View Full Version : Any ideas on how to improve our numbers?

11 November 2004, 01:51 PM
Hi guys,
I would love to hear your ideas on how to improve the numbers of people
who visit and participate our little corner of cgtalk.
Our little community is really cool, and I wish I could bring more people.

Looking forward to your comments.


11 November 2004, 02:09 PM
You could place stickies on the main Painter and Photoshop threats.
Something like: 'come and join the Daily Sketch Group!'
(I know it sounds corny...)

11 November 2004, 02:09 PM
Maybe more themes that fit current issues, movies or whatevers popular at the moment.

And maybe a weekly post in general discussions with a little explanation about the DSG and stating the theme to get the public over here.

11 November 2004, 02:15 PM
Free wacom tablets for all who enter! Weeeee:bounce:

Actually I just ordered an Intuos 6x8 tablet. So I am looking forward to participating in the near future.

11 November 2004, 02:40 PM
Free wacom tablets for all who enter! Weeeee:bounce:
I agree. Hehe. Honestly, I'm waiting for my Aiptek tablet to arrive in the mail any day now. Can't afford a Wacom.

In order to attract more people. Keep the topics fresh and the restrictions loose. Throw in some fun ones now and then.

11 November 2004, 03:10 PM
Im justs a noob, when i get time ill start participateing more, but the forum is a little obscure, tucked away from the mainstream inside the 2d WIps forum.

When i first started checking these daily sketches out, i kinds got lost the first few times trying to remeber Where the forum lived. I found it initally by literally stumberling into it, i cant rember how i did it to this day.

It should be on the main forum page, all by itself.

Also i think it would be cool to intergrate inside this fourm a WEEKLY Battle, at the start somone ramdomley chooses 2 avators (ones that are regulars that will actually see it though) And they have one of those battles though the week, at the end a victor is voted for just like the we for daily sketches, not based on who drew the last drawing, but who had the most imaginative and funny counter attacks.

these battles always get people interested and watching on the other forums.

Maybe as a reward, the victor gets to choose the following weeks topics for daily sketches??

Mysterious X
11 November 2004, 03:19 PM
i'm saving money for a wacom !

11 November 2004, 03:54 PM
I agree about the DSG being kind of hard to find. I came the first time off a URL sent to me in email, then had trouble finding it when I came back.

Also, right now I think a lot of people are working on the challenge and don't have time.

I know lots of folks went back to school this fall and have less time as well.

I miss having a lot of entries every day, tho.

I like the idea of Avatar duels or combo sketches like are happening elsewhere.

11 November 2004, 04:22 PM
i agree with the others about it being a bit obscure. if it wasnt for the voting plugs it gets on the frontpage every week i would completely forget about it.

i think its strong enough to where it could become its own sister site of cgtalk/cgnetworks eventually.

maybe advertise it on other sites. im sure there are other art sites that would love to swap affiliate links with us.

11 November 2004, 04:29 PM
i think it's all about topics. sorry, but even though i've been too busy to participate lately, i wouldn't have because the topics haven't lent themselves to quality art. (not to say that some great artwork hasn't been generated.) we need dramatic and cinematic topics, not corney highschool doodle ideas. remembering back to some of the first dozen or so topics, we had things that lent themselves to more than just cute doodles. last i checked, people were posting topics that were good. if you look back, all the really cinematic and powerful topics have lots of pages of responses. sorry, just my opinion.

11 November 2004, 04:33 PM
(notice how the number viewing increases)

11 November 2004, 05:23 PM
I for one was attracted to sign up CG Talk just to participate here and try out and learn to improve. :) Before I was just hesitant about me being not good enough to even participate or post around in other threads.

(shameless mild rant) I wouldn't be able to take part lately due to certain personal reasons such as finals and tablet problem. :6 I wish I could have contributed more to make the DSG more active.

Also, although I loved the Avatar sketch ideas, I suppose maybe it's better to let it rest for a while before bringing it back again as constant similar topics may bore people easily? I'm not so sure with that, but I thought things tend to get more exciting if it wasn't too common or something. :) People would look forward to it more!

