Fedora Imageboard Test Server
Yesterday with some help from smooge and nb, I set up a Danbooru-style image board to test out, and I am hoping that Fedora artists and designers might play with it and see if it’d be a useful resource. It’s an application called Shimmie.
What is an imageboard? It’s a bulletin board or forum type of website that focuses much more heavily on images rather than text. You can read more about them in Wikipedia’s article. Traditionally they are used for ‘found’ images, and I don’t know if they are used much by folks who are generating original artwork, but it seems as if they would be a useful tool for collaborative image production, as they would keep discussion focused on visuals.
Anyway, if you are so artistically inclined, please feel free to try it out. It is a test server and it is not backed up, so make sure you keep local copies of your drawings or also copy them to your fedorapeople.org account.
Fedora 16: Verne
I think maybe this imageboard it might be a cool opportunity to start sketching, sharing, and collaborating some Jules Verne and/or steampunk artwork ideas for Fedora 16 Verne, don’t you? So come on and let’s come up with something great together!
string for a kite by woodleywonderworks, used under a CC-BY license.
Some ideas to help get you started
Jules Verne was a novelist and according the Wikipedia, a pioneer of science fiction stories. Some of his most famous works include:
- Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea – A mysterious sea monster wreaks havoc on boat traffic and a navy crew attempts to fight it, and are lead on an adventure through the seas on the submarine Nautilus with Captain Nemo.
- Around the World in Eighty Days – Two men attempt to journey around the world in eighty days in order to win a bet, which they try to accomplish via a variety of vehicular means including an airship/hot air balloon, yacht, elephant, steamship, and train.
- A Journey to the Centre of the Earth – A professor and his nephew descend into a volcano in Iceland to reach the center of the earth, encountering mysterious and prehistoric creatures along the way.
- The Mysterious Island – Volcanoes, rescue missions, hurricanes, and secret islands are all elements of this story that follows a group of United States Civil War era castaways who escape in a hot air balloon to an island.
- From the Earth to the Moon – United States Civil War vets plan a journey to the moon by firing a capsule from a cannon at it.
Himmelskibet, Copenhagen by J.J. Hall, used under a CC-BY license.
Another idea that I just want to put out there… the Back to the Future movie trilogy, Jules Verne is Doc Brown’s hero, and eventually names his TOTALLY AWESOME FLYING STEAMPUNK TIME TRAVELLING TRAIN travelling sons ‘Jules’ and ‘Verne.’ Just saying. Flying steampunk time train. Just…. gently placing it out there and backing away slowly.
Um, so what do I do?
Here’s some steps you may wish to take to help us get an awesome suite of artwork put together for Fedora 16:
- Sign up for a Fedora artboard account, and provide feedback, advice, and ratings to folks’ artwork there.
- Search the web for theme-related Creative Commons-licensed inspirational images, and post them to the imageboard (but PLEASE, note the source URL in the ‘source’ field, and also provide the appropriate attribution information. Creative Commons NC and ND clauses are not acceptable for inclusion in Fedora, so please don’t use artwork with those in their license.)
- Sketch out some ideas, either via paper sketch + scan, or via MyPaint or the incredibly awesome new Gimp 2.7.2 development release, or of course Inkscape, and upload what you come up with to the Artboard.
I’m not an artist, how do I provide helpful critique on what the design team is working on so I can help too?
This is copied wholesale from an old blog post, but of course still applies.
Some folks understandably believe art and design are stuffs enshrouded in a mysterious haze of incense smoke without much logic or reason involved. I get it. I’ve been there too, and I think it’s easy to feel that way – discussions about art works sometimes get a bad reputation for being anywhere from fussy, to bizarre, to completely pointless.
You may find solace in the fact that there’s actually plenty of logical principles and elements and a vocabulary for them that can be use to discuss such works in a productive manner that doesn’t involve ‘invoking an embodiment of emotive symbolism’ or similar. I strongly recommend you explore some of this vocabulary, as not only will it help you more effectively communicate your critique but reading through a brief survey of basic design principles will probably even help you explain why you feel a particular way about an element of a work you’re critiquing. Some basic resources:
- Wikipedia: Design elements and principles
- Wikipedia: Composition
- Artwork Critique Form by Marvin Bartel
What makes for a good wallpaper design again?
The guidelines from the Fedora supplemental wallpaper submission guidelines are a pretty good guide here. Here are the compositional guidelines from that document, for example:
- Should strive for subtlety and poetry
- Avoid high frequency images – A soft focus is one way to achieve this
- As the name suggests, visually, it should settle into the “background” of the activity scene.
- Fewer details on left side allows for good readability for primary icons on the desktop. Keep in mind that many users have icons covering the entire desktop view.
- Do not compete for the user’s attention.
I gathered some CC-BY and CC-BY-SA examples which don’t necessarily meet all the guidelines but are good enough for inspiration purposes under a couple of Flickr galleries; you might get some ideas of the type of stuff that would be helpful at least for inspiration there: