View Full Version : Android Blues - character

05 May 2004, 06:44 AM
(This is in the focused crit forum as well, I want all kinds of comments.) What emotion if any does this evoke in you?

05 May 2004, 07:42 AM
It transmits a great sense of sadness and lonelyness (the blues!).
The droid is not deactivated, it is not dead. The droid is depressed and demotivated. SHe's lost something more than the arm, maybe much more.
The droid suddenly realized she's not a free being. She realized she's prisoner of her own technology (her technical specifications).
Maybe the walls around her are those of the prison created by the limits of technology...

A great piece. I would not even improve it technically. It's apparent roughness is key to the message delivered by the image.


05 May 2004, 07:45 AM
When I looked at this picture, I asked myself following questions:

Where is the arm ?
Where is she ? Captured, in a prison ?
What was she trying to do with the screwdriver, fixing her right arm, but where is the arm ?
What's that metal cap for, next to the screwdriver. I know it's part of the arm mechanics, but what does it do ?
Why hasn't she got much clothes on ?
Is she a *prostitute* android ?
Did she get *abused* and that's why the arm is missing, because she ended up in a fight ?
Where is the arm ?

Some other thoughts; she must be an android with feelings, because she makes a very exhausted and kind of "lost hope" impression.

Emotions: You kind of feel sorry and want to help.

P.S. I like the subtle SSS effect ;)

05 May 2004, 11:38 AM
Thank you! Very nice words. Not sure why she doesn't have much clothes on, maybe she lost her shoes running, and her top, well to access her arm-hole she had to remove it I guess. let me know if you think I should something sleeveless on her.
You guys seem to be getting the emotion I was after. I wanted some feedback first without giving the background, to see if I was on the right track. Looks like it. Okay so now here's the

All androids are programmed into experiencing a fake childhood (the best way to approach 'human-ness' in an AI).
But this particular unit was disconnected too soon, and now she feels like a young girl whose whole family has suddenly died.
She wants to die too, but of course her program won't allow it. Now she's lost her arm, and she's been framed, and she's alone and hunted, and she can't do the adjustment with one hand, and...
She drops the tool and starts crying.

05 May 2004, 12:22 PM
Ok, I was probably wrong about the *prostitute* bit. Have been watching too much Law & Order SVU ;)

Are these concepts for a shortfilm ?

Anyway, forgot to say it's a great image ;)

05 May 2004, 04:03 PM
Really strong image. A few thoughts:

Missing arm looks cleanly removed -- detached, not torn off with ripped flesh and exposed, fizzing wires. Whoever removed it knew what he/she was doing.

You say, "she can't do the adjustment with one hand". Not clear what adjustment she can make with a screwdriver and the knob from an Easy Bake Oven (sorry, it's the first thing I thought of). Override her programming to commit suicide? Or find a way to break out? Is she imprisoned or in hiding?

I assumed that she's been living under the illusion that she's human, that someone (perhaps her creator) has told her the truth and proven this to be true by removing her arm. Perhaps she removed it herself, but since the arm is missing and she has naught to work with, this seems unlikely. The bra with the drooping strap is a nice detail -- that and her position makes her appear more vulnerable. And the skirt implies that she just found the truth today. If she were fleeing she would probably be dressed more appropriate for running. The color, texture and crack in the wall makes for an appropriately bleak setting. Great work!

05 May 2004, 04:44 PM
Almost forgot --
No shoes or socks, no shirt, sad and scared body language (missing arm especially) reminds me of a doctor's office. I like the effect.

05 May 2004, 05:01 PM
My first impression is that she is a junkie that has just OD'd. The screwdriver is where you'd expect to see a needle. She sold her arm to get her last fix.

Ok, so I'm warped!

05 May 2004, 07:39 PM
Decided to check on this post to about the background. Just know that one of the biggest questions of all time is, "what is she smiling at". The human imagination will take this image further than the story it tells.

05 May 2004, 07:42 PM
(At first, I thought it was a syringe lying on the ground as well, that she was a doped-up, passed-out android girl that someone had had a bit of fun with. From that, I didn't really get much of a feeling, more of a 'drugs are bad' kinda thing. )

On the second viewing, realizing what's actually going on, I feel more like it's hopelessness that defines the picture. Something's led to her being in the state she's in, and at the same time it's made her give up all hope. I think it's her desire to be human that 's done it.
She looks like she wants to cry, but I don't see any tears - maybe she wasn't designed to. Now that her artificial nature is exposed in the way it is, she can no longer pass as a human being - which she ultimately never really could anyway. This realization and the destruction of her self-image as someone that can be accepted by the "normals", i.e. human beings, is the source of her despair and hopelessness. No-one likes having their weakest points and their greatest fears thrust out into the open.

well. could be like that, anyway. :)

nice work, once again.

