View Full Version : Scene: Flowers

10 October 2003, 10:09 PM
Ok, I thought I would use this new forum for this image I had created a while ago that I considered finished. At the time I got a lot of good feedback on it.

I intentially tried to create an image that evoked an emotional response. I don't think it's the greatest technical model in the world, but what do you think about it emotionally?


10 October 2003, 10:19 PM
wow...I love this!

From an emotional standpoint...I'd say its pretty good! But I wish there was more of facial expression or maybe some body language that defined how the robot is feeling. Is he sad that he found the flowers? Is he curious...has he never seen flowers before?
The tilt of the head seems to show soom sort of curiousity in the robots feelings but I guess I wish there was a bit more fo something. From a conceptual, and technical standpoint standpoint the image is very well done though!

10 October 2003, 10:22 PM
I think it looks quite good. the composition works and the figure and grass is handled with care.
However, I think the values go to black too quickly and that the colors of the BG don't really seem to relate to the foreground. especially in the hue of the grass. On a cloudy day like this, there would probably be more bounce light in the shadows. and the grass would not be so saturated.
minor fixes.
keep up the good work.

10 October 2003, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Here is my reasoning behind the lack of detail on the head. I wanted the robot to be an autonomous killing machine. No personality, no emotion. Yet, like you've stated the slight tilt of the head shows curiosity, the beginnings of emotion.

Does anyone else have other takes on it?

10 October 2003, 10:57 PM
looks very well done. I think I caught what you threw. It feels like he is comming from the background, dark, forboding, and reaching forth into the light, a possiblity.

I also see emotion on his face. Intentional or no, he definately conveys curiousity and indecision.

As for the composition, the coloring is maybe a little too bold in the back and too bold in the front. There is a lot of contrast, which I suppose could be part of what I am getting out of the piece, but maybe if both areas were leveld off a bit it would be more concrete.

Good job.

10 October 2003, 12:33 AM
This really reminded me from a machine from the Matrix. (Actually from the Animatrix - Second Renaissance Pt.1)
I dont want to go and explain everything about it, but if you have seen it you will know what im getting at.


10 October 2003, 12:58 AM
Heighten the emotional contrast -- look at the things you are doing to create the mood and ask yourself "How can I push the things I am apready doing?"

Background: darker, more smoke (the smoke on the right is great) blood red lighting from fires at thea base and a red underglow higher up.

Hilights: Rim lights on the hero character. A great trick here is to add both a light colour and self illumination to the shaders with a falloff so they both appear only at low angles to the camera -- this is way easier to control and develope great rim lighting compared to doing it with "real" lights.

Tty: darkening everything and casting a volumetric light from the robots eye onto the flowers. DOn't do this as a real 3D volumetric -- just do it in post (unless you have way more time than me to burn playing with real 3D volumetrics).

Try: darkening everything but having the front of the robot catching a shaft of light from above that is illuminating the flowers.

Try: A dull red glow fron the gun barell hand -- hot from recent action.

10 October 2003, 05:21 AM
I really liked this image back when I saw it in the c4d form, but I always thought you could benifit from som color and cotrast adjustments. I'm bad at explaining so heres a quick photoshop example of what I'm thinking, I hope you dont mind :p. It would be cool if you added some noise too... If I remember right you did the smoke with photoshop, and thats what I did all the adjustments with takes like 3 min. If you need a more detailed explaination I'd be glad to give it.

maybe not the best example, but you get the point, I hope :)

You dont have to copy paste, I put the pic in an html...

Good Job, and good luck with furthering the emotion :) -- ndat

10 October 2003, 06:15 AM
I think it helps to hyper focus the element(s) that you believe evoke the audience's emotions. In this case, the single flower and the robot.

My first thought is you might try putting the entire scene into black and white. I always think drab emotions are best expressed this way.

I believe it would enhance the emotion if you where to either kill/singe the rest of the flowers, or just remove them from the scene. Defeniatly remove them from the general focus though, dim them a little to take some emphasis off them.

As for the robot, it dosen't feel like he's totally engrossed in the moment, but merely pausing to pick the flower, and will drop it in a few seconds.

