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Cannysage
11-03-2008, 05:55 PM
hello,

we all know that ambitious peeps are very rare to come by.
I think it's safe to assume that the proj. leaders in this section have higher level of motivation. I have an idea that i would like to throw out there. What if we help out on each other's project to make some serious progress in shorter time? This way it won't sit around for a long period and things will get done. We can really focus on one project for couple of weeks and then another. In the end, we will have multiple 'completed' projects under our belts with a super strong demo reel :D Also, helping out other project doesn't mean that your own comes to a complete halt. As long as the workload is reasonable, we can juggle our own along with other's projects. Input appreciated, good or bad. thanks!


p.s. active members from the team can be involve too!
I'm an animator and I probably can finish your entire animation workload in matter of weeks. Projects that I've seen in this section should not take more than several months and it's unfortunate that it drags on over a year or 2+ or just die :(

softdistortion
11-03-2008, 07:08 PM
I'm all for what you are talking about.....it would be a dream come true to have an active community that's populated by serious artists helping each others projects in a shorter timeline scenario.

For the forseeable future, unfortunately, I think it will continue to be an elusive dream as people are not motivated enough to stick out their necks by offering the time and energy needed to do this. There's a few in here that do it, but it's in our free time.

I think the only way to get this to happen over the internet is to have a entry fee that is steep enough to keep the people in this kind of co-op from ditching when it comes to their turn to reciprocate work on another persons project. There seems to be no other way to ensure accountability.

Besides keeping people accountable and responsible to finish, ther's also a very real risk that all you need is one bad leader among the projects and the whole thing will go south ...then you would have a mess of work left unfulfiled and more people put off the idea of collabing.

One solution I see is to go the same way that freelance sites have gone and create some abitration and organization outside of the group(s) exchanging work.

Cannysage
11-03-2008, 09:39 PM
^ good input.

I've seen great leadership in other projects of this section, which led me to propose this idea. To be clear, the collaboration that i'm thinking of consists, primarily the leaders (not the whole team). Regular 3d artists are easily overwhelmed and frown on taking responsibilities, but the fact of the matter is, projects aren't that of a grand scale that people make them out to be.

with that being said, let's say we have 5 leads that are interested in this idea. All 5 of us focus on project #1 for couple of weeks or whatever, to get a bulk load of the work done. then we move on to project #2 to do the same. I can assure in that 2 week of work done by highly motivated people, you'll have a significant progress in your project.

softdistortion
11-04-2008, 03:10 AM
Like I said I would love to see it happen..., if you can manage it, all the best

For my end, there are only a very few artists I have worked with on the web that I would throw my hat in on a big project.

BOY1DA
11-04-2008, 03:38 AM
Yea, something I would have to think about... I just woke up so right now is not
the best time to say something intelligent :wise:

I've had the same idea , but none the less, it would still be a lot of work.
Not to mention I'm trying to run 2 projects already .

I started "Fetch" so that more people can join in on something fun ,
with all skill levels.. thinking it would only take 6 months to a year at most.
I started it with members that I met in the collab section here that I knew from other
projects, that worked hard in projects that failed... by no fault of their own.
But as easy as the idea seems , it still was a lot of dedication and work,
to the point it took over priority of my other project.

Cannysage
11-04-2008, 05:40 AM
welp,
the process isn't all that complicated, really. each leader throw out a priority list of things that needs to be done on their project.

for example:

week 1 & 2 Boy1da needs the following for Fetch:
1. 2 minutes worth of dog anims - cannysage
2. dog house with a bone modeled - softdistortion

week 3 & 4 Softdistortion needs the following for Shiroproject
1. 5 hours of super cool animation of shiro obliterating an entire city of alien androids - Cannysage
2. Cartoon beachball modeled for shiro to play with, after completing the mission - Boy1da

* nobody needs to be dedicated to anything until the details are ironed out.

TheFreak
11-04-2008, 11:35 AM
This sounds like a great idea, but the main thing about the collab forum is that everyone who has any great level of involvement does so out of their free time. I am VERY guilty of being slow to deliver due to life getting in the way or my own motivation slowing down.

Although I understand that you want to offer this to the project leaders only as they have the greatest level of motivation. However, this is probably due to the fact that it is their project from the start and the motivation is coming from their desire to see it complete. Will this motivation translate to other projects? Also if you are making good progress in one short and then you need to change to something else that is perhaps not as far along or at a mundane stage of development might this also affect motivation?

I am not shooting down your idea, I think its a very good one and would love to see it come into development as I think it would really help the community grow if they saw projects making it from start to finish. I think Omar & SD have done a fantastic job on both their projects and I am pretty sure when either of these shorts are completed they will be the first to come out of the collab forum from start to finish which really is very cool.

I am going to give this a little more thought though as I think you are definitely onto something with this idea. Collab teams should collab, but I don't know if it should be the leaders that do the team swapping as they are busy enough keeping their project going. However there is nothing to stop the team members from team jumping when the need arises. For instance most of the modelling in Fetch is done (I know some more has been added, but its nearly all done) so people like myself pop in from time to time to see if there is anything to do or just to see how things are progressing. However their use is pretty much over at this point. So if there was central hub so to speak that all the project Leaders posted requests by skill then these people could be helping other folks out. As most of the projects are at different stages anyway so there should always be a need for someone. I think SD might be working on something like this anyway and this is really just a 5 minute idea but I think it might help keep people motivated.
I know this does not stop the obvious problem of people just not finishing their work, so we may need some level of incentive to entice them to complete the tast at hand. Not sure how this might work at the moment but I will look into possibilities and see if anything comes to mind.

