is elysiun killing blender's reputation?


#1

obviously i cant post this on elysiun.

i’ve noticed a high level of mediocre, to down right bad images being posted on that forum, all with supportive comments and praise. Now I realize blender attracts a lot of people to 3d because its free. But somewhere you’ve got to draw the line. And now to make matters worse, people who, for lack of a better term, suck, have been invading this forum.

So i ask. Is forums like elysiun runining blenders image by promoting mediocrity?

I for one frequent cgtalk because I try to hold myself to higher standards. But so often I’m seeing people post crap that looks like it took them maybe 10 minutes to throw together. No concept of textures. no concept of form or lighting or composition.

Blender has a hard enough time getting respect from the ‘big boys’. Shouldn’t we be accountable to our own people and hold them to a higher standard?


#2

It doesn’t make a program bad if it’s users lack the ability of judging themselves oblectively. I try to judge myself with higher standards as well, expecially here in cgtalk. There is no point in posting shit in “the big boys side”, where one can see the best of todays cg artists doing their thing.
On the other hand, I see this forum (blender) as a good place to be educated about this software I’m using. People are helpful and generally really nice. Everyone has to start sometime, and when the software is this “well” documented, there is actually no such thing as a stupid question.
I think your point lies on the fact that some newbies start posting their images way before they grasp even the basic concepts of mesh modelling, let alone texturing, lights, sense of form and proportions or anything. That is sometimes really irritating in deed.
I think it is the by-product of the internet era. People who have grown up chatting, playing online games etc. seem to have a lot shorter attention span than the older generation. To me it wouldn’t have been an option to demand advice modelling “my first photorealistic girlie” after 3 hours of fiddling around with a software I just found at the internet. Some of these post questions like that for real.
I believe in studying, and building a deep understanding by thoroughly focusing on things I want to be good at. And at this age (32) I have already noticed that sometimes it doesn’t even matter how much I focus if I am not “built to do it”. One can get better, but to get great takes a talent as well.
That is why my nick is Joat (Jack of all Trades). And my signature:


#3

The best Blender artwork can be found at Elysiun though


#4

well… without entering a filosophical war of CGTalk vs. Elysiun, I believe that the folks who run Elysiun heads up Martin could do more to raise the perceived quallity level of the whole forum.

True: Because of it’s price tag, Blender attracts a lot of hobbist, amateur and just starting ousers, that of course produce amateurish level artwork (me included). Most of them stay with Blender, but a great deal move onto other software when they are skilled enough.

True: There is a lot of great work showed at elysiun, but it is still the minority.

True: Many forum goers that you see praising mediocre work, they don’t do it sarcastically or to lower the general level of things, they doy it beacuse they just don’t know any better.

My suggestion: Elysiun should start a “featured works” front page, pretty much like the top stripe you get when you enter the main page of CGTalk. It serves 3 important purposes.

1.- When someone enters elysiun for the first time, it can see at a glance the state of the art about Blender capabilities.

2.- Been something that is been CONSTANTLY updated (daily, at least) it creates a sense of competition withing the comunity. Everyone wants to raise the bar to be “up there”.

3.- It educates the community at large. If you are routinely exposed to high level work it becomes more unlikely that you will find yourself praising lower level works… The “whow man, your default cube render rocks!! :buttrock:” comment would be transformed into “this is a really good start, but need to keep improving skills and go deeper into the documentation”.


#5

Well, I am a moderator over at elysiun now, as you all probably know. This topic has surfaced more times than I can count within the Moderators forum there, (yes there is one :D), and this very topic is being discussed between us there currently.

As Apollux said, Blender, being a freely available application, tends to attract the new user who wants to try CG/3D and those that want to do it as a hobby. I am one of those that only utilizes Blender for a hobby. I have a good job and don’t want to change my entire life right now to start back into somehting new. I’m getting too old for that.

Having said that, there is serious discussion going on between the the mods at elysiun about adding a “Serious Critique” forum at blenderartist.org, when it gets launched, similar to the one here at CG Talk. The premise being, same as here, that there will be no “fan boy” posts allowed. It will be seriously moderated to ensure that only strong critiques are posted. The regular WIP forum will remain for those that either don’t want the proper critique, or can’t handle it. We feel that this is a good solution for this situation.

Personally, I feel that a serious critique forum will force new users to improve, or will force the users that want to improve and expand their talents, to stay within the Blender community. As Joat stated, the Blender communtiy is very open and helpful when it comes to bringing new users along by answering questions, etc.

So, I think that enroper’s comments are valid, but I am also hopeful with the upcoming release of blenderartist.org, that some of this will change.