11 November 2004, 05:43 PM
I tend to agree with Hammy about the avatar topics - whilst a lot of fun, I think they might get a bit old if we keep on doing them at this rate. Maybe we could spread them out a bit more. As for the other topics, I've personally found most of them very enjoyable. I prefer the more open-ended ones myself - the more latitude there is for interesting and/or funny interpretations the better!

In any case, many thanks Roberto for keeping this thing rolling. Much appreciated!


captain chapo
11 November 2004, 06:57 PM
arg...i haven't done a ds in a couple of weeks...:cry:...i want it to be summer again!

11 November 2004, 07:32 PM
In any case, many thanks Roberto for keeping this thing rolling. Much appreciated!
Ditto! Thanks for all the work you put in, Roberto.
As for how to get more participants, here's two ideas:

To get more CGTalkers to participate, current Sketchers can add a Daily Sketch to their signature. That way, if we post in other forums we're spreading the gospel of Daily Sketch.

To get people to participate from outside CGTalk, tell your friends! All you students -- if you have a free moment and a spare sheet of paper, please stick something on the local bulletin board. Something like,

Need to polish your drawing skills?
Do you enjoy laughing your arse off?
Join the Daily Sketch at !

Personally, I think it's hard to get previous participants to sketch more often -- they're already hooked, but are being drawn away by other commitments. IMO it's not a question of bad topics -- in fact, they've been fun and I like the occasional twist that you add in (now let's draw like Marcel Duchamp!). Life just gets in the way at times, and so do artist's blocks. And of course there's all that songwriting to do for the Space Operas ;).

11 November 2004, 07:34 PM
Yes i agree its all in the topic

i would like to PARTICIPATE every day but i find that the good sketch that i do always with the good topic

*another thing the voting is so hard to follow 7 thread with alot of replys i never vote before
try to collect all the thumbles of eatch week in one picture and all of them in on thread
and future idea try to make the voting every month in a big events
and put the artist name with all his work during the month and the winner are the artist of the month with an interview about his work


11 November 2004, 08:44 PM
Make it more a competition, more a challenge. Maybe the voting system can change,
the moderators select all the best pieces so it is easier to vote for outsiders.

Or do something with ranks in the frequent participants are getting an higher rank.
Maybe that would make this more attractive?

11 November 2004, 09:04 PM
Make it more a competition, more a challenge. Maybe the voting system can change,
the moderators select all the best pieces so it is easier to vote for outsiders.

Or do something with ranks in the frequent participants are getting an higher rank.
Maybe that would make this more attractive?
hehehe, I was going to suggest exactly the opposite :D , to make it look less like a competition, I think that people will be more "frightened" about participating if it looks like a serious competition, I mean, I was reluctant to enter the GSO challenge because it was a "serious" thing with a lot of rules:deal: ... I've seen someone asking if he had to inscribe somewhere to participate, I think that keeping things simple with fewer rules would make more people get into it

I discovered the DSForum through the frontpage voting, that's a good idea, a lot of people enters here that way
I don't think there is any problem with the topics, sometimes it is good to force yourself to create something original with a difficult topic
btw, I agree that the GSO challenge and the return to work/classes/whatever are the main reason for the fewer posts lately

I'm going to put a link to the forum in my signature to see if it helps... my little 2 cents

and yeah, Roberto, thanks a lot for making the whole thing work! :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 10:53 PM
One more comment...sometimes I feel that I can't enter a real "sketch" because so many people enter truly completed and beautiful work. But on the plus side, that forces me to try harder and to work harder. I was so thrilled to actually get a few noms for fav. sketch recently. I can't tell you how much that means to me since I'm really new to digitial art! But it can really be intimidating for newbies to step up and join in. I lurked for a long time before taking the step!

11 November 2004, 11:01 PM
Me too changed my Signature:hmm:

11 November 2004, 11:01 PM
i think it's all about topics. sorry, but even though i've been too busy to participate lately, i wouldn't have because the topics haven't lent themselves to quality art. (not to say that some great artwork hasn't been generated.) we need dramatic and cinematic topics, not corney highschool doodle ideas. I don't want this to sound rude roberto, you're doing an absolutely awesome job, but I have to quote this for absolute agreement. cinematic and dramatic, that's where my love is. Funny ones are nice.. but they tend to bore in the long run. I think half of the topics are funny now. maybe reduce that to something like.. 1/10?

