[VOTE] for bebiikaa in the BC!!! You won't find any other artistically Korbat around
Yes, a shameless plug ^___^
[the story begins] || [the beauty contest] || [the mighty rules] || [how to start] || [how to enter] || [my entry won't show] || [how to advertise] || [how to link] || [how to vote] || [the do's and nono's] || [after the contest]
Many Neopians out there have given their little friends (aka Neopets) some kind of personality: Some do write stories, others try it with poetry and a handful of Neopians just love to draw. No wonder that their pets will come and beg them to enter them into the Art Gallery. Okay this is a pretty neat place for them but unfortunatly not all entries can come in and so we have tons of scribbles that turned into pictures we now need a place to let others judge how good we did.
Maybe you already stumbled over petpages with trophies saying "Best Dressed", well that is not because they are wearing clothes, that is actually a BC trophy.
So your Neopet begged you to finally give him/her more personality and go and hit the BC with it... Now you stand there and stare at your little Neopian friend and have no clue what the sock he/she is talking about. But fear not, help is on their way *tada*. Once upon a time my friendly Korbat Moi (now an Acara) stood in front of me and yelled at me for drawing portraits of whomsoever instead of being so nice to finally make her a someone. Well soon I had an idea what she could be like and within a few scribbles I finally had a design for my little girl, so far so good. Now I wanted to give her the chance to the BC, but what is that anyways?
Before you can enter the BC, the Neopian Beauty Contest you have to be sure to understand what this is about. It's not about how beautiful you, the owner are or how great you dressed up your pet (therefore we have the Costumization Spotlight). To say it easily, the BC is an Art and Advertising Contest in which you can ask people to vote for your drawing. Very important is, that YOU have drawn the picture YOURSELF. Many people claim the BC would be a popularity contest but I (personally) don't think so really, as I (not that well known to Neopians) even was able to place in most of my tries with the BC. It doesn't matter if you prefer to traditionally draw on paper and scan or make a photo of it OR if you prefer to do digital drawings (like in MSPaint, Photoshop or any other program). What you can win? Well if your entry is the best in species or among the 3 bests there you will get a cool shiny trophy... If you place overall too, you will have 2 shiny trophies, now if that's not worth it... There were NP and item prizes once but those were taken down so you can enter your side account pets too... A good deal if you'd ask me!
No game without rules...
- Only enter your own drawing of your Neopet, no others people artwork even when altered - it is NOT your work. It doesn't matter if you were allowed to or not, it is considered as Art Theft and your account(s) can and will get frozen.
- Only enter a drawing of the Neopet you have, in case you only have a Zafara you can only enter a drawing of a Zafara. It should be recognizable as a Zafara!
- Do NEVER sell your artwork: not for NP, real money, items or whatsoever!
- Offering items, NP or votes for a vote is called Vote Trading and AGAINST the rules.
- The size-limit is 25kB, make sure to save your artwork according to this limit else your entry will be rejected! And don't jammer: Before that increase the size limit was at 17kB!
- The BC can only hold entries saved either as gif or jpg.
- You may only advertise your OWN entry in the BC boards! [read also the NT Issue 364 Editorial] And only on the account the pet actually lives on. Don't ever advertise someone elses entry, not your friends/brothers/sisters. If you do, your account and theirs if they know about it and/or told you to, can get frozen!!!
- Even if you're entered with a side and can only advertise on your side, you are only allowed to vote on your main
- An unwritten rule is to NEVER post in a board that was created by your competition. It's just fairness! If you think you have to say something to them, use the neomails-option.
- And last but not least the absolute rule of the BC as far as I am concerned: Have Fun ^^
step1 - the idea turns into pixels
Before you can enter the BC you will need to draw your pet. That sounds rather easy, eh?! Okay, so far so good. If you draw traditionally (means you use a sheet of paper, pencils or any other materials) you will be forced to scan or if you lack in owning a scanner photograph your drawing. At the end it should be a *.jpg or *.gif file. Even I'd recommend *.jpg in that case!