05 May 2004, 07:36 AM
Here's an update, thanks for the help.
(I've also seen her as a junkie when I look quickly, it's hard not to. How can I make her look sadder and less unconscious, without showing her face? hm, tough one. Maybe I have to show her face.)

05 May 2004, 09:58 AM
The first thing that came to my mind was The Animatrix, The Last Flight of the Osiris. There's the part where the humans ar trashing the androids, where there's one screaming woman tossed around by men and then she's torn apart. This could be a similair girl.

It gives me the same feeling the Animatrix did.

05 May 2004, 10:56 AM
Here's another version with some floorlines, and a second character - a man in a suit.

05 May 2004, 01:41 PM
violated, disrespected, & victumized.

05 May 2004, 06:26 PM
i'd have second mainly what RAv3N mentioned...the blues...demotivated..depressed.
the mans leg starts to change the look i think...think i actually prefer it without...otherwise its far to contrived..imho as always.

(one comment not on evocativeness...but on the actually seated position...doesn't strike me as particularly comfortable..and i think if you were that drained/ would be more comfortably seated (do droids dream of comfort!) sit on the floor and then put your right leg in her position..i think the foot would be more turned outwards rather than inwards...just a thought...however this would change look a little also...if leg was in current position you would get feeling muscles would be more tensed in upper part of leg...dunno maybe i'm wrong on this.

also i don't think you should concentrate on making it more oppressive or violated/victimized afterall she has already lost her arm and presumably is confined in bad do you want this poor girl to have it! heh heh.

cool image though as always steven...looking forward to seeing updates.
i like the tool idea....could also try something more emotional or related to the photograph ...not keen on cliche of it..but you get my thinking..

05 May 2004, 04:19 AM
Okay, I've turned her legs to be more relaxed, added more outline to be more consistent, tweaked the arm hole and deleted the man's leg. (overwrote number5)

05 May 2004, 09:22 AM
i know its supposed to be focussed crit...but just want to say respect and kudos for the leg re-align...
i think the arm/hand is a little big/fat...but not based around any anatomy crit...just feel i'm afraid...also rather man like atm.

can i ask what you would like to say with the image as opposed what you think it says? maybe these are one and the same but kinda curious...
don't like to focus crit on technique as think we should try and concentrate on feelings/emotions/evocativeness whatever that is...if you get my meaning...cheers.

just had an after thought...if you want to increase the feeling of isolation maybe a less tight shot would help...dunno though sometimes you have to try things to know whether they work or not...hope these help in some random ramblings..heh heh...keep up the good work bud.

05 May 2004, 05:23 PM
The main thing that makes her look like a junky, besides the angled perspective and her being against a wall is the screwdriver laying like a seringe.

she looks passed out cause she doesn't show any muscle work.. i mean.. lacks tension... a sad person needs to transmit some tension, (like her legs bent and the other arm keeping them close with her head between them, or more subtle like she could be grabbing her chest with the other hand) or just making a fist...

i understand why the screwdriver is red, but the scredriver is the source of her depression, therefore i believe it should stay black- blueish, if u want to add some collor, how about some purple in the hair? ok, i think i'm a bit out here specially cause you are a master when dealing with collors :D

i know that what i said goes against what most people say here.. well, thats just what i think :)

05 May 2004, 01:22 PM
Really nice and strong image till now; it really puts your thinking about it....

I'd like to see her face, but to just see the contours. Would it be an idea to put her head a bit to the light, looking to the window? And maybe a shadow of somebody else would also be nice ;)

I like the bled you see at her cutted arm; it shows its not done with respect. Also the lines and sharp look is nice!

Good luck!

