AuthorTopic: On getting critiqued and battling critique  (Read 8252 times)

Offline Helm

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On getting critiqued and battling critique

on: August 19, 2012, 01:14:08 pm
I've been giving and taking art advice for a long time. I would say the main categories of people posting on Pixelation, as differentiated by how they react to critique and edits, are the following:

1. Users that never post any updates to their piece. Sometimes they never post again on Pixelation at all. Other times they may start another thread with new art too, but they do not follow up with updates and progress on their stuff.

2. Users that react to critique by trying to address near-all points given to them in their updated art.

3. Users that filter the critique they get and address what they find they need to and do not discuss why they left this or that piece of advice out.

4. Users that filter the critique they get and address what they find they need to and discuss what and why they filtered out in great detail.

Here's what I've noticed about how these different categories show in how they develop.

Users of the first type do not progress fast, or I do not know if they progress at all because they never post again. They want to show off. Pixelation sometimes is not for the weak of heart. The benefit is that critique is put in writing so they can revist the critique that hurt their feelings a year from now and see if there's anything to it then. As a personal aside, this type of orphan thread breaks my heart a bit  :-[

Users of the second type seem like perfect c&c recievers, and perhaps they're very useful to an art critique community and they do seem to progress very fast... in their one thread. They soak up critique like sponges and their piece becomes better very fast. But they do not systemize, there's no structure in how they incorporate critique. They're 'augmented' by the Pixelation method of shotgun critique, but when they go off the drugs, they revert to a less amped version of themselves. Of course there is a cumulative progression, but appearances can be decieving. It often seems to me these users take the word of others over their own senses. This is useful for beginning artists. At some point however, I do think artistic progression necessarily becomes more esoteric and the artist needs to stop trying to create art that pleases everyone. The end goal is not to make a piece of art nobody would have any critique for.

Users of the third type to me seem to progress slower. Sometimes they're second type users that have moved on into themselves. They take what critique they need and do not discuss too much why they didn't take the critique they didn't. It's just my experience that the type of progress their artwork benefits from from their stay in Pixelation is not very blatant. They fix their AA, they may stop banding, they tighten up. It's that 5%. They don't move by leaps and bounds because they're themselves enough by now. They are secure. They're using Pixelation like a service, to get that last polish pass. As I've noticed these users end up either as fixtures, giving critique to others, or they tighten up their tech and leave, which is totally fine.

Users of the fourth and final type seem self-conscious to me. They have an ego thing sometimes that pushes them to want to tell you why your critique is false. Sometimes they are right and the critique is no good, sometimes not. It's besides the point. It seems to me this attitude leads to people becoming better artists slower and better at structuring argumentation. I'm not going to say Pixelation isn't here for the latter. Art discussion is valid, and nobody here is a teacher of authority to have a final say. I'm just noticing that this is a type of repeated behaviour. The reader might be well-advised to consider if they fall into this category and if they do, to ponder if what they're hoping to achieve in Pixelation is to become better pixel artists as fast as possible or instead to become better orators.

As a user that's been here a long time, if I may give a piece of advice is that you shouldn't fight critique. Filter it as you wish, but don't write me a story about why you won't incorporate a suggestion. There's going to be a lot of critique thrown your way and it's officially a-ok with Pixelation decorum to not address every person and why you won't do every little thing they've told you in long-form text. Users will contradict each others' critique. It's impossible not to. This is a great thing. Leave it up to them to discuss and compare why this is or is not a good idea you're being given. Make up your mind privately and move on with the art, not the argument. You'll become better, faster like this.

If you see people in your thread bring up critique you filtered out again and again, your filter's may not be very brave, though. Adjust accordingly.

Furthermore there is a significant life skill in my advice. When a tutor of any kind is giving you a piece of their mind, they may be well-meaning or they may want to hurt your feelings. Make up your mind privately. Either do what they want you to do, or don't do it. But don't have an argument. Because if you do, you're making it an argument about YOU. It becomes about you talking about what's going on in your mind. In art, at the end, nobody in the audience will be privy to your internal explanations on what you did. They only experience the end result. Don't make the appreciation of that experience contingent on them having a private conversation with the artist. Battling critique is just training artists-to-be to not make self-contained art.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 01:17:19 pm by Helm »

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 03:40:47 pm
Thanks for this. Very insightful.

