Desert Outpost WIP

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  1. #1
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    Desert Outpost WIP

    Hi,

    Im new around here, Ive lurked and been on the Sijun.com forums for a while but wanted to start here as well. Ive been working in digital art for about a year now. I recently did this piece but I just wanted some criticism/critiques/advice for what I could do to improve on what I have already done. Here:

    Desert Outpost WIP

    I think that I should probably work on the hands and towards the right side of the picture where the steps are, it looks kindof muddled and undefined. Any comments welcome.

    Len

    Last edited by nellenmellen; January 23rd, 2005 at 05:25 PM. Reason: fixing link
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nellenmellen
    Hi,

    Im new around here, Ive lurked and been on the Sijun.com forums for a while but wanted to start here as well. Ive been working in digital art for about a year now. I recently did this piece but I just wanted some criticism/critiques/advice for what I could do to improve on what I have already done. I cant post the image on here but I can link it:

    http://www.deviantart.com/view/14405157/

    I think that I should probably work on the hands and towards the right side of the picture where the steps are, it looks kindof muddled and undefined. Any comments welcome.

    Len
    hello nelle
    the pic looks fine so far the only thing that i noticed at first glance was the guy's head looks like its too small compared to his body its still too early to give anymore input i look forward to see this piece finished
    keep it up

    ciao gente.....
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  4. #3
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    He looks like on of the Overwatch troops from Half Life 2.

    Is that what you were going for?

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    Wow, lookin' great so far to me. The footprints really help to solidify the figure's place within the whole area, as well as direct the composition.

    My only two comments are just little things. The cape-like cloth on the figure seems to have this orangeish corona around it. It's nothing major, but it makes my eyes displace it from the rest of the picture; it's good contrast to make it "pop," but it may overstate it. Also, with that much wind force coming over that dune, the cloth at the top of the towers seems very static. I think a little billow would make it a little more dynamic.

    Regardless, awesome stuff. Repost when you're finished!

    -Clockwork

    "If something looks too big, make it bigger. If it looks too small, make it smaller. You're dealing with fear here, not right or wrong."
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    Updated the Image:


    Desert Outpost WIP

    Thanks for all the compliments, I tried to add a little motion to the sails/cloth covers on the watch tower, ive also defined some of the highlights more.

    Len

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    hi, welcome to the forums. I have a suggestion about the lighting in your piece. Basically light is coming from the left side of the picture, but the sky is much more darker towards the left side then the right. Im not sure, mabey its just me but it doesnt look right for some reason. The idea is great though, i love the Star wars/Half life 2 influence. Keep it up

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    I would not focus on details like the hands, size of head, etc. I think what's holding this piece back the most is the lack of consistency in certain areas. Sometimes this happens with digital work because it's tough to view it as a whole while you're working on the details.

    For example, I'm not sure what the light is supposed to be doing. The cast shadow is very, very crisp, implying a bright direct light (like sunlight). But the lighting on the figure itself is not reading this way. With bright sunlight you often get a certain "flatness" where all the parts of a certain object that are lit by the sun are very bright. There is not a lot of variation among them. Similarly, the areas that are not lit by the sun are (obviously darker) and don't have a lot of inner variation. You almost get a two color effect. In fact, if you're going to paint a scene like this lit by direct sunlight I would suggest literally mapping out the whole pic in terms of lit vs. unlit areas only, like a black and white picture (no grays even, just black and white). Then set this as a multiply layer in Photoshop and either use it as a guide, or actually merge it down (after colorizing the black to whatever you want your ambient light color to be).

    Speaking of ambient light, that is the other major consistency problem. Ultimately all light is just light, but it helps sometimes to think of it as different kinds of light (i.e. direct/diffuse, ambient, specular, radiosity, edge light, etc.).

    Starting with the basics, in order of importance, you've got the direct light which I've just talked about. Then you've got the ambient light, which in this piece would be everythign that is exposed to the purple sky but NOT lit by the direct light. That means the darker sides of the dunes and towers, as well as the unlit parts of the figure (except for the deep folds where the skylight doesn't penetrate directly). If you made the direct light and the ambient light consistent, it would dramatically alter this piece. I would make a new layer in Photoshop and draw just 8-10 rough shapes that cover the whole pic (desert lit, desert unlit, figure lit, figure unlit, towers lit and unlit, sky, etc.). Then play with the colors of each of these until they all fit together as described. Use this as a guide for when you get to the detailed painting.

    I hope that helps

    -Chris

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    Chris,

    Thank you for the detailed advice, it really heped me out. As per what you said, this is where it stands so far:

    Desert Outpost WIP

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    Ah,

    I think that Im getting somewhere now, I played around with the color magagement and diffrent settings etc, and came up with this:

    Desert Outpost WIP

    I like this darker version more

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    I actually like the lighter one better, but a) that's just a matter of taste and b) our monitors may be adjusted differently. Make sure you adjust your gamma correctly.

    One HUGE (and simple) thing I didn't bring up earlier is your piece is suffering a lot from an undesirable tangent that's occurring between the figure and the line separating the light side of the dune from the dark side of the dune directly behind him. THe way he his positioned, his light side is against the dune's light side, and his dark side is against the dune's dark side. If you move him to the left then his dark side will be silhouetted against at least some of the dune's light side. If you move him to the right then his light side will be silhouetted against the dune's dark side. Either of those is, I think, preferable to what you have here. When I plan out composition I spend A LOT of time figuring out how the lit areas of one object are placed against other dark areas, and vice versa. I typically even add objects here and there, behind things, to make the interplay between lights and darks work for me. As I said earlier, this is a HUGE reason why this piece isn't as strong as it could be, but I didn't want to bring it up until you got a handle on the colors.

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    I love the concept of the charcter, very cool.
    I like the lighter one to. I'm not to good at color, but the one thing I did notice is that his left arm seems longer than his right. Something about his right hand bothers me to, but I'm not sure. I think it could be the angle of the hand. I think the position of his arm; you would see more of the back of his hand. The angle of the hand now is kind of straight on.

    Just my two cents.

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    Desert Outpost WIP

    I changed the colors once again, a little more of a yellowish/greenish tinge to it this time. fixed the "tangent" problem on the shoulder, as well as the hands/arm length discrepency. how am I doing?

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  14. #13
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    Looking great! Really nice work with the colors.
    I hate to do paint overs but I think it's important to be clear about the "tangent" issues. Note in your image how the space between his right arm (our left) and body is filled with dark desert, but outside his arm is light desert. In other words, the transition from light to dark desert is occurring exactly behind his arm (which is relatively narrow). Compare to this, where I've pushed the border between light and dark desert to the right far enough that you get some nice contrast between the desert and the figure:

    Desert Outpost WIP

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  15. #14
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    Chris,

    Once again, thanks. I had moved the peak of the dune a little, but was too cautious to keep going. Add composition to the places where my noob-ness shows through .

    Desert Outpost WIP

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  16. #15
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    The hand position, and arm length look better. One thing, I think the guy’s right hand is too much of a solid color. Kind of draws the eye toward it. I would either add variation of color on the glove, or add some detail to the glove. Looking good though.

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