Where is a better forum web site? CGTalk is dead.


#1

The main reason that I’ve been visiting CGTalk for the past 15 years or so is to first check on the latest CG News, primarily the discussions on the latest 3d software and updates. The software specific discussion forums have been ghost towns with little discussions.

Apparently the latest 3d/VFX software/updates announced at NAB this year don’t register as news anymore according to the moderators in these forums. I understand that since Autodesk took on Microsoft pariah status a number of years ago by buying up the main competition, killing off some of it and slowing progress in the entire industry, that the rants that have ensued since have been counter productive in the News sections every time NAB and Siggraph roll around. So now CGTalk is dead.

Where have all the people gone? If anyone knows where the new forum web site is with intelligent discussions, please list it/them here so that I may jump ship the where there is still life in this industry that I’ve been part of the past 23 years.

Sincerely,
David Cox


Where is everybody
#2

CGFeedback sounds like the place for you, my friend. Terrific gathering of artists. Haven’t visited in a while though, so couldn’t testify as to the traffic there this weather.


#3

This is a bit of a headscratcher for me. I stepped down as a FL a while ago since the old management did not do much to support the forums leaders work. I am not talking about perks, those stopped years ago, i am talking about backup when it comes to moderation. Under new management this got worse, communication was basically broken, at least up to the moment i lost FL access rights a few weeks ago.
Several long term FLs decided to keep their hands out of the mess after the new management endorsed many things that we were thankfull to have left behind years ago.
While i liked some of the changes to the layout things like plugs and many new forums are all over the place. Just days ago things seems to have been partly rolled back, but again without any indication why.
My personal impression is that GD and news have suffered severely when it comes to participation and quality. On the other hand, the C4D subforum is very much alive and kicking, which i am very happy about, even though it isn’t realy my concern anymore.
For 15 years CG Talk was one of my major focuses for everything CG related, currently i can’t see the same in the future, but i hope Travis and the rest of the new gang prove me wrong.


#4

musashidan-

CGFeedback sounds like the place for you, my friend. Terrific gathering of artists. Haven’t visited in a while though, so couldn’t testify as to the traffic there this weather.

Thanks for the tip about CGFeedback. It looks like a pretty good community of 3d people.

Srek- Thanks for your point of view, as now I see the inner turmoil causing the lack of news in the news section. It is disappointing when I realize that I’ve missed the big news of the year that I eagerly await about AD products. Sure, I should be following NAB at least, but have gotten used to using CGTalk News as my daily news. Even though I’ve been using C4D for work and Houdini instead the past couple years, Max is still my workhorse for contract work and look forward to seeing new features.

Now I do see that people have segregated them selves into their individual product forums more than in the past. Is this a good thing? Perhaps there is less bickering with different software comparisons, but it is a bit of a hassle bouncing between multiple forums to be clued in on all the software that I’m interested in. Also, keeping the forums separated may lead to less communication between the groups, or flow of ideas. Ok, Discussions is serving this purpose to a degree…I guess I’ll stay to see what else this society has to offer for a while longer.


#5

In the past the segregation was a neccessity. What went on ten years ago was much to emotional. Many here will remember the infamous flamewars and don’t ask what went on n the lw subforum :wink:
However, that changed a lot ver time. What would have been a usless, even from an entertainment pov, appwar can now produce actual useful information. As a FL i pretty much stopped moderating these threads a couple of years ago, it just wasn’t neccesary.
A major factor in this is that many old timers became proffesionals and got a much broader perspective. At this time it can happen that if someone asks for advice on the c4d forum he gets the recommendation to use another product for the specific problem, from a c4d user. At the same time he will get a couple of solutions on how to do it in c4d anyway. In the end the focus nowadays is on solving problems.


#6

I’ve noticed the shift as well. I’ve been fairly busy myself so I haven’t been too worried. Personally, I think other social media channels are having an impact on the forums. News and other info is traveling much faster through Twitter.

I hope CGTalk does stay relevant and shifts as needed. Otherwise, I am sure it will become extinct as that is the nature of the landscape.


