The Journey Begins Challenge (2D) Entry: Ramy Badie

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  04 April 2006
Thanks So far I have to say it's been fairly smooth sailing, but my next update is going to be a big one and I feel like I'm taking somewhat of a risk with the structure of the background and foeground and such, so hopefully everyone will have some ideas for me
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  04 April 2006
Coloring WIP: new structure and color



Just to start, is it clear that the journey is beginning into the treacherous forest? I feel like the fact that the path extends into the background makes it look like they have been traveling for a long time, they are supposed to be coming from the house, let me know if this is clear or if you have any ideas how to make the journey come out more. Well, I basically reworked the structure of the background and the foreground (and worked a bit more on the bushes in the middleground, I'll post some closeups later, once I completely finish them). I wanted to add some color to the foreground that would bring more attention to the front of the image and also tie in the characters, so I added some red since it is similar in color the the boy's shirt. I also added some barbed wire fencing and a sign that blend in to the background and look broken down, or at least they will once finished and detailed hopefully. Also, I have yet to repaint the boy and girl, so they look pretty strange right now I think. Hopefully everyone will like the new changes?
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  04 April 2006
Hi Ramy, great work so far! As to your questions on lighting and the telling of the story as such, I think you're not far off, but if they're going into a spooky forest, I think there's much more you could do with the foreground. For one, get rid of the pink flowers close up, they automatically make it look cheery! Try putting in some knarly black tree roots or something.. maybe then you could build ugly evil faces into the knots of the roots instead of having the 'prop' skeleton, perhaps just a few odd bones lying about, to make the chill more subtle - how about hanging a half skull or two from the vines at the top, so they'd behidden from the characters but visible to the viewer? And although as much as I absolutely love that sky, it is the first thing my eyes go to in the painting, and I pretty much missed the house altogether!! How about having a 'godray' or a beam of sunlight hitting the house to illuminate it, and make it more obvious thats where they've come from, and then you can knock the background behind that out more so it doesn't look like they've been travelling for ages already. It would also have a 'light-to-dark' transition between the safety of home and the blackness of the creepy wood.

I do like the figures though, the parent and daughter are really cute, and the boy's shirt contrasts nicely with the green foliage. There's an innocence about the trio that would make me react emotionally to them if the danger they were going into were made a bit stronger.

Keep up the good work! And I hope that all made sense! O.o
 
  04 April 2006
Wow thanks so much for all the advice, just a few comments back. I wanted to put in the reddish flowers to make it look inviting from the front, that way it's like the characters are being tricked into entering. I am definitely going to try the black tree roots and the faces in the knots, I really like that image I'll try a few alternatives to the skeleton, and definitely brighten up the house and make it more obvious.

Hopefully I can make it work!
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  04 April 2006
Coloring WIP: lighting



ok I'm not ready to give up the skeleton just yet, I tried to make the lighting more dramatic and fix some stuff up based on crits (obviously not everything yet), and I feel like it is looking better. Still, I can't help but feel that I am not achieving enough contrast in the middleground or something? All the colors are too close in value I feel, I really need some helpful suggestions on that, I don't want to change the composition too much because I'm fairly happy with it, I just want to bring more focus to the characters without sacrificing the colors and such.

This is a poor quality version in terms of the image, here's a cleaner version: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/ramy_b/funlighting.jpg
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  04 April 2006
Hey Ramy,

Really nice seeing the progress through your thread. The dad character looks alot better now than at the beginning. and the daughter looks good with the dad. The son on the log somehow looks to big compared to the dad and daughter. I think you could either move the dad and daughter further away or make the boy smaller.

I must say I really like the vibrant colors in your image and I hope the skeleton works out as I think it adds to the image.
 
  04 April 2006
Coloring WIP: new lighting again?



Ok I think I've finally found something I'm more pleased with, this developed with the help of Zephyri's comments, she suggested that I transition from light to dark as you come towards the foreground, and also suggested some other things such as brightening the house and getting rid of the cheery reddish plants in the foreground. I also added some dark tree branches intruding on the space of the canvas, I feel like it adds to the mood hopefully. So here is a comparison image, the old to the new. Which is better? Should I stick with the changes?
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  04 April 2006
second one works best, It needs a little more polishing though before u go into tightening up the piece. That branch may be to close to the kid, or u can punch the lighting to get the kid in the front to stand out! Nice keep it up dude!
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  04 April 2006
i think in all honestly you need to carve some holes in that thick mass that is over hanging the characters. let some sky through. it would brighten up your image and help you with light sources as well as get you on your way to making interesting shadows and highlights and such. over the all the image looks awesome. cant really give more then an opinion because in the end its your call
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  04 April 2006
Somehow I like the way Your picture looks, and I've found it to be interesting. I agree that boy's pose doesn't seem to be balancing. Also, I'm quite unsure about boy's forehead - it looks skewed. Nature looks more fantastic than natural to me - maybe that is supposed to be like that.
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  04 April 2006
Well, well, i guess you're getting a lot of input from good artist around here
Its looking good so far and i like the idea and concept. The colour choice looks great as well.

