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Superhero Academy Website

17 May 2022 20:04 - 17 May 2022 20:06 #74243 by Sarge395
Replied by Sarge395 on topic Superhero Academy Website
 
I typed it as all lower case without quotes.  On both the basket management page before pay and on the payment page.  No luck.  Please fix.  

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18 May 2022 00:30 #74249 by AUphoric
Replied by AUphoric on topic Superhero Academy Website
Interested to see this, James. I'm not buying any art right now while out of work, but I do have some thoughts for you.

* Pep talk

"Anything, even criticism. It's all taken on board, and NEVER ignored or deleted, unlike some producers."

But you also DO have the right to say, "This is how I run my business. This is what I DO offer and stand for. This is what I am NOT providing now." You don't have to try to be everything to everyone in your market, even just for the stills.

I haven't yet found a great all in one hot dog stand, vegetarian sushi cafe and ice cream parlour - have you? The RIGHT people for you will love what is specific from you.

* The site

FUN design and writing for the site! I like "swoop to store" and the other wording.

Instead of "within the next three months" wording on an undated page, give an estimated month or quarter for when you'll have the new web service up. July, or 3rd Quarter 2022, whatever.

Site and blog does a great job featuring the different girls and shoots!

The WW picture on the "anti piracy" page is really hot! Suggestion: somewhere on page - maybe top left of the dead area of banner - have these pictures in a gallery that changes every 20 seconds or so. Click the pic to go to the relevant product page.

"Promos" is just the raw directory. Whatever content management system you're using, put these up as galleries to be more appealing. Lots of good free gallery plugins for all the major blog engines & CMS's.

"Our heroes/Models-female" goes to 404 error page.

"need to know what sort of screen resolutions"
Do a web search on most popular browser sizes. There are web geek sites that cover this stuff by market share analytics. Then make sure adaptive CSS theme includes those size ranges.
Current Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (if available) should be enough to test. Ideally on Windows and Mac desktops, and iOS and Android tablets and phones.

You don't have any user-generated content such as user uploaded pics. You don't really need "your content" and "assignment" verbiage in policies. Might be worth reviewing each item for whether it is really needed, or just copied and pasted from somewhere else.

* Payment and delivery

"Re: the payment method." How about Gumroad or another download sales site that provides file storage, bills customer cards, and automates download transactions for you? That's a LOT to try to take on yourself just to save a few percent. If you are free of this, you might not need a better server for your site.

* Content creation

Include the behind the scenes video with the photo collection? Looks like some buyers are interested in the fun of the girls being playful, not just the finished pics.

I wonder if you could team up with an illustration manipulator/comics artist, or a VFX shop, to provide some effects shots and clips that obviously are of interest to your market. Anyone worth doing business with, would not mind a contract requiring your permission before they post or sell anything from your collaboration.

" the software I use (Filmora), won't behave."
Davinci Resolve for the win, man! The free version does 4k/60! VERY powerful editing, color correction, 2D & 3D effects, and audio post all included! Unless you're a Premiere or Final Cut user from way back, or need the collaboration tools from Avid (just now added as new features to Resolve) - neither of which seem to apply to you - Resolve is the way to go!

If your computer isn't good for latest version, older versions can also still be downloaded. I'm a version back because of skepticism about the new OS required by the brand new version. Still got way more features than I've had a chance to learn. Fortunately, you can ignore what you don't need to know yet. I haven't even touched the 3D animation nodes yet.

Seems that you could shoot a color & grayscale chip chart, to calibrate a match between stills and videos in post. For example, the free version of Davinci Resolve can apply a color grade to still images, or match color across two media sources. Should be twenty pounds or less to get one of these charts from any pro video/cinema shop.

"If anyone is good at superhero type music production"
I might like to follow up on this, once I'm back at work and can afford to update my music rig. PM me with some specifics some time.

Are there enough models in Manchester? Would it be worth your while to have an occasional weekend in London, to meet up for more shoots?

* "Social Media"

I wonder if Pinterest could also work for you. I have no idea if this material has any audience there.

How about a 3 minute slide show with music on Youtube, plus 30 seconds of behind the scenes banter video?

* Merchandise:

"But it all costs money to produce."
Not with print on demand services like Redbubble and Merch by Amazon. You can upload an image and you're only charged when someone buys the T shirt, mug etc. Some GREAT tutorials on this stuff available free on Youtube from successful sellers.

* Biz talk:

The "behind the scenes finance" part seems defensive and isn't really helpful. It's a jumbled of capital costs amortized over all shoots (or that could be variable if equipment was rented, leased, or financed monthly), with operational production costs per shoot. Most accountants would cringe at that. People will either see value in the RESULTS of the images, or they won't care to buy. How much it cost really isn't relevant, since other image makers have similar costs.

* Personally:

Sorry to hear about your tough times personally. I had an NPD ex way in the past. Guess what, in some ways the relationship was an unconscious attempt to work out some parental issues. Richard Skerrit's writing was a big help to me. Web search on the topic will bring up many insightful articles.