05 May 2004, 09:51 PM
I find the effect of this picture curious, puzzling, like the ultimate effect is not the intended effect. I think you intended poignancy, like that of seeing a child's doll in the trash. But I don't think it serves the subject. Your exquisite execution unifies the work and is savory in the extreme but it interrupts the stark quality the image wants. The face is hidden behind straggling hair, slumped pose of a propped up mannekin, barren and dilapidated setting, stark ominous shadow. In other words, all the necessary elements are there, skillfully selected and treated, but you seem caught between illustrated fantasy, and real film noir grit. I think you have to risk letting cg work for you more, to establish evocative lighting and texture. You have taken the sumptuous technique of figure and pinup fantasy and juxtaposed it with a few trappings from the scifi genre. You are very sensitive to the expressive effect of pose in the western figurative tradition and how to use it compositionally. You may be less sensitive to the expressive devices of the cinema and how they have informed our emotional response to images. But I am sadly lacking in such awareness myself. The image is beautiful but slightly closed off. I think you need to be less refined in you treatment possibly. I am thinking of Picasso Blue Period.

05 May 2004, 08:27 AM
Thanks guys. jrcsurvey, I think you're right, there's something not resolved about this image. I don't think it's because it's rendered too 'pretty', after all lots of Manga and anime and colorful graphic novels manage to be poignant. Maybe it's that we don't see her face, and so the whole thing becomes ambiguous. Not sure what to do about that, except scrap the whole approach and try something different.

Anyway, here's one with stomach folds tweaked, hand narrowed, shadow by heel darkened, and text added. I guess the text competes with the subject, but I'd like to use it as a cover or poster for my screenplay, so it needs some kind of heading...

05 May 2004, 10:49 AM
I'm not sure about the title. You're right, it is really fighting with the image. I'm also not sure whether it's clear enough to read, I think the motion blur is too strong.

Does the motion blur sit on top or behind the text? Maybe put it behind and lower the opacity a bit. And since it's for a poster maybe darken the background behind the text, so it stands out more.

05 May 2004, 10:57 AM
Yeah bin the title, it just runins the image, don't give it a title let it speak for itselve, just put a name at the bottom or something.

What you could do is give it some more highlights in her hair.
I see the lightsource is comming from the richt side (left for the girl) but the ground tells me it's comming from the front side.
So maybe you could make it really come from the right side through a window, and put the highlights she has on her leg also on her hair.


05 May 2004, 10:58 AM
too much blur, oversaturated and and adds too much weight on the top...

05 May 2004, 11:23 AM
i don't not like the title...but think it could do with its own black space above the image..possibly an extra 3rd black space above...but its all good...glad you looked at the stomach area.

05 May 2004, 05:23 PM
Yes, you took the meaning of my critique exactly. There is no way to resolve what I am getting at with a few tweaks of this image, it is embedded in the vision you began with and the technical strengths you have developed and work within. The critique is not aimed at improving this image, but your next.

As you point to, the whole artistic approach you take leads us to want to see that face, and that is denied. But does that denial result in the expressive effect intended? Little or nothing else is denied the viewer. She is there for us. Her body and pose are there for us. Her rich young flesh is there for us. Nothing of the environment hides or detracts. There are some deep shadows but they deny us nothing of interest. In fact the spotlighting effect only shows off the figure more. The empty setting sets up its tactile presence. The harsh, crumbling texture of the pavement is a foil to the smooth, innocent beauty of her skin.

The denial of the face leaves the pose and the scraggled hair to communicate her inner state. Presumably this is an intentional device, calculated to induce empathy. The question is, does it,... or is it merely an annoyance relative to the fleshly invitation of her open thighs? There is a good deal of voyeurism here.

I don't mean to invalidate the latent eroticism of the image. There is nothing wrong with that. It is suffuse in the entire genre and at the very root of its appeal. But perhaps the picture needs more of a ranking of emotive devices, some need to be subordinate to others.

Obviously I am discussing creative options available to someone that is capable of an advanced level of technical control. And I am discussing them merely as someone who is a livelong student of art, but who has no personal stature in the artworld at all.

I kind of liked my "doll in the trash" idea in my previous post btw. It suggests to me that you were caught deciding between two opposite appoaches to your theme(s): the theme of the embodied sentience of a robot, the theme of the superficial component of desire, the theme of the harsh persecutioin of those who are different, , theme of rhe romantic appeal of alienation especially if it is not your fault,... And it makes for interesting conversation. My thought was that your approach here is to give us the fleshy girl and let us discover her mechanized artificiality. The opposite approach would be to begin with the artificiality and have it begin to hint at the transcendent possiblilities. In a way it echoes my other question: do you seek out what is emotive in an image, or let it come to you?


05 May 2004, 06:03 PM
hey Stahlberg, nice work here, it's nice to see you tweak the image to make the feeling it breathes more pure. The image makes me feel helpless, like I am watching the robotgirl and not beïng able to help her.

