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Old 01-12-2010, 09:37 AM   #1
Nilla
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Default SimplyMaya 2010 - Community Updates

SimplyMaya 2010 - Community Updates

Hi everyone,

The site just went live an hour ago and we are working like crazy to get all the new features working the way they should. The new forum has been causing quite a few problems already, so please report bugs straight away so we can get them fixed. The main community features we’ve gone live with are:

- New Site Design & Upgraded Forum
This includes new image attachment systems, embedded videos, tons of funny little smileys, quick reply and so on. I haven’t had time to wrap my head around the forum properly yet which is what I’m working on now The forum will undergo some changes over the next few days as we’ll edit it, a few of the things we’ll be doing is to add new categories and merge some of the old ones that didn’t make sense. I will post again when the forum is fully updated, so I wanted to ask for some patience here because there will be problems occurring and it will take some time to get it running smoothly.

- Forum/Gallery Integration
We’ve added the gallery as an integrated part to the forum and we are also intending to give gallery images front page space on the new site. We also plan to take the best work posted in finished work and add to the Simply Maya Gallery, as well as good challenge entries. We’ll be adding a lot of the things we liked in the old gallery to the new one later throughout the day to put the gallery off to a good start.

- Image Thumbnails for Gallery, WIP & Finished Work
This part of the site is also under construction, we added this feature to make it nicer to browse the forum. Because of the way things have been uploaded or linked in the past it doesn’t look too flattering yet, but once we’ve uploaded the gallery to the new site you’ll get a much better indication of how these forum sections will look in the future.

- Resources
We are rebuilding this section of the site offline, but we will bring it back up in a new shiny version a few days from now. The resources section is one of the main features of this site and the first thing a lot of people see when they come to Simply Maya, therefore we’ve given it space on the front page to encourage more people to share their work. In a few months we’ll also be putting up a reward system to add to resources, this is still at the initial stages though so lots of work left to do.

- Monthly Challenges
We decided to go with the counter intuitive option of monthly competitions and from now on they’ll run regularly and not as they have a bit at random over the past few years. Gster will host the main challenges so he should announce the December challenge any time, and in January we’ll try for a first lighting challenge and see if there’s any interest in the community for this.

- Facebook/Twitter/RSS Feed
We limited this to the footer of the site so people who like facebook can connect with us there, and people who don't like it get away from these like buttons that occur everywhere online. So it's a semi integration in the end, we'll be posting videos, images, community news and so on there. The SimplyMaya Facebook page is currently empty as we've been too busy with the actual site itself but it should be up some time later today looking a bit better than it does at the moment. I also know that David's made an engadget so that those of you who want can get the forum threads on your google page as well. It should appear over the next few days.

We hope you like the new site design, it’s web2 and a lot of thought went into it. Again, any problems please send me a pm. I know it’s a bit strange with this new forum at first but it is most definitely better than what we had, and a few weeks from now when we’ve got it completely done up it should work and look great.

Also feedback and comments on the new site’s very welcome, whether they’re good or bad ones.

Cheers,
Nilla
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:22 AM   #3
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I think the gallery will be a good addition. Will we be able to post videos to our galleries?
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:30 AM   #4
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Looking good. I like it

Congratulations to both miss nova and david


with best regards,

Mahesh
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:44 AM   #5
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Thanks Mahesh, glad you like it a lot of thought went into the site design of the new version of Simply Maya so it's nice to hear that other people than us think it looks good as well.

For the gallery I'm not actually sure how it will work honestdom, we were primarily thinking to make it a 3D stills gallery but if it's something people would be interested in I don't see why we couldn't add a video feature. For the rest of the site your video links will now be embedded we support youtube and a few more, not vimeo though. But you can of course still post the links, the video player just won't appear on the site.

We were thinking creating a portfolio section on the site as well in the future if there would be an interest for this in the community so you could get your own sm page.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
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The new site layout looks good. Good job Nilla and Dave.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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Yeah, nice work. It looks great.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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NIIIIIICEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Looking very good!!!
Congratulations Nilla and Dave!
It takes a lot of work, dedication, and time to succeed.... specially with all the competition.
But u guys have done a great job!
I can't wait for new tutorials...
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:28 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot, I'm glad everyone seems to like the design. It looks different than all other CG sites, we studied a lot of them to figure out the things we disliked to avoid doing the same things with this one. It takes some getting used to and we're still fixing things but the navigation is much easier on this site than the old one.

As soon as we're done getting Simply Maya up to speed and we've checked all the possible things that might have gone wrong we will start to put out training. We'll try to cover topics that are not that well covered online, one thing I'm really hoping to get on this site is a series on how 2d animation fits into production as well as some good lighting content because it's something I see a lot of people struggle with finding information on. We've fallen in love with maxwell as well and you can't find any training almost on it so it's something we want to promote on Simply Maya. We're hoping to at the very least get a demo on multilight out before Christmas because it's very interesting to work with.
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