If I would try to cast myself into a category, perhaps that would be number 3. I really do appreciate and need critiques at this point of my development, but I realized fast that incorporating all advises is very distracting, to say at least. It's really best to take/adopt what you find most useful at that point and doable when working on a specific pixel art work, and not explain much why you didn't incorporate all suggestions. Anyway, sometimes they are simply contradictory.

I understand people in the second category who aim simply at becoming good/excellent at pixel art, so they have more time and will to wander. But as you said so well Helm, they eventually need to stop listening to C&C and rely on their own instincts.

Offline Dusty

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 04:31:54 pm
How do you feel about people who are accepting of critique and try to make changes, but also don't want to deviate too much from some sort of stance they had when they originally started working on their piece(like say, the composition or style or such)?

And I think more importantly, which kind of relates to Lachie's, is what about conflicting critique? Quite a bit I see a piece being critiqued by a few members, but their critiques conflict with each other. What would be ideal for the artist then?

Offline Dr D

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 05:59:27 pm
And I think more importantly, which kind of relates to Lachie's, is what about conflicting critique? Quite a bit I see a piece being critiqued by a few members, but their critiques conflict with each other. What would be ideal for the artist then?

Well, Helm did touch a bit on this. I agree with what he said, I think it's just on a case-by-case basis; the artist should decide for theirself in which direction to go, there is no right or wrong and no matter what you do, you can't please everybody. You can only really please some & yourself.

And Helm, great thread. A bit bothered by some recent posts perhaps?  :P

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 10:56:03 pm
Not at all bothered, actually. I write this in good spirit.

Offline Stab

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 03:38:18 am
It seems odd for the information to appear unprovoked and without a specific audience, though!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 03:45:27 am by Stab »

Offline r1k

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 12:34:45 pm
I think type 4 could perhaps be divided into 2 parts.  The people just being defensive, and those just discussing hopefuly in some beneficial way.  A benificial way might look something like "hmm, Im not sure about that critique because I was going for [such and such], do you think my way does a good job of acheiving that or would changing something acheive that better?".  I think such discussions might also benefit to remind begginers, who soak up all the critique (type 2), who I sometimes fear get into the mindset that there are right and wrong answers and forget that art is subjective and "right" and "wrong" arent always applicable.

the type 1 people can annoy me sometimes.  Numerous times Ive posted critiques and edits in threads only to see those threads never posted in again.

And a specific type of critique Ive noticed which kind of bothers me is whenever someone is drawing a female figure it seems someone has to post critique that boils down to that it needs to improve by closer matching whoevers notions of bueaty, like boobs need to be bigger, waist thinner, hips bigger etc.  Of course thats just one of those times to take critique with a grain of salt.

anyway though I guess Im basically in agreement with everything you said but these are just my rambly thoughts.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 02:16:47 pm
Quote
How do you feel about people who are accepting of critique and try to make changes, but also don't want to deviate too much from some sort of stance they had when they originally started working on their piece(like say, the composition or style or such)?

I feel that's well and good. However there are niggling cases. I remember a thread by a user that was trying to create customized assets for a final fantasy tactics game. That game has a very strict style if I remember. Sprites have no noses. That's fine with me, really. It'd be dumb to give him critique to add noses to his sprites but... that's exactly what I did. Of course he disregarded my suggestion (and as I said, that's fine) but sometimes I do think it's valuable that the people giving you critique step outside the box you've presented, because they sense it would be beneficial to have that outiside vantage. But I don't believe anyone that gives such outside aesthetic critique expects their suggestions to be taken very seriously. So my position on what you ask is it's fine to disregard critique that is outside of your 'stance' as you put it, but don't expect people to not give you that critique anyway sometimes.

As to conflicting critique, I think that's a wonderful thing to be in that spot when you are being hard-pressed to choose between seemingly equally attractive ways to make your art better. Really have to trust your gut in these cases.

