Who to take crits from? and how much should you take?

polycounter lvl 6
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aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
I tend to show many people something I am working on to see what they think and how I can benefit from it, but there are times where I get too many different responses it confuses me, and also I get tons of different responses. For example:

Person 1: "Looks great man!"
Person 2: "I think it looks ok, I think you should do ___"
Person 3: "Coming along great, you should ___"

Is taking critiques from the most blunt the better choice? and does the person's reputation or talent factor in as well? If the person says "Looks great" does it really look great?

The reason I ask this is because I always get mixed responses and I heard before that sometimes asking for too much crit isn't that beneficial. So who should you take crits from and how much should you take in?

Replies

  • Perfectblue
    Look at the porfolio/works behind the comment.
  • dfacto
  • Ferg
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    Ferg polycounter lvl 11
    edit: what equil said
  • dempolys
    Look at the porfolio/works behind the comment.

    this.
  • Saman
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    Saman polycounter lvl 7
    In my opinion good feedback is good feedback, it shouldn't matter how good the person's portfolio is. I've seen lots of artists ignore people's comments until some hotshot comes along. Never judge a person by his/her portfolio only. Some of the people here on the board haven't updated their portfolio's in a long time(many might not even have portfolios up yet). Also if you are a noob then you probably wouldn't be able to judge their work properly anyway, it's not just a matter of taste.
    Listen to everything people say, if it makes sense then go with it. If it sounds too weird then don't. It's all up to you. Don't just ignore it though.
  • equil
    critique isn't a set of instructions for you to follow blindly. It's meant to point out the flaws other people see in the piece. Your job is to identify and assess the cause and or impact of these elements in your own work, correct or modify them, and thus make you a better artist.

    Take the way too common tip of making a character 8 heads tall. If you simply follow this, you're not really learning to become a better artist, you're just learning to supress your own range of expression.
    If you instead look at why people offer you this word of advice, perhaps you will identify a issue with the overall proportions, change the legs, and suddenly things look great.

    Understanding critique is a lot more important than knowing who to take critique from.

    edit: but my portfolio is currently empty so don't listen to me.
  • Dylan Brady
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    Dylan Brady polycounter lvl 6
    short answer:
    Everyone/all of them


    Edit for specification: Every artist knows that it doesnt take someone whos studied anatomy for years to see when somethings off.
    We all as humans are very aware of the subletys of the human face for example.
    I've had some of my best crits from my mom, you think i ignored those?
    well fucking of course I did, but then later I realised she was right and hit myself.
  • dii
    Look at the porfolio/works behind the comment.

    Or you could just think about what they're telling you and if it makes sense you do it, if it doesn't or if they didn't explain you ask them to explain their reasoning behind it. If you don't like the reasoning you don't do it.

    Blindly following what someone else is telling you isn't going to teach you shit and doesn't even ensure you're going to end up with something good.

    Edit: what equil said, basically
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    ignore all meat-shooters and low poly fellow-dudes.
  • System
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    System admin
    This is a subject I've considered before, and in my opinion, you have to be really careful how you ask for and how you take criticism.

    The general consensus is always that if an artist who is clearly very good is giving you crit, then you should without a doubt listen to them and make changes as per their suggestions.

    In my opinion, this is only half true. What you have to remember is that art is in the eye of the beholder, and as Ira Glass says, art is about having good taste, and what is improving as you develop, is your taste.

    This means that if you get hung up on every single crit you get from others, you're likely to make little to no progress at all. Posting a project at every step of the way, and trying to fix each update until 'everyone is happy' will slow you to a crawl and exponentially increase the likelihood you'll never even finish the project at all.

    I think you really need to be careful about a)how often you post upates asking for crit, and b)how you take that crit. Think about what you think needs improving, and look for criticisms that match any concerns or doubts in your own head. And watch out for crits which may dip into the realms of individual taste.

    Of course, if it's crit relating to scientific fact, like the dimensions of a doorway, or the insertion point of the brachioradialis then it's best not to argue, but if someone says something which could be seen as subjective, individual, or artistically interpretive, then take care on how/if you accept and apply that criticism.

    You need to develop your eye, and your taste just as much as you do your technical skills. There'll come a time when you don't have the time or option to post work at every stage so you will need to rely on your own intuition as to when something looks good. If you rely on other people to direct you through all of your work, then when it comes to the crunch, you'll be left feeling insecure and filled with self-doubt.

    Of course I could be talking complete bollocks and what everyone has said above is much more relevant!
  • Dylan Brady
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    Dylan Brady polycounter lvl 6
    TeeJay wrote: »
    This means that if you get hung up on every single crit you get from others, you're likely to make little to no progress at all. Posting a project at every step of the way, and trying to fix each update until 'everyone is happy' will slow you to a crawl and exponentially increase the likelihood you'll never even finish the project at all.

