“Delivering Creative Feedback: A Workshop on Critique” by Hirsch

  • ©Evan Marc Hirsch



Entry Number: 18


    Delivering Creative Feedback: A Workshop on Critique

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    So much of the SIGGRAPH conference is firmly rooted in unequivocal scientific or mathematical fact, whereas the other half of the work presented is in the subjective realm. While the data, or “facts,” are open to thoughtful debate inside and outside of the conference, it can be much easier for people to offer feedback on those less subjective topics. However, when the content is subjective and based on emotional interpretation, “right” or “wrong” observations are more elusive (as they should be).

    The idea for this course started several years ago during a product review, when a VP of production in a very successful game studio told his executive producer and game designer, “I was playing the build [game] last night with my 7-year old son, Marc. He thinks your gameplay sucks, and I agree.” One morning, a few years later in dailies (on a feature), an Academy Award-winning VFX producer exclaimed to a room, “That shot is crap. The  lighting is wrong, the angle is bad, the color is tragic…” before walking out of the room, leaving behind a shell- shocked crew. 

    At a studio level, when subjective feedback is vague and hard to act upon, collateral damage likely affects trust and morale. Done well, a critique can be the oxygen every production team needs to grow and help artists advance their craft and core professional skills, all while ultimately benefiting their clients, directors, users, etc. This course is intended to provide a simple framework that can be adapted to any production environment. While the terminology used in these notes is artist centric, everything contained here can be easily applied to engineering/code reviews.   

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