AuthorTopic: Challenges and helpful editing  (Read 13535 times)

Offline Helm

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #20 on: January 14, 2008, 03:34:42 pm
I agree there should be positive parts in a critique usually. This goes especially when you're giving someone verbal feedback on their art because if you rub them the wrong way with negativity from the go they won't be listening to you at all and the critique will be lost. This isn't as big an issue online, where even if you're annoyed by the critique you got somewhere you can still return to the same post when you've cooled off and get what you need from it, it'll always be there for you to read and turn the annoying into useful advice.

From a teaching standpoint, balancing the good with the bad is certainly a very real thing to keep in mind. Here online not so much but still as B.O.B. says, being nice to people is always good karma.

However having been here for a long time I've realised another thing. Completely sidestepping an artist's ego when giving them critique (meaning, not sugarcoating at all, telling it like you see it) is a very valuable lesson to them as well. This goes mostly for people that are going to go pro on some capacity, but simply withstanding even cruel critique without sweating it or throwing artiste hissy fits is an invaluable skill to have. In that respect if someone blows up here once or twice due to critique, goes away, comes back, but eventually grows thicker skin, that's another service from Pixelation rendered, in my mind. The trick is to avoid the ego, not hurt it, not induce hopelessness on the artist. Just list the flaws as you see them, and when they adress them tell them they've done good.

Offline Terley

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #21 on: January 14, 2008, 06:09:30 pm
As long as someone has some back up for their opinions being blunt and to the point is fine in my opinion, I too have had my work drawn over, paintings painted over and parts completely erased where my tutors have tried to urge me to try another approach, leave my comfort zone and generally to move me to develop as an artist. Of course it can seem rude and people usually take it negatively but in the end it's the fastest way to improve.. Compliments are great when you see some genuine improvement but I think its kinda unfair on the artist lingering on parts that people like rather than tackling real issues about their work. I'd rather people try to push me in the right direction than try to fill out their posts with both negative and positive observations just for fairness sake, if you genuinely like a part of my work by all means tell me, id hate to know its just to balance out your dislikes about the work.

It is how your words come across, you could point out something that he/she just doesn't want to hear, or say it just say it all too honestly, and as Helm says your critique would just be lost usually by being easily offended. I've seen some threads where the artist is looking for advice about a certain part of their work when there are overall bigger issues that need to be focused on, everything but what they're looking for can be totally ignored. It's totally their loss in the end because at the end of the day we're giving out free advice, you'd be stupid not to at least take whats said into consideration.
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Offline ilkke

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #22 on: January 14, 2008, 11:09:51 pm
I think I understand the forum's philosophy on this matter now. It DOES make sense.

Since a lot has been said since my post, I feel an urge to clarify my position.

To be honest, I suggested allowing/not allowing certain things just to get a response, to get people to discuss this. Of course there is no problem with the forum(s), the problem is always with those ppl who try to manipulate rules and/or others' expectations. In this sense, less rules is always better. I don't agree with Helm about the reason for demoscene's 'death' but that's another matter.
I'm not the one to care much about winning a challenge, but I kinda invest my emotions in this pixel scene and the people that it consists of. If I think that someone has made a tremendous improvement and I go out of my way to congratulate and support him, then I'm naturally disappointed at best when I later discover that things are not as they seem.
I don't feel that someone tried to trick me, I just feel that information flow has been obscured, so to speak. I also feel that this doesn't have to be like that, and it just bothers me and that's that.
I also never meant to use 'noob' as a derogatory term, and I think it is pretty clear. I believe it is a short for newbie, a beginner. Or am I wrong?

I'm glad to see that the thread has taken another direction now.
i

Offline Helm

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #23 on: January 14, 2008, 11:11:58 pm
Quote
I don't agree with Helm about the reason for demoscene's 'death' but that's another matter.

If you don't think so I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter since as you say the original point of the thread has been resolved.

'noob' is usally a derogatory term. It's not much shorter than 'newbie' 6 letters to 4, so it must serve some other purpose.