    I think you really need to be careful about a)how often you post upates asking for crit, and b)how you take that crit. Think about what you think needs improving, and look for criticisms that match any concerns or doubts in your own head. And watch out for crits which may dip into the realms of individual taste.
    this is a really good point for another reason:
    You can't always have crits.
    Right now my work is NDA, and i'm working with a small team with minimal feedback.
    I keep finding myself feeling uneasy, as if the whole thing could be shit and I wouldnt have anyone to tell me otherwise.

    But you just have to be your own critic at this point (the worst one right?)
    find other peoples works that are similar and use evey tool you do have to ensure the flaws are fixed.
  • TNO
    try take the critics form everyone serious but only if they are following the rules in this article;

    http://www.game-artist.net/forums/view.php?pg=constructivecrit

    And if someone(even if people working for a big company) try´s to put you into a bad light ( saying that you are a pedophile /racist/communist/terrorist/etc)

    say clearly that you dislike such defamatory behavior.
    Even if it is hurting you a lot, try to be as friendly to such comments as you can.


    (and such hate comments can easily come when you started a project where you create a figure of a young human or started to build the different human types in 3D
    or you have build a child soldier with a gun in his hand etc )

    and yes many topics could get misunderstood really easy.


    so as a reminder

    check if the comment is conform with the rules in the article from game-artist

    try to be as friendly as you can.

    work and try to fix the stuff you are able to fix


    that would be my advice
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 8
    Early on you should probably consider every criticism or suggestion you get. That's someone who took the time to say something about your work, it deserves at least a moment's consideration.

    That being said, you're obviously not going to be able to act on all of them. Which ones you choose to act on is part of what gives artists different styles. You'll probably want to take critiques from reputable artists and community members relatively seriously - even if not for that project, for possible future projects and for the simple sake of possibly learning new things. And obviously if someone points out "there's no way in hell that person could fit through that door", you probably want to pay attention to obvious truths. But really when all is said and done, it comes down to you.

    Being able to realize where you are with your work and how to improve it is a difficult thing you typically just get better at with time. Taking critique is just another part of that process - and the more experienced and skilled you become, the quicker you'll know which critiques are going to help you and which ones are going to hurt you.
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 9
    A critique is just someones personal opinion based on there own experiences/understandings.

    The hard part from a critique is realizing that there not there telling you what to do. Mearly offering suggestions they feel would help/hinder the piece. Its your job as the artist to evaluate each and deiced what you want from the final product and take the advice given too you if you see it helping your end goal.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    Proper feedback is with solid facts behind the advices.
    Even in professional environment I always insist that if a person is smart enough to be in charge(or have an awesome portfolio) he has to be capable to articulate reasoning behind his decisions.
    Otherwise it's just might be a personal preference and it doesn't really impact the "quality".

    So basically, do what makes sense for you. If people don't tell you why they think something would work better - ask them. It would be a good mental exercise for both of you.
  • EVIL
    TNO wrote: »
    try take the critics form everyone serious but only if they are following the rules in this article;

    http://www.game-artist.net/forums/view.php?pg=constructivecrit

    And if someone(even if people working for a big company) try´s to put you into a bad light ( saying that you are a pedophile /racist/communist/terrorist/etc)

    say clearly that you dislike such defamatory behavior.
    Even if it is hurting you a lot, try to be as friendly to such comments as you can.


    (and such hate comments can easily come when you started a project where you create a figure of a young human or started to build the different human types in 3D
    or you have build a child soldier with a gun in his hand etc )

    and yes many topics could get misunderstood really easy.


    so as a reminder

    check if the comment is conform with the rules in the article from game-artist

    try to be as friendly as you can.

    work and try to fix the stuff you are able to fix


    that would be my advice

    After reading this, it looks like you asked critique on 4chan, or some jackass community.
  • Zipfinator
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    Zipfinator polycounter lvl 8
    ignore all meat-shooters and low poly fellow-dudes.

    Meat-Shooters and Low Poly Fellow-Dudes are still people though! Even if they may be pre-school folks, they can still have valid opinions!

    Also what Equil said sums up how I feel pretty well.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    At a certain point you should take everyone's opinion, even people that only play games can tell if something is too shinny, doesn't fit the style of the rest of the scene, scale is off, etc etc. You should really only be concerned about critiques that contradict what you know or what you think you know, ask them to explain them selves or take a look at some pros work or real life examples.
  • Joseph Silverman
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    Joseph Silverman polycounter lvl 10
    Take every critique seriously. If an idiot is trying to correct you, obviously the piece isn't speaking to him as intended, so you've made mistakes. If a badass is trying to correct you, he's taking the time to share his knowledge with you and you should listen.

