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From: MichaelJF
Subject: An End?
Date: 9 Mar 2013 13:45:03
Message: <web.513b831ad55b2d266c409a920@news.povray.org>
Hi there,
I'm thinking about TINA CheP a little bit after the last rounds. And please
excuse my very plain arguments. The number of entrants were small. The winners
were a professionell (Normand), a semi-professionell (Robert) or Thomas, who is
a hobbiest but has an advantage being a retiree and has much more time for
rendering than occupied hobbiest like Stephen or me. I think the time of ray
tracing contests is gone now. So I will have an entrant at the now existing
round (I'm working heavily at this) not to have Ian alone. But I propose that
this is the last round of the TINA CheP contest. Sadly,  but I think one has to
meet reality someday even within virtual reality.

Best regards,

Michael


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 10 Mar 2013 04:23:51
Message: <513c4317$1@news.povray.org>
On 9-3-2013 19:44, MichaelJF wrote:
> Hi there,
> I'm thinking about TINA CheP a little bit after the last rounds. And please
> excuse my very plain arguments. The number of entrants were small. The winners
> were a professionell (Normand), a semi-professionell (Robert) or Thomas, who is
> a hobbiest but has an advantage being a retiree and has much more time for
> rendering than occupied hobbiest like Stephen or me. I think the time of ray
> tracing contests is gone now. So I will have an entrant at the now existing
> round (I'm working heavily at this) not to have Ian alone. But I propose that
> this is the last round of the TINA CheP contest. Sadly,  but I think one has to
> meet reality someday even within virtual reality.

Thanks Michael, for bringing this up.

I do not want to give my detailed opinion on this right now, as I am one 
of the admins of the site. However, I admit that this thought has 
crossed my mind several times over the past half year or so.

So, please, give your opinions, as I believe a majority of POV-Ray users 
have participated in the TC-RTC some day in the past. Also, the TC-RTC 
was initiated by the POV-Ray community.

Thomas


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From: Stephen
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 10 Mar 2013 06:04:01
Message: <513c5a91$1@news.povray.org>
On 09/03/2013 6:44 PM, MichaelJF wrote:

> but I think one has to meet reality someday even within virtual reality.
>


Yes, it is good and timely that you brought this up Michael.

TINA CheP was started in in 2007 by Steve Paget as a temporary stand in 
for the IRTC. It was designed and paid for by Steve who had a passion 
for Pov-Ray. When he died in 2010, I contacted the developer of the site 
and offered to keep it going. Thomas, very kindly, agreed to be one of 
the admins and it is he who does all the work for which I am very grateful.
We have 155 registered members but as you point out we have only about 
half a dozen regular contributors. And I only submit entries to keep the 
numbers up as my interest lies more with animations. (This section of 
TINA CheP was closed in 2010 due to lack of interest. In the four years 
it was running there were only 16 entries and on several occasions, I 
was the only one who submitted an entry.)

So, is it time to call it a day? The choice lies with the Pov-Ray community.

Having said that the most prolific member is not a Pover. Out of 35 
contests DrNo has entered 83 images.

Your opinions are welcome.


-- 
Regards
     Stephen


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From: Trevor G Quayle
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 10 Mar 2013 10:30:01
Message: <web.513c981f76c5c07fd025e8e00@news.povray.org>
Stephen <mca### [at] aolcom> wrote:
> On 09/03/2013 6:44 PM, MichaelJF wrote:
>
> > but I think one has to meet reality someday even within virtual reality.
> >
>
> So, is it time to call it a day? The choice lies with the Pov-Ray community.
>
> Having said that the most prolific member is not a Pover. Out of 35
> contests DrNo has entered 83 images.
>
> Your opinions are welcome.
>
>
> --
> Regards
>      Stephen

I have only had the opportunity to submit to the challenge once, RL really has
hindered my ability to be a more consistent contributor.  I have noticed the
lack of entries (combined with the prolific entries of DrNo) and have had the
feeling that it would only be a matter of time before the question arose.

