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In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing weekly Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes to the site, bug fixes, and feedback that was brought up by members in the last Site Update.

What's New

Film Improvements (Beta Testers Only)

We've made two major changes to film on deviantART! First, film is now fully compatible with and the submission process, allowing you to store and post film deviations directly from your Secondly, the film player has been overhauled, and the film deviation page has been updated and rebuilt to match the same layout other deviations have, for consistency, ease of use, and better overall appearance. Writer and deviantART muro Improvements (Beta Testers Only)

We've made some awesome enhancements to deviantART muro as well! We've added several new tools, including the heavily requested Magic Wand tool! This comes with several enhancements to the overall selection and edit menu tools. 

We've also added deviantART muro integration to Writer, allowing you to select and edit images in Writer documents directly in deviantART muro. 

Change Log

  • On the Browse page, thumbnails did not always properly display in older browsers, such as Safari 5.0 and older, or Chrome 11 and older. Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • The top and bottom borders for transparent thumbnails looked misaligned in IE9. Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • The ellipsis-based title cut off looked wrong on some thumbs. This has been changed to allow titles to force the width of the box. Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • The "background box" behind the thumbnails looked bad on backgrounds other than deviantART's standard color, such as on custom CSS in galleries and faves. It is now a slightly transparent white, so it blends with custom CSS better. Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • Stored deviations would show a 404 error for their creators. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • The Share button for Tumblr would open the Tumblr share tool in both a popup window and the original deviation window. Fixed by $drommk
  • Margins on some types of journal deviation pages were either too wide or too narrow.Fixed by $Alisey
  • On deviation pages, the text box on the Share modal for notes did not scroll. Fixed by $shahyarg
  • Usernames were briefly not appearing under thumbnails in member Galleries and Favourites. Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • oAuth app registrations lacked callback url whitelist requirements. This is an additional security measure that was brought to our attention by =Tristan128Implemented by $ZombieCoder
  • Some Groups were unable to update blog rules text field for blog module when configured with specific combination of permissions. Fixed by $DEVlANT

deviantART muro

  • Improper attribution and avatars would occur during Redraw playback. Fixed by $Nodren

  • Uploading from the File menu wasn't working. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • The £ character wasn't displaying properly in item descriptions and Writer items. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Zoomed-in images weren't displayed as big as they should have been. Fixed by $kouiskas Writer

  • RGBA is now allowed in more CSS rules for journal skins, notably borders. Fixed by $Alisey
  • The friends picker in the Writer sidebar would occasionally overflow. Fixed by $Alisey
  • Writer's page height would not adjust when a member clicked Journal Extras. Fixed by $Alisey
  • Adding emoticons sometimes triggered a new line. Fixed by $Alisey
  • Dragging in an emoticon put it in a pointless list. Fixed by $Alisey
  • The Writer scrollbar would occasionally be too tall. Fixed by $Alisey
  • Emoticons had the pencil menu and up/down arrows, which were unnecessary. Fixed by $Alisey

Your Feedback

Thanks for the feedback on last week's Site Update!
  • Deviants had positive feedback about the new mobile site!
  • Feedback regarding mention notifications was mixed, if not cautiously positive. Most members said that they would like for it to be an option that could be turned on or off, even those who were positive about it as a feature. 
  • *SuperSachiko and =CursedBunny suggested that mention notifications could be limited to people you watch or people who watch you, and many members suggested other settings for notifications.
  • Deviants would like the limit on avatar size to be changed to 25kb. Suggested by `ChrisGranger
  • Managing the price of multiple Prints could be made easier, instead of having to do so individually. Suggested by *Tazzy-
  • A filter to view deviations based on Creative Commons licenses would help deviants find artwork to create with that is open for them to use. Suggested by =Yobtaf
  • Deviants with mature content turned off would like to be able to tell the difference between mature images and mature written work without viewing the work. Suggested by ~Bloodsong13T
  • We appreciate the continued feedback about the new deviantART thumbnails. To clarify, we will not be offering an option to change back to the smaller thumbnails. We strongly believe in the new thumbnails and we will be moving forward with them. When building new features, every option that we offer adds layers of complexity. If there are two options, it can take twice the amount of resources to impliment adjustments, upgrades, and bug fixes. Simplicity makes a feature stronger and allows us to focus our resources on improving it rather than spending time making sure that both version of the feature actually work and are supported for each change that we make to the site.


