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 Making Graphics Forums: Basics

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Caihlem
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Number of posts : 300
Registration date : 2007-06-18

PostSubject: Making Graphics Forums: Basics   Mon 20 Aug - 22:25

Making a Graphics Forum: The Basics


What is a Graphics board?
What are the different aspects?

In this tutorial I will be answering these questions and putting forward some ideas on how to make an attractive graphics board


What is a Graphics Board?

A graphics board is basically a forum dedicated to graphical art and graphical creations. There are however three main domains: discussion domain, request domain and showcase.


Discussions Domain:
This domain is dedicated to the discussion of graphics. You may find tutorials on different graphical software, or tutorials on various graphical techniques.

You don't really need to put a lot of effort in this domain, whether it be during the creation time or afterwards. Its popularity mainly depends on your members and the topics which you have in it.
It's also a common site to see a Tutorial section, where you can find various tutorials on how to use certain graphical softwares


Request Domain:
This domain is dedicated to personal requests. You’d find for example a team of graphists who create from 1 piece to a full theme for another member

Most graphical forums divide this zone for each type of creation, sometimes regrouping several together.
The different types are:
Avatars*, Signatures*, Buttons", Banners" (Logos), Userbars*, Others
* : These are often included as one option for simplicity
" : Most often for forums. Sometimes included as one option

Avatars: A personal display picture of the user
Signature: An image at the bottom of each post of a user
Userbar: A special signature, or part signature. As it's name indicates; often a bar
Buttons: Various images used as buttons for forums. Some there are more specialisations (Ex: NavBar buttons, Affiliate Buttons)
Banners/Logos: The display picture of the forum. Members get their first impression of a forum trough this
Others: Any other request that doesn't fit any of the above (ex: color change)

Some graphical forums also decide to separate Flash-type requests into a different option. This is because flash-type creations require as well of graphical knowledge extra code knowledge (ex: php)...
Flash type creations can be:
Clocks (numerical and/or analogical)
Flash Banners
Flash Avatars

Most graphical forums also have a Finished Requests section where finished ones are placed in order to keep the open sections clean and easy to surf on

Requesting:
Here's two examples of requests for the same job

Caihlem wrote:
I'd like an avatar using this picture
Katt wrote:
Hi, I would like an avatar (dimensions 150 px by 100 px), non-animated and blue using this picture. Thanks in advance

As you might have already noticed, the second version is not only more precise, but also much nicer. Therefore graphical artists will be more inclined to help Katt for her creation than Caihlem (they don't know hierarchy sadly Laughing)

Therefore, mainly for simplicity reasons but also other, non-negligible reasons, you might want to make a ready-to-use form which members simply need to fill in.

Example:
Code:
Hello everybody, I would like if possible:
[b]Type:[/b] (avatar, sig, userbar, button, other)
[b]Dimensions:[/b]
[b]Animated?:[/b] (yes/no)
[b]Colors:[/b]
[b]Text Color(s):[/b]
[b]Comments:[/b]

Thanks in advance to the person who'll take care if this :)

Which would give:
Quote :
Hello everybody, I would like if possible:
Type: (avatar, sig, userbar, button, other)
Dimensions:
Animated?: (yes/no)
Colors:
Text Color(s):
Comments:

Thanks in advance to the person who'll take care if this Smile

You might however want to add other criteria
Once again the world is large and the sky has no limits, I'm sure you'll come up with something


Showcase:
This domain is where members, part of a team or not, get to show their works. It can be a random image, a theme piece (ex: buttons, banners), a kit or even a full theme.

This domain, unlike the other two, isn't often seen on Graphics Forums.
In this domain, members get to have their personal galleries where they can show their works and have advice and comments from other members.


Other Domains:

There are also other domains that can be added in Graphical Forum.These are rarer either because they're discarded as more difficult, or less important.
Nevertheless, here's a non-exhaustive list of these

Points:
Although not exactly a domain, I'm adding it here as this option is often neglected.
Making a point system can encourage members to participate. Whether it be in the discussions, tutorials proposing or graphical creations, the fact of earning points is a good motivation for many.
Likewise, un-wanted behaviours can also be dealt with as a withdrawal of points. However, be careful not o go too harshly as you wouldn't want the member to leave since he's been take all his points away.

Analysis Domain:
In this domain you can have members have there images or even forum's theme analysed. This however often requires a team dedicated to this as n analysis properly done takes it's time. See Requesting as its similar

Competitions:
Most of your members will surely be human, and most human like facing each other. Whether it be a single graphical piece or a whole theme. You can therefore organise sort of Graphical Combats where you make a fake request and have them submit their creations. Afterwards a vote would determine the winner.


Staffs:

Graphical forums, like all others, need a staff to keep it clean and ordered.
Most graphical forums have 2 staff groups (other than the Admins ofcourse):

Graphical Artists
Chosen from the best suck-asses graphical creators
They occupy themselves primarily of graphical creations. Although they are sometimes also the moderators as well.
Sometimes there is a sub-division n the group for the Flash Artists

Moderators:
Chosen from the ugliest, smelliest err I mean the nicest and bravest members
They keep order a a general in the forum, simplifying the job of the graphical group

Analysis Group:
Chosen from the best of the best of your members
In the eventuality of an analysis section. They take care of the analyses

Written by Caihlem
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