View Poll Results: Vote for your favorite Red-Hot, Speckled Rock-Muncher
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May 4th, 2011 #14Registered User
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Concept: tailless lava cat
Tailless cat like creature that feeds on rocks beyond lava flows in order to absorb minerals and cool off and maintain body temperature. The creature has developed strong limbs in order to break the rocks down into more manageable chunks as well as reach more difficult terrain. Fin like protrusions form on the creature to assist in heat dispersion.
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May 4th, 2011 #15
Concept: Red Hot Muncher
A peculiar creature, the muncher. It roams the desert in search for rocks and rare minerals which it then munches on! Sometimes nicknamed "the infernal furnace" this creature leads a much more peaceful life than you could imagine.
Last edited by DefiledVisions; May 4th, 2011 at 07:55 PM.
May 4th, 2011 #16
Concept: Nineras Atraxala
1 Chronicle of Creation 1:26
Atraxala was the beginning fire. Her body was the furnace in which all things were born, and from her the lava flowed
that created the vastness of Mutamna and all of the islands in the great seas. In her wisdom Atraxala left us her children,
those born of the fires of creation. In her wisdom she has given us a reminder of the fires that birthed us and that will
one day again consume us, just as her children the Nineras Atraxala, consume the stones of the earth.
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May 5th, 2011 #17
A couple of cuts this week and some near misses:
Rejected from poll:
Bavivirie - Reason - creature did not incorporate speckles into design.
Schoten - Reason - creature did not incorporate speckles into design.
Close to Rejection:
Nocebo - Your creature reads very poorly as a creature. Were it not for your supplemental drawing essentially giving us all the information, I would’ve rejected it. In the future focus on giving us the necessary information about the creature in the illustration, rather than in supplemental material.
DefiledVisions - Your creature had no obvious speckles to speak of. What saved you is your style and rendering.
Flame_Unquenchable - While filling the requirements of the round, the rendering quality is not quite up to snuff. I’ve seen you do better, and it would be easy to find reference of creatures in this pose to get it down a little better (see my crits, below).
Crits for the week:
stevethebunny - One of my favorites this round. While I don’t find the design all that original, I think you’ve really captured the warm glow of superheated material with these guys. The perspective on the plates seels a little bit off and the environment could have been improved, but I think the creature’s successfully capture the the brief well.
Blankstate - I think the design is fairly original, but there is definite room for improvement. The first thing I have to bring up is use of pure black and pure white. I can’t stress enough how it doesn’t look good in most pieces. Pure white only looks good when something is very luminous (i.e. actually generating lots of light, not just a bright surface) and pure black almost never looks good (there are a few exceptions to the black rule, but not all of us are Kekai Kotaki, so let’s steer clear of it). I think your palette would have benefitted from some more cool hues. As the creature goes, it looks like it isn’t really standing in the lava so much as on the lava, which doesn’t make sense with it’s lack of feet (i.e. points in favor of feet) and it’s limb distribution. Lava is opaque, and luminous, but I don’t really get the impression of either in this image. The bursting bubbles in the lava are a little but rough and lack the variance to be believable.
RBeek - A fairly strong piece overall. The strengths lie in the lighting and mood of the piece. The hyper-detailed moon bothers me in comparison to the rougher rest of the piece. The forelegs look really strange because they lack any visible joints whatsoever. I like the cracks in the plating, but I think it would have been better supported by also scoring the plating a bit. If you look at a lot of really rendered carapaces and even metal plates, you’ll notice that they’re usually full of scratches. It gives the plates a more worn, used look that makes the plating seem more natural and more believable. Like the plating has seen some action, legitimizing it’s place in the design.
