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JamesMK
10-28-2003, 06:35 PM
I thought I could give this a go too... If you followed the last CGChallenge you may have seen this guy before.

Since I might come back to him in a not too distant future, I would really appreciate some feedback on how you perceive this as an image rather than a mere 3D challenge entry.

So, can you feel it? What could be improved? What's your first spontaneous reaction, and how does it appear after some closer investigation?

http://w1.480.telia.com/~u48033445/evo_check.jpg

Scott 3d
10-28-2003, 06:56 PM
I like the textures and modeling and lighting on the room but I think you could use an overhead light to create some creepier shadows on your character and also a rim light from behind to pop out an edge on him. Just another way you can go. But good work so far.

miketche
10-28-2003, 07:06 PM
My first reaction to this was, there is too much light. Deeper darker shadows, like already stated, would give this a much creeper feeling.

Konstruct
10-28-2003, 07:11 PM
If i was you Id loose the pupil/iris and replace it with a off white maybe greyish mark- it would make the character alot colder and creepier.

also what is that green rope thing holding him to the back of his seat?- Id replace that with the whole strap theme you have going on.

then the lights have already been mentioned.

JamesMK
10-28-2003, 07:22 PM
Good input so far - just keep it coming.

Ordibble-Plop
10-28-2003, 08:06 PM
I'm going to disagree about the lighting, sort of, though it all depends on what you are trying to portray :)

I think creepy is the way to go, but I wonder where that creepiness is coming from?

If it is emanating from the man himself, then go with darker shadows to accentuate him.

Personally, I'd prefer it to come from the situation, the exploitation involved in a freakshow. To emphasize this you may want to add more light, especially to the figure. This is like the difference in lighting between eroticism (dark, soft and sultry) and pornography (bright, harsh and revealing). He's obviously not going anywhere, so maybe one way of doing this would be to enlarge the window at the back so he is rimmed in stark white light.

To this end I'd also give the man a blank, unengaged stare at his lap (as a truly brainless man would do) and reduce him completely to just an object.

I don't really understand the crucifix. To my mind a brainless man would have no religion, so someone else must have put it there as a talisman and act of kindness. If you went with the exploitation line, you could maybe swap it with something else that was put there as an act of cruelty to mock.

Having said that, I certainly don't want to hijack your picture, so is there a specific message or story you would like to portray?

JamesMK
10-28-2003, 08:20 PM
Ordibble: Interesting points. Adding a stronger but more localized lighting, like a relentless stage light could really add to the exploitation theme, which is basically what I'm going for.

Enlarging the window could probably make the focal point even clearer too.

The crucifix is mainly a mockery - someone might have put it there with good intentions, but it merely serves as a symbol of false hope - in a multitude of ways.

Having him stare blankly straight down his lap is the more logical choice too.

Engelszorn
10-28-2003, 09:49 PM
I don't like his feet. They seem a bit out of character the way they are. His body has a driedout feeling to it, yet the feet look almost like those of a child. How about making them gnarly? Or did you choose these feet for a specific purpose?

Ordibble-Plop
10-29-2003, 12:38 AM
Thanks for the explanation of the crucifix - as you describe it, it fits well with your theme.

While out pruning trees I had an idea that you are welcome to use if you wanted to and that would fit in with exploitation.

You could have some coins thrown by onlookers scattered about the floor, as well as a few in their real target, his bowl head.

dpvtank
10-29-2003, 01:19 AM
about the lighting thing. I think that the real creepy-ness is supposed to come from the eyes and the face. Maybe use the creepy type lights and such and maybe try and then do some glowing of the eyes?

But definately subtler lighting on the character [think splinter cell when the person is hiding under the stairs with two people above the stairs interogating the drunk.]

But I definately think the eyes can have a bit of a silent glow to it to create a sense of creepy-ness.

just my thoughts.


I would also think about "destroying" the wheel chair more...everything in that scene looks old and mysterious. And the wheelchair looks brand-spanking new.

gnarlycranium
10-29-2003, 06:48 AM
Perhaps appropriately, my impression of this image is... vacancy.

Only maybe a little bit too much of it. The figure is slumped in the chair, in a way reminiscent of a doll. Just sitting there, with no emotion at all. Just kinda there not doing anything.

Is he aware at all, or inanimate? Is he inanimate waiting to become alive, or was he alive once and is now empty? Was his brain stolen away from him, did he lose it through some misjudgement of his own, or was it just never there? Is he sad, or mad and malicious? There is not quite enough of a distinct mood in this image to hint me towards answers to any of those questions. I see a very decrepit room, and a shriveled, debilitated figure, but I don't see the image's reasons or wishes.