    There's gonna be value in every bit of feedback you get, part of the skill of an artist is learning how to translate it.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    on a separate but related note, if someone with a job in the game industry is giving you advice on how to get a job in the game industry; listen to them regardless of your opinion of their art because obviously they're doing something right :-P
  • gilesruscoe
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    gilesruscoe polycounter lvl 6
    I tend to take crits from whoever i can on my work, just being able to get some fresh eyes on a piece helps to see things you otherwise would not have noticed, after staring at something for hours on end its easy to get caught up in it and not step back to take a look whats going on.
  • imyj
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    imyj polycounter lvl 6
    Criticism is valid from everyone. I feel that the only way to improve as an artist is to constantly have your work scrutinized. Whether that's your mum telling you that your Naruto fanart is shit, right down to a kid in their bedroom telling the world that the environment you worked on in your 10th AAA game is crappy.

    alaska-state-library-photograph-pca-44-3-15-sourdough-in-stream-panning-for-gold-skinner2.gif

    I'd say it comes down to separating the gold from the dirt.

    Oh and if enough people say the same thing then it's probably true and you should listen regardless.
  • Snacuum
    From what I've learned, constructive crits from the smart people will help you learn what to improve.. pretty obvious.

    It's great/it's shit comments from the uneducated masses are a thermometer: Hot/Cold and until you have the water running a steady warm then you don't have it down. The crits here will usually be along the lines of positive constructive, since we understand the work involved and have the discerning eye. That's a heavy bias, something to remember is that all great talent has it's detractors... If you don't get enough hate, you might not be as good as you think!
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 12
    I'd say taking everything into consideration but always remember that the less experienced guys are sometimes prone to parroting critiques that they've learned elsewhere without having a full understanding of their context or function which occasionally results in poor critique. Not that they should be disparaged for trying to help out of course, it's just something to factor into your considerations.

    Likewise many things are subjective. Critiques will almost invariably push you towards a more standard, generic model appearance which is often to its detriment. One of the ones that crops up on Polycount very frequently is the female character with a strong jaw looks masculine. I'd say a good 9 times out of 10 this is a case of a narrow concept of what constitutes a realistic and or attractive female as opposed to a genuine anatomical critique.
  • PatrickL
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    PatrickL polycounter lvl 6
    Who do I take critique from?
    Everyone and everything that will give me one, of course!

    How much do I take them into consideration?
    Well that's a lot trickier question I think. I feel like you should always consider every critique you are given, even if you disagree with all of them. I try to draw something constructive from every critique I receive even if I feel like that one guy is definitely blind and has no idea what he's talking about. Sometimes I'll get a critique that doesn't benefit my work immediately, but instead helps further down the road with other projects. Every single comment opens a window of opportunity to see your work in a new light, and to me that is an invaluable tool that has helped me to grow as an artist over the years. And the name of the game is improvement, if you ask me. There is no finish line, no point where you can become some perfect artist, just a span of time where you draw what inspiration you can while you can in order to improve as much as possible, and then you die. So getting upset from a critique or flat out ignoring one is just not an option when they could potential help me improve in some fashion.

    Perhaps I have a dumb idea of things, but that's how I have always felt about my work from day one. I'd like to think it has proven healthy in the long run.
  • oobersli
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    oobersli polycounter lvl 11
    only take crits from your mom and closest friends who never say bad thing to hurt your feelings. Roadmap to success!!


    Don't listen to me btw.
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 10
    sometimes the BEST critique comes from someone who knows SHITALL about the subject at hand...

    i like to ask my GF...shes an artist but doesnt know shit technically about what we do, she cant even use copy and paste functions on a computer, but she will will point out the glaring obvious that pros often forget because it becomes too much a part of the industry that we no longer criticse it, "thats just how it is"
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 9
    SHEPEIRO wrote: »
    sometimes the BEST critique comes from someone who knows SHITALL about the subject at hand...

    i like to ask my GF...shes an artist but doesnt know shit technically about what we do, she cant even use copy and paste functions on a computer, but she will will point out the glaring obvious that pros often forget because it becomes too much a part of the industry that we no longer criticse it, "thats just how it is"

    Totally! I like to ask my mum and friends and gf for crits. And they usually start criticizing something that could even be irrelevant to what I'm trying to show them, but it's very interesting to try and extract what's really bothering them, 'cause at the end of the day people like them are the audience we're working for.

    It works the other way around, btw. We tend to get too carried away with anal scrupulous professional details that end users don't give a poop about. So sometimes I show stuff to people who know very little about game art just to see if they'll pay any attention to what's bothering me. And if even after a couple of hints they still have no idea and you're on a schedule, then it might be worth to move on. :)
  • Dudestein
    There's a serious dose of trusting your gut involved here. You're invariably going to get conflicting opinions from people, and at the end of the day the only person who can tell you which direction to go in is you. Develop that eye so you can make the critical decisions, and make them more quickly.
  • Titus S
    Look at the porfolio/works behind the comment.

