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Messages posted by: Aielyn
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Perhaps if I explain why I never ended up entering anything, it might shed some light on the general reason for it.

One reason I didn't end up submitting is that the deadline kept moving. It shifted at least three times, and by the third time, I started to figure that I'd probably have enough time without needing to hurry, because you'd keep it going until there were enough entries. And as a result, I didn't keep a close eye on the date - when the deadline finally rolled around, I hadn't gotten around to making my entry.

Beyond that, there was the rather verbose restriction that was somewhat difficult to comprehend. As a photomanipulator, I was looking at working on your real-life photos, and I was looking at a muscle-gain transformation, because it was relatively easy to do with those images... but how do I make it fit into your restriction? It wasn't quite clear enough, leaving me doubting my understanding of it, but not quite confused enough to go asking. It would have been better to either be more lax with your restriction ("TF me into something for which a 'category' exists on this site") or more specific ("TF me in a way that emulates a TV show transformation"), so that there was less confusion.

In addition, I thought I'd raise the point that the "latest news" part of the front page of your site isn't visible unless you scroll down, meaning that people who visit are less likely to see it. As such, even amongst people who were aware that you were running a competition, there was no obvious sign of it. Perhaps a partial redesign of the front page would help to avoid this in the future... I'm not suggesting you overhaul the site (obviously), but just a bit of tweaking. Perhaps you could have a sort of "recent happenings" section that appears above the main page logo, etc - it would simply say things like "2009-02-22 News added", "2009-04-17 Contest announced", or "2009-03-08 Updated content for show Urotsukidoji", with each linking to the appropriate page/section that it appears in (so it would be an in-page reference for news updates, and a link to the "Shows" page for content updates, etc). It would show, say, the relevant updates for the last two weeks or the last five relevant updates, whichever is larger.

See, it's not just awareness, you need to keep people conscious of the contest if you want them to enter it. Before the site relaunched, people would check for information on when it would launch frequently, resulting in high consciousness of the contest. With the site launched, when people come to the site, they go straight to the page they're interested in, resulting in them not scrolling down and reading the news section, which as I pointed out is hidden from view when you first come to the main page - you have to scroll to find it, even on a larger screen.

EDIT: Oh, and if you're going to have a contest, perhaps a permanent link somewhere visible upon first opening the main page would go a fair way - perhaps a slightly-modified front page that has a "Contest" link on the menu bar along the top (to the left of the "Shows" link would be an appropriate place).
Since nobody has started one yet, I thought I would do the honours. The thread is for any photomanipulation technique. Just to be clear, "photomanipulation" doesn't mean "pasting two images onto a background", it means changing images to make them look like something different, whether it's by distortion, re-colouring, re-texturing, or careful creation of a scene by layering images into each other, with transparency effects, etc.

I'm making the thread open, so it can be used for any program capable of the appropriate photomanipulation techniques - the two most notable being GIMP and Photoshop (in no particular order).

Now, down to business.

I've made a tutorial for how to use GIMP to do basic transformation images such as those found in my deviantart. You can find the tutorial here (direct link to image - didn't post as an image because it's quite large, at almost 6000 pixels tall). The image that was created for that tutorial can also be seen here (again, a bit large to post directly).

I'd like to hear other techniques - I know of at least one more, which is in use by SkyJaguar on deviantart (link, and involves a layer-by-layer technique for making hair/fur using the smudge tool. I would also recommend that prospective photomanippers read her "tips for awesome photomorphs" (link near end of the "how to make fur" tutorial).
When does the contest finish? (that is, final date for submissions)
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