#7

I can’t help but feel that if anyone here knew of such a place, then they’d not say where it was in hopes of protecting it. :slight_smile:


#8

We’ve talked about this quite a bit over the last few years, but it’s not so much that “CGtalk” has slowed down as it is that forums in general have slowed. IMO most people these days are using Facebook and/or Twitter to share info/ideas and places like forums are becoming a thing of the past. I hope there’s a way to reverse this trend as I loathe Facebook and find Twitter to be alternately useful/irritating. I much prefer forums.

In addition to social media though, I have to wonder if another part of the reason for the slow down is that there just doesn’t seem to be that influx of new people like there use to be. I feel like over the last 5 or 6 years we’ve slowly seen a decrease in interest in the industry in general.

@srek - Thanks for sharing your experiences. You were always one of my favorite Fls.


#9

I had to cut back in participation because of pressing family issues. I am a new father, my father in Law and Auntie (who raised me) both died on July and February(I buried her on my Bday) and my dad(who I am very close to) has been diagnosed with Cancer…oh and my wife and son both developed bad cases of pneumonia (as in multiple ER visits) in December and February while all this was going on.
Because why not.
Add to that a hard election with the Local SIGGRAPH chapter ( I am the chair) while all this crap was going on an this has taken a toll on me.

So there you go. I plan to come back as soon as the storm abates.
i have faith in the forum, I just REALLY need some time. I am almost out of the storm.

Having said all that…

I am also tired of how this industry is a meat grinder, that treats people like washouts after 30.
When I go to LA it breaks my heart to see industry pros struggling.
I have ideas towards this, but I do need to regroup.


#10

I’m sorry to hear about all your real difficulties this year Robert. It reminds me that there are people behind all these funny icon avatars who have been giving their time daily to bring me my precious daily CGNews all these years. I for one really appreciate all your un-biased postings that I’ve eagerly consumed. The same goes for all the posts that I’ve read from Srek and others.
As one of those well past their 30’s and lucky enough to still be working in some capacity or other in this industry, watching others around my office fall to the axe this week, I guess that it helps to not get married to only one software or work flow…and perhaps lucky enough to not still live in L.A., where I hear much of the work is heading out of town.
Overall, after a quick look at some other forums, CGSociety has much more traffic and depth of coverage, if I can remember to hop out of my usual sub forums and check them out. As far as Facebook, I’ll leave that for my friend chat, and Twitter…99% gossip, so why bother?


#11

I agree to an extent, when jumping across via a traditional background in 2004, starting out with Blender teaching myself hardsurface modelling, present day site traffic alone certainly pales in comparison. Aside from books/mags, back then I would also lurk about attempting too gather useful info either here on CGTalk, and elsewhere Blender Artists plus Polycount primarily. So in retrospect after only becoming active in recent years my humble opinion is that, professional moderation a feature shared between these CG forums essentially enables their continued relevance, a characteristic I have to say other online communities I could name seem to lack.


#12

Sorry also to hear things have been so terrible this year Roberto - from another of the many users that read your CG Posts on the site.

This is a very interesting thread. I wonder if it is related to changes to the site as mentioned or more because of a shift to Social media.

I have noticed that Facebook groups and industry ‘pages’ are very active now. In some ways I think it’s great - fast and direct updates in my newsfeed all the time, direct contact to many people that are exposed to that post, easy linking between relevant information.

But you get no real ‘control’ of information on facebook. You can choose a channel and posts are thrown at you. Something more than a month old is pretty much lost forever to most visitors, so questions get asked over and over again. With CG-Talk you can drill down to a specific topic and recall a discussion from 4 years ago.

I hope this decline in CGTalk is a trend that will reverse, whatever the cause is!


#13

Damn, sorry to hear about the tough year for you. I hear you on the over 30 thing. I actually got an opportunity to build a new 3d team and have been revitalizing over 40s. I tried to get Rob Cloutier. but while he will work with me, he was not interested in the type of work we do. I did hear he will be speaking at the next DC chapter meeting.

I don’t mind working with up and coming talent, but I have to say that for my new team, building the foundation with 20+ year CG veterans has been a blast. The communication is spot on and we totally get each other’s references. The team will be continuing to grow as well. I’d love to take you on too Roberto as long as we can afford you ;0)

I’ll be reaching out to you again at some point. Although I know it would be difficult to pry you away from the USPO. You’d love some of the stuff we are doing now. Plus, we only go into an office 1 day a week. We work from home the rest of the time with a few trips every now and then for training and research gathering.

