Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Nathaniel West

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  12 December 2004
Man, what cool lighting! Your piece has a very "real" feel too it. Nice work. I dig the more brown approach. Feels more like a city to me. Of course i live up north were the clouds are reflecting the light on an almost daily basis. My personal opinion. Keep it up.
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  12 December 2004
I agree with Dougbot, the brown scheme has more possibilities. The purple one is definetly more vibrant and eye-catching, but the brown one has far more sophistication and realism. Can't wait to see more wips. Good luck.
Feeling herself through us, Gaia suffers with the weight of the urbanized world.


  12 December 2004
I'm more a fan of your yellowish scheme, it feels a little more grungy and gritty. I guess it depends what kind of mood you are shooting for.

The environment looks nice - will there be somehting happening? It strikes me as a bit of an 'everyday' shot...sorry if I missed soemthing earlier in your thread regarding this. Other than that point, I think this is coming along.
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  12 December 2004
Dougbot, Gaia's Herald and Blackarts--Thanks for the input. I really appreciate your comments, and I think you are both right about the brown color scheme. It is more realistic, although the purple is fun to look at. So I'll use the brown sky on this one.

I think I'm going to attempt to take this to a matte painting level of detail, which I've never really had the chance to do. Hopefully it will all work out great.

Blackarts--I've decided to go with an everyday scene for this one rather than a certain conflict or chaos. My vision of the future here is more along the lines of an elegant world that doesn't have industrial space ships, laser guns, and all that good stuff. It's more Gattaca than Star Wars.
The foreground figures will be exiting the vehicle and walking towards a masquarade ball, or some social event along those lines. They will be dressed in a 1920's modern style of clothing, and the vehicle will be based off of an old Phaeton, which I'm not sure if I mentioned before or not.
I might put a light source in the lower right hand corner just to give the impression that they are walking towards an inhabited place, but I that's all the action I'm going to go with. More of a serene look for the future on this one.

Here's a look at the cars I'm using as reference in case anyone wondered:

And thanks again for the comments everyone. I really appreciate your ideas and opinions!
  12 December 2004
I think it's really neat how you're incorporating the old with the new. The 1920's clothing style sounds interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing all your designs finalized.

I personally would go for the purple lighting scheme, but I can't really give any objective reasoning. I'm just more biased to that color :P Like BlackArts said, the brown has a more grungy appeal to it, and I think the amount of pollution it implies might conflict with your original intention of the clean modern twist element. Or maybe this is just my way of thinking.

If I may make a comment, I think the ledge/landing dock for the car is getting kind of lost. When I first looked at your latest progress pics, I was a little confused with the scale because I thought that the car was pulling up to the building on the left on a street. But after looking at your 3d block test, it became more apparent that the camera is actually a lot higher, and that's not a street. The scaffolding (I think that's what it is?) that draws a line between the car's front headlights to the left building also suggested to me that it was a street the car was on. Maybe it's just me?

I'd be interested in seeing another flying vehicle closer up, I guess more towards the middle ground. I think that would provide the other flying vehicles a better sense of scale and establish more depth in the environment. At least, I think it would :P

Again, everything I said is more a matter of personal taste, so feel free to disregard what I suggested.
  12 December 2004
YeeWu--Thank you for a very constructive critique that I hadn't noticed. I will watch out for the sense of scale as I move forward with the painting, and I will definitely put try out some middle ground elements to help the problem out.

You raise a good point about the color of the sky and the grungy feeling. I've looked at photos of cities under cloudy night skies, and the clouds end up turning a yellowish brown from reflecting the warm light below. I think I will have to make it apparent that it is a hazy overcast evening in order to make it work, but then again maybe the color itself is going to implie grunge. Hopefully once I get the details in there, it will feel like a clean, elegant civilization under a moody sky. I really like that moody feel that Hugh Ferris got in his drawings, even though his buildings were clean and new. It had a very imposing feel.

