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Kirt
04-12-2005, 11:19 PM
Alrighty, I'm curious to hear any and all suggestions on how you think CGTalk could better promote collaborative projects now and in the future. I've recieved numerous "plug my project" requests in the past, but I'm interested in hearing suggestions that are less self-serving.

Share your success stories or throw out an idea that you've been keeping to yourself for awhile. I'm going to do what I can to see that the Collab section gets some attention and hopefully a greater understanding of why we do what we do.

I'm looking forward to reading this ... :D

DogmaD
04-13-2005, 10:09 AM
Hi Kirt,

I have followed the discussion between you and Pjanssen. At the moment, i am the teamleader of Aegis:2375. But i have to agree with you, giving collaborations seperate subthreads is not a good idea, and handing out moderation status to teamleaders can be problematic. For all the reasons you have given.

There are some other things i want to discuss here. At the moment, there are so many threads of starting collaborations that just don't give the right information for anyone to team up with. And these die within a week or so, which is a real shame, because some might have more potential, but fail to deliver a good startpost. So it might be a good idea to have a bit more in the PLEAD READ BEFORE YOU START A THREAD (showthread.php?t=33432) thread. More about how someone should setup a thread, what people are looking for when joining a project. Just some things to help new guys have a nice launch of their project. Instead of new threads about new collaborations with just 5 lines of text, expecting people to join in right away.

Another thing that i think would be a good idea is a general thread where people get a better chance to find a project that would be suitable for them. For example, at the moment we have all these projects, at the start they ask for members, some join. But after a while, not many new members will come join in. I think that is because they don't know if the project still has any need and don't want to drop in at a late time, or something like that. And also possibly because some of these bigger collabs have over 1000 replies only, trying to find if they need anyone in there is hard enough.

To solve this, it would be nice to have a seperate sticky thread, where every collaboration would place 1 post that it keeps up to date. In this post it would keep a list of all positions in the collaboration that still need people, and some more information for these persons that are interested. Like what they would be working on, how many hours a week or months are expected to be put in. This way it gets far easier for people who want to join a collaboration to find the collaboration that is most suitable for them. Without having to scroll through 3000+ replies in different collaboration threads.

Another nice thing would be to reverse this. Just have one sticky thread for people who want to join a collaboration, where they will place their information and what they are looking for in a project. This way a project leader will just have to pm a person that is suitable for the collaboration he or she is leading.

This all would help improving communication between people who want to join and the collaborations. Well, i hope i have given some usable suggestions. I hope some more people will respond. I am sure people like Pjanssen, BOY1DA and softdistortion for example have some nice ideas about bigger collaborations too. Or some more feedback from the view of the younger and smaller collaborations.

Pjanssen
04-13-2005, 10:38 AM
I don't have much time to spam my ideas at this moment, but I would like to give some response to DogmaD's post.

There are some other things i want to discuss here. At the moment, there are so many threads of starting collaborations that just don't give the right information for anyone to team up with. And these die within a week or so, which is a real shame, because some might have more potential, but fail to deliver a good startpost. So it might be a good idea to have a bit more in the PLEAD READ BEFORE YOU START A THREAD (http://showthread.php/?t=33432) thread. More about how someone should setup a thread, what people are looking for when joining a project. Just some things to help new guys have a nice launch of their project. Instead of new threads about new collaborations with just 5 lines of text, expecting people to join in right away.
I totally agree with this. And what I see happening too here is that sometimes it are more like recruiting threads for projects that are hosting somewhere outside CGTalk. So you get only a thread with like 'come join us' and a link to an external forum. After that you don't see anything anymore from that project, because their WIPs are posted somewhere else.
So a thing that could be improved is the amount of project-thread which actually stay up to date and where a progression is visible. I think that this, in combination with the quality of the startingposts like dogmaD described above would improve the overall quality and popularity of this subforum a lot.

Another thing that i think would be a good idea is a general thread where people get a better chance to find a project that would be suitable for them. For example, at the moment we have all these projects, at the start they ask for members, some join. But after a while, not many new members will come join in. I think that is because they don't know if the project still has any need and don't want to drop in at a late time, or something like that. And also possibly because some of these bigger collabs have over 1000 replies only, trying to find if they need anyone in there is hard enough.
That's true too. My idea was to give larger projects a subforum, but that wasn't quite to the liking of cgtalk moderators. Finding specific and up to date information about a project is indeed hard in large threads.
I started a 'part II' thread for MT a while ago just to get a refreshed opening-post for instance. But it's hard to keep that up to date, and to make sure everyone reads it, especially after your thread has a lot of pages.
What you could do (and what is 'allowed' as I heard from Kirt) is starting multiple threads for one project. So one for General project info, one for WIPs, one for join requests or something like that. But a problem with this could be that a thread like General Project Info will quickly disappear from the first list of threads, because you won't get replies to it often. So it will be easy for people to miss those threads, although they're actually there.


Another nice thing would be to reverse this. Just have one sticky thread for people who want to join a collaboration, where they will place their information and what they are looking for in a project. This way a project leader will just have to pm a person that is suitable for the collaboration he or she is leading.

This could indeed be a nice thing to have, but I'm not sure if it will work for larger projects.
Looking at my own situation as project leader of the MT project, I really don't have time to look through those pages to see if there are any new members available. Because selecting the join requests for this project is already a lot of work on it's own.
But for smaller projects it could well be a nice solution.

DogmaD
04-13-2005, 11:50 AM
What you could do (and what is 'allowed' as I heard from Kirt) is starting multiple threads for one project. So one for General project info, one for WIPs, one for join requests or something like that. But a problem with this could be that a thread like General Project Info will quickly disappear from the first list of threads, because you won't get replies to it often. So it will be easy for people to miss those threads, although they're actually there.


I agree. Managing a project through different threads that will drop to different pages will results in a lot of bumping and other stuff you don't want to see. You would also get other problems. Like the first page totally being spammed by the larger collaborations, because they would start a thread for every little thing, owning the entire collab section. For example, you would see threads for texturing, animation, lighting, modelling, concepting, recruitment, final shots. If only a couple of collabs would do this, the first page would be filled in no time. So thats just a bad idea, and we should try to avoid this at all cost.

Also, i found that organizing a project through a forum is not even the best way to handle things. Its one of the most problematic part of a project, even more towards completion. Files get big, a lot of transfer is needed, a lot of rendering is needed. Forums are just not very suitable for this kind of stuff. They are not as protected as you might want them to be, and you get a mix of rights for different users. For big CG collabs to really run smoothly you need a far more extended content management system. Something i am still working on at the moment, but that is clearly beyond the capabilities of CGTalk to manage for collaborations. So i think the best role CGTalk can fill is the one of getting people in touch with eachother and give some exposure to the collaborations that have shown they deserve it. For example, like you guys got on Minas Tirith a while ago. For those things CGTalk is very suitable, and it does a great job in providing exposure to different artists, and getting people to communicate. But its not CGTalks role in my opinion to provide us with ways to manage the collaborations we start.

Pjanssen
04-13-2005, 12:31 PM
Also, i found that organizing a project through a forum is not even the best way to handle things. Its one of the most problematic part of a project, even more towards completion. Files get big, a lot of transfer is needed, a lot of rendering is needed. Forums are just not very suitable for this kind of stuff. They are not as protected as you might want them to be, and you get a mix of rights for different users. For big CG collabs to really run smoothly you need a far more extended content management system. Something i am still working on at the moment, but that is clearly beyond the capabilities of CGTalk to manage for collaborations. So i think the best role CGTalk can fill is the one of getting people in touch with eachother and give some exposure to the collaborations that have shown they deserve it. For example, like you guys got on Minas Tirith a while ago. For those things CGTalk is very suitable, and it does a great job in providing exposure to different artists, and getting people to communicate. But its not CGTalks role in my opinion to provide us with ways to manage the collaborations we start.
I think that if you see the collaborative projects section as a place for exposure only, you can just as well merge it with the other 2d/3d WIP sections. There it will get much more exposure.

Personally, I think that a forum is a very good thing to use when managing a project where you can't get into physical contact with people. Messages can be read by every teammember and they will remain on their place to be re-read later on if this is necessary (for instance when someone new joins).
WIPs can also be viewed by everyone and everyone can give their comments to the other teammembers work.

These two things make a forum a very powerful tool for project management in my eyes. Of course it's not the only thing to use if you want to manage a project succesfully. For our project, I use msn/email for communication with projectmembers too. And to exchange files with members I use our ftp and msn.

Kirt
04-13-2005, 05:33 PM
Good suggestions so far ...

I love the idea you had for the sticky threads, DogmaD. I think the "help wanted" & "looking for work" threads will definately be a good addition to the forum. I'll start working on those immediately.

Pjanssen, I think one of the requirements for posting in the "help wanted" sticky thread will be that projects will have to be posted here first. I don't like the off-site recruiting that goes on either, but as far as posting guidelines for CGTalk go ... I have to allow it to continue. However, posting to a "help wanted" thread could have some restrictions attached to it to help promote locally managed projects over the others.

Excellent :thumbsup:

On the subject of multiple threads within the Collab forum for your projects, I'd say the best way to handle it would be if the project leaders would create each new thread as needed. This would ensure that the posting title and format stays consistant with the project's core thread.

Also, the project leader could cross-link the other threads within the new thread as it is created. For example: Joe has a general synopsis of his project in one thread, another thread contains concept art and he's now ready to start a new thread for character modelling. His thread's first postings should have cross links something like this: SYNOPSIS concept art character modelling CONCEPT ART synopsis character modelling CHARACTER MODELLING concept art synopsisI understand that many multi thread projects may clutter the forum quickly, but I think it wouldn't actually be that bad. The projects that are the most active will stay at the top of the forum. And threads that have served their purpose (i.e. all concept art has already been completed for your project) will slip away into obscurity. That's what visitors to the forum or people looking for a project will want to see. Which project has the steam behind it? Which one has progress?

Additionally, some info/opinion from me that's not really relevant to the improvement ideas here ....

A project leader may see one of these threads quickly vanish off into limbo and think, "Man this sucks ... I can't manage these threads when they're all over the board!" That's when I'd say that "no ... you're not managing it well at all." If noone is keeping your concept art thread active then that means the work is not being done. If you can't use the forum tools available to find a lost thread (somewhere on page 33) then you need to spend some time figuring it out ... QUICK! Your project is being managed across the internet. Better learn how to use it if you want to see anything getting done.

Anyway, really good feedback and suggestions for the first day. Keep them coming and I'll get right on those others. Thanks. :thumbsup:

Dannage
04-13-2005, 11:42 PM
I'm glad to see that you guys are thinking about this and discussing it, because frankly, it will make my job easier, as a fledgling project manager. :)

I frequented SFM all the time and that's where I began learning the art, but I found the biggest frustration was that whilst I could never get the ideas properly translated from my head, onto my PC, there were a ton of other people with more than enough skill to do just that. and these guys were all sitting there occasionally posting something they did for fun or as part of their own project which they were never going to finish.. (Believe me, I've got one myself, heh heh) so I started trying to recruit them and I've got some people working. We have a central forum of our own which I started up (which is really slow!) but I'm waiting til I move into my new place and get broadband before giving these people the central repository for files... But anyway, I think we need to expand beyond only members of that site now, as I need to find character modellers and animators and.. well, I think there are more of -those- here and in other places.

But, with all the collaberative projects currently going on and us without a great deal of material so far, I'm not sure how best to advertise our concept and attempt to recruit people. I'm therefore trying to absorb everything you all say in this thread and the other sticky before starting a thread here.

But I applaud the idea, as frankly, I think there is a lot of talent out there that will never be realised unless it becomes part of a larger group. I'm very glad you guys are encouraging it. Speaking as a 'project manager' I feel quite confident that we will find some amazing talent here... Now I just have to work out the best way to recruit.. :)

Maybe I should adopt some of the methods you guys have suggested and we can use me as a guinea pig? :D

Alex Drake
04-14-2005, 01:31 AM
I agree, there are some folks with tremendously large, ambitious and complicated projects still need alot more exposure and through no fault of their own, scare away potential collaborators either because their thread is too massive or has gotten very little in the way of attention. In some cases, folks are guilty of providing too little information, but in alot of other cases, it simply a case of swimming with whales (so to speak) so they get pushed down th epage and have to bump themselves to be seen (makes us look a bit desperate). Overall, anything that universally increases exposure for decent projects big and small is a good thing. When you get 0 replies, things feel alot more daunting than they might actually be. :)

Kirt
04-14-2005, 03:54 AM
The "Help Wanted" sticky tread is now active. I don't think I'm going to put a "looking for work" thread as it seems too redundant. Members can browse the Help Wanted thread and find projects if they're that anxious to get involved in something.

BOY1DA
04-14-2005, 10:13 AM
Good to see your participation and your proactive attitude for the collaboration section.

Well as far as my project goes it’s not really one of the larger projects as far as team size goes.
And I’m pretty content with the current system here, I have a very minimalist approach to my project.
I don’t really see CGtalk as a device to organize my project, I see it more as just a “Dairy or B-log”
of the journey I’m taking. With hopes to meet new people on the way who may just want to say hello
from time to time or may want to join in on my journey for a few steps or stay to the end.
When it comes time and I want some exposure for my project. I will then just post a new thread
in the other sections of CGtalk, like the “WIP” or “COMPLEAT” work sections.

I do agree that it is a shame to see some of the newer projects sink before they get
a chance to swim, but I am also somewhat a bit of an anarchist, and feel that the strong
will survive and the weak will parish. There are many times my project falls
into oblivion, but I just see that as a good time for me to get more work done
without having to reply to posts all the time.

The implementation of the new threads, are a step in the right direction. And I really like the
fact there is now a thread that we can talk about things like this.

PEACE.

softdistortion
04-15-2005, 04:43 AM
Kirt, you already know I have some pretty stong feelings about this forum and some of these issues, so if I start foaming at the mouth...well... :D

...before I even noticed this sticky I replied to another current MOD thread in which the plight of those trying to find help was lamented...I won't copy paste it but I think it is relevant enough to link, so HERE IT IS (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=230884) if anyone cares to look.

"How can CGTalk help with Collab Projects? "

#1 We need a FAQ/HOWTO/GUIDLINES section
#2 Before we have a stable collab system where people feel safe to invest small or big chunks of their time/skill/energy, there needs to be some way of making things at least appear a little more credible, hopeful and "stable". Our churn rate is far too high due to too many half baked leaders/ideas coming and going. That alone makes it appear near hopeless in here... people that want to head a team should have some experience/credibilty doing that....Once someone has built credibility as a leader or major contributor on a collab project, they should receive some extra clout - some sort of a CGTalk mark of assurance...Maybe that will help inspire people to be more responsible wherever they decide to fit in.... if potential contributers see a mark of credibility that may help them feel they can expect to be treated well on a productive team that will be around more than a few minutes after they join, maybe more would feel safe to join in.

"once bitten twice shy"...but we have been bitten many times.

Kirt
04-15-2005, 07:01 AM
softdistortion - I've been trying to think of a few things for the other "read this before you post" sticky and may just dump that one completely and get a FAQ/HOWTO/GUIDELINES thing going. However, I certainly don't want to even suggest how other members should run their projects. So, this could be a tricky bit to write. Suggestions are welcome. :D

#2 ... I'm not sure what you're asking for here. I certainly am not going to say which project is or is not worth putting your time into. That's entirely up to the browsing member's discretion. And there is no way Leo is going to allow me to jump into project threads and say it's "no good ... go somewhere else." There are going to be good projects and there are going to be bad ones. Not much we can do about that except hope people pick the right ones to get involved with.

There is the star rating system which seems to work pretty well ... no? :shrug:

What I want to do is more of stuff like this interview (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=113834) I did with Ken Wong awhile back. This works. This shows completion and success. I think project leaders here should think small and show an end result (even if it's only a part of the bigger picture). Once projects start showing finished results, rather than 2-3 years of WIP, other people will see that collabs can succeed and be fun/educational at the same time. WIP threads are only "interesting" and "novel" for a short period of time. The inspiration and motivation behind collab projects really is amplified and glorified by the finished projects.

Isn't that what you'd like to see? I sure would.

And yes ... I realize I'm guilty of the sins for which I'm preaching against. My very own project died off due to many of these reasons compounded with my own personal lack of free time. I'm not going to deny that. :D

BOY1DA - I have to admit also that my involvement here has been sparse (maybe even non-existant to some :D ). For a long time now I've been strictly tied up with monitoring the forums for people violating posting rules and dealing with them accordingly. Thankfully, Leo's new direction has taken a lot of that responsibility off of the Forum Leader's shoulders and that gives me and the others more time to devote to building the community. This new direction brings me back to about 2 years ago when the forum was smaller and I was more involved with participating rather than moderating. I'm happy.

Hopefully, you'll see similar changes taking place all over CGTalk. I'd very much like to try again with a smaller, less ambitious project in the near future. Hopefully, by example I can show others what collaborations are all about and inspire someone else to give this forum a chance or even more attention within the grand scope of things happening on CGTalk.