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22 May 2022 07:41 #74325 by SuperJamesZorEl
Replied by SuperJamesZorEl on topic Superhero Academy Website

 
I typed it as all lower case without quotes.  On both the basket management page before pay and on the payment page.  No luck.  Please fix.  
Hi Sarge,

It should be fixed now. My bad. I set the code to "supersale" instead of "supersave". Try it again, and thanks :)

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22 May 2022 08:52 #74327 by SuperJamesZorEl
Replied by SuperJamesZorEl on topic Superhero Academy Website
Hi AUphoric! That was some really detailed feedback! Thankyou! I'll try to address it below. My response is in red.

Interested to see this, James. I'm not buying any art right now while out of work, but I do have some thoughts for you.

* Pep talk

"Anything, even criticism. It's all taken on board, and NEVER ignored or deleted, unlike some producers."

But you also DO have the right to say, "This is how I run my business. This is what I DO offer and stand for. This is what I am NOT providing now." You don't have to try to be everything to everyone in your market, even just for the stills.

I haven't yet found a great all in one hot dog stand, vegetarian sushi cafe and ice cream parlour - have you? The RIGHT people for you will love what is specific from you.

That makes sense. Don't try to be all things, to all people. That's what my therapist said 

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* The site

FUN design and writing for the site! I like "swoop to store" and the other wording.

Duly noted. I'm still working out the layout, it changes more than a heroine changes into her suit :) You should see how many drafts of different pages I've done!

Instead of "within the next three months" wording on an undated page, give an estimated month or quarter for when you'll have the new web service up. July, or 3rd Quarter 2022, whatever.

Gotcha. I don't actually know why I didn't do that. Doh!

Site and blog does a great job featuring the different girls and shoots!

Thankyou! Although I'm getting told off for "dangling the carrot!" I post every time a new girl shoots, but have a rolling release system, so the oldest stuff gets released first! Driving 'em crazy :)

The WW picture on the "anti piracy" page is really hot! Suggestion: somewhere on page - maybe top left of the dead area of banner - have these pictures in a gallery that changes every 20 seconds or so. Click the pic to go to the relevant product page.

She's not Wonder Woman, she's Captain Marvel. On the Anti-Piracy page, unless you meant a different page :)

"Promos" is just the raw directory. Whatever content management system you're using, put these up as galleries to be more appealing. Lots of good free gallery plugins for all the major blog engines & CMS's.

Thanks. This was just a temporary spruce up to get rid of Apache's default directory listing until I got round to doing something with it. I've put it on the TODO list! I can create pages for each gallery.

"Our heroes/Models-female" goes to 404 error page.

Whoops. Thanks. I had a page with all models listed, but gave up on it, and instead just used links in a menu to go to individual bio pages. The link is still there, and even setting it blank it stays. I think it's a bug. I'll have to redo the menu.

"need to know what sort of screen resolutions"
Do a web search on most popular browser sizes. There are web geek sites that cover this stuff by market share analytics. Then make sure adaptive CSS theme includes those size ranges.
Current Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (if available) should be enough to test. Ideally on Windows and Mac desktops, and iOS and Android tablets and phones.

Will do. The site is already responsive, but I'm not sure how high the res can go.

You don't have any user-generated content such as user uploaded pics. You don't really need "your content" and "assignment" verbiage in policies. Might be worth reviewing each item for whether it is really needed, or just copied and pasted from somewhere else.

We do have user generated content. This page from Shimasu uses his own pics he uploaded to us: superhero-academy.co.uk/models-male-shimasu/.

The policies are just defaults, and haven't been fully fleshed out yet. I know, tut tut :)


* Payment and delivery

"Re: the payment method." How about Gumroad or another download sales site that provides file storage, bills customer cards, and automates download transactions for you? That's a LOT to try to take on yourself just to save a few percent. If you are free of this, you might not need a better server for your site.

Having to pay comission is what gets me. We're not breaking even yet so its just more loss. I was going to use PayLoadz, but as its run by PayPal it is greedy on charges. They live up to their name!

* Content creation

Include the behind the scenes video with the photo collection? Looks like some buyers are interested in the fun of the girls being playful, not just the finished pics.

I feel this would put people off as I'd have to have it as a single higher price. Keeping vids separate wil give people more choice as to what they want to buy.

I wonder if you could team up with an illustration manipulator/comics artist, or a VFX shop, to provide some effects shots and clips that obviously are of interest to your market. Anyone worth doing business with, would not mind a contract requiring your permission before they post or sell anything from your collaboration.

I feel team ups would drive up costs having to pay fees/wages. This started as a fun project in my spare time, and it still is. I also have the added barrier of me working unsociable hours. I work nights at Amazon, in a fast paced environment. My job tires me out more than anything. I haven't really thought of collabs yet, to be honest.

