FOSA Preamble

Started by C-Chan, January 18, 2008, 02:29:04 pm

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C-Chan

I'm reserving this space for now mainly to gather thoughts on the matter -- however, I still want to keep this in the Fanart section because it is my hope that several practice sessions will take place here, before a more serious attempt.

I'd like to start off with "I had a dream today", but it's more of a long-standing vision I've had since the days of this thread here....

http://ostan-collections.net/topic-213.html

Now let me be frank for a second....

I love to draw (well,... more like technically "sculpt") and have been doing it with gusto here in this forum since June of '06.  I think I've personally advanced a lot, and have proven to myself time and time again that I can achieve a desired goal with enough effort.  So even if I may be morally reluctant to admit it, I think I can prove to myself that I'm a good artist.

But personally, I never really cared for that -- rather it has always been my vision to be a good team player instead.  I have tried doing one-on-one collaborations, I had started an Inkscape tutorial, I surrender my SVG source files for people to study, and I generally help and encourage other people to draw.  This has beared fruit, but I still get the impression that a lot of people feel marginalized due to lack of perceived talent or time, or perhaps just an unwillingness to dedicate time to something that bears little in return aside from a "how cute" or "neat" comment.  Truth be told, we have an eager but yet very small group of dedicated artists in the folder, and if any are in the same position as I am, they may start to feel a little burned out.

The problem, I feel, basically lies in that while my vision is community-focused, our approach is still inherently individualistic.  We have user-specific galleries, we expect users to complete whole pictures themselves, and collaborations thus far have depended on private communication amongst users.  Parodoxically, we expect the final product of a user's time and effort to be released into the wild without any user acknowledgement -- which is okay now since we all know each other, but hardly sounds like an enticing offer to a new user who's time and expertise may warrant compensation (even if it's in the form of a small "thank you").

When I think that, I inevitably start thinking about the future.  When I leave, and leave I shall, how many people can take over for me?  And for how long?  When Fabian left the forum he founded, Fedora-Tan was luckily around to keep it living long enough for a mini renaissance.  But can I expect the same posterity for my work?

Maybe, but despite everything, all is do is still strictly "proprietary", so like with any proprietary product, all my methods and secrets would undoubtedly go to the grave along with me.  That might be alright for some people, but I'm more apt to "share the wealth" so to speak.  -v-

So... in an effort to do something about this, I'd like propose a sort of paradign shift, and since this is still the start of a New Year, I figure it'd be a perfect time for it.

....

So in February of this year, I'd like to begin sponsoring a series of tests of what I'm tentatively calling "Free and Open Source Anime".  Modeled heavily after the FOSS approach with regards to software, I'd like for us to try out a new, multi-faceted and fully-transparent approach when it comes to creating illustrations.  Rather than have a single person doing all the drawing, an image would be built up collectively by a huge gathering of people using at the very least a standard tool.  A "compiler" then gathers the best features of submitted "patches" to the illustration, and use it to update the master illustration so that it combines expertise from various different styles and trades.

The benefit I see is that no inherent artistic skills are required.  If a person can't draw complex human shapes, he/she can focus on inorganic details.  If a person is an expert at human anatomy and mechanical systems, but inexperienced with vector graphics, the person can still make recommendations or outlines to other artists that have that skill set.  Jobs are approached voluntarily rather than by a set schedule or hierarchy, and can range from complex tasks such as creating wavy hair, to simpler tasks like making strokes variable-width.  And even if a picture LOOKS complete, the source will always be accessible at all times, so any enterprising user can add even more detail, or "fork" it to a different style or color scheme.

I feel that the end result, after much experimentation with FOSA, will not only be gloriously-detailed pictures that we can collectively and proudly say belong to "OSC", but also a new take on artistry that is more "game-like", and is bound to addict as well as empower artists and non-artists alike.  Each and every day you could have several people (5, 10, 20, etc) chip away at small, specific sections of a drawing, making it neater and more detailed with each "patch", until they're all brought together into one awe-inspiring mosaic of collaborative effort (and humor too).  ^__^

The direct benefit to each user is also evident: you'd get experience working as a team, you'd have a wealth of design techniques and free art examples (such as tones and patterns) to further yourself in your own private artistry, and you could potentially free up more time for yourself to assist in more than one project, or pursue other endeavors.