BgDM


#6

Forgive me in advance for my palaver…

I like the fact that many pros display there work at the forums. I being a newbie myself find it inspiring. But at the same time I have seen some pros critique newbies work and rip them to shred’s. which kinda has puts me off and make me think twice about posting stuff I have rendered. Even in CGtalk I have seen some critique’s posted with a genuine but condescending tone to them. I’m all for critiquing peoples work especially newbies work, like mine, so long as it is constructive. I also understand and agree what BgDm has posted and the solution, a place for Really serious critiquing and those who can handle it. I uses to post at blenderman.org; I saw that there were many newbie, like myself, and I felt “safe” to post my stuff with out fear that “one of the big boys” would tear me a new one. I accepted and got all critiques and it inspired me to try harder. If there was the mediocre “whow man, your default cube render rocks!! post” I would critique it constructively so that the person learns out of there experience and would give them the alternative view I thought would enhance and build there skills. I have posted a honest newbie question here, 62 views without getting a single reply to it. The way I saw it was like “We are to busy with with our REAL work to bother with your silly question” I didn’t even get a flat out “Just go here to find your answer and don’t bother us any more post” (side note: I’m proud to say I got the answer on my own)

Since Blenderman.org went down ( I think they should have given it to the community so that someone else at the community could run it so that it would stay alive but thats another thread) I have been looking for another “home” that I can feel welcome despite my shortcomings as a newbie. No one is born with the knowledge to walk let alone run.

Although Apollux said “True: Many forum goers that you see praising mediocre work, they don’t do it sarcastically or to lower the general level of things, they doy it beacuse they just don’t know any better. I agree that they don’t do it sarcastically but the rest of his answer sounds like a put down…they doy it beacuse they just don’t know any better… I would say they like to share the wealth of knowledge.

Yes, I also believe if you do post a “default cube”, do it to learn and get constructive feedback. Not to just to post and /or to say “ this is my cube and it should be worshiped and praised as fine art” (although I have seen some Really spectacular cubes out there :slight_smile: ).

A place for everything and everything in its place.

[ol]
[li]There should be a place where newbies can post there “mediocre” work an get positive constructive critique’s from other newbies…ok, and pros.[/li][li]There should be a place for "Serious Critique” for serious “no cubes” artists like blenderartist.org (many praises… I would visit but I guess my work might fall short of standards.) BgDN Please elaborate on “fan boy” posts as a newb I don’t quite understand.[/li][li] A place somewhere in the middle where serious Newbies and Pros can exchange and interact.[/li][/ol]Blender has my respect. I have tried the demo of ZBRUSH2 because I have seen what it is capable of doing but it is way out of my price range. Blender, as an Opensource software and is and has been evolving into a very serious 3d application and with the sculpt mesh script and others scripts it can easily surpass these high end programs although slowly but surely.

  [b]Enroper[/b] “Blender has a hard enough time getting respect from the 'big boys'. Shouldn't we be accountable to our own people and hold them to a higher standard? 

I say… “higher standards promotes condescension” as far as getting respect from the “Big boys” I say they where little once too and if they cant respect the uniqueness of Blender and there users then they still have a lot of growing up to do.


#7

Marketing is another major factor that separates Blender from the other “big” applications. They spend a lot of time and money promoting their application and features. Blender for the most part relies on word of mouth.

  I agree that alot of people -either consciously or not- judge an app by the work they have seen done with it, not by what features it actually might offer. I don't think however Blender's main problem is that alot of new users post their "first images". You can find that more or less on alot of forums. If you ask me it's the fact that, as some have actually already said in this thread, alot of users play around with it and "move on" when they get the hang of 3D. Something along the line of: "Blender is nice for playing around, but if you want to do something [i]real[/i], you have to use a  [i]real[/i] app." People don't seem to put as much effort into something if the app itself is free. However if you paid a couple thousand people are much more inclined to actually invest some time into it. Also I rarely see people that use Blender in part of a pipeline, for example post processing their renders via multiple passes etc..

  As for the question of what elysiun can do, I'd say have moderators decide if something goes into a finished works gallery or not. That would add more work of course to the elysiun moderators but that concept seems to work well. And it will give people a goal to work towards.

Anyway this  is just my opinion. 
  
 Matt

#8

I would welcome such a “serious critiques” area, or a grading system as you see on this site.

It also bothers me the front page of Elysiun is never updated. It says to visitors “there’s nothing to see here”. There should be an editor doing updates every day or two, and have the frontpage thumbnails you see in many CG forums (again, like this one) to promote quality work.


#9

Do not know… To me it looks like attempt to build a kind of ivory tower. Such attempts always failed sooner or later.

So my idea: Forum should be left more or les as it is now. But with some sort of general introduction and list of common newbie faults for PR & NPR works with rationales behind them, (“Real-world edges are all beveled and although bevel itself is not always readily visible, the way it reflect light always is.”), suggestions (Bevel Center script) and exceptions.


