Composition and perspective - help wanted/needed/deeply appreciated!
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  1. #1
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    Composition and perspective - help wanted/needed/deeply appreciated!

    I've been fiddling with this idea too long and though I'm not satisfied with the sketch, I don't know what I should change. The centered composition and direct view angle feel dull, but even though I want to try more dynamic angles I can't let go of having symmetry between the figures or their position in relation to the billboards. That's the main thing bugging me, but everything else is completely fair game for sure. Could someone with an outside perspective knock some sense into me, please?

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  2. #2
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    I personally like symmetrical composition. So Ill just throw my two cents in before you think about changing the perspective, because I understand the camera angle your going for. I just doodled on it, maybe a light source that pops the middle of the image out more would help with the flatness.Name:  fjjjjj.jpg
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  4. #3
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    When you mention perspective do you mean... perspective or a different view/opinion lol? Either way id straighten up the lines you have in your image it looks too curvy like they are floating in water, this also constrasts the very rigid and perfect "Track a, Track" thing in the top image which can make it look very disjointed. I kinda ignored it when i first glanced at it, it didnt really register as part of the image, but once you clean up your lines a bit more i think they will gel better. I agree with Azusa, cause its a flat on view id definitely consider a strong lighting source, maybe top down or rim lighting from both sides of the image.

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    AzusaPesant: Wow, it's surprising how big a change your lighting adjustment made. Think I'll try thumbnailing with a focus on values and see if that makes things easier to think through.
    Vernon Lee: Ha, both would be helpful. Yeah, the curvy lines sure aren't helping matters. I'll work on those and try out the lighting suggestions.
    Thanks to both you guys for the feedback!

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    Hahah i realise both are helpful, but its like trying to juggle with 5 balls when you struggle to juggle with 3, similar concept, so just put more emphasis on one would be advisable

    On a side note if you hold shift in Photoshop then it will do a perfectly straight line btw

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    when in doubt, ref.





    maybe lower the camera POV to cut out the boring expanse of empty platform concrete, and emphasise the seated figures and the back wall.

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  11. #7
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    Vernon Lee, Velocity Kendall
    Pretty solid advice, thanks! The straight line hotkey has been really helpful. And it looks like my Google-fu still isn't up to snuff yet, I didn't come across those nice refs until I tried a more specific search.

    Worked on a grayscale version so at least I wouldn't have to worry about color on top of everything else. Tried the centered lighting, too. This is what I've got so far, but I think I'll take another stab at lowering the POV and bringing it in closer to the figures, keep the focus more on them.

    And... when I posted this, I was most worried about everything looking weird, but I see storytelling coming up in a lot of other critique threads and some pointers on it would be great too.

    Pre-emptive sorry for the text dump.
    The figures are Chinese spirit guides called the Hei Bai Wu Chang, a pair of cops/sworn brothers who were recruited by the ruler of Hell after their deaths. The white guard drowned, and the black guard hung himself upon discovering his friend's death. They handle good and evil souls, respectively. Here they're meant to be in a more modern setting, doing normal things, waiting for the train, except something's a bit off due to their being dead. I'd like to convey the ideas of death and journeys, but I'm not sure of a clear way to demonstrate it. Would it help to have ghostly commuters? Would that make things too busy? What else looks wonky/could use work?
    In any case, I'm grateful for all the help you guys have given me so far!

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    Sorry for double post.

    Last edited by checkmato-da; February 17th, 2013 at 11:12 AM.
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    Massive improvement =| I really like the hung pictures behind them, adds contrast to them so well. I dont think bringing the camera closer would work as well case they are both on/near the third mark so compositionally its quite good already. A lower POV might add to it but i still really like it atm. As for the narrative, thats quite a hard one to convey lol, cause i just assumed one guy was asleep, didnt really see the noose. Not too sure about more commuters cause youve got kinda a minimalist look atm, haha sorry im just shooting all your ideas down D= Ermm you could try add like a fade effect to their legs so it looks like they are fading in as your gradually track up their bodies.

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  15. #10
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    theres a big empty space between them, and on the wall behind. maybe pull the two halves closer together.

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  16. #11
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    I definitely like this version better! I think you need to make the reasons for their death clearer. The noose is hardly visible, perhaps you could make it an entirely different color, maybe make it almost completely white as a contrast to the dark figure. At first I thought the lighter man was smoking one of those bubble pipes that children have, but the bubbles are actually quite clever. You could also make him completely drenched to strengthen the visual, or perhaps make his clothes lightly float, as if he was still stuck underwater?
    The fade effect suggested earlier might work as well, although it might seem a bit cliche.

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