If it can be done right, I have confidence that 2008 will be a very exciting year for this forum.  If you're all willing to give this vision a shot, I'm equally confident that it will be worth your while.

Bella

This is a very ambitious plan, but I'll help. I offer to assist with concepts, rough sketching, and storyboarding for any comics (hand-draw), costume design, and shading, as I believe those are my strongest points.

Though, especially with comics, I think the undoing of a lot of plans is complexity...so let us take a page from the Unix folks and keep it simple. I've found quite efficient ways of doing shading, hair highlighting and eyes. While they aren't that great for a portrait or "one-shot", they work quite well for comics IMHO.

QuoteSo even if I may be morally reluctant to admit it, I think I can prove to myself that I'm a good artist.


As if you have yet to prove it?

QuoteWhen I think that, I inevitably start thinking about the future. When I leave, and leave I shall, how many people can take over for me? And for how long?


I sometimes sorta feel the same way...just looking back at my track record of "heavily invested projects that crashed and burned eventually" (which was nearly every one, BTW).

C-Chan

QuoteThis is a very ambitious plan, but I'll help. I offer to assist with concepts, rough sketching, and storyboarding for any comics (hand-draw), costume design, and shading, as I believe those are my strongest points.


Thank you, Bella-san.  ^^
Indeed, the idea isn't to permanently assign you to a role of sketch artist, storyboarder and costume designer, but to simply recognize your willingness to contribute to components of the illustration which an make the most of your strongest points.  Moreover, once you draft a costume, it will not be unusual for other people to modify or add atop your original design if it will help achieve our intended goal for the particular project.  Likewise, i think a great time saver for you would be during instances where you need only to clothify or embellish any vector-sketched clothing previously added by another user.  

Everyone will be free to add whatever they like, whenever they want to, into a veritable chimera of a design.  Doesn't necessarily mean all of it will survive into the Final version, but at least it can be stated that all users had an equal hand in its creation.  ^^

QuoteThough, especially with comics, I think the undoing of a lot of plans is complexity...so let us take a page from the Unix folks and keep it simple. I've found quite efficient ways of doing shading, hair highlighting and eyes. While they aren't that great for a portrait or "one-shot", they work quite well for comics IMHO.


Correct, although for testing purposes I would focus on static illustrations first.  [If FOSA does take off, then for sure I think participants will all evolve in their creative venues to the point where they will want to tackle a comic, game, or even a video!]

To solve the inherent problem of overcomplexity for a single user,  I want to propose to guidelines for FOSA participation:

1 - Each user is encouraged to work no more than an hour a day on a given FOSA project.  Naturally we can't stop you from going over in a fit of great inspiratioin, but the rule is here both to protect the user from burn-out, and to maintain a consistent, frenetic pace that is bound to keep development and discussion lively.

2 - Each user is also encouraged to work on specific subcomponents of an illustration.  Different artists could potentially handle separate parts of the body, clothing, and shading.  The reason for this is the same as #1, but I also want to keep "patch' sizes as small as possible, since it makes it easier for new users to follow along in the process.  They can see, at a pace that's slow and measured, how relatively simple components can add up to an incredibly complex image, such as this one here:



QuoteAs if you have yet to prove it?


Well check the next line,... I've yet to prove THAT part.  `v'

QuoteI sometimes sorta feel the same way...just looking back at my track record of "heavily invested projects that crashed and burned eventually" (which was nearly every one, BTW).


I was also thinking that a good way to start testing is to get a head-start, and simply try to finish AND beautify unfinished projects.  I have a few that I could Open Sauce and donate for FOSA testing, but I'm sure you would too.  Also, if this does take off, a common practice could be for users to propose an idea or vector sketch, which we then all chip-in to bring into fruition (not unlike how you guys did with NetBSD-tan).

In any event, I have to go now for the evening (will be back to reply to other threads later), but I do want to return with a list of potential FOSA "job sets" -- just so everyone can realize just how truly universal participation can be.

Kiso

Wow... this is a cardinal/capital/magnanimous/<insert high praise here> idea.

I don't know how good would I be to a project like this. But then again... I think I may find my good point in somewhere in that. But I guess I'll list them out and leave you to be the judge of that yourself.