I am also thinking of a system like Rent-A-Coder...However it would work like this, Team Leader post the task onto the system and modellers, texture artists etc. register for it with their details etc. It would remin on the system for afew days and then the TL will assign the task to one of the registered users. Upon completion the user will be rated by the TL and vice versa. That way you can get merit for your work done and the TL will also get rated to potential users will know how good they are too. This would give people the chance to try their hand at lots of stuff, build up a great portfolio and hey the rating might even be a bonus if they go for a job down the line they can show feedback from other people they have worked with.

OK I will stop talking now.....I do like to ramble :)

softdistortion
11-04-2008, 12:19 PM
I am also thinking of a system like Rent-A-Coder...However it would work like this, Team Leader post the task onto the system and modellers, texture artists etc. register for it with their details etc. It would remin on the system for afew days and then the TL will assign the task to one of the registered users. Upon completion the user will be rated by the TL and vice versa. That way you can get merit for your work done and the TL will also get rated to potential users will know how good they are too. This would give people the chance to try their hand at lots of stuff, build up a great portfolio and hey the rating might even be a bonus if they go for a job down the line they can show feedback from other people they have worked with.


Hey Richard, That's pretty well exactly what I am working on . :wip:

TheFreak
11-04-2008, 01:33 PM
Ah HA!! well there you go then :) I was thinking about it after I wrote that and wondering how hard it would be to get a basic version of it up and running and I recon it would be easy enough, but it would probably require a lot of work to get something robust up there. However I could knock up a low end one to test the concept before anyone committed $$ to it so to speak.

Probably need to flesh out the idea a bit more for this version before I could start it.

BOY1DA
11-04-2008, 03:33 PM
Yep, a similar idea came to mind... but needs to be fleshed out and really brained stormed out
to see if there are any bugs in the idea so to speak.

I think Rich summed it up in his first post.

It is a very "romantic" idea, but when things get hard, how long will the honeymoon last.

Cannysage
11-04-2008, 06:22 PM
This sounds like a great idea, but the main thing about the collab forum is that everyone who has any great level of involvement does so out of their free time. I am VERY guilty of being slow to deliver due to life getting in the way or my own motivation slowing down.

Although I understand that you want to offer this to the project leaders only as they have the greatest level of motivation. However, this is probably due to the fact that it is their project from the start and the motivation is coming from their desire to see it complete. Will this motivation translate to other projects? Also if you are making good progress in one short and then you need to change to something else that is perhaps not as far along or at a mundane stage of development might this also affect motivation?

Project leaders very well know that their project gets stumped along the way. If 4 people take their responsibility seriously and complete the task at hand for one project, they know that an eminent help in on the way for theirs.

I am not shooting down your idea, I think its a very good one and would love to see it come into development as I think it would really help the community grow if they saw projects making it from start to finish. I think Omar & SD have done a fantastic job on both their projects and I am pretty sure when either of these shorts are completed they will be the first to come out of the collab forum from start to finish which really is very cool.

I am going to give this a little more thought though as I think you are definitely onto something with this idea. Collab teams should collab, but I don't know if it should be the leaders that do the team swapping as they are busy enough keeping their project going. However there is nothing to stop the team members from team jumping when the need arises. For instance most of the modelling in Fetch is done (I know some more has been added, but its nearly all done) so people like myself pop in from time to time to see if there is anything to do or just to see how things are progressing. However their use is pretty much over at this point. So if there was central hub so to speak that all the project Leaders posted requests by skill then these people could be helping other folks out. As most of the projects are at different stages anyway so there should always be a need for someone. I think SD might be working on something like this anyway and this is really just a 5 minute idea but I think it might help keep people motivated.
I know this does not stop the obvious problem of people just not finishing their work, so we may need some level of incentive to entice them to complete the tast at hand. Not sure how this might work at the moment but I will look into possibilities and see if anything comes to mind.

I am also thinking of a system like Rent-A-Coder...However it would work like this, Team Leader post the task onto the system and modellers, texture artists etc. register for it with their details etc. It would remin on the system for afew days and then the TL will assign the task to one of the registered users. Upon completion the user will be rated by the TL and vice versa. That way you can get merit for your work done and the TL will also get rated to potential users will know how good they are too. This would give people the chance to try their hand at lots of stuff, build up a great portfolio and hey the rating might even be a bonus if they go for a job down the line they can show feedback from other people they have worked with.

hmm.. I may need to chew on this a bit. The projects are meant to be fun, but there needs to be some level of diciplinary guidelines. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to openly let everyone do what they want at anytime in their leisure. One guy renders one pencil and gets full credit for the project?

OK I will stop talking now.....I do like to ramble :)

also i want to reiterate that this idea is 'NAAWT' limited to leads alone. Nobody will be exiled, as it is a community forum and about teamwork. Just brainstorming a solution for one goal - completing a project more efficiently and in a much shorter time period.

softdistortion
11-04-2008, 06:30 PM
Hmmmmm...I think what we see happening here is a perfect example of why it's so hard to build a collab team that works well together and stays to completion...

I've been talking about this and trying to get help to build it at collabunlimited.com and now suddenly there's a buzz to go and build more versions of the same ideas instead of working together?? (I'm still waiting for some promised contributions btw...you know who you are. :deal: :) )

...the basic things we are discussing are already here at CGT collabs. People post requests for work and others can join in. So what's the point of rebuilding that and adding a few extras? all you will get is a nicer interface for collabing and a few people that also can't find anyone to help them....I mean are we gonna build this for the couple team leaders that are remaining in here and also cannysage? MADNESS! :)

Richard mentioned one key point about people's motivation, "It is their project and they want to see it finished". That is not enough to do something lasting that benefits more than a few people.

