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From: David Buck
Subject: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 10 Sep 2009 00:40:45
Message: <4aa84b0d$1@news.povray.org>
Thanks to everyone for their patience.  The Rebirth round is now open 
for voting.  If you have any problems at all, please e-mail 
irt### [at] irtcorg and we'll address it as quickly as we can.

Enjoy
David Buck


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From: Warp
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 10 Sep 2009 09:08:51
Message: <4aa8c223@news.povray.org>
Btw, when voting, could we please avoid the same problem as in the past,
in other words, cross-contamination of categories?

  Just because an image is stunningly superb, a marvel of technical and
artistic prowess, doesn't necessarily mean that the image is very original
or represents the topic very well. Likewise an image can be of very crappy
quality, but still have a wonderful idea related to the topic, so even if
it's technically poor doesn't mean you should vote it down in all categories.
Any other combination of categories applies too, of course.

  (Naturally I'm not talking here about any image in particular, or this
round in particular, just in general.)

-- 
                                                          - Warp


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From: Tek
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 10 Sep 2009 18:15:37
Message: <4aa94249$1@news.povray.org>
"Warp" <war### [at] tagpovrayorg> wrote in message 
news:4aa8c223@news.povray.org...
>  Btw, when voting, could we please avoid the same problem as in the past,
> in other words, cross-contamination of categories?

I agree entirely, I always try to focus on each aspect seperately when 
marking an image.

However, on that subject, I sometimes have some difficulty distinguishing 
between technical and artistic areas. e.g. is bad lighting a technical or 
artistic failure?

Obviously good lighting is a success in both fields, but a lack of either 
ability can lead to poor lighting and it's often not obvious (to me anyway) 
whether it's artistic skill or technical knowledge that's lacking.

-- 
Tek
http://evilsuperbrain.com


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From: Warp
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 10 Sep 2009 19:55:08
Message: <4aa9599c@news.povray.org>
In irtc.general Tek <tek### [at] evilsuperbraincom> wrote:
> However, on that subject, I sometimes have some difficulty distinguishing 
> between technical and artistic areas. e.g. is bad lighting a technical or 
> artistic failure?

  When I vote for the technical quality, I look mainly at the modeling,
texturing and lighting, and possibly to scene generation techniques, if
the author has described them in the description text. If the scene
contains a model created in a third-party software, I try to estimate
from this description and the image itself how much work the author put
into modeling it, and how well it works in the scene.

  For artistic merit I look at the composition and visual aesthetics of
the image (regardless of what its technical quality might be). While I'm
not an expert in artistic composition, I have some idea about what it's
all about, and I try to fairly make an estimation of how well it has been
done. (Composition is a rather complicated subject, but it entails things
like how the image is divided into parts, where the main subject or
subjects are located, and so on. On the aesthetic part I look at the
choice of colors and, more generally, the choice of the entire theme of
the image, and other similar things.)

-- 
                                                          - Warp


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From: Jim Charter
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 11 Sep 2009 19:42:04
Message: <4aaaa80c@news.povray.org>
Warp wrote:
>   Btw, when voting, could we please avoid the same problem as in the past,
> in other words, cross-contamination of categories?
> 
>   Just because an image is stunningly superb, a marvel of technical and
> artistic prowess, doesn't necessarily mean that the image is very original
> or represents the topic very well. Likewise an image can be of very crappy
> quality, but still have a wonderful idea related to the topic, so even if
> it's technically poor doesn't mean you should vote it down in all categories.
> Any other combination of categories applies too, of course.
> 
>   (Naturally I'm not talking here about any image in particular, or this
> round in particular, just in general.)
> 

This makes particular sense, because, if I presume correctly, the 
'overall' score is independent of the categorized scores. The 
categorized votes act only to decide category winners in lieu of the 
former nominations system.


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From: Shay
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 23 Sep 2009 03:36:12
Message: <4ab997ac$1@news.povray.org>
Tek wrote:

 > However, on that subject, I sometimes have some difficulty 
distinguishing between technical and artistic areas. e.g. is bad 
lighting a technical or artistic failure?
 >


Here's how I see the categories right now:

====> Artistic Merit:
Does the artist effectively use tools beyond bare pictoral exposition to 
communicate and/or editorialize his subject matter?

Composition is among these tools, but no knowledge of composition is 
needed to judge the competition. Effective composition is always "good" 
composition, though the (many) pedants among the IRTC voters will be 
looking for that golden ratio or "tonal balance."

Some non-aesthetic tools which come to mind are humor, complexity, and 
disorientation.

====> Technical Merit:
Several years ago, the Chex cereal people figured out that their cereal 
tastes pretty good mixed with pretzels and nuts. It does, but the fact 
that anyone can make it in ten minutes is why Chex Mix isn't often 
served at weddings. Find a recipe that takes ten /hours/ and you can bet 
your guests will remember it.

Cobbling together borrowed models is Chex Mix. Restricting your scene to 
what can easily be done with CSG is Chex Mix.

Lighting is IMO an artistic issue. At least one of the most famous IRTC 
images was rendered using rad settings pulled right out of the 
newsgroups. And anyone can paste his model into an hdri scene. Using 
these elements effectively is a challenge, but not a technical one.

