Other More time for Art and 3d process

EDIT: Birkal asked me to say that this post is approved by him.

For a while now, but especially for this CAP, there's been a lot of discussion among the artists about the time we have to make our designs. I'll address each point separately.

First off, Art Polls. Closing art alongside Stats (which was noted as the point for art closing in the threads) for CAP 25 is ridiculous. It makes the whole thing a gamble, since if your design doesn't fit stats it's essentially a dud and you have almost no time to fix it/try again. It was similar with Jumbao and it ending straight after secondary ability. Yes, we got Trace and it was good, but we could have gotten an ability that destroyed 80% of the WIPs with no time to fix it.

We have no secondary ability this time. We get no time for stats, which can ruin designs. Art should run a little longer, just to accommodate for that, and the idea of just letting art run for a bit longer should be considered overall.

3d is a mess time-wise. We get an extremely short timeframe most of the time, since Art Polls take some time and we need a model sheet to work on afterwards. 3d is a very time-consuming process, even without adding all the swapping around we have in terms of models and the like. And the objective will always be to get it done for playtest, because those are the expectations of the community as a whole. Is it too much to just delay playtest a little to increase the timeframe before that deadline?
 
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david0895

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I was programming to do a similar post after the process but more on the general order.

Anyway, I agree with this. If an artist create a big fat guy, but then we give it an high speed, its creation is ruined.
A clear example is the last CAP, Jumbao, that cutted out a lot of options, when we decided its weight.

I think that the art thread should start AT LEAST when we will finish to do all the competitive stuff, so the artists have a good amount of data that can help them.
 

Quanyails

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Hi, I'd like to clarify some things:

The art thread goes up early because artists will start working on art as soon as typing gets decided, but they should have a place to put the art. It's the artist's decision to risk submitting a design early, knowing that the 'mon's data can change from under their feet. It's worse for the Starters framework because we're doing three times as much art while cutting out one stage in the process. (I personally voted against the Starters framework knowing how it would influence CAP process pacing.)

We have both competitive and flavor discussion going concurrently so CAPs keep moving. We don't want people who built the 'mon to wait for ages for flavor to wrap up before the 'mon goes live on PS. If you know the drag of waiting for a discussion thread to close up, then you know how it would feel when magnified by multiple, entire threads.

I agree that it's unpleasant for artists to "gamble" their design somewhere along the line. It's unavoidable in the current process. If we push art submissions back, people will be gambling on moves instead of stats. There will always be a "gamble" as long as competitive discussion is happening.

Birkal's Proposal would be great here. By completely separating competitive and flavor aspects but allowing each part to restart as soon as it's complete, the people who are interested in building 'mons for the metagame will never have to wait to build, and the people who are interested in designing 'mons will have all of the material at their hands and don't need to rush submissions to meet a shorter deadline.

Edit: The current CAP process was not built with 3D models in mind, and 3D models are not required before a 'mon goes up on PS!. Speaking as a person who has worked with 3D models, it would be nice to integrate them in a smoother and less stressful way into CAP.
 
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I would also like to throw my support towards extending the art submission window. I do agree with Quanyails to some extent that there will always be a gamble when it comes to art in the current process. I believe that some of the gamble, especially during the movepool step, is what makes CAP unique and gives us some fun Pokemon that subvert expectation. I think that the biggest issue with the art submission this time around is that the steps that matter most to artists are happening towards the end of the summer. This is when most families are going on last minute vacations and students are gearing towards headed back to school/college. I recently moved 2000 miles to Utah for college. That was a 2 week endeavor and had limited time to work on art due to my overwhelming workload. Now, classes have started, and I'm still trying to establish my routine. Additional time would be greatly appreciated for these reasons.
 

DougJustDoug

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I typically wait fairly long into the CAP process before I start working seriously on an art design, because I got tired of "wasting my time" with designs that later turned out to not fit the ability or stats. In the long-ago CAP past, it was Ability that was the biggest issue for me as a design-breaker. Now I tend to get similarly frustrated with Stats too. So I theorize on designs and play around with sketches on various design concepts that might work. Then when Stats become somewhat clear, I pick a design that seems to fit best and cram my workflow to get a full design made.

CAP 25 is causing me more schedule stress than other CAPs, mainly because the meaningful Abilities and Stats don't come until the last minute. Primary ability was defined from the outset, but on this CAP Secondary Ability is going to be the thing that designs will be most expected to support. And Stats are just now getting discussed.

