~*Your Complete Guide to Talk CSI Fan Art Challenges*~ ~This is the thread for all things challenge related~ I know that this is a long post, with a lot of information, especially for those who have been around for a while. But it could be a useful tool, so please take a look at it. This thread will not be stickied, but we'll leave a link in the Fan Art Forum in case it's needed. _________ List of Current Challenges Icon Challenge Currently run by fo_poozle, Miss_Undercover, Yoshi, nattybatty55 1vs1 Challenge Currently run by Finch Signature Banner Challenge Currently run by egeria, Smokey, SpeedyStokesGirl, Shazza_018 Wallpaper Challenge Currently run by Dragonfly In the Misc Forum: Miscellaneous Icon Challenge Currently run by blackflag If you have a suggestion for a new challenge, please PM one of your friendly neighbourhood Fan Art Mods. But, please be patient with us. We will discuss it between ourselves before giving an answer. Please don’t EVER open/start a new challenge without permission from a mod. __________ List of Current Deadlines: Wallpaper Challenge: entries due October 29th Icon Challenge: entries due November 26th Misc Challenge: entries due December 17th Signature Banner Challenge: entries due January 15th __________ Tools/Resources Fan Art Forum Guide - Includes forum and board rules, helpful links, and tutorials. Screencaps, Fonts, and More! - Can't find the right cap? Looking for a particular font? Ask about it here! __________ A Basic Overview of Talk CSI Challenges These are generalizations. Most will have exceptions, as each challenge has it's own individual Rules. Currently, all of our challenges are entered anonymously. Levels/Categories: Most of the challenges have different levels for you to enter at, depending on skill level. There is more information about this below. Recognition Awards: This is the TalkCSI version of a Mod’s Choice award. Most challenges aren’t run by a Mod, so we had to change the name. Basically, the Challenge Runner’s favorite, or one that they believe deserves special attention; for instance an artist that has made great strides in improving their work. These awards are the prerogative of the Challenge Runner. Not everyone gives them out. Winner Banners: These have become a tradition for TalkCSI challenges. A customized banner with your entry and it’s placing, made just the right size to use in your signature. Usually, the Challenge Runner will offer these when the results are posted. If not, it’s easy enough to find someone to make if for you if you so desire. _________ Challenge Levels Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Most challenges now offer different levels to participate at; beginners and advanced. Some challenges have intermediate as well. It can be hard to decide which level you belong in, so Wyoming came up with some guidelines to help you out. They’re very useful, so take the time to look over them: There's also this nifty thread, the What Category do I Belong in? thread, where you can submit your work for people to 'evaluate' level-wise. Also, if a Challenge Runner or Mod tells you hat you're good enough for the next level up, listen to them. They know what they're talking about. __________ Entering Challenges Everyone at TalkCSI is welcome to enter any challenge they wish (though you have to sign up for the LIMS). Sometimes beginners feel they aren’t talented enough, or just aren’t ready to join. Don’t worry. No one will criticize you. No one will tell you that you don’t belong there. Here ate Talk, we don’t bite. At least, not until you’re used to us. Currently, all of our challenges run anonymously. This means that no one should know which icons (or whatnot) are yours. Please be fair with this. People have a tendency to vote for their friends, even if unconsciously. Please read the rules of each challenge carefully. Each challenge is run differently, and some may have special rules in place. Occasionally a challenge will have different/special rules for one time only. Be fair when making your icon. If the challenge calls for no brushes, don’t use a brush and try to pass it off as a texture. If you are to use only the provided pictures, don’t go looking for a similar one of better quality or such. Not cool. Many of the Challenge Runners have taken to posting instructions on how they’d like you to format the PM you send them with your entries. Please be sure to follow these guidelines. It makes things infinitely easier for them. If you have questions, you can post them, or PM the Challenge Runner or a Mod (depending on the question) This should go without saying: always respect fellow participants, and the runner of the challenge. Remember: These challenges are all about fun! And a little bit of learning too Challenges here are entered by sending your icons to the challenge runner by PM. If you have less than 50 posts, or have been here for less than two weeks, you will not have PM privileges yet. However, if you are interested in joining, simply leave a post saying so in the appropriate challenge thread, and other arrangements will be made to receive your entries __________ Voting in Challenges Everyone is welcome, encouraged, even, to vote in the challenges. