Thanks! I'll try. I usually only spend about 2 hours on these...so perhaps I should work a bit longer on them.
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These are really cool, you've produced a really great amount of work too! I love the design of some the building and the imagination you put into your work, I think you've got a really good balance between fantastical and believable.
I agree with some of the comments that if these images are to be passed onto an artist to model then they need a bit more detail and clarity. I'm lucky in that I sit next to a really great 3d artist - due to time limitations I haven't been able to do the turn arounds and breakdowns I would normally try and provide - however because he sits next to me and is really experienced he has been able to do a great job with sometimes less than perfect images. If your sending these off to someone or don't have the opportunity to work with them all day its worth bearing in mind the extra details you may need to provide.
I think that for me, you could push colour and lighting a bit more - they are such powerful tools in creating mood and you have some really dramatic environments to work with I would love to see you add a bit more drama into them.
Do you paint grey scale and then colour? I only ask as the images seem a little de-saturated to my eye. This is a very subjective issue as I'm sure a lot of people might find my images a bit far the other way - however if you have a desaturated image you can use a single or small palette of colour to really make a subject 'pop'. To do this though the colour has to be really clean - I describe it this way because if I was using real paint and white gets into the mix or I over mix it can get 'muddy' that is to say that the purity of the pigment coming from the tube is being eroded so the paint looses its impact. In photoshop this is much easier to control as the colours don't mix together. Instead of physically over mixing I think the same effect can happen with the opacity of the paint over another colour - in this case grey or black. I would try and bring out some of the colour to create more contrast in the image and to lead the viewers eye to what you feel is most important. Light should be used in the same way - to guide the eye and add to the mood of the piece.
I like the images where you have chosen a dominante hue - you can see amazing examples of this technique if you look at the colour keys from studios like Pixar and Dreamworks.
Dominante colour hues in an image is something I really like - see how far you can push that and how you can use complimentary colour to accent certain things in your image.
Overall though I really like what you are doing - keep it up!
All the best
Wow! thanks for the post!
I do them all in color from the beginning...but yah, I really should add some more saturation...It's pretty easy for me to slip into a muted color palette unless I'm consciously trying to add some whimsy. Fortunately, these are for a 2D game, and the maps aren't going to be used as-is...they're more for getting the mood and some architectural bits down. But! that's no excuse. I definitely need to learn how to make good turnarounds and add enough detail for 3D eventually.
I love you're work too!
There are some pretty cool ideas in there! I love that sofa golem!
Some of the top-down images could benefit a little from a grid layer that you paint on, just to give you some guide for the perspective. And in some pictures you could use "temp layers", where you paint with big brushes and erase away what you dont need. The shadows on the ground on the youthful desert could be a lot cleaner using this technique. Generally it's good to use the biggest brushes possible to get the general picture right without getting lost in details too early.
On ctrlpaint Matt Kohr talks about this often, i can definitely recommend the photoshop rendering series from the store, but also in the free videos you'll learn a lot about this.
Keep up with that stuff, I'm looking forward to see more of this.