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  1. #1
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    Art Test Underway! Need some unbiased eyes!

    UPDATE:
    Finished the piece, and submitted the test! Thanks for your comments everyone and wish me luck! The final image is on the last page.


    Hey everyone!

    Thanks for coming!

    I'm smack dab in the middle of an art test for a big video game studio, and am requesting some backup! If you have any advice or critiques please lay it on me!

    Here's the gist of the brief:

    Paint over the Pre-vis.

    High Fantasy RPG
    Dark, Mysterious, beautiful. Nothing evil or corrupted, but dark with little sunlight. Temperate forest. old abandoned road, with stonehenge-like relics that have glowing elements. Illustrated treatment, without being too cartoonish. colorful, yet wild. a lighted atmosphere. serious, yet attractive.

    Things to watch out for:
    perspective
    layout
    line quality, interesting color palette, creativity, mood, cool characters a plus


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    Last edited by Pat Thompson; February 23rd, 2012 at 01:35 PM.

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  3. #2
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    It's good that you are calculating the perspective and planning the lighting.

    However, you seem to have missed a step here. You've went and colored it before you solved the value composition, and all four of your color sketches ended up as unreadable muddle.

    Make a grayscale sketch of it, just to track the lights and shadows. Make sure all your lights are brighter than the middle value, and all shadows are darker than the middle. Make sure that everything works in grayscale and that the composition is clear and readable. Then you can paint the color in confidence.

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  5. #3
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    Well, I do find it kinda weird that when the brief put emphasis on road, forest and stonehenge-like relics, you draw a huge gate into a dark cave that's the main point of your image and leave the road and forest to about as minimum as possible.

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  7. #4
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    After reading your brief and looking at the concepts, I'm wondering how you came up with the gateway concept. Since the brief first mentions a moody forest and unused road, I would think that's what they most want to see, are you sure your current composition is the best for communicating that? It seems rathers straight forward, actually I wouldn't even think "road" from that picture, since only such a small strip is shown. Are you afraid you're not actually good at drawing the organic things, so you latch on to the inorganic part? Since the stonehenge part of the brief makes me think of something ancient, added to the unused road, your gateway seems pretty new and untouched by time. Some collapsed and eroded parts, mosses growing over, partly buried would seem more logical.

    I like the first gate best, it seems to communicate the beautiful and mysterious, others seem more plain scary in nature.

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  9. #5
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    Just me - if that were my brief, I'd be looking for different roads and plant life, not just a different front of the same gate posted onto the same background six times. To me, that screams that the creator's concepting is lacking.

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  11. #6
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    What Suncut and MiniGoth said.

    Plus, free advice: when the brief says "Nothing evil or corrupted," and five of the six concepts you hand in feature evil-looking monsters (four of them with glowing eyes), that's basically hanging a sign around your own neck saying, "I Can't Take Direction."

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  13. #7
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    And so now onto the content! Keep in mind, this first ones are quickies, and done before my 3 point perspective grid was up and running.

    6 Initial Gateway Concepts/Sketches

    The main area (forest + road) is temporary, right now focusing on main element. Main area will most likely feature a stonehendge type of layout, which I'll have up in the next post of wips.

    Name:  final 6 gates comparer_1400px2.jpg
Views: 590
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    3 Point Perspective & Composition Grid

    This is what I'm using to build my composition. The 3 point perspective is being garnered from what I can ascertain from the pre-vis image. For the composition, I'm using a combination of fibonacci spirals, fitted into a Rule of Thirds grid, with a central fibonacci golden mean spiral being placed in the main focus area, locked into the upper-right 2/3rds. I'm also going to try to have it fit a bit into a horizontal A/V pattern (groups of shapes, colors, and values into these areas).


    Name:  3pp_grids_together_chart2.jpg
Views: 437
Size:  414.5 KB


    So what do you guys think? Which sketch is your favorite? Any critiques are welcome! I'll be posting a wip daily for the next week, so come by and watch it progress and grow!