Kiso's Qualities:
--|Overactive Imagination - I think about a lot of stuff a lot of my time. Usually this means that I will often see series like Naruto and will suddenly twitch my brain into making one or more alternate stories to the event... or even follow out with a whole new story at that. This also works the same for characters and stuff... when I get twitchy, everything can go flippy.

--|Drawing Skills - I don't sider my self the great kind of artist, but at least I know I am (to some degree) a good drawing artist. I mainly go about making drawings (anime/manga style) of original characters, mainly the two top OCs that I use to understand human behavior under different circumstances.

However, my ability can only show for in pixel art which has been only tackled on Photoshop. I only know how to use that program. But now that I found this free SVG program called Inkscape (thank you C-Chan for having the link in your art site) that can help me get by doing art as it meant to be... without loss of quality. If I "got the hang" of Photoshop, I don't think I will have problems in learning how to use a SVG program.

If you want references, here are some:
Kiso/Shin - My mainstream male original character, done in about a hour or so.
Kiso/Shin? - There he is, adapted for a Naruto RP, obviously transformed into a female version of himself. It was done in some five lazy hours.
(Note: These drawings lack any shading whatsoever, I did these so that people get to see the characters, not for the artistic purpose of it.)

--|Animating - Surprisingly, I know how to animate. I never knew that the same thing you did for banners and avatars could be applied for character animation... well... actually... replace knew with realized. If you want to know how good I am at it, I'll post the image here:


If there is any other ability that you may want from people... let me know... no one ever know when people avoid saying something they know about because it wasn't simply required. lol
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NejinOniwa

Looks like we're cooking some dish up here, doesn't it? Fufufufu.

Finally, somewhere I can contribute. I've always felt both lack of time and/or skill to do something major on my own - and yet I'm an extreme visionary, tending to have an overly positive outlook when I start, leading to despair when I realize my end result became different from what I wanted to be, or never became at all.
As well as pushing my drawing skills, this might also be a good practice for something I totally suck at;
Collaborations.
Meaningly, I'm overly individualistic. Asking for help, advice or inspiration is a two-meter hurdle with a watery grave on the other side to cross for me. Most likely because I feel that my vision for a project is hard to realize unless I do it all by myself; The best attempts at collaborations I've ever made were those I thought up, designed, supervised and wrote together, assigning only some work to my teammates. Yes, it was really good in the end, and even I was pretty satisfied with the end result, but if I'd ever come close to overworking myself that's got to be it.
This time around it seems that the project itself is as ambitious as I usually make them, and having a hand in that won't be a problem for me, I think.

Anywho, things that I might be good for, listing tiem.
D20 Skill table: Nejin Oniwa[/u]

Storyboarding: 17 ranks
Simply put, I'm quite good at making things up, adapting them to something new or something old, or just screwing things up to make them more interesting.

Pencil work/Sketching: 10 ranks
It's not the best, but given time I can come up with pretty interesting stuff at times. Needs practice, but I'm a fast learner. Really fast.

CG work: 6 ranks
I've had many rounds with the GIMP, and tried out Inkscape a few times. My skills can get much better in the area of coloring b/w works and the like; On the other hand, editing and manipulating existing patterns and images are really easy for me. I've had quite a bit of practice on that (mostly from De-NSFW-ing images in various ways) during my times, and can do most things - i think.

Feat: Fast Learner
If I want to, I will. A regular allocation of reasonable amounts of time - say a few hours over the course of a week - is all it takes.


I hope that I neither over- nor underestimate myself or anyone else. Those mistakes are the one that you regret most, afterwards.
YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

Bella

Wow! Now things are starting to roll!

Kiso

It seems to be as you say... things are indeed going the "roll".

However, while I get myself to learn how to work under an SGV environment, I came to think... how much can this be broken down to in terms of separate tasks?

I mean there are a lot of things that can be taken on for dealing with.
Hmm... I wonder how much will it take me to put a breakdown on all the possible mini-tasks for people to deal with. I guess we'll find out when I edit this topic... if I ever do. Or Maybe I would simply post it later on... or whatever. *is just blabbering right now.

