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#1 Jason Simonds

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 04:29 PM

So the V19.0 Mascot contest went so well I was thinking for getting another one going soon, I was thinking a 90day timeline and the topic 'Winter is Coming' since winter is coming not just that show haha. Let me know what you think below on timeline and topic.



#2 robcat2075

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:44 AM

I think it's a bit too soon.


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#3 John Bigboote

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:56 AM

Contests are always great and breath a lot of life into our community and should be exploited to the masses for publicity via social-media. Other ideas? How about a 'RENDERING LOOP' animation contest? Winners get included into the V19 rendering module...?



#4 Rodney

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 03:40 PM

I think it's a bit too soon

 

I highly value your insight into these things so I'm curious as to when you think another contest might be ideal to run.

My own preference would be to always have a contest active, especially where folks can gain a free subscription (or gift certificate as the case may be) to keep folks creating great stuff with A:M.   :)

Such a contest would remain open and active with a tentative deadline until enough entries are received to consider the voting to be launched, then the final deadline is emphasized/extended and the theme refined as required.

 

Jason,

As for your suggested theme/title, I think simply calling it 'winter' would be ideal.

While creative minds can always get beyond such things, 'Winter is coming' might narrow the field of entries unnecessarily.

'Winter' leave it open to much interpretation.

The issue with running a contest now is that technically there are two general contest time frames pending... the first would be the holidays.... the second the new year.  

The former would suggest a deadline at or around 1 December (almost too soon) and the second would be too late to catch the holidays.

This may be what Robert refers to with regard to a contest being 'too soon'... the timing is not entirely optimal.

In these things one must consider the availability of folks that have to set up and actually run the contest (that'd be you Jason!)

If pressed for deadline dates I'd say the approaching opportunities are... 31 October..... 1 December... 1 January.... as a general target, basically the end/beginning of each month.

Note that this does not necessarily imply a monthly contest... the 'themes' tend to run monthly.

The voting...which is the contest... might be quarterly.

 

My take on most contests relates to how many cartoonists approach freelance work.  They know there are certain cyclic seasons that will continually occur and those generate themes they can target.

Halloween is one of these events that is immediately pending.  Artwork will be generated related to this 'event' regardless of whether or not there is a contest.

And THAT my friends is what might be referred to a creative timing.

 

So... to recap... my own opinion...  I don't think there should ever be a time in our community where a contest is not running.   :)


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#5 largento

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 09:34 AM

I agree with Rodney that I think that ongoing contests can keep the community moving forward. Participation is voluntary, so there's no pressure to rush to get one done.

 

I kind of like the idea of not having a theme, though.

 

A theme does give you a starting point, but it also ties your image to a single image contest and if you are unable to complete it by the deadline, there's little incentive to finish it.

 

If we did have regularly scheduled image contests, why not make the theme part optional?



#6 Rodney

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 06:06 PM

I kind of like the idea of not having a theme

 

That's the theme called 'Anything Goes'.   ;)

 

A theme is a prompt that gives creative types a target.  

It is up to them to hit it or... select a different target.

Entries don't have to follow the theme although that's probably wise since voting will take that them into consideration.

 

An issue with *contests* that don't have a theme is that voting gets harder where no target is defined.

If there is no theme then what might we vote for?  Best quality?  No, I'd say that's already inherent in the voting process.

 

I can be easily swayed one way or another... my desire being to assist the A:M Community in achieving what it needs/wants.

People are working on personal projects all of the time and yet many don't enter elements of those projects into contests.

I'm not entirly sure why we do or do not.  I suspect the reasons are as many as their are individual artists. 

Speaking for myself I can only say that I've been using the contests as excuses to create stuff... and as much as is possible... wrangle that work into the theme of the contest.

 

There are many weighting devices I use in voting in the 'Mascot' contest, or any other contest.  While of course there are many other criteria a few are: quality, storytelling, composition, adherence to theme, clarity, color, etc.   All this and more but the primary weighting leans toward:  what image do I want to see pop up on my screen every time I launch A:M until the next Mascot contest.   :)


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#7 kualrobi

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 10:21 PM

That sounds like an excellent idea, Jason! 90 Days is reasonable for any contest. 'Winter' is a topic anyone can do something with. 'Winter is coming' may not have actual snow yet, but decorated shop windows and streets for instance. Could be fun. What about setting the deadline two days before Christmas, so voting can be done between Christmas and New Years and you have something fun to start the new year with (posting the results)? Rodney mentioned storytelling. That could be a theme too some day. Create an image that somehow tells a story in itself. Like you're watching a frame from an animated film.With 'winter is coming' one needs to show that something is about to occur, so it's got that story element already in it.

'Winter is coming', 'winter'....I'm in!


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#8 robcat2075

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 05:11 PM

 

I think it's a bit too soon

 

I highly value your insight into these things so I'm curious as to when you think another contest might be ideal to run....

 

 

 

I can only speak for myself, but as one of several people who went right up to the deadline and still didn't get an entry done, I'm worn out right now and not ready for another one just yet.

 

I do like the idea of contests with a subject. I think that encourages people to do something new rather than pull something off the shelf.

 

That said, we've had so many "Christmas" and "Holiday" contests in the past that I think "Winter" is is a theme we've visited a bit too much already.

 

 

I think it would be cool to see WIPs along the way and see progress on the forum rather than have everything just appear at once.


