Now there’s a familiar face, and someone I remember from years ago.
I do not know if you would remember me… it’s okay, it was a long long
time ago, when this site was called Elysiun.
(the project was to fill a Santa’s sleigh with toys.)
Since then I dropped offline (a long story) but eventually having wended my way back and landed on this thread I think I might be able to add something relevant to the thread of “asking for help”, aka Proposals.
I understand that what you listed are more along the lines of words to the wise than pronouncements, and I trust that my suggestions will be viewed in a similar light.
1. Be modest.
This doesn’t mean be needy, but if you are asking for help implies that you recognize that others have something you lack. There is a lot of talent here and it doesn’t hurt to recognize it as such. This doesn’t mean sucking up either (easy to spot) … more a matter of having the good grace to be comfortable that recognizing someone else’s talent is not a weakness, but a strength: the ability to recognize ability.
Contrapositively, if you invite people to your party, you should be ready to cater to them. If you ask for help, you should also be eager to render (no pun intended) help. Noob or guru, it helps to remember that we are travelling similar paths to similar destinations… animation/modeling is a frontiere after all… we are all pioneers here: as such, a sense of self-reliance and a willingness to lend a hand are really two sides of the same coin.
I could have called this rule “Have respect”.
2. Dream big.
If a project is small enough to do it yourself, you probably should, asking for just enough help to learn the things you need to know. But if it is big enough to genuinely require a team of others, you need to be able to dream, in detail, in technicolour, with focus, about the nature of your vision; to never tire of explaining it, embroidering it… enlarging it. In proposing a project, what you are really doing is trying to share your inspiration.
While it may be hard to fake respect, it is probably impossible to fake inspiration. Which means that the complementary lemma to “Dream big” is “Know yourself”.
3. Be patient.
Having spoken from experience, the diligent reader might be inclined to wonder whether I am speaking from the standpoint of learning from ones mistakes or sharing ones successes – and to this I will address my closing point.
Short answer: both.
You don’t necessarily know when you are succeeding…
With the Blender Elves project I felt at the time that I had failed to interest enough people to complete what I had started.
From where I sit now, I realize that so many of the meta-hopes I had held for that project are now actually goals which others have indpendently internalized… advancing the flag far further than I could have alone.
I see evidence of this spirit in new Blender model repositories, better tutorials, stereo renderings techniques… not to mention commercial projects.
After time, I count as success what I once saw as failure.
Does this mean if feel “I caused” my goals to become real? Of course not. What it means is that the real goals that one must tap into are transpersonal, as are the modes of the realization of those goals.
“Be patient” really means “Keep trying”.
So, as is my wont, I have wandered verbosely far afield, while remaining (I hope) focused on the topic of Proposals. I confess I am more of a writer who dabbles in animation, than an animator who occasionally writes postings to this forum.
I came here looking for the threads of where I had stood, looking to understand where I had been: seeking to learn exactly what the title of this thread suggested it held: hints on asking for help with a project.
Your six very practical points are much more succinct and probably a lot more helpful than my three rather abstract psychological ones… but the act of explaining what I have learned helps me learn it… and maybe also some other person.
Yes, I did come here with another proposal, but I think I will take a little time to reflect on these “rules” first, whilst I catch up on some of the other postings and progress on the Blender front in general.
In the meantime, it’s good to be back and to find that even if I had forgotten my password here, this forum (by any other name) had not deleted my account. Cheers…