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IDW #52 Topic: Undead Carriage
Deadline for voting: Saturday, December 22
No voting for your own entries! I repeat, no voting for your own entries
Give critiques and comments, we're all here to learn from each other!
Original thread: IDW #52: Undead Carriage
Last edited by yoitisi; December 14th, 2007 at 05:37 AM.
A Cinderella story
So everyone knows the story of Cinderella, with the carriage, the ball, and prince and that everyone lives happily ever after. But i think the ending was actually changed in order to have the happy ended, i think it should actualy have been more this way: when Cindarella left the ball she was already late, there is no way she would have got home in time before her carriage turned back to a pumping. Actualy she was so late that in fact her carriage changed back soon after she left the ball, whilst the carriage would have been going at high speed. Which would have killed her instantly. So now Cindarella, because she was not ready to die and still had much things in her life she wanted, she still is searching for her prince amongst the living. Only real difference now however is that after midnight she must return to her natural state where she belongs, amongst her own kind, the undead.
The concept is simple: the undead need fun too! The beasts pulls the lightweight racing carriage round an oval track, just like our horse racing. The carrriage is made from a 'mermaids purse' type of seaweed with the big bubble acting as the riding compartment. The markings on the beast and the carriage differentiate it from competitors.
Actually just one, and that is that I'm not overly happy with the result of this round in terms of quality. I didn't reject anything that looked finished this time, otherwise the poll would've been a bit smaller to be honest. It seems that fantasy stuff has its own difficulties, one of them being that not everyone gets inspired by it I guess. I think it would be good to do more fantasy/history based topics, as those subjects are part of this corner of CA as well, although I'll have to think up some good topics for it.
Since i cant vote for myself.. haha xD my secong choice would be Legato.. But.. im not so sure cuz it looks to me more of a tank than a carriage.. so. the third choice would be hallo so im voting for that i guess..
although theres some nice images here, my vote in the end went to lynus for one simple reason. From my understanding and reasearch, a carriage is usualy a horse drawn vehicle or similer. Also carriages normaly have suspension using leaf springs, elliptical springs or leather strapping.
EDIT: as detailed in the following discussion the topic was way up to interpretation - meaning my single sighted take on it in critique for both myself and the other entries is basically BS - im not going to re-write these all, but take my critique on the carriage like nature of the picture and throw it away, and instead go on my artistic critique rather than design
Unlike most write-ups, I’d appreciate it if you read my self-critique regardless of how long it gets (post edit: damn, im so sorry!)
I would agree with yoitisi in that this round was pretty thinned out for quality, that being said I would say your rendering and design is really the only viable option to vote for imho, even though like myself you kinda lost sight of the whole carriage thing with no clear means of pulling - however as far as undead mobile fortresses go yours is second to none! The lighting is superb, and when you first posted your wips I was really impressed with the direction you took! Also, more than the rest, your piece has included the undead theme very well!
Having myself slogged through really my first composition and environment piece I think I am starting to reach a new perspective, Im still not there, but with what I have learned I think your piece falls apart in a few ways. Namely as was noted in the wip thread, you change styles 2-3 times, ranging from almost abstract with the timber wolves to more refined with the carriage and a bit of the background and than all the way to sponge painting for the clouds. Since this is “industrial design of the week” I’d have to agree with the past statements that your industrial design is fairly weak simply due to its presentation. I can live with the stylized look of it, but it would weigh TONS and roll like a katamari ball with too many telephone poles in it!
Having tried the spiked wheel route on my own submission I can tell you I had to abandon it half way through!
The wolf on the left is quite badass, even if the streaky style isn’t my thing (even though I just started my first bout of impressionistic stuff) but the wolf on the right is under-defined, and quite frankly, looks to be having an awesome go at his (female?) companion all while the driver is pissed that they are making little baby wolves and not dragging his 5 ton steel death vault! (im so sorry for this paragraph, it was just to funny not to type)
One more paragraph kuz I love you! The main tower in the background is a little too defined for how far away it is imho!!! Ahh im done ;_; - I probably should have used a bulleted list
Oh god here it goes
With possibly the only rendering capable of getting a vote on that merit I have ever done, I just had to go blow it by completely screwing up the topic /o\
While I think this is the beginning of me being capable of doing environments without causing death to the viewers, even from the get-go the composition took a back seat. Furthermore, while the industrial design is ‘sound’ and I like how the think looks, from the onset had basically fell off the carriage path, and that oversight only got worse as I kept on changing things.
ORIGINALLY this was intended to be a large carriage, filled with troops and pulled by a giant stereotypical hell-beast… that - in the heat of battle - could be emptied, turned around and used as a giant field clearing lawn mower! However, when the composition changed from being pulled to being pushed by a beast, and than even further changed when I decided to include a giant steam engine things really took a nose dive. Furthermore, even my earliest thumbs were entitled “undead WAGON” and it actually caught me off guard when I re-read the topic! I had to run with it though, and here it is.
