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John Keates
07-06-2004, 11:30 PM
Hello there people,


This is the first proper commision that I have taken for a while. I am a painter at hart but I was asked to do the cover for a play. The watch and die are made in Animation Master, the rest is PS with my beloved wacom. Any crits welcome, I won't cry if you are harsh - I like the rough treatment:)

http://gackland.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Stars%20small.jpg

Like I say, anything that will help me improve would be good.

Ps (yes it is suppost to be B&W)

3DArtZ
07-07-2004, 02:29 PM
Hey John, hows it going? Like the image! I would suggest turning the watch and die to look a little more extreme. Now they just look like they were placed in the scene, oppossed to getting flushed down the cosmic space drain!
Overall, I think its very good
Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

Bugle
07-07-2004, 04:08 PM
Looks good - I think there's something wrong with the character's neck, or head placement, but that could be a stylistic choice on your part. Judging from your avatar you like your characters to be a mix of creepy and cute :)

John Keates
07-07-2004, 07:36 PM
Hi there fellas :)


Hi 3D Artz,

"I would suggest turning the watch and die to look a little more extreme"

Yes, I was thinking of doing things with the AM rendered stuff to make it look less still. I was going to make the hands of the clock spin fast by blurring them but I kind of forgot. Thanks for reminding me abou this :)

Bugle,

"I think there's something wrong with the character's neck, or head placement"

Yep, I spent a lllonnnnng time moving that damn head about - it never seems to look right. I wanted to give the impression that he was tilting his head towards us to look at us. Maybe I need to make his neck squish out to make it look like he is straining forwards. I wil look into it.

Thanks for the comments guys. I nearly missed them as I was never informed by mail that they were there.

JoeW
07-08-2004, 04:18 AM
Hey John,

Looks intriguing - my $.02 would be similar comments - but depend on what you're going for style-wise: the character's forehead is a bit large - unless you're going for the look of a small child - in which case the facial features are a bit too "mature", IMO.

I, too, would suggest that you add "depth" to the image - possibly by bringing the cube forward and turning it so that it looks more 3d - as well as possibly cutting off part of it on the edge of the image (make it fill more of the lower right corner) - then push the watch back in space by placing fogging it over (could possibly just reduce the contrast a bit on that layer, as well as adding a *touch* of blur for the same effect). I'd look at tracing the spiral of the vortex with the objects (creating a foreground, midground, and background layers) - cube up front, then the guy ( his face) then the watch - like they are swirling away in order. Remember that Photoshop 6 and up has the "liquify" command which can help with organic distortions (Image>Liquify - or - Shift+Ctrl+X), as well as the Radial Blur filter which may save you trying to re-render everything in AM.

Another nice touch might be to add a glow or halo around the character and the objects to make them seem brightly lit from behind by the vortex.

Finally, I'd look again at your text - I'd really think about distorting it - think "Outer Limits" or "Night Gallery" or any of those other 60's style lettering treatments - maybe distort it also like it's being pulling into the vortex, too(BTW - there are a TON of free fonts on the net, so if you don't feel like distorting it yourself - you can probably find one that will work - check out www.1001freefonts.com (http://www.1001freefonts.com/) for starters).

As always, these are just suggestions - it's looking good as is :)

JoeW

John Keates
07-08-2004, 03:57 PM
Thanks for the comments Joe :)

-"The character's forehead is a bit large - unless you're going for the look of a small child - in which case the facial features are a bit too "mature", IMO"

He is meant to be a child but I never really settled on an age. Maybe 9-13 years or somethig. I guess that his features are kind of rough though. I thought of looking for references on the internet but didn't like the idea of searching for pictures of boys :D

I see what you mean about the 3d thing. All the objects are kind of the same size at the mo.

-"Another nice touch might be to add a glow or halo around the character and the objects to make them seem brightly lit from behind by the vortex."

I have some rim lighting already but I guess it is hard to see. I find myself zooming up to add something but when looking at the whole image (it is only going to be A5) things get lost.

-"I'd look again at your text"

Yep, another thing that I forgot about. I just whacked that in quickly to get the spacing right. I had thought of having it sucked into the vortex a little ans I may do that. I know preciouse little about fonts and will have to do some research.

Thanks again for the comments.

