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Forum FAQ for (almost) everything

Last post 04-11-2012, 5:41 PM by voluspa. 11 replies.
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  •  04-04-2012, 4:16 PM 379223

    Forum FAQ for (almost) everything

    This thread is an attempt to gather frequently asked questions - and their frequently posted replies - in a single thread, easy to find and navigate. The thread will be locked except during editing. If you have further questions (or answers) that you want to be included, please PM a moderator.

    Quick links (for when scrolling is too tedious):

    A deeper insight into challenge rules

    4 ways to post images

    How to make clickable links

    Browser Issues & BBCode

    Contacting a moderator (or other member)

    Gallery creation, updates & issues

    Editing your profile

    Leaving the forum or changing user names

    Reporting spam & Deleting Messages

    How to get your art featured

    Useful Links & Resources

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 4:26 PM 379225 in reply to 379223

    A deeper insight into challenge rules

    The challenge rules as they currently are have been decided upon after extensive discussions on the forum. Their main purpose is both to prevent cheating and to encourage the participants and other forumites to provide feedback on each other's images.

    Monthly challenges generally have a theme that can be interpreted in many different ways. A moderator will choose someone from the participants of one month, to set the challenge for next month. Moderators set up and tally up the votes.

    Weekly challenges have stricter themes more resembling commission briefs. Moderators will set the challenge as well as the vote. Forumites can suggest weekly briefs in the Weekly concept Challenge - Theme suggestions thread.

    Apart from the monthly and weekly challenges there may, or may not, be other challenges. These other challenges may use a different set of rules.

    WIP & Finals thread
    Please note that there are two challenge threads for each challenge. In the WIP thread you post your Works In Progress along with feedback & criticism of other's work as well as general chit chat and questions. See the next post if you are unsure how to post images correctly.

    In the finals thread you have to post your final image (well, duh) and also at least two links to your WIP's in the WIP thread. These should link to the posts with your images in them, not to the images themselves and definitely not to a website outside of the forum. You find the post url by right-clicking the left-hand number in the upper right corner of a post ("### in reply to…") and choosing "copy shortcut". Please check your links to make sure they work and are directed at the correct posts. (See below for a post on how to post links, if you have problems with that.)

    Try to refrain from posting comments and questions in the finals thread until the vote is over. Feedback on the entries is appreciated, though, but keep it to one post and preferably with your votes.

    WIP rules
    You can post any number of WIP's in the WIP thread as long as you can link to two different ones in your finals thread. The WIP's linked to in the finals thread should represent different stages in your work process, for instance a sketch and a finished line drawing or a colour wash. If you change direction mid-challenge you are allowed to link to the early WIPs, but they won't count among the two necessary links.

    Recommended image sizes are <1000 pixels and < than 500kb. Please keep in mind that other forumites may have slower internet connections than you do (or smaller screens). Attached images may be resized by the browser - you can then click on the image to open it in a new window, to view it full size. One way to reduce the size is to make sure your WIP image is only 72 ppi. In Photoshop you can use the "Save for web" function (which also prevents you from accidentally saving over your original).

    All work must of course be your own. Derivate works are not allowed (unless expressly stated in the challenge brief). The work should also be produced within the time frame of the challenge. You may not enter artwork you did last month or last year, no matter how well it suits the current theme, but you can always paint a new version of an old work. (It's a good idea to be open about it if you do, e.g. by posting the original image in the WIP thread, as well. It should also be different from the original and not just a copy.)

    This is usually given in GMT which is UK time. Since it is usually midnight, a moderator might not have the opportunity to check all entries and prepare for the voting until the day after, but the time itself still applies! You can check your timezone here, if you are uncertain: http://www.timezonecheck.com/

    Remember that both your wip images and your final image should be posted in time! Up until the deadline, a posted final image can be replaced. After deadline this is not allowed - and remember the moderators can check what edits you've done.

    Every active member of the forum is allowed to vote in the challenges, regardless of whether they have participated themselves. Due to occasional influxes of people who sign up only to vote for a friend, we have decided that you do have to be an active forum member to vote. So you need to have posted at least 15 times in the forum previously to voting OR be a participant of the challenge. Votes from people who sign up during the vote and only post their one vote never to be seen again, will be discounted.

    Each member is allowed to vote ONCE, but we do vote for three images. Your no. 1 vote gets 3 points, your 2nd gets 2 points, your 3rd gets 1 point. A moderator will tally up all the points and announce a winner. If two entries tie for first place, the one who reached the top score first will be announced the winner.