    {Pasted the above in here so clean up the top and get a better thumbnail}


    Thanks for the great advice guys! I'm really grateful for it! I honestly was expecting a reply or two, but got quite a few! You all rock!

    @Arenhaus: Yes, I totally agree that I need to go back into a grey-scale and work with the values. That'll be where I head with it today. The current environment was a quick sketch to accompany the gates, so it was a more like a place-holder with my basic idea sketched in.

    @Tiny Bird: The road will definitely receive more attention today. I have yet to really concentrate my firepower on it as of yet, but later tonight I'll have up some wips of the road. I spent most of my time on generating some gate sketches and handling the soon-to-be-drawn Stonehenge perspective, which will be a key feature of the road area.

    @SunCut: On the issue of me currently focusing on the gate, I think you're right about that I should make sure that main focus remains the forest/road aspect, meaning that I should chose a gate style that is kind of chilled. It's not that I'm afraid of organics at all, actually, I was just tackling the thing that I don't like first - inorganic objects

    @Minigoth: thanks for the advice. I'm still in the midst of concepting, and the road/forest concepts are coming today. As was said, yesterday's focus was on the inorganics, and preparing for their perspectives.

    @Giacomo: On the evil/corrupted issue, I didn't think that most of them felt evil, but if that's what you're reading then I might have to rethink the issue of glowing eyes. The dude in 5 and 6 is Cernunnos, the Celtic God of the Forest and the Wilds. I'll try to make him less scary-looking, maybe give him some more goofy Green Man aspects. The trolls were going to have a more goofy feel, like those of Jon Bauer (image link)

    Thanks again for those critiques guys! The main thing I'm taking away from this round of comments is: focus on the dang road, hit up the greyscale, and make the gate less scary and prominent (which means I'm eyeing #1 & #6).

    Check back in tonight for wip 2!

    Last edited by Pat Thompson; February 18th, 2012 at 07:35 PM.

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  14. #8
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    I might note that the colours and dark, black shadows also contribute to the overall feel of the image, which may render the trolls and other things much more meaner and evil looking than you mean them to be, or what they would look like in more lit/less shadowy or lighter colour scheme. Remember that "dark" doesn't need to mean "lots of dramatic black shadows".
    If you don't have already, I'd scourge Google Images for lots of mood images from forests that fit the theme.

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  16. #9
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    Wip 2a & 2b!

    Somehow ended up running out of time, didn't get a chance to quite finished the wip2b, but the basic idea is there. will do 2 more greyscale versions tomorrow, then will need to choose one. 5 days remain!

    Name:  pk_wip2a.jpg
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    Name:  pk_wip2b.jpg
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  17. #10
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    I prefer the first image much more. It hits the "forest" and "abandoned" looks much more. The second looks too clean and modern in all ways (no forest, no grown bushes, modern looking tiles in the wall, pretty modern [and fairly non-referenced] looking house, etc which all makes it look like someone's back yard) and it's bit weird to have something that look like a "holy place" in the middle of the road where someone walks over it.

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  19. #11
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    I wouldnt worry about all this Golden mean Fibonacci stuff, it sounds kooky and hasnt resulted in a dynamic composition so isnt working very well anyway.

    You could do worse than looking at as much excellent work as you possibly can to benchmark your stuff, thats often a lot more helpful than me saying that tree is a funny shape or that rock could be better.

    Ive gathered a load of stuff I think is top notch for my own convenience here which might be useful..

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=226778

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  21. #12
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    What Velocity said about abandoning all that Fibonacci bullsh*t.

    Also, both your new sketches still--to me--feel pretty "evil" and "corrupted" and not at all "mysterious" or "beautiful". The main reason for this, in my opinion, is that you're banging in big shapes (those giant stone penises in the top one made me snicker) with a really heavy hand rather than taking the time to work out any details that might give the scene some mystery or beauty...you might do well to slow waay down and think through the designs a bit more.

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  23. #13
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    hehehe, I know that test.

    Have you ask if you could request out-side assistance prior to posting this here? Seems to me they'll also want to test your good judgement and your ability to understand direction and briefs quickly as well as your own ability to be self critical.

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