Working with digital art is way easier in that case. Either you make a scribble on paper and scan it to do the final lineart and coloring or you start right away and draw with the help of a drawing board or you just draw with your mouse. Well at least the mouse is my best friend when it comes to digital paintings XD. No matter how you do prefer your art: All starts with a scribble that turns into lineart and finally gets colored. A total review on how I do work will be coming soon, it would just be too much in this guide, sorry! Yes, it will come along with a whole lot of pictures so you can easily trace my steps...
step2 - saving the artwork
Well in the BC you are allowed to enter GIF or JP(E)G files, for showing off on your petpage you might want to consider PNG too... But when to use what?
So shall we start with a little explanation of what is what? Sure, let's do it like that...
GIF aka Graphics Interchange Format supports up to 8 bits per pixel (8 blue, 8 red and 8 green), allowing a single image to reference a palette of up to 256 distinct colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of 256 colors for each frame. The color limitation makes the GIF format unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.
JPEG or JPG aka Joint Photographic Experts Group is a commonly used method of compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10 to 1 compression with little perceivable loss in image quality.
The picture to the left is of Nally - a gif file since I decided to do some pixel art on her... Pixel art means that I do set each pixel by hand with a hard brush without any Vignette (softener). The image to the right is from an art request in which I decided for smooth lines with Vignette, here it was better to save it as a jpg.
PNG aka Portable Network Graphics is a bitmapped image format that employs lossless data compression. PNG was created to improve upon and replace GIF as an image-file format not requiring a patent license. PNG supports palette-based (palettes of 24-bit RGB colors), greyscale or RGB images. PNG was designed for transferring images on the Internet, not professional graphics, and so does not support other color spaces (such as CMYK).
One last comment on that: if you actually happen to really DO pixel art, you will fast realize that png is no help for you. I noticed often that my png file sizes are way bigger than my actual gif file sizes. But don't worry that is something you'll only meet up with when you honestly do pixel art! For most savings of your art you can either stick to jpg or png, as you wish...
Oh I see I bore the sock out of you *wink* You can find the BC quite easily... just go to [http://www.neopets.com/beauty/index.phtml]. There you can find a nice page that kinda looks like this:
Now this looks like the place we wanted to see, right? Yeah, we made it and now we'll click on that magical link saying [ENTER CONTEST]. We did it, we're close to our aim, aren't we?! And here you can see a similar picture:
We have to click on BROWSE which leads us to our own harddrive and we should remember where we did save our wonderful art to. In the preferred case you have a folder just for that purpose XD Great now that you found the picture, click on the proper button. Don't forget to say something to your audience (even though long speeches are boring as smelly socks) but in the end you'll get to see something like this:
Uhm, sorry it won't work that way. Every Friday at 4:15PM NST (!) is the time when the old contest ends and the new contest begins... so to speak if you entered your pet on a Friday before that time you will be able to get votes from 4:15PM NST (the neopets time not your own time) on... best link to your entry (and you can only enter your own neopet that you have drawn): http://www.neopets.com/beauty/details.phtml?pet=YOURPETSNAME When you enter eg on a stormy Thursday, that means YOUR contest starts Friday 4:15pm NST, same if you enter your pic fridays AFTER that magical time (like 5pm NST)...
Yeah, that I did. Well very important in the BC is to advertise your entry, well I guess you already kinda figured that that means to enter the Boards and ask people to vote for your pet, but as the rules say you may only advertise your own entry and only in the BC Boards, the rest of the Boards all have their own meanings and therefore we should respect them. We don't want tons of people advertising their shops in the BC and so we don't spam other Boards with our ads.
The Boards are rather easy to find:
read also [Neopian Times Editorial Issue 364]
And now you only have to be here daily for a few hours and tell everyone to vote for your picture XD but stick to the rules!
Offering votes/items/NPs/whatsoever for a vote is called Vote Trading and against the rules!
Sometimes you have to be fast as some voters offer First Come First Served boards, which means if you are first in your species you will most likely get their vote, if your competition was first you'll most likely get to hear that their vote is gone already.
An unwritten rule is to NEVER post in a Board that was created by your competition. It's just fairness...