I guess we'll have to wait for C-Chan to get around here so we can hear how would things be done specifically.
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SleepyD

this busy college student has other artistic obligations to fulfill, and some of my promises are over a year old. And I still plan on doing those.... someday. I'm prioritizing school and those artistic promises before anything else.

However, this plan does look interesting... I don't think I've ever seen anything like this.  (Well, maybe a pchat can do something similar)  Although, C-Chan seems to have this aversion to the word chat. hehe ^^

I think I'll be watching you guys from the sidelines for now, but I can always provide help and comments, if you like.

C-Chan

Yo all,  ^___^
I'm very happy to see interest in this project swelling.  ^^

Understandably, you all have many questions regarding how we plan to carry this out, or how we even hope to delegate our skills accordingly.  Given the user interest, I'm seriously thinking about launching a small pilot project tomorrow -- nothing complex, just a simple inorganic object which we'll attempt to draw in the FOSA manner (and which will hopefully cast a better light at our roles).

It may not be the easiest thing to conceive at this time, since not everyone is acquainted with the development-end of Free and Open Source software.  But if I were to describe the FOSA approach to art, I would think that the best analogy would be that traditional artwork is like a standard FTP/HTTP download, whereas FOSA would function more like a Torrent download.

Sure, a handful of high-speed servers can get files downloaded quickly and efficiently, but they're easy to congest, costly to maintain, and can experience downtime.  In contrast, Torrents save a lot on bandwith, can be incredibly fast and stable if properly seeded, and ensure the longevity of the file being downloaded.  And just like with torrents, the more people participating the better.

Kissu:
- Because we're attenpting an innovative approach, Imagination is actually the prime requirement to participation in the FOSA project.  No doubt I expect a little chaos at first, but if you have the creativity to turn that 'chaos' into an asset, then the sky's the limit.  ^^

- Your drawing style is very good, and I can definitely see how it would transfer well to a lossless format like SVG.  Plus you enjoy drawing original characters, which is a sign of the aforementioned creativity.

- I'll write a little more about Inkscape later, but that will be our primary application for very legitimate reasons.

- That's a cool animation, and the cel-shading very crisp!  ^___^
We won't handle animation yet, but I think you'll be much sought-after when we do.  


Nejin:
- Excellent.  As you might've read in my preamble, my primary reason to launch the FOSA project is because I wanted to encourage as many people as possible to contribute to an illustration.  I think you can also appreciate the torrent example, and the concept of thousands of tiny "chunks" contributing to a HUGE file.  ^__^

- I want to improve collaborative efforts as well, since I do feel I can improve in the area.  The problem with traditional collaborations is that you have two competing styles -- and while compromise is possible, assimilation towards a single style is more likely.  WIth FOSA, you do have a collaborative element still, but it's definitely more "anything goes" and [ironically] returns an awful lot of power back into personal choice and (yes) individualist tendencies.  Even if someone else draws a crown, for example, you can add your own embellishments to it, or propose an alternative crown design altogether -- in the latter case, either your competing design is chosen or not, or a merger can be attempted that would combine the best of both worlds.

- Storyboard and sketch tasks will be very important contributions, since they act as "trailblazers" for other people to operate on.  I think it would also eliminate the stigma of perceived "poor" drawing skills, since it would actually be an asset to help keep a project steamrolling and make Artist's Block irrelevant.  More on this a little later.

- Your experience handling Inkscape is also very valuable, for other indirect tasks (such as compiling, line editing and research) that I'll discuss in more detail later.

- I've always thought that if they made addictive MMORPG's that trained the player in how to speak Japanese, then we'd have a TON of Western Japanese speakers (as opposed to fluent Klingon and Elven speakers).  My hope is that, once you immerse yourself in the project, your learning experience with vector graphics artwork will benefit exponentially.  Maybe in a yeat's time from now, you'll be a lean, mean artist machine!  ^_____^


Bella
- You were right.  ^.^


Kissu [continued]
- Yes, this I'll go over in a minute.  


