View Full Version : Characters: Cat and Mouse

11 November 2004, 02:14 AM
The background started as a small part of a photo (but has been modified way beyond recognition). The car started as a De Espona model, but has been modified into some kind of custom low-rider thing. The hat is modelled by me in 3d, as I think I'll end up doing with all of the rest, but for now the rest is painted in Photoshop. It's a WIP, 2 female characters in a parallell universe without males... just for fun for now. I tried this in the 'normal' WIP thread but not that much useful feedback, hoping for more here... Please feel free to tear it apart. :)
I'm going for a kind of vintage-Bogart on steroids (or crack) type thing. But maybe it should be in color? A brick wall? Rain? A gas-light in the mist? Maybe a cool raygun instead of a plain gun? Or maybe I should just drop the whole idea?

11 November 2004, 04:35 PM
Some rain might be nice in the background, sort of blurring the fence and a little of the car.

11 November 2004, 05:22 PM
No. Don't drop it. I really like it! And don't color it...the black and white/Bogart-ish feel is nice!

I'm not sure about rain, but the misty streetlight idea sounds good. And maybe some beaded-up moisture on the car.

Also, if I hadn't read your description, I wouldn't have gotten that it is 2 females. It looks like a man and a woman to me. Even though the one in the trench coat's face looks sort of feminine, it just seems like a man. Maybe larger breasts would get it across? Or longer more flowing hair?

Lastly, I'm a little confused by what that is behind the girl in the dress (sort of under her rump) is that a leg? Hers?...or a tail?....or something she is sitting on? Its kind of hard to tell. It doesn't seem to be in the right position to be the leg of the character in the trench coat.

Again, really great!

Common Terry
11 November 2004, 09:23 PM
This has a lot of potential. I'm not sold on the animorph aspect but it could work. The idea of the femmie's ear muffs is fun. The straight line of masculine femme's arm and gun Is the weakest part of the pose for me. Don't care for the tangencies of the gun tip and coat shadows with her knee. The smoke for the gun is getting lost in the curve of the fender which is another alignment/tagency that seems awkward.

You have alot of alignments framing the edge of this piece. I've seen Mark English pull off alignments rather well so maybe you could take the allignment tangency thing further? It would be a real challenging design excercise.

Rain could be cool or some other lighting from inside or outside the car. Bulliet holes? I've see you do some amazing work so I'm sure you could pull this one of no problem.

Anyway there's my 2 cents for what its worth. Good luck.

dynamic duotone
11 November 2004, 09:43 PM
Very cool concept - the the immortal words of Paris Hilton...."That's hot!"

Seriously though, the rain would be nice...but I'm seeing more of a fresh wet look, like it just rained - that's just the feeling I get when I look at that picture, it just happens to be a missing detail in my mind at least. Some "after rain" mist would be nice too.

Is the Cat woman sitting on something? It does look a little odd, i feel like I am trying to mentally force myself to visualize what she might be sitting on next to the car...a box? The car looks too far over for her to be sitting on the fender. Or could she be leaning on a lamp-post - that might add to the scene, you could incorporate that gas light you're talking about there...

Here's an idea...
I like the black and white feel, but if the itch to make it color gets to strong for you - it might be extremely cool if you colored only the characters in a light wash of color, kind of like they paint only the flowers in artistic B&W wedding photos (you know what I mean here?) almost a subdued watercolor look, it would give it a lot of stylism while keeping that 30's/40's pulp fiction look.

Good luck with it,

11 November 2004, 06:31 AM
Yes, I know what you mean about the faded color, cool idea. Thanks all for excellent feedback, the Focused Forum truly earns its name. :)

An update, with a different composition, moved the gun to the other hand, seated the mouse lady on a car, added cigarette, stockings, another car, tail, and exposed that chest. Hm, looks like a t-shirt now, have to add back the collar... Used reference for the cat head. (Perspective on the ground is off, I've used the cloning tool too roughly.)

edit: updated image, added shirt collar and some general refining

dynamic duotone
11 November 2004, 03:13 PM
Much nicer composition - much more the torn fishnet on the Mouse girl; mucho sexy. The cleavage on the cat girl was a good way to indicate she's a female, I was wondering how you were going to do that. Good one!

That other car does a good job of framing up the shot. The gas light is great, it may compete with the characters a little, but I'm willing to bet if you put a little depth of field on it at the end, you wouldn't have to change much of the composition at all.

The wet street behind them rocks...yeah, I would add a collar on the shirt or add some vertical texturing to make it less like a t-shirt.

Man, not much more I can critique - very tittilating. Are you going to 3D this in the end?

Very shweet!