Nocebo - Like I said above, the read on the main illustration is really rough. The supplemental piece in the top right is a better piece in nearly every way. The design is more readable and we’re given pretty well all the information we need about the creature. I almost with that you had developed that sketch into your full piece rather than the main illustration. As tips go: steer clear of the textured brushes you seem to be using in this piece, try to stick to the hard round. Focus more on tonal variation to create form and lighting, since even the magma in this doesn’t seem luminous at all. Make sure that the piece reads like a creature, try flipping your canvas horizontally every 20 minutes or so, it will allow you to see the piece differently and help identify if the piece is reading strangely. Lastly, try and avoid head-on compositions. They’re very hard to pull off, especially when you’re trying to show, through an illustration, the design of a particular creature.
Hari Gopinathan - The strength of this piece is that it’s dynamic. But the use of hypersaturated colours with liberal use of both pure white and pure black makes the overall effect very jarring. I would suggest starting by working on a mid-grey and working in black and white building up form through value, then applying colour afterwards. There are plenty of excellent tutorials on how to go from black and white to colour (a lot are free ones on youtube and Matt Kohr offers an excellent tutorial on this out of his website crtlPaint.com for just $10). I would also work on doing studies on animal anatomy, because your musculature doesn’t quite make sense. If you’re creating a background, make sure that your creature looks like it’s within the environment, not against it. Right now your creature feels like it’s superimposed onto a green-screened environment because of how blurred out the background is. As a final note, avoid the use of the smudge tool. There are only a few instances where it looks good and those involve very subtle uses of it, generally. Right now, with the flames, it reads less like flame and more like smudge-tooled paint.
Banvivirie - Despite me having cut the piece from the poll, I do actually think there is a large degree of charm to this creature. If the creature was speckled rather than scaled (or both speckled and scaled) it would have been let through. Like I’ve said with many other entries, try to avoid pure black as much as possible. The monochromatic palette would have worked a little bit better with a little bit more hue variation within the browns, which would have also helped establish the glowing effect from the pebbles in the back of the carapace.
[b][logistic puppet/b] - This is easily the best piece I’ve seen you do for this competition. That said there is much room for improvement. The light bloom from the white light is a bit overdone and eats up detail that could have otherwise been rendered nicely. The green speckles look a little tacked on and out of place. The crags in it’s back that are pure black are a little jarring, and should have been toned down a little bit. The background looks a little bit muddy, especially in the sky. The edges in the background, especially, feel like they could have been tightened up.
Edward B - I’m glad to see you back in the COW game. As always your rendering quality is beautiful. I don’t quite get the sense of the jaws glowing that is mentioned in the description, but it doesn’t really bother me. I think the piece would benefit from a slight bit more detailing in the environment, but it’s a strong piece.
Tigzz - The base of the creature looks much better with those appendages added. I think a 3/4s view of the creature would have functioned better to show off the design, and I would like to see some kind of scaling device to get a better impression of creature size. The lighting is a little bit to even on the creature, which flattens it out a tad, and I think that crisper forms and harder edges could have been established within the creature’s anatomy.
Rob Powell - As I said previously, I think these are better than your last piece. I think lighting is still the issue here. You’re applying rim lighting when the light source suggests that entire surfaces should be lit up.
Schoten - He’s a cute little bugger but there are a few issues. First of all is the lack of speckles. Secondly, you’re overusing texture overlays to the point where it’s overwhelming your entire image instead of adding to it. lasly is that the perspective on the creature is totally wonky. The mandibles suggest that the creature is facing somewhat towards us, but the eyes suggest more of a 3/4s view. Then the plate alignment suggests something else entirely. I would try and do some studies of animals and use reference for the pose as much as you can in the future.
sebs - While the edges are much cleaner than they were, they’re still a little rough. As is the quality of rendering on the environment to the creature. The creature reads very flat for two reasons, firstly is that there is very little lighting and value modeling to suggest relief on the creature, and with a profile shot like this, that’s much more necessary to establish the creature’s anatomy. Secondly is that the perspective is a little strange on the legs, especially when compared to the arms. That coupled with the lack of depth in much of the environment gives a strange reading. I would suggest working on value modeling above all else, use animal reference for poses and flip your canvas horizontally every 20 minutes or so to catch imbalances.
