Recent Visual Pursuits Changes
Automatic Processing of PayPal Membership Payments
You can now configure your website to automatically apply membership payments
made with PayPal buttons. Membership expirations can be extended without
any administrative handling of each payment.
Careful setup is required of your PayPal buttons and you must enable
the feature on the Manage Organization Profile page.
Please watch the new video on using PayPal buttons for details.
PayPal Payment Notifications
An email is now sent to the payee when they make a PayPal payment
using one of your PayPal buttons. The email confirms that payment
has been received by your organization.
A separate email is sent to the Treasurers of your organization,
or to the Administrators if no users have the Treasurer role.
Payments made with buttons configured as membership payments will
also optionally send a message to the Membership Managers, or the
Administrators if there are no Membership Managers.
Please watch the new video on using PayPal buttons for details.
New Gallery Embedding Options
You can now place Competition Results galleries on your Home page or
any custom page. Additional options are available when you place
you gallery, such as setting the gallery size.
A new process builds the needed tag to place on your page.
Instructions are on the custom page and web content pages.
You can now place galleries with competition results on your
Home page or any custom page.
You can select a specific Competition, the latest Competition with results,
a specific Competition Group, or the latest Competition Group with results.
This new feature could be used to automatically display your latest
competition results on your Home page.
Display Non-Winning Author Names
A new option was added to Competition Types that allows you
to force the display of author names for non-winning images in a competition.
The default for new Competition Types will hide the author names
for images without awards. A competition option can specify the
display of non-winning authors if the Competition Type does
not make that selection.
This option does not affect the ICM program,
where the display of author names is controlled by show styles.
ICM Wildlife Option
You can now set a show or judging style option to identify wildlife
images in the caption for images. All images that have the "wildlife"
attribute will be have the word "Wildlife" included in their caption display.
If you use PayPal buttons, each payment transaction is now recorded on your
website. The transactions can be viewed by members via the menu "My Account",
"My Transactions". The organization can view PayPal transactions via the
menu "Administration", "PayPal Buttons", "PayPal Transactions".
Further enhancements are in development. We will try to automate membership renewals
and we will create a video explaining how all of this works.
New Privacy Option
Members can now specify, via their personal profile, if a club's
Event Managers can see their contact information.
Cell Phone Numbers
The "Alternate Phone Number" field has been renamed to "Cell Phone"
and the "Alternate Phone Number Type" field has been discontinued.
If a cell number and the primary number are the same, only the
primary number is saved.
Forum managers can now specify that all members or all competing
members should get notifications from a forum or a forum topic.
Members can "opt out" of these topics by un-subscribing via the forum
Hide Author Names
A new option was added to the competition options that allows you
to hide the author names for non-winning images in a competition
results display. The default for new competitions will hide the author names
for images without awards. This option does not affect the ICM program,
where the display of author names is controlled by show styles.
Move Competition Images
If a user submits an image to the wrong competition, a Competition Manager
can now move the image to a different competition instead of having the user
remove and re-submit the image. The process is performed using the "Images" button
on a Manage Competitions page. A "Move" button appears under the thumbnail
for each image in the images grid.
Competition Managers can now select a member to view their competition history
using the My Image History page. This was previously restricted to Administrators.
Award Set Percentage Option
When defining an Award in a custom Award Set, you can now specify
that the percentage considers other awards after computing
a percentage of all entries. See Manage Award Sets for details.
New Visual Pursuits Users Forum
A new public forum was created, shared by all organizations, to
allow organizations and members to exchange information on how to
manage their organizations and competitions.
Access the new forum using your website menu "Organization",
New ICM Sort Option
When combining levels in the ICM program, the random sort order
is applied over all of the combined images. This may not be desirable
for a print competition where you have printed out a report of
images in the competition and are trying to synchronize projecting
images with a stack of prints that are order from the report.
Use the new sort option "Competition Levels and Random" in
a Show Style to keep the images in the same order as the report.
New Disqualify Option
If you disqualified an image while judging with the ICM program
(via the Awards panel), the image remained in the competition until
you synchronized. At the time it is was deleted from the competition.
If you used website judging, you needed to delete a disqualified image
from the competition via Images button on one of the Manage Competitions
To improve the handling of disqualified images,
the old ICM “Disqualify” option has been renamed to “Disqualify and Exclude”.
This will continue to delete the image from the competition when you synchronize.
A new “Disqualify” button on the Awards panel will
keep the disqualified the image reference in the competition,
but the image is hidden and displays as Disqualified.
When using website judging, a judge can disqualify an image via the awards panel.
There is no “Disqualify and Exclude” option for website judging.
Disqualified images will only appear in judging panels when hidden images
are viewed. This allows removing the disqualified state. Authors will
be able to view a disqualified state in their library. Disqualified images
will appear in the images list on the Manage Competitions pages and the
images are in exported lists from the ICM program.