Bugle
07-08-2004, 09:29 PM
Being weak and easily influenced by the dark side I too have taken horrible liberties with your image, basically attacking the poor kid's face with the push brush (It's all JoeW's fault)

http://dreamers.com/jspain/Stars%20small.jpg

I've smoothed a little the contour of the face and removed any sort of bone ridges around the nose/eyes area as those make him look more adult. The forehead size is OK but imho the hair is a bit far back making him look slightly balding (Not something you associate with children) and I've made the eyes a little bigger. Pushing the expression a little and making the teeth visible is another thing that I thought might work. Also knocked off a little out of the back of his neck to define the area more - kids have pencil necks. Also, even shiny skin. No wrinkles no my precious they have no wrinkles until after we strangles them oh no

Er, sorry where was I?

Ah yes, about the text, while Joe's suggestion looks damn good, the commission is a poster after all and the person who ordered it might want the title to be nice and clear. You could give them both options, thus giving them a little "control".

Hope that helped.

John Keates
07-08-2004, 10:30 PM
Thanks Bugle for your comments and your version. If only I got this level of input at art school. Here is my latest attempt:


http://gackland.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/time.jpg

I re-rendered the die and brought it closer. I didn't want to hide the hand as it is important for the pose (He has chosen to go into the vortex and is quite relaxed abou it). - Actually, I may change the other hand to suit.

I kept the writing pretty much as it is as I wanted it to look fairly standard and legable.

I changed the hairline and added more rim lighting. I also smoothed off the face a little and gave him a squished-out chin (not sure that this worked), but I kept the neck how it was as I wanted to keep the fore-shortening.

I gave the watch some MB but not too much as I didn't want it to get mushy.

There were several other changes in there too.

This is turning into something of a WIP by the looks of it. Ah, well, I think the image has more impact now and I am glad for any commets.

One thing that I noticed is that a lot of the suggestions have been things that I thought of and then forgot about. Maybe I should wright thoughts down as I have them, or perhaps this would slow me down. Does anyone else do this?

Thanks again for the feedback. Much appreciated.

JoeW
07-09-2004, 06:41 PM
Hey John,

I think it's much improved over the first one. I think the face looks *much* more like a child, and I like the new placement on the cube..... the only thing I'd suggest looking at is *maybe* making the watch a little smaller and *maybe* turning it a little more clockwise so it looks like it's more in motion - there's something about the size relationship between the cube, his head, and the watch that makes me a little uncomfortable.. I'd also look at darkening the cube overall, and lightening the watch overall - to help push and pull the elements....

I'm still partial to stylized lettering - but I understand your desire to make it more readable :)

As far as writing things down or forgetting things, well, I forget stuff all the time, too - and people just tell me it's because I'm getting old - LOL! I think that may be why my desk is awash in yellow sticky-notes :)

JoeW

John Keates
07-09-2004, 08:13 PM
Hi Joe,


I kind-of get the thing about the watch... I will look into it.

Some good news: The guy who I am doing this illustration for has built me a website of my work and gave the link to some people including a publisher called Paul Miller (don't know if you heared of him). Aparently he likes my work and wants to contact me:thumbsup:

Here is the address of the site that he built incase you are interested:

http://web.onetel.com/~lavie/ (http://web.onetel.com/~lavie/)

It feels great that there are all these people helping me. Makes up for the fact that I am such a lame-arse most of the time.

Thanks again all concerned.

John

John Keates
07-09-2004, 08:18 PM
Christ!... looking at those pictures, some arn't finished and a couple I did when I was in my teens.... If anyone sees any bad apples then please point them out.

Oh, also. I tried making the watch lighter but it washed out the metallic look. I like my metal to have lots of contrast.

I have played with the watch position and have put it slightly behind the lettering. Still seeing what I think. Or thinking what I see... whatever.

John Keates
07-09-2004, 08:45 PM
Here is the latest with just the watch changed:


http://gackland.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/time%202.jpg
Phew! I think I am about ready to give it a rest with this image.

Rikaro
07-10-2004, 06:36 AM
i think it will look better when the backgroud looks a little darker.. especially the clouds.

Marc-OlivierBouchard
07-10-2004, 07:17 AM
He has that eerie vibe of that inbred banjo-playing kid in Delivrance.(Espescially the first post)

Which is, as I see it a pat-in-the-back since it is a fascinating character.

John Keates
07-10-2004, 11:47 AM
Hi,


Rikaro,
-"i think it will look better when the backgroud looks a little darker.. especially the clouds."

I have been playing with the brightness of the background quite a bit. I used to have it darker. It is a question of choosing between a contasty background and a contrast between the background and the foreground. I may have a play with it.

Joe Wang,
-"He has that eerie vibe of that inbred banjo-playing kid in Delivrance."

I never saw that film. Perhaps I should take a look.

Thanks for the comments.
John

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