Hey, everyone! I’m sure that most of you here have seen at least one of these examples while browsing the forum and (sometimes) admiring people’s artwork. I hope to raise awareness of a few of the strange things that some people do when submitting their artwork online. Here’s my top ten!
1.) Post the image in a Focused Critique section and say, “I’m aware of _______.” If you’re aware of a flaw in your image, you should fix it before posting it online for critique. Save yourself the trouble of adding note after note explaining that this aspect of the image needs work, but you haven’t had the time to do it yet. This is something that I, myself, have been guilty of before, but recently I’m beginning to see why it annoys people.
2.) Tell everyone your age. Nothing gets on my nerves more than someone who posts an image online for critique and says, “I’m only 13 years old”. Obviously, the only reason that anyone would tell someone, “I’m young and creating 3D renders already,” is to signify that they either want you to take it easy on the critique, or compliment them. This is how some of the younger graphic artists never improve. They don’t want people to critique their work; instead, they want to be complimented on what they’ve done at such a young age. I’m 15, but I don’t say that at the beginning of my posts!
3.) Post an image that’s too dark. This is one of the largest problems people produce in renders. Everyone’s monitor is different, so it’ll never look the same to other people as it does to you. Make sure that your monitor isn’t dimly lit and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. Some might be surprised at how easily your eyes can adjust to a render that’s too dark; look at some online artwork in the forum gallery and use them as a light comparison if necessary.
4.) Post a render and say that it “only took an hour or so”. This is less common, but some people post images and say that it didn’t take them very long at all, thinking that makes them look like experts. The reality of it is, most people can’t create an incredible looking image in an extremely short period of time, but it doesn’t have much to do with their skill. Granted, you do work a lot faster the more experienced you are, but you can only create an incredibly detailed image so fast. Great artwork takes, well, work. And for some, the longer you have to work on it, the more ways you can improve it. So it’s really not all that impressive when you can create super speedy renders; sometimes you’ll look more lazy than professional.
5.) Post a link instead of an image. Now I’m not saying that posting links is wrong, I’m just suggesting you use them as a secondary option (such as a link to a larger or High-Res image after you’ve attached a compressed version to the post). If someone is scrolling through the critique section of a forum and happens to click on your thread, they’re much more likely to comment on it if the image is immediately right there in front of them. I know this sounds pathetic, but it’s true! Clicking on that link is just one extra step to take in order to help someone out with their work. It’s even worse when the image is being hosted by a site with a zillion ads all around it, slowing down the browser and distracting the viewer’s attention.
6.) Post an image that’s obviously well done and say, “Now, I’m not very experienced with ____.” Don’t sell yourself short! Be more confident in yourself! Even if your image isn’t that great, people will know that it isn’t fantastic without you having to tell it to them. They’ll likely know that you know it sucks, too, especially if you’re posting it for critique (which is often the surest sign that an artist wants to improve their work).
7.) Post too many Work In Progress updates. Some people believe that WIP means they need to document every little change they make. Believe me, people don’t care that you’ve changed the grass color from forest green to spring green. It means nothing to the average viewer! Only post an update when you’ve changed the image enough that it’s noticeable to everyone that you’ve done something to it.
8.) Misspell text in either image comments or notes. This doesn’t have much to do with the images themselves, and I’m not just saying this because I feel like picking on people’s grammar; it actually does have a point. The 3D world is widely international, so people from all over the world use the programs that we use here in America. Some people don’t speak English well enough to translate it themselves, so they might use a simple tool such as Google translate. The words don’t translate if they’re not spelled properly, because most of the time if they’re not spelled properly, they’re not words! Even if they don’t use a tool like that, you’re only making it harder for them to understand you when you go and change some of the things they’ve learned about the language by breaking all of the rules. Sometimes, even people who fluently speak English can’t understand their writing! I’m sure that everyone knows there’s a big difference between ‘Compositing’ and ‘Composting’. I’m aware that it’s stereotypical for computer geeks to misspell everything, but please, you can do better than that
9.) Start a WIP thread and never finish it. I’m extremely notorious for doing this, so I’m hoping that by writing about what a terrible idea it is, I might be a little more motivated to stop There have been several times where people have started a Work In Progress thread about this amazing new image or short film that they’ll be creating, and then just let it slowly drift out of sight when they don’t feel like working on it anymore. It’s somewhat disappointing to other people when they see a thread that they really like, and then the author stops updating it completely. It’s not just bad for the viewers, either; it’s bad for you as an artist to constantly be starting projects and not finishing them. Try to stick with it as long as you can. And finally…
10.) Post something as a Finished Project without having anyone critique it at all. This is simply a bad idea. When you’re posting something as a finished project and haven’t had anyone critique it, you’re uploading an image that is perfect by your standards. Artists can learn thousands of new ways to look at their own work through other people’s eyes. And you may say, “That’s their problem if they don’t like it. It’s only an opinion.” I’m not sure how to put this, but, well, most of the time, it’s not! I can’t remember a single instance where someone critiqued my image and I was like, “That’s not true at all! They’re just out to get me!” When you’re posting your work for critique, it shows that you’re willing to improve it, and that you’re eager to learn how. So don’t be one of those people who considers their image “finished” when the only people who have taken a good look at it are themselves. Some of you may think, “Maybe the artwork is only for my viewing pleasure, and I don’t care if other people have problems with it.” If that’s the case, then DON’T POST IT ONLINE!
I hope people can learn a thing or two from this article, and possibly be a little more aware of some of the quirks that they have when posting their art for others to see. I know I certainly haven’t been the best role model for this list, but hey, now that I’ve managed to write it all out where I can see it, maybe I’ll get a little better at it myself