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Support Palaeoart… via platform?

As astute as ever, Mark has called out scientists to deal with illustration. (I’ll avoid ‘art’ as that’s another discussion.) I’ll sum it up in skate-speak as “draw-tough-or-go-home”.

This overlaps with my experiences… in animation – which I’ll venture to say is a few steps more complicated (not to say mired) than illustration.  I’ve experimented in the past with integrating scientists into the visualization process with varying degrees of success (namely failure). Animation requires a massive investment in asset creation, while broadcasters only commission job-by-job, and by the time it comes to the cg artist, the deadline is tomorrow and the scientific consultant hasn’t been identified yet. The generated assets are then either half-assed or too one-offf-ish to warrant being re-used for ie. print media, so if there’s not another contract (which would just run down the same course) the potential kinda dries up.

An idea…
a platform that garners and coordinates coordination between the involved parties in creating visual media. Probably overkill for illustration alone, but this is in anticipation of a bright new world in which cg technologies are used to create interactive and thus much more widely accessible scientific literature.
It would basically be a team of interested specialists synching up with each other and investing enough trust as to join together in a team in order to create a clearly defined asset… say a pose-able creature (Archosaur X). A private forum helps them discuss, plan and schedule their efforts, including agreeing to a participation percentage. Then the work is (ideally) done and they have generated assets… Archosaur X, as a sequence of images, a pose-able model (animation-ready even) and a limited 3D interactive viewer. ArtBuyers (broadcasters, publishers, scientists) can shop for existing assets, commission new work and vote on quality. Upon purchase, the team members are reimbursed in accordance with their percentage. The platform makes it into a community, with reputation-building and communication platforms… is author M reliable? Does team B make good shit? Does ArtBuyer G follow up on commissions?

Just a thought exercise for now, as I don’t see any movement on this from publishers, broadcasters or us wee individuals. Interested? Comment!

There are 1 Comments to this article

Marc Albrecht says:

Intriguing idea for sure; it would be wonderful if something like this worked out.
The major problem I see is the same as with all “better than good enough” approaches: If you need the money that your [art] gets paid with, in almost universally every situation you just don’t have the time to do better than “good enough for the gig” (obviously exactly what your article points at). Which means, in the end you have to invest time into something that may or may not pay off.
Add to that others (consultants or whatever you want to call them) who would have to invest time into helping someone investing time into something that may or may not pay off, the idea becomes a very wipwish(*) touch.
I like that. I am all for trying, even if all hope is lost. I just would not bet money on publishers, broadcasters or the likes to go for “quality” over “cheap”, ever. If that happened, we would have seen it.
* wipwish = works-in-perfect-worlds-ish

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