#10

If you feel it is an ivory tower, let me ask you: do you look at the front page of CGTalk? Do you look at the banner and click it’s featured projects? Do you feel like you are promoting elitism by doing so? I don’t.

I like knowing the editors are as excited about this stuff as me. I like seeing someone get an “attaboy” when they bust their butt on something. And I think it’s naive to act as if there are not veteran model makers who have the ability to make special contributions and raise the bar. And when Elysiun acts as if all are blessed with the same skill, they make it difficult to find these people or seek out their work.

Landis was a frequenter of Elysiun for quite some time. His work (including Airman) has been published in magazines and books. It’s some of the best known work in the Blender community. Yet his work has never been on the front page of Elysiun.

Elysiun has no galleries. No points system. No “noobs” area for first WIPs. With all due respect for those who are using a 3D program for the first time, it would improve the perception of Blender as a serious tool if some creations had more visibility than others. After all, when you go to a museum, you don’t see kindergarden scribblings hanging next to the old masters.


#11

Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe it also has a little to do with the planned transition to Blenderartists? It’s only lately that there is comparatively little high quality work being shown.
On the other hand, the fact that there are so few renders that show that the artist has more skill and knowledge than playing around in Blender for a few months, makes serious hobbyists like myself think twice about posting any work.

I’m not so sure it ruins Blenders reputation though. People who take the trouble studying the program know what it’s capable of and go their own quiet way developing their skills.

The fact that Blender is free doesn’t have anything to do with it, IMHO. A pencil and a piece of paper is (almost) free too. That doesn’t mean anyone owning a pencil and paper can actually draw something reasonable.
Of course, a 3D app is much more exciting to a newbie. Dreams of creating the next (fill in: blockbuster movie, top-selling FPS) are the same dreams that drove thousands to Hollywood or the Disney studios when they where still doing cell-animation. (/scratches head, seems to remember vague plans of single handed re-creation Riven back in 2000, lol!)

Let’s not forget that for someone who just starts out in 3D, their first sword, spaceship or whatever stock item is something they are proud of. And rightly so! Nobody ever finishes learning and the render I make, applying to the best of my ability the things I’ve learned from Jeremy Birn’s book about lighting and rendering are just as much “noob” as that first default cube. The only difference is that I’ve been a noob for much longer and the techniques I practise are different.

I think a discussion of what would entice more advanced artists to post their work would be more constructive.
Taking an example from this forum here (or rather: what I miss on elYsiun)

  1. At present, there are no separate forums concerning techniques/skills that are usefull for everyone, modellers, animators and game creators alike. Those are: modelling, texturing, lighting and rendering.
    Now it’s all “Blender general”. But all four are discplines in themselves.
    Having dedicated forums like that could/should increase the quality. For example, standard newbie questions for texturing (how do I make glass, metal) could be answered in a sticky post. The rest of the forum is then free to discuss the new Minnaert shader or tips and tricks on pinning UV-maps.

  2. Posting a WIP or final work may always make people feel uncomfortable. Advanced artists get tired of the “wow!” and “great render!” and beginning artists may feel intimidated by what is most likely meant as constructive critique from an advanced artist. It may sound condescending or pendantic. Neither artist is to blame, taking and giving critique is an art in itself.
    So why not take off the pressure and set up a kind of online class/course were everybody can post there work (yep! this idea comes right from this anatomy/daily sketch group here). Perhaps award the best render, because I do agree that high quality inspires people to try harder.
    I don’t mean something like the weekend challenge. That - at best - leads to artistic development. I mean something that helps/encourages Blender artists to increase their technical skills.
    (eg.: subject: rusty stairs - modelling and texturing)

Just some thoughts.


#12

Neither do I. But such a scenario is possible, I’ve seen it more than once. And I just wanted to remind of that…

P.S. As they say, I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.


#13

I know more than the average hobbiest and less than the pros. It looks to me like there’s perhaps a need here for another Blender web site?
Generaly Blender’s doing what it’s suppose to. Opening the doors to those who never had a chance because they’re priced out. It was only a matter of time before this happened. Blender continues to advance and so do it’s earliest users to profesional levels as new users continue to find the program for the first time. Each have different problems and different needs.
Now that said pros and up and comming pros need their own space. A web site might be needed with a name like “Hobby Blender”. It would also give serious pro oriented sites a link to send hobby users to. The hobbiests also need their space and do appreciate that kind of stuff. That way it might keep the peace. Just an idea…


#14

But such a scenario is possible

True. And Elysiun has policed itself before (Kansas15) But there would be a lot more energy at Elysuin if some of the suggestions in this thread were put in place.

Lots of people hang out at Scifi-meshes, but not eveyone is cut out to be in the insane-detailers-club.


