> ====> 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
> 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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