Thunder Beasts
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Thread: Thunder Beasts

  1. #1
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    Thunder Beasts

    Okays, here's a couple of really large animals I concocted for last week's Creature of the Week, the topic of which was "75 Tons." I didn't finish in time, but I'd still like to complete this image so I can start putting a portfolio together.

    Here's some stages.



    Rough sketch.



    Blew up the rough sketch and did a tighter line drawing.



    At this stage I was inspired to give my creatures a more striking coloration. They live on a world with a high concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere, so that even though they are very large, they are agile and aggressive. The bright colors reflect that nature, unlike large animals on Earth such as elephants and rhinos, which are dull and colorless. The color stripes were drawn on an overlay layer and then integrated onto the lower color layer.



    Starting to tighten things up. The attached image shows the current state of this piece.

    Any crits and comments would be greatly appreciated. The only thing I'm really concerned with at this stage is the perspective; though the horizon line is low, it doesn't really look like we're looking up at the creatures. As I go further in the piece I'll probably need some help with the ground, since I usually have trouble rendering convincing dirt.

    Thanks in advance. I love you guys.

    Update: Added a close-up of the creatures' faces so as to have a more attention-grabbing attached image on the main forum page.

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    Last edited by Moai; February 14th, 2007 at 01:44 PM.
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    If the horizon is low, wouldn't the "window" be high? Maybe you should extend the window farther down so the horizon is higher in the picture...or actually, if we're looking up, the horizon would have to cut through the closest dinosaur's ankle to give that illusion. You seem too far in the project to worry about perspective though. I would go ahead and finish this one b/c it will still make a good painting.

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    Thanks, sowens2008. After reading your post and looking at my piece with fresh eyes, I think the problem is that the horizon line is too low. It doesn't conform to the same place that the creatures are standing on. I'll fix that.

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    Here's an update. I raised the horizon a bit, but as you can see, the background is still extremely rough. Right now I'm focusnig on the creatures.
    Right now the things that are giving me the most trouble are texture and contrast. My Rhinoceros Zoobook is proving somewhat helpful in that regard, but I'd really like to hear your input on the beasts' skin. I'm somewhat ambivalent on the left creature's wrinkles; I'm not sure if I've gone overboard or not.
    I'd really like to have some input on my lighting and contrast. What I've been struggling with most is how much contrast I need to make each crease and wrinkle stand out on the beasts' hide, but not stand out too much. Anyone good at drawing big, leathery-skinned creatures?
    Lower image is zoomed in at 75%, so you can get a closer look at what I'm talking about.

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    Last edited by Moai; February 14th, 2007 at 01:56 PM.
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    Hey man, got your message. Ill be happy to help, im not much of a critter but ill give my best shot.

    First off Im finding your light source a little strange, it seems that the sky in the background should be a little brighter for the situation due to the strong amount of sun there is. I remember reading in a tutorial somewhere that the sky will always be brighter than the earth even at night, unless there are other light sources etc.

    The composition seems pretty strong and I feel the beast nearest too us seems pretty solid. It could perhaps have abit more shadow work of with his left leg because its hovering at the moment.

    Texture and folds of skin are pretty tricky to produce It looks as though you have the right idea at the moment . My painting skills arent too strong so I cant really help you there however Here a few ideas for you to try out for your visual memory. Get a tungsten light (normal light) as its similar to your light source for the image. Put your hand underneath it and pinch/crease up your skin. Its not a particularly strong reference but its worth a try right?
    Also check out peter konigs maquette thing in this thread. There are some close ups and that creature is pretty wrinkly and texturey. http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...t=18287&page=3

    I apologise if theres any bad punctuation there.

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    Right off the bat, I have to say that the creature design and the anatomy works nicely. Has a very believable quality to it. I can see them roaming around in the present, but alternate earth. Moai, you always have good logical designs for your critters.

    Advice: I'd say the whole pic needs more contrast. To set the shadows apart, clearly from the light and to set creatures apart from the background. Perhaps creatures could come into sharper focus with the contrast, while the BG remains as soft as it is in rendering.
    'Cause when I squint (believe it or not that is one of the greatest art tools in the world: squinty eyes) it all, critters, BG, blends together in terms of value. I've been told and I've seen the best artists work out the values 1st, color second.
    You're still working this through, so you might already be aware.

    As for the wrinkles, I like the pattern they make. It works. It looks like rough skin. Unless you want hyper-real all over, I would think, where you want the focus is where the wrinkles would get more detail or value seperation. The heads would definately get the focus IMO.

    Wow. The link Mr. Man posted is a perfect resource for you (and me).

    Stormy kind of atmosphere, yes? The partial cloud shadow on the foreground critter is a really nice idea. I do get the sense of moving clouds and shifting sunlight.

    My thought on the perspective, what they are standing on could be above or below the eye plane. As long as the horizon reads correctly. I mean, maybe the ground they are standing immediately on, has a mound or break in it.
    Hope some of this helps and is not redundant.

