Do we need stickies on Volunteer Work?

Lately I’ve been trawling through the Volunteer Work page, and it has struck me how few serious offers of work there are on there, and how many overexcited noobs there are being totally destroyed (in admittedly hilarious ways).
(I know from my post count I’m hardly in a position to talk about noobs, but at least I’m not trying to be a one-man VFX studio…)

Honestly though, if I see another post saying “Would you like the opportunity to work for this huge multimillion-pound game studio that exists in my mind? Then please make this game for me and I will pay you with my gratitude” I may have to have one of my weapons models 3D printed so I can obtain justice myself.

I think the problem could be helped by having a few posts from angry moderators lit up in yellow for all to see, before they post, perhaps guidelines on what will/will not be taken seriously, to make a little bit easier for those looking for placements to trust that they can come to this forum and find serious offers for work they can reasonably do.

I hope someone agrees with me,
Gilly.

Moved from “Misc: > Off-topic Chat” to “Support > Blender Artists Website Support” (probably would help your cause to post in the correct forum ;)).

There is a sticky thread on that forum to help outline the kinds of posts we expect there. Do you have something specific in mind?

What about a “template” that they have to be able to fill out?

almost like kickstarter?

this way, if they can’t come up with all the answers on post #1 it will not happen?

Cheers for pointing me in the right direction Fweeb.
BPR, I quite like the idea of having a template, but it might mean that placements that don’t quite fit the mould might not get posted, or it might end up with said overexcited noobs just being harder to spot, if they’re checking all the right boxes.
Perhaps it would be better to have “questions to ask yourself before posting”, for example:

  • “What have you got to show from your project so far?”
  • “Which kind of artist do you need?”
    things like that, so instead of simply pointing silly requests in the right direction, we make people question whether they’re ready to post their project yet.
    Thanks for your reply :slight_smile: and I’m glad that other people see this as a problem which should be considered
    Gilly

Do you mean there is a sticky on the volunteer work forum? I genuinely can’t see any…

Oop… my mistake. I thought we had one there. Hrm.

As long as I have been around BlenderArtists, there have been overexcited noobs posting calls for other, more experienced blenderheads to do the hard work of making their personal vision a reality.

One of the characteristics of these noobs is that they don’t do their research. They don’t read stickies. They don’t take a look at similar threads for pointers. They can barely be corralled into posting into the correct forum.

If we do put up a sticky with a lot of requirements for actually thinking a project through, doing some planning, nailing down specifications… I fear we will merely chase the overexcited noobs into other forums and simply make more work for the mods to round them up and put them back into volonteer work.

Besides, responding to their silly posts makes us think about long range requirements, too, and will improve our own ability to plan and execute our own projects.

Hey Ornoco,
I like that way of looking at it, that the less experienced posts act as an exercise for people to think about their own projects more critically. Is that what you meant? (I don’t want to be putting words in your mouth).

However, I think that might be looking a little too hard for the silver lining to this cloud, and I feel that at their current quantities, these posts are having a mainly negative effect, because it is very difficult to find serious work placements.

I can’t talk for all noobs, I know that, but it wasn’t long ago that I was VERY nooby (as opposed to quite nooby which is how I see myself now), and I found that stickies really worked for me, and I learnt a hell of a lot from them about how to behave on a forum. As a noob, a big yellow, angry looking “Read before posting” does resonate deeply, and the sight of a post by Fweeb filled me with terror. :stuck_out_tongue:

Of course stickies aren’t the only option, it was just the first that came to mind after many frustrated hours looking for small jobs I could do.

Cheers for the reply :slight_smile:

Gilly

Yes, that’s exactly what I meant.

I read all the stickies when I was new, too, which is how I know that the noobs you are speaking of don’t read them. Or have no long term memory and very bad reading comprehension. Whatever.

I didn’t consider the plight of someone looking for a small project while wading through the swamps of despair, so giving the daydreamers extra hoops to jump through might winnow some of them out. Another option you might consider is contacting small studios that are working on projects you think you could model for, and asking for ‘intern’ work. Or doing some models for BlendSwap.

Thank you. I must admit I hadn’t thought about Blendswap, I’ll certainly have a look.

