How to connect with people & artists you knew on CGHub

CGHub is Dead!

For those of you that were members of CGHub prior to its unexpected shutdown, one of the main complaints (aside from regaining your artwork) is that you didn’t have time to connect with the artists and people you met before it was gone.

While there are lots of fantastic resources showing up with alternative places to visit for art and community (check out Concept Art World’s list for the most comprehensive) I thought that it’d be a good idea to have a place to connect more directly.

To that end, if you want to ‘hook up’ with former community members you can link to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, whatever you feel most comfortable with and share your old username below. If forums start to offer dedicated threads for this I’ll update with their locations as well.

For those interested, I was TylinaVespart. ;)

Update 1: According to Twitter, a lot of people are reconnecting over on DrawCrowd (which looks good from an art sharing point of view, but seems to lack the community)

Update 2: Some of the users (including Zentrope, one of the mods) have moved over to Polycount. There’s also talk of expanding that site to include 2D Work, and some brainstorming about adding portfolio space. Check out the discussion.

How To Use Alpha Maps (And why you’d want to)

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Of all the texturing methods I learned during the early years this was one of the most useful (second only to mix maps). Using an alpha map allows you to easily control which parts of your model appear in a render. It also affords you greater control over materials used in your scene through layering, adding extra detail to low poly models, and allowing for translucency in textures.

Plus you get to feel like a ninja when using such a technique in front of your less experienced colleagues (and less like a noob when it’s used in your vicinity). Continue reading

The Most Important Part of Design

One of the most important things in web design is being able to clearly communicate what your site (and company) is about within 2-3 seconds of a visitor viewing the page.

Norske Spilleautomater is a great example of this.

Even though it’s all written in a foreign language you can still instantly tell that its about slot machines. No mystery surrounding the graphics or the main point of the site. You know instantly that what you get are slot machines, some free spins, and gambling.

It’s not an aesthetically pleasing site by any means, nor is the design ‘good’ as far as we traditionally think of web design being good, but this clarity is a powerful thing and I’m certain that as a result they do a lot of business.

Another couple of things they do right are the social shares on the left of the page and the prominent calls to action (free spins).

Social shares; These aren’t empty and it shows that the site is at least semi popular. Providing social proof and a sense of legitimacy that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Calls to Action; In addition to knowing exactly what the site is about within a couple of seconds, you know “What’s in it for me” straight away. In this case, free spins. It’s mentioned in the first part of the home page text and in the sidebar and is one of the first things you see. If you were looking to gamble, this is a good deal and likely to tempt you.

To conclude, I’m not saying that this is the pinnacle of web design and something we should aspire to; I’m saying that they get the important things right and the ‘pretty’ part of design can come later. Get these first parts right and you’ll have a successful site to build from instead of a pretty site to work around.

Why Teamwork is Essential for a 3D Artist

aprilarticle2Make Your Work Easy To Use

It’s no secret that teamwork is necessary for doing well in the corporate world (or any larger project setting). The first pillar of mastery lends itself particularly well to team settings; today we’re going to look at how to make the work we produce easy for others to use. If you do run a one man show just substitute ‘team’ for ‘customer’ or ‘client’ if you create things for others and you’ll find this just as applicable. Continue reading