SleepyD
- Since you started that 4koma project, I wonder if we could consider this a "Part 2"?  ^.^
I feel that now we have the number of people, the mindset, and the technology to make this succeed.  ^v^

- ...if anything, because FOSA (like FOSS) caters specifically to people who have jobs and schools to take care of, but who's one or two hour contribution would inevitably help in the completion of some "kickass" artwork.  ^___^

- And yes, "help and comments" are now formalized FOSA contributions.  I'll discuss that in a bit, but bottom line is that there's something for everyone!  ^v^

Kiso

If only you knew....


For come reason, I started to mess with my class scheduling and... now I take only two days of classes at college every week. I got a lot of free time, but still won't mean that I can't forget about homework or anything of the sort.

Anyways, I appreciate the support... that serves as motivation. And even though I am rather one to have lost my whimsical inspiration... I find it rather easy to do stuff under the environment I work right now.

Work... as in... experimenting.
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C-Chan

No problemo.  ^^
I know I've been through that before a long time ago,... only really had an ample schedule like yours as a senior, but used most of it up working (to pay off my debts early) and self-training in computers (which paid off more than my degree).  ^____^

In any event, time to unleash the details of my so-called grand plan:



====================
PROPOSED FOSA GUIDELINES
====================


Below I'm drafting several guidelines that will assist us with the Free and Open Source Anime experiment.  A lot of it, plus the labels used, borrow heavily from Free and Open Source Software ("FOSS").

1) Unlike traditional artwork, the process of creating a FOSA illustration must be COMPLETELY open and transparent.  Every "Patch" art created must be posted immediately, regardless of the completeness of the it vs its promised state.  And every single person will have unhindered access to the "Source" art.  Communication, not secrecy, is what will strengthen FOSA.

2) In order to keep artwork open and modifiable, the vector graphics editor Inkscape is hereby proposed as the standard application to use, and can be downloaded here:

http://inkscape.org/

Inkscape is the ideal solution for the FOSA project vs. other free and proprietary solutions, due to the following:

    - The program is free, and therefore incurs no cost to the user.
    - The program is open source, and is therefore actively maintained, ensuring longevity.
    - The program is relatively fanous, and has a large, dedicated userbase with several developers, testers and bug trackers.
    - The program is cross-platform, and can be installed to Windows, Mac, Linux and BSD, with inroads in other systems.
    - The program has several translations completed, and many more in the process of.
    - The progrma imports several file types, and saves to the Scalable Vector Graphic [SVG] format, an internationally-recognized W3C open standard .
    - The program is powerful, but relatively simple and user-friendly.
    - Vector graphics in general are lossless mediums that save to relatively small file sizes, thus maximizing portability.
    - Vector graphcs are permanently editable, and modifications thereof are also lossless.


3) It is encouraged that all participants spend no more than 1 hour per day in their contributions to a project.  While there is no way to enforce this, this guideline is intended to:

    - Prevent burn-out.
    - Encourage users who have limited time to participate.
    - Encourage fast and frequent contributions.
    - Reduce the incidence of "double work", by minimizing the chances of two users working on similar tasks.


4) After this hourly-work, the SVG file with the daily contribution will be posted to the project thread as "Patch" art, which will be considered for inclusion in the main "Source" art.  A PNG picture sample of the contribution is ideal, but a description of the changes done is more than helpful.

There is no official turn-taking, so after "Patch" art is posted, it's encouraged that participants announce what they expect to try their hand on next.  While this is not a binding agreement, it will minimize the incidence of double-work.

5) All participants are encouraged to approach a FOSA illustration with a "swarm" mentality, and do away with traditional hierarchies and responsibilities.  There is no task assignment or delegation, only volunteer work and recommendation.  Likewise, every participant is owner and project leader of the entire illustration, so a masterful end product will reflect well for the entire Forum rather than just a particular participant.

6) Likewise, the concept of a dedicated "storyboardist", "line artist", or "shader" is rendered obsolete in FOSA.  While participants with qualified skill sets are welcomed to work on roles that make use of their talents, they are free to challenge themselves by contributing in areas that are new to them.

Therefore, a FOSA illustration team is comprised instead of job descriptors that serve to encourage new users rather than delineate team players.  Currently the following job descriptors are proposed for FOSA illustration projects:

    Owners:  The descriptor is very misleading, as this only refers to the initiator of the project.  While FOSA projects can be open-ended, many will undoubtedly be jobs requested by people seeking community support for a drawing concept.  Owners, therefore, must guide the project to its end-goal, providing basic descriptions, character profiles, and reference pictures.  They are also pivotal in making decisions or seeking compromise whenever design conflicts occur.

