members will post their designs and seek feedback from the community on things to improve or their general thoughts. In this beginner's guide, we'll review some basic terminology to include in your critique and some pointers to keeping your critique short and still informative. A great critique not only benefits the artist but it also sharpens your eye in terms of what looks good and is therefore applicable when designing your own artwork. To start, we'll go over some basic questions you might have:


    General Questions

    What is a critique?

    A critique is when a member goes through and outlines the points in someone's showcased design with both places they did well in, and places that could use improvement. Feedback's sole purpose is to benefit the design creator in bettering themselves as a designer, although it has the added benefit of sharpening one's own eye in what to look for in designs of their own. When you begin to really inspect and look into people's work, noting all of the intricacies that flow together to compose the finished product, you'll hone your own skills in noting the same elements of your own work. A great critique is beneficial all around.


    What makes for a good critique?

    A great critique is composed of many different qualities. To begin with, not only does it cover many different elements about the tag, but it does so in a detailed and presentable way. A great critique is positive, direct, and very informative. Although it's important to point out negative aspects to a tag, doing so in a rude manner will only aggravate the original designer and possibly earn yourself an infraction. Stay positive, be detailed, use a decent vocabulary, make recommendations on how to improve, provide examples or sources, and most important, be respectful. What you're looking at is something that somebody has spent time making, so what do you really stand to gain by being rude?


    Someone has left a great critique on my work, what should I do in return?

    The ideal thing would be to thank them. Do not argue with someone on what points you agree with and what you don't, just take away what you can from the feedback. There's no point in trying to argue or justify against what they didn't like, as you cannot MAKE somebody like your work.


    Someone has left something rude on my work, what do I do?

    Do not reply; report them. Replying to them only means you've stooped down to their level, and let's be honest here, you have to be pretty damn low to leave rude comments in general. So, as opposed to even possibly setting yourself up to be punished as well, report their post using the report function and move on - think nothing else of it.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    Critique Examples

    Below we'll take a design one of the Rune-Server Designer members, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], has made and provide three different levels of critique to his work. These different levels will include the use of terminology and everything that's been discussed throughout the entirety of this guideline.


    Original Link: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Good Critique

    Hey, B! Though the piece feels a little bit monochromatic, the contrast of your colors is absolutely phenomenal. The red effects themselves glow in a way that makes them feel natural as well, though I do wish that same rich lighting was carried up a little into the branches that're going up her head. The flow here is phenomenal and I love the way you carried that same branch effect all throughout the piece. The depth is done quite alright, though I think with a light bit of blurring on the planet or a couple of darker branches moved throughout the background with a very soft light could really add to it. The negative space on the top of the canvas really helps to bring the eyes down into the focal as well. You'll totally have to share how you got that lighting effect! The pentooling throughout really, really brings our those branches, which only further adds to the light source. Fantastic work on this, and I really look forward to seeing your next design.
    As you'll notice, the good critique uses a lot of different "power words" such as execution, lighting, atmosphere, and depth. Words like this, when used appropriately, can really help you drive your point. Not only is this critique direct and insightful, it's also polite and well-written. Don't be afraid to ask questions throughout your critique as well, such as how the artist achieved a certain effect. Remember, this is a place of learning.


    Average Critique

    I really like your contrast in this one. The depth is alright too, but I think it could be improved somehow. Your flow is really well done, and the branch effects are cool. Nice job, man.
    This critique, though polite and punctual, is still a little too vague. As a result, the designer doesn't get as much information and advice from it as one should strive to provide. There isn't many power words being used, and as a result, the critique really isn't too informative on proper elements in a tag.


    Bad Critique

    hey man, looks cool, nice colors and love the effects. 8/10 always love your stuff.
    From a grammatical standpoint, this critique could use work. Not only is it not very articulate, it also doesn't give the designer much to work with in terms of beneficial advice. Also, rating people's work is not beneficial in any way and should be avoided.


    Feedback Terminology

    Below will go over some of the commonly used words one should consider when providing feedback and their corresponding definition. When leaving feedback for someone, try to make use of these words as they're well suited in delivering the specifics of your point. Not only do these words help drive the point home, they help the designer known which qualities of the tag you are referring to.


    Atmosphere - Atmosphere is used to describe the overall feel of the tag. A great atmosphere will have the viewer feeling exactly how the designer wanted them to feel. Whether it be cold from a tag using mostly cold effects, or warm from a tag with warm colors, execution is everything with this term. Atmosphere is a huge element in most tags.

    Colors - Colors are very important. Whether they are complimenting or clashing can either break or make a tag. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] will teach you how to use one of [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. Learning how to use a color wheel and then implementing the knowledge into the designing of your tags is a great way to get some fantastic results.

    Composition - Composition is used when referring to the way you've mixed everything together. Your effects, your lighting, your colors, etc. In other words, it's the arrangement of everything and how you've chosen to lay it all down.

    Contrast - Contrast is used in reference to the lights of your lights and the darks of your darks. Contrast is created by using opposites near or beside one another, such as a light color near a dark one.

    Depth - Depth is used in reference to how flat or not flat your piece feels. A good piece will have effects happening in all sorts of different layers to a piece (such as a foreground and background). Depth keeps pieces interesting and helps with the overall aesthetic appeal.

    Effects - Effects is used in reference to what you have happening in the piece itself. Whether it be interesting elements created through C4Ds or splatter brushes or whatever, the term "effects" is used when referencing those.

    Execution - Execution is used in reference when referring to how you've gone about doing something. For example, if someone comments on how poor your execution is on your element of depth, it means your approach and attempt at introducing depth into your piece was poorly done and needs improvement.

    Flow - Flow is used in reference when referring to what direction the piece's current stature moves the viewer's eye. Ideally it's good to have most points of the piece bring the viewer's eye to the intentional focal. Flow, when used properly, can have very beneficial effects on depth as well.

    Focal - The focal point of a piece is where the designer wanted the viewer to pay the most attention to. Whether it be a render in a normal tag or a certain area of effects in an abstract piece, this particular element of a piece of artwork is crucial to having a general aesthetic appeal.

    Lighting - The lighting is used in reference to how you've implemented having a light source(s) into your piece. Great execution of a light source is important in all pieces as mostly every piece you'll stumble across with have a light source.

    Though this does not include all terminology you'll encounter as you begin to familiarize yourself with creating or digital design as a whole, it provides a good base point to reference when providing your own critiques.


    Thanks for taking the time to review the Showcase Guidelines. These guidelines will be updated as necessary. If you happen to have any questions, feedback, or want something to be further elaborated on that's within this guide, don't hesitate to send a private message to the Moderator of the section at the time. The Showcase section is a place where everyone should feel welcome to sharing their designs and be open to receiving beneficial feedback from those who choose to set the time aside and provide it. Members who're generally hostile or receive numerous warnings will eventually be barred from showcasing their work or contributing to the Graphics section whatsoever.


    Updated: Jan 30, 2019 - Created and posted.
     

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