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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    A few comments that pop up in my head right away (I'll get round to doing an OP a bit later)
    1: Why would they store an artefact on a tree branch, or is it a canteen of water - either way, whats that got to do with 'survival'?
    2: Why has she got an ice axe in the middle of a jungle?

    I'm not getting any danger or any real tension from the way you've handled this shot. Try to push the danger - what will happen to her if she fails, try to find a way of showing it to us.
    Extreme perspective could work, show us the drop, double up on the danger.
    The vine she's holding onto is about to pull away from the wall, the stone her foot is resting on is about to crumble…
    What do you think of a tilted horizon? I believe it adds drama to scene. Exemple:
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  2. #32
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    Now I did a large paintover trying to show tension, then I thought that its too 'Lara Croft-y', it's a much later style for Lara, when she's a really 'annoying-to-control' treasure hunter.
    I'm not sure if that's the type of 'survival' the new game is going for…
    Is it a more 'take on a pride of lions with a bow and a pointy stick' type of survival?

    As for the angled horizon - not enough, 2/3rds of this picture is static and could be cut.
    However, if instead of a horizon, we were looking down a gorge and there was a raging river at the bottom… (and I mean 'straight down' a gorge)

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  4. #33
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    Check out pulp comics - Tarzan by Frazetta, Roy Krenkel and others.
    Check out Daryl Mandryk's blog - scroll through for some wonderful dynamics.

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  6. #34
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    hmm i had a go but it failed because you cant really see the character. i guess the point was up the ante; make the vertical cliff an overhang, move the sun so its in you and her eyes, etc. push the envelope through the max, etc. also, because this tomberaider is clearly trying to appeal to fans of hunger games, she doesnt need to be all tits out, shes more like a tough female role model than a sex symbol. its a subtle difference but i guarantee you 99000% of the entrants wil be young men and most will miss this fact, and so fail. my 2c.
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  8. #35
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    Couple of scribbles for you -
    I stuck a photo of a canyon (photographer Liz Rogers) underneath your sketch and quickly redrew your Lara - its the same scene but I pushed up (to me) the danger somewhat.
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    Here's my tension sketch - she doesn't quite fit in the scene, but then I'm not entering the competition so I don't really have to worry about it.
    Either way, you need to sell the story through her and what she's doing - so really make her reach for it…

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    Last edited by Venger; February 11th, 2013 at 11:50 PM. Reason: updated sketch - arm was bugging me…changed the leg
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  10. #36
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    THATS the one. the second one is awesome.

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    At the risk of starting a flame war, Dread Reaper's version of 9 Feb (however clumsy) is working much better for me in terms of getting the story across than Venger's reinvention of the scene. Dread Reaper's original version, I think, shows the difficulty and danger of trying to grab something whilst hanging off a cliff. Venger's version is drifting perilously close to looking like a poster for a modern-dance company--the gesture and the perspective are SO stylized for the sake of drama that the actual narrative of the picture is, in my opinion, kind of lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    At the risk of starting a flame war, Dread Reaper's version of 9 Feb (however clumsy) is working much better for me in terms of getting the story across than Venger's reinvention of the scene. Dread Reaper's original version, I think, shows the difficulty and danger of trying to grab something whilst hanging off a cliff. Venger's version is drifting perilously close to looking like a poster for a modern-dance company--the gesture and the perspective are SO stylized for the sake of drama that the actual narrative of the picture is, in my opinion, kind of lost.
    Lol, I can see what you mean. I prefer the first picture with the canyon anyway. I think her struggle to reach where ever she has to shouldn't be as...what's the word...glorified? Like not made to look like as pretty, I guess. Since they also seem to in the game have steered away from that prettiness, it's her first time doing all this, she will mess things up, do things awkwardly and wrong.

    I was looking through some google pictures, little similar to what you're doing OP:



    Lara looking not pretty and professional:



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  13. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    At the risk of starting a flame war, Dread Reaper's version of 9 Feb (however clumsy) is working much better for me in terms of getting the story across than Venger's reinvention of the scene. Dread Reaper's original version, I think, shows the difficulty and danger of trying to grab something whilst hanging off a cliff. Venger's version is drifting perilously close to looking like a poster for a modern-dance company--the gesture and the perspective are SO stylized for the sake of drama that the actual narrative of the picture is, in my opinion, kind of lost.
    Ha! Ha! Now you're mentionning the ballet reference.... ;-) More seriously, I'm more annoyed by his background than by the Lara position. I don't really understand what's going on. If I had to make a guess I'd say background is an upward view but I'm not so sure.
    If I had to use it, I would use the Venger's Lara (with a different right leg position intermediate between Dread Reaper and Venger's version) on the Dread Reaper tilted background. BTW I like the idea of liana as point of anchorage, it suits very well to Lara Croft world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    A few comments that pop up in my head right away (I'll get round to doing an OP a bit later)
    1: Why would they store an artefact on a tree branch, or is it a canteen of water - either way, whats that got to do with 'survival'?
    2: Why has she got an ice axe in the middle of a jungle?

