AuthorTopic: On getting critiqued and battling critique  (Read 7284 times)

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
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    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.