chrisco97

Sig Battles: Discussion

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If PDN was, say, only used to combine frames produced with a 3D rendering program, then the sig may still be impressive, but it's only a trivial use of PDN.

 

Many entries are made from images made with other programs or by other artists and only combined using paint.net and are ok to enter. CC's entry in the alphabet comp was a perfect example of this and she won a second place with it.   So why not his?     ;)

 

Perhaps if he posted the links like others do it would be alright?  I'm confused here.  

Edited by skullbonz

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I can't say what has or hasn't been allowed in sig contests, but I'm of the opinion that most of the work that makes an entry notable should be done with PDN. Otherwise, what's the point? If I generate a really spiffy image using a ray-tracer, then use PDN to crop the image and perhaps adjust the contrast, do you really think that belongs in a PDN sig contest? I'd say that unless it's clear that an important element of a sig came from an outside source, the contestant should disclose where it came from. For example, I use the famous "Chat Noir" poster by Théophile Steinlen as my avatar. I see no problem incorporating a PDN-modified version of that image in a sig for a sig contest; but I don't think it would be proper to submit a signature that was just a slightly modified version of the poster, or on the other hand, use RenderMan to generate a 3D version, then resize the the image with PDN.

 

I don't see any real comparison between Cc4FuzzyHuggles's alphabet entry and racerx's airplane. The creative aspect of cc's entry was the way the elements were combined, which I assume was done with PDN. The creative aspects of racerx's entry were the production of 3D airplane geometry, its rendering, and the cloud animation -- none of which were done in PDN. It's a very well-done signature, but it has little to do with PDN.

Edited by MJW
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So then what you are saying is that it is good for some but not for others basically. In all the competitions it says that they shall be made using just paint.net but then someone added that outside image editors and images may be used as long as links are posted. Is this a selective rule? 

 

As far as I see it, all should be made using just paint.net from scratch to be fair for all. Photographs that a person took themselves could fit into this because the artist took the picture with their camera and edited it in paint.net but even that is a questionable use. 

 

I am sure that others feel the way I do but I am the only one willing to speak up and put my head on the chopping block. 

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I'm with you on this Skully. The use of external tools should be severely limited or forbidden IMHO.

Surely the purpose of the competition is to show off your talents using our favorite image editor?

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I misunderstood your original point, skullbonz. I thought you were saying racerx's airplane sig should have been allowed, when you were actually saying cc's alphabet entry shouldn't have been. I more agree than disagree, I would say no non-PDN computer-generated elements should be allowed, but I still think that something like my cat poster avatar, especially if heavily modified with PDN, should be allowed as part of the sig.

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I might not be able to give you a short answer or an easy to understand answer, but here are my thoughts. (this is just how I see things)
 

Many entries are made from images made with other programs or by other artists and only combined using paint.net and are ok to enter. CC's entry in the alphabet comp was a perfect example of this and she won a second place with it.   So why not his?     ;)

 
Here is a short-ish answer.
When it comes to paint.net competitions, I think paint.net should be the primary program that is used.
Other programs might or might not be ok, if they are ok, paint.net should still be the main program. For paint.net competitions it is good to show what paint.net can do, what can be made using paint.net, and what paint.net can do to edit images. When photos are used, it's not about the photos, it's about what people do with the photos using paint.net. Personally, I might use lots of pieces, parts, and photos, but I don't use any other program to make my signatures. 
 

As far as I see it, all should be made using just paint.net from scratch to be fair for all. Photographs that a person took themselves could fit into this because the artist took the picture with their camera and edited it in paint.net but even that is a questionable use.

 
For a longer answer....
When considering if something counts as being a paint.net picture, it is important to know the role paint.net played in making the image, but it is also good to remember that there is the idea of making things from scratch, and there is the concept of image editing. Image editing, photo manipulating, and photoshopping could be called photo art, and photo art is often a different kind of art, as it's based off of photos, and not making things from scratch. My paint.net pictures often involve photos, as I enjoy image editing, but that doesn't mean my pictures aren't paint.net, paint.net is still the program I use for the image editing.
 