Converting Critique Ratings into Scores
An option can now be set on a Competition Type to allow a judge's
rating values to be converted into a score automatically.
A average of all non-zero ratings is scaled to the maximum score
allowed for a competition image.
This option requires specifying "Average Scores from Judges".
This option is "on" by default for all new Competition Types,
but existing Competition Types do not have the option set.
You must update your Competition Types if you want to use this option.
A judge can disable the option on each critique and cannot
critique or set a score for their own images.
Critiques is a feature included in a Premium Subscription.
You can use "Administration", "Manage Critique Definitions"
to customize the information that appears on the critique form.
This allows you to name the rating sliders to match judging
criteria you might use.
Without the automatic computation of a score from critiques,
a scoring box still appears on the critique page so that a score
can be entered there instead of waiting to return to the image panel.
Splitting Very Large Competitions
If you need to hold a competition with hundreds or thousands of images,
a new process allows you to split a competition into child competitions
for distributed judging. See the main Help page for a reference on an
article on Managing Large Competitions.
The amount of storage allowed in each Visual Pursuits subscription type has been
increased by about 30%. The number of prepaid website judged images
has been doubled for each Premium Subscription.
Overuse beyond your annual allocations may roll-over to the next year
if we decline to invoice for the extra usage.
We expect to only invoice for excess usage once per year.
These changes have
been made without any increase in your subscription costs.
Use your website menu "Help", "Subscription Information" for more information
on subscriptions and options. Use the menu "Administration", "Subscription Status"
for details on your subscription and website usage.
Secure Website Mode
We have changed your Visual Pursuits website to run only in HTTPS mode instead
of the normal HTTP mode. This new mode encrypts all transmissions, instead of
just the login pages. The new mode has been encouraged for use by all websites
since it makes it extremely difficult for anybody to hack into a website
or intercept any information you might enter on a website.
No action is required by you or your users. The change is likely to be
invisible to your users. In some cases, you may notice that the website
address in your address bar has changed. This occurs because we are
redirecting all of your website traffic to a single website address that
uses the new HTTPS encrypted transmissions.
The ICM program has always used encrypted transmissions, so no change was needed there.
Maximum Image Size
The maximum image size that can be used has been increased from
2560 x 1700 to 3840 x 2160 (4K resolution).
The maximum file size has been increased to 10MB.
When using website judging, you can now allow judges to see the scores
and critiques from other judges during the judging process.
This is controlled by and option on the Competition Type, which can be
overridden for individual competitions.
There is now an option on the Organization Profile to suppress the display
of watermarks on images when viewed by a logged in member.
Membership Renewal EMail
An email may now be automatically sent to your members before and/or after their membership
in your organization expires. You can customize those email messages by using the
website menu "Administration", "Manage Web Content". You might add a link to your
membership page or to a page with a PayPal button for paying dues.
The "expiring message" is different than the "expired message".
An Administrator can configure the dates when reminder emails are sent.
You specify your options on your Organization Profile
page. You can suppress sending membership reminder emails by clearing the default
date ranges. By default, a reminder is sent 30 days before membership expires
and another email is sent when the account expires.
Member accounts must have a "Date Joined" and an expiration date set in order
to receive reminder emails.
You would not set a "Date Joined" for judges and guest accounts.
An Expiration date of 1/1/1900 indicates no value has been set and no notices
will be sent. Accounts marked as "lifetime membership" will not receive notices.
New Video on Galleries
The video on galleries was updated to match all of the current features.
Gallery, Resource Links, and Downloads List Order
Sequence numbers may now be assigned to Download files, Resource Links, and
individual Galleries. The numerical sequence numbers are used before
sorting on the gallery names, link descriptions, or download descriptions.
Categories may now be assigned a sequence number so that categories
can be sorted by the sequence number before their category name.
Categories are used in many places, including Galleries, Downloads,
and News Items. All categories are initially assigned a sequence number
of 100, making it easy to move a category to the start or end of the list.
You can now set the duration for each image displayed in a gallery by
editing the gallery options.
Enhanced PayPal Buttons
You can now place multiple PayPal buttons on a page.
PayPal buttons may also be included in an Event description.
To allow multiple buttons on a page it is now necessary to specify
the size of the area on the page to allocate to a button.
A new height and width specification must now be set when you define a button.
Event Wait Lists
When a slot becomes available for an event, the next person on the Wait List
is automatically registered for the event.
ICM Show Loops
You can now set an option in an ICM Show Style to repeat a show
when using automatic advancing.
Competition Managers can now view and export individual judge's scores by using
one of the Manage Competitions pages and using the "Images" button.
Additional columns are added if website judging was used. The new columns
contain the scores and ranking values set by each judge.
Organizations with Premium Subscriptions can now have members or the public vote on
competition images. This can allow you to grant a "People's Choice" award.
You set options on your competition and users use a new menu under "Competitions"
to cast votes. Results can be viewed in the online judging system. After judging
the voting results can also be displayed on the Competition Results page and
with the Image Competition Manager (ICM) program.