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to pick what you like. Always read the rules before voting. Again, each challenge is run differently. Some have special extras to vote for. Obviously, don’t vote for yourself. It’s not cool, and you’ll get caught Even though the challenges are anonymous, sometimes an artist’s style is recognizable, and you know which friend it belongs to. Don’t vote for it unless you mean it. Don’t choose an icon because it’s your favorite character vs one of a disliked character. Vote on weather or not it’s a good icon. If you enter a challenge, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t vote. Everyone else participating will be voting against themselves as well. When voting for an icon etc, vote based on quality, not the character featured in the art. That is unfair and biased __________ For Those Who are Running Challenges (Especially those who are just starting out) Picking a theme can be fun. But make sure it’s doable. If a theme doesn’t get as much of a response as you’d hoped; try not to be too disappointed, and don’t take it personally, even if it is frustrating. Also, themes are bound to be repeated. Especially classics like shipping. If someone else copies a theme that you’ve used in the past, take it as a compliment. Be aware of the other challenges! Having more than one challenge due on the same day, or having a whole bunch due in the same general time frame can be frustrating to the participants, and often forces them to choose between them. When selecting a deadline for entries, make sure it is a day/time when you will be available to post the voting. If something comes up, you can always change it. Ditto for ending voting and posting results. Recognition Awards: These are optional. If you don’t want to do them, you don’t have to. They are, however, highly recommended. They’re a nice added touch. Winner Banners: As stated above (way up at the beginning), these have become a tradition here. If you don’t want to make them, it’s very easy to find someone who’s willing to do them for you. Keep deadlines (both for entering and voting) reasonable. If it’s too short, people won’t have time, and you won’t get enough entries/votes. Too long, and it drags out. People get impatient or loose interest all together. If in doubt, ask; or… five days is a good timeframe. NEW!! You must wait at least 5 days between posting results and posting a new challenge. With our recent move to vBulletin, there have been some changes regarding the posting of images. You can now only post 40 images per post (that includes smilies). If you have more than 40 entries, you’ll have to put them in separate posts. My recommendation would be to put each category in a different post. Yes, even if that means triple posting. DON’T ABUSE THIS PRIVILEGE. Another option we are trying out is to post the entries on a livejournal community, which can be found here. We don’t know yet if this will be changed. We will let you know if/when we hear anything. You don’t need to vote in your own challenges. Since you know who made each icon, it wouldn’t really be fair anyway. If you know that you are going to be away for an extended period of time (vacation or such), please make arrangements for someone else to do the next round of your challenge, even if it’s just asking one of the mods to take care of it for you. Tired of running challenges? Not a problem. Some one will take over for you. For one or two challenges only, or permanently, there’s always someone willing to help out. __________ People Who are Interested in Running Challenges Running a challenge can be a lot of fun, but it can also be... well, challenging. Ask yourself these questions: Am I organized enough to run a challenge? Do I have the time available to devote to running a challenge? Do I have the patience to deal with everything involved in running a challenge? Would I rather run a challenge than enter it? Consider these questions carefully. If you still want to do something, let us know. We can't guarantee anything, but we'll keep you in mind if something comes up. _________ Challenge Breaks Having so many challenge running almost constantly can get very crowded and/or overwhelming. Occasionally, we Mods will decide that a break from challenges is necessary, We’ve done this twice now, and both times it has gone over very smoothly. We’d like to see that continue with any future breaks that we may have. In order to do so, please keep the following in mind: These breaks are imposed for a reason. It’s not that we’re trying to be mean, we’re trying to keep things running smoothly in our lovely little home… er, forum. Amongst other things, these breaks help reduce burn out. As much as we all love CSI (why else would we be here?), and related fan art, sometimes it’s nice to focus on other things. Weather this means you use the break to focus on other fandom art, or take a break from fan art completely is up to you. These breaks are for your benefit. This hasn’t happened yet, but just in case you’re wondering… Complaining about these breaks will do you absolutely no good. It may even annoy us into extending the break, so don’t do it. From now on, these breaks and any follow up information will be posted in this thread. __________ Questions, Comments, Concerns, Suggestions, Feedback, and Whatnot related to challenges can all be posted in this thread.