Guidelines on artistic critique-Read before critiquing

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Postby irrevenant » March 9th, 2006, 9:42 am

xitfr wrote:Generally excellent, but I think it's important to remember that the purpose of the art forums is to critique submissions. If you don't want your art critiqued at all, it may be better to post it in the off-topic forum. (Speaking as someone who has, so far, only posted his own art in off-topic.)

Neo made a good point about this: sometimes artists just submit work so that it can be included in game, not for people in general to critique. I'll modify the document to include both his point and yours. *EDIT* Actually, what exactly is the role of Off-Topic in art development? Isn't it purely stuff that isn't Wesnoth related, or not good enough to include? Isn't most of the stuff posted there open for comment?

xitfr wrote:Also, the standards may be slightly different for someone who has write access for CVS. "Suggest, don't demand" is good advice for those of us in the peanut gallery, but cannot be enforced on those who control what goes in the game, as they may need to have absolute demands: "if you don't fix this, it doesn't go in."

True. I'll modify the document to make the distinction between Art Devs and not.

xitfr wrote:A minor point: "Stylistic differences". This is a little tricky because there could be major stylistic differences, where it's plainly obvious to anyone that the art does not fit with Wesnoth. Just as an obvious example: Wesnoth orcs aren't green. That's a stylistic point, but a well-settled and non-negotiable one.

To me, that would be a (level 0) outright inconsistency with the Wesnoth setting, not a (level 3) stylistic difference. A stylistic difference comes down to personal preference as to its acceptability, which is why only Devs (who decide what's acceptable) should comment.

I obviously need to make that section clearer, thanks.

xitfr wrote:Also, portraits should be realistic (more or less), not a caricature. A picture of a human with, say, a nose as big as his body will almost certainly be rejected no matter how good the art. I might say something more along the lines of: "for major stylistic differences, anyone may criticize, but don't harp on it. For minor stylistic differences, leave it to the experts and/or Core team."

I was reluctant to put something like that in because it's so subjective what constitutes a 'major stylistic difference' vs a 'minor stylistic difference'. I didn't want critiquers to have to make that call because there will inevitably be disagreement (are Jason Lutes' portraits 'caricature'? They're certainly simplified). I figure it's better rule of thumb to leave style calls to the Devs.

xitfr wrote:Also, in the "Ability to 'draw'" section: "Who should critique?: Someone with superior skill in the pertinent area (or subarea) only" This can be tricky. Who judges "superior skill"? Do you need to submit your own art before you're allowed to comment on others? And even then, who judges "superior skill"? What if you see someone who is (in your opinion) about equal or maybe a little better than you, but who is making the same sort of mistake that you tend to make? I realize you mention that this sort of thing is subjective elsewhere in the guidelines, but it still might be good to make it more clear here, perhaps by saying "only someone with strong or superior skill".

I intend this document as a guide to help people judge for themselves how (and when) to offer (or request) useful critiques.

I had assumed that, at least with regard to applied skill, people could clearly be able to tell whether they knew how to do something or not. Do you think this isn't the case? That someone might (eg.) think they know how to shade portraits when they don't really?

xitfr wrote:I also might put a little more emphasis on "comment on the good aspects as well," just because I find it very hard to do otherwise. I always feel guilty critiquing others' works, since I know my own are far from perfect.

Good idea. Consider it done.

xitfr wrote:I'm not sure if any of my points are actually important enough to justify modifying these guidelines (especially if they remain guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules), but I just thought I'd toss them out. Overall, I'd certainly rather see these guidelines than nothing.

Your points are insightful, and absolutely worth including.

My intent is certainly that these are self-reference guidelines to "grease the wheels" between artists and critiquers, not externally enforced rules. It's also my hope that, with everybody's input they'll improve from "better than nothing" to an invaluable reference.

xitfr wrote:Addressing Leonhard's point: if I submitted my own art, I'd rather have someone say "something's not quite right with X" than not. It can at least give me something to consider, even if I end up disagreeing. But this may vary from artist to artist, and more skilled artists may feel quite differently, so I'll defer to them.