Anyways, what I really wanted to tell you was a maybe solution for the title, what about just writing the title on the wall, like airbrushed, or written with crayons, that way it won't fight with the overal feeling and atmosphere of the image - like the one now.
Oh well, just my thoughts on it :)

05 May 2004, 06:50 PM
A very strong image. I think the stomach folds need more work, and the hand/arm still seems a bit big for her compared to her torso. The title reminds me of the Alien movie.

06 June 2004, 10:12 AM
Another update:

06 June 2004, 10:52 AM
i like it :), is that a black tear drop on her face? is that a tear on the ground?

now i have the feeling that her left leg is too big, might be the perspective tho..

it does make one feel the blue this poor "girl" is going trhu, i feel like she has just been "violated"

06 June 2004, 11:37 AM
much the title idea...very nice.
and like being able to see a little more face...and is that a tear drop on the floor?
anyway like the improvements.

06 June 2004, 11:58 PM

What a powerful image!


06 June 2004, 08:05 PM
I like it very much, obviously much more talent than that of mine, however when i look at it, it gives me this very strange feeling like, shes sitting on a wall and her back is against the roof. I dout anyone else gets this but, i also seem to feel it most when i look at the floor near her right leg, its very strange to say the least. Although i love the image very much.

06 June 2004, 12:47 PM
Helplesness, abandonment, fragility.

06 June 2004, 07:13 AM
Now don't I feel like a dick posting story critique in the other forum. Alright, a few thoughts, the pose doesn't feel childlike, generally I think of a child as curling up more if hurt and scared. Despite more recent additions the arm still feels disconnected voluntarily, a dangling component might help that feel a bit more like it was forcibly removed. I think a lighting pass will really help it out. I think a tighter association between her hand and the tool would benefit the image, I'd go with an open hand with the tool still supported by the hand or entwined with the fingers.

The chalk writing kind of feels like it is part of the image, like some declaration scrawled there relating to the image itself, anyway great work.

06 June 2004, 06:14 PM
It is very powerful. Come a long way since the initial post.
One thing though: the last three letters seem awfully visible considering how dark that shadow on the wall is. If you can't get away with darkening them any you could try putting the words one on top of the other, as long as the character didn't obscure them too much.
That's very minor though. Otherwise it is great. It definitely evokes a strong feeling of despair.


06 June 2004, 04:31 AM
generally I think of a child as curling up more if hurt and scared

That gives me an idea, damn I only wish I had time to do it, well maybe later...
Thanks, every comment is appreciated, considered, and helpful.

06 June 2004, 08:33 PM
Looks nice, Steve. But I don't get the despair from this image that you're trying to convey. Sure, she looks sad. Definitely, she is having a problem because of her arm, but she still has another one, and to use a screwdriver only requires the use of one hand. IMHO, the despair would really come across should both of her arms be lying in front of her along with the screw driver.

Kinda like in The Matrix when Agent Smith asked Neo "What good is a phone call if you are unable to speak?" You know?... That sort of image.

06 June 2004, 10:03 PM
love the image.....although cant say anythin the others havent already said....can feel the despair......the emotion is like.."i'm done runnin and fightin to live....i dont wanna struggle like this anymore...i want this to end...." there is no will to get up and help herself even if it is physically possible.......excellent work....although i must say i liked the image where the face wasnt seen.....leaves more room for the viewer to feel her emotion that way......when a person is depressed the first thing they do is turn their face away from u.........and i like the chalk writing on the wall..........waitin to see what more changes u make on this until u settle for a final:)

06 June 2004, 10:24 AM
generally I think of a child as curling up more if hurt and scared

Quite true, but not what i interpret from the image.

Its late, and she is mentaly and physicly drained. The terror is over, but the aftermath has induced a mental deadness, somewhat of a coma/vegi state of a careless reality. She has been staring at the ground for hours, gandering thoughts.

the Muffin Man
06 June 2004, 09:26 AM
wow, very.. very potent pic.

Personally I prefer it without the floorlines, as they push the viewer to create more of a context, anchoring the image as a snapshot of an event and drawing focus from it's abstract & symbolic meaning. For example, someone mentioned early on that the walls may symbolize the barriers of technology and a cause for depression. Adding the floorlines to me makes one less likely to notice the walls & floor as an element in their own right, but instead dismiss them as background. This is how realistic-ness can occasionally be an obstruction..