The glare of the window is distracting, especially placed so near to the character's head and face. I also find myself puzzled by the wheelchair-- everything else in the image has an air of age and disrepair, but the wheelchair is blue and shiny and perfect as if new.

JamesMK
10-29-2003, 08:04 AM
Engelszorn: Well, he's never actually used his feet, so they can't really be worn and weathered. But as you pointed it out, I could perhaps make them skinnier and more dirtied up.

Ordible: Coins is a brilliant idea! Goes perfectly with the theme here. Thanks.

dpvtank: Glow from the eyes would be totally wrong. That sense of "hiding under the stairs" is a usable feeling here though. And the wheelchair probably should be messed up a bit more.

Gnarly: "Vacancy" - I like that. "of a doll. Just sitting there, with no emotion at all" - exactly the intention here. Good. And to answer the medical question: he never had a brain at all.
The glared window is there to accentuate the primary focus, but since you find it distracting I might have overdone it a bit. Perhaps I'll make it bigger (as mentioned above) and at the same time a bit less luminous.

Thanks all. Very valuable input indeed.

colkai
10-29-2003, 08:58 AM
I think the thing that distracts from the vanacy for me is the way he is smiling knowingly at the camera.
This suggests some form of awareness.

Maybe if he was staring blankly at the wall, or the floor, with the mouth slightly more gaping.

His eyes to me seem to be too focussed.

Just a thought is all.

jawine
10-29-2003, 09:04 AM
the first thing i wondered about is the end of the stage. to me it looks a bit like an abyss, and i wondered if you meant the drawing in a way that he could roll down the stage any moment. it somehow reminds me of someone standing at the edge of a cliff. but if you meant it that way, the guy might has to be closer to the end of the stage.

not sure if you wanted to cause that association, but thats the first thing that came to mind when i saw it. hope it helps :)

Tsahi
10-29-2003, 10:10 AM
in regard to the brainless' posing, both facial and body.
i feel there's a gap between his body language and his facial expression. as if they each go in a little different direction, although similar. but the effect is that the whole character doesn't go all the way, to a certain point.
what i mean- his body is sort of thrown in the chair, the pose is quite neutral, perhaps expressing helplesness. but the face is grinning and looking towards the cam. if he's brainless, maybe his face should be zombyish and his body more active. thats just an idea. even if you go with what you did, which is not bad, perhaps try to create more unity between the face and body language, try to think what he's doing in the chair, how did he get there, whats his mental state, does he have one at all ???

oh, and i also think you should replace the green rag strap with a buckled leather strap.

hope it helped, good luck.

Electrofirma
10-29-2003, 02:03 PM
As art, I don't like it. And I see no way for you to improve it.

The whole crucifix thing ruins it for me. That is the big problem with using art to make philisophical or political statements, you end up with a strongly polarized audience. As art and a statement of the inhumanity of the sideshow, this image is damaged by your stated intent in using the crucufix.

I would suggest in the future, if you plan on using religious imagery in your art, you leave it to the viewer to take what they will from the image, and leave comments such as "It's a really important sort of sarcastic philosophical comment on the hideousness of the whole thing...." out of it. After all, this really is not the proper forum for bashing peoples religion.

JamesMK
10-29-2003, 03:34 PM
Electrofirma - I can see where you're coming from with that - but then again, I've never explicitly said that it means anything else than possibly a false hope. Which is objectively true in this case since there is no way for him to escape this situation (or even be aware that there is a situation at all to start with). It could have been any kind of talisman or a backstage pass to a Radiohead concert - it doesn't really matter. I chose the rosary because it's a very familiar symbol that most people recognise, and it conveys a lot of "mystery" beyond its mere physical appearance.

I've been very careful to let the viewers decide for themselves the exact meaning of the rosary. And I'll stick to that.

And when I said "It's a really important sort of sarcastic philosophical comment on the hideousness of the whole thing...." as quoted by you above, it was in an entirely different thread and it doesn't say what kind of "sarcastic comment" it is, neither does it state what "the whole thing" actually implies. Everybody is free to make their own interpretation.

I totally respect that you don't like the image because of this (and maybe for other reasons as well, I don't know) - it's your prerogative. I've seen tons of 3D and 2D I didn't like either.