When you advertise your entry in the boards it would be a whole lot of work for everyone to manuallly look for your entry, so why not help those poor BCers and Voters out by providing them with the link you have to offer? You have different options to do so:
1st option a direct link to your entry in the boards which appears whenever you send a message on the boards (also guild boards)
Now go to the boards and click on [Preferences]
This link leads you to the page where you can change your avatar and the so called NeoHTML... Look for the area that says NeoHTML/Signature, it should look similar to this one...
Here you can type in a few lines, the code is similar to usual BBCodes in boards all over the internet.
Here is some little help if you have no idea how to do it...
2nd option a link in the boards to your petpage with a full view of your entry that then links to your entry in the BC
Just trace the steps you did in option one just instead of the link to your BC entry, you link to your petpage (yay it has finally a very good reason to exist) where you did put the full view/unscrambled view on...
Here is some little help if you have no idea how to do it...
3rd option a link you can place on your petpage, lookup, petdescription, shop, gallery
just place this little code onto the site of your destination or on all sites, however you want to handle that
A very common sense might tell you there are different ways to do your voting. You can browse manually through all categories and vote for the best pictures in each species. You can make a voting list according to the pictures shown to you in the boards. You can vote right away if you see a good entry by clicking the link you get. (which often leads you to want to eat socks when you see a picture in the same species you think is better than the one you voted for) You can vote officially by telling the one you voted for or you can vote silently in that case you are telling nobody who you voted for or not. If you are entered voting silently often turns out to be the better way (IMHO) else people are unhappy about not getting your vote and telling you some mean stuff about your entry.
I guess this picture says it all LOL, yeah what an aweful entry there is or better never was.... Sorry for the very poor scribble!
Some questions concerning the BCers life have actually been answered in the Neopian Times, I took the time to browse through Y10 Editorials to pick up relevant information for you:
Neopian Times Editorial Questions
from Neopian Times Editorial Issue 364
from Neopian Times Editorial Issue 361
from Neopian Times Editorial Issue 359
Other questions that might stumble in your mind:
What is Art Theft anyways? If someone took your drawing and entered it into the BC you wouldn't be happy, even if this person just redid your idea it would still be your original artwork, right? Now with that said it's kind of self-explaining I guess. So you can NOT take a picture someone else did and recolor it to make it your artwork. Sometimes you will see people trying to get in with recolored adoptables or premades *headdesk* Not very creative...
Not only that this is against the rules, it can get your account frozen for sure as others will recognize the picture and trace it back to its original creator. The next step is the report with the proof that it's not the original artwork of this person. You wouldn't try to rewrite a novel by an author and think you could get way with it, would you?!
To the left you can see a very normal CAP. Even they are not really against the rules a CAP or C&P (short for copy and paste) will not help you to win the BC... They just don't show a lot of creativity, drawing in the neopets-style is pretty fine indeed, but you should pay attention that you have some unique look, pose or anything that makes your piece of art standing out from the competition. I'd gladly vote for a very good neopets-alike-style picture but I wouldn't even think about voting for a cap. In case you might wonder why not, many Neopians take the time and put a lot of effort into their pictures whilst a CAP is done within a few minutes. You don't need to be any creative or artistically talented to make a CAP whilst you need some really good drawing skills if you chose any other style. That also and especially includes neopets-alike-style. Okay, some styles just bore me personally so I am not that fan of disney-like drawings, but that's some personal matter after all XD
Draw your pet in any way you want, it can be Anthro, Neopets-alike or whatever you can come up with... Pay attention to anatomy if you decide for Anthro even with the best anatomy you will still find people who just love to crit for the fact that they can crit... Just only crit if you can draw would make it a perfect addition. Critique peoples art only if they ASK for it, otherwise it is more rude than anything else. Make a crit helpful, just saying "it looks odd" is not a critique it's an unqualified comment!
After your first contest you surely won't stop, the feeling, the competition and all the friendly people you've met... all this makes you yearn for more and so you will start over with the very top of this page. But this time around you will know more than before the first time you did it!