To me the suicide aspect was melded with her lack of arm and the screwdriver to say that she took off her arm in a desperate self-destructive action, the screwdriver seeming more of an already used instrument like the needle next to a junkie....

As opposed to being her intended means of suicide, with the arm being ripped off in abuse by someone else. Either way though, the combination of elements is very powerful..

I like it with the blood. For one, it stresses that her arm is NOT just being repaired or is some factory / maintenance deal, but it was something violent. More subtly and significantly (if you ask me), it humanizes her. We sympathize more with something that bleeds and are less inclined to see the standard dejected robot with nothing beneath the surface. Furthermore by melding the human & mechanical, it opens the door for us to notice the flipside; this could be a a HUMAN depicted, with all the mechanical parts

If it's a poster for a screenplay though, i think the floorlines work better (because they are realistic, and a screenplay poster has different needs as far as catchiness vs deeper meaning) I really like the most recent look for a poster, there is a subconscious intake of this as: the words are written in chalk by the droid, with the instrument which lies in front of her (your subconscious doesnt care that its a screwdriver). This is a classic look, a bit west side story reminiscent, and seems effective for a poster. It might give a feeling of a lesson to be learned, as chalkboard lessons at school.

This is a a great piece though.. getting more and more refined. The cold light in the newer versions <i>really</i> reminds me of something from Expose, maybe the cover of Expose 1 but i think it was something even more similar... if i didn't know better from the post dates i would almost believe that it was this very pic i was reminded of...

anyway. keep it up. It's so easy to make something thats not meaningful.. i really appreciate these kinds of work :)

EDIT: In response to some other comments..

The erotic aspect of this image I think is far overshadowed by the other issues it deals with. But I think one of the great things about this pic the way it is now is it lets people read in so many different stories/context, it has so many different things to say depending on who is looking. For this reason, I disagree with the suggestion of creating more connection between the hand and the screwdriver. Personally, i saw that she had removed the arm herself and clearly connected the hand with the screwdriver. However, other people said that the arm had been forcibly removed, and the screwdriver had yet to serve it's purpose whatever that may be. The beauty of this image is that all the elements are so perfectly balanced between interpretations, that everyone can see something relevant reflected in this piece of art. I would discourage you from making tweaks in order to represent a specific story. I mean, it's your choice as the artist but ultimately you will be reflecting the way the image speaks to you. It may become stronger on one front..

Well. Whatever you want. But for example, if you chose to make it stronger in the erotic/romantic isolation aspect, it would become less of a powerful image to me because it's representation in the self destruction/hopelessness aspect speaks to me more. Whereas if you favored a different story, it would lose appeal from another group. Just thoughts.

06 June 2004, 10:35 AM
I guess my rationale with putting the screwdriver in hand is that it points to having tried and failed, rather than not having tried at all. I think two things contribute to this view, the relaxed hand, and the overall pose that almost looks like a relaxed pose. Perhaps this combined with the exposing of the face creates a feeling of her being focused externally as opposed to the character being more internally focused. Honestly here I'm playing a bit of devils advocate that is not my initial impression, but it is an impression I get nonetheless.

the Muffin Man
06 June 2004, 12:42 PM
Now that you point it out, i do like the extrovertiveness that comes with showing some face. It makes it interact with you..

For the hand, though, I still say let it be neutral and people will see it in the way that suits them best

Daolohua CnC
06 June 2004, 01:15 AM
Hello Stahlburg.

Good image as always.

However the right foot bothers me. It seems to have no heel, and look a bit flat as the upper part of the foot lacks any arch.
Also if it is pointed at the viewer the toes would be bigger.

Also if a person is slouched over, even a thin person, there would be a visisble crease(s) in the stomach area. You've started on them but I beleive the folds would be more evident. Its hard to tell the exact place them because the breast area seems to be a little low. However this could just be an optical illusion because the bra is sagging and on the verge of falling off.

I like the size of the hands and head. In face overall proportions are doing well.


06 June 2004, 04:34 AM
To me this image seems like she's JUST givin up.

If she had been there in that position for a while, I'd think she turned herself off because there would have to be some sort of programming for discomfort. If anyone tried to stay in that position for a while I think they'd more likely fall over limp, so they wouldn't have to feel anymore discomfort, or anything else for that matter.

I see this type of hopelessness/giving up with the person/android in a corner, with the legs a little bent (maybe even just leaning against a big trash bin-possibly what she thinks of her life?)