I must however disagree that it would be wrong to use art to make philosophical comments. I'd say it's quite the opposite. Most of the old classics were jam-packed with symbolism, most of which fly by way above our heads nowadays because not many of us recognise the symbolic language anymore.

Lorecanth
10-29-2003, 04:03 PM
"As art, I don't like it."

I thought the whole point of this particular forum was to evoke an emotion, he succeeded with you by envoking a feeling of disgust.

I find the image slightly offensive, but nonetheless vaguely intriguing, however regarding any insult to christianity well sadly there's enough historical precedent in the church to warrant such a statement on the part of the artist.

As far as design, I really like the idea of the coins, as it would add another level of interpretation of possibly the foolish throwing their money at a wasted religion.

Depending on how far you want to go with such a theme there are other things that would be possible as well like a plate of bread and a glass of wine on the floor. This may lead to "too" much of a statement though, when you would prefer to be vague.

Overall the image shows real promise and I hope you follow through on relighting and adding a few more elements.

JamesMK
10-29-2003, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Lorecanth
Overall the image shows real promise and I hope you follow through on relighting and adding a few more elements.
Thanks. I've got tons of renewed inspiration thanks to all of this high quality feedback, and I'll probably start on the improvements much sooner than I had originally planned.

Thanks for your support, btw Lorecanth! I've decided to go with the coins as suggested by Ordibble, but any further religious stuff is not happening since that wouldn't add anything to support my initial intentions. Good ideas nonetheless!

All in all, I'm really looking forward to get busy doing the "remake" and I've got a very clear idea about what to fix - the crits and comments have been invaluable.

Electrofirma
10-29-2003, 07:29 PM
"As art, I don't like it."

I thought the whole point of this particular forum was to evoke an emotion, he succeeded with you by envoking a feeling of disgust.

The art doesn't evoke the feeling of disgust, the comments such as this do.

The crucifix is mainly a mockery - someone might have put it there with good intentions, but it merely serves as a symbol of false hope - in a multitude of ways.

Ordibble-Plop
10-29-2003, 07:44 PM
It seems you have had a very visceral and personal reaction to the crucifix, but there are other ways of looking at it.

As stated, it was put there with good intent so it isn't meant directly as a slight against Christianity.

And it is a symbol of false hope, not because Christianity doesn't offer hope, but because the brainless man is unable to grasp that hope.

In it's own way it is an interesting coment on hope and faith as a uniquely human condition resulting from our consciousness.

But it is absolutely meaningless to the brainless man. He is just placed there and has coins thrown at him. The ultimate freakshow, rendered completely devoid of personality or reason or hope and made into an object for spectators to enjoy.

eh
10-29-2003, 07:54 PM
for some reason your character reminded me of rev. henry cane (i just spent the last 10 mins trying to find the pic and name of character) from poltergiest II and i think if you use some of the creepy characteristics of this character on your own it might add the kind of creepyness this work seems to emote..
http://members.tripod.com/edenlynn/rainkane32.jpg

dpvtank
10-29-2003, 08:00 PM
I did't mean to make the eyes glow...however, that is what I said...I meant it to be more of something in focus..

think the return of the king poster with aragorn. See it in high-res and you will see what I mean...your eyes automatically fix on aragorn's eyes...I don't know...some thing to do with pretty much making the eyes "stand out".

Electrofirma
10-29-2003, 08:09 PM
It seems you have had a very visceral and personal reaction to the crucifix,
No I didn't. You might go back and reread a bit, to better grasp what caused my reaction.

Lorecanth
10-29-2003, 08:21 PM
I realize that not everyone that posts on this forum may have as deeply seated belief as some that free speech is integral to a functioning society. However its a free community and if an artist decides to state his message with a piece of art that is his perogative, and the focused critique should then be on whether he achieved his stated message.

As far as design, emotional content, and the ability to do what every good piece of art should do ( get people talking about it). This work combined with some of the suggested items, will and has utterly succeeded.

JamesMK
10-29-2003, 08:24 PM
Ordibble: Couldn't have said it better myself.

damax: Pretty amazing similarity there! Maybe he put himself in my subconscious mind some time long ago... Thanks for spending your time looking for that.

dpvtank: Oh, sorry, I see what you mean now - the glance that instantly grabs you... Would be neat, but I honestly don't know how to produce that... Some trick of the trade I'm yet not aware of :)

Electrofirma: Let's just agree that we strongly disagree here and leave it at that. I appreciate you're giving your opinion anyway.