11 November 2004, 02:21 AM
Wonderful job on the revision. I like the second piece a lot more. There are some great changes, but one of my favorites is the most subtle: The sharp hilight on "mouse's" eye. That helps a lot! But there's a lot of other greatness there too, the skin shading is really wonderful. The character in the trenchcoat reads a bit more like a female now. It's still sort of subtle... I mean, it's there, it's in the lips and hint of cleavage, but not much else. Just a random suggestion - what if the coat were not quite so full? The collar especially hides the neck and the shoulders, making her look a little bit more masculine. Otherwise, if you wanted it more immediately clear, you could accentuate the cleavave a little more. (I know, cheesy solution! :-/

One area that isn't totally working for me is the weight of "mouse." She doesn't really feel like she's holding up her own weight and the positioning of the legs doesn't quite convince that she's standing on them. I could buy that she's leaning against a car, but "cat's" stance is one of standing straight, not leaning.

Anyhow, thanks for sharing this WIP, and good luck with it, it's really nice!


Common Terry
11 November 2004, 01:45 AM
Much nicer! This composition is a HUGE improvement. The torn stockings are a nice touch as is the background and additional car. Even though the widnow in the upper corner seems unresolved I like it because it gives the feeling of other voyeurs besides us. The new hand positions are a great improvement.

There are some lighting things I'm sure you will be fine tuning. I hesitate to crit at this point because you're probably already aware of my suggestions. But here they are anyway. The strong reflective light on their faces especially on the masculine femme is nice but doesn't quite groove with the bodies and cars.Just a bit to bright. Don't care for the way the tail is cut off into the fender. Seems that fender and headlamp would be getting some of the same intense light her sexy thigh is getting.

Love seeing your evolving problem solving process on this. Well done.

11 November 2004, 01:09 PM
YES! I love the concept! I think if you gave it vintage sci-fi alternative universe things, it'll be more unique than simply cats instead of humans.

I did a very quick color layer on top. Of couse I had to, or else we'd break our little tradtion. LOL

I'm really bad at working this way, since when you paint in B/W, you blow out a lot of high-key range into pure white, so colors can't "stick" on when I paint. This is why I don't work that way, because I'd have to paint all the overblown whites back in with lower values so that colors can stick in the high-key range. But damn your value ranges are great when you work this way! I sometimes love your B/W more than the finished color version.

You also need to post consistantly in the same forums. If I hadn't gone into the moderator's forum, I'd never have found out about this thread. You didn't post this at sijun (and you don't post at eatpoo or conceptart), so I'd have missed this altogether. And that would be bad, as in, Steven gets his butt spanked bad.

11 November 2004, 04:19 AM
Okay, okay, I'll post this at Sijun and eatpoo today! I was going to you know... but the cat ate my modem... :)
Cool colorization, parts of it look like authentic period colorizing, and I really like the subtle colors of the coat there...
Thanks everyone for great feedback. Here's a new revision, this time used some photo reference for the legs (had to change the lighting and add stockings).

dynamic duotone
11 November 2004, 03:53 PM
oooooo...Lunatique, I really like the way you did that colorization! Great color combinations, very nice stuff.

Stahlberg, I like the leg up on the Mouse girl much better. Don't really have anything left to critique. It's very sexy, makes me want to go home and get some "kitty" :-)

Great job!

Tom W.
11 November 2004, 01:32 AM
NICE, I likey

11 November 2004, 09:10 AM
I like her with her leg up too, but the volume of her thigh looks a little too flat? I mean, it might be accurate, but this might be one of those cases where aesthetics should overtake accuracy?

11 November 2004, 04:06 PM
NIce picture you got there. The mouse girl is real cute n sexy(feel weird saying that); think she needs more holes on her stockings for the left leg, and her thigh does look a bit flat, other then that, shes perfect. The only thing i have with the cat is that her face(lighting) and expression(jer mouth) look like they dont belong in the scene. Maybe more of a more serious(emotion) shape to the mouth and either darken the lighted side or lighten the darker side. But thats just me.

11 November 2004, 06:01 PM
I know you don't want to go for obsessive realism, but the holes in the stockings look too arbitrary. They are not known as "ladders" for no reason.

The mouse character's tail is coming out an odd angle - it doesn't read as an extension of the spine. The anatomy of the left thigh muscle looks fine to me.

The new pose is much better, straight out of a 40s poster. Only thing missing is a row of broken bottle ends cemented to the top of the fence, glinting in the lamp light...

11 November 2004, 08:05 AM
Tried to adress all crits, thanks very much,
also made cat's eyes bigger, mouse's legs bigger, a few other little things,

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