07 July 2004, 02:12 PM
Hmm. I liked her hair down actually, gives her more of that robot look. The arm is a bit thick or comes too up front, I dont know, but theres just something that feels off there.. Could just be me, but I thought Id mention it.
Also, the shadows from the thigh and leg (left side of pic) look too big, like it's just too much shadow there.
And personally, I wouldn,t use the chalk lines, the neon blur thing works really well, just less of it, if you made the entire canvas a bit taller and placed it in top, I think that would come out pretty well. Reminds me a bit of ghost in the shell :)
Other than that, no comments - love the pic and feel :)

07 July 2004, 07:45 AM
i think the hair is better pulled back. upon seeing the face i felt more inclined to empathize with the subject than i would if the hair covered the face (and therefore the piece is more emotive in my mind), and makes the subject appear more human, delving on the subject of whether she is human or not.

however, with the hair covering the face, it conveys emotions of shame and escape (if i cant see you, you cant see me), all of which are very human in their origins.

however obvious the sexual connotations might be in this image, i believe they contribute to the emotion of the piece overall, but dont determine the subject matter.

theres quite a few signifiers i this piece but im sure theyve all been stated before. so thats my input for now. keep the discussion going, its a great piece.

07 July 2004, 02:45 PM
Sorry, I may be a bit out of the topic, but the deep despair , ""suicidal tendence" and freezing blue color help me remeber a picture from Gunnm (battle angel alita)
just a little brand of hair on her face would be the middle between the doll aspect she gives me now and the "messed-up toys" she was in the first post.
maybe a glimps on a piece of furniture like a bed in the down left corner would had a "jail" feeling to the picture (but might unfortunately emphasize the "prostitute" feeling a few thought of)
mechanical pieces like in the first picture posted would also look fine for me , even a bit of her lost arm coming from the shadow.
aniway the picture look awesome andreally inspire me a strong feeling of despair, and her skin more than the mechanical arm make her look like the waste of a forgotten/ran away doll. (i read too much science-fiction i guess)

07 July 2004, 04:56 PM
very good development as always. i think it talks about giving up trying to improve the actual situation.

07 July 2004, 02:57 PM
i like the slouched posture of the andriod's body. I think it contrasts well with people's usual conception of a robot.

07 July 2004, 07:34 AM
steven, any chance of a wallpaper size version?

07 July 2004, 10:39 AM
No, sorry... so nice of you to ask, I feel like a jerk for not being able to send you one. But there's only this one low-res version for now. Maybe later I might up-res it if I have time... :)

07 July 2004, 08:07 PM
Awesome concept Steven. However the right foot looks "odd" to me in both versions... in the original version it looks like she has thick ankles, while in the second her foot looks flat.. like it is missing some volume or the perspective is wrong. I think the latter is the case.

Love the peek at her face in the second version though. That being said, this is overall a terrific piece, I get a feeling of hopelessness when I look at it... like she has just given up.


07 July 2004, 08:41 AM
Psychologically speeking, emotions are stored in the body. We all recognize this unconsciously far better than we do consciously. That said, a viewer understands what a slouched posture means emotionaly.

I don't think you need to show the face to convey the emotions you want. (in fact I think they communicate pretty well as is) I think the main problem you're having is that you don't have a shoulder to accentuate the slouch (give it that final little tweek of meaning). But the further you've been 'pushing the posture' on the rest of the body, the clearer it becomes what she's feeling.

personally, I think it's pretty clear. I feel bad for her. it's like she's getting rained on too!

08 August 2004, 03:51 AM
Sadness from the hanging head. Confusion from the absence of the arm yet presence of a screwdriver.

08 August 2004, 10:23 AM
this reply should be in the focused crit.. but...
never better.

08 August 2004, 06:28 AM

its a great composition,
in my opinion, the nudity distracts from intented emotion of the piece... her clothes etc indicate her intelligence (and her capacity for experiencing melancholy)... theres a certain schoolgirl look about her which doesn't make me really empathise with her (hey maybe there are alot of schoolgirls who might disagree) but to me it suggests shes more "sad" than melancholic... it puts a visible limit on the depth and maturity of her emotion and makes me feel uncomfortable with empathising with her.... I'd personally go for either more clothes, or stylising it a bit (a leg band perhaps.. a symbolic tattoo..) to indicate to the viewer that they shouldn't be placing any preconceptions as to her scenario (prostitute?) because she obviously is from another time/place...

