Information You Should Know About the Polycount Forum
Here are some things you should know about the Polycount Forum.
Welcome to Polycount! Please reply to this thread with a little info about yourself.
Can't send messages?
You need to confirm your email address before you can send private messages, change your profile picture, edit your signature, etc. When you sign into Polycount, there should be a small popup message in the lower left corner: "You need to confirm your email address. Click here to resend the confirmation email." Follow the instructions and you should be good to go!
Post needs approval?
If you try to post but you see a message like "Your comment will appear after it is approved", this means your text has caught the attention of our Spam filter. Don't make multiple posts, they'll just keep getting blocked. Once a day or so, we process a list of posts needing approval, to ban spammers and to verify members. If a full day has passed and you're still having trouble, send an email to email@example.com
Help with your account?
If you need assistance with your account, like changing your username, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Help with Topics or Replies?
Feel free to message one of the moderators
New Accounts are Limited
New accounts are subject to aggressive filtering by our automated spam-fighting bots. Go bots! Once you have posted three times, and are thus promoted from rank "null" to rank "vertex", you will be removed from their filtering. These limits help us combat spammers. Become a part of the Polycount community! Give a few people some thoughtful critiques.
If you have an adblocker installed, this may prevent the Forum Ranking system from updating your rank, and thus it won't be able to grant you the new permissions.
No Duplicate Accounts
We don't like people making multiple accounts. One account per person is enough. If we see duplicate accounts we'll give you a warning, then delete the newer one.
Asking for Help
We are here to help, but like to see people who try to help themselves.
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
- Try to find an answer by Searching the forums. Technical Talk is a great place to start.
- Try to find an answer by searching the Polycount Wiki.
- Try to find an answer by searching the Web.
- Try to find an answer by reading the manual.
- Try to find an answer by experimentation!
- Include your findings in your post, so we know what you've tried already.
As points 1 and 2 already mentioned, you should search for answers to your questions before posting a new thread.
You should also consider performing a search before posting a new thread if you think there is a good chance someone should have already made such a post - for example there may be a new art package, plugin, game or film just released that you want to announce.
If you are getting an error message, the fastest way to find the answer is to use that message as your Search text. For example, you can search the forums for "Your comment will appear after it is approved"
This works great in web searches too.
Use Meaningful, Specific Subject Headers
When creating a new topic, consider the title carefully. The title is your opportunity to attract people to your thread, so it's in your own best interests to use it properly.
Help me get a model imported into Unreal?Smarter:
[Unreal] model import, wrong size?
- If you're using specific software, put that first. Experienced users want to share their knowledge, so make it easy for them find your thread.
- Try to be as specific as you can in the topic title. Summarize the exact problem you're having. Others who know the exact solution are more likely to click on your thread to help you out.
- Add a question mark to distinguish your thread as a call for help. Without a question mark it might be a thread that's sharing something you've learned. A question mark is a call to action, pulling people in who want to help.
- Some excellent info here on how to ask questions online. How To Ask Questions The Smart Way Not exactly the same community as we have here, but they do share a lot of the same etiquette. Just replace "hackers" with "polycounters". An excellent read.
The Polycount Forums run on the Vanilla platform
. Here are some handy tools you might not know about:
- You can drag images from your desktop directly into your post edit. The post editor supports drag-and-drop!
- If you're on mobile, or don't like drag-n-drop, or you want to host your images externally... you can embed images using the Insert Image button, which looks like a landscape picture . You can paste the full URL of an image here, and it will be embedded. Make sure the URL ends in .jpg (or whatever image format you're using). You can also upload an image from your computer.
- Youtube and Vimeo can be embedded, just by pasting the web address in your post. For example: http: //vimeo.com/100147486 or http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=_veq6Q51Zlg (remove the space after the http: )
- Our forum software can't embed Youtube unless it's formatted like so:
Specifically the /watch?v= part.
Use the Youtube "Share" button, and set it to a specific start time, then copy/paste that URL back into Youtube and visit that page. You want the new URL it makes.
- # symbol in front of any text will create a Hashtag. This makes a link which searches the forums for that word. For example: #mini-tuts. Use single words or hyphenated words, just like with Twitter.
- @ symbol in front of someone's username will create a Mention. It sends a notification to that user, and creates a link to their profile. For example: @r13. For names with a space (grandfathered!) use quotes like this:
- Want to link to a specific post? The time or date stamp right after each poster's name is a clickable link... copy/paste it into your own post.
- The latest posts: http://polycount.com/discussions
- Your bookmarks: http://polycount.com/discussions/bookmarked
- Your threads: http://polycount.com/discussions/mine
- Your drafts: http://polycount.com/drafts
Give Insightful Feedback
Polycount thrives on constructive criticism. It's one of the defining attributes of our members. If you like someones artwork then take the time to explain why rather than cluttering a thread with random words like "Nice" or "Cool".
Similarly, if you don't like the artwork then be polite enough to offer advice on how it could be improved. And with that said...
Respect Your Fellow Artists
Some simple guidelines for showing respect to other artists of Polycount.
