Home General Discussion

Information About Polycount & New Member Introductions

Offline / Send Message
System admin

Information You Should Know About the Polycount Forum

Here are some things you should know about the Polycount Forum.


New Members

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 helpdesk@polycount.com

Help with your account?
If you need assistance with your account, like changing your username, please send an email to helpdesk@polycount.com

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.

  1. Try to find an answer by Searching the forums. Technical Talk is a great place to start.
  2. Try to find an answer by searching the Polycount Wiki.
  3. Try to find an answer by searching the Web.
  4. Try to find an answer by reading the manual.
  5. Try to find an answer by experimentation!
  6. Include your findings in your post, so we know what you've tried already.
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way.


Always Search

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.


Smart: Help me get a model imported into Unreal?

Smarter: [Unreal] model import, wrong size?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Forum Tricks

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 don't like drag-n-drop, or are on mobile, you can embed images using the Upload Image button, which looks like a landscape picture .
  • To host your images externally, just paste the full URL of the image and press the Enter key. Make sure the URL ends in .jpg (or whatever image format you're using).
  • Youtube and Vimeo can be embedded, paste the web address and press Enter. For example: https: //vimeo.com/100147486 or https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=_veq6Q51Zlg (remove the space after the https: )
    • Our forum software can't embed Youtube unless it's formatted like so:
      https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjf-1BxpR9c
      Specifically the /watch?v= part.
      Use the Youtube "Share" button, copy/paste that URL back into Youtube and visit that page. You want the new URL it makes. Paste that URL into your post and press the Enter key.
  • # 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.
  1. Be courteous, polite and show respect to others. Use of the forums is a privilege, not a right.
  2. Engage your brain before your mouth. You are responsible for your own words and any harm they may cause.
  3. Don't post irrelevant nonsense in any of the non-General Discussion forums
  4. 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.
  5. 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

When seeking advice about how to model something, include screenshots of your model. Provide an image of both the subdivided shaded model, and the unsubdivided shaded wireframe. For example:

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.
  • Please downsize your images to 1600 or less before attaching or embedding.
  • JPG compression doesn't matter if you're uploading to Polycount; all images are recompressed automatically. Resolution is what controls the file size.
  • 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 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 Upload Image button (which looks like a landscape picture ), or for externally-hosted images just paste the full URL (starting with https and ending with jpg or gif or png) and press Enter.


Embedding Images

There are three ways to embed an image in your post:

1. Save your image onto your computer, open the folder where the image is, edit your Polycount post, and drag the image from your computer folder into your post editing field.
- or
2. Save your image onto your computer hard drive, edit your Polycount post, click on the Upload Image button (landscape icon ), 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 https: 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, paste your image URL, and press the Enter key.


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.


Self Promotion

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.

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.

Please post in Technical Talk if you've created software or service directly relevant to game artwork. We simply ask that you explain your service in detail, and post updates in the same thread rather than make new ones.

Use one of the Showcase sections (3D, 2D, Animation) if you've created a tutorial or some sort of content you want to sell. If you're selling something specific to an asset store, please do so in the User Generated Content section.

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.


The Polycount Forum is Not Your "blog"

What we mean by this, is please don't create mindless threads that are 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", or rants about gaming culture. 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

Flag: Spam
  • 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 are a way to show off your contribution status to the community.

The ranks use a color palette based off our legacy color scheme and all the ranks are listed here.
  • 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 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.


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 forum.

If you're offering paid freelance/remote jobs please use the Freelance Job Postings forum.

If you're an artist or studio advertising your availability for work please use the Artist Looking For Work forum.

If you're looking to pay artists but with delayed compensation please use the Royalties or Post-Launch Compensation Work forum.

If you're managing a project that needs help and is unpaid please post it in our Unpaid Work forum.


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.

We reserve the right to remove any content for any reason or no reason at all. We reserve the right to terminate any membership for any reason or no reason at all.

You must be at least 13 years of age to use this service.

For our full policies, please see our Terms of Service and our Privacy Policy.


Sign In or Register to comment.