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  1. #1
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    need help making it work

    I can't figure this out. I know there needs to be reflected light from the red glow of the dying soldier, but I can't imagine how I can pull it off. Also the flames and smoke need improvement. As does just about everything because it isn't coming together. How can I take this to the next level?

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    I know it doesn't look like it, but the soldier is supposed to be crawling on the ground. I don't know if I am supposed to use a shadow or what because he's glowing red light (not to mention on fire).

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  3. #3
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    I don't think you can't fix it by tweaking it. You need to rethink the whole lighting scheme from scratch. In fact, you need to replan this from scratch; lighting is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Your primary mistake was taking the lazy route and using photos (and possibly 3D models) for the background, planes and the fire. So nothing matches anything else. The bland daytime lighting on the ground, the wrong perspective on the planes, the mismatch between the scale of the grass and the skeleton, the mismatch between the sharp photographic detail and the mushily painted elements, the mismatch between the day-lit backdrop and the fire photographed in the dark which makes the fire darker than the grass... should I go on?

    The picture must work as a cohesive whole. You can't patch together random photo clips and hope it to work. So go back to thumbnail sketches.

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  5. #4
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    As you can see here, fire is not nearly bright enough to affect shadows much during the day:
    http://www.picable.com/Nature/Fire/May-Day-Fire.24638

    This photo might help you because it has similar lighting conditions:
    http://leadcreatively.wordpress.com/...-flamethrower/

    But yeah, as an overall thing the photo pastiche looks awfully fake.

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  7. #5
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    gfx,

    I know you see photo-real stuff and you want realistic art but there are no shortcuts. You have to learn to draw. And fot god's sake, don't ever go to deviantart again--its a really bad influence!

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    Well gee, I would like to think of myself as someone who isn't a complete amateur at drawing :p . Look through my post history to see my drawings and tell me what you think (some of the threads need bumping anyway).

    The problem here is that my boss wants a poster...not just a work of concept art. I haven't asked yet, but I'm fairly sure he doesn't have the budget yet to hire a photographer to take pictures for me to tinker with in photoshop.

    I CAN draw, but just not at this level yet: need help making it work

    In fact very few people in the world can do that, including yourself most likely. At least, without a photo reference that is.

    This is my reference:

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    that was your reference? i understand now...
    looks like an awful pc game cover from the 90'
    You have to ask yourself, look at that ref again, it looks horrible yeah?
    Then why you used it?
    What i´m trying to say is, you have to be your own critic, it is hard sometimes but dont give up.

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    As others have said, the photo collage simply will not work. I don't know about the specifications, but is it really necessary for 4 completely differently style aircraft to be in the scene at the same time?

    Research lighting, and gather references. I made an edit and didn't actually have to change much at all in terms of placement of the soldier.

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  12. #9
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    Okay, here's the first draft of the poster. Sorry for editing the title, but I should probably get approval from my boss before I share the name of this project. I owe a lot to The Pariano for pointing me in the right direction. Thank you!

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    The director didn't want the ships to be seen, so here is yet another draft

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    What?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfxtwin View Post
    What?
    It's spam, ignore it.


    Well, I must say, this is ten times better than what you started with.

    I'm not sure why you changed the main laser beam, it was much better when it was in the center of the composition—it was the perfect way to show the perspective and connect the dead soldier with the ships in the sky.

    It's glaringly obvious that you just duplicated the aircraft. Stop doing that. It takes longer to copy, paste, scale, and rotate than it does to actually paint in a new one! And the perspective should be different on each one anyway.

    Get some reference for the fallen soldier. The proportions of the arms are very wrong, and the rib cage is far too thick. Some indication of the lower half of his body would be good too.

    The landscape still needs some work. I'm sure you just haven't gotten to it yet, but just get some reference and find something interesting and natural to do with it.

    You still have something to learn from The Pariano's excellent paintover. If you look at his image in thumbnail size, he's broken it down into large masses of distinct values. Yours is a bit more confused. Specifically you need to separate the sky from the ground. You've made them very similar values at the horizon, which kills the depth and makes your image harder to look at.

    Given the time of day you're showing, you're still overstating the light from the fire. Though if you changed things so it was evening, here's some reference for you: http://www.mjsphotographyonline.com/...74_t3T6a-L.jpg

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    Why are they on a really manicured lawn?

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    Well, I must say, this is ten times better than what you started with.

    Lol, that's for sure.