So, yeah, I personally would like some extra time, but I knew how this would go and I've been mentally preparing myself for it. I can go either way on this proposal.
 
This sounds like a speed vs optics problem. We want the project to run without delays, but I don't think it should come at the expense of too much gamble for the art designs either. There should be some sort of balance between the two. Because if we end up with a design that doesn't fit the ability or stats (or a low quality one that just so happens to fit in better), the final product won't be very well received.

One way to balance this is to set the art deadline to a point where adding more days isn't gonna benefit artists by much, and taking away days isn't gonna speed up the project by much either. (read: the "point of diminishing returns") Right now it's absurd to have the deadline just after the stat subs. The pitiful ~2 days we save doing this isn't worth the immense frustration it would cause to many artists. I think a more reasonable pace is 2-4 days after stat POLLS conclude. 2-4 days isn't "ages" and it gives artists the bare minimum of time to correct their designs if needed.

Same thing goes for 3D modeling, I think the sweet spot here is to allow it up to 5 extra days. Modeling time depends heavily on the design. If we get an impossible one like Mollux - so be it! We'll go with sprites instead. But if modeling can be done within those 5 extra days, I think it's definitely worth waiting it out. 3D brings us very good optics.
 
Why can't we just use the sprites until the models are ready? There's a lot of pressure on this community because we're working with three CAPs. As a result, we should have more time between the Art Poll's closing and the Playtest's start, but I'd like to give a little time into the playtest before we have to finish the model. However, Stats are going by pretty quickly, so we should get that done as soon as possible in order to give you guys a bit more time to work on the model.

I am aware it's time-consuming, even as someone who has yet to try out 3D myself. QxC is right about the 3D giving us excellent optics. I've seen it on the Twitter page. I'd appreciate if we get the 5 days after Art Polls close up so we can know what we're modeling after.
 

Magistrum

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Okay, compared to what I said in Discord I'll try to be more civil about this haha

Until CAP Pajantom, artists were always given a 24-48 hr grace period to wrap up their designs after stats and abilities are determined. This was also to give enough time for any last-minute changes to designs. However, come CAP Jumbao, artists are not given these liberties anymore. Thankfully Trace won on that instance (which is a mostly vague ability for visual cues) and thus did not warrant designs to change much, but what if it did not win and instead some ability like Poison Heal won? Are we to pat people on the back and say "better luck next time, bub"?

And now we have come to CAP25 where artists are cut off from preparing for the winning stats of 3 Pokemon. Please let that sink in. This is the first time CAP artists have to deal with stats of 3 Pokemon with potentially varying spreads on each of their slates at the same time. Did CAP have to cut off 1-2 days from the art stage to bump up time for 3D Modelling? Isn't that unfair? Not to mention, we are essentially doing 3 CAPs at the same time here. Modelling all of them will take a significant amount of time than usual. How does cutting off 1-2 days improve the overall process of CAP25?

Why do artists have to be pressed for time? Do we have some sort of secret timetable to follow to the letter now? It's not like the Generation 8 game is coming up too close for us to worry about unlike what happened with CAP Cawmodore and Pokemon XY.

How hard can it be to give back this grace period for art AND give extensions to 3D Modelling?

How hard can it be?
inb4 "that's what she said"
 

Birkal

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I am glad PRC members are conscientious of their tone in this thread. This is something many of us are personally very invested in, so I am glad we can talk about it maturely.

I won't go too in-depth on this, but I too personally felt that CAP24 was a bit quick in its turnaround from stat polls to art polls. My bias against having a quick turnaround in CAP24 is two-fold: I submitted a turtle-like design when 96 base speed won, and I am always one of the last artists to create a final submission. I don't think there was anything specifically different that happened during CAP24. The CAP moderators are a team, so I am willing to take blame here for not advising Quanyails to give artists an extra day or two when she posted her warnings. In the case of CAP24, I think Doug and I were both scrambling to finish our submissions that we didn't really notice that it concluded so much earlier. As a moderator submitting designs, we cannot extend deadlines just to suit our own needs; I would argue that would be pretty unfair.

My general guideline has frequently been: if CAP can do something quicker, do it quicker. I think this mindset stems from my earlier days in CAP, where it would take literal years for anything to get done in CAP. If you were involved more recently in the CAP updates... you know what I mean here. CAP is just not fun when we're not making Pokemon, so I try to impress on both moderators and the community that we need to keep things moving forward. With the advent of the TLT, the process slows down even further, as there is a second quality check by the TL after every slate is made.