DefiledVisions - You’re lucky I like your stuff so much, cause it took me a while to really see the speckles on this guy. That said, your work is getting consistently stronger and has the advantage of being very detailed without looking overworked. Nice textures and very nice overall sense of the creature. I think the smoke and the ground could have been worked a little bit more than they are. The dark oily material on the back is a really nice touch and I love those neck veins even in the metallic plates. After some consideration, I voted for your piece. I think its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses.
Flame Unquechable - The biggest issue with the piece is perspective. The very front of the creature suggests a front-view of it lying down, but the torso and legs are that of a creature which in profile to the viewer. The only way I can imagine this creature in a real space is if it’s torso is really long and it’s back is broken at a 90 degree angle. Your supplemental scaling device give a much better impression of it’s anatomy than the illustration which shouldn’t be the case. I would try and work from reference more. My only other piece of advice that I’ve seen as consistent in your last few works is to stay away from textured brushes. You need to focus on creating solid forms, and those textured brushes are muddying up all of your paint into indistinguishable masses, and make your edges a lot rougher than they need to be.
Last edited by Si_Swe; May 5th, 2011 at 12:33 AM.
May 5th, 2011 #18
@stevethebunny: Overall a good response to the brief. I can tell that most of your attention went into detailing the front creature. The one in the background is fine to leave a little less detailed seeing as it is farther away from the viewer, but the creature on the left needs to be pushed a little further in terms of details and textures.
@blankstate: Nice creature, reminds me of the Honey Ants in Africa. Would be nice to see the worker ants with a little more detail. Like adding some to the front silhouetted by the lava would be enough. And as i_Swe stated it doesn't really make sense how it's just floating on the lava, and not sunk into it.
@RBeek: Very nice illustration, a lot more time has been put into this than your last one, but a little more could've helped as well. You can see some choppy strokes especially on the back plates. Also adding a little more reds and yellows to the throat and tail would make it stand out a little more, and make it seem a little more 'red-hot'. You could have also tied your image to the description better if you showed a few glowing specks on the mountains in the background to show the presence of other creatures in the distance.
@Nocebo: Nice rendering, but it looks like it needs just a little more work. And without the second picture it's hard to notice an actual creature initially. That's the problem when a design is in the frontal view, the design and anatomy is a little more clear in 3/4 view or side view. 3/4 view is the best way to go because it shows both the front and side of the creature, plus it's easier to add depth without awkwardly taking a lot away from the creature.
@Hari Gopinathan: Once again a cool design. Although, the creature itself looks like it was pasted onto the background, it doesn't look like its in the environment. Also try to avoid using such harsh black lines on the creature, especially in areas that are in light, and it needs some secondary lighting to really put the creature in it's environment. The shadow looks a little awkward underneath the creature, like it doesn't match it's silhouette.
@Logistic Puppet: The design is pretty good. Maybe adding a little rim lighting to the back of the snail would make it's silhouettes stand out from the background a bit more.
@Edward B: Neat creature there. Seems a little too humanoid for my tastes though. Anyways, considering it dips it's 'hotness' into the water to cool off, perhaps showing a little steam coming from the creature's head and mouth could add to the realism of the piece.
@Tigzz: Try to add a little atmosphere to the background to help draw the viewer's focus to the creature's head, I find myself looking at the creature's shoulder area a lot, mostly because of the glowing speckles there. Add a little more lighting to it's head to make it stand out more as a focal point, and add a little less lighting and more fade to the back and tail of the creature. Also a little reflected light can go a long way.
@Rob Powell: This is the worst piece of art I've ever seen! Why do you even bother entering!? Mine is waaayyy better!!!!...lolz
@Si_Swe: First off, I get what your saying about the lighting, I just didn't want the creature's skin to get dominated by the light. I guess alittle more practice with lighting could do me good. Thanx for the tips though. Ok, now it's my turn... Overall it's a cool design, and very unique with the 'stylized nose' and all. It would've been a nice addition if you made the eye glow a little and maybe even a slight glow coming from inside the mouth with all that heat inside it's body. To me the belly still looks a little odd, but I think you were going for a rocky body with a fleshy belly, maybe if you darkened the speckels on his belly, like where it is in shadow, then it probably would look better. I feel like this could use a secondary light source to make the front of the creature stand out a little more.
