OPC Log—16 Desnus 4716

Monday, May 16, 2016

While writing last Moonday's blog, I realized there was way too much information I wanted to share and including it all would lead to reader overload. So I saved some of the Gen Con information for this week. It's also time to start the next Pathfinder Society Competition!

More Gen Con Info

There is no way to do everything at Gen Con by myself; there are just too many tasks and too many places to be. So every year a team of Lead Volunteers is named to help out. While I coordinate things between Gen Con and PFS, they do the same for all the volunteers. Months before the convention starts, just weeks after Gen Con 2015 ended, they started talking about Gen Con 2016. Through months of planning, generating schedules, corresponding with volunteers, compiling lists of supplies, they work closely with me to deliver a quality show. They arrive at Gen Con early and help me set up the Sagamore. Setup is a HUGE endeavor, involving unpacking pallets, building shelving, assembling table stands, folding papers, stuffing envelopes, sorting shirts... an almost endless list of tasks that all need to occur before Wednesday afternoon when our volunteers arrive. After four days of very little sleep, they help tear down the Sagamore, disassembling everything we built days before, packing up the pallets, rolling banners, and compiling a list of GM feedback. Only when everything is torn down and ready to return to Seattle do they take a breather and stop thinking Gen Con 2016. Then, a few weeks later, they review the feedback, read through the many post-Gen Con forum threads, and start thinking about Gen Con 50. The amount of time these volunteers spend putting the show together is immense and I cannot say thank you enough to them for all they do!

Without further ado—your leads!

Jon Cary—Jon started volunteering for Paizo at Gen Con in 2011. The next year, he was appointed Lead. This is Jon's sixth Gen Con with the Pathfinder Society. In addition, he was the Venture-Captain of the Dallas-Fort Worth area from September 2011 to December 2014. Jon is our tech guru, the master of the database, and wrangler of the HQ volunteers. Most importantly, he keeps an eye on Bob and Todd and preserves the OPC's sanity.

Bob Jonquet—GM herder extraordinaire, 2016 marks Bob's third year as Gen Con Co-Lead. He joined the Pathfinder Society at the outset and was a Tier 1 Gen Con GM in 2010, the first of many years of volunteering for Society events. Bob also leads the volunteer brigade at PaizoCon. When asked for a blurb, Bob wrote, "In his spare time Bob likes long walks on the beach, eating ice cream, and protecting the citizens of Gotham from evil".

Todd Morgan—The quite one, Todd shoulders the daunting task of organizing the data entry crew and is keeper of the reporting sheets. At 180 tables a slot and 10 slots, that is over 1800 pieces of paper to track. As a result of being holder of the paper, Todd shoulders the responsibility of fixing any reporting errors. This is Todd's third year of leading Gen Con volunteers. Todd is also one of two co-leads for PaizoCon. In his spare time, he plays in a band.

New for this year, we are adding Department Heads to the Gen Con leadership. They are responsible for coordinating tasks within their areas, getting volunteers breaks, handling on-site issues, and making sure players have a fantastic experience.

GMs—Venture-Captain Bobby Harring
Marshals—Venture-Captain Seth Brummond
Non-Marshal HQ Volunteers—Venture-Captain Walter Sheppard
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Demonstrators—Venture-Captain Dominick Trascritti
Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild—Venture-Captain Micah Daniels
Pathfinder Society Academy—Venture-Captain Lucas Servideo

At this time, every volunteer should have received their schedule and replied to their appropriate Lead—Bob for GMs and Jon for HQ. Badges have been placed in Gen Con accounts. If you don't see a badge under your "my packet" category on the Gen Con website, please email me and I will look into the issue. I will start looking at room assignments After PaizoCon and will send another email with roommate information to those that qualified for a Paizo room.

As a result of planning months out, there are always cancellations. We are still taking applications for volunteers as a "wait list" to fill the inevitable holes in our schedule. Check out the Gen Con 2016 Call for Volunteers blog if you are interested in being on the wait list.

Finally, a GIGANTIC thank you to all the volunteers! Without you, the Pathfinder Society would not have the capacity to offer all the wonderful games and experiences to the attendees of Gen Con. Raise your glass high and toast your efforts! Huzzah!

Character Sketch Competition

Switching gears—it's time for another competition. For this one, break out your crayons, pencils, pens, paints, pastels, inks, or markers and a clean sheet of paper. The theme of this competition is Character Portrait. We are looking for either headshot or full body pieces of your Pathfinder Society characters.