Image editing is a popular hobby for some people and a real career for others. Image editing is normally done with professional programs like Photoshop, which is where the term photoshopping comes from. When people think of photoshop pictures, they don't always think of things made from scratch, but rather, they think of photos that have been digitally changed or edited in photoshop. If you explore photoshop tutorials, there are lots of tutorials that simply give you links to the resources used in the tutorial, such as stock images and photoshop brushes, and then they give you the steps of how to put all the resources together to make a cool picture using photoshop (I don't give steps to how I make my paint.net pictures, but I try to give links to the resources that I use). Photoshop can do almost any kind of digital art you can think of, but lets remember that photoshop is called PHOTOshop, as it originated as a digital photo workshop. It is a photo editing software. But what is my point, why am I talking about Photoshop? I'm talking about photoshop as a usage comparison. Paint.net might have originated from the idea of Microsoft's basic paint program (often called MS Paint), but these days paint.net is considered a “free image and photo editing software" (you can read about paint.net here). If images that are edited in photoshop by professionals can be called photoshop pictures, then I think images that are edited with paint.net are safe to be called paint.net pictures.

 

Because image editing is mostly a type of photo art, it often means requiring photo resources, and that's where people use stock photos and/or any photos from the internet. If things such as stock photos are used in paint.net comp entries, the rules say not to violate copyright laws (this is because when you use photos that are not legally free, you are stealing other people's work). So when I use photos, I try to find legally free images and then obey the licensing terms. Image licenses often want attribution and proper credit given to the original image and/or author by linking to the image. Not all licenses require attribution, but I still like to give links out of courtesy, so people know the original images that I use. (for free legal images I like this website http://www.freeimages.com/  and this one http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.) When photos are used, it's not about the photos, it's about what people do with the photos using paint.net.

 
Again, PHOTOshop, is a digital photo workshop, it is an image and photo editing program, like-wise, paint.net is also an image and photo editing program. Paint.net has it's "Adjustments" tab, which I think is mostly for photo editing, and under the "Effects" tab, there is the sub category called "Photo". And have you seen the paint.net documentation? How many of the sample images are "photos" and not images made from scratch? Paint.net is an image editing program, so I think using paint.net to edit images and photos for competitions is fair, since that's half of the programs purpose. And I am very glad paint.net is an image editor, because as a paint program or drawing program, paint.net lacks some important tools, such as built-in custom brushes, a smudge tool, air brushing, etc. Without plugins, paint.net is a very limited painting program.
 
Not everyone enjoys making things from scratch. I don't think it would be fair to say only if you make things from scratch you can enter a paint.net comp, and then exclude those who enjoy image editing. Paint.net is both a painting program and an image editing program, if the program it's self accepts both kinds of art, I don't see why it's competitions should be for or against either type of art. And luckily, according to the rules, the comps do allow both kinds of art. And I personally love the variety. I love to see how people get creative both with photos and making things from scratch. :)

 

(PS: I have seen images that you have "editied" using paint.net, and I like them. I hope you keep up the good work.)

 

Edit, sorry, I just wanted to say one last thing.

Using multiple programs to make a picture, versus using paint.net as an image editor, are sometimes two different things. I personally use paint.net as an image editor, I do not use other outside programs for comp entries.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles

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First I am sorry that I am not a book writer and can't sidestep around the subject but here goes. 

 

If we had an image editing comp then that would be part of the theme, but they are not one.  In the logo comp for example the theme has been deviated from by so much that it has become an image editing comp and not a logo comp anymore. Look up examples of logos and google the definition, you will see I am right in this observation. So is it an image editing comp or a logo comp?

 

I can kind of see using popular game characters or scenes in a sig comp if we were doing sigs for the forums of those games. Are we making sigs for other forums or based on paint.net creation skills?

 

Paint.net is a fine image editor and for many it is easy to learn that aspect of the program long before they can grasp the creation aspect of it. But again these are not labeled as image editing comps.   

 

I can remember many artists who used to frequent these forums and create all kinds of images with no outside help. Some like welshblue, yellowman,etc.  would also write a tute on how they made their creations after the comps were over. By doing this they taught people how to create from scratch which also helped them to learn how to use the program so they could make their own creations. Are there any of these people still left in here? Have we turned into a facebook meme image editing forum? 