you're right about showing the face, however using the hairband is imho a bad device for achieving this... i doubt she would have the drive to pin her hair back like that if she is melancholic... Assuming she has recently lost her arm, there would probably have been some kind of struggle which would have loosened her hair from its tie, and I doubt she would have pinned it up after losing her arm (generally speaking, tying my hair up is the last thing i'm thinking about when i lose my arm.... especially when its on a side of my head which is awkward to pin back using my one good arm....) I've put on half/half so you can see the face subtly enough to just get an idea of what she looks like, but no so much that it seems forced...

this is totally subjective here, but i'd like to see her focus her blues on something visible (so I can *see* what she is thinking about). As it stands, her blues are hidden in her mind... her staring at something in her hand gives me the feeling that there is another action about to take place... its not empty despair, but despair which will lead to some further action.. (personally i think she's thinking about wedging that screwdriver into her CPU and ending it all.. but thats just me. :) ) This might ruin your beautifully painted hand, so i didn't really want to suggest it.. but there... i said it! :)... I'd think a little about the scenario too... has she been banished? where is she? an alley? a basement? what is she holding in her hand and why? who did this... what is she thinking? what is she feeling? (eg. 'I hate myself for the decisions that led to me being in this situation' or 'I resign myself to having no arm and must now consider if it is worth living or dying?' or 'Boy i think i really like vanilla?')

The stump of the arm looks a little strange in my opinion also, as I don't believe a clean break of an arm (robotic or otherwise) would occur that close to the neck... i've stretched it out a little in my modified version here to try and fix this, while at the same time getting rid of the 'roundness' of the hole

the rolls in the stomach aren't as convincing as the could be (but you probably knew that) the right breast looked a little flat.. ie there wasn't any shading or shadow as there should be (as indicated by the other breast and the shadow on the wall) the bra sits flat against the breast, which it wouldn't if it was loose like that

i've included an image here with some (really messy and rushed) modifications

those are my thoughts... very picky, and very subjective (but thats what you came here for right?) its a really brilliant piece, but could be made even better by further clarifying the context in which it sits...


08 August 2004, 07:56 PM
hm........ very emotional picture there mr stahlberg, the darks surroundings give a dark impression and emotion of the the android..........

her torn clothing, broken mechanical arm with abit of blood stains and stretched legs expressess her sadness there as well as the screw driver..... but abit of suggestion though, I quite agree with jebwst... the refference image he provided of a child crying wrapping her arms around her kness invoked plenty of sadness, depression and the distress feeling, well having tears plopping on the surface in front of the android would show just how sad she is being unable to repair her other arm with her left...... just a suggestion...

anyway.. really good image you worked on there...........

08 August 2004, 07:38 AM
tehehe "show just how sad she is being unable to repair her other arm with her left....."

maybe instead of a screwdriver she could be holding a pair of nail clippers... now THATS cause for blues! ;)

ok.. i'll be quiet now :D


08 August 2004, 08:45 PM
The first thing I did when I looked at the image, was reach for my shoulder. ;).

I think you'd be able to evoke a little more emotion, if you have her trying to take her crying/depressed/upset face off like a mask. Or have it lying on the ground next to her.

Another thing that I would suggest is to completely remove her clothes, and not giving her any human features (nipples and gentialia). This would communicate a more sincere depression, since she is beyond the point of trying to conceal herself. That 'cold, naked and lonely feeling'.

The last thing I'd suggest is to use much colder colours for the skin, they feel a bit to warm.

The tear drops on the floor are a nice touch, and it works really well compositionally!

08 August 2004, 07:46 AM
I think it looked better without the black top.

Reminds me of the original Guns n' Roses - Appetite for Destruction cover btw...

09 September 2004, 11:45 PM
It's great to see so much active and quality feedback. I have been so busy that I have been neglecting this forum that I started -- sorry.

Personally -- I liked the first version of this image. I would suggest a lower angle on the shadow on the rear wall so that the shadow dissapears of the left of the image. THis does not mean that you have to make the main light that low -- thats the beauty of doing things in 3D. You can cheat on the lighting to heighten the mood.

I would also dirty up the scene -- small amounts of rubish on the floor and dirtier wall. At the same time clean up the detail in the arm socket. Both these things together would heighten the contrast between the shiny robotic interior and the desolution of the overall scene.

I did like the idea of the strips of blue light entering from the top -- although I would have tried making the strips wider and weaker and washing the entire scene with them.. sort of a subconcious hint of light through prison bars reinforcing the desperation of the girl and her feeling of entrapment.