Anyhoo ... I'm rambling. Post your projects in the new Help Wanted sticky and keep the suggestions coming. Good things are going to be happening here. :thumbsup:

softdistortion
04-15-2005, 01:12 PM
In suggestion#2 I wasn't asking you to say "this project is worthwhile this one is not". I was suggesting that the stable enduring projects/contributors/leaders get some cred by being acknowledged in some visible way. I think this will effect peoples decision to join in and also set some standards of what is credible.

For ex, Alienz got some of the most talented modellers etc I know you think that was becaue you had an original concept as opposed to our or Minas "boring" non original work but that just isn't 100% realistic. I am convinced that you got those people partly because you were the forum mod, you had credibility and you couldn't realistically up and vanish...

I'm trying to not get worked up about this next item...
I think you are going to foster some negative feelings among existing teams/leaders if, now that there is some activity, you come back in like you were never missing and start a "golden" project to show the rest of us how it is done. That's not a threat, just an observation based on my intitial gut reaction to your suggesting you might do this...

I realize you have tried various things to get activity happening, but as you say it doesn't really work...why not stop exhausting yourself, reinventing the wheel by trying to get teams together and setting up competitions etc...instead, give unbiased reinforcment to what is already alive, then expand from there...and what is wrong with that reinforcment including some unbiased plugs of a team here and there?

Your comments about the start rating system "working" is just another frustrating example of the reasoning you have on what works and doesn't work...if you can give your own project a rating, then the sytem is not a true representation of anything meaningful. Personally, I would turn it off!

You MUST consider the existing stable projects...even if you dislike what we are working on...we are alive and we are collabing

Dannage
04-15-2005, 06:45 PM
Man, it's hard to read these big threads.. Maybe I should consider writing my own stuff more concisely.. :D

Couple of points to throw into the mix.. I've not had any experience leading people per se, though I'm nearly 28 and, having been in a project once before, as a modeller, and I compared that project to how we run projects at work and yeah, I can see differences in approaches and hopefully I've got a fairly good idea about what works and what doesn't. I don't think ratings could come from project leaders or even project members. Mabye if you had a viewing board.. but then, that's showing favouritism, and the last thing a failing project needs is a damning critisism from the experts. :)

I don't see this or any other site as a place to show off our work or anything. If anything, this is where I should find inspiration from others, but more than anything, these sort of sites are where I will find people with talent, who doesn't get to utilise it for one reason or another. I've got a kick ass concept artist on board who a fellow member spotted. He's a prime example of some amazing talent that didn't put much out there because he didn't know what to draw and so on... And I've been doing sketches to inspire him and he's making some amazing paintings and, with luck, making useful expansions to his portfolio!

From my own personal point of view, my own project is in a very slow and looming start up phase. The thing I'm finding (and this is why I've started looking recruit elsewhere too) is that the initial burst of enthusiasm tends to follow some similar patterns. I've currently got four threads up on the other site and the one getting all the interest is the space ships thread. I get questions about war fleets and space battles and requests to see the script.. But I find myself trying to explain to the group, I want this story to be all about the people.. and as such, I need character modellers...

With the characters at the core of my story, I hope to make something that will actually be engaging to watch, and will hopefully bring empathy and compassion to my characters. But, of course, until we build the characters, I can't get more than a feel of what they are.. And I find it tricky explaining to the ship modellers that I'm not going to write any dialogue until I'm intimate with the people in the story, which means I need to wait for character modellers and only then can I start building scenes and scripts.. (don't worry, I have the story mapped out, just not the fine details)

But there I come to a problem I expect some other failed projects have met.. what happens if my ship modellers quit and leave because we haven't made any scenes yet.. and they do this prior to any character modellers come on board? I wonder how many of therse projects have failed not because the people didn't run it properly, but just because the right skill set to complete the puzzle wasn't available? We're trying to sidestep the issue by insisting that once a model is bulit, it is 'released' so the rest of the team can take it and carry on with the project even if the creator quits... but a lot of people out there seem to be quite impatient.

It's scary... :) ... But other than attempting to recruit at ten times as many sites as anyone else, I'm not sure what I could do to keep the project alive... (Though one of the better modellers and I said we would see this thing through even if it just ended up being the two of us doing it!) ... anyone else suffered from this sort of problem and have any advice?

Alex Drake
04-15-2005, 07:14 PM
I'm in pretty much the same boat with some slight caveats. Since we cater to gaming communities, theres the usual impatience related to release dates and whatnot. Not being artist (I write and do interesting things with AI scripting), its tough to explain to someone that while I've developed a mind-bogglingly devilish AI that'll prolly knock'em dead, I cant release it until the ships we have get rigged. My staff is very heavy in the middle, eg; we have good modelers and not enough concept art, and we have good models finished, but nearly no one to rig them in-game. So the work has backed up. Finding the staff to alleviate the pressure on our concept pipeline has been difficult. I pride myself on not being an asshole, and I try to avoid begging or acting like a majority of project leads. I dont like spamming message boards too much, especially art boards where I feel I should contribute something to the community before asking folks to help me out.This definately hurts our advertsising, since we are a small project and rely solely on word of mouth (we have very few affiliate projects). To make matters worse, the gaming communities we cater to are small to to begin with, so finding folks with the requisite skills to actually get things in-game and running is tough.

SO the moral of this story is.... I dunno, don't give up hope. I've managed to meet and work with many very talented individuals over the course of this project and I know that if I stick with it, I'll meet more. Also, I wouldnt worry about progress too much, trust me, things will never move fast enough to let you ease up a bit. It sjust something I've gotten used to. Hopefully with more exposure your project will grow. :)

softdistortion
04-15-2005, 07:18 PM
It's scary... :) ... I'm not sure what I could do to keep the project alive... (Though one of the better modellers and I said we would see this thing through even if it just ended up being the two of us doing it!) ... anyone else suffered from this sort of problem and have any advice?

Yeah, we have suffered that problem, our project has ended up with only 3 consistent, contributing members remaining.
Kirt made a comment about shooting for smaller goals...I would echo that advice along with encouraging you to remain focused on that "small" goal even when the team wants to do more.

Dannage
04-15-2005, 11:44 PM
Yeah, well, that's kind of my plan. :)

I was inspired by Red Vs Blue and whilst the idea I came up with was essentially a film, I decided it would have to broken into small episodes, the plus sides being not only would it be easy to download, but also, if nobody watched the first two episodes, we'd know not to rush into the others.. heh heh..

I've also thought of some trailers and mini stories preceeding the events, but setting up some of the characters and the background... I'm just conscious that I can't do -any- decent animation without a character modeller or ten... and I can't get a character modeller without statring my own thread.. but then I don't have much to show or even my own webspace, for me to make the recruitment sound appealing and make the project look like it's got longevity...

But I guess that's why they call it a viscious circle...

Mr Drake, sir... I shall have a look at some of your threads... I know a pretty damned good concept artist and I'm a bit of an ideas man myself.. Maybe we can provide some assistance without impeding on our own project? send me a PM with some more details if you like. :)

Kirt
04-16-2005, 01:55 AM
softdistortion - I wrote a really long winded response but decided to try and summarize this: :argh: Spell it out exactly what it is that you expect for "veteran" status projects, because it sounds to me like you want anyone and everyone who's been here for awhile to become a Forum Leader on CGTalk. That's a tall pedastool you've set me on ... I'm afraid of heights. Bottom line is that I'm no different than anyone else here trying to get a project done and work with other artists. "Mod" does not equal "God". Why the hell would anyone think my opinion is more credible than their own? You haven't given one solid suggestion of how exactly you'd like me to promote any project except "plugging". I don't have a monopoly on plugging work in this forum. If you don't like my opinion run it by one of the other Forum Leaders (there are over 30). But, I was hoping there would be other suggestions. I'll leave it up to the artists who worked on AlienZ to give you their reasons rather than speculating. I wasn't Mod of this forum when I started that project. I feel like I'm in a loose-loose situation with you. You didn't like it when I wasn't as involved with the forum and now you don't like it that I'm trying to help. I already made the Help Wanted sticky to help promote the needs of any project on this forum (which noone is using) and I'm trying to solicit some valuable feedback on what other things we can improve upon. But that's not good enough ... I should be plugging projects instead of wasting my time trying to build a community. Good attitude. :thumbsup:

Alex Drake
04-16-2005, 05:30 AM
@ Dannage: You've got mail!

@Kirt + Soft: Its a real conundrum, On the one hand, Distortion is somewhat correct, alot of people come around boards like this looking for serious projects. However, judging that is such a subjective process that its hard to promote it universally without giving someone the shaft. Give experience hands too much credit and you stifle the new generation. Help the n00bs out too much and you get a glut of projects that abort themselves and leave everyone with a sour taste in their mouths regarding collaboration. Even the middle-ground is dangerous, ergo: you can do nothing and still have the negative/positive effects of the first two situations.

All this adds up to me saying I'd hate to be a mod around here. :)

But in all seriousness, I think the best course of action is simply more community involvement. If a project looks wonky, folks should chime and say why, direct the user to provide better information, or steer others clear without flaming. Also, folks should be encouraged to break out of their proprietary threads and atleast offer comments on the work of others. Its really easy to see dichotomy when you have super-threads with over a thousand replies sitting next to relatively quiet ones with 0-1. In any case, i dont have solid answers, its a problematic situation.

Kirt
04-16-2005, 07:11 AM
Alex Drake - Thank you ... and no, it's not easy being a Mod (or Forum Leader, as we're now supposed to be referred to :D ).

[more general babbling not directed at anyone in particular]

What I had in mind when starting this thread was to somehow develop new ways of getting others to consider trying a collaborative project. I did not want this to turn into a suggestion box for promoting specific projects over another. The forum is here for community usage and I feel we should leave it up to members to decide which projects look stable or worth their time.

The collab forum is a dumping ground for odd posts that end up in the Studios Hiring section (non-paid jobs) and frequent requests in General Discussions for logo or other odd design jobs. Nothing we can do about that, this forum is designed for those types of requests.

But that shouldn't distract from the number of big projects that have already made progress or are ambitiously working towards a huge goal. I may not find all of them interesting but I do have a lot of respect for everyone involved and especially the project leaders who have taken the most demanding of tasks. They should have other members stopping by to check out the progress and volunteering to help if available. And I don't think this is going to happen unless we get some sort of organized effort to make the forum easier to browse. Hopefully the Help Wanted section is one element of that process.

Also, as I've mentioned already, project leaders should work towards smaller measurable goals. For example: short film projects could work a scene at a time, Game Mods could build small sections of levels for early preview releases, other small collabs between 2D & 3D guys should be attempted (a character, creature or vehicle design-to-model excercise). These results can then be posted in the galleries for a larger audience to see and (if a return link is provided) be redirected to the appropriate thread here in the Collab section. These small steps towards the big picture are what's going to show other members that progress is being made. This will develop the project's credibility, not a pat on the back by a Forum Leader (as I said above ... my opinion carries no more weight than anyone else's here).

I just want to have good projects running (yes, softdistortion, I know there are good ones already) and I want everyone to show progress and attract others to the Collab experience. Collabs have this "waste of time" or "freebie" stigma attached to them that I feel is misleading and unfair. A lot of good things can come from working with other artists on these projects.

Members learn to communicate their ideas, share techniques, develop team attitudes, provide some of the best critique found on CGTalk and project leads get management skills. These are all very useful skills to have in the field of CG. These are the positive aspects of Collabs and I want to stress that in this forum over any other thing.

But for those looking for fame and noteriety, please ... oh please, finish a milestone. Make it stellar in artistic vision and technique. Post it in the galleries. You will most definately recieve the kudos that you so desperately deserve and crave. I just am not in the habit of posting something up on the front page of CGTalk that is incomplete or WIP status. That's where I stand and not much you say or do will change that unless you happen to stumble upon some genious method of production within your project (that would deserve an honorable mention).

Please ... let's just stop focusing on negatives and move on. Nobody's perfect. I may have neglected something or someone in the past. I'm sorry but I do have other priorities in my life than sitting in front of my computer catering to the needs of CGTalk. Moderation ... ack ... Leading a forum is not easy work. Anyone who thinks otherwise should consider getting involved with an organization containing 160,000 registered users (of which maybe 50,000 are active on any given day). A day in the life of a Forum Leader involves ... Checking new & old posts for posting violations of religious/political/sexual/hate content Dumping spam threads promoting cheap cigarettes, free iPods, software at better than unbelievable discounts and whatever website of the week Reviewing and validating new gallery image submissions Reviewing and validating new member posts Searching for great images to plug on the front page Responding to reported posts Answering questions that are already answered in the FAQ, support forum or CGChallenge pages for the bazzillionth time Reviewing and voting on images considered for CGChoice awards Reading new posts in forums that are on my responsibility list Participating in the discussions and providing new ideas within the Forum Leader's private forum Managing an occassional mini-challenge or forum activity Trying to find time to participate in forum activities such as the DSG Trying to be lead by example and remain professional and courteous to all members. Checking the other forums, representing CGTalk there and hopefully encouraging other artists to check us out. Looking generally for items of interest on the internet relating to the CG industry.*sigh*

Yes ... it's a thankless job. But I love CGTalk and I love being a part of the staff here. I love helping members with their work. I love seeing other members succeed in their craft and projects. When someone announces on the forum that they got a job thanks to CGTalk, when someone gets their first CGChoice award and is overjoyed in their thread, when someone wins a challenge or DSG sketch of the week, when someone gets their image in one of the Ballistic books ... that makes me proud to be a part of this great community.

So, please ... lets move on and get to the next great thing. We can all jump up and down in joyous jubilation together when we succeed. Thanks. :buttrock:

[Sorry about the long winded speech that I tried to avoid earlier ... but I feel better now]

Dannage
04-16-2005, 08:06 AM
*Kisses Kirt on the forehead* Thank you oh great leader one.. :D

I would love to post in the help wanted sticky, but there are a couple of requirements you have, such as that the project has to be one that's managed here at cgtalk. Given that I started the project on another 3D forum site, it's already somewhat being managed there and I'm not sure if the idea is that we just bring them here -as well- or I try and recruit a different bunch of people -here-.... Thing is, I think I already need to recruit some modellers to get to my very first milestone.. And judging by what I've seen Character modellers are the rarest breed, so I will likely end up trying to recruit on every 3D forum site I can think of...

But until I get any recruits, I sadly can't post any progress of what's built here. I could probably run some scren caps of some stuff already done, but.. meh, I'm not sure how best to go about it with afragmented approach... :D

But I've certainly not seen any discouragement so, speaking as a representative of all those potential project managers, I can safely say the premise of starting is daunting (Mainly because I'm so keen to start it the best posible way!) but I've not been discouraged. And encouragement is probably the best thing you can provide as a forum/leader.

:D

Pjanssen
04-16-2005, 11:25 AM
Ok, I've been reading all you've posted, and I must say that I can agree with most of it all.
I can now do two things: writing down the problems that I see in this section of the forum, or posting some suggestions that I have.
Well, let's do both :)

Some problems I see considering small/starting projects:

Threads that are started here just to get new members, not to structurally post WIPs, don't improve the overall quality of this subforum.
I personally think that threads like these should not be allowed or promoted here.

Projects should be started with a bit of solid material to start with, like concept sketches, some renders of models, or maybe a script. This doesn't happen often, and this way it just won't attract people to join, because it just won't look as a solid initiative. And people won't know what kind of quality is expected and how it all could end up looking.
Having only a script or story to start with isn't the best way to start with too I think. A lot of people just won't read a post with only a written story. So that won't attract a lot of members.
So making sure that a project is started with a good amount of work, to attract people and to make them enthusiastic to contribute to this, is a must.

Thread titles are often not very good. A thread called 'modellers needed' won't attract my attention of course. Unless I'm desperately looking for something to model.
A thread title should in a few words explain what the project is about, and attract attention. A request for 'specialised' people, like a modeller or texturer, can be made in the thread itself.

Starting projects often don't give any garantuee to ever get to a finished product. People will think that their time that they invest on a project will be wasted this way. And when you've got this feeling to your project it will be a downgoing spiral. Less people joining means less work getting done -> farther away from a finished product.
This is a much more difficult problem to get rid of. But I think that showing a solid amount of quality work at the start of the project will lessen this. It's no garantuee, but it does display how serious a project leader is about making his project end up well.
Problems I see for large -already running- projects on this forum:

A problem that applies maybe even more to large projects than to small projects, is the problem of garantuee for a finished product, the last point explained above.
A large thread gets confusing for new people. Often they don't know how things are managed or have to be done. Although I try to avoid this as much as possible in my own project, I often receive questions about how to do things.
A decent startpost, or even multiple threads, like Kirt suggested earlier, should prevent the project from getting confusing. But it's not an easy thing to do I know from experience.
A very bad thing I see happening is that a huge lot of people who join just disappear after a time. Some don't have any more time, some aren't motivated anymore. But a lot of people just drop out, without even saying they stop.
I don't have a clear solution for this. What I try to do against this on my own project is really pressing people to make sure they have enough time. I also recently started with making deadlines for people. Deadlines that are not too high, but just to give people a goal to work towards.
Some ideas that I have, not directly related to problems:

An large and extensive sticky where tips about project management are given. Like 'how to succesfully manage my online project' or something like that. Including things like 'how to start it all', 'tips for your starting post' and all kind of stuff like that.
Giving information in a sticky about copyrights within online collaborative projects. Within the project, but also about 'copying' design from others.
I don't know how, but I think that promoting the collaborative section as a whole on cgtalk would be really good. I think that if people know that there's also a lot of cool stuff going on here, there would be a lot more talented people in the projects.