So thanks for the great comment--much appreciated. If anyone has any other ideas please feel free to let me know. I'd really appreciate any and all opinions!
  12 December 2004
Talking Purple!

personaly i'd go with the purple color scheme. heres why:

Dull Yellow is symbolic of disease, also it emulates reflected light off of smog and polluted air. You could try and cool down the sky a little to make it look more like fog rather than pollution.

The purple color scheme is so much cleaner and so much crisper and like everyone said MORE FUN TO LOOK AT! eye catching isnt a bad thing guys. Besides in this advanced sociaty of the future im assuming that they arnt still burning fossil fuels in the amount we do, so it makes sense to have the air be clean.

i guess it realy comes down to the narative of the piece. are we looking at an advanced high class sociaty? or the slums of the future? i think the color schemes will play a huge role in pushing those concepts.
  12 December 2004

Thanks for the comment. I agree with you about the color feeling grungy. I'm planning on trying to find a halfway point between the yellow and the purple, but I want to make it apparent that it's an overcast sky that's causing the yellow, not because of pollution. It's a hard problem to solve, but I'll give it my best and see how it turns out. Thanks again!
  12 December 2004
Coloring WIP: color comparison

This is really minor, but I've done one more color comp for you all to see. The one on the bottom is the most recent, and it's a mix of the top two. A little less brown and a little more purple without getting extreme with it.

Still too grungy? Not believable?

Let me know which one you like of the three please. Just say one two or three! Thanks for the input everyone, and I look forward to hearing your opinions.
  12 December 2004

I like number 3
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  12 December 2004
Number 3 has the best of both worlds . Maybe if you broke up the "yellowness" with a bit of clear sky you could make it more evident that it's not pollution but overcast. Some sharp lookin' stars perhaps? Just a thought...
Feeling herself through us, Gaia suffers with the weight of the urbanized world.


  12 December 2004
I personally like number 1 but the purple is just a little strong in colour, there is a sense of technological feel to it. Maybe the overcast sky is not working because the background skies are quiet flat and there are no cloud tone values or shadow shown. The balance on number 3 still gives me that grungy polluted feel. It looks good so far, keep up with the good work.
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  12 December 2004
I had to do a search on Hugh Ferris to get an idea what you were aiming for. Some really impressive atmospheres in his pieces, but since I only found his monochromatic drawings, I'm not sure how that would transfer over to color.

I was thinking...maybe it would be better to ignore references and create your own moody sky? I mean, cities nowadays are pretty riddled with air pollution, so maybe that contributes to the yellow brown sky (in conjunction with warm lights from below)? But if we're in a clean environment, then wouldn't the warm lights scatter in the clouds differently? And these buildings are pretty tall, and if we can see some of these buildings in the BG hazed out, then I guess these buildings are so high up that they are thrusted into the middle of some clouds? I think it would be interesting to see you invent a new lighting scheme (lights scattering through water particles), as I think any photo references of modern times may just imply pollution. Ah, I don't know if I made any sense at all (-_-)

Um, so anyway, I think #3 is definitely better. I think I'd like to see it shifted a little more towards purple, but again, I have a bias towards that color anyway :P

It's looking good, and I'm looking forward to seeing how you solve the sky!

Last edited by YeeWu : 12 December 2004 at 06:31 AM.
  12 December 2004
Hi Nathaniel! Im so happy to see u in this challange.. one more great work is coming this way Will be following ur thread with pleasure!
About the pic.. I think that u could exaggerate with colors in this one.. its futuristic, its clean and with lots of glass and so on.. So u could bring lots of neon to this one, not some cheap neon signs, but something more glamour and industrial. I think that pink, violet and blue color will fit the image just fine, but thats the pic how it looks in my mind... I cant wait to see ur decision Good luck on catching the deadline
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  01 January 2005
Coloring WIP: Color changes

I'm finally back after being out of town. I've got a long way to go, and I've decided to go towards the oranges in the sky which are more a little more realistic.

This is still pretty rough as I'm just beginning to tigten some areas up and adding rough window details. The little dots all around are going to be flying cars. If anyone has any ideas or critiques, please feel free to make them heard.

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