    I'm not sure why you changed the main laser beam, it was much better when it was in the center of the composition—it was the perfect way to show the perspective and connect the dead soldier with the ships in the sky.

    I liked it better too, but the director wanted the ships to be obscured. Think I should still keep the laser beam the way it was but make it emit from a ship in the smoke/clouds?



    It's glaringly obvious that you just duplicated the aircraft. Stop doing that. It takes longer to copy, paste, scale, and rotate than it does to actually paint in a new one! And the perspective should be different on each one anyway.

    Roger that.



    Get some reference for the fallen soldier. The proportions of the arms are very wrong, and the rib cage is far too thick. Some indication of the lower half of his body would be good too.


    How can I show the lower half when those flame obscure everything behind the soldier (and the director still wants more!)? Also would it help if I moved the image up and showed the soldier's arm on the ground, a bit foreshortened, with his fingers sprawled toward the camera?



    The landscape still needs some work. I'm sure you just haven't gotten to it yet, but just get some reference and find something interesting and natural to do with it.

    It needs to be a lawn because this webseries will film in Texas and the locations of the battles will be sprawling lawns (which it what you call a battlefield for a war movie in Texas when you are on a micro budget!). But maybe I should throw in some tanks, corpses, and pieces of metal from destroyed aircrafts, eh?



    You still have something to learn from The Pariano's excellent paintover. If you look at his image in thumbnail size, he's broken it down into large masses of distinct values. Yours is a bit more confused. Specifically you need to separate the sky from the ground. You've made them very similar values at the horizon, which kills the depth and makes your image harder to look at.


    Will fix. Thanks!



    Given the time of day you're showing, you're still overstating the light from the fire. Though if you changed things so it was evening, here's some reference for you: http://www.mjsphotographyonline.com/...74_t3T6a-L.jpg

    I don't understand. Should I make the lighting from the fire brighter? It is mid day, but the sky is almost completely blotted out with smoke and dark clouds from the alien invasion and the chaos of battle.

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    Think I should still keep the laser beam the way it was but make it emit from a ship in the smoke/clouds?
    Yes.


    How can I show the lower half when those flame obscure everything behind the soldier (and the director still wants more!)? Also would it help if I moved the image up and showed the soldier's arm on the ground, a bit foreshortened, with his fingers sprawled toward the camera?
    Yeah, I said get some reference. I mean something like this or this might help. Look around, there's a bunch more on the interwebs. Even pictures of babies crawling could be useful. As for the cropping on the forward arm, that's your call I'd say, try it and see how it looks. It could certainly work either way.

    Another thing about the soldier: is he a zombie? Have you looked at reference for charred bodies? If he was burnt enough that you can see his skull like that, he would be very, very dead. Left on a bonfire for at least an hour sort of dead. Though I understand if you're showing it that way for dramatic effect. I'm just making sure you're taking license for a purpose and not out of ignorance.



    It needs to be a lawn because this webseries will film in Texas and the locations of the battles will be sprawling lawns (which it what you call a battlefield for a war movie in Texas when you are on a micro budget!). But maybe I should throw in some tanks, corpses, and pieces of metal from destroyed aircrafts, eh?
    OK. But that doesn't invalidate the crit. A quick search for "texas fields" (or even "sprawling lawn") comes up with more interesting things than you have. And yeah, more war stuff would be good. Maybe some charred spots.


    I don't understand. Should I make the lighting from the fire brighter? It is mid day, but the sky is almost completely blotted out with smoke and dark clouds from the alien invasion and the chaos of battle.
    OK, well you may be right. In my experience even dim natural light is much brighter than a bonfire. But no use wondering, find some reference.

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    I forget that these death rays are supposed to totally destroy everything they com into contact with. Instead of being on fire in only one spot while the rest is still somehow charred/meting, I wanted to show why the rest would be charred/melting. I still need to mess with the planes, but am I getting closer?

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    Wow, I must say it's incredible how much the piece has progressed.

    My two cents: Star thinking about the font for the "Death comes..." text or it will be a headache later.

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    I'm starting to hit the wall. The whole thing has a hazy look to it and I can't tell if it makes it a) cooler looking/more epic, b) confusing (where does the smoke end and the clouds/background smoke begin? or c) like bad 80's videogame boxart. I actually wouldn't mind the third as much as the second.

    I've still got to erase and re-draw two of the planes. But I'm not sure where to begin in terms of making it look more lifelike. The outstretched arm is maddening.