    An Owner is the closest thing in FOSA to a dedicated role, but like all descriptors is not set in stone.  Another participant later down the line may wish to shift the project to a more dynamic course, and effectively change its "ownership".  

    Trailblazers:  The veritable 'frontline warriors" of a FOSA project, Trailblazers are effectively concept artists who excel at producing quick deployment vector sketches that serve as a foundation for Codifier work.  This is not necessarily a preliminary task, as trailblazers can still propose concept "embellishments" over codified designs (such as extra frills and ribbons on a dress).  Geared for speed, trailblazers value quantity over quality, and thus can pack in substantial contribution per the allotted timeframe.  This helps keep the pace of development moving fast, and facilitates work for the next person.  Trailblazers also serve as a strong defense again "Artist's Block", because they are armed with the knowledge of the illustration's evolutionary model, and thus do not fear posting rough work.

    Codifiers:  The bread-and-butter of a FOSA project.  Codifiers either begin illustrating semi-permanent shapes, or they convert concept art as such.  Due to the nature of vector graphics, Codifiers take up the dual role of "inking" and "coloring" the details of an illustration.  As such, the tasks require more concentration and patience, and thus are relatively scarce in each Patch release vs Trailblazer material.  Nevertheless, with every bit of codification work that takes place, the illustration draws closer and closer to its finalized appearance.

    Polishers  These are to Codifiers, what Codifiers are to Trailblazers.  Polishers dedicate themselves to fixing any design flaws, anatomical defects, impossible poses, or any other adjustable feature that detract from the overall polish of the illustration.  As they also monitor the work of Shaders, Illuminators, and just about anyone who has a direct hand in the illustration (including other Polishers!), they are akin to "quality controllers".

    Refiners  Given that variable-width strokes are currently not inherently possible in Inkscape, Refiners are responsible for transferring this commonly-employed raster-based technique into the vector graphics work.  There primary duties are to manage the widths of the Strokes throughtout the illustration, as well as to artificially thin and taper wherever the illusion of depth can be maximized.  A Refiner can also attempt colorizing strokes as well if it adds to the overall impact of an illustration.  The work of a Refiner is deceptively challenging, but the actual refinements themselves are fairly easy to execute.

    Shaders:  Shading can essentially make or break a good illustration -- therefore, the task of Shaders is crucial to the visual impact of the project.  Shaders can choose to hard shade or soft shade based on the needs of the project -- or they can leave behind a quick "concept map" to work on later (or assist other fellow shaders with perhaps more time and patience at their disposal).

    Luminators:  Like with Shaders, Luminators take it upon themselves to manage the lighting effects of an image, they have to be able not only to gloss hair, plastic or metal surfaces properly, but also determine the intensity and the color of the light on various surfaces (especially skin).  Luminiscent effects, such as sun beams or spotlights, will also be up their alley.  Given the complimentary relationship with Shaders, it will not be uncommon for a participant to handle both lighting and shading simultaneously.

    Enhancers  This is a role somewhat similar to a Polisher, as they usually take over after work on a component is complete.  Enhancers dedicate themselves to enriching the detail of an illustration,  They pride themselves in adding innumerable finishing touches, such as rust on an old metal railing, feathered strands of hair, glistening gems on an elegant ring, extra folds on a dress, or various flora fauna in a background.  Given the minuteness of the detail, a person with limited vector graphics skill can still "beautify" an image by adding well-placed assorted shapes and patterns in the right locations.  They are kings and queens in this veritable microcosm of rich possibilities.  

    Compilers  This is the first job descriptors that doesn't require direct drawing skills; nevertheless, the job of a Compiler is one of the most important and critical to the maintenance of a FOSA illustration.  To put it simplistically, a Compiler is responsible for collecting all outstanding Patches and integrating them into the Source art.  If the Compiler performs this regularly, the job is easy -- otherwise, it can be daunting.  Furthermore, the Compiler must be versed in Inkscape enough to know all the proper transfer methods (such as Paste in Place, the Color Picker Tool, Layer raising/dropping, etc._).  And as if that were not enough, a Compiler also has to make design decisions on the fly in case a merger compromise between conflicting designs is requred.  Without compilers, the resulting bottleneck of Patches would quickly swamp and strangle the interest out of a FOSA project.