It still has a bit of carriage characteristics - design wise I intended to have the driver sit up where I now have a guy standing, and had I taken off the spear/ram, changed the direction of the smoke and the foot soldiers I think it could have passed as one to a limited degree, but it is what it is… I really invested myself into this, and was getting critique from two people I highly respect, both of which are infinite in regards to composition and lighting, so I think I literally was ‘done’ with it 8-9 times. Each of those iterations now look archaic compared to their predecessor and im more than sure there is another 8 versions that would put this one to shame, but im learning and don’t want to be down on myself too much, so im going to say as it is, I really like it… now in a month I have the right to change my opinion
As noted in some of the other write-ups and my own, im gonna have to knock this out of the running simply because its a flat out chariot, and has really no other explanation. Also, while the beast pulling it has an awesome rendering and style and really looks like its moving fast, the rest of the thing takes on a more refined and stationary look, not to mention it has a strictly side view going while the chariot has half a perspective X_X
THE GOGGLES, THEY DO NOTHING!!!
But seriously, I know the lure of painters many brushes, heck, just 3 days ago my friend suggested I paint a purple fairy into my piece and in 5 seconds using the glow brush and the stardust one I had blown his mind, but in this case, its just too excessive - especially regarding the only ‘industrial design’ is a pumpkin and 4 wheels you really crippled your ability to do any elaborate iron work or anything else in that regard. Also, while you did a great job conveying speed for the rear half of your picture (the carriage) the large demon (rats?!) seem like they are standing still, or rearing at their reins, which is almost an exact opposite of lynus’s problem! Like myself I think you got an idea in your head and ran with it, only we were both running in the wrong direction! You thought “carriage… like cinderella!!!” and I thought “wagon… turned around and made into not a wagon!!!”
I didn’t even see this one in wip so it really threw me for a loop. While at first I was going to poo poo you for having a more modern take on the subject, I realize there really was no clarification and so its all fair game. However it is a chariot, plain and simple and quite frankly the only aspect of the undead in this entire picture is the driver… not even the fell beast up front really counts. In terms of industrial design, I admire the attempt at minimalism, but between, the lack of suspension for the speeds your wanting it to go, and the non-articulated yoke… thing holding the ball to the beast I really can’t vote for you - also, the drop shadow doesn’t really help ;_;
Last edited by Legato; December 14th, 2007 at 06:54 PM.
Haha.. Thanks for your analysis!
hmm.. yeah.. the style changes is all because i used different brushes for different parts.. I wanted to make a big painting and just put the carriage into it so that it would be a part of the whole painting... not just to concentrate on the carriage alone.. and besides, i did this just for fun.. fantasy/undead is just not my theme..
hmm.. i just dont get it.. why is everyone so sure that it would weight a ton? Your tank-carriage sure looks like it weights many tons..
Yeah, all because a little perspective error it looks like the wolves are making sweet, hot love in front of the driver... Its sooo funny when i first noticed it.. (which was after i submitted the final image) lol..
Erm..... What..? so do you hate my work.. or love it.. or you love me? lmao! wtf..One more paragraph kuz I love you!
and dude, the dude-wolf's expressions is PRICELESS!!! its like letting out a howl of ... yeah... but man, you couldn't have done it better had you tried!
just did some wiki digging and the while most chariots had 2 wheels some had 4, but all were originally platforms for one or two people to engage in warfare while only recently being used for racing. carriages as per wikipedia are all 4 wheeled examples, and include anything from a stage coach, to a baby stroller, however the difference between a traditional carriage and a wagon is as far as i know, simply the driver being on an elevated seat outside and front.
Keep it civil ya'll. None of this "mine is better than yours" does anyone any good. Keep the crit constructive, not comparative.
On which point, my crit and vote will be coming shortly.
Second that form2function, take it easy Grenogs, Legato. I was merely refering to the fact that I think most of the entries would not be recognizable as being for/from undead without their driver/beast pulling them. Whether it's a chariot or steam-driven wagon was not the major concern here* (as was stated in the brief I think - the purpose of the carriage being free for interpretation and all), but the implementation of it being an undead vehicle was.
As an example, take the Lord of the Ring movies. The elves, dwarfs, even within the different orc & goblin tribes there were recognizable themes and shapes that deviated them from the other races. That was my thought behind giving this topic, and that was exactly what I kind of missed in most entries.
I might try this fantasy business again sometime, probably with what I just wrote very clear in the description. In the meantime, keep it constructive and friendly please.
* That said, I do think it would be advisable to keep it recognizable as a carriage. Making a chariot or steam-driven juggernaut might be cool and all, but might also curve back to you when your client hands it back with the comment that he requested a carriage. Improvisation is fine if you know your client likes it, but as the client here consist of a lot of people you don't know personaly (at least not all of them ) who all have something to say about your design, it could prove unsuccesful.