    I highly disagree...

    Having a fresh pair of eyes to look at your art regardless of their back ground or skill is essential... I found when teaching myself concept art that my best, TOUGH, critics were my family and best friend (a coder). They know when something just simply looks "wrong". It may not be specific to a point, but it keeps you aware of the issue until you can tackle it.

    Now, to your point... Yes, sometimes if someone critiques someone's art and their art is noticeably of less caliber you will feel highly inclined to disregard the critique and it usually becomes misinterpreted as the critic trying to 1-up you and BAM, you start an ego war. The reason why we get critiques is because we typically spend countless hours on a piece to make it perfect. When we spend that much time on something, we get attached and accustomed to what we are seeing and we start developing a sense of confidence that it's looking good. The whole point behind critiquing isn't to get the RIGHT critique, but to get you DIFFERENT critiques so that you can condition yourself to hit the reset button in your brain on command so that you can break away from the accustomed design flow or fundamentals (lighting, perspective, form, composition etc etc) of that piece to see mistakes.

    If the person sucks, don't throw away his/her critique... Try and visualize the idea, try it (key word: try) and say thank you. You never know what may be thrown at you, it may make your piece better.

    If people give you a wide range of critiques that's GOOD. You're getting ideas from obviously differently tiered artists that can potentially help improve your art. But it's also BAD because it typically means there's a possible variety of things that need to be fixed and that's why people get defensive.

    Here's what I'd do for each person you mentioned...

    Person #1 : Thank you! Do you mind taking a look over ____ and tell me what you think? I seem to be stuck/I would like to have ideas on improvements with the design/perspective/anatomy/lighting/form/character/etc

    Person #2 : I definitely will try your idea to see how it fares with mine. Also what do you think about ___ as another idea? Also add #1

    Person #3 : Same as #2 and #1 if applicable.
  • praetus
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    praetus polycounter lvl 11
    Look at the porfolio/works behind the comment.

    Ehhhhhhh, sometimes. I take critiques into consideration from anyone that will give them. My wife knows nothing when it comes to game art but I'll be damned if she can't instantly tell me when something looks bad. Just because someone isn't as "pro" as you may like it doesn't mean they can't point out something you may have missed.

    The biggest thing I can mention is to check your ego at the door and be gracious that people are giving you the time and feedback to help you improve. If a recurring theme is people telling you the same thing is wrong, then hey, it may be wrong. I used to be somewhat indignant about receiving crits and then I realized I wasn't getting any better. That changed my tune pretty quick.
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    Any critique is good, from anyone no matter what skill level.
  • Mark Dygert
    If you're getting technical advice, the persons portfolio isn't going tell you much so you probably need to pay attention to past and future technical advice they give, evaluate it on how well it helped you or others.

    Also people only work on portfolios when they are looking for work. People who are employed are often working on things they can't show for years at a time. Portfolios don't often feature WIP art (the good ones anyway) so you aren't likely to see all of the unfinished but awesome projects they having going.

    If they're giving artistic advice then its subjective and personal taste is going to factor into it heavily. Some of it might be worth listening too, some of it not. It all depends... Its up to you to develop your critique filter. A lot of people start out with it set way too high.

    If you're going to specific people for advice you should understand their strengths and know that will flavor their response.

    I personally tend to hang out in tech talk and answer tech related questions, occasionally I'll pop into P&P and if someone could benefit from a tech related suggestion I'll post it but for the most part I keep my artistic opinions to myself because normally they just offend whoever it is that thinks their stuff is hot sh!t on a stick.

    Most of the people posting, unless they say they want help are just posting because they think whatever it is they made is awesome. Normally they are blind to the flaws and when that reality comes crashing in, it stings. They lash out thinking they're being attacked and it starts a shit storm, so even if you kid glove your responses, unless they say they're looking for a critique they are way more likely to flip out.

    So if you ask someone like me to look at something, I might say "yea that's good" but what I'm looking for are technical flaws not necessarily artistic problems.


    LONG POST SHORT:

    In general I think people need to drop their ego's WAY more often than they do and accept critique from anyone as long as it makes sense or will genuinely improve things.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 12
    I have seen at least one thread where a senior artist on the forum implied that he would n't take a crit from someone he had no regard for professionally ie he figured the person in question was not of the high calibre required to give him feedback,
    I think that is just plain wrong and a bit egotistical.
    We can all learn stuff, even from people who we perceive to be not very good.

    I only take advice from french aristocats and dukes+maybe Mark Dygert:)
  • skankerzero
    Some of the worst people I've ever worked with only took advice from 'popular artists'.

    I could sit there and give them crits and advice and it wasn't until someone like Bobo game them the exact same crits and advice that they would listen.
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