I'm not pretending to know better.. It must be damn hard to come up with fresh topics every day. it's just.. since you asked :)

EDIT: I didn't participate for a while now :sad: but I was overpowered by examinations, this will happen every 3 months. However, I'll change my signature too. I do agree that it's all about people knowing about it. Changing the forum location might help too.

EDIT2: To be honest it has also to do with jealousy. Yea I admit.. There are a few people who rule this place (we and they all know who they are). They are encouraged by the sketch of the weeks which they win time after time. For more information go to the discussion in the GD about this, I kinda feel where this guy 's comin from

I do not give up, it's just that I tend to distantiate myself from this and practice myself so I won't fade to nothing when my pieces show up next to those masterpieces.

11 November 2004, 11:14 PM
It might sound stupid, but what about the occasional banner ad?... I guess it's purely for revenue though.

"Come sketch with us!:D"

11 November 2004, 12:16 AM
well, I don't know about anyone else, but I am getting a bit tired of the avitar themed sketches. I know alot of it is participant driven, but it kinda turns me off a bit. (although I did participate in one of those daily sketches.)

More of a personal gripe than anything else I know, but what I love is the amazing work that comes from a decidedly "vauge" topic. The creativity, not the skill, is what I admire most from everyones work.

am I rambling a bit?

11 November 2004, 12:18 AM
I say don't stress about it Rob, unless the future of the daily sketch depends on a certain number of entries per day. Things ebb and flow, we've been down to 12-14 entries a few times, and then we've been up over one hundred when a topic and timing combined to allow lots of entries.

I've always said that it should be more about encouragement of beginers rather than a place to have "the best drawing" or sketch every week. The top guys will always be the top guys, you can see their work in the speed sketch section almost everyday.

11 November 2004, 02:48 AM
Things ebb and flow, we've been down to 12-14 entries a few times, and then we've been up over one hundred when a topic and timing combined to allow lots of entriesthats a prove that it depend on the topic but it's not any bodys fault every one has his own taste and you can not make everyone happy:shrug:
but don't worry about it man are doing very good job Robert:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 03:11 AM
I would love to get paricpated with this sketch everyday as much as I wish, but unforunately, I can't. I ahve school, plus i don't have internet access on my computer.... long story.

But... yeah I think it should be less "contest-like" like some ppl have mentioned. :)Just my opinion.. but hey keep it up! It's always fun watching everyone doing it! It really helped me to improve my skill... it really did and still is! :D

captain chapo
11 November 2004, 04:47 AM
yeh i never really thought of it as a contest...i voted once...but don't plan on doing it again anytime soon...maybe if we made each week's winner produce a tutorial/walkthrough for their winning piece i would vote more often. damn that'd be sweet. changed my signature...hopefully it'll filter in some ppl.

11 November 2004, 07:07 AM
How would we go about making each weeks winner spend the extra hours to do a tutorial?

11 November 2004, 07:11 AM
you know if you could convince Leo to have some links to current mini challenges, or just a bar of links to all CGTalk challenges on the front page, that would probably do it (or at least do no harm).

i just think that a lot of people can't be bothered to delve into the forums and try and find where the challenges are going on! they want a one click process, straight to the thread/forum.

11 November 2004, 07:36 AM
How would we go about making each weeks winner spend the extra hours to do a tutorial?

yeah that would be cool

11 November 2004, 08:40 AM
1. Every participant has to make a link in their sig stating "join the daily sketch group"

2. A place among the other forums on the main page (instead of a sub forum)

3. Winners of the sketch of the week get to pick themes for the next week. (works for the game art compo's)

4. Maybe get the portalgraphics guys to sponsor the place with the occasional license for OC3.

5. Monthly Avatar battle theme, with big banner or a thread in general discussion urging people to join in.

6. Change into ;)

11 November 2004, 10:29 AM
1. Every participant has to make a link in their sig stating "join the daily sketch group"

2. A place among the other forums on the main page (instead of a sub forum)

3. Winners of the sketch of the week get to pick themes for the next week. (works for the game art compo's)

4. Maybe get the portalgraphics guys to sponsor the place with the occasional license for OC3.

5. Monthly Avatar battle theme, with big banner or a thread in general discussion urging people to join in.
1 - will probably scare people more than it will motivate to join.
2 - definately!
3 - interesting concept, although this may lead to seriously badly chosen topics or repetitive themes
4 - cars appearantly work very well as an insentive I've heard ;)
5- As much fun the avatar battles are, they get a bit worn down after a while.