    Testers  Testers may not be artists at all (or at least not versed in vector graphics), but are simply commentators posting in the same thread who may have valuable knowledge about anatomy, mechanical design, lighting, etc., which they offer to help improve specific design elements.  Like with FOSS programs, people who "test" a product help point out its flaws that can convert a great product into a perfect one.  The word of a good Tester should always be taken with great consideration.

    Convertors  Given that most people are still more comfortable hand-drawing or raster-drawing their creations, Convertors are always at the community's disposal to convert any valuable raster-based contributions into vector-based equivalents.  Only select raster-based graphics should be considered as permaenent components of a FOSA illustration (e.g., scenic backgrounds).  But given that this creates "dependencies" (additional files that must accompany the SVG file at all times), the work of convertors to integrate these creations into the SVG itself would be extremely helpful.

    Researchers  Innovation is key to the survival of FOSA, and without seeking new and exciting ways to approach an illustration, the risk of wear and stagnation increases.  The task of a Researcher, therefore, is to experiment with many of the unexplored tools that Inkscape has to offer, and experiment with ways in which a new approach can compliment the illustration (or improve production time).  Researchers are at the forefront of technology as well, and will often seek out nightly builds of the latest Inkscape versions to determine what new and exciting technologies will assist the community in the future (e.g., built-in Animation).  A good Researcher should also associate with the Inkscape community as well, and report any bugs that he/she might uncover (or, if he/she is able, submit actual patches to fix problems on the software end).

    Writers:  People who may lack confidence in drawing, but are masters with the written word, can rest assured that their contributions are of incredible importance as well.  Japanese Anime is successful not as much for its gorgeous artwork, but rather for the richness of its characters and the depth of its stories.  Writers, therefore, must do everything in their power to enhance the story of the scene, and the backstory of the characters depicted, so that participants can have a better frame of reference wth which to work with (or apply easter eggs to).  Writers are also encouraged to submit their masterpieces to the OS-tan Wiki, to canonize the details of our OSC creations.

    Prospectors  Despite the extent of our combined skills, it would be impossible for us to know how to draw EVERYTHING in existence, such as the luminescence of a copper tool, the proper refraction of a glass filled with coconut juice, or the kind of shading that eyelids cast over the eyes and cheeks.  Prospectors, therefore, scour the internet, books, Anime media, etc, for reference material that can be used to enhance an illustration.  If a crown is being drawn, for example, seeeking out pictures of various gem stones, or of royal icons such as griffins and dragons, can do much to assist all participants in their pursuit of a polished and professional product.

    Archivers  Most of us might be so busy involved in the creation process, we forget to record how we do things -- then when the time comes when a particular design feature is reused, we might start from scratch and literally "reinvent the wheel".  An Archiver, therefore, attempts to document key techniques, or tries to maintain a collection of Pattern Fills, stock accessories, or facial expressions.  This will not only help refresh the memory of veteran participants, but it will also serve as educational material for new ones.

    Licensors  This role may not be required given the popularity (or lack thereof) of FOSA.  But if it ever comes down to it, Licensors will need to seek out a proper Creative Commons license for our creations.  Despite being inherently benign, FOSS programs are still subject to plagiarism and abuse by greedy individuals/corporations, and thus require the protection of a GNU General Public License [or compatible license].  This is done to protect the freedom of the user to use and distribute it as he/she so pleases.  Likewise, we would want to protect everyones right to work on a FOSA illustration with the full confidence that it will remain free and open forever.
    [/list]

    It's absolutely important to understand that these labels are references only.  Participants are discouraged from feeling compelled to abide by one of these standards.  They are free to volunteer as a Compiler perpetually, as long as they let others know continously.  However, they must never dedicate themselves to be just that, or else it limits the flexibility of the FOSA project.  

    Furthermore, it will not be uncommon for participants to perform 2 or 5  or more of the tasks described above in one sitting -- a person versed in drawing eyes, for example, could sketch, draw, shade and illuminate the entire component if he/she is sufficiently inspired to do so within the allotted timeframe.