Electrofirma
10-29-2003, 08:29 PM
Electrofirma: Let's just agree that we strongly disagree here and leave it at that. I appreciate you're giving your opinion anyway.
We probably agree more than you know, but I don't think this forum is the place for airing those views, or making veiled references which state our views. With all the turmoil in the world it would be nice if we could have this one place, free of ideological and political bulls***.

EDIT: If you are interested in airing your views or clarifying them, feel free to send me a PM.

marcia
10-29-2003, 10:07 PM
The problem with removing/replacing the pupil and/or having the character gaze blankly at his lap is that it then ceases to engage the viewer directly. If you do that, then you would need to add to your environment to bring the interest level back up. I also agree that the lighting needs to be more dramatic.

As far as there being any kind of religious message, I don't feel the inclusion of a rosary, by itself, makes much of a statement (which, incidentally, I didn't even notice until it was pointed out). It doesn't seem to have much supporting context in the image, other than to contrast with the character's evil expression.

I have difficulty pulling any real emotion out of this image because the style is very much along the lines of horror comic books (not meant as an insult), which I don't take seriously.

All in all, I find the image somewhat interesting as a novelty, but not particularly arresting. Maybe with more work...

MarkSnoswell
10-29-2003, 10:30 PM
wow -- things really got moving on this thread. Great responses everyone. However I think htere is one area you could improve the image's impact -- and that I dont think has been suggested yet...

make the character more malnourished -- the ribs are showing and the shoulder is good -- but the rest of the body does not follow through on this theme. give him a more pronounced pot belly (malnourishment results in the muscle mass being broken down and this included the abdominal muscles which results in pot belly) and make the legs much more skeletal -- they don't get used after all on top of the malnourishment.

The image also has a degree of surealism that could be enhanced -- if you want. A cheery countryside image in the window and some more development of the drop of at the bottom of the image (perhaps revealing an earthy underworld with worms, or a mechine underworlld full of gears and plumbing).

Lastly -- if you do anything, in any way to "improve" the image dont forget to pay as much attention to how the face and in particular the eye relates to the image. In a very real way that one little pupil is the main focus of the entire image! Its exact placment, size and relation the the eye and face is what creates the most powerfull connection with the viewer -- the rest of the image builds out from there. You can do a lot to the rest of the image without completly changing the overall feeling of the image -- but -- by just a subtle change of the eyes you could change the reaction to the man from one of pity (downcast, large, soft pupil) to one of fear (beady, sly pupil like you have now).

Electrofirma
10-29-2003, 10:58 PM
Well, since I hope we've worked out our differences over subtle sub-meanings, I do have a suggestion...

Put a door in the side of the box, and a short, maybe 25cm, brass railing across the front of his stage. Coins is a good idea also.

dpvtank
10-30-2003, 12:25 AM
I would go a bit further and add some leaky roof in there as well..
the house looks all broken and stuff...it would be cooler if it seems like its raining and the water is dripping inside the house

think fight club scene when they are inside the house and the water is dripping all over the house.

gnarlycranium
10-30-2003, 01:04 AM
Mark has some very, very good points about the face and the eye-- actually, I didn't even notice that there WAS a pupil in the eye until I saw other people talking about it and went back to look. With the glare of the window kinda washing out the face, I had thought the eye was just blank. Some say he's grinning, but I didn't really get that impression either, the mouth just seems kinda open to me, not really forming an expression.

colkai
10-30-2003, 11:09 AM
I agree with Electro,
I was only thinking this morning about the front of it.
Yeah, some form of 'barrier' I had thought glass, but a rail or wooden ranch fence would serve.
After all, he is 'an exhibit' so I think the suggestion of an enclosure needs to be given IMHO. Maybe pull the camera back a little to show the "edges" more?

I also agree that it should be run down, adding to the feeling of neglect, for him and his surroundings. Plus, the idea of a sunny countryside out the (grimy) back window would for sure sell the contrast.

Boy - this is really interesting!

JamesMK
10-30-2003, 03:34 PM
Wow. Amazingly interesting input here.

Marcia - yup, the eyes are important "viewer engagers" here. Somewhat troublesome, since the way it is arranged now isn't really possible. The earlier suggestion to have him staring blankly down his lap is, in reality, the only possible thing.

Mark.Snoswell - the eyes again, I'm really on the fence here not knowing what to do. I think I might keep them looking impossibly towards the viewer, but change them too big soft sickly looking pupils. Perhaps. Making him more skinny is a great idea as well since it would make him more balanced. I like that surrealistic angle as well. Might look into something there.