- Be courteous, polite and show respect to others. Use of the forums is a privilege, not a right.
- Engage your brain before your mouth. You are responsible for your own words and any harm they may cause.
- Don't post irrelevant nonsense in any of the non-General Discussion forums
- If you are posting controversial content which may offend some people, there is always a chance one of our moderators will remove it. If its removed, that is final and it will not return.
- Critiques and responses to images are to be constructive and related to improving the quality of the artwork. Our members love to see others improve and succeed. Always keep this in mind when posting.
Make Your Artwork Easy to View
Please be considerate of our viewers on mobile. Also, the longer people have to wait for your images to load, the less likely your work is going to be seen.
- If your images are more than 1MB each, they're too big.
- Downsize your images to 1600 or less before attaching or embedding.
- JPG compression level 8 is a good tradeoff in size vs. quality.
- PNG format often makes very large image files. PNG makes huge files unless you have large areas of empty flat color; best to avoid PNG. Saving a JPG at level 8 converts a 8MB PNG down to a 128kb JPG, and looks virtually identical.
- It's also a good idea to brand your images, so people who download or share your images can find you later. For more info see Your Portfolio Repels Jobs and the wiki Portfolio page.
- We don't use BBCode tags here, like [IMG]. Just use the Insert Image button (which looks like a landscape picture ) and paste the full image URL (starting with http and ending with jpg or gif or png).
There are three ways to embed an image in your post:
1. Save your image onto your computer hard drive, open the folder where the image is, edit your Polycount post, and drag the image from your computer folder into your post editing field.
2. Save your image onto your computer hard drive, edit your Polycount post, click on the Insert Image button (landscape icon
), click on Choose Files, find the image in the folder on your computer, click OK.
- or -
3. Upload your image to the web host somewhere, like Imgur etc. Copy the full URL of the image. This URL must start with http: and end with the image extension, .jpg or .gif or .png (we recommend jpg). For example: http://i.imgur.com/qobP07W.jpg
You can usually get this URL by right-clicking on a web image and choosing "Copy Image Address" or similar, each web browser is slightly different. Then edit your Polycount post, click on the Insert Image button (landscape icon
), and paste your image URL.
News and Banners
We're constantly on the lookout for forum posts to showcase on the front page
. Usually it's simply what the moderators think is great or worthy of attention.
In the end the decision to promote or not is solely ours, but we do highly value our members' opinions.
If you see something you think should be showcased, contact one of us
. The only thing we ask is that you send someone else's post, not your own.
Banner images represent what we think of as the best of the most recent posts. Banners require you to make threads. We can't banner a reply in a thread, for example something from a What Are You Working On? thread. You can read about how this works in Your art in the Polycount banner!
The Polycount Forum Is Not Necessarily Safe For Work
Expect to see nudity and swearing. We're adults here. Well, most of us are. And as such the conversations tend to be PG-13 or greater. This is not a free pass to use derogatory words or be disrespectful to any one individual or group of people.
Avoid Necro Posts
Necro means to reply to a thread more than 1 month old, only to add a small comment. This annoys others who are subscribed to the thread, since it doesn't add significant information.
However it's ok to reply in an old thread if you have substantial information to add to the subject, or a question to ask about technique. Old threads appear when people are searching for that particular subject, so it would be useful to others if you added relevant current information to the existing thread, or revived a conversation by asking about technique.
It is NOT helpful to dig up an old thread to add a critique or to praise, since the original poster is probably no longer working on that project.
Only post if you have have a significant question, or want to add information that will be generally helpful to others working on similar problems with current software/hardware.
The Polycount Forum Hates Spam
We don't want to buy your WOW gold, mobile phones or shoes. We already know where the porn is on the internet, so we don't need links to that either.
Post any of this and you will be banned.
Actually, you're best off not advertising anything
on this site that isn't helpful to creating or learning about videogame art.
The Polycount Forum Does Not Condone Software Piracy
Polycount does not condone piracy nor do we allow links to pirated games or software. We understand there's a piracy discussion to be had, however Polycount will not be used as a platform for speaking out in favor of piracy, thus threads centering around piracy may be removed/deleted. If you are linking directly to the source for illegal copies of software you will be permanently banned without further warnings.
Become a part of the community before you start promoting your own paid content.
We generally discourage people from posting ads for their own products, unless they are regular contributors to the community and share some information about how they made their artwork. Be a part of the community. This is an artist forum where we critique each other's artwork, discuss techniques, and share workflows.
If you've created software or a website directly relevant to game artwork, you are welcome to create a thread in Technical Talk. We simply ask that you explain your service in detail, and post updates in the same thread rather than make new ones.
General Discussion is the place to discuss OTHER people's projects, for example the latest FPS you played, or a cool art app you found. Please read the section descriptions in the forum root. If you want to promote your own project, and you are a regular member of the community, you are encouraged to do so in the appropriate subforum.
The Polycount Forum is Not Your "blog"
What we mean by this, is please don't create mindless threads that is off-topic to the Polycount Community.