Creator Comments
Comments on deviantART are the primary way to interact with other members of the community on deviantART. As part of the new Film pages that were launched to Beta Testers today, comments made by the creator of a deviation are specifically marked out. This feature gives emphasis to an artist's responses and commentary on their own work.

Would you like to see this new feature extended to all deviations to differentiate the artists' comments from community comments and feedback?

 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)

The Magic Dust of Child Artists

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 12:24 AM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:

:icontechgnotic: Sep 12, 2012 by techgnotic

When recently asked how his political candidate would explain certain positions taken during the
nomination process with contrary positions to be taken during the general election, the campaign chief
replied that stated political positions were “like an Etch A Sketch,”—meaning they could simply be
flipped over, erased and begun over from scratch.

Were it that adult life were as simple as a happy Etch A Sketch memory from childhood.

(The campaign chief took heavy heat for his flippant, if truthful, statement.) The incident made
me wonder how many of us had early experiences as “sketch artists” with that incredible red toy that
has become almost standard issue for so many children still to this day.

For those unfamiliar with the magical plastic slate, an Etch A Sketch is filled with aluminum powder
which scraped off a glass screen with a simple stylus operated by the artist (one knob controls horizontal,
one vertical—the true artistry comes in the dual knob operation required for curved lines). The art itself is
fleeting, a simple flipping over of the tablet makes polystrene beads re-coat the glass “canvas” surface
with the aluminum powder. Like so many, I spent many an hour engrossed in trying to produce
ever more evocative works from that simple art machine, forever trying to learn that perfect touch to get
the curved lines right.

We house an incredible array of line art drawings on deviantART that are pure amazement of detail and
meticulous design. There is a natural thread that flows through the first workings of an Etch a Sketch beginner
through to the mastery of beautiful sketch or line drawing by a skilled artist.

Line Art Drawings (on deviantART)

An Interview withJane Labowitch

I thought it would be best to have a friend of one of our most skilled Etch a Sketch enthusiasts handle this introduction.



It’s with greatest pleasure that I introduce Jane (pikajane), one of deviantART's most talented Etch A Sketch artists. She
creates masterful portraits and stunningly accurate fan art, all by deftly turning those two knobs on that small plastic box that
frustrated so many of our childhoods. Her efforts have earned her a
deviantART Creative Grant
-- a program providing a source of funding to allow artists to make their creative dreams a reality. Jane plans to use her deviantART Creative
Grant to create two installations to be displayed in galleries. The first installation will be a life-size rendition of a skeleton,
using multiple Etch A Sketches mounted to a wall. The second installation will be a 3-dimensional piece using a skeleton as a base
for several mounted Etch A Sketches, which will act as a sort of "reverse x-ray." She's already hard at work on this project,
purchasing Etch A Sketches and depicting various parts of the skeleton. In this interview, she talks about working with her chosen
medium, her plans for future projects, and gives tips to aspiring Etch A Sketch artists.


Why Etch A Sketch? Is this a purely artistic aesthetic fascination or something deeply meaningful to you? How long have you worked with Etch A Sketches?


I started playing with an etch a sketch when I was about 4, and as a child I didn't realize there was anything special about being able to create anything more than rudimentary shapes. It started as a toy I loved to tinker with, but throughout my life it has grown into a passion. I love painting and drawing and working digitally, but there is something truly special about creating art on an etch a sketch for me.


Can you sense who is going to immediately “get” your art and who will be less receptive; i.e., does the medium being viewed first as a child’s toy block some people’s ability to appreciate the quality of the art?


