Do The Right Thing - Think Before You Post


A post by ThE_JacO (XSI’s forum moderator) inspired me to paste here his words (thanks to him for allowing me to). Our forum has always behaved in a good way, i’m really happy and proud of what we achieved here, but reminding some things doesn’t hurt. His post was so well written that i felt it had to be read by everybody. I obviously changed some words here and there to adapt his words to our forum and to our weapon of choice, i think this thread should become sticky if you all agree:

C4D’s advanced users are still few, and the new popularity obviously brought in more people in need of help than people who can give it.
This in itself is not bad at all, quite the opposite infact, but you have to understand that the very few veterans of the Maxon scene who are still around in forums have a limited amount of time.

It’s a matter of “educating” a user base.
3D as a discipline is still extremely young, and being so young means there’s no defined academic path yet and there are hardly any social rules that are widely agreed upon.

If you went into any coding comunity asking what an #ifdef does you’d be ignored on the forum and get subscribed to a lot of zoopr0n spam immediately.
Why? Because the basic rule is that ANYTHING that can be found in a reference should never be asked about unless you show very clearly that you made an effort to look into it.
Frankly speaking I see it as the only good way to go.
I think it’s incredibly cool that some people (and it’s very often the newcomers) are disposed to spoonfeed other users, it shows one of the most amazing human traits, that is the inclination to share knowledge, which is ultimately why we are all here I suppose.

If you feel like doing it, do so; it’s surely not against the rules of Cgtalk but for those who require it you should remember one thing:
learning is a process, as all processes it represents an evolution.
If you just keep bumping into obstacles, wait for them to be removed for you, or to be taught how to perform a basic walkaround, you will be slow, and will never be independant.
Assuming you have an IQ that is average or above, what sets the real pros apart from the rest is, very simply put, the ability to learn, analyze and resolve.
If you don’t force yourself into research for these very simple things, you’ll be totally baffled the day you will be required to work on anything that is more challenging then a flying logo, this is true for anything, any form of art and any form of tech.
This sad trend that is emerging everyday more in this industry, of focusing on tools and memorizing workarounds or functions, is really not gonna help anybody.

I said it a lot of times and I’ll say it again, what really matters IS YOUR STATE OF MIND !
The mental structure to tackle problems that you can only train yourself into if you do things yourself.
The will to study seemingly unrelated material to reach a higher understanding of the process.
The commitment to do things even when they seem totally boring.
The ability to focus, up to the point it borders stubborness, until you UNDERSTAND.

When you’ve done all this, and still have problems, drop by and ask, and things will turn into interesting discussions, not into sterile Q&A, you have tech support for that.

Oh, and last but not least, remember that even if it seems a remote realm lost behind a monitor, this is a place populated by real people.
On CGTalk you have people from ILM, Weta, DD, AL, Pixar, MPC and a lot more major and smaller studios.
In this industry your reputation is worth its weight in gold and then some.
NEVER make the mistake to assume that your reputation in here will not have any effects on your real life sooner or later.
I got offered jobs from people in here, I recruited people from this site and I got a few good friends that I also had the pleasure to meet in RL.
Remember it’s real people on the other side of the screen, some of which could one day be looking at your reel and remember if you were a lazy SOD or a brillant SOB :wink:


Another great post by JamesMK here, it deserved to be added here:

"Just something I’ve been thinking about for the last few days…

Current situation: We’ve got R9 just around the corner with heaps of improvements, workflow enhancements, new tools and whatnot. At the same time, XSI has dropped their prices significantly, and there is a lot of confusion about the upgrade prices for various Cinema 8->9 scenarios. So, the scene looks somewhat like an old western movie where something is about to go very wrong in a saloon, and it’s just a few seconds before people will start shooting and hitting eachother in the face.

But the funny thing is that the creative power driving the work we all do here seems to have been pushed back into the shadows. Everything is suddenly about “this feature” and “that feature” and “this doesn’t work as well as that, I want that instead” - now, before you jump to any false conclusions: no, I’m not stupid, and I realise that this whole industry is a rat race, for software developers as well as CG producers and individual artists, and that most of it eventually comes down to saving five minutes here and there to gain 2 bucks advantage over that other guy while maintaining a quality that is just one little notch above what he did… and so on. I know that, and I have no illusions about it being any other way.

But still - why is it that we cannot be happy about what’s coming, instead of whining about what is not coming? In the end everything still comes down to individual skills and artistic vision. You are not going to make significantly better stuff with R9 than you did with R8.5 - and if you start using XSI, VRAY, Mental Ray, Max, Maya or Houdini you probably will not magically become a better artist either.

CG is in constant ®evolution, but the personal evolution is the most important piece of the puzzle. Your skills. At any given point, one application will have an advantage over the others in some area. There is not one single application ever that will make you a better artist. There is not one single feature that will enhance your artistic vision or imagination. While everything evolves technically, you should be the pivot point of it, not the technology.

Those of us who have the benefit of receiving a shiny new R9 next month - be happy about what’s in it. There’s heaps of things that is NOT in it, but that goes for every solution. The same thing will happen with R10. The same thing holds true for every single piece of software on this planet. There will be things missing. There will always be things missing. Don’t waste any more energy on this fact, because there is nothing you can do about it.

Those of you who are financially unable/unwilling to upgrade, be happy about the fact that you’ve still got the current version. Ask yourself if you really master everything about it. Ask yourself if there REALLY is something you cannot do with it. Ask yourself how the hell Jurassic Park could look so good though the CG was made with technology that is today more than 11 years old.

I’m done now. My apologies for dumping core :)"