Okay. I'll include a note to the effect that it varies from artist to artist.

Neoriceisgood wrote:Personally, I only care for the opinion of developers that determine if it should go in; and other artists, all the other people often find stylistic points of criticism; "The pose is too sad" or "too cartoony" instead of actual faults in the art;

That's a reasonable position for you to take.

I think there's been a general assumption that if art is posted it's open to comment. One thing I'm trying to achieve with this document is to make it clear critiques are only welcome under certain circumstances.

Neoriceisgood wrote:The reason I prefer the criticism made by an artist is that they -know- how it feels when people point out "errors" that were intentional (Some people blame their faults on style, but those who do it on purpose and claim they do it on purpose can easily be distinguished.) it ticks me off, artists know how it feels when people only comment on things that aren't actually wrong; and tend to evade pointing such things out.

It's entirely reasonable that you should be able to specify who you want to receive critiques from. I believe that the community's pretty decent, and if this is made clear to them, they will respect your wishes. We greatly appreciate your efforts, and certainly have no desire to make you unhappy.

P.S. Neo, please let me know if my changes (notably #1 of social critiquing) misrepresent your position.
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Postby Ranger M » March 9th, 2006, 9:46 pm

When you make changes to the origional it would be nice if you listed them, as I, and probably others, will be unsure as to what has been added, and what is new, and so won't know where in the post to look.

if you post the changes seperately they are easy to see and you are more likely to get feedback on them.
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Postby Neoriceisgood » March 10th, 2006, 6:14 pm

P.S. Neo, please let me know if my changes (notably #1 of social critiquing) misrepresent your position.


Nope, you got it right; in general I only care about what the Dev's think of it, considering they're the ones who decide if it makes it in;

Alot of other people just try to bend it to their vision, as far as I know the devs use a mailing list and things like that; so discuss new graphics to see if everyone agrees on changes that should be made,

When -everyone- offers critizm, you'll get contradicting advice, which is just plain annoying.
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Postby irrevenant » March 11th, 2006, 11:59 am

Ranger M wrote:When you make changes to the origional it would be nice if you listed them, as I, and probably others, will be unsure as to what has been added, and what is new, and so won't know where in the post to look.
if you post the changes seperately they are easy to see and you are more likely to get feedback on them.

It's a bit hard to post the changes separately, 'cos they're generally meaningless without the surrounding text. I've modified the text to make recent changes blue.

Hopefully that will serve the purpose of making the changes obvious.

P.S. Could whoever voted "No" on the poll please comment why? Thanks.
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Postby YaymeQ » July 31st, 2007, 12:52 am

Maeglin Dubh wrote:Note: anything I put up will not likely be fixed up on a computer, and will likely only serve as a guideline for someone better with a computer. Got some ideas already for a fencer line portrait.


I'm new lurker here and was considering contributing art but I'm not all that good at lineart. However, I'm great with a computer! :D
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Postby Shadow » July 31st, 2007, 7:26 am

YaymeQ wrote:
Maeglin Dubh wrote:Note: anything I put up will not likely be fixed up on a computer, and will likely only serve as a guideline for someone better with a computer. Got some ideas already for a fencer line portrait.


I'm new lurker here and was considering contributing art but I'm not all that good at lineart. However, I'm great with a computer! :D


Hey welcome. :) I've seen your DA page. If you want to make a try you're welcome. Even if it is not accepted you still get the chance to learn something.
But first you should start a new topic perhaps this is a sticky and it shouldn't be posted here without dire need. Aside that Maeglin Dubh's post was a bit outdated.
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Postby irrevenant » September 11th, 2007, 9:42 pm

Ugh. How come noone called me on using elves with big-a$$ swords as an example "inconsistency with implied setting details" when the Elvish Champion clearly has one? (Or did that come in later?)

Either way, I need a new example there - suggestions?
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Postby thespaceinvader » September 12th, 2007, 7:57 am

Woses with swords at all?
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