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Thread: My Own Magic Cards project (environments)

  1. #1
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    My Own Magic Cards project (environments)

    Hi everyone,

    I started with this project where I take a name of a playing card (I'm using Magic 2012 here) and try to create a own image just by reading the description and not take a look at the image that comes with the card.

    I'm currently working as a freelance artist and I want to improve my portfolio to send to card game publishers. It would be a dream come true to be able to draw cards for those publishers.
    So that is why I started this topic, I hope to get a lot of feedback while I post my wips here of the cards I want to make. Here is a list I combined:

    Cards
    • Drowned Catacomb
    • Glacial Fortress
    • Fog
    • Forest
    • Mountain
    • Island
    • Plains
    • Swamp
    • Sunpetal Grove
    • Rootbound Crag


    I also had a look at the Magic Style guide which you can find here:
    http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazin...gcom/daily/mc3
    and more information about the thinking process of the images: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazin...om/feature/252



    Finished cards:






    To let things started, I choose the Swamp card first.

    SWAMP

    I started with creating some quick thumbnails and made the canvases of the ones that I liked a bit darker:

    Attachment 1308301

    Then I made a small color sketch of one of the thumbnails.

    I currently have only one sketch to show. The plan is to create some more so I (or we ) can choose the best one to work out.

    Attachment 1308302Attachment 1308303Attachment 1308304


    Thank you very much in advance!
    Lino
    Last edited by Lyno; October 5th, 2011 at 03:31 AM.
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  4. #2
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    Hi matey

    I am not sure what to say here as I dont want to upset you or anything, but I am not getting swamp from this image I am getting spikey green mountains, like the cronicles of riddick prison planet environment (but green).
    A swamp has considerably more vegetation and still waters, also if this is going on a playing card you have to give maximum detail in a very small area. do more thumbs size for size and work them up from decent references.Research on a project like this is absoloutely everything.

    All the best with this matey
    Last edited by Lightship69; August 20th, 2011 at 08:49 AM.
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    First off, thanks for linking to that Magic styleguide and image process stuff, great information there.

    You're on the right track doing all those thumbnails - a tip for those, though. Lines are definitely important to composition, but so are the big shapes, the lights and darks. As well as doing these kind of linear thumbs, grab a big marker, and block out some of the major shapes. A grey marker would help as well. The thumbs are just as small and just as quick, but give a better sense of the real shape of the final image. I looked at your SB a bit, and you definitely know what you're doing when it comes to blocking out these kinds of shapes in your finals, so why not do it at this stage?

    The image you've got there is quite nice, compositionally, but as Lightship says, it's not really a swamp. The green stuff has a toxic goo feel, rather than anything natural or even magical. Magic swamps do tend to use a little colour - blues, yellows, purples, and yes, greens - but not this kind of fluorescent green. And while they do have sharp shapes at times, they tend to be somewhat curved, organic ones.
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    Agreed with the above.
    Is the one you selected number 11 on your thumb list? If so i'd say that's one of the less swamp-y looking of the thumbnails.
    Keep working on it. I'm curious how this project will turn out.
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    Though it's nice to see you doing lots of thumbnails (though it might be worth using couple gray values on them too) you repeat the same, spiky, vertical elements a lot in most of those. 99% of them rely on something being spiky and/or going up (usually all the way to the edge of the card), so I would suggest you to, like Lightship said, do bit more research on different types of swamp and explore a bit more in your thumbs.
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    Thank you for the comments and thoughts Lightship69, Revidescent, Gildorek and TinyBird. This is great!

    You're right about that the first thumbnail doesn't look at a swamp at all. Great advice about the colors!
    I kind of lack the discipline to be thinking in the beginning stages of my work. I want to work fast and want to get a nice composition down. The reference part mostly start after I chosen my sketch to work out.

    So normally I would do these in Photoshop but Revidescent gave this nice advice of doing some thumbnails with markers. This is what I've got:

    Attachment 1293411Attachment 1293412

    I'm still looking for a nice mood for this image. We can have the grey / evil desolated swamp or a nice and bright full of live swamp.

    Here are my thoughts about my thumbnails:
    • A: I think this could be a nice scene once worked out, but it doesn't have the feeling of a swamp. The hanging tree is too much in focus.
    • B: This is one of my favorites. It conveys a nice an tranquil swamp early in the morning with cool shadows and warm highlights.
    • C: I think this one has potential. The idea is to have a swamp with big grass that is creating a sort of tunnel
    • D: Here the front tree should be shrinked to get more the feeling of a plain with hanging trees and little vegetation. I like the sky, it creates a nice mood.
    • E: The tree is too much in focus but I like the idea of dark magical forest with a swamp full of rare animals.
    • F: Also a favorite. A foggy swamp with little or no vegetation and life. I the distance you can vaguely see some hills.


    If I would chose, I would go for 'B', because it also has the most depth in it.
    Once a thumbnails has been chosen, I start gathering references and rework the image.

    I'm more than curious to hear everyone's thoughts about this!

    Regards,
    Lino
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    Hello Lyno,

    I can't critique your progress as I am a beginner; but I felt I should mention a download from CA, it is "Sammy Hall's Evoke the Dragon" 2-parter in which he takes the viewer through the process of creating an image. The first part deals excessively with thumbnails and how he uses them, how he takes a pencil thumbnail to the next step, and the step after that. It is quite informative, and still on sale. I can only recommend it.

    -> http://theartdepartment.org/download...oke-the-dragon
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    I like E to be honest. Maybe put in a downed branch foreground element or something to the left and move the focus tree a tad to the right (1/3), but that's the one I would go for.

    When designing your compositions be weary of things like in A and E, where an element is about half-width of the canvas. Just cuts it straight down the middle.
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  11. #9
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    Hey guys, thanks!
    I just bought the Sammy Hall's Evoke the Dragon videos and I'm watching them right now, it looks like great material. Thank you for the suggestion!

    I also wanted to say that I will be away for a couple of days so expect regular updates again later next week.

    Thank you for the support!
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    I'm back and have an update!
    I'm working out 'E' :

    Attachment 1301338 Attachment 1301337

    I still need to create some color contrast too. This image leans too much towards the greens.
    I'm looking forward hearing your thoughts.

    I also wanted to say that I really enjoyed watching Sammy Hall's videos. He thought me that I have to think more about every stroke I'm making.

    Thank you.
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    Wow, look at this versus your first painting- good job here.

    I think it's wise that you're looking at the image at a small scale. It's good to do because they're going to print small, YES, but it's always good to do with an image. An image you can see from across the room (or shrunken digitally) and clearly make out is an image with a strong foundation and shapes that are working to serve your composition. Right now your image is looking really strong when shown smaller and you've begun to establish a sense of depth.

    Right now I'd simply urge you to keep going. Remember the color of the atmosphere, or your "fog" and use that to help push things further back and some things further up, a well as helping you begin to diversify your color palette. Generally I start with a dominant color and change things according to that- it's really not a bad way to begin a painting in my opinion (so I'd say you're fine). Just keep working- and like you said at the bottom- think about everything you're doing.
    Last edited by Quigleyer; August 15th, 2011 at 01:54 PM.
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    Yep I'd agree with that! damn good job, loads better keep it comming through dont relax

    all the best matey
    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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    Thank you both of you!
    Here is my progress:

    Attachment 1301485 Attachment 1301486

    I tried to create more depth by overlapping my forms and I created some 'peeking windows' by creating dark values on lighter values.

    Please met me know what you think!
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