@Sebs: First off, the speckled pattern looks a little better than what it was before, but the colours are still a little awkward, but it's not as distracting as before. Also all the blue in the background is good to pop the creature out a bit, but if you use that colour to show some mood lighting over the rock cliffs (especially behind the head) it will make the creature stand out even more. Since you have the shoulder in the center of the image, that turns out the be the first place the eye looks.
@Defiled Visions: Very nice design and very nicely rendered. I could imagine this in a video game, being a minor monster the hero encounters, like the Dodongos off of Zelda. Anyways you got my vote! Good Work!!
@Flame_Unquenchable: A better pose than your last, but still needs a lot of improvement with the creature's anatomy and foreshortening. Something seems a little odd about his chest. It looks like he's breathing fire through his teeth? it's a little unclear. The form is quite a bit off, seems a bit dominated by the textures. Try practicing more with values, before using textures, and take into consideration the lighting round the creature. Just keep practicing, do lots of sketches to build up your mileage and don't give up dude! It's a long road to success and each little step counts!!
In general good entries everybody!!
May 5th, 2011 #19
I agree with Si_Swe on a lot of his Crit.
Even though idid not participate in the actual poll, or submit my design at that, i am goin to give my opinion with the most respect possible:
to almost everybody: I noticed on the majority of the pieces that the artists did not fill the requirements of the creature. Whether it be speckles or, what i found most important, the "ROCK MUNCHER" description. Just my observation
DVisions- got my vote, your rendering was the best followed by EdwardB and Si_Swi.
Logistic- and Rob Powell- both cool pieces!
Nocebo- it was difficult to tell what your creature was doing and what it looked like, until saw the side pic.
Rbeek- you have a cool pic going on there, the only problem is i didnt feel it met all the requirements.. but over all cool pic!
Stevethebunny- I LOVE this picture, love how it looks like they're glowing..as in "Red hot" haha
May 5th, 2011 #20
Thanks for all the comments. I think i just wanted to make a nice looking piece and the creature design got a bit lost in it. Will remember all that been said and use it next time. Its my first creature design so i know i got alot to learn.
DefiledVisions: Love the design, the red hot reads really well
Si_Swe: The creature looks cute though dont get so much hotness from it.
My Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=239346
-In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.-
May 5th, 2011 #21
Nocebo - Self votes are strictly prohibited. If you were honestly not aware of this let me know who you would like your vote to go to. Otherwise, I have subtracted the vote.
sebs - You also voted for yourself. The vote has been subtracted. Again, if you were honestly unaware of this, tell me who you would have otherwise voted for.
Last edited by Si_Swe; May 5th, 2011 at 12:02 PM.
May 5th, 2011 #22
Sorry i didnt know.
Ill vote on DefiledVisions
My Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=239346
-In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.-
May 5th, 2011 #23
finally one the good old composite-rounds - more of that please!
flame_unquenchable - as stated by some others, perspective is an issue here. the body looks awkwardly bended.
the texture is a bit too much as well i think, try to blend it in more and work on top of it again so the texture has some profile. a good start anyways! keep it up.
defiled-visions - strong piece as usual. wanted to vote for it but i would have loved to see the rock-munch theme a bit more incorporated. technically i admire your work and style. the combination of detail and lose lines works great and supports the impression of depth. palette and creaturedesign are rock-solid as usual! great piece.
sebs - some outlines of the creature could be sharper. the face/head is pretty sharp but the left claw seeems to be very soft on the edges - this kind of distracts my eye. the back-legs seem a bit rushed. i like the pose a lot.
shoten - it´s either a perspective-issue or the lack of sharp outlines/difference between background and creaure that i cannot really distinguish the form of the creature. especially the details on the head are somewhat hard to identify. the front leg looks cut off. perhaps try some rim-lights to seperate the creature from the background better. with some smaller improvements your piece could get stronger easily - keep up the good work.