As with past competitions, there are a few rules:

  • You may only enter once
  • Only the artist may submit their work
  • Entries must be submitted to contest@paizo.com
  • Include your portrait and a name for the character portrayed (NOTE: Images may be resized or cropped to better show off the artwork for voting. Any image format is acceptable!)
  • Include your paizo.com username

Entries will be accepted until 12:00 PM Pacific time on June 3, 2016. We plan to open voting on Monday, June 6.

The rewards? Gift Certificates to paizo.com! Value will be determined based on the number of applicants.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Community Contests Conventions Gen Con Gen Con 2016 Pathfinder Society

Ummm...okay...and what about people who commission artwork of their Pathfinder society PC's because they're unable to draw it themselves? Does this contest exclude them?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Why would you or should you win a contest meant to highlight artistic talent if you were not the one who created the art?

Silver Crusade 5/5

Well, it does say only the artist may submit their work, so I would say that it would exclude commissioned artwork.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The artist may submit their work, as that is what this contest is for.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can an artist submit work they have done of another player's character? (On commission or otherwise.)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kelly Youngblood wrote:
Can an artist submit work they have done of another player's character? (On commission or otherwise.)

Most definitely!

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Kelly Youngblood wrote:
Can an artist submit work they have done of another player's character? (On commission or otherwise.)
Most definitely!

Really? What about if the commissioner owns the rights to the character depicted in the artwork?

Also, shouldn't the artist CONTACT THE COMMISSIONER and ASK PERMISSION before submitting artwork of their OC to a company for a contest?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It depends on the ownership stream. I'm sure no one is advocating the illegal use of someone else's intellectual property. At the same time, the point is to recognize the artist, not the owner of the finished product. Just because you own excellent art does not mean you should be able to win a contest because of it. That award belongs to the artist that created the work. And since the rules say the artist (not the owner of the finished work) must submit their own work, it is up to them to determine which of their works to enter. That could mean making an alternate choice if said work is owned by someone else who does not give permission for its use

Scarab Sages 2/5

Love it! Totally entering.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have released/relaxed permission for two artists that did commissioned art of my characters to participate in this contest, if they desire.

All accolades and any awards they may attain are rightfully theirs, I've only asked for recognition that my characters were the inspiration for their artwork.

Only traditional sketch art right? No digital drawing/painting allowed?

Just want to make sure, thank you! ^o^/
Also I'm down for this!

Grand Lodge 2/5 Venture-Captain, Russia—Moscow aka Maxim Nikolaev

1 person marked this as a favorite.

May I ask for the sake of those of us that are not in the US - please talk about the consest first, and then to the GenCon news. Otherwise it's easy to miss it.

Also, yay! Another great contest!

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Same question as yuikami -- how about digital art created in a 3d program?

(Not that I'm really any good at *that*, either. I have a lot of technical competence, but alas that doesn't replace a good artistic eye.)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

Character portraits in any medium are valid. So if you have the tech capabilities to create in digital medium, go for it. As long as it is the artist skills and not the computer doing the drawing :)

Community Manager

Curses, I cannot enter this contest! :D

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Hmm... from a technical point of view, digital art *is* the computer doing the drawing, as it is the computer that renders the picture, i.e. puts color on the page. The disconnect is bigger with a 3d program than a 2d paint program -- in a 2d paint program, the analogy to using physical techniques on paper is stronger than in a 3d program. However, I would argue that it is possible to do entirely human-created art in a 3d program. It's just not "doing the drawing"; it's a different set of skills, but requires an artistic eye. So, I'm not sure saying "not the computer doing the drawing" actually clarifies anything. Would 3d art be allowed? Understanding that it's computer modelling that handles how light reflects and so forth, as well as foreshortening, shading, etc. But it requires a good artist to set all of that up so it looks good.

Next question for 3d : what about reuse of other assets? For instance, textures created by somebody else? What if we start with a human basemesh that we then modify?

A lot of what people do in 3d programs is clearly original and creative, but also is clearly not as "all drawn by just one person" as somebody sitting down with a pencil or paints and a blank piece of paper. The real worry, I believe, isn't whether or not it's the computer doing the drawing. (That's a red herring; visual art designed to be displayed on a 2d surface is more than putting color on a 2d surface nowadays.) It's that a lot of original art involves a lot of reuse, and it's hard to know where to draw the line to call it enough one's own work.

I guess a related 2d question would be: what about photomanipulation? What if you start with a photo of a model, and then work on it from there? Again, I would say that this is real art, but is less obviously all one's own original work than sitting down with a blank canvas and painting.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Non-Entry from Liz Chun Hei

Other Non-Entry from Liz Kuraishimo


Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

To help clarify what I'm asking, let me give a concrete example. I'm a little embarassed to show this, because it's really not very good (I told you I don't have a great artistic eye). Here is a rendering of my now-retired character Sarallindia.