 

My whole understanding of the idea of comps was to promote creation, not blending of someone else's work or outside editing programs. 

Edited by skullbonz

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I think you're mistaken if you believe that image creation is the only proper part of competitions, and that image editing isn't. I couldn't find the rules for the open-to-all sig competitions, but I did find the rules for the one-on-one sig battles, and I expect they would be similar. In April 2010, competition host chrisco97 specified that:

 

1. The signature must be created/edited in Paint.NET.
2. The signature size cannot be more than 500x200 pixels. (or 200x500 for a vertical signature)
3. If demanded, the sig-maker must link to the render(s) or stock(s) used. (C4D's not included)
s 3a. You must say what parts of your sig are stocks / renders and what parts are 100% PdN.

* * *

 

That certainly allows for editing already-existing images. (It also allows for outside renderers -- something I'm not too fond of. The point of the disclosure requirement is obviously to allow those judging the image to decide whether the creative content of the entry is sufficiently related to PDN.)

Edited by MJW

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It really is up to who ever is running each comp and I never said it was a prohibited use. This discussion came up a long time ago and was decided that those parts would be added to the rules because a person can be crafty at blending outside content with paint.net. which is a talent just the same as creativity from scratch is a talent. It was mostly done to satisfy the new "talent" that spoke louder than the old talent who created, not copied and pasted. I strongly believe that is why many have left and not returned. 

 

Does it make you feel good knowing that you blended someone else's work instead of creating your own? Is it fair to someone who spent hours or days creating an entry to only be beat by someone who blended outside works done by others? I know that in this hustle and bustle world we live in that people are looking for the easy way out in everything and want one step image creation techniques rather than creating on their own but does it really teach you anything?  Something to think about is that the images people use off the internet or created in another program were created from scratch by that person to begin with. All you are doing when using these is showing people you can blend those images in paint.net which is fine and dandy but is it a right thing to do without also giving that artist his due recognition also? 

 

When I first started in paint.net the rules were simple, no outside images or programs were to be used except in places like the Photo manipulation sections or sections devoted to that kind of work. Now it is common practice to google images and use them in your own work anywhere. Just because you posted links to that work does not make it your work. If you really want to create something of your own try creating it on your own is all I am saying. We used to take pride in creating something that no one else has, creating something better than someone else has, or creating a copy of what someone else has.  Are we losing site of creativity?  Or has the definition of creativity changed? 

 

Not to beat on CC but her example in the alphabet comp is a perfect example of what I am saying. If you look it up in the archive you will see that she was the only one in that comp who used outside images to make her entry. She used six outside images and only one was from paint.net, the pencil. and if you look close I highly doubt she made the pencil using that tute but instead copy and pasted the pencil the author made. Sure she blended them all very well but what percentage was actually done in paint.net? She won a second place with it, was that fair? If you look at Drew Dale's entries in every comp he enters, his work is always done from scratch in paint.net, yet he does not get the recognition he deserves for doing so or very seldom gets enough votes to win a comp. Is that the right thing to do? Or is giving someone who uses a slew of outside works your votes the right thing to do? 

Edited by skullbonz

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To get back to the subject of all of this, racerx's entry in the sig battle comp. If you are going to allow outside images or programs to be used, you can not pick or choose who can use them, you have to allow all or none the way I see it. 

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You can't pick and choose who can use them, but you can certainly pick and choose how much of an image can come from outside sources. As I said initially, the question is whether the creative aspects that made the entry notable were produced using PDN. If someone takes a stock photograph of, say, a calla-lily, and processes it with PDN effects to make it look like a watercolor, I have no problem with that being an element of a competition sig. Now, suppose someone laboriously paints a similar image, using nothing but the PDN Paintbrush tool. Is that more a PDN image than the processed photo? I'd say no. It may be more creative, but the creativity has everything to do with the artist, and little to do with PDN.

 

There will always be borderline cases, but to me, racerx's airplane sig seems far from the border, on the not-enough-PDN side. Perhaps the alphabet entry was close to the border. I think it's perfectly valid to lobby against an image you feel has too much external content. If others are convinced, they won't vote for it.