Making voting easier, for instance by making a thumnailed list of all images posted, so people only have to check out one thread in stead of eight. Voting easily takes up 20-30 minutes.

11 November 2004, 03:07 PM
I wouldnt take the competition away... It motivates if our art is ever appreciated. Im on the side of the fence of those who never get good comments on their sketches, and the competition factor only makes me wanna try harder.

The signature thing is a good idea... as a suggestion and not an obligation tho.
Maybe winning something every two or three months would rock... on the downside that would mean sponsors and sponsors mean ads. But if it helps de group then so be it a banner can't really hurt anyone. Talk to the OC guys and Alias SBP. Maybe later PS and Painter.

A little suggestion: Maybe try a quick vote for the subject. I know it sounds like more mess but a quick poll would do. Polls are quick to vote on and choosing a subject by democracy would be nice.

I agree on putting a little brake on the avatar fight/car/kill/dance thing for a while maybe like supervlieg said, once a month or so.

More banners, more people spreading the word on their signatures and outside the forum. I just got my brother into it and he participated THREE times on the "Desperado" subject. (SpaceCowboySpike). This is just to prove that there are many people who would love the idea but don't know about it.

After that: Roberto great work! and everyone great stuff! I guess the only bad thing in the world now is Bush's reelection...:shrug:

11 November 2004, 04:08 PM
Maybe add an 'About sketch group' sticky explaining what its all about. What i mean here is that although there is a competition side, the real plus is for novices and pros to mix and learn and get art work 'out there'. I've personally benefited a great deal by watching others and with the me this is what it's all about.

Another idea. Offer some of the talents in the group and perhaps invite some of the outstanding and proven artists in the cgtalk community the role of Sketch Group Mentor where they can occasionally comment on how people can improve. I know it would be difficult to get people to volunteer their time...but it'd be very cool! Perhaps each mentor could pick a single sketch each week to crit. So if there were seven mentors, seven sketches would get a crit. etc.

Antoher idea. With the topics, while I also think Roberto is doing a great job keeping things running, we might be able to make his life easier and give us more variety if the sketch selection was aided with a database tool where all of the topics were entered into a database (there must be well over a thousand topics so far)...then roberto could click a button and a random topic would appear, he could choose it or click again for another suggestion. I'm a programmer by day (the secret's out, please don't hate me) so would volunteer to put this together if Roberto and the group think it's a good thing to do.

Well i've been 'speaking' off the top of my head, but that's my 2 cents.

11 November 2004, 04:22 PM
signature link was how i got to know of this place at all, so i'm definitely putting it in my sig too :)

i like drawmonger's idea for the database thing.. often i want to join in the sketch and hit a brick wall on the topic lol

as for competition, i do not join stuff to compete, but for fun and experience, but that's just me :D even the grand space opera thingie is only for experience and practice, practice .. :wip:

11 November 2004, 10:21 PM
Um, I'll add Daily Sketch link to my signature, but I don't know how to make a tag that says "Join the Daily Sketch!" where the html link would be. I wanna be cool like you guys. :blush:

11 November 2004, 10:26 PM
easiest way is to highlight someone else's and copy -> paste it into your signature line settings...that's what I did! :)

11 November 2004, 10:39 PM
Hoo-ie! It worked!

11 November 2004, 01:41 AM
If we really want this to be big, prizes that mean a bit more would help - either sketch of the week logo thingy actually goes on your posts like the cgchoice awards do, or even some sort of actual prize like software or games. I don't think it should be about that, but it would draw in the crowd - look at the CGChallenges - once a computer prize showed up, there were thousands of entrants.