    I'm not getting any danger or any real tension from the way you've handled this shot. Try to push the danger - what will happen to her if she fails, try to find a way of showing it to us.
    Extreme perspective could work, show us the drop, double up on the danger.
    The vine she's holding onto is about to pull away from the wall, the stone her foot is resting on is about to crumble…
    Your absolutely right about the tension aspect, I could really add more crumbling rocks or whatnot, or maybe have her hanging onto a vine that's tearing away from the wall or something. All excellent suggestions, and I agree I could he doing more to push that.

    As for the ice ax, I have no idea, its just a part of the game and its her main tool for puzzle solving and combat, hence I wanted to include it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Now I did a large paintover trying to show tension, then I thought that its too 'Lara Croft-y', it's a much later style for Lara, when she's a really 'annoying-to-control' treasure hunter.
    I'm not sure if that's the type of 'survival' the new game is going for…
    Is it a more 'take on a pride of lions with a bow and a pointy stick' type of survival?

    As for the angled horizon - not enough, 2/3rds of this picture is static and could be cut.
    However, if instead of a horizon, we were looking down a gorge and there was a raging river at the bottom… (and I mean 'straight down' a gorge)
    That gives me an idea..

    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    hmm i had a go but it failed because you cant really see the character. i guess the point was up the ante; make the vertical cliff an overhang, move the sun so its in you and her eyes, etc. push the envelope through the max, etc. also, because this tomberaider is clearly trying to appeal to fans of hunger games, she doesnt need to be all tits out, shes more like a tough female role model than a sex symbol. its a subtle difference but i guarantee you 99000% of the entrants wil be young men and most will miss this fact, and so fail. my 2c.
    I absolutely agree with you there. I specifically tried to askew the typical "Lara Croft, Boob Raider" stereotypes by trying to make her look almost clumsy and unsure of herself. I like the thumbnail idea quite a lot, it actually got me thinking about some new ways of doing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    At the risk of starting a flame war, Dread Reaper's version of 9 Feb (however clumsy) is working much better for me in terms of getting the story across than Venger's reinvention of the scene. Dread Reaper's original version, I think, shows the difficulty and danger of trying to grab something whilst hanging off a cliff. Venger's version is drifting perilously close to looking like a poster for a modern-dance company--the gesture and the perspective are SO stylized for the sake of drama that the actual narrative of the picture is, in my opinion, kind of lost.
    I don't think there's risk of starting a flame war, we're all entitled to our opinions (and I welcome them equally).

    First of all, THANK YOU!

    Now that I got that out of my system, let's talk.

    Venger, your paint overs are totally brilliant. I do then to think that the second one might be a bit too "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider" of the 90's, a (as you put it) "annoying to control treasure hunter". This is sort of a reboot with her as a scared young girl. That being said I absolutely adore your first paint over, and it actually echoed an idea that I had been toying with originally but didn't decide on. I'm posting it below.

    I am not discarding the first piece since I think it has some potential (although it needs extensive work on the execution and pushing the tension, as Venger said) but I think at least there's something to work from. However, I wanted to also throw out this new sketch in the spirit of trying multiple angles and using the extreme angle to show the danger. And before Giacomo asks, I did not shoot a reference photo for the sketch, but absolutely will if I go forward with it.

    Thank you so much everyone!

    -Dread_Reaper

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    Ugh. That "X-Treme" perspective and cliffhanger pose feels pretty tired and clichéd to me. Your earlier approach was, I think, working well....my advice would be to stick with your original concept and--as I said earlier--put in the due diligence make it work, if for no other reason than to build up your stamina for completing a project. In the long term, "tricks" like fisheye perspective and overly-dramatic lighting will only get you so far.

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  17. #42
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    Hey dude. It seems like this thread is torn between Idealization of the situation, and trying to depict it realistically and dynamically at the same time. I like the hanging from the cliff pose (I personally think its cliche.), but I created a thumbnail with the hanging object, and her clinging for her life on the cliff. I was just thinking that perspective when warped can up the ante while keeping the poses close to reality.

    Haha, while typing this I noticed Giacomo's post. Get out of my head man.

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  19. #43
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    Don't worry Giacomo, it's all fine, it's just a pushed view (it might be a tad extreme…) . It would be better without such an extreme background.
    @StefRob, yup I know the background isn't working on it, as I said she doesn't quite fit the scene, but I'm not entering the competition so I don't have to worry over it.
    If it was an entree then I'd go back and work out the details - including pose as well as background.