    Awesome job, so far

    Last edited by AztcFireFlower; February 14th, 2007 at 09:26 PM.
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    Thanks both of you for doing me this favor! I owe you both one. I have to go to work now, so I'll have to respond to your comments later. Thanks again!

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    Mr. Man- What you say about the sky always being lighter than the ground is no doubt true, but in the lighting situation my creatures are in(a stormy afternoon with breaks in the clouds), there are areas that are much brighter than the surroundings. Both the shadow in the foreground and the hills in the background are darker than the sky. The area in which the creatures are standing would definitely have a corresponding area of lighter sky above it, but it is probably too high and directly overhead to appear in the picture.
    I definitely will fix the shadows cast by both of the creatures. I've hardly worked on the surroundings at all.
    Thanks for the texture tips! I'll try that with the lightbulb. That link is awesome; I looked through that thread just a little bit after I joined this site (about six months ago, so definitely time to look again! ), and it should definitely have a lot of information I could use.
    Thanks again for the crits!
    AztcFireFlower- Thanks for the compliments! The knowledge and logic I put behind my creatures somewhat pales in comparison to the theories behind Reality Forge's creatures; if you aren't familiar with him, look up his threads--he's a zoologist as well as an artist, and the best alien designer since Wayne Barlowe, in my opinion. By anyway, thanks.
    More contrast, especially around the heads? Okay. That sounds doable. I think I will keep the wrinkles based on you and Mr. Man's recommendations, but I'm definitely going to tighten them so they look less loose and baggy.
    Looking at the picture again, I still can't help but feel that the horizon line is too low. I received an eye-opening critique from Chuck Wadey (I think it was) on horizon lines: the horizon line is the viewer's eye level, so you look up at everything above the horizon line and down at everything below the horizon line.
    Once again, gots to go. Thanks again for the critiques.

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    yes the perspective was off before. But now its the leg on the nearest dinosaur thats a bit off. I think you need to redraw the perspective lines in the big picture. The thumb can only get the perspective somewhat right.

    Shame on a very good painted/drawn dinosaur leg. But you can maybe solve ith with rezising it.

    Or maybe its the farthest away dinousours leg thats off.

    Im also assuming the dinosaurs are facing eachother quite straight.

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    Chr- Hey, thanks for the critique! The creatures are facing somewhat different angles, with their necks and heads turned to face each other.
    Would you mind elaborating a bit on how the leg's off? Thanks again.
    I'll have an update up later today.

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    Would you mind elaborating a bit on how the leg's off? Thanks again.
    If the dinosaurs arent facing eachother straight on, then theres not problem with the perspective. I was thinking all the legs on the left side of the picture would form a straight line to your vanishing point, but now theres no need for that.

    So no critique.

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    Hey Moai!

    Sorry for the late reply, i seldom get private messages so i did'nt notice it.

    The beasts are looking great so far, but somehow the light confuses me, it's very strong for the dark sky, but i could be the sun breaking through the clouds.
    Also the ground is pretty flat right now but im just saying, try to make the ground more dynamic later on.

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    Chr- Okay, good. Now I don't have to redo anything. Thanks.
    Lazy- Don't worry about the late reply. Thanks for helping me out! Yeah, the creatures are standing in a break in the clouds. I'll try to make the ground more dynamic, whenever the heck I get to it. This picture is taking me forever.

    I'm working on the clouds now, as well as brightening some of the highlights and deepening some of the shadows on the creatures, plus some general detailing. I'm getting some effects that I really like with the details, and some that I'm not so happy with. Anyway, I'd love to hear your input on the clouds and how they're affecting the composition.
    I'm also thinking of putting a subtle bit of lightning in the background between the two creatures' heads, to emphasize the conflict between them and to give a more literal meaning to the title. Your thoughts?
    You guys are awesome for helping me out with this!

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    This is a nice one Moai. Good to see that you're still hanging in there with the C.O.W's and improving. I'll say this though in terms of a crit. The creatures could use quite a bit more contrast. Really start laying in those darkest darks and those bright highlights. This image is so close to being a great piece but you need to push it further still. Try this. Just for shits and giggles, save the image as a jpg and use the Brightness/Contrast control. Youll see what Im talking about. Good job and keep working it.

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    Nexus- Oh yes, more contrast. Definitely. Looking at it on my brand new 19" screen () the whole image seems pulled towards the middle, in terms of value. I think I may simply darken the whole image and work up from there. But really, I've gotten tired of looking at this thing and haven't worked on it in days. I'll get it done, though. I'm just drawing some other little fun things in the meantime. Thanks for the crit!

    Good to see that you're still hanging in there with the C.O.W's...
    Actually, I haven't actually submitted a finished image in CoW since the holiday topic, and that one was kinda half-assed. I haven't put a real effort into CoW since #66. My life's been kinda busy and the topics just haven't kept me interested. Ah well.

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    Moai,it is getting better and better!!!!!

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    Thanks, Camara! Some updates will come soon. Really.

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