If we want High quality entrants - and lots of them, get an industry professional to watch the contest and choose winners - with the best entrants being considered for positions at thier company. That's worked really well at CGChat...

If we want it to just be better, and hopefully therefore draw the crowd (pun intended), add a professional critiqes page, where people in the industry tear apart random images, and critique them to death, so people can learn from that. I'm picturing some sort of brutal 1000+ word dissection of the work, what works, and what doesn't, complete with paintovers and diagrams.

11 November 2004, 02:11 AM
Software would suck, most suppliers on this board are PC based and I'm on a mac, as are a few,probably very few, members of the daily sketch group.
Majority rules I suppose, the events of this week have proven that. (grumble, moan, whine)

11 November 2004, 02:29 AM
That all depends. If Roberto is lucky enough to get a software company (or phoshop plugin company?) to sponsor the prizes, rather than going out to the store and buying a CD, then it should be simple to offer up based on platform. I think expensive software would be a bit of an overkill, but something around the cost of a DVD - or even a Gnomon DVD would be pretty cool.

If we went that route, we should probably limit the number of times per month you could win the main prize, because it tends to be a fairly select group that gets them all the time. (of course that could change if there's a prize up for grabs...)

11 November 2004, 03:43 AM
Is it possible numbers may be down at the moment because people are spending every last minute they can on the challenge?

11 November 2004, 04:28 AM
Hi fellows:

I've been reading this thread and surprises me that still there's the idea of being afraid of posting next to a good sketch. I remember seeing the exact same discussion a long while ago, when trying to identify the direction of the group. I thought then -and still now- that the sketch group will benefit great time from focused critiques, developing a team system to comment on each other work. But it has evolved in a different way, with a most refreshing "just for fun" spirit, and can't remember seeing any critique, much less mocking or humilliating people's work, just lots of good humor, community sense and "yays" everywhere -another reason because is so strange to be afraid of posting, nobody will ever say anything harsh- wich is also good. The sketch is a form of practice for each one on his or her own path of developement, and the gathering of different styles and concepts is the good thing about posting for everyone to see.

I agree with what has been said, time is a huge issue. But I disagree with the contest and prices idea, it'll break the freedom of experimenting, relaxing or whatever, and put a pressure factor that maybe isn't necesary (or even healthy), turning brother against brother, father against son :D ...

Maybe the best we can offer newcomers,as a Sketch Group, is improvement, in a workshop-like fashion. But practice alone means improvement by itself, either you post it or hide it under your bed :shrug: . Maybe topics that would help you work out certain skills would be nice, like composition, color, shape, mood, anathomy, lineweight, character design, enviroment design, mechanical design, you name it.

And here's a dumb question: why is the number of visitors an issue? it's like rating on tv? are they shuting up this place if it doesn't meet its quota?

Regards to Roberto Ortiz for keeping it running smoothly


Sir Patroclo

11 November 2004, 04:54 AM
Sir Patroclo has a point. This really shouldn't be a contest. It should be exactly what it was planned on being. I'm assuming it's a place for people to practice and improve their skills:shrug:. I haven't posted anything maybe i should keep my mouth shut. I've been watching these sketch topics for a long time now. I love the great work posted and i admire all of those who dare post. I also had a hard time finding the daily sketch topics when i first saw them. It would be great if it were placed somewhere more easily visible. My 2 cents

11 November 2004, 05:02 AM
I think where possible more sketchers should do openCanvas sessions to show off their stuff, for good or bad. I'm still trying to get my head around the program, but those used to it (and indeed flourishing with it can be of great asset. Those that are skilled can teach with it and those that are struggling (like me!) can get critique.

Even networking collaborations (like the thread Goro set up) are extremely useful.

11 November 2004, 05:12 AM
Someone find a way where I can squeeze 48 hours out of a normal 24 hour day and I'll sketch everyday. Aside from that ... I've included the sketch forum in my signature also.

Keep at it folks ... I wish I could be here everyday. :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 09:48 AM
I think promotion is the best way to improve the numbers (more front page stuff) & also moving the forum to an easier place to find it.