" the software I use (Filmora), won't behave."
Davinci Resolve for the win, man! The free version does 4k/60! VERY powerful editing, color correction, 2D & 3D effects, and audio post all included! Unless you're a Premiere or Final Cut user from way back, or need the collaboration tools from Avid (just now added as new features to Resolve) - neither of which seem to apply to you - Resolve is the way to go!

If your computer isn't good for latest version, older versions can also still be downloaded. I'm a version back because of skepticism about the new OS required by the brand new version. Still got way more features than I've had a chance to learn. Fortunately, you can ignore what you don't need to know yet. I haven't even touched the 3D animation nodes yet.

Seems that you could shoot a color & grayscale chip chart, to calibrate a match between stills and videos in post. For example, the free version of Davinci Resolve can apply a color grade to still images, or match color across two media sources. Should be twenty pounds or less to get one of these charts from any pro video/cinema shop.

I'll look into that. I'm looking at a laptop upgrade soon, so a software change will go nicely with it! I always noticed, especially with our Supergirl Matrix suit, it looks brighter in photoshoots than it does video. The video is the suit's real colour.

"If anyone is good at superhero type music production"
I might like to follow up on this, once I'm back at work and can afford to update my music rig. PM me with some specifics some time.

That would be great. I will keep in touch, definitely :)

Are there enough models in Manchester? Would it be worth your while to have an occasional weekend in London, to meet up for more shoots?

Well here in Manchester we have the MCM Comic Con, and there's usually no shortage of geek girls and guys. I'll have to see if poaching works! :) I could have a weekend away in London, definitely!

* "Social Media"

I wonder if Pinterest could also work for you. I have no idea if this material has any audience there.

How about a 3 minute slide show with music on Youtube, plus 30 seconds of behind the scenes banter video?

Awesome idea. I'm thinking of having the models, suited up, doing Q&A sessions in video!

* Merchandise:

"But it all costs money to produce."
Not with print on demand services like Redbubble and Merch by Amazon. You can upload an image and you're only charged when someone buys the T shirt, mug etc. Some GREAT tutorials on this stuff available free on Youtube from successful sellers.

I will give this a shot. Anyone want lifesize glamour Supergirl on a blanket keeping you warm??  Heh :)

* Biz talk:

The "behind the scenes finance" part seems defensive and isn't really helpful. It's a jumbled of capital costs amortized over all shoots (or that could be variable if equipment was rented, leased, or financed monthly), with operational production costs per shoot. Most accountants would cringe at that. People will either see value in the RESULTS of the images, or they won't care to buy. How much it cost really isn't relevant, since other image makers have similar costs.

The proof is in the pudding! That makes sense! I just wanted to show what goes into shoots. People seem to think it's just getting a cute girl in a costume, pick up a camera and clicky click.

* Personally:

Sorry to hear about your tough times personally. I had an NPD ex way in the past. Guess what, in some ways the relationship was an unconscious attempt to work out some parental issues. Richard Skerrit's writing was a big help to me. Web search on the topic will bring up many insightful articles.

It's good to know someone else understands narcissism and borderline disorder. Therapy and mindfulness has been helpful. It's all a big learning curve that makes you stronger! That's how superheroes grow :)
 
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22 May 2022 22:15 #74336 by AUphoric
Replied by AUphoric on topic Superhero Academy Website
Glad it was helpful, James.

I didn't notice Shimasu's page. I was only there for the hot superwomen!

More on Resolve. They have some pretty sternly worded System Requirements. These are discussed more in their user forums. The installer and program run on lesser hardware, but the user needs to be aware that intensive functionality might slow to a crawl. But the intensive stuff is likely more than you would need for a start, anyway.

GPU's onboard memory seems to be the single biggest factor for success at really fancy work. If you aren't doing 3D/VFX work, you probably won't hit the limits on a lower end computer. Mine only has a 1 GB GPU which they say is below the minimum needed, but I can slice together a basic edit just fine, with a few inset pictures and titles on top.

This has only been for my own enjoyment, so far. If I can sell some video work, then I'll pay the $300 for the software plus the portable edit-wheel panel, and reinvest a few thousand in a more powerful computer. It's nice to not need that outlay to get started, though!

The free version of Resolve is so amazing that it's really taking over a lot of low end production. Tons of great free tutorials for it on Youtube and blogs.

I didn't know Manchester was a convention town. Nice!

The in-costume Q&A idea is great!

Your biggest challenge is limited time and energy after hard work. That's why I think that paying out commissions, that lower your income for a sale but save you from a lot of work, might let you enjoy this side business more.

For example, if someone else has secure file downloads with receipts so you don't have to code that, and you instead use the time for 10% more creative sessions. Then the 10% commission pays for itself, by making it possible to use your limited energy for creative work only you could do, not tech work you can outsource.

To be clear, I'm only talking about things that are paid as orders come in, not suggesting anything with a setup cost or a monthly maintenance fee.

Up to you of course for what's the best balance of your time, energy, and money.
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