Offline Cow

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #24 on: January 15, 2008, 04:50:34 am
A lot of people, myself included, like to think and act that way until we get a real string of "no no no!" posts.  At that point, it moves from "here are things i need to work on" to "oh my god this will never be good!" and it helps tremendously for someone to say, for instance, I like the color of your grass  ;).  Not only is there finally a glimer in the dark, but you get to cross one thing off your long list of things to get right.
I'm sort of detached when it comes to art though because I know that each piece is a stepping stone towards my improvement. Crits help with this, and I don't particularly need reaffirmation of it's coolness or w/e because hopefully I'll be moving past it soon. Maybe phrased badly, I dunno. :-X

Though I'm sure with games, and, you know, stuff you have to actually live with it's a different story. :)

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #25 on: January 15, 2008, 05:02:34 am
I would like to add two points!

ONE - This may be semantic pedantry, but constructive criticism does not imply complements or positive feedback or asspatting or spoonfeeding or reacharounds.  Allow me to illustrate:

CRITICISM: "This sucks."

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: "This sucks, and here's one way to fix it, so it doesn't suck anymore."

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM DELIVERED IN A POSITIVE WAY: "Wow, I love what you did there, but what if you tried X on Y?"

I think we can all agree that the mods crush anyone who simply posts criticism, and that constructive criticism by itself is too helpful to risk missing it by requiring a little complement to go along with every point, AND that there is plenty of column B and C all over this board.  Some of us at least are relatively busy, but still want to help; efficiency sometimes means no time for cuddling or a kiss on the cheek after our rough rendezvous.

TWO - But, I may be a special case, I grant that!  I require constant criticism and berating just to keep my enormous artist's ego in check.  When everyone I know looks at my art and says "oh goodness that is fantastic you should draw pitchers for a livin!" it is of the utmost importance that I be able to go somewhere and have someone tell me its shit, and it WILL be shit until i put my nose down and bother to actually put effort into the damn thing.  If you can't handle that, you shouldn't be an artist, because anyone who has anything worthwhile to teach you will, in one way or another, tell you that, and if you're not ready for it, you could blow everything.

Offline Terley

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #26 on: January 15, 2008, 05:42:10 am
I have to say this is a great thread.

I think it totally depends on the person your criting, a more 'advanced' artist should be more open to a blunt critique possibly showing them an outsiders perspective on things because he may be more experienced be they like everyone else need a second opinion from time to time, even if they've had their fair share of ass-pats in the past. And with the amount of critique they have received in the past should be more open to what people can say, I doubt a well established artist would be so easily offended by a comment unless it was purposely said to offend.

The bulk of this forum are generally around the same level I'd say and if an artist is trying to do something in particular, chances are someone has done something similar before. So as a group would be more well informed to how to go about it, with the mix of personal opinion and basically 'being on the same page' as you'd say, critique should as cow mentioned should make up stepping stones pushing the artist hopefully in the right direction, or at least allowing them to make their own choices.

But for people new to the world of pixel art it's mostly a personal challenge trying to learn the tricks of the trade so the whole sugarcoating is definately nescissary imo in order to incourage the artist onto a steady learning curve. It's no good destroying their hopes and dreams by deconstructing their work to shreds when what they need is the means to understand the basics, careful wording, positivity on small improvements and not being patrionizing is whats needed I think. Do you remember how fustrating it was first trying to pixel? I agree you should take the effort into consideration, as Adam mentioned it's unfair to the artist even if its really flawed to be so negative when the effort has clearly been made.