If you where to position him sitting down, with both legs splayed in front of him, with the flower draped across his open palm, that would look truely engrossing.

Great idea though, love the rust texturing! :) The smoke whisps from the gun are absolutly beautiful, are those particles or post?

10 October 2003, 07:38 AM
I almost want the other flowers to be stomped down. Wouldnt that maybe create more critical importance for the last flower? I might be wrong. It's a killing machine though, and the curiosity feels like it should be directed towards the fact that this flower is alive, attractive, and I guess perhaps it's all up to the viewer.

As a viewer, I would like seeing more importance directed to this particular flower.

But... I do like that he has stumbled across a little patch of life. If you know what I mean? Both ways I'm sure would be equally great, but I'm sure that my idea is almost entirely based on person preference.

I'm almost forgetting to tell you that I like this image :) It looks nice, and sicne it's the first post I viewed in this forum, I'm hoping a lot more like this comes around.


edit: Maybe make the eye look more detailed like the rest of the scene. And I think the grass should look darker maybe. And if you make the scene darker, with the suggestions made about focusing on the flower, I do believe the smoke should have faintly red or orange highlights on edges. It looks really great and if you go darker in the sky, I'd want the smoke to stay as is on the right or go darker in some sections but have the edge highlights.

I cant really say what I mean without making enough sense maybe, or having it apply to what you are even looking for. Once again it's just how I would do it. It probably sounds like I'm trying to draw too much attention to the smoke, too. But hopefully you can sort of see what I see.

10 October 2003, 11:00 AM
I think you should strengthen the impression that thereīs a war going on around the robot. Maybe put the silhouettes of some warplanes in the sky or make the smoke glow from distant explosions. Also I donīt think that the rust texture is aproppriate here (although i like it very much). Itīs making the robot look to old and somewhat tragic, not like the shiny, merciless war machine he is.
Maybe you could brake open the clouds and let a single sunbeam shine through, like the promise of a better tomorrow...

10 October 2003, 11:47 AM
If the head was tilted down and towards his "shoulder" more, for me I think it would give the impression of sadness, even with one eye.

I am not sure if it is OTT or 'kitchy' but if the flower was burnt on the edges / damaged it may heighten the mood.

His "smoking gun" suggests his recent killing activity, so to counter-act that with 'sadness' at a damaged flower may get more of an impact.

Then again, I am new to art so I may be way off base.

10 October 2003, 02:00 PM

I think the mood of this piece could be heightened if the flower that the robot is holding was the last remaining 'alive' flower. The sky and backdrop to the piece looks very war-torn and so if I think more emotion could be expressed if the ground at the robots feet was very scorched -maybe due to the robot itself, apart from this one flower.

There would also then be a strong sense of irony in the fact that this last remaining flower had been ripped from its roots because of the robots curiosity.

Just a couple of ideas, great piece of art but doing this may help to lift the emotional aspect to another level.

Cheers, Pete.

10 October 2003, 02:55 PM
I like this piece
I think it's great.
Maybe the bot's pose can change a lot the emotional look of the picture. perhaps kneeling at the flower.

10 October 2003, 04:11 PM
Wow! what a lot of great suggestions. It's going to take me a while to sort through them all and figure out what's going to work.

Thanks everyone.

10 October 2003, 04:13 PM
I love this image. It reminds me of the robot in Hayao Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky.

But I agree that you should try adding details to the eye.

Also I think the smoke coming out from the gun is well done, but it might look better if you accentuate the feeling that there's a war going on in the background.
The first impression I got from the picture would be something like that: this is a wandering robot, sole survivor on earth after a nuclear holocaust that wiped out the human race. Having been built to kill, he has never seen a flower before and marvels at the wonders of life...

Well something like that. So his smoking gun didn't fit with the background story I imagined.
But I guess it's really a minor crit, overall the feeling and composition are quite good.

10 October 2003, 05:11 PM
I like the idea of crushing the flowers, and him holding the only one which still unharmed.

As it is, it's like he is discovering what the flowers represent. By changing the composition, so he is holding the only remaining flower, it will be as if he is discovering the loss of what the flowers represent. Much more powerful in my estimation.

Great work!