    Moderators reserve the right to not count any "suspicious votes", e.g. if it is suspected that someone signs up with several accounts to vote for themselves, or a friend.

    Why cheat?
    Well, you shouldn't cheat. But some people still try to. Perhaps because they don't have a thorough understanding of copyright rules or because they just like to win. Some people might cheat to get in the magazine. It should be mentioned that the IFX team never promised to publish all challenge entries and they may opt to not publish an entry if they have reason to suspect foul play.

    Links to older info & discussions on challenges
    Challenge Rule Update - Older post (followed by lengthy discussion) on challenge rules, from when most of the current rules were set in place
    Proposed change to the forum challenge system - older discussion thread were the current theme setup was decided on

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 4:30 PM 379226 in reply to 379225

    4 ways to post images

    Attachment: images.jpg

    1) Attach one image to your post, by using the "Options" tab (it's visible when you're editing a message). When you've browsed for and chosen your image you need to extend the window to the right until you see the "Save" button (just scrolling won't help).

    Please note: The image won't appear until after you post (not even in preview), so try to post and just edit your post if something went wrong.

    Also note: The options tab will only be available when you reply to a post using the regular Reply button, not if you choose the "Quick Reply".

    Note #3: Do not use any strange characters in your image filename. This can cause errors which prevents any further use of the thread. OK characters are letters, numbers, underscores and hyphens.

    Methods 2-4 requires you to link to an image previously uploaded to an image host such as www.photobucket.com, www.imageshack.us or your own website (if it allows "hot-linking"). With these methods you can include multiple images in one post.

    2) Click on the insert/edit image symbol (the tree) in the message editing window. This opens a smaller window where you enter the picture's url (address) - all other info is optional. (Does not work with all browsers)

    3) Use the code [ img ] url of the image [ /img ] but without the spaces withing the [] brackets. This is called BBCode and should work for everyone.

    4) Load the image in a separate window, right click and choose copy, then paste it into your post.

    Please note: Keep in mind the size of the images. Keep them below 1000 pixels and 500kB. Attached images will sometimes be resized by the browser (to about 450-500 pixels).

    When you copy an image url, make sure you get the image extension (jpg, png, gif) and not a page extension such as aspx.

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 4:35 PM 379228 in reply to 379226

    How to make clickable links

    Attachment: links.jpg

    1) Use the insert/edit link button, enter the url you wish to link to and choose whether it should open in the forum window or a new window (for links to other websites, a new window is recommended). This does not work in all browsers.

    2) Use the code [ url ] url of the webpage [ /url ] but without the spaces within the [] brackets. This is called BBCOde and should work for everyone.

    3) Write your message or just the link address in a program such as Word, which makes the link clickable, then copy the text (or link) and paste it into the message window. (Does not work in all browsers)

    4) Use Linkify. More info will be added soon.

    Please note: Clickable links are required in art challenges because it makes it easier for the moderator to check all links quickly and efficiently before setting up the vote. In other posts, clickable links are recommended if you want people to follow the link. If they have to copy it, open a new window and paste it in themselves, they're much less likely to take the time.

    To find the url of a forum post, look in the top right corner of the post. The first post of a thread has one number here and all replies have two. If two, it's the first one you should use. Right click the number and choose "copy shortcut". Then paste it using one of the above methods.

    Also note that sometimes it's difficult to make the links "stick" if you have a list of links with no blank row between and use the edit link button. If this happens, allow for a greater spacing (using only Enter instead of Shift + Enter)

    Like this:

    link 1

    link 2

    Not this
    Link 1
    Link 2

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 4:53 PM 379231 in reply to 379228

    Browser Issues and BBCode

    Users of different browsers will encounter different issues in these forums. Internet Explorer generally works well (even though many people dislike it!), as does Firefox. Chrome and Safari have different issues when it comes to posting images and links for example. Often it is the "Edit message" interface (the link & image "tree" buttons etc.) that just won't open. If you have problems, try using BBCode. BBCode is short for Bulletin Board Code and is similar to the HTML that webpages use, but a website can decide which code to allow, thereby making the forum safer for users.

    Some examples of BBCode:
    Image: [ img ] www.photobucket.com/user/myimage.jpg [ /img ]
    Link: [ url ] www.imaginefx.com [ /url ]
    Text link: [ url=www.imaginefx.com ] This website [ /url ]
    Bold text: [ b ] text [ /b ]

    (Remember to remove the spaces within the brackets - they are added here to make them visible instead of functional.)

    More examples and info can be found here: http://www.bbcode.org/examples/ 
    (It is possible that not all their examples work in this forum.)