Last of all, I really like the 'help wanted' thread, it's a very good initiative. :thumbsup:

Pjanssen
04-16-2005, 11:28 AM
I'm not sure what I could do to keep the project alive... (Though one of the better modellers and I said we would see this thing through even if it just ended up being the two of us doing it!) ... anyone else suffered from this sort of problem and have any advice?
I certainly recognize this problem. Taking my own project (minas tirith) as an example, I've done almost more than half of all the models. Sometimes it's discouraging, but on the other hand, I think that a non-paying project needs one or two 'fools' who do a lot of work to inspire the others.
People who just pull the project.

If there are any suggestions on how to solve this problem I would also like to hear them :)

DogmaD
04-16-2005, 11:42 AM
I certainly recognize this problem. Taking my own project (minas tirith) as an example, I've done almost more than half of all the models. Sometimes it's discouraging, but on the other hand, I think that a non-paying project needs one or two 'fools' who do a lot of work to inspire the others.
People who just pull the project.

Yes, well this is not as bad on Aegis. We actually have a couple of persons who do a lot of work. But it guess the most important thing would be communication, and motivation. Make sure that any person has exactly what they need and what is expected from them, and make sure they can contact you fast when they run into trouble.

For the motivation, the best way i think is to keep everyone on the same level when it comes to influence in the project. When people really feel its their project, they will be more motivated to see it to a finished product.

A last part is to build a nice friends group within the project. I can say that all the persons currently on Aegis are pretty good friends by now and i talk to them daily. Not just about Aegis, but just stuff in general. I guess this helps too. Though it should not become just talk, no action, this has happened a couple of times too, hehe. :)


A very bad thing I see happening is that a huge lot of people who join just disappear after a time. Some don't have any more time, some aren't motivated anymore. But a lot of people just drop out, without even saying they stop.



Yep, there is not much you can do about this. It is either putting the standards to join in high and being sure you get some quality people on the project. Or putting the standards to join low, and have more than half walk out on you, or not work as hard as you would like them to. Asking people to work a certain number of hours just does not work. I don't know the best solution to this one. Just expect to do most of the work within the current team, and every good member that comes along is a nice bonus. Every person that only is around for a month or two, but does some nice work is also a nice bonus.

Pjanssen
04-16-2005, 12:20 PM
But it guess the most important thing would be communication, and motivation. Make sure that any person has exactly what they need and what is expected from them, and make sure they can contact you fast when they run into trouble.
Communication and motivation are indeed the most important things. I think that the communication on my project is quite well arranged, I'm reachable through mail or msn and of course on the forum.
But motivation is something that's harder to manage. I recently changed the modelling method, instead of modelling directly from reference, I let people design a whole section of buildings themselves. This made people more motivated and also eliminated the 'lack of references'-problem.

For the motivation, the best way i think is to keep everyone on the same level when it comes to influence in the project. When people really feel its their project, they will be more motivated to see it to a finished product.
I can only agree to this. I personally try not to be the boss who says what has to happen on the project when it comes to making decisions about important things. I try as much as possible to involve the other teammembers in the decisionmaking by asking them their opinions and by asking them to give suggestions or alternatives.

A last part is to build a nice friends group within the project. I can say that all the persons currently on Aegis are pretty good friends by now and i talk to them daily. Not just about Aegis, but just stuff in general. I guess this helps too. Though it should not become just talk, no action, this has happened a couple of times too, hehe. :)
I had this experience too on the Minas Tirith project. I've had some great contact with the more active people on this project, and I think that this is also a good motivator for the project, because your get a bit of friendship, also outside the project.


Yep, there is not much you can do about this. It is either putting the standards to join in high and being sure you get some quality people on the project. Or putting the standards to join low, and have more than half walk out on you, or not work as hard as you would like them to. Asking people to work a certain number of hours just does not work. I don't know the best solution to this one.
I've set the standards for people who can join quite high, but this doesn't really solve the problem. To give you an example, I get about one or two join requests a day, ranging from people who just started 3d, to people who work at companies like EA or Pixar and won CGTalk awards. But those last also drop out.

DogmaD
04-16-2005, 12:36 PM
I've set the standards for people who can join quite high, but this doesn't really solve the problem. To give you an example, I get about one or two join requests a day, ranging from people who just started 3d, to people who work at companies like EA or Pixar and won CGTalk awards. But those last also drop out. Yeah, but i don't mean standards in the form of skills they have. Skill and experience is something a person can work on, and will improve through the course of a collaboration if its done right. I mean a different standard in the form of dedication a person shows and how well they are capable to communicate their ideas and work together with different teammembers with different visions. That is at least something i would look at first. Not so much how well they can model at first, but more how easy they are to get along with, and how they fit in a team. And also if they still have the drive to improve theirselves, and not be so arrogant to agree that some things they do are not good enough or don't fit in a project. Thats more or less what i would be looking for. Not so much if the person can just model extremely well.

With such people, you really can't go wrong, and i am glad that Aegis at the moment for 100% consists of such people. We are only with 8 at the moment, but thats good enough i guess. ;)


@Kirt:

Don't worry, the new sticky will become more active soon enough. I will post there soon for example. When i know i can directly give work to a new person.

softdistortion
04-16-2005, 01:48 PM
Plugging doesn't have to be frontpaging, or giving mod rights etc...
here's a nice example of your plugging>

..I do have a lot of respect for everyone involved and especially the project leaders who have taken the most demanding of tasks. They should have other members stopping by to check out the progress and volunteering to help if available...
I didn't know that was how you felt! Maybe no one else did either?

-your suggestion of adding gallery submissions of finished work is another good "plugging" idea...

- forum streamlining of some sort will help...the help wanted sticky is a good idea.



Here are some more ideas>
-In the Faq or whatever you call it... While it should be obvious, it still would be good to stress how fragile any support a new project/leader gets...Along with that it might be good to suggest a "very" flexible approach of repsonding to "any" help recieved...Criticizing your first helper is usually a deathstroke to your recruiting. Accept everything you get and try to use it...go out of your way to give sincere thanks to the contributor!


-I'm happy you are back, but instead of starting your own "new" project to show us how to do it, stick around and offer your skills to some of the new/old projects. That's what is lacking in here, so set the example and show others they should do the same! ex- requests for help come in everyday...choose a few? each month and offer your skills.


-keep an eye open for when someone does actually makes a new contribution to a new project/idea, commend that effort and encourage others to follow the good examples.

I'm not saying you are God, but that you carry some amount of authority and thereby elicit respect .. What you say and do does carry weight, you need to see that to act properly as a forum leader.

-at some point we should seriously discuss/encourage, long/short term unification of project teams.

softdistortion
04-16-2005, 02:10 PM
"..... please ... oh please, finish a milestone. Make it stellar in artistic vision and technique. "


here's where you have a problem...people in here are not "stellar" by your or CGTalk Elite standards...We are beginners and intermediate skill level...we need to be accepted and acknowledged for what we are doing at that level...otherwise you will crush our spirit.

you also say>

"Members learn to communicate their ideas, share techniques, develop team attitudes, provide some of the best critique found on CGTalk and project leads get management skills. These are all very useful skills to have in the field of CG. These are the positive aspects of Collabs and I want to stress that in this forum over any other thing."

Wow, now here's the best thing I have heard in here for a while ! focus on this and not the "Make it stellar in artistic vision and technique" and you may have a winner...people should accept that often you don't get to be a stellar original artist..but you do need to have team skills. That is sorely lacking in CGTalk where the critical of every detail, lone wolf elite seem to rule.

"....unless you happen to stumble upon some genious method of production within your project (that would deserve an honorable mention)."

if you look at it from other than the "stellar art" angle you will see that we (the enduring teams) have done this...we have mangaed to stay alive and keep moving (if slowly)..promote that collab spirit...we work as teams...we act accountably to each other as artists (even if we are lesser skilled)...In my mind what we do is more honorable of mention than the elite eyecandy that only serve one persons ego!

And don't call our comments negative, or too much for you with your other duties, you asked for replies, don't complain if they don't fit your ideas of positive/negative...You want to build a community and not be a GODMOD...accept some venting from the collabs regulars, it's inevitable since we have not had much opportunity to give input to anyone that had authority and was asking for our thoughts...

Pjanssen
04-16-2005, 02:38 PM
@DodmaD: I do indeed look for people who can work in teams. But the point is that it's hard to figure out if a person has this abilty when you look at his portfolio and his introduction email.
But maybe that you've got a method for this?

And don't call our comments negative, or too much for you with your other duties, you asked for replies, don't complain if they don't fit your ideas of positive/negative...You want to build a community and not be a GODMOD...accept some venting from the collabs regulars, it's inevitable since we have not had much opportunity to give input to anyone that had authority and was asking for our thoughts...
I agree, we're asked to give our ideas about this section, and we give them. I noticed and wrote down some problems. This could sound negative, but I wrote them down with a positive intent: to improve the collab section.

Well, I really hope that this thread will result in an improvement of the collaborative teamprojects section. And I'm sure that we will succed in that and that we'll all learn something from this discussion.

BOY1DA
04-16-2005, 03:59 PM
Some problems I see considering small/starting projects:

Threads that are started here just to get new members, not to structurally post WIPs, don't improve the overall quality of this subforum.
I personally think that threads like these should not be allowed or promoted here.


I agree with that idea.
I think maybe instead letting members like that only be able to post in the help wanted thread.
So the rules for that thread may have to change to allow people who don’t have threads on cg talk to post there.
Instead of starting a new thread just for something that may never get off the ground.
That will help to clear up the clutter, and limit fly by night ideas to just one thread.
Because most of the time threads like that just ask for people to e-mail or PM them anyway.
So no need for a whole thread.





Projects should be started with a bit of solid material to start with, like concept sketches, some renders of models, or maybe a script. This doesn't happen often, and this way it just won't attract people to join, because it just won't look as a solid initiative. And people won't know what kind of quality is expected and how it all could end up looking.
Having only a script or story to start with isn't the best way to start with too I think. A lot of people just won't read a post with only a written story. So that won't attract a lot of members.
So making sure that a project is started with a good amount of work, to attract people and to make them enthusiastic to contribute to this, is a must.


I fully agree with this as well, this can be the second stage to starting you collaboration here.
That will help to make sure the people starting here have spent some time before hand to put in some foot work
before they start, that will give all the projects in this section a bit more credibility, because work has been put in
just to get a thread started in the first place. And this would work hand in hand with the help wanted section.
Because people can use the help wanted section to build a team fist before they start a thread.
And if they can’t find help that way maybe that is a hint that they need to work on some aspects of their ideas.
Not saying that their idea is bad, but at least then they will know they will have to do more work to find
what they need. So when they start a collaboration thread it won’t die because they will at least have
the raw bones to keep it going until others join on.

Dannage
04-16-2005, 05:21 PM
:)

<LI>"Threads that are started here just to get new members, not to structurally post WIPs, don't improve the overall quality of this subforum.
I personally think that threads like these should not be allowed or promoted here."
- I agree, though really, this isa chicken versus egg problem. I for one, need to recruit people in order to make those WIP's. So with no wips to start with, that are relevant to the area of the project I'm working on, how best does one contribute to the new thread? :)
"This is a much more difficult problem to get rid of. But I think that showing a solid amount of quality work at the start of the project will lessen this. It's no garantuee, but it does display how serious a project leader is about making his project end up well."
- Again yes, providing the project leader has more than just the concept. I'm quite lucky as I had the idea, I made a bunch of sketches, and as my project has been active for a few months, I have a bit of art I can post, but shouldn't there be an element of "I have this idea, but I have no artistic skills, who want's to hear it?" allowed somewhere in the forums? :D .. Maybe a concept forum, I don't know! :) .. But I'd certainly considr my modelling skills nowehere near good enough to

s for disappearing members, it's a worry I've had and I've already seen it. One guy got me to send a low poly model (and on dialup as well!) to him then he vanished!! ... We're discussing having a central repository, to hold all the models. I strongly recommend this to all project groups. In my case, the person least likely to quit the project is me, so I've asked for me to be the one to host the files. That way, if a modeller quits, at least we can carry on using their work. :)

softdistortion
04-16-2005, 05:34 PM
I agree with that idea.
I think maybe instead letting members like that only be able to post in the help wanted thread.

That may not be so great, cause then the help wanted section becomes the same churning mess we have in the main section...you still have no real way to see "who's dedicated and who's fly by nite?" ...perhaps projects with some cred should be the only ones allowed to post in the Help section...if as Kurt suggests there can be no real filtering... then leave the rest of the requests in the main section to self filter as they do now...it's not pretty, but that way the fluff blows away in time.

softdistortion
04-16-2005, 05:37 PM
This should be in the FAQ!
... We're discussing having a central repository, to hold all the models. I strongly recommend this to all project groups. In my case, the person least likely to quit the project is me, so I've asked for me to be the one to host the files. That way, if a modeller quits, at least we can carry on using their work. :) [/i]


We have done the same. VERY ESSENTIAL!
The Caveat is you need a dedicated, responsible team person to keep these files.

Pjanssen
04-16-2005, 07:14 PM
I agree, though really, this isa chicken versus egg problem. I for one, need to recruit people in order to make those WIP's. So with no wips to start with, that are relevant to the area of the project I'm working on, how best does one contribute to the new thread? :)
Again yes, providing the project leader has more than just the concept. I'm quite lucky as I had the idea, I made a bunch of sketches, and as my project has been active for a few months, I have a bit of art I can post, but shouldn't there be an element of "I have this idea, but I have no artistic skills, who want's to hear it?" allowed somewhere in the forums?

I'm not saying that it should be forbidden to start a project without having any graphical material to start with, but I think that it's an enourmous advantage. I think that it will certainly attract more people to join in the first stages of the project.
I think that this graphical material doesn't have to be a brilliant concept sketch or a genius model, but just something to show people what you want to do. A script can be good and can explain the idea perfectly, but it's less attractive to people, because in a forum with a lot of threads, people want to make selections on what to look at or read quickly. Only a script or story isn't very appealing at first sight, so people could quickly decide that the thread isn't interesting, without ever reading the script.

Synthesizer
04-16-2005, 07:49 PM
Hmm, one of the major problems of getting people to stay is that it is hard to reward/punish people over the internet, especially when it is being done for free. Most people dont have too much spare time, so when they are working on a collab project, they would probably want some reward for their input. It should be enough to just get the praise of your group members, but some people arent satisfied with anything it seems. On the other side of that, if someone stops working (or doesnt start at all, in some cases) it is alot harder to get them motivated to start again. The only real thing you could do to them would be to kick them off the project, but that would hurt you as well.
I cant really think of any suggestions of what to do right now. The thing that keeps me working on collab projects (2 of them right now) is just wanting to help out and do a good job, but I guess thats not enough for most people these days.

Dannage
04-17-2005, 12:51 AM
fly by night filtering is indeed tough. I set up my own freebie forum for my project, and what I've done so far is entertain peoples interest on SFM, where I started recruiting, but only once I'd had enough interest, and generally some actual work, did I then pm them the address of the freebie site. Hopefully that way, our site is just filled with people working on actual project stuff and not full of random kids saying "Neat stuff, Is there gonna be a big battle now?" in each thread. :D

And incentives are easier for local people. One of the modellers lives in London, not too far from me and I'm meeting with him next week. I will be buying him beer. :) I'm hoping that being local so we can meet up, will make things easier as we can get together and brainstorm in person.

As for incentives... Other than beer.. I guess I have so far explained to some people that it's exposure for their work. A lot of talent goes unnoticed, but if they are part of a project, and a project that people are downloading the episodes for and visiting the website and then reading this persons biography, means they get more exposure. I did say in one of my threads, that if I've done my job properly, I'll lose all my staff to professional studios. :D

The only other incentive I can think of is offering to host an online portfolio of all the members work, on webspace I'd pay for... Whatever the weather, I don't think it's feasible offering anyone money because you couldn't distribute it fairly.. Frankly, even if I was selling episodes, I would just keep the money and plough it back into the project.... Can anyone think of any other incentives?

:)

softdistortion
04-17-2005, 01:30 AM
The only other incentive I can think of is offering to host an online portfolio of all the members work, on webspace I'd pay for... Whatever the weather, I don't think it's feasible offering anyone money because you couldn't distribute it fairly.. Frankly, even if I was selling episodes, I would just keep the money and plough it back into the project.... Can anyone think of any other incentives?

I admire you are dedicated enough to put some of your own $$ resources into your project.