To address the point made in the OP, artists do have to "gamble" whenever they make a design in CAP. It may be received well, or poorly. The stats may just end up harming a design; abilities can do that too. It is just part of the territory that I don't think can necessarily be "fixed" by any sort of policy. There's nothing to prevent someone from winning back-to-back art designs, or nothing to highlight artists that have never won but have submitted for 10+ CAPs. It's just the nature of a competitive art project like CAP: there are bound to be losers. In terms of stats specifically, artists at least have Stat Limits now to work with, so you know going into the final week that a particular stat will probably sit within like a -20 or +20 range. And the difference between a 60 and an 80 in any given stat can often be pretty minimal.

To address the request for more time: CAP25, is a celebration. I don't want to have artists stressing over designs or any part of this process. Therefore, I will extend final submissions at least a full 48 hours after stats are decided for CAP25. As always, if artists are requesting more time in addition to that, Doug has historically granted that time upon request in Discord. But where we are in the process right now, stats have been basically decided by limits, so I would start drawing now. I know I should be drawing right now instead of writing up this post!


reachzero and I are discussing the concept of a staggered release of CAP25, for both PR and laddering reasons. This could also serve to help the modeling teams. I will post more thoroughly on the 3D modeling requests in the OP at a later time.
 

Bughouse

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“if CAP can do something quicker, do it quicker”

Please, artists, point out how the time limits have led to CAP having inferior art. You can’t because we still get amazing art every project. (Thank you for that, by the way!) Extending a day or two, fine. Any more than that is just unnecessary. It may suit individual artist’s workflows better, but I’m sorry to say the project comes before any of you individually.
 

Frostbiyt

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“if CAP can do something quicker, do it quicker”

Please, artists, point out how the time limits have led to CAP having inferior art. You can’t because we still get amazing art every project. (Thank you for that, by the way!) Extending a day or two, fine. Any more than that is just unnecessary. It may suit individual artist’s workflows better, but I’m sorry to say the project comes before any of you individually.
This discussion isn't about artists not having enough time to create quality art, it's about them not having enough time to adapt their art to the chosen stat spreads.
 
Please, artists, point out how the time limits have led to CAP having inferior art. You can’t because we still get amazing art every project. (Thank you for that, by the way!) Extending a day or two, fine. Any more than that is just unnecessary. It may suit individual artist’s workflows better, but I’m sorry to say the project comes before any of you individually.
I find this comment to be very spiteful. It doesn't provide anything constructive to the conversation and only seeks to delegitimize the arguments others have made. Like Frostbiyt stated, the issue is that artists don't have the necessary time to make changes to accommodate for new information. You might be able to fix 1 drawing in the small window previously provided, but there is definitely no way you could complete 2 or 3 mons.

If artists had all the information from the beginning, I could understand the issue with providing additional time. Forcing artists to adapt on the fly and carve additional time into their schedules to make these necessary changes only serves to hurt the art and the process. The art can still be visually impressive since there are so many talented people in this community, but that does not mean that its their best work.
 

Bughouse

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It doesn’t matter to the process if a particular artist doesn’t have time to edit in the last few days because a very good piece of art will win and suit the selected aspects. It has every time and will every time. If that means it’s not yours, I’m sorry?

And no one said you have to work on all 3... submit however much you want to submit.
 

Drapionswing

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It doesn’t matter to the process if a particular artist doesn’t have time to edit in the last few days because a very good piece of art will win and suit the selected aspects. It has every time and will every time. If that means it’s not yours, I’m sorry?

And no one said you have to work on all 3... submit however much you want to submit.
I think you're missing the point of the arguments in general. Yeah we get good art every time, however more good art is always better. Artists in general shouldn't feel stressed or worried about their art submissions, because they didn't have time to tune it to make it more appropriate for the CAP at hand.

If artists feel like they need more time to make accurate submissions then they should just be granted whatever they need to make such a crucial part of the process as high quality as possible, without conflicting with other things in the process. So your points about it not mattering to the process is technically wrong. Artists just don't want to go off a whim, hoping their submissions fit the stats of a CAP and that is more than understandable.

I support the idea of extra time for artistic stages in CAP, especially 3D Models.
 
So more on the 3D modeling part:

Why can't we just use the sprites until the models are ready?
Because that's the same as not waiting for the model at all. If the playtest went ahead without one then you're taking away the biggest incentive for it to be done, possibly putting it into limbo for months, maybe years. Kerfluffle is an example of what happens to the model if we go ahead with sprites.

Something I want to clarify is that no one is pressuring us to finish the model on time. We modelers are really the ones who want it finished on time, so that our contribution is worth something and have its intended benefits for the project.

