AuthorTopic: Community Problems  (Read 23032 times)

Offline 32

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #20 on: February 15, 2014, 12:18:29 am
I totally agree with making low activity threads more visible. I tried to go through the pixel forum the other day like this after reading Vakinox's rant as I thought he had made a good point (which is how I came upon his thread actually, I hadn't seen it before then.) It was quite difficult.

I don't post a whole lot these days but I agree with the views of others in this thread. Repeating yourself on ground level critiques does get a bit old, especially seeing the members receiving those critiques disappear without a trace. I also personally feel a bit useless giving those critiques, I guess after being part of the community for so long it seems like those things should be self evident or something. Obviously that's a failing on my own part so I'll try my best to give out more low level critique because I do remember how inspiring that could be.

Although I've never been particularly active just reading the critiques given to other members here and seeing all of the work that has been done has improved me more as an artist than any individual critiques I may have given over the years. I think it does take a long time to learn this though and more effort could definitely be put in to keep new users around.

Also try making yourself an avatar, I know in my case it helps immensely to remember people. :)

Offline Atnas

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #21 on: February 15, 2014, 12:28:47 am
We have shortcuts like : RULES : (without spaces) which is a shortcut link to the rules thread.

Perhaps to get around ignoring members who need low level critique we can make a set of locked threads that cover basic mistakes and teach proper solutions such as :PILLOWSHADING: :BANDING: :ANTIALIASING: :CLUSTERS: :HUESHIFTING: etc.

If we had these emote links a member could just say "You are using :PILLOWSHADING: on the beetle's shell" and from there the OP would have a link to a detailed article and return with an edit addressing that concern.

It's a blunt force solution to a problem we aren't doing anything about, I don't see how it could hurt aside from people abusing these links and neglecting to give original critique. That's better than nothing, though.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #22 on: February 15, 2014, 12:45:50 am
I think something like that would be helpful. I also think that some solid tutorials and examples of rpg view sprites and assets in common resolutions would be good. That has to cover what seems like 50% of what new users are posting.  Perhaps the possibly impending thanks system  could  have seperate tags for threads of that nature and be pooled into one thread  of great rpg examples

Offline Ymedron

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #23 on: February 15, 2014, 03:17:33 am
When considering whether to reply to a post/give critique, I usually don't because 1. I don't want to give advice I'm not sure about myself 2. There's a lot to say and it's exhausting to sugarcoat my post so I don't hurt the person's feelings, 3. It's difficult to advise on lessons I've internalized so much I don't realize it's not common knowledge.
I don't know if this applies to anyone else.

Regarding the basic tips/tutorials people are talking about -
I keep thinking about that wiki-thing someone brought up. It's probably not the right way to do things (for numerous reasons already outlined in a few threads) but I do like the "wiki-walk" behaviour that happens when you have articles linking to other articles to other articles... It's fun just reading about stuff only tangentially related to the original thing. I don't know, maybe something like that could be useful to help people with basic concepts.

I'd rather have a glossary/dictionary of basic terms people can go over, those can teach a lot already.
For example
"Pillowshading -picture-
See: banding
The practice of adding layers of shading that closely follow the outlines of the form.
This often creates -banding- as different streaks of shading start lining up.
It is named that because it is thought to give the object a soft and undefined form, akin to a pillow."

It'd have to be very carefully worded so it doesn't direct the reader to feel like there is just one way to do things or something.
Though the general lesson of "in art, break the rules after you've learned them" should be taught to everyone.
Also my art tumblr:

Offline 32

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #24 on: February 15, 2014, 04:17:36 am
I think that's a great idea Atnas. Might be an idea to start some threads and sort of group write the tutorials, get everyone's input on the subject and try to synthesise a community opinion on them. Whether it's that or individual tutorials I'd definitely like to help out.

Offline r4c7

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #25 on: February 15, 2014, 04:56:13 am
Perhaps to get around ignoring members who need low level critique we can make a set of locked threads that cover basic mistakes and teach proper solutions such as :PILLOWSHADING: :BANDING: :ANTIALIASING: :CLUSTERS: :HUESHIFTING: etc.
Along with this, I feel like we should have more threads/focus on basic art principles. I feel like a lot of beginner's downfalls are caused by things like lighting or wrong proportions. I don't want the forum to transform into one based on hand-drawing, but I think threads/links with information on how to draw people, color theory, or other principles of art could help beginners so much and is what I've tried to focus on recently. I think the daily sketch is a great step forward in this and I intend to start posting stuff if I get a chance to sketch something decent.

Offline cels

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #26 on: February 15, 2014, 12:28:30 pm
Great thread! I haven't contributed much to Pixelation in the past, so I fall neatly into the category of "nobodies", for what it's worth. But I'll share my thoughts all the same, because I'm arrogant like that.

- A thread like this can easily devolve into trying to "guilt" other people into contributing more, instead of - more effectively - giving knowledgeable members the passion and motivation needed to help others. So I applaud the mods trying to be constructive and look for specific solutions.