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  20. #44
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    Hi all!

    So after much consideration and advice from you folks (and considering how universally reviled my "extreme perspective" idea was), I have decided to (at least for this particular entry, since I can do more than one theoretically) stick with the original sketch and try to refine it from there. Venger, if I have time to complete a second one, I can definitely see myself using your wonderful thumbnails as a starting point. Thank you SO much for them.

    So taking advice from before I found some new references and was able to drastically change the pose to something that actually looks like how you'd brace yourself against a cliff. Taking advice from Venger earlier I wanted to really up the danger in the scene... so now its raining! Also, she's holding into a bunch of ripping vines with her ice pick (which in the game she actually uses for climbing, apparently), and added some rocks crumbling beneath her planting foot. Man, this is looking pretty dangerous now!

    Thanks everyone for all your input. I can't wait to get this early stage nailed down so I can move to the next level!

    -Dread_Reaper

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  21. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dread_Reaper View Post
    Hi all!

    So after much consideration and advice from you folks (and considering how universally reviled my "extreme perspective" idea was), I have decided to (at least for this particular entry, since I can do more than one theoretically) stick with the original sketch and try to refine it from there. Venger, if I have time to complete a second one, I can definitely see myself using your wonderful thumbnails as a starting point. Thank you SO much for them.

    So taking advice from before I found some new references and was able to drastically change the pose to something that actually looks like how you'd brace yourself against a cliff. Taking advice from Venger earlier I wanted to really up the danger in the scene... so now its raining! Also, she's holding into a bunch of ripping vines with her ice pick (which in the game she actually uses for climbing, apparently), and added some rocks crumbling beneath her planting foot. Man, this is looking pretty dangerous now!

    Thanks everyone for all your input. I can't wait to get this early stage nailed down so I can move to the next level!
    I really hate to say this but the position is much worse than the previous one IMO. Her torso seems to be disconnected from lower part of her body due to the fact that her hips is looking to the cliff which is the opposite direction of her torso. As if her spine was dislocated.
    Plus others anatomical issues (which I guess are due to the WIP):
    -There is an hollow in her right quadriceps
    -Her left shoulder is much more developped than her right one and overall left arm looks stiff.
    -Her left hand is much too small too and its perspective lloks like it's seen from front and not side. Once again it was better in your previous one.
    -She doesn't have neck anymore or otherwise it's a very large one.
    -Plus, if you keep the right hand in this position the "pointy" face of the elbow should be look down and not behind (check that with your own arm).

    I hope it helps.

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    Hi there, if you havn't already seen it, there's a gameplay video with Lara in some very perilous situations (lots of falling, hanging on for dear life etc) If you can't get good photo reference perhaps the next best thing might be to see if you can pause the video in the right place and take a pose from that. Here's a link to the youtube video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCFWArw9UA0

    At the moment your axe doesn't look like its buried in the wall - in order to take that much of Lara's weight I think it would need to be pretty far into the rock - I can't find any references like that (perhaps it's not possible) but here's one of an axe that's it buried into ice:
    http://s3.amazonaws.com/files.poster...wIYaLbzSJFY%3D

    Last edited by fish4brains; February 24th, 2013 at 05:24 PM.
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  25. #47
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    Hey guys,

    Just had time for a real quick update. Trying to take some advice I got earlier from StefRob and rotate the figure a bit (I haven't had time yet to get to all the later anatomy points you noted, but I tried to at least get her neck and hand straightened out).

    Also, fish4brains, her ice pick is supposed to be caught up in a bunch of vines, not embedded in the wall.

    I hope I am getting on the right track here. Rotated the whole body to accommodate the change in leg position. Thanks so much for all your help so far everyone!

    -Dread_Reaper

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    I believe she is stretching her wrong leg out, pretty sure she should be using the opposite leg to balance, as currently she is trying to balance on the side that she is also using to elongate herself. Her anatomy needs work. Her ribs & upper body should be sticking out more, where she is trying to stretch out her upper body to grab the item. I don't like the way she has positioned her hands to get the dangling item, she'd be stretching her fingers out flat. I did a quick paint over, simply to visually demonstrate what I mean, my anatomy is not the best it's just to show you what I mean.

    I'm surprised you don't just have her holding onto a vine instead, maybe you could have shown where the vine was ripping and slowly wearing away as she was holding onto it. The values seem a little all over the place where you're trying to put finishing details before getting down the foundations. I'm not sure what the light is coming from. You shouldn't have added the rain yet, it's just going to distract you while you finish it, the rain should be a finishing detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceoko View Post
    I believe she is stretching her wrong leg out, pretty sure she should be using the opposite leg to balance, as currently she is trying to balance on the side that she is also using to elongate herself. Her anatomy needs work. Her ribs & upper body should be sticking out more, where she is trying to stretch out her upper body to grab the item. I don't like the way she has positioned her hands to get the dangling item, she'd be stretching her fingers out flat. I did a quick paint over, simply to visually demonstrate what I mean, my anatomy is not the best it's just to show you what I mean.