Cannysage
11-04-2008, 07:05 PM
^ I concur that ideas are a dime a dozen. No point in rehashing ideas that have already been discussed. we have a simple theory in place and let's roughly layout the details a bit more. I'm still a newb and not familiar with everyone's strength so please state your specialty, along with the list of the thing you need done for your project This is only a preliminary stage and don't feel like you are devoting yourself to anything, at this point. Just laying out some details here.

cannysage - animator
2 rigged characters
2 fishes
pet store
pet store furnishings - cages and what not
scorpion
turtle

DogmaD
11-04-2008, 09:48 PM
Man, lost my story twice, I am such an idiot :blush:. It gets shorter with each write, so that saves you guys some time :scream:. Short intro for the people who don't know me. I have been doing collaborations for a couple of years. I used to be an artist and team leader on Aegis:2375. I help out SD from time to time on Shirowproject. I was part of a collaboration as lead environment artist for the last year. It got finished, and published on steam. So I have some experience in collaborations.

I think that there has to be sacrifice to finish any of these projects. Instead of having separate dreams, you should all share the same one. If I would have a say in this, finish a two minute promo with the HARDWIRED material :arteest:. Here is why:

1) Shirowproject looks very nice, but is a fan project in its core. It has limited potential in that sense ( no offense SD, still love ya :buttrock: ).
2) Fetch has some progress to it, and looks like it could reach the finish. But (personally), I think it lacks originality, but it would make an ok portfolio piece for anyone who needs it. No offense again, still think it is amazing.
3) HARDWIRED, has great looks, lots of material done, and potential to become something more than just one animation.

I would say, finish a two minute promo/trailer on HARDWIRED. It has nice locations, nice texturing, nice characters, it has a load of Potential! It would (imo again) only need some updated lighting/animation, and maybe some environments, and it would be production quality. I think if you all work together on that, it will be very rewarding. I really think, even with the limited time you guys have, it is doable, two minute promo, some extra effort for a month or two, then it should be done and production value should be high.

Now, I need to get back to the new game I am developing :D.

TheFreak
11-04-2008, 10:25 PM
I agree with SD in that we are firing off ideas for yet another system when in reality we don't even have one that really works yet. I like Dogma's idea of getting a promo of one short up and running to show the strengths of the community and I think if we are going to work on anything, tool wise, for the community that collabunlimited is probably the best starting point for that. This way we are working on completing 2 ideas and not streching out resources to breaking point as usual.

I am as guilty as most in promsing things I don't deliver (just ask SD & BOY1DA :P) but I really would like to see the community become more than a collection of dead end threads and half finished projects by people I know are more than up to finishing the challenge...

But anyway I really must go and finish something I should have finished a LONG time ago....

Cannysage
11-04-2008, 11:11 PM
My intention isn't just firing off another idea. It's plain and simple approach of 'Zeroing in' on motivated individuals. Motivation is the primary factor that makes or kill projects. simple as that. when people doesn't complete a task, there's no progress. Dedication alone is an enormous asset. sometimes we have to clear our heads from so many doubts and questions and almost work mechanically to get things done. I'm not pulling out just a random idea from my buttocks. I have 12+ years of professional experience and have led numerous teams as a lead/director in countless popular titles in major studios. I just want to encourage peeps to step it up a notch and really focus on getting their projects closer to completion. Latency is a killer and I've witnessed many companies fall, because the project becomes out of focus and it goes nowhere... and we're talking about people getting PAID good money.

Service can also be on a barter base as well, maybe?
for example. I current need a rigged character. In return, I can offer my animation service.
Overall, I appreciate all the input and I think it's helpful to the community! :wavey:

TheFreak
11-05-2008, 12:49 AM
Sorry Cannysage, the "firing off" comment was more meant for me than you :P I have a habit of just rambeling on any brain fart as and when they pop into my head :P

I think you are definitly onto something with your idea, and I think its great to see a new face in here that is as motivated to push the collab scene as you are. I hope the discussions keep going in here and we put together some processes that will be of use to the community too.

The systems we have in place at the moment are far from perfect and I know threads have been created in the past to try to manage this a little better but they simply don't work as people ignore them or forget about them. CGTalk is a great spot to start a collab but as times goes on it gets harder for new people to join in. The project is buried under pages and pages of comments that most people are not willing to spend the time looking through and so you end up working with the same team you started with and in most instances this team falls apart quickly due to other commitments, lack of interest or just laziness. So I am definitly more in favour of making more of SD's collab space if we can organise it in such a way as to let new people know about existing projects etc.

Although I do like the idea of people skipping from team to team to help out, but I am not sure how this would work best i.e. all people on one project for a week or two and then another project for the same time OR each team with a lead and the other team members do the jumping about as needed. And as you have said already motivation is the key here and you would want to make sure that the people doing this are fully motivated to help in all projects, otherwise some projects may feel they are getting less help than others and cause the system to fail.

Bollocks....I am rambling again!!

BOY1DA
11-05-2008, 02:17 AM
From the look of it there is a need for softdistortion's "Collab U" site.
Reading this thread gave me a better understanding of what SD is trying to do.
I have a few ideas now how it is possible.. It still would be a lot of work
but the bigger picture may be worth it, if it is a success.

So I guess I may have to shoot my ideas over to SD to see if they
will work or not. Then maybe look for more team members to form a core team ?

BOY1DA
11-05-2008, 02:20 AM
What program do you use... That is also a factor in working together.

Cannysage
11-05-2008, 03:31 AM
Sorry Cannysage, the "firing off" comment was more meant for me than you :P I have a habit of just rambeling on any brain fart as and when they pop into my head :P

no offense taken, what so ever. :beer:

I think you are definitly onto something with your idea, and I think its great to see a new face in here that is as motivated to push the collab scene as you are. I hope the discussions keep going in here and we put together some processes that will be of use to the community too.

The systems we have in place at the moment are far from perfect and I know threads have been created in the past to try to manage this a little better but they simply don't work as people ignore them or forget about them. CGTalk is a great spot to start a collab but as times goes on it gets harder for new people to join in.