Stab, there is no controversy. Is there no audience for this? Then why are you reading it? I make theoretical threads from time to time  :-*

r1k, sure there are people that just want to discuss critique X more before they're convinced that that's the way they want to go, but somehow I think again that's something a person should discuss with themselves more than with third parties. Pixelation is 'shotgun critique'. You get a face full of different, sometimes contrasting suggestions. Can't discuss with everyone. I think what you suggest works better in a tutor-student relationship where the onus is on the tutor to be as explicit as possible for a long duration to convey to a person a host of suggestions that comprise a system of working in its entirety. Most Pixelation users (myself included) can't even readily tell you if they even have a system themselves for their own art, much less take up the burden to explicity teach it. So Pixelation is really more than anything a few dozen pair of trained eyes looking at your stuff and then telling you 'fix this. like that perhaps. or like this? perhaps don't fix it after all!'

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 06:39:01 pm
Good discussion.
It reminds me of a quote some may know:
"Talking About Art is Like Dancing About Architecture"
Tho a good point expressed in an entertaining manner, it'd be best to put "Sometimes" in front of it.

Quote
Numerous times Ive posted critiques and edits in threads only to see those threads never posted in again.
I get this a lot too.
I sometimes wonder if I am a thread killer.
But then I suppose no matter who had posted the person would have withdrawn quickly.

Quote
And a specific type of critique Ive noticed which kind of bothers me is whenever someone is drawing a female figure it seems someone has to post critique that boils down to that it needs to improve by closer matching whoevers notions of bueaty, like boobs need to be bigger, waist thinner, hips bigger etc.  Of course thats just one of those times to take critique with a grain of salt.
Many edits I do are of female characters.
I may be one of these people?
Even if I am not, if you are interested I could do a post about visual communication that may alleviate you feeling bothered somewhat.
This may not be the proper thread to do so.

Quote
Most Pixelation users (myself included) can't even readily tell you if they even have a system themselves for their own art, much less take up the burden to explicity teach it.
I encourage you to do this.
Many could gain from your insight if it is relatively organized and properly presented.
Not now.
Later in life perhaps.
Or whenever you feel is appropriate.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline imnumberfour

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 06:46:28 pm
I guess I fit the first one the most, but thats usually because I get the piece to a standard I want after getting critique and feel like i'd be bumping way to old of a thread if I put my final piece causing me to just forget and move on.

Offline Stab

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 12:41:13 am
There's no audience in the sense that there isn't any specific person I could think of that would directly benefit from this advice NOW. That obviously doesn't mean it isn't good or thought provoking or won't benefit anyone ever, it just seems odd because it comes as something without obvious origin, which personally makes me uneasy :D

Also, as to why I'm reading this... honestly, on pixelation you'd be comparable to Morgan Freeman reading something. It doesn't matter what you're saying, I'd listen, because statistics show that more often than not it was a pleasant/useful/intriguing/informative read. To make this slightly less uncomfortable to hear, you're not the only one on this site that I'd attribute that quality to.

I struggle with the concept of fighting criticism being unambiguously bad based on a difference between internal monologue and external communication. In exactly the same way that no-one can know what your intentions were for any piece of art, it is impossible to tell exactly what someone was feeling/thinking in objecting to a criticism. What's important is the internal monologue, where someone will decide for themselves what their actual stance on a situation is... the external communication is more readily corrupted by silly things like emotions and thereby not necessarily communicating the truth of the thing. While there always is truth to what someone says, it might not be the truth they intend to communicate that comes through. Because of that, I say go for fighting criticism, because no matter what by communicating the truth in what you feel, and as long as your internal monologue is willing to accept presented changes it shouldn't matter what you're actually communicating(*).

(*) Obviously this only applies to someone's PERSONAL benefit. In the interest of maintaining a positive community, obviously it matters what you're actually communicating. The only person that comes to mind on the subject of this subject is Xelados Nafshir, who was an extremely verbose individual and was eventually banned for something, despite from what I remember not coming across as an expressly unchanging or terrible person. I don't mean to say he shouldn't have been banned (I have no idea what he was even banned for, specifically!) I just remember him as someone who quite frequently opposed criticism outwardly, but was inwardly changing or accepting the criticism or improving or whatever. It would take some convincing for me to believe that his conduct was untrue to himself.