I do like the idea of challenges:

I have contributed to CGSphere (http://www.cgsphere.com/) where the concept is a
simple fixed sphere base to the scene.  The challenge has voting and commenting,
but no timelines or end dates (it has been going for several years now).  I have
not had the chance to submit recently, but it does still get new entries.  There
is a POV template available that I had submitted to them.

I have also contributed to 3DRender Lighting Challenge.
(http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=185).  In this challenge, a
fixed full scene is made available ( I usually have to do conversion to get it
to POV), and the challenge is primarily to light the scene, though there is room
for manipulation of the scene itself.  This one has a fixed deadline, but no
real voting or winner; rather users submit WIP and discuss or critique.

I am a fan of challenges such as these for several reasons:
- it helps stir creativity
- it helps with development of POV skills and concepts: the CGSphere has lent
well to CSG modelling, while 3DRender has helped me develop some lighting and
texturing ideas
- it pits POV against some of the big boys (in some cases I would modestly say
it does better!)

Perhaps there are a few things that can be done to TINACHEP (or a new off-shoot)
that can help.  It may be that the topic selection is a bit too abstract and,
especially novice users, may shy away from trying to develop a scene around the
topic.  Perhaps much simpler topics could help in this matter (see CGSphere).
Also, more interaction and user feedback could be helpful (ala 3DRender), either
via a specific newsgroup here (though I know it is not exclusively POVRay), or a
forum elsewhere.

It would be tough to TINA go, but in its present state, I can see how it becomes
increasing difficult for the admins to keep it going.

-tgq


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From: Paolo Gibellini
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 11 Mar 2013 05:48:07
Message: <513da857@news.povray.org>
>Trevor G Quayle  on date 10/03/2013 15.26 wrote:
> Stephen <mca### [at] aolcom> wrote:
[...]
> I am a fan of challenges such as these for several reasons:
> - it helps stir creativity
> - it helps with development of POV skills and concepts: the CGSphere has lent
> well to CSG modelling, while 3DRender has helped me develop some lighting and
> texturing ideas
> - it pits POV against some of the big boys (in some cases I would modestly say
> it does better!)
[...]
I'm only a basic user, but I agree with Trevor, pov-contests (I also 
remember scc) are a way to improve own POV skills. And they are anyway a 
POV-Ray showcase: I met the very first time POV-Ray on IRTC web site 
after a google search for 3D code generated images.
My major problem is the lack of time... I'm plenty of works in progress 
for IRTC and (later) for TC-RTC, but I'm not enough fast to complete the 
work in 2 months.

Opinions. Mmm.

Contests without topic?
4 or 6 months deadline?

Paolo


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From: MichaelJF
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 11 Mar 2013 17:30:01
Message: <web.513e4b8076c5c07fe19c254d0@news.povray.org>
Prepare for a longer posting. I started a longer iteration with my contour lines
to height_field approach to have the necessary time;-)

First some additional figures to help the decision makers with statistics. Over
all I count 52 different artists (or better nicks, including Juno. If I remember
correctly there was at least one entrant using two different nicks. I have used
my first nick TawnyOwl only here but not at TC). One of them contributed a the
quarter of 84 of all 336 entries exactelly. And there are some very well known
names among them (Sean Day, Bill Pragnell, Clipka just to tell some of them).

Over all 35 contests so far on average 9.6 entries were contributed by 7.4
artists. Maximum count of entries per contest was 20 at November 2008 minimum
was 2 at January 2011. If one calculates a linear regression analysis over the
whole period one sees a loss of 0.05 entries per round which cannot be
differentiated from pure chance statistically (no significance at a probabilty
level of 95%). If one looks only at the last two years (excluding the first and
the actual breakdown (January 2011 and january 2013)) one sees an increase of
0.39 entries per round. Unfortunatelly there is no statistical significance
again, so it may be pure chance again.

My interpretation - despite the missing statistical significance - is that we
just recovered after the breakdown from January 2011 and experienced just a new
one.


But enought statistics now.

>From: Thomas de Groot
>Thanks Michael, for bringing this up.

You are welcome!


>From: Stephen
>On 09/03/2013 6:44 PM, MichaelJF wrote:

>> but I think one has to meet reality someday even within virtual reality.