Stay positive my old friend and we’ll catch up again soon!


#14

TL: DR - Are you a CGTalk lurker and why don’t you join in the conversation?

Something I’ve observed in the last few months. I don’t know if I’m right but I’ll let you guys mull it over. “The Chatter Box” forum was added to allow for more general non-CG related conversation. Now when we originally were discussing this idea I was imagining that the rules for “General Discussion” would be relaxed allowing for more general discussion not that another forum would be added. Most of us have been saying that the number of forums need to be reduced, not added to. So right off it seemed to me that it divided focus and required more threads to be tracked.

In a related note, I stopped regularly checking the “News” forum because it was generally just press releases or big banner articles. The nature of that forum doesn’t really lend itself to long discussions by the way its sorted. Which is cool, I understand it. I checked it yesterday and saw the Division making of. This seems like something more suited for “General Discussion”. Most of the topics in “News” have hundreds or thousands of views and zero replies so they are getting looked at but perhaps people don’t believe they should be posting there.

I like the concept of “The Chatter Box” but with the replies being so low is there really a point to it being separate from the “GD”? Would you guys, the general public here, have a problem with the 2 being combined? Not really combined, just the rules for “CB” being applied to “GD” and dumping “CB”.

Traffic is definitely still good if you go by the view counts. Actually I just took a closer look and wow, this place still gets a lot of visits. It just looks like a lot of lurking and no conversation. Its a bummer because I really love this community. Could also just be the nature of the beast. People get busy and have better things to do. :shrug:

But I may have no idea what I’m talking about so I’m curious what everyone else thinks. What about you? Is there something keeping you from joining in?


#15

I like lurking here around here. I enjoy looking at the artwork and reading the articles. I spend a lot of time reading the forums, but as a weekend hack artist who has never worked in, nor will ever work in the creative industry, I don’t believe much of what I have to say would be considered of any real value.

Sometimes I can relate my nearly 30 years in construction trades to particular topics, such as the recent artist shortage (40% of all trades worker in America are with in 10 years of retirement age), or any of the many threads about working conditions (I can’t believe artist don’t have better contracts written up) but I tend to not post because they are not art or art industry related.

I do miss the Daily Sketches and the Hardcore Modeling challenges.

Not sure if my situation applies to any of the other lurkers or not, but since you asked Wyatt, there it is.


#16

I am a CGLurker, as you can see, altough I read the forums everyday, as long as I am able to.
I usualy do not post on anything because I believe I should gather more knowledge and give more useful answers.

Maybe I should leave that behind and participate. :bounce:


#17

That’s good insight. I’ve been able to stay employed in the CG field for nearly 20 years and support a family of 6 solely on my income by understanding trends. I often look at trends in other fields, find the similarities, then can navigate my own field with better success.

Thanks for your input


#18

I would say that we are birds of a feather then. I made pretty good money way back but for the last 10 years its been small freelance projects every now and then. I try to stay current as much as possible but when its not your full time job it seems to get harder and harder.

Appreciate the answers guys. I guess I’ve been here running at the mouth long enough that I always feel the need to contribute. :smiley: I certainly welcome outside opinions unless an answer requires special knowledge. But then there are plenty of pros here to fill the gap.

BTW, I have nothing to do with running CGTalk, I just want the community to thrive.


#19

Could be it’s a busy season and everyone is working on deadlines is why it feels slow? Only one that seems to be full of traffic and new stuff is ZBrushcentral if your a Zbrush user.


#20

Are people not looking into this a bit too deeply?.., it seems to me the more vibrant forums have young active members, CGtalk have people who grew up with it over the last 10-15 years, then you have kids, steady jobs, partners who think you spend enough time in-front of a computer - young folk have less responsibilities and far more time on their hands. Newer, fresher, more specialist CG sites appeared, even the on first glance Polycount and Zbrush central are more fun, more game-centric, attracting younger members and a less mature humour - I mean the latter as a compliment, CGtalk isn’t somewhere you’d come for light relief and I’ve lost count the amount of times a newcomer receives a sarcastic comment, I’m guessing a large number of these newbies jumped to another ship - no offence to all the helpful people that are on CGtalk