09 September 2004, 03:18 AM
Thanks guys, the helpful ideas just keep coming. :)
That top could be okay, but maybe not black, but dark grey. Bluer skintone is probably right. Cropping more of the legs looks better too. Focusing more on the screwdriver by putting it in her hand is good, but I had in mind that she just went limp as she gave up, and the tool fell to the ground. I don't know, maybe the tool just needs to be a bit bigger and better defined.
Cheating the shadow, possible, but first I'd try to move the light and see what happens.
Yeah, if I didn't have to worry about public opinion I might have made her nude, but we're showing this to investors, business people in Malaysia and other places, so that's out. :)
I won't work on this anymore right now, too busy... but I'll come back to this thread and take careful notes, at some future date when I want to 'fix it up'.

09 September 2004, 03:40 AM
The one with the black cloths on kind of gives me the impression of a failed escape from a kind of facility its really sadning actually :sad:

I like it :D

09 September 2004, 02:11 PM
Hi Steven,

I don't know if it was already mentioned, but I would think it might help to put her hand in the face. Like she is crying and holding her face not to show us her tears because she has just discovered that she is actually not human...

09 September 2004, 09:33 PM
Hey, Steve

Violated, victumized, junkie and prostitution has been mentioned over and over and that was my first impression as well. The thing that striked me was that the rest of her body is too clean! There is no dirt, scrapes, missing hair, broken skin with metal showing through or rips/dirt on the skirt.

The enviroment looks concrete.Think about what it would take to rip a andriods arm off or a humans arm for that matter!! Unless she was switch off or comanded to stay still, I think there would be a survival instinct that would cause the her to struggle. Did she fall in the struggle? How was the arm pulled off? Was she grabbed by the wrist and a force applied somewhere under the side of the ribbcage? Was she swung around by the wrist? Bouncing off the walls and when the arm came off did she fly in to the wall or skid along the floor in a out of control tumble?

Somebody mentioned the animatrix scene which is a good case in point!

I like the overall look to your original picture, with out the black top. I think the title distracts from the main focus- the girl. I also liked the little chrome disc part that was between her legs.

Anyway this is my logic!

Steve, you do awesome work, as always, keep it up!!


10 October 2004, 02:33 AM
She doesn't look sad... more like tired and exhasperated. She has some tools on the floor. If she had a little sweat droplet on her hair I could say "Maybe she ran out of spare parts" but that would turn the whole thing comic :)

Mayhaps tears on the floor, even if you don't see the crying eyes. Like someone mentioned, her hand in her forehead, her legs not so spread apart.

Seeing it with the current illustration I'd say she may not even be active. Her body is limp, no limbs express emotion. Maybe she just realized that she is nothing more than an expensive, thinking toy, some rich boy's present for his birthday. He played and played, she always smiling and happy to obliged until the toy broke and she was tossed in back alley, near the dumpsters. She now tries to repair herself, trying to please her owner once again, but the little LED in her eye flases, battery is low and no matter her efforts, the screens go black and her "self" is spent in a final, unnexistant tear.

10 October 2004, 01:36 PM
really well thoughtout image.

here are my thoughts
reminds me a bit of Bladerunner, AI, animatrix, anti heroin adverts
I like the decrepidness of the location but I think it should be worse, maybe some industrial air vents or something might make it look like shes had to seek refuge in a really crappy place. puddles, rotting cement, rain damage

and rough her up a bit like shes been through hell (twigs/leaves in her hair?)

if she had cobwebs attached to say her feet it'd look like she died ages ago and her absence is still unoticed

10 October 2004, 12:05 AM
My first impression is that she is a junkie that has just OD'd. The screwdriver is where you'd expect to see a needle. She sold her arm to get her last fix.

Ok, so I'm warped! You aren't alone. My first impression was the same down to the last detail.


10 October 2004, 06:31 PM
Pretty much evocative , but my eyes gets confused where to look, should I be intrigued whit the screwdriver, or the hole of her ripped arm, or maybe the cracks in the wall ,the bluish light strips?What i mean is that you should consider where is the center of avtivity, attraction, attention in your image.The focal point is a component every masterpiese should have. Without a focal point, a spectator will lose interest quickly because he does not know where to look and what part is the most interesting.There are three things that can draw the spectator eyes where should, these are color, contrast, and structure! Complimentary colors should do the work! "Why , Martin, why?" - simply , because the human eyes are attracted to complimentary colors.

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