Watch the video on Competition Voting.
Website Critiques Improvements
The creation and display of website critiques has been improved to display the
critiques next to a scaled down copy of the image.
New Image Upload Processing
Enhancements have been made to the image uploading process to simplify and
clarify the process. You may select multiple images at once or drag and drop them
onto your form. After saving the images you may edit the titles and other information
before images are added to competitions and galleries.
Image sequences can be created automatically during the upload process.
File names can be parsed to extract author, levels, and Image Sequence numbers.
The new processing occurs when the "Upload Images" button is used.
Full instructions appear on the upload page.
New videos describe the entire process.
Images in Competition
Using the "Images" button on a manage competition page will now display a new
column that lists all other usage of an image within the same organization.
This could be useful if you are auditing the re-submission of images into new competitions.
Custom Roles for Permissions and Mail Groups
Premium Subscribers can now define their own "roles" and assign members to those roles.
The roles can be used to restrict permissions to custom web pages.
The roles will also appear as new email groups.
Members in a "special interest group" would be ideal candidates for a custom role.
Custom roles are managed via the website menu "Administration", "Manage Roles and Groups".
Website Critiques of Competition Entries
Premium Subscribers can now add critiques to images while judging
using the website. Standard comments can be selected from a checklist,
free form comments may be added, and ratings in several categories may
The critique comments and values are displayed by the ICM program by
pressing "k" while viewing an image. The author may also view the comments
and values from the Image Library or Image History website pages.
Image Competition Manager (ICM) Updates
A new digital code signing certificate was used on the ICM program.
The certificate is used to prove it originated from Software Pursuits and
the program contents have not been altered.
This update may
trigger some warning messages when you update. If you get a prompt
about "Windows protected your PC", click "More info" and then "Run Anyway".
The requirement happens about every 3 years.
A new high contrast option has been added for displaying titles on
images. You may also scale the text to a larger size if you want to make
it readable when projected in a large room. These options are configured
with a show style.
Critiques can now be displayed by pressing the "k" key when an image is displayed.
You can close the critique window by pressing "esc" or clicking the "close" button.
By default, critiques are displayed over the full screen image. If you are
using dual screen mode you have an option in your style for displaying the
critiques over the thumbnails instead.
Fonts and spacing have been adjusted for better readability.
A "maximum width" value has been set for pages that primarily contain text
to improve readability and appearance. You can clear or alter the value set
using your Organization Profile page.
The handling of Discussion Forums has been enhanced with revisions to each page
used by this feature to make their usage easier.
People using forums can now subscribe to Topics or entire Forums. New buttons
now appear for subscribing or changing subscriptions. E-Mail notifications
are sent when new posts are created. Moderators are notified when there is
a new posting the requires approval.
If you have a Premium Subscription,
forums can enable voting and allow Topics to request voting on a Topic subject or on
individual posts within the topic. Several options exist to control the voting,
which is configured on the main topic posting.
Administrators can now display and export page reference statistics.
Use the website menu "Administration", "Subscription Status".
Image Competition Manager Improvements
You may now set a show style option to sort by descending author name.
You may now set a show style option to display the caption above the image instead
or below the image. This could be helpful for people viewing the images from
the back of the room.
The export capability has been significantly enhanced. You may now save and re-use export definitions.
You may filter exports by score. You may specify the columns to appear in your exports.
Image Competition Manager Improvements
You may now select multiple thumbnails using shift-click or ctl-click. With multiple
images selected you can assign awards to multiple images at once. It is also
possible to drag and drop multiple images at once.
The handling of hidden images has changed. You may select multiple images a hide them
all at once. A menu item will display hidden and disqualified images and allow you
to change their state.
When judging, if you drag a thumbnail to the "winners" list on the left, a Honorable
Mention award will be assigned, if you defined one with an Award Numeric of 101.
If you drag an image out of the winners list into the non-winners list
it will have its awards removed.
Improvements have been made to the display of the website on phones and tablets.
Improvements have been made to the display of competition results.
New Website Themes
Three new themes are now available to change the look of your website: Bootstrap, Simple 1, and Simple 2.
Themes are set using the Manage Organization Profile page.
You may now create Alert Messages that display on your website to notify users
and visitors of a timely, important item. Use the menu Administrators, Manage Alert Messages
to create your own messages. This is the same system Visual Pursuits uses to notify
users when websites will be down for maintenance.
Background Image Tiles
You may now select from a list of system defined background tile images that can be
used to create more interesting backgrounds for your web pages.
You can still upload your own background tile image, if you prefer.
Your selection is made on the Manage Organization Profile page.
You may now specify the number of decimal positions allowed in scores,
permitting fractional scores. This is specified on the Manage Competition Types page.
Fixed Page Widths
On your Organization Profile you can now set a fixed page width to be used on most
of your pages on your website. The default width of zero uses the full browser