Yes! There are definitely some that are more receptive to my art than others. Sometimes I feel as though people will respond the same to my etch a sketch art no matter what I etch. I have to keep myself in check so that I don't get complacent--I always want to keep improving!


Beyond your Etch A Sketch-Skeleton project, do you have an ultimate Etch A Sketch installation idea?


I have a few project ideas I'd love to pursue. Lately I've been wanting to create images using multiple etch a sketches, so that when you set them next to each other, the individual screens comprise the full image. I am doing this with a few etch a sketches for the skeleton project, but I'd also love to try this with some famous paintings. I also have a few series ideas running in my mind, but nothing has been fully planned yet. If I could work on an ultimate etch a sketch instillation, I think it would be a mural made entirely out of etch a sketches.


What are your best tips for an EtchaSketch artist?


First and foremost, practice practice practice! Everyone has to start at the basics. Even I did when I first started playing with an etch a sketch. The only reason I got where I am today as an etch a sketch artist is because I have put a lot of practice into my passion. And the more you play with an etch a sketch, the easier it gets.

To everyone that would love to start etching, here's a few tips for how to improve your skills:

Practice basic shapes, starting with the square. When you turn both knobs at once at the same speed, you get a diagonal line. When you turn them both at varying speeds, you get a curve. A circle is the hardest basic shape to etch because it is made up of 4 curves. If you learn to make a circle, you're doing very well, but don't stop there! Once you master the basic shapes, try out drawing your favorite cartoon character. I started with cartoons, and moved to realism.

If you ever get frustrated, remember that like any form of art, etch a sketching takes time and patience. It took me years to get where I am today, but I believe that with determination and passion, you too can master the knobs.

QuestionsFor the Reader

  1. Do you think there have there been other toys that have sparked and encouraged as much childhood creativity as Etch A Sketch?
  2. If you ever created with an Etch A Sketch did the frustration you experienced trying to draw on Etch A Sketch teach you discipline and practice are important in creating art … or just made you wonder if you had what it takes to be a dedicated artist?
  3. Do you detect a natural evolution from Etch A Sketch to something like Muro?
  4. Do you still own an Etch A Sketch, or was it long ago consigned its fate to that of Citizen Kane’s beloved sled?

Fan Art Law

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 7:07 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:

Fan Art Law

Mon Sep 10, 2012 by techgnotic


t seems there’s nothing quite as dear to the hearts of many of our deviants as their production of fan art, and at the same time, there is nothing so knotted with legal and ethical headaches. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but in the form of fan art it has also become one of the most frustratingly complicated. At some point, the sheer volume of fan art around a single property may become so large that the issue rises to another level of scrutiny by the creators of the original work.

With this dynamic in mind, we thought the following panel that Josh Wattles, our Advisor In Chief here at deviantART, and a mystery guest named Harold Smith, gave at Comic Con this year might be of immense help in understanding the ever evolving elements of fan art law.

Josh Wattles, makepictures is an expert on copyright law bringing perspective and experience to the issue from multiple creative industries. From art, film, music, and books, Josh has been directly involved in or advised on copyright issues for the biggest properties in the world. He is also a copyright professor teaching courses at at Loyola, Southwestern and the University of Southern California law schools in Los Angeles.

And for all of you Star Trek Fans out there, Josh was the first lawyer at Paramount Pictures to work with Gene Roddenberry on creating policy around the massive quantities of fan fiction submitted to Gene and to the studio some of which ended up as Star Trek stories published by Simon and Shuster.

Interview withJosh Wattles

Should I worry about drawing or writing stories about characters from my favorite books, TV shows and movies?

makepictures:Not if it is a private activity.

Does whether I sell them or not make a difference?

makepictures:Yes. It’s not the best idea.

Can I copyright my own fan art which is based on already copyrighted material?

makepictures:It depends on how much of the original work you used and if the original work can be completely removed from the second work. When you file for a copyright you must disclose all pre-existing content that does not belong to you and you must have authority to use it. That’s a complicated question with fan art.

