Lava Cathedral
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Thread: Lava Cathedral

  1. #1
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    Lava Cathedral

    Name:  Idea4small.jpg
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    Here's a WIP of a background environment I'm working on at uni for a fighting game project, I need to start making my pieces more interesting. Any ideas on what I could include in this to make it alot more effective?

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    I don’t know. I think for me, it seems like there should be more to explore. You’ve got this nice cathedral type thing, but it just kind of ends at the big door thing at the back. You could try playing with some scaffolding, ladders, or even just adding more detail around the focal point. Everything is sort of at the same level of detail. If you were to really go in and flesh out the design for the door; that might solve your problem too.

    Really cool piece by the way.

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    What David a ray said. The atmosphere is great, but if I were the 3D guy trying to model this, I'd be completely lost--I just can't get any sense of how a human would move around in this space. It's not just about adding detail, it's about defining the structure of the space more clearly, especially the ground-level parts the characters will be interacting with.

    Also, what you've drawn isn't, strictly speaking, a cathedral--it's a Romanesque basilica church with flying buttresses inexplicably attached. The terminology isn't actually important but it seems to me that if you studied actual Gothic architecture a bit more closely, you might come up with forms that possess a bit more drama than what you've got now.

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    Yeah, I came in here expecting to see tall gothic arches and vaulting and all the beautiful stonework that comes with them. I was a bit disappointed to see the rounded arches because they seem to cut off the composition at the top of the picture and leave it feeling cramped.

    It's a cool idea but like others have said, it needs definition and practical purpose. I also think it might be a nice idea to soften things in the background where they might be less defined because of smoke etc, and keep the detail for the middle and foregrounds.

    Hope that helps a little and good luck with it.

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    Hey its looking pretty cool so far. I agree with the above posts on detailing the structure a little more. Maybe if you want it to be more interesting you can add a figure or monster of some sort. Also details such as chains hanging from the ceiling or other props might help bring it to life? You could also add holes in the roof with stone piles or something on the ground.

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    Name:  Idea8 copysmall.jpg
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    Thanks for the feedback guys, I've taken this a bit further now, the people are more placeholders than anything at the moment. I completely agree about making the structure actually more Gothic, that's the idea I was going for and it's definitely what needs to be done.

    The more I look at this the more there's obviously something not right. The statue looks awful and the colours have gone a bit wrong...?

    Last edited by deep_city_lights; November 9th, 2012 at 01:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_city_lights View Post
    The statue looks awful...
    It sure does! Find some reference.

    Also, the piece might benefit if you moved the point of focus (area of highest contrast) to the fighters. Right now there are a lot of "hot spots" pulling the viewer's eye to areas in the background where not much is happening.

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    Hey I was thinking you could make the painting a little more vertical? I also would try to darken it a little and add some lighting on some characters. Anyways I did a quick paint-over to try to help out but Its not that great haha.

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    Here's a few suggestions.
    Name:  Idea8 copysmall_paintover.jpg
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    In general, does the whole world need to be burning? You got burning lava at front, you got huge lights at the back, you got erupting mountains on the background, and then you got a bloody sunset on top of that. Control your focal points, pick one of them you want to emphasize and get rid of or dull the rest. They're stealing each others thunder in a major way. And you generally won't want to have both the background and the foreground burning in the same colors if you actually want to create the feeling of heat. Also lava really isn't that bright in general. Really. It just look bright when everything surrounding it is dark. It does not have white highlights. If you got a sunset behind lava, the lava will look dark.

    I also agree on the drawing side, some more design on the cathedral would be in order. Making the arches taller would give it more of a looming appearance if you want to go for that. Also, as you're going for a dramatic game background maybe you'd like to explain the open archways by having the place falling apart, so rumbling stone blocks, a fallen arch might work.

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    Name:  Ideaca.jpg
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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, been really helpful. I think this is a bit of an improvement, I've taken on your comments over having too many focal points/things going on. Funny how I couldn't notice that by myself, when something just obviously isn't right and it's staring you in the face. There's still a few bugs with this but I think the ideas have improved it somewhat.

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    We all get that, I've painted pictures and not even noticed the ten thousand problems people point out.

    It looks better, though is there anyway you could make the giant figure more interesting? It just looked like a curtain, it would look nice to be more defined.

    I really like that texture of burnt floor/wood on the right though, looks really ashy!

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    It looks pretty good, I love the fire under the stairs. Perhaps you could push the background further away with cool colors? Just an arbitrary thought. My main problem is that it lacks a feeling of awe. If you've ever been in a cathedral, it's very awe inspiring. This doesn't put any wonder in me, there's no nooks and crannys for my eye to explore and wonder what secrets lay within... I think this may be because the ceiling is so bright, and we don't see a source of that brightness. That's why I like the fire under the stairs so much - it's the only evidence of what's casting all this light. What the hell is in the background that's illuminating that area so much??

    Another gripe is the piece tells no story. What is this place? Why are those people fighting? Why are there two random people in the middle of an apparently barren landscape? Doesn't make much sense. I think they serve to confuse, more than anything else. At least for me. >< What if there was just a lone guard there? A long forgotten demon, who stands guard. I'd try and make him sorta faded in with the background, so you notice the landscape first and then notice a giant fire demon in the distance, and go holy shit, that's whats lighting it up! I'm just rambling though Maybe there could be bones scattered on the ground, from a previous fight.

    Overall, it's a well done piece. The things I mentioned are incredibly hard to pull off easily, when you're worrying about all the technical aspects of painting. Try and keep them in mind for the next one though!

    Last edited by clarithium; November 13th, 2012 at 01:25 PM.
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  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjmsaint View Post
    Hey I was thinking you could make the painting a little more vertical? I also would try to darken it a little and add some lighting on some characters. Anyways I did a quick paint-over to try to help out but Its not that great haha.
    This is a great idea - the making it vertical increases the scale and feeling of wonder.

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