What's New in Epilogue v2?
The current version of Epilogue (we're calling it Epilogue v2) has been rebuilt from the ground up to take advantage of new technology and tools, and to accommodate current and future trends.
Why the rebuild? A note from the founder.
Before I get into 'what's new', let me answer the question 'why'. It's a simple answer - Epilogue was dying. It's been in a steady decline over the last few years. For a variety of reasons, I was unable to release any new features or even fix some existing problems, and the frustration that caused led to a lack of motivation and interest. The community and forums died as a result.
But nevertheless, artists still uploaded their art. There was still interest. So, I faced a decision - close Epilogue down for good, or rebuild it from the ground up.
Well, I wasn't ready to let the beast die, so I decided to pour my efforts into a resurrection - a complete rebuild from the ground up.
You see, I believe there is still a need out there for an Epilogue. A place where quality eclipses quantity. A place where professionals can proudly display their work, where amateurs can learn and grow, and where both can interact and share together.
Can Epilogue rise from the ashes and eclipse it's former glory? I don't know, but the future is bright, if we want it to be.
- Chad Lockwood, Founder
So, what's new here?
The most obvious change is the new design. We're fans of simplistic design that doesn't draw attention away from the real reason you are here - the artwork. Our old design was simplistic, but it was also a mess. We had different designs for the front page, art galleries, forum, and tutorials (more on why in a bit).
One reason for the aforementioned design mess was the conglomeration of apps that made up Epilogue. Due to the available technology at the time and our financial limitations, we used different software for different sections of the site. We had our own custom application for the art/gallery sections, forum software for the forums, and a blog platform for the tutorials. Needless to say it was a maintenance nightmare and one reason for our stagnation.
Now, we are on a single, unified platform. One application to rule them all!
We began life as a strictly fantasy/sci-fi/horror/anime gallery. We've now broadened our horizons and are reaching out to all genres of art. We realize there is a LOT of good art out there and we want to see more of it. We'll always have a special place in our hearts for fantasy art though.
We've also added many more categorization options for artwork (including genre, medium, and technique) that will make browsing easier and more rewarding for our guests.
Artist profiles have received a huge overhaul - larger photos (that you can actually change now ), location info, about/bio info, education, etc. We've also added the artist's latest submissions to their profile page. Non-artist members also get profiles where visitors can see art they've added as favorites.
This is a new feature we are really excited about! Sketchbooks are the place for drawings, doodles, and concept art. Sketches give us a glimpse of the creativity and process that goes into creating a final piece of art, and we want to see them! Artists can link their sketches and concepts to their finished works in the galleries so visitors can easily find both.
We've created a new two-tiered artwork approval system that should help our approval decisions to be more consistent. It now takes two editors to approve or reject submitted artwork. We can also provide notes to the artist to help them understand why we can't approve a submission and steps they can take to fix the problem (in the case of technical issues).
Other New Features
The list of new features is pretty long, so we're just gonna list them:
- Larger thumbnails.
- Thumbnail cropping - you can choose which area of your image you want to show in the thumbnail versions.
- Larger images with zoom to see full-size.
- New two-tiered artwork approval system.
- Sketchbooks - we now accept sketches and concept art.
- Artwork management tools (rearrange your gallery, add/remove images to your gallery, view art stats, manage user comments, etc. ).
- "Favorites" - ability to add artwork / sketches to a list of favorites.
- "Like" - ability to give the artist a thumbs up if you like their work.
- "Follow" - ability to 'follow' your favorite artists and see when they have new submissions.
- No Spam contact form - no exposed email addresses, so email harvesters can't get your email. Users can contact you by filling out your personal contact form - which you can enable or disable as you like.
- Mature Art filter - we previously got into trouble for allowing nudity on the site and had to disallow it. We've now fixed that problem by allowing artist to label mature art and obfuscating it from non-members.
- Easier-to-use comments system.
- Social sharing tools to let people easily share links to your art.
- New portal pages that feature more artwork.
- New homepage that features art and artists.
- And much, much more behind the scenes...
So that's what's new in a nutshell. We are still working on other cool, new features that we are excited about!
We hope you enjoy it!