The ultimate answer is probably that my personal philosophies on this subject are just different. I guess that's also part of why it seems odd.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 03:16:03 am
I think this is very interesting.
But something that might even be more interesting are the different types of people giving critique.

What makes critique different is not only taste and experience, but also motivation.
Personally I try to make edits to learn myself, at least that's the big carrot for me, each time I give critique I actually learn a lot because I'm looking at something with fresh eyes and I can draw from my experience and everything I've learned so far, which is a good way to keep that knowledge fresh and make sure it's also valid. And I also learn how to break down a piece of art and find problem areas.
There's also a lot of problem solving, how do I make this shape with a limited amount of pixels, the shading, textures, palette, everything.

A lot of critique will be incredibly biased, I know that a lot of artists here try to push their own art style on others, which I don't agree with because then we're just creating clones.
And most importantly, if you have a specific art style, you need to realize that it's not gonna work for every single purpose. Of course, you can make a pastel palette horror game, but if the purpose is a gritty and dark game, then it's not the way to go.
That being said, I still appreciate the posts and the effort put into them, it's still great to see a piece in a different style and it can be helpful in many ways.

There's also instance where an edit might be way way above the original posters level, in those cases it really helps with a step by step.
But some of the edits just go from nothing to "oh hi, here's a completely new sprite with a similar palette and style" and again, I personally love to see these edits but they might not be
that helpful for the original poster unless he can properly analyze and see how the piece was put together.

Just brainstorming a bit here, but the motivation for critique can vary greatly.

1. The provoked response - a piece that you think is so bad you have to point out all the obvious flaws.

2. I see a potential here - where you see something that has the right feel, but lacks in technique or polish.

3. Personal interest - where you post an edit because you love the style or the motif.

4. Look what I can do - where you just want to show off or get validation on your critique.

5. Great idea! - Where you got a great idea from looking at a piece and just have to try it out.

6. Helping hand - Helping people is fun.

I think most people have a mix of these motivations, if not all of them at once. These might also explain why a thread might not get a reply at all..
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 03:18:58 am by Seiseki »

Offline Ai

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 04:46:14 am
Re: being true to yourself:

Being true to yourself means (among other things) being effective in carrying your beliefs out in action.
One thing I have consistently observed in others, is that the most effective people are those who require themselves to get definite. In these terms, 'fighting critique' is a type of indefiniteness : saying "no, not that" rather than "this". Saying 'this is what is needed' later is better than never, but worse than right now, purely in terms of personal effectiveness (re: people who argue and then take on the critique afterwards).

You're better off being definite and wrong (and finding that out from experience) than indefinite and 'right'. You just plain learn more, quicker.

(also your communication skills improve, which is something every person and community sorely needs.)


@Seiseki
Quote
But some of the edits just go from nothing to "oh hi, here's a completely new sprite with a similar palette and style" and again, I personally love to see these edits but they might not be
that helpful for the original poster unless he can properly analyze and see how the piece was put together.
Personally I interpret these as inspiration -- that the recipient will look at them, like a lot of things, and emulate a few things, some of them successfully. I also tend to be pleased at seeing these because it gives you a better reference point to say 'I want my picture to end up like X' (not necessarily like the edit per se.. likely like the edit in some ways and deliberately far from the edit in others. Definition by contrast.)

Nice analysis,I think your breakdown of motivations involved was pretty spot-on. Threads don't get replies when they are not compelling in any of those ways.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 05:01:17 am
Thanks, I wasn't sure if it made any sense.

I've noticed that the different motivations can be applied to regular forum posts as well, sometimes I tend to argue on various forums having 1 and 4 as motivation..
Which I've realized is kinda pointless and a waste of time, although it helps improve my writing skills, but it can get out of control quickly since they're quite emotional motivations that usually requires some kind of closure.

I'm also guilty of posting with 2 and 5, especially in game devlogs and suggestion boards.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 07:44:14 am
Seiseki, wonderful observations on the other side of the critique fence. The easiest critique to do is that of the last 5%. Where something's beautiful already but has some bad pixel art technique spots. The editor might feel they marginally share in the glory of the final piece by fixing some banding or bad aa on a great piece. Almost_done pieces usually get critique for this reason.

