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Just finished a 50 page picture book. I've been working pretty much in a vacuum for the last 3 years and would really appreciate some input before I start sending it out to publishers. Here are the first few pages.
Thanks in advance
Last edited by andrewchase; February 9th, 2008 at 04:55 PM. Reason: changing date in title
Pretty incredible stuff! What did you create this in? Only suggestion I might make is to place some of the type in the dead areas of your pictures instead of automatically running it on the bottom most of the time. Otherwise, beautiful stuff!
dude, these are AWESOME! I'm dying to know how you created them. It's obvious that some are painted, but I'm racking my brain over the ones that look photo real. You've only showed me 6 images and I already want to know what happens next. Great story, awesome visuals, I want one!
Beautiful work! I'd love to see the rest of it of course This is mostly 3d isn't it? I think you won't have much trouble convincing the publishers that the visuals are incredible. Top notch quality! About the type suggestion, well, that definitley can be much better.. Maybe if you frame the images (a frame designed by yourself of course), you can leave the text out of the frame, so it won't interfere with the pictures themselves? Try to use some Sans Serif typefaces (like Helvetica, Agency, or maybe even some very technical looking ones.. you can find some great ones in www.dafont.com)-
Good luck with your project!
Gorgeous imagery... are these models?
I think your typography is REALLY letting you down. The font is pedestrian, it's hard to read and is adding nothing to the story or the world you've created. In fact, I think it's taking away from it. I think a more robotic / mechanical feeling font (maybe like a digital clock) would feel better. Maybe a slight drop shadow would help it stand out a swell.
Either way... I think you need to address that.
Still... I want a copy when you're done. Why not try and self publish (lulu.com) or some other site like that? I'm sure if you posted the work here and on other CG sites you'd get a number of sales. Hell, you may even want to contact Ballistic (CGTalk.com) about the book.
Wacomitis - fear of an empty bank account.
Beautiful, beautiful. Especially Timmy's hands, the sloth, the giraffe.
You might want to get someone else to do the typography.
I absolutely agree that the font is not working.
It comes off as very "1st pass" and not final at all.
I would also go so far as to say the story is a little weak with what I have just read, and I think the pictures themselves tell a much greater story. I think instead of having the type overlapping your amazing images, maybe the book could be formatted so that the story was on the page prior to the art (simply on white, possibly with some kind of artistic border that you create) and maybe make it a bit more like a novel if you insist on words?
I'm sure you already have it planned out, I'm just saying that in it's current form the words aren't working for me. It comes off like a children's book when the art is much more professional looking.
Please take no offense, but maybe find a dedicated writer to write you a story based on the idea you already have?
First, let me say that I love the look and feel of the world you have created. However, there are several issues that I feel you must address.
- Your use of photo-realism makes the images look like stills from a film. My immediate impression is that these stills don't do justice to the pages of a book. I want to see the robots and mechanical pieces moving! My suggestion is to somehow frame these images so they are anchored to the page more, and look like they belong there.
- The issue of typography and page layout has been mentioned, and I definitely agree that something must be done. I sure hope that those images you posted with white text on top are not the final pages.
The story sounds intriguing. I think it will appeal to a wide audience. Children's publishers might want to see some more color, though. I love the design of that little guy, and really do want to see this as an animation!
First off, great images.
However, I agree with what has been said. It's very important that the text, what it says and how it appears in the book, should further develop mood, anticipation, focus, all the things you've already accomplish in your illustrations. You might need to hire a writer and typographer, unfortunately.
Holy cow, this is beautyful and sad at the same time.
God damn that is awesome! Is it a mixture between real life modells and 3d?
Can't remember the last time I got this impressed...
First impression: The images are good and very interesting but the text should be worked over. It could be better. I'm not a native speaker so maybe it is working for everybody else but I have the feeling this isn't the best text it could be.