Last edited by yoitisi; December 14th, 2007 at 05:51 PM.
Alrighty. First off, a brief recap:
"Basically, the topic is to design a carriage of the undead. What they do with it or what they use it for -piling up fresh corpses to move them, a carriage for necromancers, a cage for victims or even a skull catapult- is up to you, as long is it's is clear we're dealing with undead. Drawing beasts that pull or push the wagon, as well as the occasional skelleton or necromancer is totally optional. However, it must be clear how the carriage is actually moved even without them. Steam power or just plain old magic is an option for this as well of course."
Yoitisi left this topic pretty open to interpretation, from the above description. So I don't really see the reason to nitpick the definition of a carriage, over a chariot or wagon, how many wheels it has, and so forth. Open-ended briefs can often lead to a bit of confusion though, and there was even a bit of that in the last CHOW. When it comes to a brief, in my experience freedom is both blessing and curse. Especially when you get artists competing in the same brief.
In any case... I think what suffered in this round was the quality of the entries and not really how well they kept to the brief. Because again it was left pretty open. Here's my breakdown of the entries.
hallo: Strong composition and a risky angle. If the image wasn't as bottom-heavy as it is, it would almost feel like it was about to tip over. You grounded it nicely though. Your sketchy parts are complimented nicely by the attention you paid to the details. And the design itself is definitely unique. Overall it's a hell of a piece, no pun intended, and translates your idea well. I think the fact yours was the first WIP we saw kinda set the pace for the others and dictated both style and the need for a solid environment.
Dekus: You definitely came through on this by the end. You obviously spent quite a bit of time on the environment, perhaps a bit to the detriment of the carriage itself. But it does help your image quite a bit so I can't hold it against you. As I've said before, presentation can often make or break a design so it's important to pay attention to it. On the artistic side, it would have served you better to lower the opacity of the brushed glows of the wolves so they're not as overwhelming to the image. On the technical side... The wheels are indeed a problem, as spikes that size don't turn. Unless. If you had made the ground out of really soft material, say... flesh? Then the spikes might be a necessity and would explain their being there. Remember you don't have to keep the design realistic, but you do have to give a realistic reason for it. The weight of the carriage doesn't bother me because for all we know those magical wolves are capable of pulling a hundred times their weight. It would have been something to consider if this was a realistic carriage, but not for an undead one. However, try to keep in mind in the future that your choice of material is important, as is how you depict it. You can take the same design and make it as heavy or as light as you want with only a few minutes of adjusting your materials from say lead to glass. Keep up the practice, you definitely have skill.
Legato: Well, I think you learned more in this piece than you likely ever have in a prior one. We don't get these experiences often, so we have to be grateful for each and every one when they arrive. On the artistic side, I think you definitely did an amazing job of rendering both the vehicle and the environment. On the technical side, I think you explored the nuts and bolts of the design more than anyone else. Having such a large mass to work with helps in that. You have an engineering mind in that and it's one of the things I like about your designs in general. You tend to focus as much on how something works as how it looks. While your rendering would deserve a vote in and of itself, for me you got my vote because of the technical details. Yours was comparable in size and style to hallo's and had an equally powerful presentation, but in yours I saw a lot more of how the design functioned. And as I said, the fact it's more of a war-machine doesn't really detract from the brief as far as I'm concerned. Yoitisi even said himself it could have been a catapult, so yours seems fair game. It'll be interesting to see how you translate everything you learned on this one into your future designs.
Lynus: Very cool design. Pretty good lighting and brushing. Only thing that's lacking for me is definition. I think it's still left too much in the sketch stage and could use a lot of those nice details more defined. The skeleton and creature would be perfectly acceptable left sketchy (and perhaps preferred that way so they don't distract), but the chariot itself needed more work. I find the more organic and abstract the design, the more work it needs to flesh out realistically. Otherwise the eye gets lost and doesn't know what to make of it. That's my only complaint though.
Grenogs: You started very strong, with a great concept and some awesome sketches. I'm not sure what happened but the end result isn't quite up to par with what I was expecting. I'll start with the painfully obvious, the glow. There's a difference between glowing and radioactive. And I mean that literally, not as a joke. A glow stems from some lightsource and the brighter the source, the brighter the glow. Something radioactive brings a physical presence to the glow, where the material itself is the lightsource. Right now it looks like your carriage is brimming with some thick glowing substance that obscures any and all details it covers due to its opacity. As opposed to being lit from something within that's glowing brightly. Moving on from the technical side of the glow, artistically it pretty much destroyed your design. Painfully so. It obscured massive amounts of detail that were either there or were needed, and is so bright that it doesn't let the eye wonder even a hair past the glow to the rest of the parts. Beyond the glow, the carriage itself needed a bit more love and detail on it. The wheels are way too blurry and if it's to illustrate movement, then I would have suggested that you don't make the carriage moving. This isn't meant to be an action shot for a movie scene, it's product design. The details are important, so if having the product in action detracts from that then it should be drawn still. In fact products with parts that move are 99% of the time drawn still, cars being the best and most relevant example. All in all, I think you got carried away with the theme and atmosphere and forgot to really drill down into the design itself. You've had much stronger entries in the past so it's not really a matter of skill. Try to keep your focus on the product next time and I think you'll find the design will benefit immensely from it.