To create this, I started with MakeHuman (http://www.makehuman.org). I spent some time getting the body and face shape I wanted. I then exported that and imported it into Blender. What this means is that (a) although I modified the base mesh, the base mesh (the list of squares and triangles that make up the shape) for the body was created by somebody else. (It's part of MakeHuman and legal to use.) It also means that (b) the skin texture, although globally colored a bit by myself, was also originally created by somebody else.

Once I got it into Blender, I changed the eye texture to match Golarion elves, and I changed the shape of the ears (which were pointed, but not long enough, in MakeHuman. I probably still need to make them longer). I spent a *lot* of time working with the hair particle system in Blender to get the hair to do what I want (and I'm still not completely happy with it). I modeled the robe from scratch in Blender; the texture for the robe (including the trim) I created in the Gimp. The bow is a 3d asset I got from somewhere else (it is Arcane Bow by Gabriel Lanzer, licensed CC-BY-3.0). (I modelled the arrow myself, as that's not a very hard thing to model. The feather texture comes from a public domain photo of a bird feather I found, probably on Wikimedia Commons.)

I also posed the model (i.e. adjusted the limbs and body and so forth, including the facial expression), and set up the lighting. I then rendered it.

So, the question is: would this be a legal submission? It's clearly mine... but it's also clearly built on the work of others.

Also, I *know* it would not come close to winning. Like I said, I don't have a great artistic eye. This is not false modesty; I *know* this isn't all that great. One can objectively create much better looking stuff using 3d modelling. Most video game characters nowadays look better than this. Or, for a RPG character example, see the paper miniatures from Arion Games ( http://www.arion-games.com/paperminis.php ).

The Exchange 5/5

If everything in the image isn't created by the artist making the entry it probably isn't a legitimate entry. Using something like Photoshop or Paint to draw your character from scratch is okay. Using 3d software like Maya, Makehuman or Blender and using premade parts provided by the software or other artists probably isn't.

Scarab Sages 2/5

I already submitted, so too late for me on this, but is there a preferred file format for submissions? I sent pdf, since I work in vector and that will scale without losing resolution, but I know a lot of people prefer to get jpg or png.

Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

I know the file sizes are large but can we view compression-less formats such as BMP? I would hate to think something cool was lost during the change to a JPG or other image format.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

You don't need compressionless, you just need lossless compression. PNG files will tend to be much larger than JPG files (factor of 10ish, although it depends on the "quality" factor in the JPG and the nature of the image). However, they will be smaller than uncompressed BMP files.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I need to pick just one of them?!

I'm in the same boat as rknop though. I use a 3d modeling program (DAZ) to make my character art as both player and GM.

For instance (Not submissions, as these are scenario NPC's):
Mavius for 7-16
Valais for 5-09
Valais again for 7-17

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

James -- I like what you've done.

Community Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's our official stance on using digital tools to create portraits of your characters:

Using digital tools (such as Blender, 3D-Max, DAZ, Photoshop, Manga Studio, SAI, etc.) are acceptable means of producing your final art for this contest. Modeling assets or digital brushes are not any different than having a selection of paint and canvas at your disposal—what matters is the final form that is sufficiently unique to claim it as your own. You put in the hours to tweak textures, remodel hair, set up the pose, lighting, background? It counts.

Pick your favorite render and send it. :)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

Excellent, that sounds reasonable. It's fuzzy, but it's impossible to be reasonable and not be fuzzy in this case. "Sufficiently unique to claim as your own" is a great way to say it.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Woohooo just submit mine! \ > w < /

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Is that noon or midnight?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Decided not to take the risk and submitted what I had so far.

Of all the days to leave my phone at home and having to run back for it at lunch to get the contest email address...

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Anderson wrote:
Is that noon or midnight?

Noon. Glad you got it submitted :D

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Did it actually get there on time? My outgoing mail says 11:59, but I never got a confirmation of receipt.

Scarab Sages 2/5

Looking forward to seeing everyone's characters!

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Hopefully it will go up today?

Community & Digital Content Director

Hey folks! I know there's some antsy people waiting for voting to open. There's been a brief delay, but we anticipate opening voting up later this week. Thank you for your patience!

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.

May I echo Max's suggestion, that any future competitions be advertised in their own blog post, front and centre?

I only found out about this contest this evening. Not that I'm likely to have entered myself, as my skills are rusty and I'm pushed for time, but there are many people I know who would have jumped at the chance.

I think it unnecessarily limits the number of entrants, especially from overseas, if the info is buried inside a post about a convention they are unlikely to be attending.

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