Electrofirma - A railing! That would frame everything better and add to the exploitation/exhibition theme. Great idea.

Dpvtank - Leaky roof is good. My original plan was actually to have a lot of raining going on, but I didn't have time to do it. Will do, and add leaky roof and water damage.

Gnarly - Interesting. We all focus on different things I guess.

Colkai - Grimy back window is on the list! (the short list even)

Thanks everyone. I've got stuff enough to keep me busy until christmas now :)

colkai
10-30-2003, 04:59 PM
James,
Just happy to be helping.
Haven't time to work on my own at the moment - but I do love sharing ideas.
Really looking forward to how it pans out.
Just how many different ideas are now floating around your mind? ;-)

*THIS* for me is what forums should be like - congrats to all for setting this Evocative area up - I really do think it will help not just the contributing artist, but everyone who takes part in the process.
As they say..."It's all good!" :-)))

Electrofirma
10-30-2003, 07:43 PM
A railing! That would frame everything...
A very short railing though, as if it was built to simply keep the chair from rolling out.

Pi3141
10-30-2003, 09:38 PM
Great artwork! I love the scene and character, although I do have trouble with the emotion side of things.

I find myself trying to pull an emotion out of this artwork, instead of it comming out to reach me.

I think its the relationship between his eyes, body language and grin.

Something just doesn't seem to mix. Some might debate this adds to the brainless theme, but it tends to throw me off the plot just a little bit.

The way he his haunced over with head down works very well with the eyes looking up through the corners at us. It makes me feel like he is aware of whats going on, but it doesn't get to him, and he want's us to know that. But then the mouth contradicts the eyes, giving him a completely different emotion. It's not a smile of settlement. It's a cheerfull smile, which seems unbalanced.

JamesMK
10-30-2003, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by Pi3141
It's a cheerfull smile, which seems unbalanced.
I totally agree. It's been bugging me for some time now. All this talking has revealed a few inconsistencies that I hope to rectify.

On the other hand, I'm a real sucker for contrasts - but it should probably not be present as contradictions within one and the same character. At least not in a still like this.

What I'll try to do is to make him look more "dead" while maintaining the strong focus around the eyes somehow. This means I need to change the eyes and wipe that grin off his face. He really is meant to be an object rather than a person.

As I've said: There are loads of things I can do to improve this, and I probably wouldn't have figured them out without the help of all you guys (and girls) commenting on it.

A side note: The Evocative forum starts turning out as quite a work of genious by the CGNetwork crew. Like colkai said above, this is the way to go. By doing away with the petty technical details and focusing on the results we can all help out improving eachother's final products rather than the particular details involved in producing it.

Pi3141
10-30-2003, 10:37 PM
On the other hand, I'm a real sucker for contrasts - but it should probably not be present as contradictions within one and the same character. At least not in a still like this.


I love contrasts too. And if you think about it, you already have a great one going here. The fact that his body is an object, he is dead, yet inside... there is still life and that is shown to us through his eyes.


The Evocative forum starts turning out as quite a work of genious by the CGNetwork crew. Like colkai said above, this is the way to go. By doing away with the petty technical details and focusing on the results we can all help out improving eachother's final products rather than the particular details involved in producing it.

I couldn't agree more. It's allows us to express the artist inside, and settle down on the computer tech side of things.

Ziye-Liu
11-01-2003, 08:54 AM
Hi,
do you think the light on the floor may be too bright?
It seems that the floor is wet:)

but I really like the man who sit on the whellchair.

JamesMK
11-01-2003, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by MIDNIGHT-LIU
do you think the light on the floor may be too bright?
I do. Reworking the lights to support the intended mood here is a high priority as mentioned previously in this thread.

It seems that the floor is wet:)
Yes, my original plan was to add some rain to the scene. I never got further than making the floor a bit wet... This will make more sense once I'm done with all the adjustments.

Ziye-Liu
11-01-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by JamesMK
I do. Reworking the lights to support the intended mood here is a high priority as mentioned previously in this thread.

Yes, my original plan was to add some rain to the scene. I never got further than making the floor a bit wet... This will make more sense once I'm done with all the adjustments.

Oh i see. The weather is rainny.

Derlaine
11-02-2003, 07:05 AM
deleted text because i can't delete the post

JamesMK
11-02-2003, 08:23 AM
@ Derlaine - Very helpful indeed. That's a load of useful information. Thanks!

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