City in the sky - need feedback on concept

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  1. #1
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    City in the sky - need feedback on concept

    Been working on this piece for a good while, though it may look like a speedpaint... Right now I'm kind of stuck, and I really would appreciate some feedback before I go on and add the last fine details and call it finished.

    This is something I want to use in my portfolio, so all crits are appriciated.

    Name:  City_in_the_sky_WIP.jpg
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    Edit: Attachments seem to heavily reduce size. Here's a link to a high-res version: http://mathlein.se/Teo/images/City_in_the_sky_WIP.jpg

    Last edited by TeoM; September 19th, 2012 at 11:47 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Looks OK....the atmosphere and lighting are nice but I think adding some more detail (actually, a LOT more detail) on the background buildings would really help to sell it. That's not to say you need to work out every single pillar and archway on every single building, but right now everything in the background feels kind of...scribbly.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the advice Giacomo! I did have a bit more detail in the background earlier, but I decided to redo the lighting and had to paint over most of it.That's why I wanted to look for feedback now, so I wouldn't spend any more time on fine details before the composition and lighting work as a whole.

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    I like the concept. To me because the diagonals/triangle of the floating city shape mass kinda end at where you've got the horizontal of the cloud mass/sun rays, it kinda gets anchored there. Making it look like it's sitting on the cloud, not floating over it. Maybe drop the cloud level and add a bit more atmosphere haze to the underneath of the rock?

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  6. #5
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    Thanks a lot, fes! I tried what you suggested, and it immediately looked a bit less flat.

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  7. #6
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    It doesn't look like a speedpaint. I would make the topmost buildings less lumpy. Also that wedge of white on the underside of the island is damaging the composition. I would just pull it out.

    ---- -
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  8. #7
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    Your lighting doesn't make sense, but I think that can wait till a bit later. I think first off you should change the framing to a more letterbox feel, which would give this a feature film environment feel to it. It would also allow you room to create something specific for us to look at.... like an airship, flying puma, whatever.

    I would also recommend tightening up your lines in the background a bit so your verticals are cleaner, giving the BG a stronger feel of structure rather than lazy architects. The topmost buildings are good examples of that. Some of them feel like they could fall over at any moment.

    Another thing that I think could add a lot more life to the piece (other than figuring out where your sun is) is to add cloth around the world. Curtains in windows, Door covers, flags, awnings to block some of that sun, etc will make it feel a bit more "lived in".

    Also, where are the people? No one lives here? Is it completely abandoned?

    Lastly (for now), watch your blacks. Right now your darkest darks are the door, windows and that corner, each of which draws our eyes to it. I would create a bit of a world in the windows, hint that something exists there. Even if you leave it dark, just add something so it is not pure black. You can also take some of that dark and bring it through the rest of the piece. Keep in mind atmospheric perspective as things fall back in space to give more feeling of depth, but remember to keep in mind how light falls and the shadows that would be cast on the underside of those cliff faces.

    I hope that helps, I remember seeing this when you first posted it.

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  9. #8
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    Izi, Bai Fan: Thanks a lot for the feedback!
    Bai Fan, you're absolutely right about the lighting, I can't belive I didn't realize that earlier. Feels like that will be the most strenuous issue to fix... I'll experiment a bit with letterbox framing as well.. And clean up the lines in the background.
    Oh, and the people, they are all gone The city is abandoned, I want it to have a kind of "paradise lost" feel.

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  10. #9
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    Did they leave quickly? Did they get snatched away by aliens? Did they leave anything behind? It seems a bit "sterile" to be a city where people lived. you might also think about adding some wear from weather. Are they above the clouds or do they ever get rain? If there were rain, there could be gutters, which could help lead to some sort of sculptural work.

    I think the main part of creating an environmental piece (other than setting a mood) is to tell the story of the environment.


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