>Yes, it is good and timely that you brought this up Michael.

>TINA CheP was started in in 2007 by Steve Paget as a temporary stand in
>for the IRTC. It was designed and paid for by Steve who had a passion
>for Pov-Ray. When he died in 2010, I contacted the developer of the site
>and offered to keep it going. Thomas, very kindly, agreed to be one of
>the admins and it is he who does all the work for which I am very grateful.
>We have 155 registered members but as you point out we have only about
>half a dozen regular contributors. And I only submit entries to keep the
>numbers up

As I did in the past sometimes. The one or other unfinished WIP (Triceratops
e.g.) just to have an additional entry. Once I even entered a picture which was
intended for last place just to have an entry which can be beaten by newbies
(The abandoned Track). Doesn't worked.

> as my interest lies more with animations. (This section of
>TINA CheP was closed in 2010 due to lack of interest. In the four years
>it was running there were only 16 entries and on several occasions, I
>was the only one who submitted an entry.)

BTW I can only find 14 entries (there are 5 counted with the first contest but
only 3 at the archives).

>So, is it time to call it a day? The choice lies with the Pov-Ray community.

>Having said that the most prolific member is not a Pover. Out of 35
>contests DrNo has entered 83 images.

>From: Trevor G Quayle
>I have only had the opportunity to submit to the challenge once, RL really has
>hindered my ability to be a more consistent contributor.  I have noticed the
>lack of entries (combined with the prolific entries of DrNo) and have had the
>feeling that it would only be a matter of time before the question arose.

>I am a fan of challenges such as these for several reasons:
>- it helps stir creativity
>- it helps with development of POV skills and concepts: the CGSphere has lent
>well to CSG modelling, while 3DRender has helped me develop some lighting and
>texturing ideas
>- it pits POV against some of the big boys (in some cases I would modestly say
>it does better!)

Yes, a topic can give you inspiration.

>Perhaps there are a few things that can be done to TINACHEP (or a new off-shoot)
>that can help.  It may be that the topic selection is a bit too abstract and,
>especially novice users, may shy away from trying to develop a scene around the
>topic.  Perhaps much simpler topics could help in this matter (see CGSphere).
>Also, more interaction and user feedback could be helpful (ala 3DRender), either
>via a specific newsgroup here (though I know it is not exclusively POVRay), or a
>forum elsewhere.

Yes, with the topics there is a little problem. Most they came as titles from
very old books. And first I believed that I have to depict something from the
books and needed conformation that every association with the title is o.k.

From: Paolo Gibellini
>I'm only a basic user, but I agree with Trevor, pov-contests (I also
>remember scc) are a way to improve own POV skills. And they are anyway a
>POV-Ray showcase: I met the very first time POV-Ray on IRTC web site
>after a google search for 3D code generated images.
>My major problem is the lack of time... I'm plenty of works in progress
>for IRTC and (later) for TC-RTC, but I'm not enough fast to complete the
>work in 2 months.

As I. Yes this is a problem. I ever have to decide if I can afford some time for
an other project or to put it to the competition. For example recently I read an
article how to craft blossoms using L-Systems...

And a last observation. I will not comment on it, but only report this. I posted
this issue some 48 hours ago. There are four responses now. Two of them cannot
be counted really, since Thomas and Stephen are the admins of TC and has to
response to this issue. From all the other POVers only Trevor and Paolo replied.
During a shorter time the topic "Scattering media with a white background"
yielded 11 responses and not only from newbies.

Best regards,
Michael


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From: Christian Froeschlin
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 11 Mar 2013 21:46:28
Message: <513e88f4$1@news.povray.org>
MichaelJF wrote:

> I posted this issue some 48 hours ago. There are four responses now.
> Two of them cannot be counted really

I'm probably not alone with the following predicament:

I think having a contest is a good thing, and as Tina Chep is
the only one oriented towards pov-ray (although not exclusively
or even majority-wise anymore) I'd hate to see it go.

But I also cannot in good conscience suggest you should invest a
lot of work to keep it going if I never get around to submitting
and entry - just for the fuzzy warm feeling it gives me to know
it is there should I ever make a nice image ...