Its no good expecting new artists to know what you're talking about when you throw jargen at them, suggest things out of their reach and post edits that will just leave them thinking 'are you kidding I can't do that', so even if you could possibly do a phenomenal edit that can show up all their flaws and suggests the way to go it can actually be unfair considering they aren't discovering for themselves at their own pace. Leading back to Ilkke's original statement Its hard to believe some people have improved that quickly and learnt so much in such a small space, especially when the piece has had such a stong influence from a fab edit.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 05:59:17 am by Terley »
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Offline ilkke

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #27 on: January 15, 2008, 10:17:42 am
@Terley: You are right, but what do we do with Helm then? We should prolly add a disclaimer to the front page along the lines of:
"Warning! This website contains Helm, who is able to give you great criticism but has a habit of feeding on human flesh"  ;)

@AdamAtomic: Well, there are POSITIVE and NEGATIVE motivation. Positive motivation is when you need encouragement to press on. Negative motivation is when you need difficulties to keep your will going. Generally people tend to fall into on category or another. Regardless of that, I personally believe that negative criticism has a higher constructive value, cause ppl tend to know what they do good and need help in perfecting the things that they don't. There's always someone better at something than we are, and it does us good to keep people like that around.

@Helm: The death of the scene, an essay. Coders, a pivotal demoscene 'class', have always been HIGHLY COMPETITIVE. This is more or less what created the scene in the first place. Graphicians (official term) and musicians were rarely so much focused on "bigger, faster, better, more", which is easily understandable cause art is harder to compare. The shift in the scene came about with the changing of the profile of people who comprise the scene. Around the mid-nineties, even the demo parties were shifting more towards Doom tournaments than scene-related competitions. These gamers also became the majority of the audience. PC never had the kind of community interaction that Amiga or C64 had, although (and perhaps because) it had a lot more people involved. It maybe became too easy to make drop shadow and lens flare logos, manipulate scans, or make techno music; let alone code without real hardware restrictions. The scene effectively 'died' when it became flooded with these lukewarm (at best) 'efforts'. Towards the turn of the century, the PC had sort of a demo scene renaissance when a new aesthetic arose, regardless of the fact that the scene was creatively 'dead' for a while already. Unfortunately for us, this new aesthetic was visually almost exclusively clean-cut (and VERY avant-garde) design, and pixel art such as pixel logos were very rare.
The scene always had it's cave-ins, most notably lousy public taste (naked chicks and dragons, anyone?), but this is probably true with any community that encompasses a large enough crowd. Even on PJ, where all the members are supposed to be artists, there is more appreciation for flashiness than originality.
I noticed before that in contemporary pixelling circles, there is a tendency to reference the demo scene in a negative context, but I must say that it pretty much shaped my tastes visually and musically, enabled me to get in touch with some great people from around the world long before internet made that a common practice, and helped me 'find my place' and set some sort of personal goals. It was immensely gratifying, and I can only those years of free-flowing creativity with the hippie revolution :D
If I ever say that something is scene-ish, it is usually in a very positive context.
i

Offline ptoing

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #28 on: January 15, 2008, 02:14:46 pm
I think you are are simplifying this a bit, Ilija. As far as Graphicians go, they also had competitions, which resulted in copying, scanning, reverse engineering workstages, all this was just because there was stuff to be won and respect to be gained. As far as bigger, better, faster, more goes, at least on the C64 this goes for graphics as well, tho the new modes were of course invented by coders.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline ilkke

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Re: Challenges and helpful editing

Reply #29 on: January 15, 2008, 02:40:17 pm
Well, Sven, if your coder invents a new graphic mode, that doesn't make you a better artist, does it?
Besides, the amount of 'respect' to be won is very much comparable to respect here or on PJ and cheating to obtain it is equally pointless.
I did simplify, but I don't think that competition equals cheating. I'm sure there are other people than myself who can separate these two, and as long as there are, having a competitive environment doesn't mean you have to cheat.
When you see others cheat tho, and get away with it, then you feel miserable.
There is a bright side to this, tho. Back in the days, Jamon and I thought that people really drew all that shit out of their heads and we tried much harder to reach similar level of skill. :D
One very relevant factor for the demise of the scene that I forgot to mention is the fact that a LOT of people were getting recruited for game development on demo parties. That contributed a lot to draining the blood out of the scene, although I guess it is rather logical.
i