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#9 itsjustme

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 08:52 PM

 

 

I think it's a bit too soon

 

I highly value your insight into these things so I'm curious as to when you think another contest might be ideal to run....

 

 

 

I can only speak for myself, but as one of several people who went right up to the deadline and still didn't get an entry done, I'm worn out right now and not ready for another one just yet.

 

I do like the idea of contests with a subject. I think that encourages people to do something new rather than pull something off the shelf.

 

That said, we've had so many "Christmas" and "Holiday" contests in the past that I think "Winter" is is a theme we've visited a bit too much already.

 

 

I think it would be cool to see WIPs along the way and see progress on the forum rather than have everything just appear at once.

 

I agree that having a subject encourages people to not just pull something off the shelf...which tends to keep the amount of time worked on each entry the same (usually).

 

I'm torn about seeing the progress on an entry.  On the one hand, the vote could lean toward the more popular animator (which is why they are currently anonymous, I think...although, I don't think we've run into that problem here), but on the other hand, getting feedback can help improve the final product.



#10 Roger

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 05:42 AM

I think monthly contests would be tough to do, but what about quarterly contests, where one of those is the mascot contest? (when appropriate, I know we just had a mascot contest, so these would only happen obviously when a new release is out)

 

I do think these help keep the community together but I also realize the amount of time that goes into organizing them is not trivial.   


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#11 Rodney

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 12:45 PM

This somewhat relates to the current subject of 'contests' so I'll add it here.

 

While I'm not convinced it can support it, our community is in need of more frequent opportunity to create and explore in similar ways that contests afford.

An issue with contests is that a considerable framework must exist in order to support it, voting must be managed, prizes issued... etc. etc. 

A downside of the image contests is that they aren't generally related to animation... which is something we must assume most are interested in pursuing.

 

Community Projects don't have the element of voting and prizes... so those do have those going for them and they often do add the element of animation.

The downside of most community projects is that they are invariably large... too large... in scope.

 

What both of these (Contests and Community Projects) do provide is a common purpose... a target to hit... a goal to reach... a focus.

 

I'd like to see in our community expand the Work In Progress area of the forum in such a way as to include an ongoing projects of (very) limited scope which everyone can contribute to and grab elements from in order to launch similar projects or experiment of their own.  The primary challenge would be that of scaling the project down to it's most simplified form (i.e. a tight budget that others are welcome to expand on their own).  The executor of a shot would then be free to add whatever level of detail they deemed appropriate.  Initial projects opened for the community would be of an extremely limited scope (i.e. with very little character animation**) with more complex character performance projects added as experience and interests rise or as inserts and enhancements to the original project.

 

Projects would run continuously with deadlines being both 'daily' and monthly.

The dailies being people turning their projects in as they are at any given time and the monthly being the issuing of new 'shots'.

 

At the core I am mostly talking about 'animation' here... so a basic palette of colors would likely be promoted for use by the animators with little emphasis placed on texture and lighting.

An optional (but separate) track could then open for those interested in taking an entire sequences through to full texturing and lighting.

And those with an interest in audio might enjoy the chance to experiment and perfect their skill with the art of foley, scoring and soundtracks.

Rigging would likely be of the most basic form (simple articulation) but could expand to resolve specific project related issues and to optimize models for specific storytelling purposes.

 

Monthly and/or quarterly contests are great... we need those to keep raising the bar of quality but their frequency generates too little opportunity for experimenting with optimal workflow, contributing to external projects and of meeting deadlines... especially as related to animation.  And these contests can be misleading... every day is a contest where the primary challenge is to produce better work than we did on our last project.  And that can be hard to do if we aren't engaged in a project.

 

 

*Note that I am certainly not excluding character animation from the possibilities of community projects but a major obstacles to character animation can be that of designing, modeling, rigging characters before we begin to animate... a considerable obstacle in any project.  As such, projects with characters should likely start with fully articulate characters made available for that purpose.  The primary reason to forgo character animation at the initial level isn't complexity however but rather to encourage participation and to learn and regularly exercise basic skills in animation.  There are many forms of animated motion that can be experienced and expressed besides that of fully formed character animation.  

 

 

 

 

 

The project might start with a very basic script:

 

Shot 1:  Spaceship enters scene and moves into distance past planet

Shot 2:  Spaceship descends to planet surface, extending its landing gear

Shot 3:  Reveal of where the spaceship has landed

Total length of sequence likely not more than 30 seconds

 

It would be up to the creative team to refine the script and settle on the final details (and/or alternatives).

For instance, if participation was high in the project the spaceship could be shown to land at many different locations (with ever increasing suspense, humor... whatever).

(This latter scope might be similar to 'Bus Stop' community project)

 

There is no limit to what could be created with this form of very basic script.

The gist of it being like a typical joke with setup, anticipation and delivery/twist.  (A three act play if you will)

 

The underlying goal is to keep the budget (of production time and effort required) as low as possible because the end game isn't that of creating a high quality short film... it's to get involved with the project and exercise a skillset.

If someone wants to take the assets of the project and refine it to the nth degree... change it... break it... let them.  Have some fun while pushing the limits of A:M.

 

And here's where we meet with the end game...

If we can produce simple projects such as these over and over again with limited time and with limited budgets we can reasonably be expected to finish larger projects as well.


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