2 and 3 aren't really that far apart. The difference is that critique on something that isn't almost done is going to be more difficult.

Stab, it's interesting that you say this isn't benefitting anyone now yet the thread is evolving. What I take from your last reply is not that this thread is semi useless, but because my 'trial of intention' makes you uncomfortable. Which is fair, and I agree, nobody really knows what someone has in mind when they argue against critique. I am guessing, more than anything. My guesses are informed by experience and that's why they're better than nothing. It's a safe position to say 'we can't know the motivation of anyone' and leave it there, but I think there's benefits in theorizing on this topic.

Xelados Nafshir, if memory serves, pushed for his own ban in the end. I hope he's feeling better since then and is a conductive member of other communities. His ban here is probably lapsed, I'm not sure.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 08:33:47 am
As for taking and giving criticism..
I have a friend who takes criticism extremely hard, which sorta forces me to dance around it when he asks for my opinion, it's quite awkward because I want to be honest and say what I think, but since he usually turns quite defensive if the criticism is negative, so it's hard to have an objective discussion.
It becomes even worse because he's a music producer and I have an extremely hard time giving constructive criticism when it comes to music since I know next to nothing about it.

He also hates being questioned. When we're talking about games, movies, etc. He can be like:
"I don't like X"
"Why?"
"I just don't like it, why do I have to explain, can't I have an opinion?"
"..."

Offline ptoing

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 09:11:33 am
Xelados Nafshir, if memory serves, pushed for his own ban in the end. I hope he's feeling better since then and is a conductive member of other communities. His ban here is probably lapsed, I'm not sure.

He did not actually push for a ban, but for having his account and all posts deleted, which we actually did in the end, after he manually edited all his posts to be worthless anyway. I hope he is doing better as well. Doubt he will be coming back here tho.

Also, nice thread Helm, have not read all the replies yet, but will at some point when I am a bit less busy.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 10:53:38 am
As for taking and giving criticism..
I have a friend who takes criticism extremely hard, which sorta forces me to dance around it when he asks for my opinion, it's quite awkward because I want to be honest and say what I think, but since he usually turns quite defensive if the criticism is negative, so it's hard to have an objective discussion.
It becomes even worse because he's a music producer and I have an extremely hard time giving constructive criticism when it comes to music since I know next to nothing about it.

He also hates being questioned. When we're talking about games, movies, etc. He can be like:
"I don't like X"
"Why?"
"I just don't like it, why do I have to explain, can't I have an opinion?"
"..."

This is exactly the type of case where you should give your honest opinion and refuse to have any further discussion/clarification. If he wants to have a conversation, he should join a debate club.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 12:00:45 pm
But critique without clarification is hardly constructive..

"I don't like the blue palette you're using"
"Uhm, ok, why?"

You should always be able to discuss critique in an objective manner.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 12:36:20 pm
I'm more thinking

"I think you should use more green in your sky tint here to add some visual interest in your piece"
"Uhm, why would that add visual interest?"

That's where I think your friend would be baiting you into a discussion of values.

Offline Bissle

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 01:03:37 pm
Hmm, interesting way to think of critique, and I see shades of myself in all of them, especially two and four... actually, I am types two and four. Not an excuse, but people who fit in those two types tend to have feelings of guilt when ignoring advice, regardless of the actual quality of the advice. Also, there is a fear of coming off as arrogant and defensive. If someone who you judge to be an "expert" gives you advice, you feel compelled to at least attempt it, but even these "experts" are human, meaning their thoughts are every bit as subjective as anyone else's, though coming from a perspective based on experience and skill. At the end of the day, while being completely close-minded can be a terrible thing, a lack of conviction and trust in one's own judgment and values are even worse. But for those in those categories, deveoping that level of self-confidence is easier said than done.


And a specific type of critique Ive noticed which kind of bothers me is whenever someone is drawing a female figure it seems someone has to post critique that boils down to that it needs to improve by closer matching whoevers notions of bueaty, like boobs need to be bigger, waist thinner, hips bigger etc.  Of course thats just one of those times to take critique with a grain of salt.