Different authors, artists and companies seem to have different attitudes about fan art, with some encouraging it and others forbidding it.  How can I find out which entities I might get in trouble with and who’s completely cool?

makepictures:You can’t unless you contact the owners yourself and ask. There are some situations that are ok because the owner is encouraging fan art, such as in contests.

Is there a list or index?


Am I responsible for other people circulating my fan art all over the Internet without my express approval or even my knowledge they’re doing it?

makepictures:Technically, maybe.

Are there websites I should familiarize myself with that explain how to stay “safe” within the bounds of “legal” fan art creation?



How do you feel when creating a piece of fan art or fan fiction around your favorite character or story?   

Is fan art a pathway in your evolution as an artist?

In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing weekly Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes to the site, bug fixes, and feedback that was brought up by members in the last Site Update.

New deviantART Mobile Site (Beta Testers Only)

One of the most common requests from the community has been to update deviantART's mobile site. By popular demand, we just launched a brand new version of the mobile site to Beta Testers! The new site is compatible with mobile browsers on the iPhone and Android phones and we'd love to hear your feedback!

Try the new mobile site by upgrading to a Premium Membership and becoming a Beta Tester.

Change Log

  • The Wallpaper link in the main menu led to a broken page in some browsers. Fixed by $allixsenos
  • The Share tool for Facebook occasionally failed to fetch pages correctly for some deviations/users. Fixed by $drommk
  • login was briefly unavailable. Fixed by $allixsenos
  • The Edit button at the top of user Portfolios was barely visible. Fixed by $DEVlANT
  • Super Group upgrades were unavailable over the weekend. Fixed by $allixsenos
  • Ads on some deviation pages very briefly caused issues with the display for those deviations. Fixed by $drommk
  • After the previously mentioned changes to moderation report notifications were implemented, issues were discovered regarding the ability of the user who filed the ticket to communicate with the Help Desk over tickets that required further information. This issue has since been taken care of. Fixed by $DEVlANT
  • The displayed total for withdrawn user profits was not accurate under some rare conditions. Fixed by $KnightAR

deviantART muro

  • Files were not properly saved (or sometimes did not prompt to save) when a user left the page. Fixed by $mudimba
  • The smudge brush could overuse CPU, leading to crashed browsers on some systems. Fixed by $mudimba
  • Fixed error detection and user notification of certain save errors caused by intermittent network connectivity. Fixed by $mudimba

  • If a user didn't agree to the submission agreement on first upload, the page title would be set to "undefined". Fixed by $kouiskas
  • When opening a stack in a new tab from the "View" button, the new tab would load the topmost item instead of the stack. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Opening a page containing many items, viewing an item shortly after opening that page, then going back to the root/folder could result in many items disappearing from view. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • After arrow-navigation or editing an item, the title and description on items would become unclickable. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • When viewing a public stack, clicking on the title would open two pages. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Custom PCP licenses wouldn't save upon pressing Save & Exit. Fixed by $samshull
  • All settings related to publishing an item to dA (downloadability, sharing, critique, resizing, category, etc.) are no longer displayed on or applied to items. These settings become effective once the piece is published to deviantART. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • Any journal CSS rule that takes a color value can now use an RGBA value. Fixed by $Alisey
  • The sidebar now looks cleaner when loading screens, and has a loading indicator. Fixed by $inazar
  • Opening the Journal Extras box in Writer wouldn't adjust the height of the Writer box. Fixed by $Alisey
  • Contents of the deviantWATCH list were breaking out from the Friends dropdown. Fixed by $Alisey
  • Some skinned journals were rendering off the left edge of the screen. Fixed by $Alisey
  • The "Upload Files" button in the sidebar would sometimes jump to the left when clicked. Fixed by $inazar