Nutkin: I wanted to comment on this when you first posted it, but I realized that there really wasn't enough time for you to do anything about it anyway so I thought I'd wait until the poll was up. It's a cool design, and I don't really mind the theme of it at all. Again, Yoitisi left this one pretty open. However, there just isn't anything about the design that says "undead" to me. Further, it doesn't even really work with your concept of it. You describe it as being constructed from seaweed of some sort, but we see nothing of that in the design. If you really wanted to follow the seaweed idea, I would have suggested you try and illustrate that through texture. Either something coral-like to match what the color suggests, or maybe wrapped seaweed all around the form. But even had that been the case, underwater doesn't equal undead. Something like a skull would have been a far better choice, especially when your form lends itself so perfectly to that. Beyond that, always think about how the background affects the image, even if it's a solid color. I'm not sure white makes for the best choice for a design as yours and personally I might have gone with a light or dark gray. Something to bring more moodiness to the image while still setting off the form. I do have to say I love the beast though, as unrelated as it might be to the brief. Keep at it.
In general, I'd have to say I think we need to start pushing the quality bar further up for all of us. We're all capable of better work here, and a lot of the entries in the past rounds have proven that. Laid back is good, but sloppy helps no one. Most of all ourselves. I would even say that Yoitisi should start cutting entries (as he should be doing), even if it means fewer going to the poll. Keeping a standard of quality isn't a punishment, it's meant to help push us further with our work. This round was a bit of a disappointment but it should serve to remind us that we can all do better.
That's all from me this round. I've been doing way too much talking and not enough drawing, so it's time to put my pressure pen where my mouth is. Er.. You know what I mean.
sorry for being prickish in my reviews, i really took the carriage theme for a requirement too far not only for my critiques on everybody's piece but on my own - form2function's recap of the post i think brought to light things i had originally read and implemented, but later on forgot about. ahh, now to the next round!
sorry yoitisi and guys for my over reacting, this isnt the place for such crap. thanks for the crit form very much appretiated, and i cant disagree with anything you said. I have to be honest though, i never realy know what is being asked here in idw, an actual plan drawing, or an illustration, with scene,? the last project was quite straight forward, but this one was a little more open ended, and with the majority of images being more illustrative with scenery, then i defenetly got lost on my way. Anyway it was defenetly interesting, i hope doing fantasy hasn't put you off yoitisi, as i still think it can be an excellent subject and an often refreshing change.
Seconding the aforementioned problems in your piece (different brushes, carriage design), I must also say that I really appreciate the mood you established. The part that really shines for me actually is the building in the background.
I dig the design of your carriage. It's got 'evil' written all over it, and has a nice improvised look to it, as if it was built out of a (big) bunch of spare parts. Also, you did a pretty good job at integrating the carriage into the scenery. On the negative side, I find the colors to be a tad too saturated and, what bugs me the most is that, while the carriage itself bears a lot of cool details - blood splattered spikes, added metal plates and stuff - the bigger parts look too slick and polished. Some textures might really push it. You got my vote.
Nice design, and, while being a chariot instead of a carriage, it perfectly fits the 'undead' theme. Bit too sketchy for a final, methinks.
Funny concept, the Disney movie was the first thing that came to my mind the moment I saw your piece. I'd prefer a completely original design tho.
The first sentence of your concept + the happy look on the skull of your carriage's driver made me chuckle The piece itself is a bit simplistic and rough, but I think you know that. Fun fact: The beast that pulls the carriage reminds me quite a bit of this one (on the right, in the background).
This is not for you.
fun topic. sorry I missed it. Of course I totally suck at this sort of thing but kudos to you all for courage...etc
To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
form2function I understand.. i should gave done little spikes and added a wooden texture to the carriage.. since i forgot about texture on it completely.. It took me about 3-4 hours nonstop painting of the first day and about 30 min-1h to update..
Thanks, im glad you liked the painting overall..
hallo Yeah, while painting this kind of picture, i had the ghostly, vampire-castle mood in my head.. The castle is, as i remember, the first thing i started to render after quick sketching
Legato I always forget to ask something... im curious, how many layers did you make to do your picture? You used Photoshop, right? It just somehow seems to me that youve used dozens of layers.. I used about 30 layers on my painting..