I love the visuals, your artistry is beyond question. My only qualms would be with the story itself. Who are you speaking to? Children? Adults? As a children's author, I know That they might have trouble relating to: a 30 year time period, and work being soul crushing. You show your character in an outside environment heading down to a building where he first encounters sunlight, which might be confusing as well. What does he do, this robot (he runs on a wheel, but why? does he power the city?) if he is a unique individual among the other robots, what sets him apart, besides his boredom? he must have something the other robots do not, a spark of curiosity perhaps, maybe he is searching for something?
Anyway, great work, hope to see more.
The way the story is developing reminds me of the story implied by the previews for Wall-E. But I don't know... Beautiful stuff. I agree about the typography.
HEY LOOK AT DIS
First off, the prologue
The city was thirsty, huddled against mountains on the edge of a vast desert; it swallowed every drop of water that flowed from the foothills, and still there wasn’t enough.
Citizens dug increasingly deeper and deeper wells in search of water and finally found it in a vast river almost a mile underground. To their dismay, they also found there were no engines powerful enough to pump the water to the surface. In desperation, the city fathers wrote to the greatest inventor of their time, begging for his help. The aging genius agreed on the condition that, as this would be his greatest and perhaps last project, once his work was completed it was not to be meddled with or changed in any way. The city agreed, and as soon as the great man arrived, they started to work. A platform was built over the underground river. Titanic pumps, foundries, warehouses, and repair shops were assembled, dismantled, lowered down the well, and rebuilt. Then the real work began.
The inventor began to make mechanical animals. Huge giraffes to serve as cranes, giant sloths for heavy lifting and transportation, crabs for underwater work, and countless other designs, all for specific tasks. His last creation was his finest, the Trionic Morphatractable Engineer, or TME for short. He made hundreds of them. TMEs were designed to run the pumps, recharge other robots, repair anyone or anything, and solve unforeseen problems (because he was a genius, the inventor knew he wasn’t perfect.)
Finally, after ten years, the great work was completed. On his last day, the inventor walked around the vast subterranean city, fondly touching the huge beasts he had created. Then, he climbed the hidden staircase to the control room, threw the master switch, and stood transfixed as his world ground into life. He watched for hours as the treadmills spun, the massive central pump turned and water rattled through the pipes and shot to the surface. Then with tears in his eyes, he sealed the control room doors, and left forever.
As years, then decades, and then a century passed, and water flowed trouble free from faucets, sprinklers and fire hydrants, the city slowly, gradually, eventually, forgot exactly where its water came from…
Next, thank you all for your honest responses and critiques. Regarding typography, I have always felt unsure about my font choice and text placement, and the overwhelming visceral revulsion expressed by almost everyone makes it clear that I have to address the issue. In answer to the question "what is it", the robots are sculptures, made mostly from tubing and transmission parts, I made the sets from foamcore, blower motors, drip irrigation hose, and more transmission parts I composited everything in photoshop. Here are a couple unretouched shots
Nixon, thank you for your input, you wrote "My suggestion is to somehow frame these images so they are anchored to the page more, and look like they belong there", could you point me towards an example of what you're talking about? I know absolutely nothing about page layout and design so a nudge in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
Fenster, "My only qualms would be with the story itself. Who are you speaking to? Children? Adults?", I'm a big fan of Sean Tan and and in particular his book "The Rabbits and I've tried to follow that format (short, simple text with complex imagery.) Having said that, Timmy is really a picture book for adults, or for adults to read to children. I figured anything a kid didn't understand, the parent/reader could explain.
otsopsanig, I didn't know about Wall-E, thanks for the heads up
Here are a couple more pages with the text removed ( to prevent the bleeding eyeballs problem)
He jumped, and jumped, and sat and thought
and then, Timmy had an idea.
He climbed for hours until, at last
Timmy reached the top. He was surprised, this world was not as different as he had expected.
Timmy crept carefully towards the lights of the city.
Peeking around a corner, he discovered a man.
The man screamed.
Timmy could tell he wouldn’t be welcome here.