I have to agree, though this type of critique has become much less common and more nuanced when you do see it over the years, likely due to the posters getting older or more understanding of the fact that women don't look the same. I was pleasantly surprised to see a thread where the subject was a woman who wasn't particularly curvaceous, and some of the crits on her body actually had that in mind, including a reference pic of a real woman with a similar body-type instead of "bigger boobs/smaller nose/fuller lips/wider hips, please.  :-*"

I have to side with Helm on the issue of discussing critique. A criticism that boils down to "It doesn't appeal to me" is not one that can be discussed objectively all the time. Sometimes, you just don't like something and it can't be put into words. Being on the receiving of that can feel unhelpful, but as has been stated earlier, you can't please everyone and should just do what you like.

Based on what you wrote before, out of curiosity, Seiseki, what is an average conversation with that friend like when you're the one giving criticism?

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #21 on: August 21, 2012, 01:31:10 pm
I'm more thinking

"I think you should use more green in your sky tint here to add some visual interest in your piece"
"Uhm, why would that add visual interest?"

That's where I think your friend would be baiting you into a discussion of values.

I don't see the harm in explain reasoning and debating values, it's important to know where criticism comes from and the meaning behind it.
Otherwise you're just saying "I know more than you do, listen to me.." Which even if true, is more like giving someone a fish than teaching him how to fish.

"The green adds some warmth as contrast to the cold blue.."
"But it's supposed to look really cold"
"Ok, maybe there's a better way to add visual interest, but I really think you need something because it's plain atm.."
"I see what you mean.."

This would really be a best case scenario, in reality it rarely plays out like this, haha..

@Bissle, if you can't explain your opinion other than "It doesn't appeal to me.." then honestly, what's the point of saying anything at all(not a rethorical question)? It as nonconstructive as it gets.

As for an example conversation, I'm having a hard time remembering/thinking of one.
I think he's sorta dismissive of my criticism because he knows more about the subject (music production), at least when I comes to the more technical stuff.
I tend to argue about mood and feeling in a song, or repetitiveness, tempo, etc, since that's separate from the technical stuff.
But if I think it just sounds off or wrong I have a hard time explaining why.


Offline r1k

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 02:09:48 pm
Quote
Quote
    And a specific type of critique Ive noticed which kind of bothers me is whenever someone is drawing a female figure it seems someone has to post critique that boils down to that it needs to improve by closer matching whoevers notions of bueaty, like boobs need to be bigger, waist thinner, hips bigger etc.  Of course thats just one of those times to take critique with a grain of salt.

Many edits I do are of female characters.
I may be one of these people?
Even if I am not, if you are interested I could do a post about visual communication that may alleviate you feeling bothered somewhat.
This may not be the proper thread to do so.

no Ive never seen you do a post like I was talking about.  I see you more as helping people with general anatomy/character design.  I was talking more about when someone has something thats already anatomically fine but someone feels the need to chime in that the figure is too chubby for his liking, or some other such thing.  Of course body type may play into character design in some cases, in which such critique makes sense.  Probably doesnt happen that often though, just sticks in my mind I guess.  But I guess it just boils down to a sort of "change it to appeal more to me" thing thats annoying.

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I sometimes wonder if I am a thread killer.
But then I suppose no matter who had posted the person would have withdrawn quickly.

ya I feel like a thread killer all the time too.  But I guess its just that I only notice the threads I "kill" and the other "killed" threads go totally unnoticed.

well, now I need to go read all the other posts though/

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #23 on: August 21, 2012, 02:33:02 pm
That's funny because I also thought that I was the thread killer :D
Would be hilarious if the forum kept track of "threads killed"..  ;D

Offline Bissle

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #24 on: August 21, 2012, 06:38:38 pm


@Bissle, if you can't explain your opinion other than "It doesn't appeal to me.." then honestly, what's the point of saying anything at all(not a rethorical question)? It as nonconstructive as it gets.