Also, why don't I simply participate?

This is probably because I am lazy and my attention span lately
seems to approach that of a day fly on acid. I duly note when a
new topic is available but usually do not even get to the stage
were I have a (realistic) idea for an image, and much less to
committing to the arduous task of producing a publishable scene.

In my case this is not so much the merciless demands of RL but
also competing interests (I now have a telescope ...) and plain
procrastination (I'm now rerunning all ST TNG episodes ...)

Also my interest in raytracing is more of technical nature
(how to simulate atmospheric effects? can I render something
that looks fluffy? can I produce an isosurface function that
looks like grass? is it possible to reconstruct Escher's study
from a mirrorball reflection?). I usually get lost in one such
detail so I rarely finish a scene.


I were asked to design a competition that would appeal to me
most, it would probably have the following features

1. A focus on simple scenes that can and should be explored and
finished in one or two evenings (possibly with a weekly topic?).
E.g. single objects, doodles, friday abstracts.

2. Constraining topics that are not intended to be interpreted
with too much artistic freedom (e.g. "pebble", "glowing spheres",
"lightning bolt", "ice cube") and possibly sometimes constraining
rules (think short code contest, cgsphere, lighting challenge, ...)

3. Povray centered, not in order to exclude other people but because
- topics could explore specific technical features ("crazy crackle",
   "photon party", ...)
- the competition also serves to share the sdl code
- the broad user base of pov-ray tends to be more hobbyist
   than that of most other products


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From: Kenneth
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 12 Mar 2013 09:15:01
Message: <web.513f28f876c5c07fc2d977c20@news.povray.org>
Paolo wrote:
> ...pov-contests (I also remember scc) are a way to improve own POV skills.
> And they are anyway a POV-Ray showcase: I met the very first time POV-Ray
> on IRTC web site after a google search for 3D code generated images.
> My major problem is the lack of time... I'm plenty of works in progress...but
> I'm not enough fast to complete the work in 2 months.

and Christian wrote:
> I duly note when a new topic is available but usually do not even get to
> the stage were I have a (realistic) idea for an image, and much less to
> committing to the arduous task of producing a publishable scene.

I agree with Paolo; and I suppose my own lack of contributions has the same root
cause as Christian's. I've actually never contributed an image or animation to
either the IRTC or Tina CHEP. My only excuse is that my usual POV scenes just
get too complex and time-consuming, and always seem to be works-in-progress,
never quite *finished* to my satisfaction. (Sometimes, I'll see a 'challenge
topic' that looks quite interesting--but more times than not, I'm working hard
on a different kind of scene, some personal topic that isn't appropriate for the
challenge. Putting that scene aside to start on a new one makes me feel like
I'll never finish either of them!)

However, I DO like seeing what others have done--it is GREAT inspiration,
especially the IRTC stuff from the past. Like Paolo, it showed me what was
possible with POV-Ray and how stunning the results could be.

So my own opinions are: Keep Tina CHEP going, as it serves a unique purpose; but
perhaps give longer deadlines for entries. And maybe post a few more reminders
in the newsgroups, on a regular basis. Monthly? Weekly?


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From: clipka
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 12 Mar 2013 11:46:25
Message: <513f4dd1$1@news.povray.org>
Am 12.03.2013 14:11, schrieb Kenneth:

> So my own opinions are: Keep Tina CHEP going, as it serves a unique purpose; but
> perhaps give longer deadlines for entries. And maybe post a few more reminders
> in the newsgroups, on a regular basis. Monthly? Weekly?

Maybe a good way would be to keep the bi-monthly rhythm, but extend the 
deadlines at the same time, so that a new challenge starts /before/ the 
prior one has finished.

If that is technically not feasible, the challenge topics could be 
chosen maybe a month before the submission phase actually starts.

Just some brainstorming of mine, not really a settled opinion.


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: An End?
Date: 12 Mar 2013 12:01:09
Message: <513f5145@news.povray.org>
Keep the brainstorming going folks! Some good suggestions given so far!

We want to hear more!

Thomas


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