If people won't spend a few bucks for a site/ftp etc, then how serious and dedicated are they? Project leaders should have more invested than the team members. It's one more thing to do that shows you're serious.

ace4016
04-17-2005, 02:33 AM
I haven't read the entire thread, fully atleast, but what if there was also a "Guide to a Successful Collaborative Team Project?" Many projects fail because they are not planned out well, and aren't setup in an orderly manner. I guess if more cgtalk collaborative team projects were successful, more people would be willing to try to start or join a team project. I think incentives are hard to think up of, especially for free projects. I'd be interested to know if any of you have thought up of effective incentives; especially since I think I am going to start up a project of my own....maybe not soon though.

softdistortion
04-17-2005, 03:24 AM
once people join one incetive to keep them with you is to really treat them well. Never forget to thank them., they are sacrificing their time and energy!
If someone does a model on our tem I try to get it textured and rendered ASAP...I do that to show I appreciate their work and to let them see the finished product.


to get people joining, like a few of us mentioned- one incentive is to have some reassurance that your work will be used and that the project will have some completion.

having a project that turns out cool looking work is also an incentive. The problem here is if you make cool stuff, some people who doubt their ability to do the same level of work will get scared off thinking they would never fit in..we haven't advertised as much as we used to, but we have always had an open door for any skill level....we start them off slow and let them expand at their own pace...some that could barely model a car when they first joined, are now doing realistic vehicles and advanced character animation!

Another incentive I used to work at harder was public exposure for the project and it's members. We worked hard on a couple models a while back, so I dedicated myself to getting our work in 3Dworld...that really got us pumped about what else we could acheive as a team. So the incentive was getting members work recognized....they felt good, cause they could tell their friends and family that they were on a serious project with published work.

Another incentive that few realize until they get on a team is that you are going to get better at your 3d skills. You have encouragment to get better from the team...or you could practice alone for years maybe get discouraged and give up?

Synthesizer
04-17-2005, 04:16 AM
Yeah softdistortion, I agree with that. I know I've sure gotten better working on the Minas Tirith Project. It used to take me weeks to make a building that now takes hours. Working as a team definitly helps.

softdistortion
04-18-2005, 04:11 AM
hey Synthesizer :thumbsup: maybe if more of us gave a bit of a first hand account of things like you mention it might be an incentive to others who aren't aware of that benifit.

Another incentive to add to the list is> seeing what other projects are doing...not so much in a competiton way, but in a spur you on kind of way...if that makes sense..

I also wonder if some of us could eventually form an experienced group to give help to some of the new projects coming in...maybe even just guiding and encouraging...or a buddy or mentor system:shrug:

somehow facilitating inter team commnication would also be helpful. We had a really good interchange on camera and lighting techniques between our team an Aegis a few days ago...I for one would like to do more of that. We shared some inventive and useful tips that we both could use ;)

DogmaD
04-18-2005, 03:02 PM
Another incentive to add to the list is> seeing what other projects are doing...not so much in a competiton way, but in a spur you on kind of way...if that makes sense..

somehow facilitating inter team commnication would also be helpful. We had a really good interchange on camera and lighting techniques between our team an Aegis a few days ago...I for one would like to do more of that. We shared some inventive and useful tips that we both could use Yep, i agree. Exchange of information between projects is a very good thing. What we could do is create a seperate forum, just for exchanging techniques between collaborations, or something like that. Should not be to hard, the question is if it would be used enough to make it worthwhile.

softdistortion
04-18-2005, 03:16 PM
Yep, i agree. Exchange of information between projects is a very good thing. What we could do is create a seperate forum, just for exchanging techniques between collaborations, or something like that. Should not be to hard, the question is if it would be used enough to make it worthwhile.


Yeah, I thought the same, not sure how to make it work. If it's just left loose it always seems to slowly fade as we get busy...still would be good to make it happen somehow... :shrug:

ace4016
04-18-2005, 09:47 PM
Well, I maybe a whole forum section doesn't need to be dedicated to it, but maybe a sticky thread may work better. The sticky threads for discussing things like that seems to work better since they are at the top of the page and easy for anyone to find, they are more focused, and they seem to have worked for other sections just fine (like the max particles resource sticky thread). The traffic isn't high in collaborative projects, so one thread should suffice. Just an idea.

Kid-Mesh
04-18-2005, 11:44 PM
Kirt: Nice to see you back in these forums again :)


My Suggestion would be to have these as your Sub Forums:

1. Active Projects - Projects listed here would be those that have met a certian critiera as such to be determined by you, an example would be the actual visible status of completed work, the amount of present forum activity, demonstrated leadership abilities from the actual project leads, participation from the actual team members, etc.
Once your project has successful met the stated critieria then it would be eligible to be moved from the "Collaborative Team Projects" forum and into "Active Projects". The critieria has to be stringent (sp?) enough so it's no so easy to get in, but sparks enough motivation to achieve it. This in itself would lend credibitlity to a listed project and thus help recruitment. (Promotion solved).

Imho projects such as Minas, Aegis, H2 and Shirow have demonstrated what it takes to keep a project going. Im sure that the team leads from those projects could come together and assist you based on their experiences in developing the critieria for that forum. I think it would only be fitting to have a round-table discussion about it with the folks that are actually pulling it off and foster deeper community involvement.

2. Active Project Classfieds - This what you already have as a sticky for the new "help wanted". The difference here is that the project leaders who have a working thread in the "Active Projects" forum would be the only ones allowed to post based on guide lines set by you.

3. Collaborative Team Projects - There needs to be a mandated "template" posted as a sticky that should be followed in the initial posting of pitching a collaboration. This information should break everything down as to what the project is about, what you need, require, website info, etc.
Having a uniformed template like that would ensure that people arent just "spaming" or tagging a board just to get exposure etc. Unfortuneatly (sp?) it happens alot with the "MOD" posts. Usually these "MOD" types already have a website and are functioning within their own communities, then they tag here and everywhere else with little to know information hoping that their websites will tell it all and that's if your luck if they have one.
I dont want to knock the "MOD" community because I have been a function member since christ walked the earth and they have produced some great "retail" projects but I know the mentality. It's basically the opposite of this world, instead of the artist being king its the programmer.
To actually get a mod succefully off the ground you need programmers to do it. But to attract a coder you need art work. There are literally hundreds and I mean hundreds of "MODS" compared to the small CG collabs you see here. It's really a dog eat dog world for them and they post and run not in disrespect but in hopes to get a modeler to attract a programmer. Those that have programmers are considered lucky :)
Anyway, the idea of a "must use" template will defintley slow non-thought out or anything that isnt in the collaborative spirit from being posted. If someone actually takes the time to complete the template in their first post then they have started the first step in putting forth real effort. If a post doesnt meet the template criteria...then delete it.

Below is a an example of a Template that people would have to copy and paste from a "sticky" and use it in their initial post. (I've seen this done before)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Your thread title - (Project Name - Small description)
exmp: Radix Spawn - Sci fi Action thriller

**TEMPLATE, PLEASE COPY AND PASTE TO RETAIN BOLD AND FORMATTING***


Project name:
(Make sure its descriptive. This could be the actual project name or working title).


Project description:
(Brief overview of the project, goals etc. Include what has been done already and what your going to do.)

Target aim:
(Film Festivals/Online Release/Publisher Pitching/etc)

Compensation:
(What are you offering? Web space? etc, etc)

CG Technology:
(Main Software packages needed to produce the project.)

Required Talent:
(List the team positions needed to be filled, break down their tasks and any prior experience needed if neccessary)

Current Infrastructure:
(Who is currently on the team, how long have you been functioning as a team and reiterate what it is you will be doing.)

Website URL:
(Post a link...even if its a coming soon page.)

Contact Info:
(Your email address, forum, AIM, etc...)

Final Pitch:
(This is your chance to say something about the project to encourage people to join, maybe a screenshot or WIP added with it.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


**** Example Template Filled Out Below: *******

-------------------------------------------------
Your thread title - (Radix Spawn - SCI FI Thriller)
-------------------------------------------------


Project name: Radix Spawn



Project description:
Radix Spawn is a sci fi action thriller that is a mix between the 5th element and Stargate. This short film will feature alot of unique characters and space battle scenes. Currently, we have alot of concept art for two of the character races and some dropships. My main function is team leader and I also do organic modeling.

Target aim:
The goal this project is to allow others to gain experience working with a team and developing as CG artists. The finish product will be released via a website for all to see.

Compensation:
At the moment all our team can offer is webspace for you to show your w.i.p shots and access to our FTP servers.

CG Technology:
The main software package for character animation is 3DSMAX using CS. Any other package is welcomed for modeling and texturing as long as it can export out to a file format that we can use.

Required Talent:
Organic Modeler: Should be able to model from our current concept pictures and create UV maps.
Mechanical Modeler: Should be able to model from our current concept pictures and create UV maps. Vehicle Rigging for land based models is a plus.
Texture Artist: A wizard with photoshop, neccessary skills would include displacement map creation, bump maps and discontiued UV maps.

Current Infrastructure:
Our team consist of three people plus myself at the moment. We have two modelers and a script writer who have been together for about 6 weeks.

Website URL:
http://www.RadixSpawn.com

Contact Info:
email: LeadOne@RadixSpawn.com
forums: http://www.RadixSpawn.com/fourms
AIM: LeaderOne

Final Pitch:
If you love science fiction and have always wanted to create a CG film this this project is for you. All of us are very dedicated and really would like to see this to the end. We looking for people of all skill levels and folks that want to have fun :) Looking forward to hearing from you! Once you have joined our team we can provide you with more information, storylines, character bios, etc.









--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

softdistortion
04-19-2005, 03:18 AM
KM, your past activity in the collabs aside...I have to say I am impressed with this latest post of yours! You have obviously put effort into this and nailed some of the prime issues that We have been trying to put into words-

#1 satisfies the need for some way to establish a credibility rating without an actual rating! It's visible and clear!

#3 I think you are right that a mandated template will get rid of the garbage posts and also weed out the non serious people who won't want to bother reading the template requirments page and follow it.

:thumbsup:

Kid-Mesh
04-19-2005, 04:45 AM
Soft: Thanks , Im glad that as professionals and aspiring CG professionals alike we can put aside any differences, opinions or bias when it comes to the development and enrichment of our community. In the end...it's bigger than us all :).

Cheers,

KM

Kirt
04-19-2005, 06:22 AM
Kid Mesh - The Active Projects sub-forum doesn't sound much more spectacular than the regular Collab forum to me. As it stands now, the most active and productive projects are always found on page one of the forum. Those projects that don't have updates or a dedicated following seem to slip away to page 2 (and beyond) in no time at all. So, how would a sub-forum be any better for the projects other than an isolated existance from the quickly dissappearing inactive projects?

Maybe as an alternative, active projects can be included in the Help Wanted sticky thread even if there are no current "wants" from the project lead. Any active project can keep the ad present there with a brief project description and link to the project thread(s). Maybe not the best example of what I mean ... but check out how I started to format my initial post in the Comic Strip activity (it's in my signature). There is an image that gets the user's attention, a brief description and a link(s) to relevant posting(s) ... sort of. :blush:

I don't know ... I'd need more arguement for this idea before seriously considering it. Right now all I can think is that it would mean moving a lot of threads out and making sure only active projects remain there. Too much overhead for a benefit that doesn't weigh in much more than the current situation. :shrug:

The Active Project Classifieds doesn't seem to be neccesary at this point either. There are only a handful of projects that I would classify as 'active' or 'dedicated' at this point in time. I think the sticky thread that I created is more than adequate for this purpose at the moment.

A Collaborate Team Project template is a great idea. Definately something that I would like to see on all first posts within the collab section. But it's not something that I think I can enforce upon all postings here. I will add it to the FAQ/Advice sticky thread that I am in the middle of creating, but it will be there only as a suggestion for effective collab project management advice.

Thanks for the input.

Another idea that I had was to somehow create a "pick of the month" or some sort of Forum Leader seal of approval to be used either in the Classified sticky, the project's first posting or on their project website. A little way of saying, "I like where this is going ... keep up the good work. :thumbsup: " Maybe something not unlike Roberto's trophy's that he gives to the Sketch of the Week or FXWars winners.

I'd like to maintain that I'm a modest fellow, but if others agree with softdistortion that my words as Forum Leader have any weight, then I'd like to exploit that and provide a little reward to those projects that are making progress or have shown by example how these collabs should be handled.

I'm still working on what/when/why I'll be issuing this reward ... feedback would be appreciated to refine this idea fully.

I'd also like to go back to something softdistortion said earlier and elaborate a bit (at the risk of making yet another long winded posting :D ). ..... please ... oh please, finish a milestone. Make it stellar in artistic vision and technique.here's where you have a problem...people in here are not "stellar" by your or CGTalk Elite standards...We are beginners and intermediate skill level...we need to be accepted and acknowledged for what we are doing at that level...otherwise you will crush our spirit.OK, a little bit of creative usage of the english language and a desperate plea for milestones, backfired on me there. :D

I realize that many collab projects are being managed and worked upon by users who are hobbiests, pre-college or the "curiously interested in CG" skill set. My bad. What I mean is that I'd just like to see projects complete something worthy of posting in the finished galleries. I've seen some pretty good concept sketches and test renders in some of these threads but they never seem to get posted in the galleries. Why is that?

I don't want project artists to suddenly flood the galleries with every little concept sketch and multiple test renders of the same spaceship or character. But I would like to see the project leaders promote the artists and their work by suggesting the best works get submitted to the galleries.

Have the artist responsible for the work, post the finished model (and concept sketch if available) in the finished 3D section and include a link back to your project thread. That's a perfectly acceptable way to promote your projects and your progress to the rest of the community. Even if the work is not pro quality or even if it doesn't get a front page plug, CGChoice award or a feature article on CGNetworks. If it's suitable for the gallery posting guidelines, post it. Just think how many more possible views or helpful critiques you will recieve from other members by such an active promotion of your images. If you keep all of your images within your thread, who's going to look through 20, 30, 40 or more pages to find the best work?

To me, there's no better way to "be accepted and acknowledged for what [you] are doing ." The only thing that's going to crush your spirit is staying isolated within your project thread and harboring feelings of being ignored on this great community forum. The adoration and support is there, you just have to do a little creative fishing for it. :D

[b]Pjanssen - I read your list of problems and suggestions, I think you'll find most of those issues are going to be addressed in the FAQ/Advice sticky thread that I'm working on. Some of the problems well just have to live with though since these ... er ... fluff postings by come-n-go members can't be discriminated against. They're not breaking any forum rules, so we have to allow them to be posted. Sorry, not much to do about those. :shrug:

AJE
04-19-2005, 08:13 AM
I haven't had the time to read through this whole thread (so I'll apologize if this is rehashed info), but I have found some recent success with simply posting updated pics in the first post of the thread.

We've got some extremely talented people on board... I can't believe the success we're having with just a few pics and the basics of the first part of the story in such a short time.

For me, it was important to have a project that:
-was commercially viable (of major importance to me)
-I have a clear vision on, both in the projects stages and its ultimate future.
-will allow people to play in the environment (gives people a reason to join... there is freedom in certain stages to simply be creative)
-was of personal interest to me
-had a proper story... too many project leaders jump in with both feet without a firm grasp of how to write a decent, original story... having a screenwriting background allows me cover ground a bit more quickly because I have learned how stories are constructed.
-divide the major workload (lead positions) with people that I trust

Ultimately, you have to give prospective collaborators enough info that they feel comfortable in the story (read:'their time commitment'), some good pics to show you can follow up on it, and definite guidance to give them comfidence that you know what you're doing.

Also, having some professional primetime TV work in your portfolio helps people take you a bit more seriously.

Leaders, choose your team members wisely, you're being entrusted with their time, don't waste it. Respect them, they will respect you. As cliche as it sounds, lead from the front... put your own work out there to get the ball rolling.

Team members, choose your projects wisely, honor your commitment to the project. Don't commit unless you know you have the time and energy to contribute.

Anyways, it's late where I am, and work come too early as it is!

Cheers,
AJE

Kid-Mesh
04-19-2005, 10:51 AM
Kirt: No problem, it was mostly brain storming on my part with hopes of helping to generate ideas and get people thinking. Your the moderator and have the experience in this area, naturally yeilding to that is natural so I will follow your lead.
In regards to not being able to make people use the template is a little confusing to me :shrug:. From where I sit it would just be a forum rule, abide by it end of story. It's analogous to Spiraloid where in order to even post there you have to include a link to something.
Most people realize that 'communities' have rules and to function within them you have follow them. But dont get me wrong, if the enforcing of the template violates some type of cgtalk policy or ethics then I apologize...just struck me as odd is all.

softdistortion
04-19-2005, 01:13 PM
I don't know ... I'd need more arguement for this idea before seriously considering it....
A few have repeatedly said we would like a sticky/subforum etc. Have a yes/no poll if you need to see more consensus...Like you said it's a community.

Another idea that I had was to somehow create a "pick of the month" or some sort of Forum Leader seal of approval ... A little way of saying, "I like where this is going ... keep up the good work...

Sorry Kirt, I don't feel comfortable with rewards based on "your" seal of approval. The ideal of your criteria being "progress or have shown by example how these collabs should be handled" would be nice...The reality is shirowproject and Minas have both experienced your disposition towards applying much different and more personal criteria on this subject. I for one would need convincing to rebuild my trust and confidence in your ability to be unbiased, or even by your own admission, having time to administer something like this fairly. The idea sounds good but you should maybe have a board of Collab leaders do the choosing and not do it yourself?