Edited by MJW

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I do not know the era of the forums when competitions were separated into "from scratch" and "photo edit" comps, but those aren't the comps we have now.
 
The current competitions are not “made from scratch only” competitions, nor are they “photo manipulation only” competitions, they are competitions that allow both kinds of creativity and art styles. Just like paint.net is both a paint program and a photo editing program.
 
The creativity I enjoy.
My creativity isn't making things from scratch, the creativity I enjoy is building and piecing things together. I enjoy paint.net the way people enjoy making cakes, they use pre-made ingredients such as flour. I enjoy paint.net the way people enjoy scrapbooking, they use lots of pre-made art supplies. I layer my photos the way people layer cakes, and I re-color or add cool effects the way people use frosting.

Making things from scratch and photo manipulating are different kinds of creativity, but I don't think we need to exclude or look down on either types of creativity.

Often photo manipulation doesn't seem as impressive or talented compared to images that have been made with only digital drawing tools, but, when you start looking around at some photo manipulations, and when you start to do photo manipulations of your own, that's when it can become apparent that there is a lot of skill and talent that can go into editing photos. Have you seen what people do with photoshop? Even if they use stock photos, the way they edit the photos is amazing.
 
Being less of an artist and less creative.
I will admit, I am not an artist like those who make great works of art by just using the paint brush and fill tools, nor am I skilled like those who can do dramatic photo editing. I am bad at being creative compared to a lot of people. I'm not original when I use tutorials, and I'm not original when I use stock photos. But, the competitions aren't for artists only, they are for anyone who makes or edits things using paint.net. And I don't think we need to try and shun people just because they are less creative than others.
 
Using other programs.
I can understand being against the use of other programs, but as I said before, I personally have not used other programs to make my paint.net entries. If I use outside things, I use pre-made objects, not programs. The plane was made using outside programs, not photos, meaning, it can't count as being a photo manipulation. You need photos to do photo manipulations, and photo manipulations is what I do.

My outside resources are normally photos, different font types, and sometimes photoshop brushes from brusheezy (brushes might be controversial, so when I do use brushes I use them sparingly). For all of the resources I use, I try to keep within the comp rules of not violating copyright laws. The resources I use are not random pictures from the internet, read my previous post where I went into detail about using free legal photos, the purpose of links is to give credit to the original photos and authors.
 
If you want to get picky, then maybe we should ask what font you use when you use text in your entries. I can't call the fonts I use "pdn", I think Microsoft is the author to most of my fonts. But, there are no competition rules saying we need to give credit to the original creators of the fonts that are pre-installed on our computers.
 
My alphabet sig.
Concerning my alphabet sig, I didn't break any comp rules, and I didn't use any other programs to make it. So it's not a fair comparison to say why it was OK, but the plane might not be OK.

My "A" was 100% pdn, and yes I made my own pencils. For my "B" block, the texture lines were the only things that weren't pdn. My "C" was an edited and colored photoshop brush, I think the brush was originally a photo of two real brush strokes. And the background was made out of three stock photos. I added the stock photos to enhance and help represent what each of my letters were made out of. Pencils went behind my pencil A, toy blocks went behind my B block, and paints went behind my C paint stroke. I probably should have edited the background images more, but since they weren't the main aspects of the siggy, I didn't do much to them. However, I still did use photo blending techniques on them, and re-sized the photos, flipped the photos, as well as used layer blending modes.

 

Consider my alphabet sig like a cake, lots of the parts were pre-made objects, but I put them together and decorated them using paint.net.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles

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MJW

 


 

 

You can't pick and choose who can use them, but you can certainly pick and choose how much of an image can come from outside sources.

 

 

Seriously???   Did you read what you wrote??  So in other words you are saying what I said in the beginning, It's fine for some but not for others. 

 

 

CC

 

I really don't know where to begin with the novel you wrote above. 

 

 

 

I will admit, I am not an artist 

 

Well at least you admit this even though you are constantly giving advice like you are a professional. 

 

 

 

Consider my alphabet sig like a cake, lots of the parts were pre-made objects, but I put them together and decorated them using paint.net.

 

I don't think I would eat your cake if you use parts of other people's cakes to make them and I love cake,lol.

 

 

 

I didn't break any comp rules, and I didn't use any other programs to make it.