    I'm surprised you don't just have her holding onto a vine instead, maybe you could have shown where the vine was ripping and slowly wearing away as she was holding onto it. The values seem a little all over the place where you're trying to put finishing details before getting down the foundations. I'm not sure what the light is coming from. You shouldn't have added the rain yet, it's just going to distract you while you finish it, the rain should be a finishing detail.
    You know, I totally realized what you meant about the leg right after I posted it. I started a revision last night, and lo and behold, when I check this thread again there's a super-helpful paint over! THANK YOU! I incorporated some elements of your paint over and changed her pose completely, definitely happier with it now. Also used some earlier suggestion by StefRob and tilted the horizon, but did a closer crop because (as Venger pointed out) just tilting the canvas left too much empty space. Hopefully the composition is looking a bit better now. I must say, I'm happier with it than I've been for awhile.

    As to some points you made Aceoko, you're totally right about the rain: I added a 10 second placeholder as we were discussion "ways to add danger" before. It's by no means final and I've wasted no time on it.

    Concerning the ice pick thing, I wanted to incorporate it somehow into the picture and having it hanging from her belt while she's reaching for something with her hand seemed silly. I still intend to have the vines tearing away from the wall, just she's holding herself out with the ice pick to give herself extra elongation. Again, its something we've gone back and forth on earlier in the thread.

    As for the light source, I was hoping that the lightning bolt in the background would provide a dramatic light with lots of contrast. I get the feeling it isn't reading terribly well yet though...

    So here's my current incarnation. I thank you all so much for your wisdom and advice.

    -Dread_Reaper

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    Flesh her out some more. I missed the feet out...because well, I'm awful at feet lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceoko View Post
    Flesh her out some more. I missed the feet out...because well, I'm awful at feet lol
    Yeah my original feet were worse, so I traced over yours as placeholders. They'll need some work because they currently look like they're both directly from the side, which would likely mean both her ankles are broken lol.

    As for fleshing her out, I agree I need some reallocation of mass, but this is the reference image I was going from:

    http://www.da-files.com/creative/con...ter_Card_2.png

    She's really thin in this picture, like ballerina thin, so I was trying to stick as close to that as possible with the proportions. However, I do see some areas that might need a little more muscle than I left on her. I'll work on that. And the feet. Also I'm going to re-work some of the branches and clouds and the lightning bolt (basically placeholder) so the lines of the piece work better with the tilted horizon.

    If there are no further objections I'm thinking I'll start to move forward with some rendering. Only got a week to finish this piece and I start my MBA program today!

    I thank you all soooooooo much for your contributions.

    -Dread_Reaper


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  32. #52
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    Done a little more rendering on some things. Trying to nail down some aspects of light and shadow on Laura and the environment proper. First of all, the paint-over was immensely helpful Aceoko, and I still have a few anatomy things to fix with the arms (thanks StefRob for the pointers), but I thought I'd throw up a quick update between assignments.

    Not a major concern, but had just come to mind: what do I do for the background? I had originally thought like jungle overhead with some distant mountains, but I was towing with some spiky mountains or maybe the raging ocean instead? Not really digging the mountaind right now. The clouds and lightning and such is still kind of WIP, didn't put much time into it yet. Just some stuff that came to mind...

    Not really decided on palette yet, but definitely something cold and muted, with Laura having some warm colors to draw the eye.

    -Dread_Reaper

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  33. #53
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    Only 3 days leeeeeeeft! If you have any crits right now to bring this all together, now me the time friends!

    Currently working on rendering parts of Lara (body, hair, showing scuffs and damage, etc) and need to render the vines, ice pick, and the rain hitting everything (only have a few branches done, just for practice mostly). I kind of hate that giant lightning bolt in the immediate background because its REALLY distracting, but not exactly sure what to do yet.

    Also, going with Giacomo's initial thoughts, I did another crop to bring the bottom margin up and the left margin in.

    Like I said, if anyone has anything they'd like to say, speak now please.

    Thank you to everyone for helping me make this possible!

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  34. #54
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    Love the sense of danger here Like others said before, wrong leg stretching! Also check the anatomy on the arm holding onto the vine. The tree branch at the foreground draws too much attention. try to blur it out or give it less detail. Other than that, I think you can start rendering.

    ~~My Sketchbook!~~
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