I completely disagree. I've been plunged into multiple projects at any point in developement

The project is buried under pages and pages of comments that most people are not willing to spend the time looking through

No need for doing all the reading. all updates should be done on the first page. Only the latest should be posted.

and so you end up working with the same team you started with and in most instances this team falls apart quickly due to other commitments, lack of interest or just laziness. So I am definitly more in favour of making more of SD's collab space if we can organise it in such a way as to let new people know about existing projects etc.

Although I do like the idea of people skipping from team to team to help out, but I am not sure how this would work best i.e. all people on one project for a week or two and then another project for the same time OR each team with a lead and the other team members do the jumping about as needed. And as you have said already motivation is the key here and you would want to make sure that the people doing this are fully motivated to help in all projects, otherwise some projects may feel they are getting less help than others and cause the system to fail.

I'm counting mainly on the lead. 'less help' is a questionable statment. People needs to look at creating more of the art as a benefit to oneself, not doing a 'favor'. I don't see how that's losing out in any way.

Bollocks....I am rambling again!!

People are alway afraid to dedicate to things. Everyone's so worried about the what ifs, doubts and pessimism about how thing will turnout or whatever. We are artists and should be spending more time creating. I'm willing to take initiative and take on an animation task for another project right away. If I don't get any help back on my project, I don't see it as a loss... just another experience point gain and some mana for another round of cannysage magik!

What program do you use... That is also a factor in working together.

major movie studios all use Maya and that trend needs to be followed, imo. I see that you use Max and that shouldn't be a problem in what we're trying to establish. I can animate like a champ in both and if you're unfamiliar with Maya, it's a great time to learn!

Kirt
11-05-2008, 08:44 PM
Honestly, I think the biggest problem with the whole Collab ideal and implementation boils down to things being too complicated. Projects get to be too big and the small successes of the team get lost in lengthy threads that noone (other than the collab contributers) pay any attention to.

This forum's project leaders (and SD's Collabunlimited project) should strive to make things easier for users to browse, see progression and get involved. We had this discussion in the forum before and I suggested ways to better use the CGTalk forums to manage their projects. I don't know if anyone remembers that thread, so I'll repeat an idea here.

Break your project up into managable pieces. A 100+ page thread is great for keeping all of your info in one place, but honestly if you're just a random member who's browsing the forums for something to get involved with, are you going to read the whole thread to find out what's going on, what progress has been made, what is available to work on or who has the lead positions (so you can ask questions to the right person)? Need a concept drawing? Start a new thread. Need a model based on a concept drawing? Start a new thread. Need a model textured? Start a new thread. Need a model rigged? Start a new thread Need the model animated? Start a new thread.The idea is simple. Small individual projects are easier to browse on the forum, easier to complete and easier to manage by project leads. Use your thread titles to keep track of your projects (i.e. "Shirow Project: Model: [description]", "Fetch: Animation: [description]", "Hardwired: Concept: [description]" etc.).

It may make the forum a tad more cluttered with all the separate pieces of projects floating about on the first page, but isn't that the way all of the other forums on CGTalk are being managed? When a thread is active, it's on the top. When the thread is done, it filters to the bottom. When a thread has 0 posts and a bright red icon to the left, it's something new and people are drawn to it. Use the forum's standard features to your advantage.

Think about how you browse the forums and how you expect others are doing the same. Are you reading 100+ post threads beginning to end? How about if it's an older thread that you didn't notice before? Would you even click on it? Now how about a thread that is 10-20 posts long? Think you could get more info out of that quick and easily?

Having been a leader on 2 separate failed projects. I know the challenges that every project leader is confronted with. I know that you will loose good talent during the life of your project. I know it's not an easy task to dedicate yourselves to. But to those who have the determination to continue dispite the issues, I say make it as easy as possible to attract newcomers to your project. You want to keep fresh talent coming in because the likelyhood of keeping a team together from beginning to end is highly unlikely.

Keep cycling team members as needed. Keep small goals and achievements going. And before you know it, you'll have your project done. It's possible. I have to believe in it.

TheFreak
11-05-2008, 09:02 PM
Well I can't disagree with common sense :P Sadly I don't remember your previous thread on this Kirk, but I come and go in the world of 3D so its no great surprise. I know you have tried many things to try and organise this forum and this one makes a lot of sense. I know this is going a little off topic as Cannysage's idea is focusing on a different way to manage the projects, but it would be interesting to see this kind of management in place even with some of the current projects so people can easily see were the project is at and come into their relevant section.

I do recall your Alien project a few years ago, I think I might have even tried to do something for it but my confidence was not the best back then. I recall you used a similar system to keep things organised, and it did make it a lot more interesting to browse the progress. However sadly it went the same way as a lot of these projects, although I can't remember why. It was very cool, would have liked to have seen it finished.

I would love to see something come out of this part of CGTalk, I think it would be a real boost to the community and the craft. I know when I talk about this to others who might not be part of CGTalk they are amazed at people from all over the world just jumping onto an idea and trying to make something of it. I think it is a very new way of getting a job done and once we can figure out how to keep everyone motivated, informed and happy lord knows what we might actually achieve....heres hoping!

Cannysage
11-06-2008, 12:34 AM
creating an individual thread for a specific task is actually a pretty good idea. It's a bit distant from what I had in mind, but I will give that a go and see how that pans out. Although, it's still throwing out a fishing line, hoping to get a nibble. What I was talking about is conviction, right from the get go and completing tasks in a reasonable timeline. I see that my idea has already faltered and did not generate enough intrigue. Butt my offer still stands, of my service being available for any time-sensitive tasks.

I haven't modeled anything in a decade and started character modeling last night. . You only fail when you lose steam, interest and hope.