Where the problem is though, is that we need some leeway from the project leaders to grant us a little extra time when needed, and not just mercilessly rush through things like in CAP 24 or the first half of 25. Essentially they're putting the process before the people (by people I really mean just artists) - which iirc has sparked outrage and given rise to this PRC.

Hope that answers your question Mova :P

So in short, if we want to keep having new models then simply wait for us to finish! It's only a matter of a few extra days. Up to 5 days I think I mentioned last time.
 

Birkal

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QxC4eva and I are bumping this post to look for some resolution on the timing of 3D models. I think this actually loops into the discussion here on discussing what a playtest is. Considerations for the 3D process are another reason to not have a specific playtest time, but rather to emphasize a release of a truly Herculean contribution.

As we close out that PRC thread, let’s also keep this request from the 3D modelers in mind. Similar to the discussion above about extending time, I think we need to offer the same olive branch to modelers on a case-by-case basis. A design like Electrode winning is much different than a design like Smokomodo, so I think the mod team (I can do this) should communicate with the 3D team lead (QxC) to determine how much extra time is needed on a per-CAP basis. As we proved in CAP25, we can always just keep extending the process with pre-evos, Pokedex, and other events. And while we should be cognizant of at least keeping a general time structure (i.e. we don’t just sit on making a model for months), I think there can be some give-and-take here from the CAP community.
 

Quanyails

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Here's how long CAP models that have been done alongside the main process have taken:

CAP #CAPArt decided at:Movepool decided at:Model Playtest SubmissionDays neededExtension days neededComments
19Plasmanta2014-09-20 21:492014-10-10 23:012015-05-16 16:00237.8217.1First model, modeling process was different
20Naviathan2015-05-03 20:022015-06-02 22:002015-05-29 4:3925.364.723Modeling process was different
21Crucibelle & Mega Crucibelle2015-11-26 16:452015-12-30 02:432016-04-26 8:42151.7118.2Two models
22Kerfluffle2016-08-22 00:112016-09-21 17:01N/AN/AN/A
23Pajantom2017-10-15 21:152017-11-20 20:552017-11-27 20:0435.996.965
24Jumbao2018-04-20 11:452018-05-10 09:252018-05-17 8:2626.866.959
25Caribolt, Smokomodo, & Snaelstrom2018-09-23 00:332018-11-15 19:002018-11-19 16:1557.653.885Three models

Here's an arbitrary proposal:
  • Modelers will receive a soft deadline of 4 weeks (28 days) to create the model, starting from the closing post of the last art poll. If the model finishes before the deadline, great! We can finish the CAP early.
  • If there is a model in progress by the time movepools are done and needs more time after 4 weeks, we will extend the deadline on a case-by-case basis (e.g., a lot more time for processes with multiple models).
  • If there is no model in progress by the time movepools are done, we skip it for the playtest and put it in the CAP 3D modeling thread backlog.
Let me know if you have any thoughts, QxC4eva, Zephias, Birkal, and anyone else! I'm completely open to feedback here.
 
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Quanyails I like the proposal. 6 weeks is a comfortable time frame regardless of what design we're modeling and will certainly relieve us a lot of pressure. A downside I see though is it would also prolong the movepool stage. Movepools now start right after the second ability so it will already be a week in by the time art finishes, and from there if we add another 6 weeks of modeling it would essentially come down to 7 weeks total. For reference, Jumbao movepool took only 3 weeks. If people are fine with it stretching up to 7 then that's okay I guess but I do see it as a potential problem.

In regards to the stats:
  • Pajantom did not take 67 days - that post was the refined version with bonus renders to complete my fanservice to Reiga :-) The original was finished before the playtest and took 40 days, which leads to my next point..
  • Notice how all the "on-time" CAP models were posted 4-7 days after the movepools. (if you correct Pajantom it should also come down to that) That's simply because the final product thread takes about 4-7 days to go up and we aim for that as the deadline. In many cases it is not the amount of extension time we truly need.
  • It's hard to say how much extension would've been ideal but from experience I always wished we had 1 or 2 extra weeks. Going off Jumbao that would come to 5-6 weeks in total, which isn't far from the proposed figure.
If there's no issue with the extra delay between movepool and final product then sure, lets go with that!
 

Quanyails

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All right, updated the spreadsheet and reduced the time frame to 4 weeks, with the assumption that extension time on the order of 1 - 2 weeks is expected.

Tagging QxC4eva.
 

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