#15

Yes. But this is exsactly that: A club. It may be more, I’m pretty new on CG boards, but the member just gets “member of a club” in a profile. Not “Guru” or something in those lines. Power, even imaginary one, corrupts. And often it gets exsactly one person with wrong attitude with a wrong badge to… (Recent SFM lockdown, but i’ve seen many more boards having this same problem.)

Well, enough doomsaying. Such a system has obvious good points, of course too.


#16

i try to pick a couple of projects per week and give detailed, focused critiques on work i feel has promise/merit. only a couple of times has the author of a work bothered to respond to critique (which begs the question, why bother posting your work on a forum if you don’t want feedback?).

sadly, the moment a serious critique is posted is the usually when the thread dies. this is the problem i have with elysiun. it is not the quality of the work, but the quality of the discourse that is generally at a low level. a lot of blender users will accept unwarranted praise but will disappear or become indignant at the merest whiff of criticism.

does anyone else get the impression the average age of an elysiun member is 13-17? there are a lot of great members too but they get buried in the riffraff.


#17

OK, my final $ 0.02 on this subject.

Elysiun is/will be dead in the very near future. BlenderArtist site will become the new Blender user group website and will be transformed into what the name suggests, more of an artists site. From the information that I have, there will be a serious critique forum to aid in the development of both new users and the serious user. If this deters some people, then to me, that is their problem and not the communities, as a whole. If you want to be serious about using Blender, (or any application/medium for expressing your artistic ideas for that matter), you better be ready to accept some critiques or comments that may not necessarily be what you want to hear.

I will wait to pass judgement on the new site until it is actually up and running. I personally hope that it does transform into more of a serious site, where people can express themselves and accept the comments that come with the territory.

BgDM


#18

(Kansas15)

gasp you mentioned he who shall never be mentioned.

A serious critique forum sounds good to me.


#19

I’m all for a new serious artist site .

As for me, I consider myself to be serious, but I am far from being a pro and I would be hesitant to post (but not visit or willing to join) such a site that would be so inspiring. Only because I think that my work may not be up to snuff with the rest of the users.
Who ever is Admin and Moderator of the site would be, well it your house ,your rules and I cant argue with that. so I agree “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen”

But also....  

I have seen it many times. Where people post there WIP's

The artists find beauty in rainy days.  

And the critic finds beauty in a sunny day and in their critique they say, “ Hmm, you render looks a bit too dark …you should brighten it up a bit and put in a sun; and by the way; here is some advice from someone who knows, Get rid of all that rain; and take out some clouds; you don’t need all of that. It is with this type of “serious artist” ( notice I put it in quote because they are not serious artists …they are more some one who wants to commission work from others) that I have misgivings with.
The critic shouldn’t make the artist work there own, If the critic wants to see a sunny render I’m sure there would be enough space so that he can build, render and post there own so that others can critique.

I think as a community we should build blender users and potential blender artist so that everyone learns something new and not tear them down.

 And as a serious critic; if you offer advice on someones work, [i]make sure you offer a  possible[/i][i] solution or alternative[/i] [i]technique[/i] so that the artist can grow with out trying to change there artistic view.


I also think that there should be a separate place where, Like musicians, people can have [i]Render Jam sessions[/i] and just have fun with there art and where there are no wet blankets to stifle the fun.

#20

Here’s my 2p (2c) as a new poster to either CGTalk or ElYsiun,

As a newb I think this thread is important as the people who have posted care about Blender and it’s perception outside of the Blender community. It does though seem strange that the word ‘community’ hasn’t been mentioned so far in the thread (might be wrong on that account feel free to shoot me down). One of the things that I love about Blender apart from its small size / vast cost / portability between OS’s is the feeling that it’s Our’s. We make it what it is and we can change it to suit our needs.

It seems strange that some of the posts in the thread seem to say ‘We’re over here and this thing over there that we hate to see going down the tubes is failing’ without anyone saying they’re going to do anything about it but watch.

I’m looking forward to posting my first WIP when it’s ready and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a blob on a surface and I’m going to be proud of it. Having said that I spent a lot of time at art school and lurking on these forums and that blob’s going to look like it’s made of real granite with perfect 3 point lighting or I’m not showing it to anyone.

All the posts on this thread show an excellent roadmap for what could be the future of ElYsiun - peer review of work - streamed crits (one thing I hate is seeing rubbish IMO work flattened by experienced artists, it must be v. demorallising - even if it does deserve it).

Maybe it would be possible to allow people to post in newb section only until they are invited to move up a level and have the highest level on the front page as a badge of honour?

This would keep the front fresh each week and show a standard to reach for.

As I said before I feel that the most important thing about Blender is that it’s ours and it’s up to us to make it the best we can - improving the forums, the documentation - http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D - seems like a great way to go etc.

Look at Firefox and where it is now.

That’s our kind of future.

Banged on enough - back to the modelling.

A