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    Would it be better if I scrapped the idea of the alien ships being veiled by ominous mix of clouds/smoke/haze of war and made the lasers emit from the top of the page? I can't tell if I've illustrated my idea clearly enough. I might still keep the background, and could just paint over the red dots and make the lasers come down from the top of the page. Or I could do that and paint a basic cloudy sky. Does the idea work? And is it illustrated clearly? Is it possible to differentiate between the smoke in the foreground and the smokey/cloudy background?

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    I know it's not photoreal, lol. If it ends up looking like a stylized concept art painting, I'm fine with that. I just want to convey the illustration clearly at this point. I've made a few short cuts, yes, (like c/p the planes after repainting one, using pariano's paintover idea as inspiration) but the vast majority of what you see is painted by hand (well, by mouse). What other shortcuts am I taking that I could avoid? Using pre- shaped brushed? Professionals do it all the time. I'm not going to paint like Caravaggio any time soon (if ever), but if I can at least make the image look more like some sort of a professional conceptual illustration, I'll aim for that. It just doesn't look right to me in terms of it simply making sense, visually.

    Do you have any advice for how to improve it?

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    I think if you have the lasers coming in from off the page it could be really bad for the composition. I'd also suggest having the laser light the cloud around it as well which would give it a feeling of having some volume. One more thing I can think of, if you have the laser bursting through the guy and striking the ground under and to the right of his head it would give it more power (it would make you think the laser is so powerful it can cut through someone and set them on fire, instead of just really hot). There is some amazing improvement in the image though

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    Quote Originally Posted by LJFHutch View Post
    I think if you have the lasers coming in from off the page it could be really bad for the composition. I'd also suggest having the laser light the cloud around it as well which would give it a feeling of having some volume. One more thing I can think of, if you have the laser bursting through the guy and striking the ground under and to the right of his head it would give it more power (it would make you think the laser is so powerful it can cut through someone and set them on fire, instead of just really hot). There is some amazing improvement in the image though
    I thought about that, but I'm not sure it would work since the lasers are emitting from ships behind the clouds. maybe make the lasers less bright as though further in a haze and make the refractions of light appear around the laser beams, Hmmm.

    That's a good second idea. I'll run it by the director because while it might make the image cooler, I think his plan is for the laser to make people light on fire, melt, and spontaneously combust into ash within a few seconds. He might still let me use it though.

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    Okay, I feel like I've given it 85%-90% of what I can give at the moment. I still need to improve some things and add detail here and there, but as far as the image itself, it's not going to look drastically different I suppose so I'll move on shortly. So could you guys just post your impressions of it? Like if you saw this hanging on a wall or on the cover of a dvd, graphic novel or videogame, what would you think? What emotions (if any) would you have and what other images or artists would it remind you of? Be honest. If some aspects are corny (I personally think it has that late 80's-early 90's videogame cover look) let me know and say why. For the most part, it is what it is. I just want to know exactly what that...erm...is. Because right now it doesn't say "movie poster"to me, but that's just me.

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    Okie dokie, made some of the changes, how does it look?

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    Last edited by gfxtwin; July 24th, 2012 at 05:47 PM.
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    My eyes are all over the place with this image!

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    its 50 shitzillion times better than the Ghana Movie-esque original, but yeah the composition is hurting my brain.


    top tip, if you want to get jets looking realistic, look at some videos of them flying over.
    that way you get tonnes of different angles to choose from.

    I think you cant work this one anymore, id start over with a strong composition, using what you learned on this one. itll take half as long and be 4 times as good.
    it kind of reminds me of those awesome Ron Embleton paintings at the end of captain scarlett, which were only on screen for a few seconds, but had loads of impact and told lots of story. see what you think:

    need help making it work
    need help making it work
    need help making it work
    need help making it work
    need help making it work

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  30. #27
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    Man! He used reference for them paintings!



    Nice!

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    "My eyes are all over the place with this image!"

    Most of it's probably because the lasers are. Let me know it's easier to look at now or not, please.

    Velocity: You're probably right. If I started over it would be better. I didn't do any thumbnails and I guess it shows. If my boss gives me more time I will look at that option. Thanks to the comparison to those paintings! I was going for a pulpy B-movie feel.


    Alright, I made some minor changes that hopefully addressed some crits.

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  32. #29
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    his arm still looks wrong. i suggest googling terms like crawling zombie and man reaching up, etc till you get some reference to help you.

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    which one? lol

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