Kirt
11-06-2008, 01:36 AM
Cannysage - Well I wouldn't dismiss the idea so readily. It has it's value but I'm afraid it'd only work if you had equally committed teams in here that could afford to take time away from their own projects to help out on specific needs. The idea could work better if pieces of the projects were up for grabs (as I tried to illustrate in my earlier post).

For example: You may have a modeller with a primary project who is not currently working on anything. He/she could pick up a modelling job on a secondary project and have it completed before he's needed back on his primary project.

This would accomplish the same thing, but have greater flexibility with everyone's schedules and current needs. If there are 10-20 different modellers on active projects here, but only 60% of them are currently busy on something that is needed ... then why not have that extra 40% hopping around to help out the other projects?

It makes good sense to me.

It would be fantastic if SD's Collabunlimited site had user profiles and a database to track what a user is working on, what they have worked on, how the project leader rated the working experience and quality of that person's work, etc. Or something more than it's current state of presenting news but rather offer an interactive experience with the projects and people involved. You know ... pages of modelling (texturing, animation, concept, etc.) tasks available, a gallery of completed tasks with user and project leader ratings, and project specific pages that give an overview of what the team is trying to accomplish and what's been achieved. I love SD's idea, but feel at this time that it's only about 5% of what it could be.

TheFreak - The earlier thread was awhile back also. We were all discussing ways in which we could improve the CGTalk collab forum and from that we came up with the help wanted sticky (which doesn't seem to be very active anymore) and ideas for the posting guidelines at the top of the forum.

Yes, I've done as much as I can to help and I'll continue to monitor this forum for suggestions. Unfortunately however, my involvement in projects is no longer possible with demands of my own personal life (kids ... :D ). So, keep the ideas flowing. I'll continue to watch over this forum to the best of my ability.

softdistortion
11-06-2008, 12:40 PM
Kirt- The items you mentioned are still sorely desired as additions to collabunlimited. I'm working hard at trying to add them one by one. The biggest obstacle right now is time and $. Even so I do have some things coming close to delivery! :wip:

The next (small) thing that's almost ready to add is a frontpage image strip (like every forum has)with a twist.
It's set up so that any member (not only those voted or picked by the mods) can upload their work images. It's automated to always show the latest uploads and also has a fancy lightbox dislpay of full rez images.

Richard (aka The Freak) has just joined me to see what he can do to help on the programming end for a user directory that wll be searchable and allow saving of favourites along with email updates of new users that match what you have been searching for.

There is much more in mind, but I have to fit it into the obstacles mentioned above.

Cannysage- Sorry you didn't get what you were hoping for so far, but your thread did do some good to get this issue rekindled! ..
On a positive note, it sounds like you have been around for some time in the pro circles...could you maybe use your connections to do some things to help promote collabs? Some small endorsment comments? Even having them signed up and profiled would help give this forum and collabunlimited.com (once get user profiles added :scream: :) ) a higher profile and maybe get more artists into joining? Or maybe you have some even better ideas??

Cannysage
11-06-2008, 05:33 PM
^ I finally go around to checking out the Collablimited site. I navigated around for 10min and still couldn't figure out it's exact purpose. Is it a database? or a forum? I personally think it needs to be much more intuitive for an average-joe artist like me. I want to understand right away what its intentions are. especially if you want to draw in professionals, you have to give him a reason why they would need this. With people's attention span of 3 seconds, it's gotta be all done in the first page, at first glance, eliminating the need to click on subdirectories.

softdistortion
11-06-2008, 06:04 PM
Yeah, I will refine the explanation on the site. thanks for the insight.

TheFreak
11-06-2008, 10:35 PM
OK This is kinda off topic, but i figured there is a captive audience already in here so why not just discuss some stuff. I was thinking about the fact that not everyone in CGTalk pops there head into this forum, perhaps because they don't know what goes on in here or they just might not be interested. For the latter there is not much we can do, however if we raised awareness of the forum perhaps more people would come in and then see the projects on offer and join them.

So perhaps we could do a little more to let people know we are here. Just thinking out loud here, but is there any kind of collab challanges we could have on offer in here? Even to the point that Project Leaders propose a challange for a model they need, or an animation etc. and the best could be used? or does this remove from the collab ethos? I know the Short Project worked on a challange basis and I know they had prizes as well, so this might be a hard sell, but its one way for people to see whats going on and generate a bit of excitment.

For existing long term projects would it be possible to create stickies for them so the TD's could put progress updates on them instead of them getting lost in larger threads or spread out across a multitude of threads? not sure if this is possible without other people posting in there as well, and I don't want Kirt to be pestered with new people looking a stickie every time they think of their next animation idea :) But its just an idea for anything running for an extended period of time, and it would be up to the TD to update it regularly or it will be unstickied.

Not sure if this has happened yet or not, but would it be an idea for the collab section of the forum to gather together some people for the next big CGT competition? or even for other team based competitons? Again to push the collab idea and this forum.

So something along those lines, I am mainly thinking of the idea of pulling in external talent into the forum so it can be used for the projects we have available in here....just my 2 cents on this, not trying to change the world here :D feel free to shoot me down...

softdistortion
11-07-2008, 02:32 PM
Hey Richard,
...some of my comments might seem critical...Initially I wasn't gonna say anything, but I don't think that is fair considering you are genuinely concerned about improving the situation in here...so here goes with my semi long winded take on your ideas :D .

...I was thinking about the fact that not everyone in CGTalk pops there head into this forum, perhaps because they don't know what goes on in here or they just might not be interested.

Some projects have had 100k+ views, so many people are looking, they just aren't doing anything. Often there is many views, but mainly the team members are the ones posting any comments or replies. Maybe projects need to be easier to follow? Maybe people need help to know how they can get involved? Maybe some are too timid or feel too inexperienced to offer help? Maybe the projects in here are intimidating...not impressive enough?