10 October 2003, 05:18 PM
this is great, and I love the concept behind this new forum. It's going to be very benifitial to a lot of artist to stay up on the Evocative forum.

Once again very good piece. Love the contrast of materials, (hard/soft, machine, organic).

10 October 2003, 06:23 PM
This is really good, a great example of creating emotion without emotive features. My own personal thoughts....

Don't add a volumetric light from his eye, there are no airbound barticles to catch the light. The scene is clear and a volumetric light would just look false. I find you have to be careful with volumetric lights, they border on lens flare status personally.

I don't see this as a war picture, to me it is a picture of a lost soul. Caught in the indecisions of his own mind and struggling with the emerging emotions that he may have been programmed not to have. If there is a war then maybe he is no longer part of it, perhaps he is now fighting his own kind for his own survival.

Perhaps cast out for showing the signs of emotion, his rusted state indicates a period of neglect by repairers and shows in a way his mortality. Life wears you down and the rust seems like the equivalent of human wrinkles.

The eye is fine, it's simplicity conveys the basic emotional level it is perceiving the flower. It might not know what a flower is, it just knows it is different. It's almost like a glassy eyed baby looking at things that it doesn't quite understand.

If I had any crit it would only be the shade of the grass seems a little cold and blue. If they are being lit through a fractured cloud by a solitary sunbeam, maybe they could be a bit warmer

All in all, a very good image which achieves it's goal, well done.

10 October 2003, 06:50 AM

I think maybe a little reflection in his eye of the flower might look nice and bring out a more emotive feeling in the image.

I dunno if you would be able to do this but maybe have some pedals from the flower that he is holding falling off and slowly travelling to the ground, I think it would give the image a bit more liveliness and create a more sadistic tone.

What everyone else has said is fantastic, and this forum is an awesome idea!

10 October 2003, 07:28 AM
The curious, maybe wistful attention of the robot on the flower is definitely present and successful-- the head tilt does the job quite well.

However, it took me a while to figure out that the robot was supposed to be a war machine-- when I saw the smoking arm, I thought to myself 'what happened to its other hand, and why is it looking at some flower if its hand fell off?' ...the arm doesn't look like a weapon, and the robot itself is made with too many rounded edges and boxy shapes to look at all warlike. Also the eye being so large and softly glowing makes the thing look far less forbidding than it might otherwise.

This image definitely has some focus problems-- the eye, the flower, and the smoke from the arm are all arguing with each other for which is going to draw the viewer's attention. Each is about the same size, and each is of a similar pale white-yellow hue that is further echoed in the other flowers on the ground, spreading out the attention.

You want to create a story here.. so you need to subtly emphasize each key element of the image differently to affect which the viewer will notice first, and what each will mean.

I would suggest making the eye smaller and sharper, but keeping it white-yellow, to associate it (and therefore the robot's wondering thoughts) with the flower. The flower itself could be made the brightest thing in the image, the purity of its white emphasized, and stronger than that of the other flowers so that they don't distract (they could be stomped down, or maybe burned through in a patch, or simply dimmer, whatever you prefer).

I also agree with what the others have said about the environment needing more of an air of violence-- the clouds behind the robot do look like smoke on second glance, but on an initial look they are easily mistaken for stormclouds. I think a sullen, oppressive red glow towards the horizon could really give the background mood more kick. The weapon arm, as well, could have a red glow to it, perhaps a more immediate, brighter orange than the sky, but of a hue that associates the two. Spread the smoke from the arm out a bit, so that it has a broader, more diffuse nature to it that doesn't have details that echo the flowers.... and then either make it more apparent so we notice the weapon first, or make it dimmer so that we notice it only after the flower, depending on how you want the viewer's eye to travel.

How does the story go? Are we seeing a smoldering, frightening warrior kneeling in a field, and then slowly coming to realize that it has paused to look at a flower... or are we seeing foremost a moment of wonder, and then slowly coming to realize that it is taking place in the hand of a killing machine on the field of battle? So far I think we're started down the path of the latter... whichever it is, keep it clear in mind, and make sure every element of the image reinforces the story.

11 November 2003, 11:05 PM
Watch Iron Giant for an emotional robot. You always know what the Iron Giant feels like.

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