- If we're going to draw parallels to martial arts or sports in general, then I would mention at least one important parallel: Forcing the most elite instructors to work with beginners isn't ideal. Very often, it's a waste of resources. Some instructors do enjoy teaching regardless of the skill level, but that comes down to personal interaction. On a forum like this, the personal interaction is often close to zero. You're swapping images, making short comments. So for many people, working with beginners via the internet is not stimulating on an artistic, intellectual or personal level. Even in sports, you rarely see former olympic medalists and world champions working with people just off the street.

I'm not say experts should be discouraged from teaching beginners. On the contrary. I'm just saying that, in any kind of sports community, the absolute most important factor is whether the core group of top athletes and instructors feel like they're growing, learning and having fun. If they don't, they burn out.

- Ever since I got back into pixel art last year, I've been dying to make more tutorials, because I want to contribute to the pixel art community (both here and on Pixeljoint) and it just kills my motivation to make the same comments over and over. It's just unnecessary. But I haven't actually made any tutorials, because I don't really feel skilled enough yet. That being said, I would be thrilled to assist with this, because I feel that a number of solid tutorials aimed at beginners would help the community a lot. And not just pixel art beginners, but people who are new to art in general. Because let's face it, a lot of people perceive pixel art as a shortcut to making great art.

- I very much agree with Cyangmou that it's important to measure the motivation and willpower of other people before spending hours trying to help them. Even with my modest skill level, I have spent quite a lot of time trying to help others with edits (nothing compared to you guys, but still) , and it's depressing to look over all those images (I save them all on my computer) and see how few of those people are still around.

To quote Confucius: "The Master said, I will not enlighten a heart that is not already struggling to understand, nor will I provide the proper words to a tongue that is not already struggling to speak. If I hold up one corner of a problem and the student cannot come back to me with the other three, I will not attempt to instruct him again. Analects 7.8 (Not my favorite translation, but there you go)

Now, that's a bit harsh, but the more tutorials are available, the more one can expect from new community members.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 12:34:11 pm by cels »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #27 on: February 15, 2014, 12:31:42 pm
A lot has already been said.
Many good ideas have been suggested.
Some to improve the forum interface, some the community, some perception.

The feature ideas are good.
But they will obviously take time to implement.

Pixelation works well because people give crits naturally.
They want to give them, therefore they take the time to make them good.
As a community we can try a little harder to help new users more often.
But anyone who does not enjoy doing that should not and will not force themselves.
As others have stated, there just cannot be any promise that each thread will get equal attention.

Perception is the only thing you have control of.
I recommend you go back to some of the posts that you think are really negative and targeted at you, and realize why they are actually useful pieces of advice and not very targeted either.

I paid for an art education.
And it was nothing close to perfect.
Saw students cry in the hallways.
Students get red in the face and run out of classrooms.
Teachers told us we sucked to our faces.
That we were wrong.
That we didn't understand.
That our ideas were bad.
We were told to get the fuck out of the classroom if we could not put in serious effort.
Students dropped out of school and went elsewhere because they couldn't take pressure.
Or they just didn't enjoy the process.
Numerous teachers were fired based on student reviews.
New teachers came and went every semester for other jobs.
You had to fight for 1 on 1 time with a teacher.
If you didn't book early their schedule would be all filled up except for 5-10 mins.
Students formed groups or went solo.
Some got along.
Some hated each other.
Some would step on you to get ahead, to get a job, and never look back.
Some would gladly help you with whatever, whenever.
Even in a school, a place of education, people are still people.
And they will do what they do in any environment.
A community may have a similar set of goals, but a community is not a unity.
It is a dynamic band of unique individuals.
All of us here have an interest in pixel art.
But we are all very different, in experience, in thought, in taste, in style, etc.

Conflict is a normal part of social interaction.
Art is often social.
Games are often social.
This community is social.
As such there will be conflict.
Learning to deal with it is important.

You will never find a naturally perfect learning experience built for just you.
It takes a lot of effort on your part to figure out how you learn best, and it is your job to tune your perception and environment to accommodate that.
You are going about the wrong way of getting what you want.
So you need to adjust how you go about attaining your art goals.

A positive interaction will always get you further than a negative interaction.
People will generally give you back whatever energy you direct at them.
You don't have to lie or sugar coat.
Just choose your words to be productive, even if you are frustrated.
Be clear and communicate.
Be humble.

Not knowing, being stuck, wanting help, not ending up with what you expect, all lead to frustration.
But these things also lead to learning.
You can be frustrated and redirect that energy into a question.

One of the bigger mistakes that I've seen people do when accepting crit here:
They just say "Oh thanks that's amazing! I'll go do something like that!" and then end the thread.
Come back with thoughts, come back with questions, come back with drawings.