I think the audience is here, it's just too broad a range of situations and the only options in here are a few projects..

Again, it's why I'm trying to add that 95% that Kirt pointed out is missing from collabunlimited...He knows it's needed... I know it's needed..I think we all know we want and need it!If collabunlimited can add those interactive elements and collect a condensed group of people that are engaged with being involved with teams working on projects...I think that energy will keep feeding itself as it grows into a solid community centered around collabing...the condensed results or hilites could then be posted in here to keep building the collab visibility at a higher, more streamlined and accessable level and for a broader audience.

Omar and I had a really good chat yesterday, via Skype, about some ideas that are still missing...we're gonna try to schedule some (semi regular)meetings to get together and hash ideas out in realtime...so hope to have you join in next time!

...is there any kind of collab challanges we could have on offer in here? Even to the point that Project Leaders propose a challange for a model they need, or an animation etc. and the best could be used? or does this remove from the collab ethos?

It's a good idea...especially teams using their needs in the challenges.
Unfortunately for shirowproject, it is at a stage that requires more specialized work so most would not be able to help on our stuff...Posting in the forums that are in that special field sometimes works, but people are mainly working on their own stuff.

For existing long term projects would it be possible to create stickies for them so the TD's could put progress updates on them instead of them getting lost in larger threads or spread out across a multitude of threads? not sure if this is possible without other people posting in there as well, and I don't want Kirt to be pestered with new people looking a stickie every time they think of their next animation idea :) But its just an idea for anything running for an extended period of time, and it would be up to the TD to update it regularly or it will be unstickied.

I think the help wanted section was the outcome of the last time we had a discussion about stickies....the threads were decided to be allowed to live or die as they now do.


Not sure if this has happened yet or not, but would it be an idea for the collab section of the forum to gather together some people for the next big CGT competition? or even for other team based competitons? Again to push the collab idea and this forum.

It's an exciting idea!
It would help push the collab forum into the spotlight- if we actually won. :)

Lets talk more about it when we get together in realtime.

I am mainly thinking of the idea of pulling in external talent into the forum so it can be used for the projects we have available in here....just my 2 cents on this, not trying to change the world here :D feel free to shoot me down...

Yep, We do need external talent...the main way it's been done by me and I see Omar doing it too is once you have a credible project/personal history in here you start to recruit in the other forums by cross posting needs....I've also contacted artists directly with mixed results.
But any extra methods to get people in here and active would be great!

TheFreak
11-07-2008, 03:49 PM
Hey SD, Thanks for the comments :) I had just thought of a few ideas while reading through the other posts and I wasn't even gonna bother posting them myself but I figured they are better out than in (like trapped wind :D)

Anyway thanks for the responses, all very valid. I seem to have missed the previous thread about this, or I can't remember it, either way I think this is another good thread for kick starting the conversation again. I look forward to a bit more of a chat with yourself and Omar at some point about this and seeing if we can do anything.

Hopefully we can help grow this forum into a monster....this week CGTalk......next week THE WORLD! MUhahahahahahahahahaha!

BOY1DA
11-07-2008, 04:42 PM
:curious: Ah HA ! Richard, this is where you have been spending all your time
when you should been working your A$$ off modeling stuff for fetch ! :argh:
GET BACK TO WORK SLACKER ! :twisted: Anyways, jokes aside... :beer:

I don't know if we can change things here in CGtalk.
But as I now understand what softdistortion is trying to do.
I think we can try to build a site where we can actually develop
and implement the ideas mentioned in this thread.

Because I'm getting pretty tired of seeing this type of thread keep
popping up here at least once or twice a year.
The fact that we keep seeing threads like this, is a sign to me
that we do need to address those issues.

Since "SD" started the process already the best thing to do is team up with
him to at least try to improve collabing.

It would be a good fresh start to something created by people that actually
see the potential, not to mention love and have been collabing for a long time.


So until the masses catch on, GET BACK TO WORK EVERYBODY !
You all still have kool projects that need your attention. :p

TheFreak
11-07-2008, 04:48 PM
I am workin boss!! I swear!! :D

Sorry for slackin!! :argh:

softdistortion
11-08-2008, 02:35 AM
Because I'm getting pretty tired of seeing this type of thread keep
popping up here at least once or twice a year.


Amen to that!.....Well, cept maybe this time it's got us bugged enough to get together and start doing something. :D

Kirt
11-08-2008, 03:11 AM
Well, I gotta ask SD ... what's your process for putting together Collabunlimited? Are you coding the whole site yourself or are you using a CMS template created by someone else? There's tons of stuff out there on the net that can be snipped and customized fairly easily to get what you're shooting for. Is it something that someone can help you put together?

softdistortion
11-09-2008, 05:58 PM
It's a mix- off the shelf with some fairly complex modification plus custom coding.

You are right about there being tons of off the shelf stuff around, but deciding which are best for the purpose I'm shooting for and then tying the parts together in a stable good looking way isn't really that easy. I definitely could use help... Richard is trying to give a hand on a modification right now, but even he has some limits. Some of the heavy lifting requires people that are currently only available via hiring a professional ...no surprise there's major cost there.

Still looking for alternatives though, so maybe some brainstorming will eventually produce a new, speedier solution.

Thanks for your interest, and comments in past too...nice to know people are interested!
If you have some ideas feel free to send em this way, it might be a new idea that will help.

MenatWork
11-15-2008, 02:19 AM
This is an interesting post. I can tell you that what Canny is preaching is undoubtedly true of any indie production trying to operate with no budget. You can often lose steam before you get started. Sadly, many people take the opinion that without significant funding no indie animation feature project will see the light of day because you simply can't afford to take 10-20 people and provide them a living in exchange for a 40 hour work week. And so, like any other production relying on people working for *free*, life gets in the way and the project dies. It can only thrive with a team of focused individuals that sacrifice their free time, by dedicating X number of hours per week to work on a project.