====> Topic:
Was Frank Lloyd Wright creative? Damn straight. And what was his subject 
matter? ...House.

Some of the most creative painters I can name painted landscapes and 
bridges. Not all creative artists are humorists or surrealists. I like 
to see surprising (big C) Concepts as much as anyone else, but this is a 
competition for CG artists, not authors. To determine whether an image 
is creative, I believe the voter must simply ask himself whether the 
image is boring.

  -Shay


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From: Jim Henderson
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 23 Sep 2009 04:19:10
Message: <4ab9a1be$1@news.povray.org>
That's an excellent summary, Shay.

Jim


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From: clipka
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 23 Sep 2009 12:43:57
Message: <4aba180d@news.povray.org>
Shay schrieb:

> ====> Technical Merit:
> Several years ago, the Chex cereal people figured out that their cereal 
> tastes pretty good mixed with pretzels and nuts. It does, but the fact 
> that anyone can make it in ten minutes is why Chex Mix isn't often 
> served at weddings. Find a recipe that takes ten /hours/ and you can bet 
> your guests will remember it.

This is a pretty poor example: Wedding guests don't remember a dinner 
based on how much /effort/ it took - they remember it based on how 
/extraordinary/ it was (which I'd file as "concept").

Furthermore, it sounds to me like in your eyes technical merit should be 
ranked in /man-hours/. I disagree on this one. For a certain task at 
hand, someone may need two laborious weeks to complete - while someone 
else might spend no more than two days to find a clever way of 
automating it. Now which of the two deserves more technical merit?

So in a sense, technical merit shouldn't be awarded to IRTC images at 
all, but rather to the postings in these newsgroups that came up with 
the technical ideas. But since this is not an option, I prefer to award 
technical merit to images that make good /use/ of clever techniques. I 
see this category as something along the lines, "is the author keeping 
up-to-date with the technical state of the art?"

If HDRI-based lighting is as easy as you say, and produces so 
extraordinarily good result, then a shot /should/ use it - or at least 
achieve the same quality in some other way. Refusing to do so is just 
nostalgia, and has nothing to do with technical merit. Rather to the 
contrary: It gives rise to the assumption that the author is not 
familiar with this technical innovation.

So to me, one (though not the only) guiding question for technical merit 
is, "does the scene look as /convincing/ as it is possible these days?"

It doesn't matter to the wedding guests how long it took the catering 
team to produce the dinner: It matters to them how it /looks/ and how it 
/tastes/.

> Cobbling together borrowed models is Chex Mix. Restricting your scene to 
> what can easily be done with CSG is Chex Mix.

Note that a number of people will cobble together borrowed models, but 
then customize them (improving on textures for instance). Would that be 
Chex Mix as well?

Would you consider use of Poser characters as cobbling together borrowed 
models (after all they models as such are there already), or would you 
respect the work often required to actually pose them?


> ====> Topic:

We don't have a category "topic" - the third category is "concept".


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From: Shay
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 23 Sep 2009 14:49:44
Message: <4aba3588$1@news.povray.org>
clipka wrote:
> Shay schrieb:
> 
>> ====> Technical Merit:
>> Several years ago, the Chex cereal people figured out that their 
>> cereal tastes pretty good mixed with pretzels and nuts. It does, but 
>> the fact that anyone can make it in ten minutes is why Chex Mix isn't 
>> often served at weddings. Find a recipe that takes ten /hours/ and you 
>> can bet your guests will remember it.
> 
> This is a pretty poor example: Wedding guests don't remember a dinner 
> based on how much /effort/ it took - they remember it based on how 
> /extraordinary/ it was (which I'd file as "concept").

Yes, a thing can be extraordinary because it is creative, and there is a 
voting category for that. If an artist can find some extraordinarily 
creative way to make a scene out of nothing more than a grass macro and 
the Stanford bunny, then more power to him. In fact, this is IMO the 
most difficult and laudable way to achieve "extraordinaryness."

Concept alone, however, is so easily reproduced that it quickly becomes 
banal. Even Chex mix was extraordinary for a minute.

> So to me, one (though not the only) guiding question for technical merit 
> is, "does the scene look as /convincing/ as it is possible these days?"

Escher made only a few "convincing" works.

> It doesn't matter to the wedding guests how long it took the catering 
> team to produce the dinner: It matters to them how it /looks/ and how it 
> /tastes/.

Not entirely true. Most would agree that a bowl of grapes looks good and 
tastes great, but a bowl of grapes is not extraordinary because there is 
no significant difficulty or expense in its execution.

  -Shay


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From: Jim Henderson
Subject: Re: Rebirth round open for voting
Date: 23 Sep 2009 15:59:44
Message: <4aba45f0$1@news.povray.org>
On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 14:43:56 +0200, clipka wrote:

> This is a pretty poor example: Wedding guests don't remember a dinner
> based on how much /effort/ it took - they remember it based on how
> /extraordinary/ it was (which I'd file as "concept").

Arguably, if everyone can make something, then it's ordinary, not 
extraordinary.

Jim


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