I've seen some pretty good concept sketches and test renders in some of these threads but they never seem to get posted in the galleries. Why is that?

*sigh*....We've been posting there for ages,
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=107973)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=108509)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=115878)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=129838)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=225939)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=142029)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=129924)
Gallery/Finished Work: 3D (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=129958)


- honestly, you usually get better and friendlier feedback in here than in the gallery.




The only thing that's going to crush your spirit is staying isolated within your project thread and harboring feelings of being ignored ...

Two words I'll probably never forget hearing in CGtalk> "brutal honesty"...
There's alot more that can slowly drain, if not crush a teams spirit...CGTalk can be a "brutal" place to post your work in...in another post you aluded to the fact that we have a different/constructive environment in here...Whatever you do, DON"T MESS WITH THAT!

If you complain that "I'm never happy" or refer to projetcs "feelings of being ignored"...While you've recently started to make some expressions of acknowledgment...the overall , somewhat frustrating reality continues to "feel" like you don't sincerely notice/respect/acknowledge the efforts others have exerted in getting/keeping the collabs alive.
You're not the only one who has alot invested in CGTalk and the Collab forum.

We probably could have saved alot of time by your PMing with some of us about these issues and then posting condensed ideas from that input, maybe wrapping up with a pole to confirm the communities support/agreement.

DogmaD
04-19-2005, 02:18 PM
Another idea that I had was to somehow create a "pick of the month" or some sort of Forum Leader seal of approval to be used either in the Classified sticky, the project's first posting or on their project website. A little way of saying, "I like where this is going ... keep up the good work. " Maybe something not unlike Roberto's trophy's that he gives to the Sketch of the Week or FXWars winners.

I'd like to maintain that I'm a modest fellow, but if others agree with softdistortion that my words as Forum Leader have any weight, then I'd like to exploit that and provide a little reward to those projects that are making progress or have shown by example how these collabs should be handled.

I'm still working on what/when/why I'll be issuing this reward ... feedback would be appreciated to refine this idea fully.


I like the idea. But i think it will be very problematic to pull off. First of all, i think it would be very hard to compare projects with eachother. Some can do a lot more work than others, based on the size of their team. If you are going to base in it on progress, i guess it will be very hard to measure. I also can't really help you with this. Because i don't have a solution to it. But if you want to award or plug a collaboration, i think it should be an award based on a specific image or animation that is produced. Maybe every collaboration can send in a certain piece to you every month, showing their best work, and you judge which one has the best execution between all collaborations?

I realize that many collab projects are being managed and worked upon by users who are hobbiests, pre-college or the "curiously interested in CG" skill set. My bad. What I mean is that I'd just like to see projects complete something worthy of posting in the finished galleries. I've seen some pretty good concept sketches and test renders in some of these threads but they never seem to get posted in the galleries. Why is that?

Its a mix of people really, some are, and some aren't as experienced. I don't really agree with softdistortion on this one. If the collaborations are to be respected, they should perform on the same level if not higher than any other part of CGTalk. I think some form of special treatment would only degrade this part of the forum, because of lesser quality from this part of the forum being plugged. So, no, maybe not all projects here can perform as elite or stellar, but i think some can, and i hope Aegis:2375 will reach that level. I think we won't be satisfied with less.

About why not posting in the galleries. Simple, things are not done yet, on Aegis, we will only start posting when we have actually hit the final stage from, at this moment, the promo. About why not posting in the WIP section. I think its a time issue in our team. We already critique eachothers work a lot, double posting in different threads just takes to much time to keep track of.

Also, in my opinion there is already to much posting going on in the WIP sections of CGTalk. Many people just only look at familiar names, or threads with 4+ stars. At least i do. I just don't have time to read every thread in the WIP section. And it is clear that even though there are 50.000 people on this forum every day. Most will only reply to known people or really high quality work. And then there is a very small amount that will actually reply to almost everything out there. So, to be honest. I don't think the WIP section on CGTalk works very well. I would rather have my work critiqued by the people on the team. This might hurt PR a little, but its better to post a couple of very high quality things here, than to post a lot of WIP that might lead nowhere in the end.


Sorry Kirt, I don't feel comfortable with rewards based on "your" seal of approval. The ideal of your criteria being "progress or have shown by example how these collabs should be handled" would be nice...The reality is shirowproject and Minas have both experienced your disposition towards applying much different and more personal criteria on this subject. I for one would need convincing to rebuild my trust and confidence in your ability to be unbiased, or even by your own admission, having time to administer something like this fairly. The idea sounds good but you should maybe have a board of Collab leaders do the choosing and not do it yourself?


I think some of us need an explanation here. There is to much personal stuff involved, and personally i have no idea what has happened before that has damaged the collabs trust in Kirt. So can someone please first explain to me what the problem is...Is it an originality issue? A quality issue ( which i can't imagine ) ? I have never corresponded with Kirt about any requests or anything, so i have no idea what he thinks of Aegis or the other collaborations. But then again, i would not really care that much about a single persons opinion on our project, even if he is the forum leader. Its the majority than counts. :)

Kid-Mesh
04-19-2005, 03:17 PM
It looks everyone is looking for that formula that will make their team gel into one big cohesive state of productivity and pleasantries. True enough it can be done but the road is a weary one at best. I have over 10 years experience managing large projects and people with a multitude of personalities and skills sets. I can easily be put in charge to manage 20 to 50 individuals at any given time and devise project plans accordingly. So I can attest to the fact that it’s different on the both sides of the fence both professionally and from a hobbist standpoint.

In my professional life managing individuals to stay on task and adhere to schedules is a lot harder than doing an CG collab but some of the same issues still exist. Skill level, motivation, organization, dedication and communication play a role no matter what your team is trying to achieve. The responsibility will always fall to the lead because he/or she drives the vision. It's the leads responsibility to make sure everyone else is seeing the vision or for the time being make sure their part is being done.

Although it's a little more structured in a professional setting due to the fact that someone can get fired, demoted, etc, lack of leadership, organization and interpersonal skills can lead to disastrous development cycles and an unmotivated team.
When it comes to these internet collaborations no matter what the goal maybe such as a cg film or a game there are a few things I have learned along the way about people in general. The number one thing is that your project is not their "job" and it's just a roll of the dice when someone does join you. With that being said it's just the nature of the beast and the risk we all take. No one signs a contract, no one is getting paid and an internet reputation is worth nothing due to the fact that you can change your identity on a moments notice, hell I have four different names I go by depending on where I am.

Getting angry with people that basically owe you nothing is a waste of positive energy that could be put to better use in your project.Most of us that are natural leaders assume the role because it is what drives us. We are sometimes confrontational individuals with a belief system that is as rigid as stone, but we are the idea men and women. Our expectations are high and we sometimes unconsciously demand that same perfection unequivocally from those we manage beit paid or non paid. But the truth of the matter is, when your foundation is on a voluntary basis it's shaky from the start…that's just the reality of it.

Now I'm not going to sit here and tell anybody what is the best way to manage your projects or your people. But what I will say is that imho all projects tend to be organic in nature. Think of them almost like a small child, a conceived idea born into existence and nurtured by the those entrusted in it's growth. Frankly your child can either grow up and become something great exhibiting the up bringing of its creators, it could grow into something unmanageable and dysfunctional which makes individuals want to run from it or simply just become aborted. The analogy of the child works best for me because of the emotional attachment that some individuals have towards their projects. Not to mention the sense of ownership that the team or an individual can or may develop over time which creates a "family" or parental type of association.

In retrospect I can only speak to my own experience and recently Project I.C.E. which is just one of the many children that I have. When your working in a community environment you are seemingly at the mercy of public opinion if something like that matters to you. Yet, I notice sometimes that people feel a sense of obligation to not let something die in fear of being perceived as incompetent and yet that would be far from the truth. When I pulled the plug on Project I.C.E it hurt like a son of a bitch, but I'm not the type of person to blow smoke up your arse either. Everyone who dealt with me directly knew exactly what type of work ethic I possess because I let it speak for me.

Publicly and with all confidence I can say that I went above and beyond what most so called team leaders would have done for a "voluntary" collaboration. When the announcement to cancel my project came out it honestly it was not a surprise to the majority of my team. This information had been disseminated privately in our forums a month in advance. But what shocked me though was the reaction to the so called demise if you will and allegations of not being able to perform certain cg tasks. Yet again a learning experience, a non paid environment produces and evokes different responses in similar situations of those in "paid" environments. But like I said, if your worried about public opinion…a leadership role is not for you.

The point that I'm trying to make is this, do not waste your time if your "project" is your vision. Voluntary help can only be taken on face value. You can either choose to keep the project going from a collaboration stand point or take it off line and bring it back at another stage in development if you choose to do so. You can lead by example and do the bulk of the work but what does that solve? afaik its not a collaboration at that point. What it comes down to is what are your own personal aspirations for this project? and what are you willing to do, accept, reject and make happen to get it to where you want. In the end it's always your decision.

I'm my opinion failure is the foundation to success and once you have learned from whence you came then the path is lit like an airport runway. Those who choose to blind themselves with falsehoods and pride for the sake of others will lack the necessary growth in the areas of leadership and project management. Recognize when the sky is falling, time is a precious commodity, know when to cut someone or something. You have to have the balls to make the decision to pick up your toys and play else where…this is a collaboration and when it stops becoming one re-asses. Know that being a leader is a thankless position and no one gives a damn about the late nights, missed family outings, and loss of sleep until the credits roll on your film. Until then your actions may be questioned by some and scrutinized by others and you always have to readjust the game plan and make those gritty choices that may be frowned on by others.

Once I became a Professional project lead with enough experience under my belt I was able to come up with a formula that assess productivity based on my experience and people I manage.

My formula [ Production = Motivation x Skill / Effort + Involvement ]

In a nutshell I figured my project's production could be determined by the motivation of my teammates multiplied by their skill levels which is easily divisible by the effort they put forth plus the time involved into the project. Once you have been in development for a while you can use a formula like this to gauge future productivity. It's not a pure science but a quote does come into mind. "No Great discovery was every made without a Bold Guess"

When I applied that formula to Project I.C.E I realized that it was time to move on since there was only one individual that equaled production in that equation. And the other than the pain of actually having to take my project offline and get it to the state I wanted it I lost a good friend in the process. But those are scars you bear when you have to make choices, as shitty as it may seem were both better for it.

Lastly, people will always judge you, and will always have opinions about you that’s just life. Just stay true to who you are and treat people respectfully to garner deserved respect but pursue your visions passionately and without constraints. What ever you get out of your teammates in a collab is a plus and take it for what it is and nothing more. The bottom line is that if you really want a successful productive collaboration to have a high chance at reaching your goal…IMHO get a payroll. If you can afford to pay then dig in your heels and treat those well that ride it out with you…one day you just might get lucky and I damn sure want to be there to down load that file :)

softdistortion
04-19-2005, 03:41 PM
... i think it would be very hard to compare projects with eachother. Some can do a lot more work than others, based on the size of their team. If you are going to base in it on progress, i guess it will be very hard to measure.
Not sure you got what I meant Dogma, I didn't take Kirt as having meant progress as in "finishing everything"... There are teams that consistently progress their project, how does acknowleding that hurt others? Even a one person project can progress his project and giving some special recognition for that effort is proper IMO (it may infact help draw help to them and get them collabing). :)


... if you want to award or plug a collaboration, i think it should be an award based on a specific image or animation that is produced. Maybe every collaboration can send in a certain piece to you every month, showing their best work, and you judge which one has the best execution between all collaborations?

Dogma, don't you think this is potentially an even bigger issue than rewards based on progress...your team may acheive stellar levels, but what about the beginners? How does rewarding the Elite images help encourage them to give it a try? If we go this route I see it becoming much like the FINISHED/WIP forums. It will probably elicit a more critical and often only subjective response like you often get in the FINISHED/WIP forum...these are maybe based on the very thing you and I don't like about the FINISHED/WIP forums>
"Most will only reply to known people or really high quality work. And then there is a very small amount that will actually reply to almost everything out there. So, to be honest. I don't think the WIP section on CGTalk works very well..."

...There is to much personal stuff involved, and personally i have no idea what has happened before that has damaged the collabs trust in Kirt. So can someone please first explain to me what the problem is...Is it an originality issue? A quality issue ( which i can't imagine ) ? Yes, and Yes!

...I agree it also became personal, but because his reactions were so strong, I believe it will continue to affect his dealings with the projects in here. I respect his right to his own preferences and opinions, but I don't think he should be allowed to impose them on us. While I do respect his technical skill and try to folow his MOD authority, I have reservations about his non-bias as a judge of the projects in here, and that's magnified by his being our ONLY mod.

Besides that, he already outlined he is busy, and frankly I don't feel at ease about inundating him with images we produce so he can "judge" them.
Like you said Dogma, "I would rather have my work critiqued by the people on the team." or like I suggested a board of members made up from the teams...doing it that way would also minimize potentials for bias.

DogmaD
04-19-2005, 05:53 PM
Not sure you got what I meant Dogma, I didn't take Kirt as having meant progress as in "finishing everything"... There are teams that consistently progress their project, how does acknowleding that hurt others? Even a one person project can progress his project and giving some special recognition for that effort is proper IMO (it may infact help draw help to them and get them collabing). :)

Ahh, yes. I agree with that. But i am just scared that the big projects will run over the little ones, that can't put out as much progress or content. When its all relative, i am very much ok with it. If its judged in amount of work relative to the teamsize, then i am all for it. Now, i do understand that it just takes a lot of effort to keep a project on track. Heck, i am in the middle of it. :)

Dogma, don't you think this is potentially an even bigger issue than rewards based on progress...your team may acheive stellar levels, but what about the beginners? How does rewarding the Elite images help encourage them to give it a try? If we go this route I see it becoming much like the FINISHED/WIP forums. It will probably elicit a more critical and often only subjective response like you often get in the FINISHED/WIP forum...these are maybe based on the very thing you and I don't like about the FINISHED/WIP forums

Yeah, you do have a point there. But don't you think there is also another side to the story? Won't beginners be more willing to join projects when they see they will be working with very skilled people for example? I am sure i for example would learn tons from being on the shirow project for a couple of weeks. All the information about motion capture and animation is entirely new to me. And seeing that stuff in your thread amazes me. Seeing things that inspire you, and being able to even join in on it can be very helpfull i think. And i think the collaboration thread can be a very big help here.

And like you, i don't like the FINISHED/WIP sections a big part of the time. I do love the game art part. That one is really well done with competitions, and people giving lots of comments to eachothers work. Both professionals and beginners mixing. The 3D FINISHED/WIP worries me a lot on this part. There is to much fanboy stuff going on. And when i look at the Q&A on the frontpage with Stahlberg, i go ?! Why oh why is that plugged on the frontpage. To see people go, omg Stahlberg, i love you, can i carry your baby? That space could have been a collaboration for example, instead..its just a fanboys sign here thread...

softdistortion
04-19-2005, 08:03 PM
... Won't beginners be more willing to join projects when they see they will be working with very skilled people for example? ...
From our teams experience, I can honestly tell you that this is not the case...when you're trying to imagine this scenario, (maybe you already did it, but) first put your current skills aside and go back in time to your beginner period when you hardly could model a box, (ok, maybe not that far back, but you get the picture :) )......you will probably realize it would be intimidating to most beginners to join when they see images like you are planning! Talk to Colkai about this if you don't believe me.

And I agree, it should be relative, however I would say a smal team doing some progress is actually a bigger deal than the big team, so that equality thing could swing both ways ;)

That's why I think we need to focus more on the sucess as a working collab project and not so much on the potentially itimidating "fanboy" fodder images. I'm not saying don't do stellar work, just that we maybe shouldn't make that the focus like the WIP/Finished forums have.

... I am sure i for example would learn tons from being on the shirow project for a couple of weeks. All the information about motion capture and animation is entirely new to me. And seeing that stuff in your thread amazes me. Seeing things that inspire you, and being able to even join in on it can be very helpfull i think. And i think the collaboration thread can be a very big help here....
You honor us in your saying that, especially because I've had a peek at the set you are prepping... your team is inspiration and impetous to us as well! I look forward to some day having our teams be able to work together on a project!

... That space could have been a collaboration for example, instead..its just a fanboys sign here thread...
Oh yeah Brother..PREACH IT! :buttrock:
..Having said that, if people want to say it's awesome, I respect that too...but I don't see it promoting a collab spirit, that's for sure :banghead:

MOST of why I am making a fuss about changes we may implement is to AVOID AT ALL COSTS ending up with the same thing in here!

DogmaD
04-19-2005, 08:39 PM
From our teams experience, I can honestly tell you that this is not the case...when you're trying to imagine this scenario, (maybe you already did it, but) first put your current skills aside and go back in time to your beginner period when you hardly could model a box, (ok, maybe not that far back, but you get the picture :) )......you will probably realize it would be intimidating to most beginners to join when they see images like you are planning! Talk to Colkai about this if you don't believe me.