 

I never said you broke any rules but at times you come pretty close. You may have not used any other programs to make your cakes but someone else did. 

 

 

I really think you missed the point of my brief posts. I am sorry that I could not write an essay explaining what I said but I really think it wouldn't have changed anything if I had. 

 

In close I say, Do what you want, you are going to anyways and my words are falling on deaf ears. 

 

I would like to add that it baffles me that the mods let you continually bring up photoshop in a paint.net forum but we get reprimanded for bringing up an old version of paint.net. Makes my mind spin.

Edited by skullbonz

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I'm sorry you don't like the idea of people using stock photos and paint.net as an image manipulation program (a photo editor) for the paint.net comps, but I feel your conversations and attitude towards those who do enjoy using paint.net as an image manipulation program are being a bit harsh.

 

I'm glad you are skilled at making things from scratch, and I also like it when people make things from scratch, but I don't think you need to get mad or so serious towards those who choose to not make things from scratch, and instead enjoy paint.net and the competitions differently than you do.
 
I'm sorry if I have offended you in some way, I have nothing against you, and I personally have liked some of your previous entries, I'm sorry that the feelings aren't neutral. But, the competitions are fun for me, and I would like them to still be fun, but now I'm feeling a little attacked and hurt just because I don't use paint.net like everyone else does.

 

I'm sorry you wouldn't want my cake, I'm just trying to have a little fun and enjoy that fun with others. If you decorated a nice, fun, and friendly cake, and offered some to everyone, I would probably eat your cake. Cakes are fun, and they are fun to be enjoyed with others and shared, that would include your cakes. I hope you can find some peace in your heart towards me and forgive that I like to enjoy things differently than you.

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You can't pick and choose who can use them, but you can certainly pick and choose how much of an image can come from outside sources.

 

Seriously???   Did you read what you wrote??  So in other words you are saying what I said in the beginning, It's fine for some but not for others.

 

 

After giving the matter some more thought, I decided to edit my original response. It occurred to me that in my attempt to phrase my quoted reply in terms of the comment I was answering, I may have been unclear. Perhaps skullbonz thought I meant that one can pick and choose differently for different posters how much outside material to allow. I'm not sure how that would make sense in the context of the rest of my comment, but I'll give skullbonz the benefit of the doubt and assume that's how it was interpreted.

 

What I meant, of course, is that we can establish limits to how much of an image can come from outside sources. Limits that apply equally to everyone; no "fine for some but not for others."

Edited by MJW

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This 'discussion' has taken a turn for the worse :(

I'm in favor of a constructive discussion. This isnt. The personal attacks will STOP. NOW!

I'm locking this thread for three days to give you all a chance to settle down.

  • Upvote 2

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You know, what brought me to this website is the same thing which brought us all here... a passion for graphic design. We each have our own style just as different and unique as the clothes we wear but in the big picture, that's what makes it special. It's special because of the richness and diversity of what's created and shared, which inspires others to imagine new things and motivates them to create even more thus repeating an ongoing cycle of progress. It's that very reason why I try to encourage others by simply complimenting them on their work, be it here or anywhere else. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way. :)

Ok so with that said, I have a few ideas to help improve the overall experience and enjoyment aspects of the sig battle thread for the entire PDN community. Lemme know what your guys thoughts are on it.

1) The first person to start a battle chooses a category which the challenger also goes by. A few examples just to give an idea: metallic, graffiti, landscape, fabric, cosmos, black & white, etc... This helps by matching up images of a similar genre so there isn't a big gap between both entries for the playing field to be a bit more evenly matched.

2) Have a time limit on entries such as 1-2 weeks at most. If there aren't 3 votes to win when time expires, the sig with the most votes gets the win. If no challengers enter a sig to start the voting, the round goes to that person by default and the next battle can commence. This would help by cutting down the wait time so there's more action and less "elevator music, call on hold" moments that drive us all nuts.

 

Edited by RFX

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Is this yet another comp/ battle heading for the grave ? I submitted an entry to challenge Limon back in December 2015 and sadly not one member has rated either one yet, I always thought it was a fun "no theme" based battle, it would be a shame to see another forgotten thread. :(

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