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 5:04 PM 379232 in reply to 379231

    Contacting a moderator (or other user)

    Attachment: PMmoderator.jpg

    To contact someone in the forum you can click their user name and then, on the next page, choose "Send (name) a private message" (see image below). You might want to alert them in a forum discussion that you've sent them a message, because the email notification does not always work. But moderators try to check both unread messages and their inboxes regularly (usually daily). In the event that you are not able to send a pm and don't want to post publicly, you can always post in their WIP thread (for example) that you wish to get in touch with them but have been unable to PM. Then they can PM you instead.

    You can also use the "Contact" button to the left of a post (same row of buttons as reply, edit and so on).

    If you need to get in touch with someone on the IFX team, their contact details can be found on this page.

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 5:06 PM 379234 in reply to 379232

    Gallery creation, updates & issues

  •  04-04-2012, 5:07 PM 379236 in reply to 379234

    Editing your profile

    any questions on this (or galleries - or anything else for that matter) please PM me or kazky and we'll add to the FAQ here...

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 5:08 PM 379237 in reply to 379236

    Leaving the forum or changing user names

    You cannot delete your IFX forum account or change the user name.

    If you wish to leave, check your settings so that you won't receive emails regarding new posts in favorite threads or PM:s and then just keep away. If you can. Wink

    If for some reason you want another user name, sign up again. It might be wise to announce your planned name change with your old name first, so that everyone knows the new you is still you and not an impostor. (Of course that's not always possible, for example if the old login won't work.)

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-04-2012, 5:12 PM 379241 in reply to 379237

    Reporting spam & Deleting Messages

    In the bottom right corner of every forum post is a Report Abuse link. You don't need to write anything in the message window that loads - the message to the moderators will include the location and the content of the reported message.

    When moderators delete messages the writer of the post will receive a message stating why it was deleted. The exception is if someone posts a spam message as a new thread and somebody else replies to it. If the original message is deleted, all following messages will also be deleted, without notification.

    Your message won't ever just "disappear" without trace. If you cannot find an older message of yours, try changing the filter settings of the forum to show posts older than 2 months. You do this using the "More Options" button at the bottom of each forum section page.

    If you have posted something you wish to remove (e.g. a double post) you can always ask a moderator to delete it for you. Or you can just edit it to be empty (with an optional "oops, double post" message...) - The delete button on one's own messages has a very short attention span. Once your post is published it seems to be too late to delete it yourself... (Even for us moderators!)

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-11-2012, 5:33 PM 379982 in reply to 379241

    How to get your art featured

    If you want to see your art in the Imagine FX magazine there are (at least) two ways to go about it.

    1) You can send a few pieces, with info about them and yourself, to fxpose@imaginefx.com. This means they might be chosen to be displayed in either the reader FXPosé section (if digital) or the FXPosé traditional section. Make sure your image files are less than 5 Mb or your email might not get through.

    2) You can participate in the forum challenges. The weekly and monthly winners are often featured in the magazine, and there might be official challenges as well, e.g. cover competitions.

    If you'd like to receive the Image of the Day honor and be featured on the first page of the forum, you need to upload your images to the Gallery section. After that, you just hope your art catches the attention of the IFX staff. Sometimes there are also art challenges for this "front page image".

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
  •  04-11-2012, 5:41 PM 379983 in reply to 379982

    Useful links & resources

    Resources outside the forum
    Andrew Loomis' books online (free) http://alexhays.com/loomis/
    Draw timed poses with Posemaniacs - www.posemaniacs.com
    More poses practice with Pixelovely - artists.pixelovely.com 
    Vertex free ebooks on game art - http://artbypapercut.com/ 
    Learn digital painting with Ctrl Paint - http://ctrlpaint.com/

    Various Forum Goodies
    Contact details (IFX team & Subscription service, not moderators)
    Where to buy IFX?  (Migt not be entirely up-to-date; you can also get IFX for iPhone or iPad)
    IFX Website banners (scroll for more than the first post) 
    How to: Critique your own art  
    Suggest a Weekly Challenge Theme  
    Collaborative Stock Image Dump (share your own stock images or find something to use yourself)
    Keep an eye out for the Collaborative sketchbook (it's a new one each year, so no link here)
    New members introduce yourselves here  
    The tavern of off-topic conversation 
    The last book you bought 
    Movie Quote Quiz 
    Word Association

    IFX goodies outside forum and website
    IFX on Youtube
    IFX on Facebook

    If there's something you think should be added to these lists, drop any moderator a PM.

    IFX Gallery
    Elfwood Gallery
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