Yeah, you have got a very valid point here. Not much to say about it. :) It can be intimidating. Some of the shots we are planning are also intimidating to me, haha. But that is what makes it interesting i guess. :D But yeah, i understand. I have PMed you by the way. And like i stated in the PM, i think the most important thing you can give to a beginner is a good eye for quality. To give him the tools to look at his own work and see its flaws, and the knowledge to improve them. I don't think you will reach this if you would work with a double standard. So, yep, have them work on something they can handle and guiding them is the most important thing. Getting them to join in is another thing, like you said, there might be a barrier there. But i think it really depends on how a collaboration approaches people. If they approach in some form of elite status, yeah, i can understand people shy away. But i don't think any of the collaborations are actually doing this. Most of us are pretty down to earth, i think. :)

That's why I think we need to focus more on the sucess as a working collab project and not so much on the potentially itimidating "fanboy" fodder images. I'm not saying don't do stellar work, just that we maybe shouldn't make that the focus like the WIP/Finished forums have.


I agree, it should not be the focus. The focus should be teamwork, communication, management, and the contribution of a collaboration to the CG community.

softdistortion
04-19-2005, 10:29 PM
...i think the most important thing you can give to a beginner is a good eye for quality. To give him the tools to look at his own work and see its flaws, and the knowledge to improve them. I don't think you will reach this if you would work with a double standard.
I don't think it is a double standard really..besides, most beginners will likely already be painfully aware of the flaws (we have all the elite images to compare our misreable first efforts to :) )...I think that is where we are trying to give them a leg to stand on before ever saying "this has a flaw". We look at it more as a the collab of different people being prime, not the skills...like I said in the reply to your PM>
"...You can help them get a critical eye for sure, but we would rather cultivate people with a compassionate eye as well...If you can instill that first and they stick...the skill will come in due time... they eventually will realize what needs improving, but at least we get them feeling empowered and they also then go out of their way to say positive things and do positive works to others...i know the CG industry is competitive, and strives for the stellar level, but please...lets try to do something a little gentler and kinder in here."



...But i think it really depends on how a collaboration approaches people. If they approach in some form of elite status, yeah, i can understand people shy away. But i don't think any of the collaborations are actually doing this. Most of us are pretty down to earth, i think. :)
Well, again..maybe what we are putting out is enough to intimidate people, you can't avoid it... I'm sometimes also a bit intimidated by what some of the teams are doing.. ;) ...but I want our team to do everything we can to let beginners know that they can work with us and be handled with a little bit of kid gloves till they get their footing and build confidence.
Then if they want to go out and have their heads nailed together in the WIP/FINISHED forums...they can hopefully survive a bit better..hehe :)

Dannage
04-20-2005, 08:06 PM
Damn, I obviously shouldn't leave this thread for more than a day! .. I've been off line with our current membership debating the benefits of recruiting 'outside' and I think I've managed to dampen down any fears about our current artists being discarded for 'better' ones. :)

Still, we're tinkering with project names. To be honest, I went for the concept, the plot and now some of the models. We haven't really discussed names, but as it seems to be on your suggestions for starting up, and on that pretty neat looking template (Which I'll endeavour to test-bed for you guys!) as soon as we get branded up, we'll post here and hopefully take on board all the great advice you guys are giving out.

And, following advice given, I've also signed up for broadband, so I can get a website up and running and hopefully, I'll be making all the right moves... Sadly, I won't be giving out the plot, but mainly because it's got a few twists in it, and I don't want to spoil it for the general public... or they'll never download past episode 2... :D

So, who is going to have the unenviable task of, at some point, summarising the wisdom in this thread for future generations?!!

AJE
04-21-2005, 02:17 AM
Originally Posted by DogmaD
...But i think it really depends on how a collaboration approaches people. If they approach in some form of elite status, yeah, i can understand people shy away. But i don't think any of the collaborations are actually doing this. Most of us are pretty down to earth, i think. :)



While I am all for helping new people to the industry, I am not so concerned on teaching people on our current project. I'll take people with skill and help them by managing a team to give them a team experience, but I'm not one with the time to train people. There is a certain level that people need to be at in order to work in a collab... to truely contribute.

It might sound arrogant, but in the end, I am asking for a bunch of people to donate their time to a project that I created. I have a responsibilityto the rest of my team to make sure that we can work at a level that is worth working for. You're only as strong as your weakest link... and if our weakest link can't deliver the product that I am committed to, then it's time to try and strengthen the link, or take it out of the chain.

Many members here do this for fun, and I commend them for having a creative focus in their spare time. I however, do not have spare time. I treat the project like a job in the hopes of one day being able to deliver a monetary or exposure reward for everyone's efforts.

Is it fair to aim for a quality, commercially viable product with just a few people working for free? I say it's not fair to aim for anything less.

People in this industry who are working are often in such high demand that they don't have the kind of time it takes to mentor people at the beginner level. You have to respect that when the join your project.

As far as a proposed 'new grand way' of showcasing collabs, my immediate response is this...
CGTalk does interviews with professional artists all the time. I think they could do one on established collabs and drop them in when there isn't a new pro interview to release. Established is highlighted because I think it's important that the project be at a stage of development where the team has something to show people beyond hopes, dreams, and shades of megalomaniac interview responses.

Another idea might be to have a sticky first page of the thread that always stays above the first post (ironically, similar to the new home page)... something that the Team Leads can update regularily so that I, as a viewer, can stop by and get excited and inspired about project. Wet my appetite with pretty pics and cool narrative bites.

Imagine the first page of the AFF:TC thread having a bunch of those truely great ship concepts and a couple of renders... or some of BOY1DA's killer set pieces... or some of the Aegis2375 ships and concept art... or some of the latest intricate Minas Tirith renders or even GL screenshots... the ShirowProject's latest work

I've seen a lot of great work in the collab threads, but with some of them over 70 pages long (or in MT's case, an entirely new thread) it makes a big difference in the time it takes for me to get to the latest and greatest (and I know that you can just click to the last page, but for me as a viewer or potential team member, I want the latest and greatest to be presented to me without me having to take 4 hours to work through).

Someone mentioned starting a 'Board of Leads', and while I am not opposed to this, my opinion would be to make it an unofficial discussion area where the Leads could work together to formulate ideas before presenting them to the Forum Leaders. Something like a secure forum where established (there's that word again) Project Leads could post at will to hammer out ideas. And I wouldn't limit it to strictly handling ideas for the promotion and management of collabs, I would make the topics open to all things CGTalk related (like how to better the books, how to better the site, how to better benefit the community, etc...)

Have a poll in each of the thread in the secure forum, and based on those results a course of action is suggested to the Forum Leaders. It may sound undemocratic to have it in a secure forum but Leaders need to lead... and they need a war room to do it well.

I could go on for a while and I definitely have more to say, but I really don't have time to continue right now.

Thoughts?
AJE

AJE
04-21-2005, 02:38 AM
Just a footnote...

I think Kirt is being misunderstood a bit, and maybe a bit unduely maligned. I don't know what history all of you have, and frankly I couldn't give a rats posterior.

At the risk of sounding like I'm speaking for him, I offer the following.

In my opinion there are definitely two groups for many of this:

- 2 categories of projects - original or inspired (homage/based on existing material)

- 2 levels or participants - professional working digital artists (usually highly skilled, with little or no time) or unemployed/student/hobbyist digital artists (all of which have varying degrees of skill, and the most free time)

- 2 types of project goals - commercially viable or just having fun

- 2 sizes of team - larger harder to manage teams or smaller tighter teams... both have advantages and disadvantages

No one can say which is better for you and your project. But understanding those differences in the beginning can save you a lot of heartache and frustration in the long run. Leads also need to be realistic with their projects. Understand why you are chosing a story to work on, beyond the "Man, I totally dig this story" or "Wouldn't that be cool to see?". Evaluate a story like a producer if you want to do a commercial project. Evaluate is as a generic audience if money is not a factor.

I don't think people see projects as 'unequal', I just think they see the 2 sides of working in projects such as these. In all cases originality will win over inspired, professionals can be expected to deliver higher quality of work, and a tighter team will deliver tighter results.

But also in all cases, the level of interest and audience that you are afforded is solely based on the level of images that you produce, and quality of story that you have chosen to work on.

As for infighting... projects come and go, but CGTalk is forever.

Ok, I gotta work...
AJE

softdistortion
04-21-2005, 03:50 AM
... I'll take people with skill and help them by managing a team to give them a team experience, but I'm not one with the time to train people... if our weakest link can't deliver the product that I am committed to, then it's time to try and strengthen the link, or take it out of the chain.
I agree, I don't have time hand train beginners, but like you say we offer to let them in and they can progress or not...we supply an encouraging work environment and the "basic" help they need, they have to apply themselves to get past beginner stage.


Another idea might be to have a sticky first page of the thread that always stays above the first post (ironically, similar to the new home page)... something that the Team Leads can update regularily so that I, as a viewer, can stop by and get excited and inspired about project. Wet my appetite with pretty pics and cool narrative bites.
sounds good AJE!
Another pro for some kind of featured sticky...

Kirt
04-21-2005, 08:23 AM
I'm not going to comment on the "history" as I feel it's an irreconcilable difference of opinion and bickering over the past is counter-productive to what I'm trying to accomplish here and now. All I can say is that I'm not going to hold any grudges and I am making an honest effort to promote all active projects here rather than individual interests.

Time to move on ... :shrug:

AJE
04-21-2005, 04:16 PM
Exaclty. I would expect nothing less from a Foum Leader. Of course you are entitled to your opinions... but they have to be censored/published with care in your position. (So I guess being a leader can bring with it less freedom... interesting)


Anyways... I have nothing against any of you... I don't even know any of you. In fact, you're all just names on CGTalk... :D ... and I can't be insulted by a name on a website, neither should any of you.

softdistortion
04-21-2005, 04:30 PM
Yepp, I'm kinda feeling done about the whole thing myself...already started discussing a rethink with our team regarding my/our perspective on CGTalk collabs :thumbsup:

Dannage
04-22-2005, 09:42 AM
Well, one thing I did yesterday, which I want to report as being a bit of a success, was a meeting. Some of my team members live in my country and only a couple of hours away, so we went into London and met up. Some guys brought portfolios, and we all brought ideas and had a good realtime chat about project ideas.

We didn't discuss the project all the time, in fact most of the time we were talking about art in general, and various series and inspirations we'd had and so on. But chewing the fat with some team members is brilliant, if for nothing else than team building. Everyone who came has reported back on our forum that it was very handy and they want to do it again, and involve more members. :) It's great for team building and it gives you a great sense of the idea that you're actually working together.

Sadly, foreign project members can't come unless they're willing to fly over, but it just so happens we want to holiday where some other members live, so I think I'll be meeting up with some more!! If you live anywhere near members of your team, I thoroughly recommend visiting if possible (and economically viable) as I think it helps drive things forward.

.. Hey, I had a tip... :D

Exula
04-22-2005, 10:00 PM
Yeah it was good to meet up Dannage. It's great to be able to put a human face to the online avatar as it were. I have a good idea of the level of commitment people have to this project, as well as a much stronger grasp of how this project will develop based on the character of the individuals driving this project. We were lucky we were able to meet up with relative ease.

Kirt
04-24-2005, 06:38 PM
Just saw this in General Discussions ... http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=233465

3DWorld Magazine is writing a feature on Collabs. Get in while you can. :thumbsup:

Pjanssen
05-14-2005, 09:23 AM
This discussion seems to have come to stop.

So I wondered Kirt, what are the conclusions drawn from all this?

Kirt
05-18-2005, 08:38 AM
Well, there was a lot of really good information provided that I do plan on including in a new "sticky". That's coming ... eventually. I'm a really slow writer when it comes to these things because I have to keep going over it again and again to make sure I'm not missing something important.

This thread grew really quickly at the same time I was trying to work out my M&S entry details and I will have to read it all again. I have a hard copy that I'm highlighting and marking up like a prrof reader on caffine. :D

The new "help wanted" sticky seems to be working pretty well. People are viewing it at least. You guys will have to let me know if any new recruits have occured because it's there. I do like seeing the project descriptions and current needs posted there. It's kind of a mini guage of your individual progress.

I recently completed a Q&A with one of the contributing editors for CG World magazine. Hopefully, in one of the future issues you read some of my own advice and observations of collab projects and their role on CGTalk. I tried to summarize a lot of mis-directions that collab projects take and provide some suggestions for better success of projects.

Collabs have a really low success rate, and turning that around to something positive is a difficult process. Hopefully, some of the things that were discussed in the article will help new project leaders get off to a good start. A lot of what I offered is echoed in this thread. But, I'm really looking forward to reading what the other contributers had to say.

It should be an interesting read. :D

Pjanssen
05-18-2005, 09:55 AM
I recently completed a Q&A with one of the contributing editors for CG World magazine. Hopefully, in one of the future issues you read some of my own advice and observations of collab projects and their role on CGTalk. I tried to summarize a lot of mis-directions that collab projects take and provide some suggestions for better success of projects.
Shouldn't it be 3dworld magazine?

Anyway, it's good to hear that you're working on a new sticky :thumbsup: If you need any more help or opinions, just give a shout :)

Kirt
05-18-2005, 03:14 PM
Hehehehe ...

Holy CG Fruedian slip caped crusaders! I've been CG Brainwashed! CG Networked! I'm CG Talking everything now! Only one thing left to do ... join the secret CG Society and learn a CG Handshake!

urm ... yeah, that should be 3D World. Sorry. :blush:

jbrophy
05-26-2005, 05:44 AM
I tried to post a request in the coolaborative forum repeatedly and it keeps taking me to a white page after I hit submit and my post does not go up. Is there a review process? Or something else that I am missing?

Thanks

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 12:17 AM
Well first to get people interested in the first place in this forum we need to have more of the challenges be collaboration oriented. for example mandating a 3 person team to complete and having all the members upload progress and dialogue the challenge thread. Other than that, and being more balanced with promotion as has been mentioned, the biggest thing is to realize there are more projects to do than 3d animations, and more subjects to do than huge re-creations based on detailed fictional worlds that already exist. These bring not only the heavy workload of animation, but the reality of people trying to stick closely to work they respect which adds a ton of time. This last point is the most important, a lot more projects would get completed if they were more 'simple' dialogue and direction oriented because less elements would be needed. It'd also be good if some people worked on trailers and scene tests/animatics instead of jumping headlong into the full project

DogmaD
05-27-2005, 08:55 AM
Well first to get people interested in the first place in this forum we need to have more of the challenges be collaboration oriented. for example mandating a 3 person team to complete and having all the members upload progress and dialogue the challenge thread. Other than that, and being more balanced with promotion as has been mentioned, the biggest thing is to realize there are more projects to do than 3d animations, and more subjects to do than huge re-creations based on detailed fictional worlds that already exist. These bring not only the heavy workload of animation, but the reality of people trying to stick closely to work they respect which adds a ton of time. This last point is the most important, a lot more projects would get completed if they were more 'simple' dialogue and direction oriented because less elements would be needed. It'd also be good if some people worked on trailers and scene tests/animatics instead of jumping headlong into the full project.

The collaboration challenges idea is a very nice idea. Would be fun to see such a thing done. About the projects being to big, and unrealistic. Yeah, this is a problem with some, but i don't think CGTalk should get a job regulating collaboration entries. This would not just be tedious for the moderators, but it would also be very hard for them to make the right calls when to tell a project it is not going to happen. As for people, well, if they are responsible for their own actions. If they want to join project where it is clear from the start that it won't lead to final results, then it is their call. Soi i think it is really hard for CGTalk to help out in these areas.

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 02:54 PM
The collaboration challenges idea is a very nice idea. Would be fun to see such a thing done. About the projects being to big, and unrealistic. Yeah, this is a problem with some, but i don't think CGTalk should get a job regulating collaboration entries. This would not just be tedious for the moderators, but it would also be very hard for them to make the right calls when to tell a project it is not going to happen. As for people, well, if they are responsible for their own actions. If they want to join project where it is clear from the start that it won't lead to final results, then it is their call. Soi i think it is really hard for CGTalk to help out in these areas.Yes its' difficult but for example we have people right now proposing a 2 and a half hour cg star wars film... these projects will never see completion and are a waste of this forum's space. it's literally silly to pretend that things can be completed with LESS than a skeleton crew receiving NO money to do something that a full time animation studio would have trouble getting halfway done with. AT some point these threads have to be regulated by reality.

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 03:23 PM
Yes its' difficult but for example we have people right now proposing a 2 and a half hour cg star wars film... these projects will never see completion and are a waste of this forum's space. it's literally silly to pretend that things can be completed with LESS than a skeleton crew receiving NO money to do something that a full time animation studio would have trouble getting halfway done with. AT some point these threads have to be regulated by reality.

Agreed, but what can be done...We can voice concern, but no one can monitor reality in here...Kirt also already tried collab challenges with some small success, but it hasn't galvanized more serious projects or teams, it also won't stem the tide of unrealistic fluf project proposals.

