Tastes boring. Add some flavour.
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Thread: Tastes boring. Add some flavour.

  1. #1
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    Tastes boring. Add some flavour.

    Hey,

    I'm wondering what I can do to add more interest to this scene. It feels a little contrived and stale. I'd also appreciate any other fixes that might be necessary.

    Thanks in advance.

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    I'm crap at environments, but I'd say it's because the values are all clustered in the middle. Darker darks (even letting things go in the shadows), lighter lights...and the most brilliant light of all where you want the interest to go. Which I assume is that railcar thingie. This is, like, two minutes playing with dodge and burn:

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    Yeah you can definitly play more with shadows. According to the lighting, the sun isn't strait at the top in the sky, it feel mire like it's an afternoon scene... So a large part of the left in the picture can be shadowed, same thing about the floor under the bridge... As Stoat already said, that will allow you to play with light to push some art as center of interest....

    Also, there is nothing moving except the moto-rail. But I can imagine with the trash here and there some wind would push paper or dust. You can definitly add some clouds of dirts and flying paper/trash. You can use the moto to create the source of the wind, I suppose it go very fast so it will definitly create a wave of wind behind...

    Anyway I like the abandonned city it looks

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    Hey, I agree with everyone, you need to get a good sense of light and shadow in the piece. All your lights seems to be very similar and local, add some depth using peering lights in tandem with darker values. Here is a quick mockup using the soft brush which is great for lighting. Other then that, your environment has a good potential. I think if you really want to push this environment further, you should think deeper, in terms of the the time or day the piece is shown in, morning, afternoon, cloudy etc. They all have a different range of lights and values that are common, deciding on the typical weather or atmosphere should help give it flavor.

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    Thank you for the helpful comments. It really made me notice how off the shadow values were and got me thinking about some lighting possibilities.

    Here's a small update with a rough idea of the lighting. I think it needs to be a little darker still but I'm worried about overdoing the contrast. I'm definitely going to add the flying trash and such later for a bit of added motion. (need to consider that the railcar isn't in contact with the streets so dust might not get swept up as much?)

    I'll be back later.

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    The flying trash is a great idea. In dirty environments like this, there are all sorts of particulates in the air, variously shadowed or lit up by the sun. Here's James Gurney on the topic of "confetti."

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    In my opinion, you can add all the shadows, lens flares, dust, sunspots, confetti, flying trash, and adjustment layers you want and it's still gonna be pretty damn boring and formulaic. If it were me, I'd make the monorail a LOT more prominent and more detailed (JPEG below of possible scale for the thing.) Monorails are, at least potentially, interesting; empty generic near-future urban landscapes are, in general, not.

    As always, just my two cents.

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  13. #8
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    Nice update, it's help to understand the lighting, and so the environment

    You should not be afraid about contrasts, they help a lot the understanding and point what you want to show or not... Plus do not forget what eyes can't see, imagination create it, shadows are great for storytelling because they add the mystery part in images, the "untell story" every viewer will create himself !

    Even if the moto isn't on a road, they are probably some dust on the rails themselves, and an object move air, no matter if it's flying or not so it will create an airflow. But as Stoat said, flying dirt/trash/birds can be pushed by another element (wind, static air, fan...) that will create a life illusion.

    The other problem may be that the moto is in the central aera of the picture. You can maybe to a quick test and place it more on the right side, maybe as an object currently going to the background instead of going to the foreground... That's just an idea, I'm not very good at composition but I hope it can give you an idea to solve your problem

    Ho and I wanted to add : even in a very monochromic landscape, light and shadow have colors, I tried bluish the shadow a little and push the saturation for the colored elements like the moto. Iused the shadow to hide elements that was distracting... Hope that can help you ?

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    Last edited by Griffonnage; January 27th, 2013 at 06:35 PM.
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    I would suggest you get rid of those pillar or redesign them into more interesting shape, by far it's the weakest part of image and its killing the overall composition since it right on the middle and tangled with your main subject.

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    I agree with the above, also, add stuff that overlaps each other to add more of an interest so it's not perfectly straight/ one point perspective.

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  19. #11
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    Thank you everyone. Your comments and suggestions are all highly appreciated.

    Here's another update.

    I got rid of the pillars since I couldn't come up with a design that looked like it would work without looking too sci-fi or taking up too much room. I tried to incorporate the other suggestions as well. Making the subject element bigger is definitely a good piece of advice and one that I often neglect in my images. It's given me some ideas for further images that I might turn into thumbnails. Thank you giacomo.

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    Oh wow, rotating the image did a lot of good! I would up the contrast with the sky, the muddy greyish blue of it is not particularly punchy. Taking out the pillars worked well too.