    Kiso

    Wow... this beats the way I was picturing things would be going about.

    Anyways... some (if not many or most) of these I can fit in. My testing of stuff has gone rather well; it is actually much faster to vector stuff than to raster them... and even less tedious. I hope that I can learn things with speed to help up.

    ---------------

    As for your "Job Classes" (now that's a better name for it), the one I would like to discuss first is that of Licensing. How do we license something as how you call it out to be? do we have to go to http://www.gnu.org/ and find it out? Or something?
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    NejinOniwa

    As usual, C-Chan delivers. -w-
    And just something I thought of - more than like a FOSS project, this seems intriguingly alike to the work of a Doujin circle, plus open-sourceness. C74, here we come! -w-;
    (...not...)
    Anyway, until I get a better CGI dictionary I'll stay confident that I can handle the tasks of Owning, Trailblazing, Refining and Writing, for the moment. Since next week is very very lax for me (3 days of school, mon/friday free times, yay!) I'll hopefully be able to practice on the stuff out of your Inkscape Tutorial, as well. Somehow the start of this year has been a new start on many things for me, and they've all gone quite well - so even my own 13:th fortune might be good this year.
    Yoroshiku, sempai! ^v^
    YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS

    C-Chan

    QuoteAnyways... some (if not many or most) of these I can fit in. My testing of stuff has gone rather well; it is actually much faster to vector stuff than to raster them... and even less tedious. I hope that I can learn things with speed to help up.


    No real need to speed up,... by all means, please take your time, especially when learning something new.  As you say, vector graphics in Inkscape are already faster and less tedious than you might have realized, so the way I see it you're already saving time.  ^__^

    As you practice more, though, you'll be either faster or more intricate.

    QuoteAs for your "Job Classes" (now that's a better name for it), the one I would like to discuss first is that of Licensing. How do we license something as how you call it out to be? do we have to go to http://www.gnu.org/ and find it out? Or something?


    I had thought of "classes" before, but that still sounded too limiting.  I want users to feel like they're part of something new and enticing, which is also why I used a reinvented a lot of strange and optimistic-sounding names for common tasks.  The proper discourse goes a long way too.  ^___^

    I also proposed the Licensor label because, truth be told, I don't have the head for that legalistic mumbo-jumbo, and wouldn't know where to start.  Hopefully, someone more versed in the literature (especially concerning Copylefted material) can chime in.

    Fortunately, at least for the pilot runs, this isn't much of a pressing issue yet.

    QuoteAs usual, C-Chan delivers. -w-
    And just something I thought of - more than like a FOSS project, this seems intriguingly alike to the work of a Doujin circle, plus open-sourceness. C74, here we come! -w-;
    (...not...)
    Anyway, until I get a better CGI dictionary I'll stay confident that I can handle the tasks of Owning, Trailblazing, Refining and Writing, for the moment. Since next week is very very lax for me (3 days of school, mon/friday free times, yay!) I'll hopefully be able to practice on the stuff out of your Inkscape Tutorial, as well. Somehow the start of this year has been a new start on many things for me, and they've all gone quite well - so even my own 13:th fortune might be good this year.
    Yoroshiku, sempai! ^v^


    You can imagine how happy I am to have you on board, Nejin-san.  ^___^

    You're a frequent visitor to the forum, and I know from your forum gaming that you have enthusiasm to spare.  So yes, I'm getting more confident than ever that this experiment will succeed.  ^^

    Now then,... regarding the Pilot Run.....

    I was thinking of a particular object to start with, such as a ring, castle, radio, tree or a living room....

    In the end, I figure I'd ask your opinions to see where to start.  Maybe y'all might one to start with something immediately OS-tan relevant first?

    Kiso

    Hmm... I think I found the License thing that would apply to this here project [you/I/we/everyone/whatever] is collaborating on. I was led from (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html) to (http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/), the latter being the one that supports a free license on artistic material. I have only read through it and by far it think it's fitting... but I would be needing to dig deeper to understand some things. But I'll just leave it there until need calls for it.

    As for ideas... I got nothing right now. We should try something that would be use in the FOSA... maybe a... house, room, [front/back]yard, kitchen, or something?
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