Your Feedback

Thanks very much for the feedback left on last week's Site Update!
  • Feedback regarding More Like This was mostly positive, though much like on the beta launch article, there were concerns voiced regarding Endless Scrolling.
  • All of the member suggestions included last week were met with positivity! In particular, many users liked the suggestion about being able to list what tools were used to create art when submitting. =overseer mentioned that having an "Other" option for less commonly used tools would be helpful, as well.
Last week, deviants suggested:
  • A selection/magic wand tool for deviantART muro. Suggested by ~Spottedpath45 
  • Formatting tools for comments on site. Suggested by ~NaesOne 
  • Limiting Group join request to one at a time per Group, so that Group admins don't have to deal with duplicate requests. Suggested by *Yoriden150 
  • An easier way to display the other websites they actively use on their profile. Suggested by ~VerticalForklift
  • Increase the maximum amount of Correspondence messages displayed at one time in the Message Center. Suggested by *Championx91
  • Better sorting for Correspondence messages, including sorting by pending, accepted, and declined. Suggested by =CoconutSky


Mention Notifications
You can use the :devusername: code to easily link to a member's profile anywhere on deviantART. However, there is no indication for a member when they are mentioned elsewhere on site, so unless they happen on it themselves, it could go completely unnoticed. This feature could also be helpful when you want to bring another member into a discussion. Would you like the option to be notified if a user mentioned you in a comment, journal, or forum thread? If not, why would you be opposed to it?

 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)

Draw This Again Contest

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 5:00 PM

The air is crisp and the leaves are changing, which can only mean one thing - school is back in session! DeviantART is celebrating the new school year with an improvement-themed contest, inspiring interviews, and an opportunity to help those in need.

To celebrate artistic growth, we're turning one of deviantART's most popular memes, Draw This Again, created by the amazing *Bampire, into a site wide contest. We're challenging you to take a piece from your past and draw it again to show how you've grown. Use the template below to submit your past and new work as a single entry to the Draw This Again Contest.

50 Semi-Finalists and 10 Finalists will receive bundles of prizes. Details below.

Select one of your pre-existing deviations from your current Gallery (traditional, digital, or photography).

Recreate this work using your newfound abilities in the medium of your choice.

Place the original work into the left side of the template and your new work into the right side of the template.

Once you're done, submit your finished work to our contest category, remembering to link to your old work in the deviation description.

Ten Finalists will receive:

  • Their new work as a Framed Fine Art Print
  • One-year Premium Membership to deviantART
  • dA PRO Nomad Bag
  • DeviantART Hoodie of their choice*

Fifty Semi-Finalists will receive:

  • 100 deviantART Points
  • 3-month Premium Membership

  • Select one of your existing deviations from your past work, posted to deviantART prior to September 6, 2012;
  • Make a new and improved version of the past work. Place the past work (on the left side) and the new work (on the right side) in the template provided;
  • Submit your completed template as either a .JPG or .PNG file to the contest gallery, providing a link to the "Past Work" deviation in the artist description;
  • You may use any visual medium other than video, film or animations.  Literature will not be accepted;
  • You may enter as frequently as you like but only one of your Entries may be chosen as a Semi-Finalist and/or Finalist;
  • Must be submitted to the "Draw This Again" gallery under Contests 2012 on or before 11:59:59 PM (Los Angeles, CA, time) on September 30, 2012;
  • May not contain any stock images unless you yourself have created on your own (licensed stock brushes and textures are acceptable);
  • Must be completely your original work, not collaborated with another artist, and follow deviantART's Etiquette and Submission policies;

50 Semi-Finalists and 10 Finalists will be selected by full-time deviantART staff.

All Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of progression as an artist
  • Creativity
  • Overall impact of the works

* Subject to availability

We're highlighting the careers of four professional artists and their journeys through art school. We asked them questions on how their paths formed, challenges along the way, and how education in the arts helped them to be where they are today.

Charity Bundle Young Arts
Young Arts

To show our support for education through the arts, for 2 weeks we will be donating 10% of all sales of the brand-new Back-to-School Bundle to Young Arts, a charity that assists young emerging artists in their educational and professional development.

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