I can tell you from experience that, with the right group of people, these projects can become reality. I recently produced a film made by a core group of 5 filmmakers working on virtually no budget. We had a clear focus on what we wanted to achieve and, more importantly, we had a realistic plan for the end product.

That might be the most important thing in starting these collab projects: what are the realistic plans for the finished project? It is hard enough to get a group of people to put their time and energy into a project without losing steam along the way, but it is even harder if the people working on the project don't or can't see the endgame.

I think some of the projects that I've seen on this collab forum and others have this basic fundamental problem. There is no clear direction on what will happen if the project gets finished. So lets say for instance that someone is working on a 3D feature and it actually gets finished. What is the plan for getting that film to the public? Making a film is great, but if nobody has a way to see it, then what is the point?

The concept of putting together a team from these forums for a feature could definitely work. This community clearly has the talent to put together a competent team and project. In my opinion, a successful project should have a leader that provides the script and the blueprint for the project's rollout. A mid to large team should be assembled and tasks should be farmed out by the leader and his consultants. As the project gains steam, the leader should be focused not only on the progress of the film, but in using the work that is created to RAISE FUNDS that could PAY the group for a period of time until the project is complete.

And while I agree that it is important to find motivated people for the project. Being a cheerleader is going to get you only so far. Bringing people on to the project should be selective based on experience and an evaluation of the artists skills. For those that can be valuable to the project, more formal agreements should be set in place. People will always be more motivated to work if they not only believe in the project, but see the potential to reap its benefits in the long run.

Anyways, that is just my two cents. I've been developing a project for some time now and some day, when we can figure out how to post the project on this forum without it being automatically removed within 5 minutes ;), we will post it and see if we can't put together a dream team. If there is anyone interested in assisting us bring this project to this forum, please pm me.

-MAW

Justame2002
11-15-2008, 05:18 PM
Really interesting idea guys, i've been planning on seeking out seriously dedicated artists to work togheter on creative projects, i totally believe an organized team of 5 people could pump out relatively high quality work in a couple of weeks, IMHO collaborative work just seems like a great motivator, i'll have to check out www.collabunlimited.com (http://www.collabunlimited.com)

MenatWork: Thoughtfull post, totally agree on the points you mentioned

softdistortion
11-16-2008, 01:38 PM
Good stuff...still, these ideas have been hashed over repeatedly in here...the problems start when reality kicks in and you have to DO something to put it into action and keep it going.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the collab with other film makers worked in part because you were in the same physical location, working together?
The web presents a whole bunch of issues that require us to devise a different approach for success.
There is a good article up at collabunlimited about this, but the reality is that even the best planned teams can fail!

Since it's under discussion again, here's some more thoughts taken from some of the personal and combined experience in here-

Starting with the benefits of being close together>
Location Location Location-
The leader or core probably would be best to be in the same physical location or at very least in very regular, organized contact via skype. If they are both working on the cg end they should probably be on skype video/voice all day to help recreate a more real world environment, ie- working in the same studio space. (i've tried this on a few occasions over the last year to test the theory, and it does work, with some limitations)

ALLROUNDER-
Besides being able to manage and motivate the team, the work, and the promotion of the team/work being done. The leader also needs to be a good all rounder to cover any aspect of the cg pipeline that needs attention. (from talking with Omar lately this point came up as a key element to both our project's longevity. It also seems to be a key reason for the failure of other projects that had a seemingly higher level of skilled team support)


What's my motivation?
CGT has artists who want to promote their own work, basically to be rock stars...getting them to work together like this requires a whole different mindset. The guys in here that can think like this are already doing it in a real world scenario called the "industry". Generally they don't have time to get involved with a bunch of star eyed dreamers who fold when the going gets tough, and who can blame them.
Leaders and members have to be ready to do a lot of work that they never get a pat on the back for. You track that stuff yourself and put it in your blog or portfolio for your own history.

...it's nice to see interest in discussing this topic has grown lately...It's helped spark some to start moving to work together on possible solutions.

BOY1DA
11-16-2008, 03:18 PM
I would also like to mention MONEY.

When it all comes down to it the best way to get anything done is money.
I have worked with paid artist on my collab project , and the results were
the best as far as speed and quality.

It solves so many of the problems these projects seem to have.
Such as when there is something to lose or gain, people will not mess around as much.

Most of us don't want to deal with that subject.
We are mostly artist first, before we are business people.

In the movie bizz they have producers that are responsible
to bring interest and money into a movie project.
As far as collabs go nobody wants to do this.

I mean things as simple as just going around and recruiting artist for
tasks needed in a project or looking for sponcers...
Responsible for making sure that when the project is done and during the process it will get exposure.

That way a project leader ( DIRECTOR ) can focus and manage the project and team.
The producer and director should work as a team, as a pair.

People say that they have contacts in the industry
Earlier said by softdistortion people with contacts like that should be using
that to help get a project from point A to B.

In short what I'm trying to say is, the artists are there.
We need guys that are true leaders not artist posing as leaders.

We need to take a business approach.

Yes , I know it would be nice if we could get everything for FREE.
You can only get limited work for free, for example maybe just to get the
basic ideas and concept worked out, but after a certain amount of time,
a project has to start giving some return to the artists, weather the project is
a success or failure.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR !

It does not have to be a billion dollars, but something , anything
is better then nothing. Small rewards can even be given from sponsors
as incentives for projects. I'm sure lots of artist will do work for
things like a free hard drive, video card, wacom tablet , if we had
a sponsor that was a local/on-line computer store ( just as an example)
I guess that would work better in a contest type approach.


So with all that said above.