I don't think competition shouldn't really be the emphasis as getting creative & encouraging people (like me) who want to improve & try stuff out, sketch things that we wouldn't otherwise do. Voting is fine though I don't mind it, keeps me on my toes & makes me realise how much I've yet to do :) Giving the Sketch of the Week winners an icon is a nice idea. I think we should have a best new comer vote as well.

I liked the book club week we had ages ago as it made me think in a different format, topics like that which add variation & challenge you to come up with something different are cool. Perhaps coming up with a different topic type (avatar, book, album, pencil only, lighting etc) per day & having a 2 week rotation would be fun? Sometimes restrictions are a good thing as well as a free for all.

Lastly a big thanks to Roberto Ortiz for running a tight ship as well.


11 November 2004, 03:40 PM
After reading Sir Patroclo's missive, I agree - let's not become a contest. As mentioned somewhere a few posts back, the same WAY talented people seem to win over and over again. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but for people like me who are struggling to improve - its not really an incentive. But on the other hand, I do look through the votes to see if anyone mentioned me and when they do, its a HUGE thrill. So I guess I just contradicted myself there.

I like that people are posting their .wpe's because I can see how they work. If I ever get the hang of OC, maybe I could post mine and people could suggest better ways and ideas. The crits I've gotten, and suggestions too have helped me tremendously.

I haven't really searched the entire CGTalk universe, is there someplace that I can go for more advice on things like: avoiding rep. stress, how to get that gorgeous image in your head onto the canvas, etc.?

The basic spirit of the group right now is one of encouragement and sharing, and I hope making it more of a contest won't change that. Its has made me stretch and think more "outside the box" and that is always a good thing for an artist.

How about if we had some Hon. Mention type awards for "Best Newcomer" or "Most Improved" periodically?

Lastly, I'll end this novella by thanking Roberto for all the hard work in keeping this group alive. I also want to thank the other mods that keep posting and offering up great advice!

11 November 2004, 07:29 PM
Yeah, when I suggested prizes, I was thinking prizes would bring more people, but I knew I didn't want it that way. I think this is a nice little community, filled with really supportive people, and I don't mind it not growing. If it does, that's fine as well, but I like it how it is. I do think we could do a few things to liven it up though.

I think it would be cool to have bouts of subjects (like the book thing) on occasion, maybe stuff that's more accessible - more like what we do on other parts of the forum, like character designs, vehicle designs, that sort of thing.

11 November 2004, 08:54 PM
I haven't read every post, so please excuse if I am repeating anything!!
I think it is really fine the way it is atm, but if you want to get more people involved, why not do a mini challenge unregularly, like in the other forum-categories.
Something like "Lighting an underwater temple scene" or whatever the creative minds of this group can come up with. And the winner gets a nice icon and a front page plug all for his own, isnt that enough of a price? I mean I would totally frek out if I would get a front page plug, cause thats where everybody looks for on CGTAlk! :D

Whatever, my 2 cents
kind regards and thanks Roberto and the CGTalk team :)

11 November 2004, 09:21 PM
sorry that i dont really have any ideas for bringing more people here, but ill let you know that ill be joining around christmastime when i get a wacom tablet :) ill probably have a lot of things here, since i dont have a lot of schoolwork. im not a great artist, but i hope to learn a lot of things here.

11 November 2004, 01:36 PM
Yes, I can't be bothered reading all the previous posts...!
BUT! ...
I have an idea, and if it's been mentioned before all the better!

Maybe a website that lists the current daily sketches, because as a forum, the topics are hard to keep track of.

So, it has a links to the vote for thread, a few links for current topics etc?

Just a graphical front end for the forum would be cool I guess. The people I've suggested this forum to say it seems to hard! :D
Sketches should be quick and easy right? Maybe?

Dunno. *should start sketching soon* hehe

12 December 2004, 02:44 AM
Just need my tablet. I always come here and take a good look, but no way i will drawn by mouse, and i donīt have a scanner.

Anyway, i never understood very well the question of how long takes and since when a thread sartts... People have different Time Zone, and itīs kinda confusing... Can anyone help me with that?

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