What would liklely help is to have some more experienced people be available to help cultivate any of the startup projects that seem interesting and that want help.
We (team shirowproject) have been trying to get the main team leaders and others to create a source for that kind of impetous (tetatively called "Collab Catalyst") We even have a promotion banner... :p

http://sd.onlinestoragesolution.com/img-upload/img-files/shirowproject_380.gif

...But like DogmaD said, it's just alot of work, and it still doesn't gurantee things will get any better in here.


It would maybe also be good to have some very short-fun projects.
For ex...DogmaD and I were jokingly talking about doing a short, albeit wacky collab in response to all the recent Starwars recruiting happening in here...something like that would be kinda fun (for some), and a nice change of pace?

Dogma said he thought it would be funny to have StarWars' JarJar do battle with other characters...maybe a very-short no pressure, no crit run of something like that would liven things up? It made us laugh :D

http://sd.onlinestoragesolution.com/img-upload/img-files/shirowproject_381.jpg

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 04:36 PM
lol but you can monitor reality to the extent of using experience to judge things. for example when you're a project lead in video games you make excel spreadsheets with allocated man hours needed to complete tasks, then input a basic formula to calculate when that will be done. these dates are called milestones. instead of just 'hey i'm bob i need some people to make a 5 hour epic dune animation', make people assess how much of every single position they need and how many man hours they expect it will take for elements to be completed. any moderator with experience will be able to tell if things can be done based on the leader's expectations or not.

AJE
05-27-2005, 04:44 PM
Yes its' difficult but for example we have people right now proposing a 2 and a half hour cg star wars film... these projects will never see completion and are a waste of this forum's space. it's literally silly to pretend that things can be completed with LESS than a skeleton crew receiving NO money to do something that a full time animation studio would have trouble getting halfway done with. AT some point these threads have to be regulated by reality.

I don't think the Star Wars proposal was supposed to be completely CG, was it? These forums can do a 2 & 1/2 hour film easily (live action, with VFX)... it completely depends on the script and he VFX demands.

Anyone who works in television VFX knows the ins and outs of what is actually possible. Quick turn-around times, no frills, no gimmicks....(ok, maybe a few gimmicks :D )

Hell, ALL the VFX in the season finale of Alias were done by 2 full time guys and 2 part time guys over about 3 weeks, start to finish... And we all work over the wire.

You'd be surprised what can happen with a tight crew.


AJE

<edit>
(And no, I'm not arguing with your point malcom... I agree that thinking of doing a 2 + hour full CG piece entirely on these boards is absurd... that said, I'm one of the leads on The Gabriel Strain, a fully CG project aimed at feature or mini-series release... That doesn't mean I expect it all to be done here, once the first few steps are taken, the project goes for proper funding and a proper studio.)
</edit>

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 05:34 PM
but you can monitor reality to the extent of using experience to judge things....
I think you have the main issue pinpointed here...most of the incredible (and some not so incredible) proposals are likely spurred by lack of experience. :eek:

...for example when you're a project lead in video games you make excel spreadsheets with allocated man hours needed to complete tasks, then input a basic formula to calculate when that will be done.
Maybe we should have you help manage our project? :p
I think we should be allowed a bit of artistic disorganization...things should be a bit of fun...most of us already have the schedule/deadline/spreadsheet things happening in our real world.



... any moderator with experience will be able to tell if things can be done based on the leader's expectations or not.
That's a problem, since The MOD and CGTalk won't make those calls.

It's a love hate thing...you love the freedom of almost anything goes in here...you hate the negative impact failed projects have on future would be volunteers...For now the reality check seems to be coming from some of the collab regulars voicing arguments on why a project may be a poor choice for volunteers...if people still jump in and get burnt... :shrug:

Grrrrrrr
05-27-2005, 06:42 PM
You are abording the problem in the wrong way.First of all.What do we all understand by making a project a succes.By any means to have a final product (the quality isn't neccesesary to add here - the quality compared to the one the leader thought of at begining - because few projects even have a final product ).How can a leader get a final product (this thought beeing at the begining at the whole project )?To make good modelers/texture artist/etc .... join.But this is easy to say than done and the reason it's only one.Bad advertising.I think the insucces of a project it's ALL the leaders foult.If u want ppl to join u have to try and think as they do.And say if i were to read my thread.....would i've been attracted in any way?Would i wanna join?How do i feel when i'm in this page...Every project has it's own feeling.When u enter a thread it's like when u enter someones home.The first appearance is what makes the differance.So less formal projects (this automatically means less formal leader because the leader sets the feeling - his own pesonality to be more exact)will give a good feeling while surfing BUT maybe less good results because formality means order and control(sometimes).Less formal feelings could also make ppl think that this thread it's not treated serious enough....So...this is something u have to consider when starting a thread.
Another important fact is that new members that didn't follow the X project that has 100+ pages from the begining woun't have easy acces to the latest additions/news/project help needed section and all that stuff that are usefule to know.So many of this things can be avoided by making project websites and to always update the first post.But few project sites(from what i've seen) have sections to the free posts in the crew.....reference section....and other things that ppl that consider on joining need to know.
I come back now a little to the part were i say all is the leader foult.To make a project a succes ( at least to be a step forward from other projects) i think leaders before they start a thread should come with their homework done.So not just come and say :"Hy i'm NOBODY, i have this great idea,and i need ppl to help me.........this is what i need to do.....[...]....So if u need to join mail me .thnx!".What is this....so u just came with the idea....and that's all.And maybe do after some time some work.So u should come prepared with some stuff already done...just to give ppl the feeling that this project has passed the begining step.And also to proove ppl that u are really into this and that u are devoted.I've seen that u gave matts project as example so i'll use it too :).If Matt were to come in here with sme work done(concept art/models/ENYTHING).....good and revised script...we would all felt different (not much though because of that 2,5 hour part but....)about him and his project.But all he did was to start this thread..."make" a script and ask for help....hey Matt...it's been more than a week since u started ur thread.....i didn't seen ur contribution....what are u waiting for?
A leader should think of his project to be a product and that he needs to make good advertising.Members want to see updates and progress(this stimulates them to join).So using msn/mail/etc with the members and not post any update on the thread for weeks is a wrong move.Members need to know about every single update .Many leaders come after weeks with many updates.But this is not good.At least not as good as often uodates.Think of a chocolate .If u eate it all do u feel much different than if u would ate a piece?No.Same case with updates.Often updates give the feeling that the project it's progressing.No udpdates to show?Post some new renders but give the fake feeling that ur not staying.
So in my opinion cktalk can't do much....because it's not up to them.....but they should give advices to leaders on how to lead the team and organize everything and manipulate members.I'm a little tired and i don't know if all of what i've said makes any sence so plz excuse me .I hope i helped.

EDIT:An important thing that i have omitted is the subject of the project.U feel that it's not going to look interseting to ppl well in this case u really need to have a start (make a little progress before asking for help).Because everyone hates beginings.I hate when i start a new scene/model.What about a whole project?
Bad story?Tell it in a good way.Say all the pluses of the project....of the idea u provided.....make an estimation of the time it will take to make everything.GIVE INFO!

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 07:12 PM
You are abording the problem in the wrong way.First of all.What do we all understand by making a project a succes.

whatever the projects' goals are. IF the goal is a finished project of high quality (and it almost always is) and they dont' meet that, it's a failure. Nobody goes into make a movie, writes the script, gets preproduction and principal photo. done and says well that's enough let's stop, we got some good work done. it's not what their goal was when they started. this is no different. usually the goal is stated in the first post and it's almost always not close to completed.

Every project has it's own feeling.When u enter a thread it's like when u enter someones home. all true but the responsibilty lies to whoever commits something. It's not a project leaders' fault if people who commit something don't follow through. the fact is this is a problem with managing artists, who are a largely flaky and irresponsible group. that's WHY it has to be MORE structured, not less. the last thing artists need is a lax atmosphere. they'll spend the day they were supposed to be texturing playing halo 2. Trust me i did this for a living.

Another important fact is that new members that didn't follow the X project that has 100+ pages from the begining woun't have easy acces to the latest additions/news/project help needed section and all that stuff that are usefule to know Wrong, all they have to do is subscribe and set it for 'daily emails. what's easier than that?

:"Hy i'm NOBODY, i have this great idea,and i need ppl to help me.........this is what i need to do.....[...]....So if u need to join mail me .thnx!".What is this....so u just came with the idea....and that's all.And maybe do after some time some work.So u should come prepared with some stuff already done... I agree that was kind of the point of my posts.


EDIT:An important thing that i have omitted is the subject of the project.U feel that it's not going to look interseting to ppl well in this case u really need to have a start (make a little progress before asking for help).Because everyone hates beginings.I hate when i start a new scene/model.What about a whole project?
Bad story?Tell it in a good way.Say all the pluses of the project....of the idea u provided.....make an estimation of the time it will take to make everything.GIVE INFO! but see this is another artistic habits. artists (a) don't like to do stuff they think is boring and (b) this is especially true on this site - don't have mature reaction to criticism. it's because of this that, again it HAS to be more structured. Whether people have things outside of the site that are too structured is BEYOND irrelevant. what matters is this is the only way to complete projects especially when you're working with a group of people that by nature are not self managers.

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 07:19 PM
Maybe we should have you help manage our project? :p
I think we should be allowed a bit of artistic disorganization...things should be a bit of fun...most of us already have the schedule/deadline/spreadsheet things happening in our real world. sorry no time I'm working on my comic book for the sketch forum. I can give you an idea of what the excel spreadsheet should look like if you want. you should have running subtotals to identify going overtime on projects as well as projected finished dates for everyone to see (the aforementioned milestones)

this i think is the problem. People want this 'freedom' from guidelines and responsibilities and accountabilities because its' fun, but then they turn around and ask why things aren't getting done? Do i really need to spell it out lol? The entire point of a project is people relying on one anohter. Without having an ASSURANCE of when someone else will be done with their part of the project, people in other areas (a) will be more lax knowing they don't have to finish in time for someone else, and (b) will be distracted by their annoyance with areas of the project they feel are not pulling their weight. I managed an art studio for 4 years and (b) is the biggest killer of morale in organized art projects.


For now the reality check seems to be coming from some of the collab regulars voicing arguments on why a project may be a poor choice for volunteers...if people still jump in and get burnt... :shrug:yes but would you say it's working? Seriously? if it was i dont' think we'd be having these discussions.

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 07:22 PM
...But few project sites(from what i've seen) have sections to the free posts in the crew.....reference section....and other things that ppl that consider on joining need to know. Maybe that's because it takes a ton of organizing? Colkia has been working on condensing our 200+ pages...If it wasn't for him we would never have it setup, it's just too much for the project lead to do all that stuff.

To run a team you also have to consider the infrastructure...Here's just a few items >
Finding setup and maintenance of reliable and secure file transfer/storage/organizing/tracking...Once you get some help you need to keep them busy and happy, so add in keeping contact with each of them...responding promptly to their posts..answering question...getting them familiar with how they should use your "reliable and secure transfer/storage"...etc..etc...

And you can't just do the organization end... You need to contribute product to keep things rolling...so count on Modelling/texturing/setting scenes...etc

Now you have to render it all so if it's an animation you will need to setup/operate/maintain a renderfarm. You're gonna say... "but you can let team members help on some of this" yeah, you can..but that assumes they have the time/desire/perseverence and are concientious enough to do it properly. Even if they fit the bill add in more time discussing and clarifying what needs doing...Oh and you need to come up with an interesting storyline and also either find a good artists to do Storyboards or do them yourself.

...If you are serious you also will be working other forums and approaching artists personally and trying to get them interested in joining...

Also, the Help Wanted section has all that info you mention, but shirowproject haven't had anyone come to us based on that...the recent new people we have joining are either returning members who have been away, or they are coming in response of other promo we are doing or have done outside CGTalk :argh:

Often updates give the feeling that the project it's progressing.No udpdates to show?Post some new renders but give the fake feeling that ur not staying...

This is also something you can add to the TODO list...we have tried to keep almost daily updates...I for one appreciate when you and some of the other great people take a second to say.."hey, I was looking at the team's updates...nice work!"...That makes the effort worth it :thumbsup:


So in my opinion cktalk can't do much....because it's not up to them.....but they should give advices to leaders on how to lead the team and organize everything and manipulate members.I'm a little tired and i don't know if all of what i've said makes any sence so plz excuse me .I hope i helped....

They can't give advice other than suggestions which this thread is loaded with. Another thing you will will also see in this thread is that there are many ideas on what it takes to make a collab work...this alone should tell you why CGTalk can't give much advice..it's just another opinion. The real TRUTH of what makes a collab a success can only come from teams that are succeeding...the rest, right or wrong is mostly speculation.

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 07:28 PM
...this i think is the problem. People want this 'freedom' from guidelines and responsibilities and accountabilities because its' fun
...have you and Colkai been talking? :)
...seriously...it's not a paying gig....I prefer to keep it a bit less stressed..it takes longer, but things eventually get done. :banghead:


yes but would you say it's working? Seriously? if it was i dont' think we'd be having these discussions.

I know they took the Cagebattle threat seriously...StarWars posts sharply declined after that :wise: :)

ace4016
05-27-2005, 07:32 PM
I think the main problem is that everyone wants people to join their project but no one wants to join a project. I don't actually mean everyone. Also, expectations are a bit too high with "newbie" collab leaders. Guess people get the impression that once you get enough people to match the size of a small studio, you could do the same amount of work that studio can get done. The best you could do is get the more experienced collab members to help the newer members organize a collab, take the training wheels off and let them go on thier own (all done in about one or two post). Kind of like the critiquing system in the ever so busy 3d/2d wip forum sections, just this would be critiquing organization instead of actual products.


Also, the Help Wanted section has all that info you mention, but shirowproject haven't had anyone come to us based on that...the recent new people we have joining are either returning members who have been away, or they are coming in response of other promo we are doing or have done outside CGTalk :argh:


Well, actually:rolleyes: ....I was looking for a collab to join and needed one that didn't require me to me an experience cg artist since I am in no way confident about my modeling/textureing/animation skills, and the ad said you guys except any skill level:D .

Oh, and I'd like to see that cagebattle; I put all my money on the small orange guy :P .

Grrrrrrr
05-27-2005, 07:55 PM
IF the goal is a finished project of high quality (and it almost always is) and they dont' meet that, it's a failure.
Bad thinkng.U think that the final product was made easyly?So the members who participated and know what they've been through to get that even poor quality final product have a satisfaction feeling that few ppl on this earth have.So they know they did all their best.It' doesn't matter how the final product looks like as long as it is recognizible.Every final product it's done with hard work and i'm sure project members are happy.Since they can call that THEIRS.

Nobody goes into make a movie, writes the script, gets preproduction and principal photo. done and says well that's enough let's stop, we got some good work done. it's not what their goal was when they started.

I think this case would apply only when the team admits that their goal was a bit ambitiouse and there is no way to get to the end even with a poor version.(Matt again ur a good example :) ).Otherwise no one would say that.

Every project has it's own feeling.When u enter a thread it's like when u enter someones home. all true but the responsibilty lies to whoever commits something. It's not a project leaders' fault if people who commit something don't follow through. the fact is this is a problem with managing artists, who are a largely flaky and irresponsible group. that's WHY it has to be MORE structured, not less. the last thing artists need is a lax atmosphere. they'll spend the day they were supposed to be texturing playing halo 2. Trust me i did this for a living.
Yes....true.I hate members that say they will join ....they do and than never hear from them.Or even the ones who work from now and than.I just can't think that they don't have some spare time....otherwise....why did they join?But nothing/no one can handle via net a person.So here it's up to them...if they wanna play halo....u can't do nothing about it.u should be thankfule they did some work in a month.U are at their feet.U depend on them.




Wrong, all they have to do is subscribe and set it for 'daily emails. what's easier than that?
The point was easy acces to info.U read houndrets of mails from all collab projects.lol.U think a member it's so desperate to join a project that he will read all the mails.I wouldn't.And what about the knew ones?

And many ppl don't like workind with deadlines.Not even if at begining u ask them when they think they will get the model ready.So liberty it's almoust neccesary.

Maybe that's because it takes a ton of organizing? Colkia has been working on condensing our 200+ pages...If it wasn't for him we would never have it setup, it's just too much for the project lead to do all that stuff.

At begining there isn't much stuff to put .And if u have stuff to put it means u have a team.....than u don't need those sections :).

Now u are just giving examples of ur project....but urs it's a succes.....so ur actions don't happen in other.....at first u need to have with whom to talk about those facts....

This is also something you can add to the TODO list...we have tried to keep almost daily updates...I for one appreciate when you and some of the other great people take a second to say.."hey, I was looking at the team's updates...nice work!"...That makes the effort worth it
again...since ur it's a succes u don't need daily updates anymore.....maybe just to hear praises from me :p

The real TRUTH of what makes a collab a success can only come from teams that are succeeding...the rest, right or wrong is mostly speculation.
we are all ears :bounce: .I can give speculations based on real facts.lol.Anyway....can u try and analyze ur project....why u'r having succes and the project it's progressing?

So since collab projects depend on members there must the solution to be searched for (speaking like Yoda....:) )...The subject of the project has a 65-70%influence on them but the rest it's all in the leaders hands.