I think realistically, what you should be able to get for free.
Is to get a few artist to focus on making content to help a producer
get funding for a project, I'm not talking about a five minute trailer.
That can even be too big of a project. More along the lines of
Character sheets some model breakdowns, a few animation tests,
and a textured environment, a page or two of storyboards.
Just to give an example. Then packaged like a book or DVD.

:shrug:

DogmaD
11-17-2008, 08:01 AM
Nice write people. I have started on my own project, and I am sure I will need people down the road to help me out with stuff. So for what it is worth, these are the rules I have created for my own project/what I have learned works well:

1) I pay for any service I need. It prevents legal issues, and I have more influence on the end result.

2) Task-oriented collaboration. A person is there for a task, if there is no other task for him, he is out, as he is overhead at that point. This rule is for my project specifically, because it is small, and I expect to pull it forward. I won't have much time for communication. If you have some one on the team who can manage expectations, keep people happy, then there is no real need for this rule.

3) 'Professional' communication only with anyone I work with on my project. Time is one of the bottlenecks on these kind of collaborations. Talking about the wife and kids over the net will kill productivity. I will just get online, talk things through for 15-30 minutes, and then it is back to work. The maybe once a week a session with the team to keep focus and direction. The goal is to have people working in parallel as much as possible.

4) Be clear about project intentions. What are the goals? Any collaboration should have clear goals:
- Make money? I will only work on these after 8 years of doing the other types ;).
- Make portfolio material?
- Make friends?
- Learn?

5) Timeline! Set milestones, set a deadline on the project. Be aware of them, when you make one, or miss one, ask yourself why you didn't make it. If you didn't make the deadline, you made a mistake somewhere down the line. More importantly, if you did make a milestone in time, you did something that works for your team. Learn from that period.

6) Use contracts. Use NDA's, etc.

Keep in mind, those are my rules. I am quite sure these rules are personal, and are aimed on my type of collaborating: Small collaboration, I pull most of the work, commercial aim, I buy specific expertise, and I have set a deadline for myself. A team that has more members as its core, no commercial aim, no specific deadline, will have a very different set of rules.

Cannysage
11-18-2008, 01:54 AM
a lot of nice ideas and thoughts posted guys!!

I agree with many aspects of collaboration that are posted above.
I do agree about the money portion, but only to a certain extent. All my pro friends that I've hit up for a lending hand did not budge what so ever (not even a email reply of refusal). I completely understand this, because I make a decent living from what I do and I've never even opened up maya and max at home without having any $$ involved.

Everybody has different intentions of doing projects at home.

As for me, I'm tired of being comfortable and not pushing myself to my limit. My willingness to help others without zero pay come from the sheer artist side of my being! Also, by starting my own project, I found out about 99.9% of the working professionals will not step up to this. For the last 3 weeks, I stumbled upon a complete wall (characters and others). All the volunteer backed out and flaked off like dead skin. Thereafter, I've put myself through a crash course of character modeling and rigging in Maya and have learned a billion things along the way. Now my project will proceed. In a nutshell, my personal goal achievements from this project is as follows:

- learning and mastering multiple programs and other areas of 3D
- portfolio buildup
- public and media exposure

ultimately, I will use my resources to have the project picked up, and the incredible few peeps that are intimately involved, will be heavily awarded by monetary means. As of now, artistic projects, such as ours, CANNOT be driven by the force of $$!!! You cannot buy ambition. Also, you cannot create a successful project by ambition alone. Your project needs to be quality enough to compete with what's out there, in order to Not be buried with rest of the heap. The handful of you projecting your creativity by means of collaboration is extremely rare, guys. It's almost non existent in the professional world...

MenatWork
11-22-2008, 01:22 PM
In getting back to this post, I really want to make a point that I agree with portions of what everyone is saying. Everyone here seems to have very good opinions on best practices to make these type of projects work.

To go back to SD's post, our project was able to see the light of day even though I was located in New York, our other team members were in Los Angeles and our lead animator was in Virginia. You make a great point that an ideal situation would be if everyone was located in one town or even better, worked in one office. I can tell you that when one location is impossible, like in our situation, you have to substitute that for consistent, basically daily, communication. This was how we created our plan and discussed daily how we were going to execute it. This goes back to Canny's post about determination and ambition.

Boy1 makes a great point about having a real producer on board to handle all of the necessary business plans and to execute on the overall plan. Basically to steer the ship. I would say though, that in order to be able to approach someone for financing you will need more than what was outlined in this post. If you think about it, getting funding from a studio seems almost extremely unlikely because they likely develop most of their projects internally. That being said, Boy1's thoughts on a DVD with screenshots, development shots, and possibly a few shots from the film are useful tools when approaching individual investors. (people who are not in the industry) We created a similar book and outlined a business plan when we were pitching our project to investors. We actually ended up receiving funding from a major corporation who's business was directly related to the subject matter of our film. We were pitching the film as branded content. Branded content is probably not the best thing to try to pitch in animation, but I do have some ideas on how it could work. It remains to be seen if it can.

Dogma looks like he's found a system that works for his projects. These are all good ideas especially when you are trying to bring in artists to work on small parts of an overall project.

Finally, Canny's post is absolutely correct. You can't buy ambition. Sadly, the force of money often does drive any project that is going to breakthrough to the mainstream. Bt I would say that the ideals that you've outlined are commendable. Anyone willing to work on a project for artistic merit alone is an example to the overall community. If you could find those type of attitudes and actually reward the artist along the way you can create something special.

Anyways, this is just my 2 cents.

-MAW

BOY1DA
11-22-2008, 02:04 PM
In short this is what I was trying to say :)


Anyone willing to work on a project for artistic merit alone is an example to the overall community. If you could find those type of attitudes and actually reward the artist along the way you can create something special.

-MAW

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