Usually when given the time, I am quite thorough in what I write and draw.
But when I need to gain time, I do an edit, and I keep my text very brief.
The edit I provide may have many underlying techniques and thoughts that go unspoken.
I will not always return to a thread to completely flesh out my thoughts unless asked to do so.
There's no discrimination.
I just forget and move on to other things.

As far as what others say about writing a large crit for a new user and then that user never returning, it's true, it happens.
Here's an old example from my past posts.
This took me about 3-6 hours to type up.
Livsgladje's never posted again.
And his last login time: November 18, 2012, 10:37:35 am.
I answered his question to the best of my ability.
Was it overkill?
Not useful?
Were my examples bad?
Did I misinterpret his question?
Or did it solve his question?
Perhaps he had no need to come back because he had the exact answer he needed?
We can never know.
And it's not important.
I had the time to write the post.
And I'm glad I did.
It helped me to put it into words.
And I hope that it helped others as well.
However not every post I write can be this detailed.
A single blanket post to a new user can be very useful.
But it can also go unused by the person it is written for.
It is hard to judge that random chance.
Some days I am happy to do it.
Others I am not.

And maybe you are already doing the right things in your thread.
Then persevere.
Be productive.
Ask for help.
Be patient.
I'd say it takes about 200+ posts here to really hit your stride.
That takes time.
I have 400 posts.
And I've been registered 4 years.

No one here has implied or said directly that you should go away.
You say you want to be a part of this community.
Then do so.
Read more.
Post more.
Draw more.
Crit more.

so I double posted which is when PDD stepped in to correct me and apologized for a lack of hits on the topic.
I'm not sure what you mean by this.
I have a terrible memory and I don't keep all my pms.
But I think you are saying that I pmed you saying not to double post?
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #28 on: February 15, 2014, 03:48:41 pm
In my experience on another site which I've written a somewhat in depth tutorial for pixel art, even if you have numerous tutorials or blanket critiques that one would hope all the less skilled pixelers would read and understand, you will still always have to say the most basic critique over and over again. Whether this is because they don't feel like reading all that and don't have that great an interest in pixelling yet, or if they just don't understand how it relates to their own artwork, you will always have to say "more contrast, less colors," etc. However, while the repetition of these basic level critiques will always be necessary, I have noticed that as time goes on people that I have given in depth critiques and edits on understand a lot more, obviously, and they start giving out the basic critiques that I once said to them, referencing me.

So basically, I'd say that as the newer pixellers get critique, while the older members of this site may still perceive them as new, they perceive themselves as a sort of middle "age" that has more enthusiasm and time in some cases then professional pixellers. So should their critique be disregarded and the critique of the professionals be the only thing that one can yearn for. In essence most critique will always be just repeating something you heard years ago or whatever, so why should it matter if Helm or I say it.

Offline tim

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Re: Community Problems

Reply #29 on: February 16, 2014, 12:52:01 am
This is seriously fucked up.
You're totally ignoring what's happening on our side, "the helping, pretentious, arrogant artists"

As an experienced artist, I came here as a newcomer and I helped A LOT. And I didn't ask for help even once.
I just looked at my history and checked how useful my edits were :

Totally ignored animation

Totally ignored edit








Totally ignored







Useless (was answered "ok thanks")


Not very useful

Do I really need to continue ?

The truth is, when I spent hours helping people, more often than not, I didn't feel my edits were understood, studied, or even appreciated.

80% of the time, my edits or advices are ignored (no rework after them, or just a "oh it's not what I was going for, kthxbye")
15% of the time, I get no answer.
5% of the time, I see someone happy to study my work and who puts some serious efforts to learn from it.

It's really disappointing. As a "teacher", when you give a lot of care, of time, thoughts and efforts to organize your hard-earned knowledge into easy to understand chunks, ultimately you want your "students" to put the same amount of efforts on their side. You want to see them study from you, take the best of your edits, and rework seriously their art because you made them think again about their flaws. I would have loved to have someone like me teach me some basics younger. But I learnt the hard way. Alone.

You're complaining about us, but you have to understand that most of the time, we don't see our work taken very seriously. Some people just repaint 20 pixels in 5 minutes and post it as if it was done, as if they understood. This is terribly saddening. This why I slowly abandon the forum, the threads and I don't really help anymore, because I feel like 90% of the time, even when I could provide spot-on insights, the time I will spend is not worth it because it probably won't be used properly.

So I prefer to help promising, passionate, willing people, instead of a random newbie that made something in 10 minutes and that need "help". We can't help people who don't work seriously. That's the point. At least, even if overall, I'm sad my help wasn't that helpful, I had the pleasure to receive some warm mails & lovely private messages that show appreciation.

Now you know how it feels to be on our side. And now you stop complaning about the free help you may or may not receive. We are the only judge of how our time is best spent. It's your responsibility to show how serious you are, and that you are worth our time and our help. And your pissed attitude is definitely not the one I'd like to see, especially when I see your laconic answers to people who helped you in your post history.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 01:20:04 am by tim »
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