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  21. #13
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    Odd choice, you've picked to show us the boring bit over the interesting bit (IMO)
    The multi layer monorail system looks more interesting to me, rather than the blank wall.
    Your perspective is off as well.

    Repeat items in your picture to help push the scale and imply distance.
    The thing is when you're using this type of view, you're actually guiding the viewers eye to a direct point (the point of focus) - so give us something to look at (even if its a bright light)
    If you want to sell the 'overgrown city' feel - put in some nature, you'll be surprised at how quickly plants will overrun streets & derelict buildings (check out pictures of Detroit)
    Here's how I would handle it, hope it helps you out somehow

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    I think I prefer post #5/#8 over post #11, the angle on #11 hurts my head a little, not sure how to explain it, sort of like accidentally taking a picture whilst the camera falls angle. Might just be my opinion though as Pavel seems to like it. You should definitely look at Venger's paint over.

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  24. #15
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    Venger: I'd like to thank you. Hard.

    It took me a while to figure out what exactly your paintover showed me but I think the main thing is that I need to think more carefully about what I'm going to show in an image before getting to work on the final image. This means thumbnails.

    The way I approached my image was to add and remove details here and there until I ended up with this. I initially had a fairly boring car on an even more boring road. Working in this way didn't let me realise that the monorail system could become the focus of the scene and so I stuck quite rigidly to my original layout.

    In the end, if I had worked out some more possibilities beforehand I might have arrived at a more interesting subject matter. Thanks for showing me what my image could have been.

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    i did this before i saw vengers points, but i entriely agree with his comments and kickass PO

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    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; January 28th, 2013 at 02:52 PM.
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  27. #17
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    I like that VK
    Changes the picture entirely, but I like it

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    Lol just miss some "Stark enterprise" logo somewhere and we could have the iron-man-metro :p

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  30. #19
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    did you know in the UK its law for all trains to have the front and back painted yellow?
    not sure if everyones favourite billionaire playboy had anything to do with it tho..

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  32. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    did you know in the UK its law for all trains to have the front and back painted yellow?
    Unless its a steam train, not a good look for Thomas…

    Perfect! haha

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    did you know in the UK its law for all trains to have the front and back painted yellow?
    Oh ? No, I didn't knew that it's funny ! Thanks for the little information & the logo ahahah.

    Anyway, to say something in the topic again (sorry for the off topic ^^) I really really like what you two did as proposal.

    I'm maybe wrong, but at the first images Jondawo show I really feel something like an "far-west modern town" I mean, looking at the mood, I was imaginatiing it's a city somewhere into a desert, with technologie and sand, light spot and dirts, cow boys and flying moto... I do not know what the autor will choose, but I hope this mood will remain, that was kind of original by contrast with the "classical" futurist city

    Anyway, I'm really looking forward about what will be the next step

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  36. #22
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    Here's a reboot.
    I really dig both of those paintover ideas but I tried to stick with my original theme and develop it a little more. So it's a mix of cowboy western and sci-fi rail systems. I'm thinking of the monorail system as a revolution for a small town, just as the actual railways were. Then there was the obvious problem of crossing the street. Hence the bridges which seem a bit ludicrous without any obvious way of getting up or down from the rooftops.

    I'll work on it some more tomorrow probably.

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  38. #23
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    Oh my... I really like your reboot ! keep going !

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  39. #24
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    Nice! I dont get the super deep trench, it seems completely out of place (how is it lit, why is it empty, what is it for?) but the values and the way youve painted the tram look really nice.
    rather than have it going along a trench, why not have it running along the edge of something?

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  41. #25
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    You're going to need some hovering space cows floating in the empty space with cowboys on hover bikes driving them into town…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    You're going to need some hovering space cows floating in the empty space with cowboys on hover bikes driving them into town…
    Best comment I've read on this site so far.

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  45. #27
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    It takes years of training and practice to come up with ideas like that!

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    Ahahaha yeah flying cow !

    I think the middle hole can stay... If it's more like a canyon, something natural create by a schism I think it can add a lot to the story. Currently it's something that look handmade and do not justify itself, it break a bit the "far west" mood.

    Maybe you can make the monorail on top, just under the bridges and not on the floor ? And let people walk into the street ?

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  48. #29
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    Something like this?

    I do like the idea but think that takes the focus away from the vehicles. It would require a new composition. I did a quick thumbnail. Makes my brain hurt a bit.

    VK: Awesome stuff mate. Thinking of some new ideas along those lines.

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    This is the best thread I've seen in the crit section for a while. Such amazing art, including yours, OP.

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