I am wondering what if there would be assambled a team made only from project leaders.....how would they work toghether?Teoretically (since i see the leaders are the only ones who are with their feet on the ground in collab projects) they would make the a very good team.But only one leader will be over all....so that will start conflict....etc...etc...bleah.....or...maybe they are mature enough....guess will never now ...:)

Just a thought......who can say what they expect from a collab project better that a member....a simple member.....why there aren't any opinions from members?......

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 08:44 PM
Bad thinkng.U think that the final product was made easyly?So the members who participated and know what they've been through to get that even poor quality final product have a satisfaction feeling that few ppl on this earth have. Nope. Plenty of people know what it's like to fail on a project.

It' doesn't matter how the final product looks like as long as it is recognizible. With the talent on this site? Completely wrong.

Every final product it's done with hard work and i'm sure project members are happy.Since they can call that THEIRS. So... bad movies aren't bad movies because.. they're finished? A figure drawn with poor anatomy doesn't actually have bad anatomy just because it's a finished drawing? This is silly.


u can't do nothing about it.u should be thankfule they did some work in a month.U are at their feet.U depend on them.

Okay, good luck with this attitude i'm sure there will be plenty more half ass work that will meet your low expectations. What you're talking about is what already exists in this forum


The point was easy acces to info.U read houndrets of mails from all collab projects.lol.U think a member it's so desperate to join a project that he will read all the mails.I wouldn't.And what about the knew ones? You're just being contrary. Having threads you want to subscribe to that send emails to outlook or eudora or whatever inbox you probably have open allt he time on your desktop IS EASY access to information. Come on. its a great feature of the site and it answers your question.

And many ppl don't like workind with deadlines. those people should ONLY do wip threads and not projects. i honestly dont' think it could be any more obvious than the results have shown.

Grrrrrrr
05-27-2005, 09:12 PM
Nope. Plenty of people know what it's like to fail on a project.

lol man...are u sure u are reading my post?i was reffering to the ppl that have finished a project good or bad.

So... bad movies aren't bad movies because.. they're finished?
no the queastionsis a FINISHED bad movie is better than a pre production UNFINISHED movie?I think u can figure the answer.No one gives a damn on the failed projects u worked on(dependts who ur showing to ) but a finished project has no equal.
A figure drawn with poor anatomy doesn't actually have bad anatomy just because it's a finished drawing? This is silly. Ur silly because the comparation it's not good.Make another one and than will talk.
Okay, good luck with this attitude i'm sure there will be plenty more half ass work that will meet your low expectations. What you're talking about is what already exists in this forum
lol...man with this u killed me....the facts are important....what should i talk about ...monkeys on Mars?Analyze how members react and try and make something.Was i wrong?maybe u can manipulate ppl and we don't know.And it's not low expectation.....it's reality...were expectations are great but result are bad.
You're just being contrary. Having threads you want to subscribe to that send emails to outlook or eudora or whatever inbox you probably have open allt he time on your desktop IS EASY access to information. Come on. its a great feature of the site and it answers your question.
U really didn't get my posts.I compared a collab thread with a product...right.So...in real life....u go to the product or the product comes to u with comercials on TV and other adverts?Without adverts the buyers would be fewer.....so.....what do u think in this case....isn't the most exact thing...?
those people should ONLY do wip threads and not projects. i honestly dont' think it could be any more obvious than the results have shown.

lol man....have u ever followed a collab project....did u see any pro with full time job joining....i haven't.'WIPers' are only members available and with that u must build ur team.U might get lucky and get one with a future and loyal....but those are like 10%..in rest...only superficial/imature that can't stick to a job till the end ppl.
Before queueting me again plz reread my posts to understand better my points of views.

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 09:22 PM
Well, actually:rolleyes: ....I was looking for a collab to join and needed one that didn't require me to me an experience cg artist since I am in no way confident about my modeling/textureing/animation skills, and the ad said you guys except any skill level:D .

Oh, and I'd like to see that cagebattle; I put all my money on the small orange guy :P .

Ok, so one person came to us from the Help Wanted add :D Nice to have you BTW ;)

No cagebattle yet (still working onthe script :p) , but JarJar has started training for the Ewok fight! He will have a bit of a limp after this I think..hehe
Cage Battle Training (http://sd.onlinestoragesolution.com/file-upload/team-files/shirowproject_32.avi)

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 09:55 PM
...again...since ur it's a succes u don't need daily updates anymore.....maybe just to hear praises from me :p

We're a success??? No more daily updates???
Not sure if that's an insult or a compliment :p



we are all ears :bounce: .I can give speculations based on real facts.lol.Anyway....can u try and analyze ur project....why u'r having succes and the project it's progressing?
I think it's partly because we aren't teenagers and we are ready to persevere and accept the downtimes when things don't work right off the bat.


So since collab projects depend on members there must the solution to be searched for (speaking like Yoda....:) )...The subject of the project has a 65-70%influence on them but the rest it's all in the leaders hands.

Hehe...ok Yoda, how did you come up with that ratio? :eek:
The leader has to be there ALL the time no matter what so that's 100%...that doesn't give them the right to think they are special though, because ...at the same time the team are 99% of the collab. So that's 199% :D


I am wondering what if there would be assambled a team made only from project leaders.....how would they work toghether?Teoretically (since i see the leaders are the only ones who are with their feet on the ground in collab projects) they would make the a very good team.But only one leader will be over all....so that will start conflict....etc...etc...bleah.....or...maybe they are mature enough....guess will never now ...:)

The JarJar cagebattle clip is a start on that...That was DogmaD and me working together so that's 2 team leaders-one mini project.


Just a thought......who can say what they expect from a collab project better that a member....a simple member.....why there aren't any opinions from members?...... They are all busy working I guess...

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 10:04 PM
Okay, good luck with this attitude i'm sure there will be plenty more half ass work that will meet your low expectations. What you're talking about is what already exists in this forum.

You two talk the talk...when we gonna see you working in a collab instead of debating and giving advice? :D

malcolmvexxed
05-27-2005, 10:39 PM
You two talk the talk...when we gonna see you working in a collab instead of debating and giving advice? :D

Did I misread the thread topic?

softdistortion
05-27-2005, 10:55 PM
I don't know, but if you aren't in here mixing it up, how can you say what will help collabs...real world "work" team experience isn't a substitute either.

malcolmvexxed
05-28-2005, 12:45 AM
I don't know, but if you aren't in here mixing it up, how can you say what will help collabs...real world "work" team experience isn't a substitute either.

the topic the thread lists is 'how can cg help with collab projects'. If people who are actively involved in or have been actively involved in collabos are the only ones who are allowed to post in here, it should say so. If not your point doesn't make any sense. and if "work" is put in quotations marks because you think it's less relevant than that's an even more moronic point. If the points about real world team managing of artists don't have anything to do with online team managing of artists explain why instead of giving this nonsense like you've just re-invented the wheel and it's impossible to fathom unless you're doing it.

AJE
05-28-2005, 01:41 AM
lol man....have u ever followed a collab project....did u see any pro with full time job joining....i haven't.'WIPers' are only members available and with that u must build ur team.U might get lucky and get one with a future and loyal....but those are like 10%..in rest...only superficial/imature that can't stick to a job till the end ppl.
Before queueting me again plz reread my posts to understand better my points of views.

I'm a pro with a fulltime graphics job, and more freelance work than I can keep up with at times... and I lead The Gabriel Strain.

What does that make me?

Another of my core group is a professional freelance artist...
Another is a bloody prodigy...
Another is a brilliant coder and artist...
Another is incredibly gifted...

Our core is small, tight, and very strong.

Whether people are working in the CG industry or not, there are credible, talented people out there willing to devote their time to a solid story that they believe in.

Yes there are others who are still learning their various crafts, but it is very possible to gather up a core team of incredibly gifted, committed individuals.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... To get serious, take your project seriously, and bring your 'A' game. Leaders lead from the front. People get inspired by strong, capable, committed leadership. It's on you to make or break your project.

AJE

softdistortion
05-28-2005, 02:24 AM
the topic the thread lists is 'how can cg help with collab projects'. If people who are actively involved in or have been actively involved in collabos are the only ones who are allowed to post in here, it should say so. If not your point doesn't make any sense. and if "work" is put in quotations marks because you think it's less relevant than that's an even more moronic point.

Relax Malcolm, I never said only the active collabers should post...it's great if you have ideas to offer...but for not having first hand experience you guys went pretty deep...you don't really reply to every "how can i.." post just because it doesn't specify experience do you?

If the points about real world team managing of artists don't have anything to do with online team managing of artists explain why instead of giving this nonsense like you've just re-invented the wheel and it's impossible to fathom unless you're doing it.

Your putting words in my mouth here...mmmm...I said it "isn't a substitute". Real work involves people that have to produce to get payed and advance...In here people don't have any reason to do anything really...like Grrr (did I miss an "r" :) )says..."if they wanna play Halo..."...so how the heck can you expect to apply real world, spreadsheet accountability in that scenario...Maybe it's nonsens and moronic from your perspective, but until you try starting a collab team, I still have to say you really don't know what it's like.

Anyway, I never said all your points were not valid, it's just frustrating to see people who aren't taking part offering that kind of advice.

:argh: :)

softdistortion
05-28-2005, 02:29 AM
Our core is small, tight, and very strong.
Whether people are working in the CG industry or not, there are credible, talented people out there willing to devote their time to a solid story that they believe in.
Yes there are others who are still learning their various crafts, but it is very possible to gather up a core team of incredibly gifted, committed individuals.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again... To get serious, take your project seriously, and bring your 'A' game. Leaders lead from the front. People get inspired by strong, capable, committed leadership. It's on you to make or break your project.
AJE

Wow AJE...that was perfectly stated!
Preach it Brother :wip: :thumbsup:

Grrrrrrr
05-28-2005, 03:23 AM
We're a success??? No more daily updates??? Not sure if that's an insult or a compliment
Well u have a team don't u?So u don't need (at least not so desperate)any more to search for members to join.It was a compliment :).
You two talk the talk...when we gonna see you working in a collab instead of debating and giving advice? lol...before i posted u were talking for 7 mages in here....sry if i missed the final conclusion....oh but u didn't got one.To have an on going project means to have a team.That's all...everyone needs a team.So this must be the problem ?How can u get a team. So i think i can easly think of that without having an on going Proj.An i kinda know what means a Big Collab Project because i myself have a big proj .The only things is that it's not collab.We are just 2 ppl.So with 2 ppl i can say that i've been there done that (of course u have more experience in collabs having larger team and bigger problems to solve).But here is something interesting.We 2 did a lot of work .....just 2 of us...For ex. we've passed the minas tirith projects team progress in five months (i mean in our comune parts) and the reasons are : we are very devoded/big fans/seriouse ppl.The reason of the slow progress of MT project?The team.Not a good team.On their web site i see about 10+modelers but were they are i dunno.Of course they don't have time...it's understandeble......but....why did they join....at least without to mention about that....andt let Pjanssen have high expectations from them for nothing.I think now he it's used to that... :)
So me and my friend are working for 5 months on our project but only after we had Minas Tirith 30% we started a thread only because we didn't wanted to hear ppl saying" oh...u are just 2...u will never do it".And if they were to compare us with MT project (what they did lots of time) and think..."a team of 15 ppl can't do it easly what about u".So to spare my time and not to get depressed for nothing i decided to wait until i could say i have a progress.And doing that i didn't get any complains like that.So few ppl can do a lot of work.All u need is to have the luck to join u.And that's not easy...
I've said it before, and I'll say it again... To get serious, take your project seriously, and bring your 'A' game. Leaders lead from the front. People get inspired by strong, capable, committed leadership. It's on you to make or break your project. This helps but it's not the answer.Since u started the thread of project X ,members wil automatically think u are prepared and 'qualified' to be a leader so they will have heigh expectations from u.

AJE
05-28-2005, 05:44 AM
This helps but it's not the answer.Since u started the thread of project X ,members wil automatically think u are prepared and 'qualified' to be a leader so they will have heigh expectations from u.

Yes, there are higher expectations for the leadership in any craft. The difference comes when the leadership shows some high calibre work.

People will accept you as leader because you started the thread for a short while. Then it's on you to keep them by backing up what you say with action.

AJE

DogmaD
05-28-2005, 09:41 AM
Uhhmm, maybe it is just me, but what are we debating about by now??? :) I do you think you guys have some good points about collaborations, but still, the question here is "How can CGTalk help with collab Projects". Not "How should a team run a collab project". So it would be nice if we could talk about some things Kirt could use. The only really useful thing for the last pages was the collaboration challenge idea, and i don't know, maybe a proof of concept before submission of a collab is not such a bad idea either. Though i don't think Kirt would be very happy to get tons of requests every day, hehe.

But i think, like Soft and some others already stated, yes, it is better i guess to start smaller collaborations. Most short movies even grow out of proportions in no time. The problem is that even in a couple of minutes of content, you can place the most unrealistic goals. ;) Like i did a couple of times in trailers on Aegis:2375. Then you need to check it a couple of times, see if it really something that you can build with your available resources...If not, scale back again. I think that is what makes a good team leader mostly, to really look at the team and know what he has to work with, and not create a fantasy team that is made out of ten people working full-time. That is where most collaborations go wrong i guess. I think you should first create an idea, then see how many people like the core concept and see what kind of team you have in the end, and then reset the goals that work within that team...The successful collabs on CGTalk have that flexibility to change things around to fit the team. Because collaborations are about the team in no time, instead of the project worked on.

AJE
05-28-2005, 10:04 AM
I guess my point is that people involved in the collabs shouldn't be expecting anything out of CGTalk. If you're going to get involved in a collab project, the responsibility is on you to contribute.

There really isn't much that CGTalk can do other than maintain the board so that we can develop our teams and projects, and spread the word whenever they get the chance that there are in fact collab projects in the forums.

As far as collab challenges go, I'm not really sure how that would work. Maybe some goal deadlines and some kind of competition between collabs?... but to be blunt, I'm not interested in working under those precepts because it can VERY negatively affect the team and the project.

In the end, there just isn't much that CGTalk can do that they haven't already... beyond a Ballistic book with pictures from collabs... but I'm not sure there have been enough to fill it... and I'm not sure that there would be enough people interested in buying it.

Perhaps a 'Collab' section in the emailed newsletter... mention updates on all projects with 3 stars or more, and highlight one of the prominent ones, say one with 5 stars and 6 months of history.

AJE

Kirt
05-31-2005, 02:52 AM
Wow! This thread got active again over the weekend. :D

I've read through the recent new posts and I think a lot of what I'm going to say was just echoed in the last 2 post by AJE and DogmaD. Well maybe ...

I noticed a few have suggested some form of "pre-view" of submitted projects to the forum and some way to control the posting of projects that may have high expectations (to allow the posting of only projects that seem to be capable of being completed). At least, I think that's what I've read ... is that right?

Thank you ... no. I'm sorry, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for that type of position and be the recipient of the numerous hatefull PM and e-mails that would surely result in any denial of posting here. Wooo ... I had a pretty good laugh over that and then started to think about how scary that could get. :argh:

Really guys, this forum is no different than the other WIP forums on CGTalk (except that the project leaders are recruiting others to help complete their art). A project leader can post whatever their idea is and work it until it's either done or hopeless. Nothing CGTalk does or says is going to make someone decide which project is worth getting involved in. The members who view these threads or get involved in a project are ultimately responsible for their own decisions.

I can organize some threads (the help wanted, FAQ, or merge/split project threads).
I can submit a news article for considered publication on CGNetworks.
I can front page a promo image (that meets the quality standards of the site).

But I can't improve the quality of some postings in the forum or improve the success rate of collab projects in general. These things are in the hands of the project leaders. The more projects that we have with realistic goals and that display continuous milestone achievements during the progression to their final product ... the more that this forum is going to shine.

That's it really ... in a nutshell. :hmm:

Justame2002
06-16-2005, 09:31 PM
Hi Kirt,

I've just noticed this thread & i absolutelly agree with you guys about :

"Really guys, this forum is no different than the other WIP forums on CGTalk (except that the project leaders are recruiting others to help complete their art). A project leader can post whatever their idea is and work it until it's either done or hopeless. Nothing CGTalk does or says is going to make someone decide which project is worth getting involved in. The members who view these threads or get involved in a project are ultimately responsible for their own decisions."

I've been involved & have experience with collaborative projects in the past (<http://www.animwatch.com/index2.php> "Rooster & Donkey" among other projects), it's hard to keep focussed on a project if people lack the proper dedication, motivation & intention of seeing a collaborative project through completion, the means of publicity you mentioned,

(I can organize some threads (the help wanted, FAQ, or merge/split project threads).
I can submit a news article for considered publication on CGNetworks.
I can front page a promo image (that meets the quality standards of the site) are nice, but however Animwatch has a innovative approach, i.e with the front page, big splash image leading into the interview of the project manager/director (etc.) & showing off a bit "the making of/behind the scenes" process, perhaps a combination of your CGTALK approach combined with a official site for a serious collaborative project could help serious & dedicated artists work togheter with eachother, learning in the process.

Take Care :thumbsup:

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