I must've read your post the wrong way. In the context of constructive criticism, a statement like that which couldn't be backed up would be inappropriate and would be best left out. If you were just asking someone what they thought of something, and they expressed they didn't like it but couldn't provide a clear reason, that's another story.

"I don't like cheese."
"How can you not like cheese?"
"I don't like the way it tastes."
"Why?"
"Um... "

But that's all besides the point.

I like what you wrote regarding the types of people who *give* criticism. The few times I make edits, it tends to be a combo of 2,3, and 5. A lot of the time it's that a point I want to make is so hard to put into words that an edit would better communicate what I feel needs improvement. Also, a point that delves into 4, it's a way to gauge my own skill and improvement. Regardless there's usually something about the original piece that I like and want to see it develop further.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #25 on: August 22, 2012, 09:53:19 am
What, you don't like cheese? What's wrong with you!? j/k  :crazy:

"I don't know why I don't like it" is a reasonable explanation, because whether you like something or not is not some binary on/off switch in your head.
But taste in food and music is so subconscious that it can be impossible to explain or even know the reason behind.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #26 on: August 22, 2012, 10:48:55 pm
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no Ive never seen you do a post like I was talking about.
cool.
Not really trying to defend how I crit.
Just curious how others might interpret my posts, especially if I might be included in something that someone finds bothersome.

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I could do a post about visual communication that may alleviate you feeling bothered somewhat.
It seems quite common to be offended by certain colors, shapes, and ideas.
This may be for cultural, personal, or other reasons.
This usually leads to a lack of will to explore possibilities and be accepting.
I don't think it's very interesting to tell people what should bother them.
But its an important topic to present and discuss at some point.

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But I guess it just boils down to a sort of "change it to appeal more to me" thing thats annoying.
Sure that makes sense.
Some critique can come off as selfish or abrasive if a certain combination of words is used.
While some of this may be intentional, tone can be difficult to interpret from text.
I find it best to be as humble as possible and use clear, simple diction.

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But if I think it just sounds off or wrong I have a hard time explaining why.
This sort of crit is actually quite valuable in making games (and all mediums but that's where I personally use it the most).
Pulling random and highly varied people into you studio and having them play test your game gets great results.
Older women, kids, dads, boys, girls, hardcore gamers, office workers, whatever.
Many of these people have no expertise in playing games.
Even if they do, for the most part they are completely unable to verbally explain their experience.
Of course we do listen to them talk and give them a series of questions to answer in written form at the end.

But the important data is in the playtest itself:
How do they react physically?
How do they react mentally?
What facial expressions do they make?
What buttons do they push?
What in game choices do they make?
What out of game choices do they make?
How easily do they accomplish assigned tasks?
What order do they complete such tasks?
Do they go to the options menu?
etc etc.
Until at the very end:
What do they say before playing?
What do they say while playing?
What do they say after playing?

It's unfortunate but because of the way the internet works that moment is lost.
When you post something for people to experience what you get back is the post reactionary data.
People have had time to see, react, analyze, construct, edit, and refine their thoughts.
While this isn't a bad thing, in fact it can be very good, it can amplify the difference between a very useful and less useful source.
A completely useful reaction or in the moment crit from an average person is missed, and then expressed by them in a vocabulary they may not be familiar with.

The difference in your situation perhaps is that you are friends with this guy and you get to crit his stuff repeatedly.
We don't call back the same old lady to consult for our next project.
Unless we got something really useful from her.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 10:51:26 pm by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Grimsane

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #27 on: August 23, 2012, 12:11:59 pm
interesting topic and alot of which are things I too have observed in my recent time here, if I wasn't so busy I'd read every post, and maybe offer my thoughts.

will say though that on some occasions the motivation for critique is that the critiquer observes a subject/topic they haven't tackled themselves yet and upon studying and trying some techniques themselves, they figured they'd be humble enough to share their findings and approaches. ;D So ideally in such occurrences it is as much a learning experience for both sides

and I think quite often it's a learning experience for both sides, from tackling it for the first time with an existing skill set, to just cementing thoughts they have been fermenting whilst at the same time sharing them, when you are pushed or push yourself to articulate something quite often you do reinforce your own understanding whether concious or not.