si-swe - wow, big heads up to you for your improvements regarding rendering. this looks really good and has great texture and a rocky-look. some of your older pieces looked a bit blurred because of too much texture blobs/spots (don´t know how to explain, i hope u know what i mean) but this one is crisp and looks way better.
one of my faves this round and just missed my vote because others had a bit more atmosphere and background added (wich normally shouldn´t matter since it´s about pure creature-design here)
Rob Powell - great concept, especially with the rock-turning-lava-munching idea. your creatures look good as well but somehow remind me of something i´ve already seen - either another design in COW or just a lizard. they look a bit too generic. perhaps try to add some more detail and bouncing lights to improve the look and depth.
Tigz - looking pretty solid. some minor lighting issues perhaps.
Edward B - the creature´s face/head looks great. strong work as usual but u seem to hide the backparts/legs. no time left to finish or was that on purpose?
technically one of my faves.
Logistic puppet - looks solid but it´s not THAT original and a almost a bit close to the blob-rule. the right-side is a bit too bright i think and steals away some atmosphere. anyways good entry.
Banvivirie - same as above, a bit hard to distinguish forms because the colours of creature and background match, as does texture. perhaps add some harder light and a harsh light source to create more depth and drama. the rimlights caused by that will help seperate the creature from the background.
Hari Gopinathan - looks very comic-styled - wich isn´t bad. the 3 jaws however seem to loosely hang there without being connected to the head-structure. lighting could be improved: the creature drops a shadow caused probably by the flame but theshadows ON the body aren´t there. the side of the arms for example that faces away from the light-source should also be shadowed.
Nocebo - when i saw your first WIP in the WIP-thread i thought this would be a winner and already marked that for my vote. but i pictured it completely different to what you illustrated in the finals. i thought of that creature more of a worm than of a pig/boar-like creature. it looses some of its epicness.
one of my faves anyway - it shows that somehow less is more and that the human eye/mind adds a lot if you cannot see all details 100%.
RBeek - very atmospheric piece. i like it. i don´t know what to add, i just like it your style is very coherent.
blankstate - good idea to go micro. you got sense of depth and textureing is also good. that´s a good start and i am looking forward to see you improving and more of your stuff.
Steve Wood - got my vote! great scene and creature design. though it might not be technically the best the style is very coherent and fits the topic very well. looking at your picture i could imagine this creature munching rocks like a vacuum cleaner in action the best.
great work all, please more of these composite-word-creature rounds!
May 5th, 2011 #24
Si Swe & Rob Powell & ninety9
Wow. All your comments are spot on. I did exactly those things. I actually painted the image by hand, using photo colours(water based) and then took it to photoshop and pasted it on a background I created separately. Also the smudge tool catch was brilliant- Thats exactly what I did (hahaha- I feel pretty stupid right now).
I guess it's all quite obvious to trained eyes.
But thank you so much for your comments and critiques. I really appreciate your taking the time to give me your comments. I need to improve a great deal and need to get a lot better at digital painting.
I hope to be able to get a lot better and also submit entries of better quality in the future.
Thank you all once again.
Do check out my work in my sketchbook
and my clay modelling thread
May 5th, 2011 #25
Oh and My vote goes to Defiledvisions, whose entry was my favourite from the moment I laid eyes on his WIPs.
Do check out my work in my sketchbook
and my clay modelling thread
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May 5th, 2011 #26
Thanks for the comments again. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to crit my work, it helps me every time.
I'm sad that my first entry into the COW had my strongest rendering and I'm somehow lost the ability to keep it simple and neat like that one. Will have to figure out what I've changed and go back to what I was doing before.
Ok, now on to who I voted for. Stevethebunny and Defiled had the strongest concepts IMO and close was RBeek who's creature I really enjoyed, but I thought that Stevethebunny was the one who kept to the rules the best while also having a great design. I will put some feedback if I have time for everyone.
Great round, was glad to be a part of it...the stuff on COW is always a treat.