So he left.
Timmy loved the mountains, it was peaceful and he felt safe, but he was lonely.
Last edited by andrewchase; January 30th, 2008 at 01:44 PM. Reason: one shot too large
WOW! Such attention to detail Nice!In answer to the question "what is it", the robots are sculptures, made mostly from tubing and transmission parts, I made the sets from foamcore, blower motors, drip irrigation hose, and more transmission parts I composited everything in photoshop.
I LOVE that he's a giant when he emerges on the surface. You don't get that sense of his scale from the factory interior shots. Unfortunately I think the composite images on the surface aren't nearly as strong as the factory images. They feel rushed, not as refined and the lighting (especially when you start into the natural landscape settings) really seems to suffer.
As far as the story goes, it seems to simple to be adult focused... even if it's a story for adults to read to children. I like the write up you have in your last post. I think that type of detail works and is needed to match the depth and detail of the visuals.
Really excited to see how this evolves...
Wacomitis - fear of an empty bank account.
So we've established two things for sure. One, you are a FANTASTIC artist. Two, you are not a graphic designer. No prob.
There are a couple things I'm seeing with this that I wonder if you've thought about (btw, I AM an art director with an ad agency that works almost exclusively in print, so I have a little insight in this):
1. You probably don't have to worry about the typography and design...too much. Whatever publisher you go with will almost certainly take care of that as they will want to control costs and have it printed in their "shops"
2. HOWEVER, that means it will probably suck. You can help them with vision, by having this thing comped out enough that they know what you're going for. That means having page sizes figured out. Is it a standard paper size? Remember that binding will eat part of your page so make sure your illustration's focal points work around that. Will your illustrations work in that? How many illustrations to a page? All of them have rectangular frame edges - will those frames be full bleed off the page or will they be inset in other frames as some people here have suggested? Designing for print is MUCH different than designing for stand alone pieces or for web. You have to consider the VEHICLE (i.e. the page and dimensions, folds, etc.)
3. Have you designed all of these in CMYK? How will they look when converted? Probably not a big deal, but realize that MANY colors lose a lot when trying to be printed. Varnishes being used?
4. Thought about paper quality? Probably don't need to as the publlisher may have this decided, but you might want to have recommendations. The paper can save colors. It's, in fact, probably one of the biggest decisions in print.
5. Finally, find a graphic designer to help you. We're a dime a dozen. We're everywhere. Go to an art college near you and offer them a GREAT portfolio project (no royalty or rights to them, just the right to show the pages in a portfolio ONLY) if you can find one whose work and style would compliment well.
There are many more things to think about, but you shouldn't worry about them. Your job as the creative is to create. Let other people worry about details. That is, unless the details will mess up your creative - which might be happening if your artwork doesn't really fit well on any page design.
Just my two pennies.
Damn...just awesome work, i like this style, mechanical and poetic. Very very good...
My Portfolio : www.greg-f.com
Please DON'T do this. If you want someone to put time into your book, and help make it a better piece of art, either pay them or cut a deal with royalties. I'm a designer and illustrator by trade, and the amount of times I've been approached by people who want my services for free is ridiculous. Imagine going to a mechanic and asking him to fix your car for free, but that you'll tell all of your friends what a good job he did. Fat chance. Designers are trained professionals, you should treat them as such.5. Finally, find a graphic designer to help you. We're a dime a dozen. We're everywhere. Go to an art college near you and offer them a GREAT portfolio project (no royalty or rights to them, just the right to show the pages in a portfolio ONLY) if you can find one whose work and style would compliment well.
Apart from that, I LOVE the work and the technique you're using. I do agree that the type needs work, and I'd also suggest that the writing itself needs a little polish, as it doesn't flow as well as it might. I love "The Rabbits" as well, and one of the things that makes it great (besides the incredible images) is the careful and percise choice of words. Great work though well done.
Last edited by puddlefish; January 31st, 2008 at 03:37 AM.
Everything is very good