If you have a topic of reasonable discussion to post, then by all means, please post away and let the intelligent discussion begin. However, we do not want to see random posts of "I ate cookies today" or "My car is blue", etc. etc. Even within the General Discussions
forum, there is no place on Polycount for such threads. They provide no topic for discussion and are generally useless and become filled with useless replies.
"More art, less words" is a good mantra to go by when considering yourself a contributing member of the Polycount community.
If you find something you find just outrageously hilarious on the web, by all means, post it in the 'Thread of Awesomeness
'. Other than that, pass it around in instant messengers and emails and keep it off of the forum.
We generally hand out Warning Infractions for such threads, so please think about what it is you'd like to post, and how it will benefit a community of videogame artists.
Flags: Spam, Abuse, Report
- Subtracts 1 from a post's score.
- Removes 1 point from the author's overall score.
- Posts with -5 points are automatically removed for moderation (in Spam Queue).
Spam is anything which looks like someone selling something that's not related to the topic at hand, or posting nonsense commentary and they have a link in their signature that goes to a dubious website selling something. Flag: Abuse
- Subtracts 1 from apost's score.
- Removes 1 point from theauthor's overall score.
- Posts with -5 points are flagged for moderation (in Moderation Queue).
- Posts with -10 points are automatically removed for moderation (in Moderation Queue).
Abuse would be someone posting something inflammatory, trolling, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Once something comes to the moderators' attention then it's up to us to decide if it really is spam or abuse, and deal with it as needed. Flag: Report
- You can send a message about a particular post to the moderators (in Reported Posts).
- Use the Report button:
- If you want your own post deleted. (if you have multiple duplicates, you only need to Report one of them!)
- If you see something that a moderator should be aware of, but it's not Spam nor Abuse.
Points and Ranks and Badges
- Points are shown in your Profile.
- Points are applied towards your Rank.
- You can earn points for various things:
- +1 when your post gets a + Reaction.
- +2 when your post is Frontpaged.
- +? when you earn a Badge.
- You can lose points for a couple reasons:
- -1 when your post is flagged by another user as Spam or Abuse. A moderator can reverse this if unwarranted, just contact us for a review.
- -5 when your post is flagged by a moderator as Spam.
We don't use the point system to gate services nor award benefits. It's a simple forum feature that can add to the experience for some people.
More information about points can be found in the thread Reaction buttons added: Insightful, Awesome Ranks
Ranks are a way to show off your contribution status to the community.
The ranks use a color palette based off our legacy color scheme
- Null/Vertex = dark gray because these are just for spam filtering.
- Date ranks = blue.
- Point ranks = brighter gray and increasingly greener. The color saturation roughly increases with higher ranks.
- Mod = orange.
- Admin = red.
- Founder = white.
- Polycount Sponsor = white.
Date ranks change into the named Point ranks after you reach 100 points. This way veterans aren't penalized right off the bat, and gradually move into the reputation ranks.
More information about ranks can be found in the thread Ranks by point count or by post count? Badges
Badges are still a work in progress. See the thread Polycount badges?
Long Running Polycount Forum Threads
We have several prominent threads that are worth checking out.
- What Are You Working On? Is a continuous art dump with people dropping in images of their current projects - this is used when the art may not warrant a thread for itself. It's our number one thread for inspiration, check it out.
- The Unofficial Polycount Slack Group! is where to find a live chat room for Polycount members. Anything goes! We used to do this in the IRC #model_design.
- Google+ Hangouts thread for members put up their screenshares, chat to each other, see what each other are working on in realtime, etc.
- Streaming 3D Artists Links & Updates! (Twitch.tv, etc.) This thread is for all Polycounters to post links to their streams and to update whenever they're streaming or about to Stream.
- Gumroad Tutorials List lists a ton of great artists doing Gumroad tutorials, plus members adding new items frequently.
- Polycounter Job Census is an up-to-date list of Polycount members who are employed full-time in game development, and where they work. Post a reply here, and let us know where you're working these days.
- FAQ: How u model dem shapes? Subd minituts thread contains a long discussion on subdivision surface modeling and the best ways to produce difficult shapes.
- You're making me hard. Making sense of hard edges, uvs, normal maps and vertex counts is a discussion on the ins and outs of normal mapping.
- Education In The Games Industry: Yes or No? a thread full of education-related questions, links, and resources.
- Free Knowledge is a great thread full of free tutorials, articles, and reference links.
Job Postings in the Polycount Forum
You're more than welcome to post available jobs at your studio, freelance gigs or if you're looking for help on a project. We have specific forums for these types of positions:
If it's an onsite full-time or part-time position
in your studio, we'd love it if you could post it in the Full time/Part time work
If you're offering paid freelance/remote jobs
please use the Freelance Job Postings
If you're an artist or studio advertising your availability for work
please use the Artist Looking For Work
If you're looking to pay artists but with delayed compensation
please use the Royalties or Post-Launch Compensation Work
If you're managing a project that needs help and is unpaid
please post it in our Unpaid Work
Terms of Service
You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this community to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law. You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you.
We at this community also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or whatever information we know about you) in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any message posted by you. We log all internet protocol addresses accessing this web site.
Please note that advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are inappropriate on this community.
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