PERLK: That is fantastic news, Perl—congratulations! Get back soon, though!
Now then, at risk of refuelling the Great Debate ...
OOM FOOYAT: Music’s written rules are indeed “a bit strange at places”, but so is he. (He’s a musician, you know.)
OOM FOOYAT and others: The rules discussions seem to be boiling down to the difficulty some people are having finding enough freebies to qualify their entries. The debate would end if everyone would just use the stuff in their runtime that they ALREADY KNOW qualifies, rather than introducing other possiblities that might cause problems. I have roughly ONE BILLION freebies in my runtime that I have yet to use in the Challenge.
As to the specific issues ...
Models that come packaged with a 3D program like DAZ Studio, Poser and Bryce must be available to everyone for free during the Challenge month to be counted as freebies in an entry. Maybe people can still get the program for free, or get the models alone for free elsewhere if you have a link. Otherwise, they’re not freebies.
Think of a “paid-for item” as a model you bought, and a freebie as a model that’s available to everyone for free. Your entry should have one or the other or both. We need to lose this “no count” discussion. It’s unnecessary.
If your entry includes a model you made yourself and you want to count it as a freebie, package it and post it online somewhere with a link where everyone can get it for free.
Let Music and/or each month’s Challenge host decide (if necessary) whether a freebie is sufficiently visible in a render to be counted and abide by that ruling. But common sense can be your guide. If the freebie is lost in a flurry of colours, textures and shadows, find a way to make it stand out with lighting or shading—or else just put it in a more prominent position.
(I don’t think you were referring to my entry this month, but for the record, the cartoon rendering obliterated several of my freebies, as I noticed later. I haven’t gone back to revise the list because there are plenty of freebies to spare. I have BILLIONS of freebies. Did I mention that?)
Scorpio64dragon: The topic for this month’s Challenge has definitely smudged the rules on postwork, but it’s nice to get our slack cut once in a while.
Generally, though, no postwork allowed except for adding a signature AND rescaling your image to fit the DAZ forum specs. This was not one of the original rules, but was added later when people gifted at Photoshop and its effects began dominating the Challenge, shifting attention away from the intended purpose of spreading the word about available freebies in creative ways. The aim was to level the playing field for users of DAZ, Poser and Bryce by barring costly software like Photoshop.
If you see this rule being bent or ignored, please say so in the forum or in a PM to the month’s host. I haven’t seen this happening but I’d be interested to know if it is.