I know these people can be frustrating, but I don’t think that we can blame them for not reading the stickies before posting, because there aren’t any. I think it might be worth a try anyways, and if it doesn’t work there’s no harm in having it up there for a while.

The way I see it is that other threads which do have guidelines like this (eg. Games WIP) have much higher quality posts. Even if it won’t work, surely there’s no harm in trying?

Gilly

Legitimately laughed at your starting post. “I am a multimillion pound VFX studio, but you need to build my game, pl0x. Delicious Internet-cookies as payment.”

I suspect the terrifying Fweeb is thinking about consistency and possible wording for a sticky that would strike the right balance between politely asking Volunteer seekers to do their homework before posting and dropping a ton of snarky bricks on their pointy little heads. If you posted some proposed verbiage, you might find it showing up in that sticky before too long.

As you say, it can’t hurt.

Cheers Orinoco,
I’ll draft something out, and post it here to see what people think.
If anyone has anything the specifically want included, just post here :slight_smile:

Gilly

Okay I’ve written up a rough first draft.

Title: Please read before posting.

Getting the best response from a request for volunteer work.

Here are a few ideas for you to consider before you post a request for volunteer work. This post is here to make it easier for you to be taken seriously when asking for volunteer work, and make it easier for people looking for volunteer work to do, by hopefully reducing the number of unsuitable posts being made here.
Please give these a read before posting, and think very carefully about whether you are ready to post your request.

1: Represent yourself in a professional way.

Read through your post before you post. Do you sound like someone who is serious about what they are doing, and just wants a helping hand, or do you sound like someone who wants a volunteer team to make an MMORPG for them? Pay special attention to your tone and try to keep it real.

2: Show your work so far.

People are likely to be skeptical of your project if you have nothing to show for it so far. Make sure to include in you post: your own background; any screenshots, concept art, or other artwork from your project so far; and any other proof that your project is going somewhere. In most cases, this is an essential part of your project, and if you don’t have any work to show so far, think very carefully if you’re ready to ask for volunteers to join your project, and maybe come back later when you do have progress to show.

3: Be specific about what you want.

Think carefully about what kind of artist you want. Do you want a modeller, or a compositor? Which task specifically do you want done? Make sure to post an image of what you want in your original post, rather than making people ask for reference images in their replies. Again, if your answer to this is more along the lines of “I want everything done”, consider coming back later when you are sure exactly what you need doing.

4: Stay modest.

Remember that you need someone’s help. Don’t ask for a “pro”, an “expert” or a “Blender Jedi”: we have the Paid Work forum for that. Don’t try to pretend you are a large VFX studio if you’re not. There’s no shame in being an individual project looking for a helping hand. Blender Artists are not naïve, and they can sniff out a fake.

Good luck with your project,
Gilly.

I hope it sounds about right. I am aware that much of it has been borrowed from other parts of the site, and we need to add a few points to it :slight_smile:

Gilly.

Not bad. A bit wordy in places. Not nearly snarky enough, imho.

#1 is pretty vague. I’m tempted to say: leave it out. Or change it into something about checking grammar and spelling and remember you are writing for adults. The bit about personal background might be moved here from point #2.

#2: Be clear about your project. Screen shots, concept art, scripts, storyboards, scenarios, etc. should be posted. If you are afraid someone will steal your original concept, don’t be: it’s not that good, or that original, anyway.

#3: Be clear about your requirements. I don’t think we should ask them to specify the ‘type of artist’. Better to focus on the specific tasks they need done. They should use industry standard or Blender standard terminology. If they don’t know what to call something, they should find out before posting.

#4: good one. Point out that if the project and the tasks are well specified, volunteers will sort themselves out by taking on tasks they know they can do. Asking for ‘experts’ or ‘jedis’ simply means they don’t understand what is involved in their project.

I think it needs some links to posts on what sort of planning should be done before attempting a game or an animation. Give them some reading homework. Those posts can have all sorts of details about what is required before asking for help. I recall there were some here, years ago, but don’t know where to find them.

Do people ask for volunteers for anything other than games or animations?

(there is a sticky in Game Forum/Team Projects about Tips for successful team projects but I don’t see anything similar for animation projects.)

Sorry I’ve gone quiet on this, I’ve just been loaded with schoolwork. I’ll try to make the corrections tomorrow and post the revised version :slight_smile:

Gilly.