My two cents, you're still loosing the house from the back, i think its because you got too much details with your flowers and grass and what not. It feels a bit neglected at the moment. Plus its becoming a bit flat. Its blending too much with the hills at the back.
If your keeping that light source, shouldn't most of your areas be a bit darker and casting some shadows?... unless you have a secondary light source thats coming from the right side of your page.
I also agree with SLAV about the sky. As for the distance between your characters, the boy is too big compare to the adult or maybe its just his proportion that needs fixing.
Oh and one last thing, the overall style, you environment is leaning towards realism, but your characters are pretty stylize. I'm not sure if thats on purpose, but... well, i guess it has a bit of surrealism to it

Keep it up. the progress is looking good. My apologies if i'm being too straight forward.
cheers
 
  04 April 2006
Coloring WIP: house



Everyone has seemed to agree that I needed to work on bringing the house more into focus and detailing it more and such, so here is a start. I basically added windows so that I could add some extra bright light to the house, and also added more lighting and detailing to the surface to make it a little less flat. Hopefully now it won't blend into the back hills and it will define the journey a little bit better. I'll be back to comment on all your entries and respond to comments here a little bit later, for now hopefully you will find this to be an improvement from before :) I'll get to fixing stuff based on the other advice and criticism that I've been getting too, I really do appreciate it from everyone, thanks :)
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  04 April 2006
Your house is looking great, really like the light in the windows. The image as a whole is coming together very well. Maybe add back in a couple of the red flowers across the creek well before they get to the spooky forest. Just an idea.
Thanks for your comments on my entry. I haven't posted the latest version yet but have defused the bright light in the left corner as you suggested. It looks alot better.
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  04 April 2006
mmoir: thanks for the kind words, hopefully the image will come together well. The boy, yes he is definitely the wrong size I think, I don't want to move the dad and girl TOO far back but I might move them back a little bit and adjust the boy's size.

beelow: I am working right now on cleaning and polishing the second one, so hopefully it will look better by my next update I really need to work on the lighting on the characters, it's really screwy right now so hopefully I can work it out sometime next week.

slav: I definitely see what you mean, the overhanging mess of vines really was too much, I should be able to find some way to give the impression of the tangle of vines without having to dominate the entire top third of the canvas. I'll expand the sky through there and see how it works out.

vladius: it was my intention to not necessarily make the nature realistic, I want to give a bit of a fantasy feel to the whole image in general. As for the boy, I totally agree and plan to fix him up next week.

arc: hopefully you'll find that the house is a bit better and not so flat as before now, if not feel free to attack it again I am actually currently working on deepening the shadows to increase the contrast and synchronize the light source to a certain extend right now, so I hope that will take care of that problem for you. Again, I definitely need to rework the characters, I want to bring a more realistic feel to them without completely eliminating the stylistic feel of them. And don't worry about being too straight forward, these are exactly the comments I've been waiting to receive because I know I need them for my picture's sake!

samanthie: thanks for the positive response and suggestion, I'll definitely try to incorporate that. I can't wait to see the update on your entry
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  04 April 2006
Looks like you're getting some pretty good advice here man. I love the colors and how the group's being framed by all the elements around them.

Now to offer some of my thoughts... I tried to read the story through your image and I think it needs a little more emphasis on the elements to further enhance the story. What I'm getting is, they're about to leave friendly territory and move into more dangerous grounds right? Therefore, friendly territory and dangerous grounds is the yin and yang of your image. You need to play more with this idea. You need to find the balance of the two to get a good image. Not much contrast going on at the moment. All that gives a hint of the danger ahead is the skeleton. And even the skeleton looks so intact and relaxed in some way.

Plus their house looks so close to the border of these opposing lands. Perhaps some fences or some sort of protective structure to guard against the dangers of the land near it might enhance a sense of peril... And the group seems so unaware that they're entering dangerous grounds, they look so unprepared based on the clothes they wear, but yet they live so close to the area to know it better.

You've got warm mood to represent the friendliness of the farther lands, perhaps play with more cool and darker colors towards the foreground to represent danger... Even make the foliage in this area look dead and rotten too. You can even ask yourself, "what sort of dangers is the group going to face when they enter the woods?"... Answer: mutated hunters... Elements possible in foreground: spears, traps, dead animals for bait.... You know, just really get into the story and really define what you see in your head.

Boy needs a few more twists in his torso and perhaps tip him over a little more to show that he's really off balance. He looks like he's just balancing his way across the log and not falling over. And I think this is pretty funny too, their house is still so close and an accident happens already

Anyway, just have fun with it! We're still early in on the contest. Still got time to improve on the littlest detail. Sorry if I bored you a bit with my suggestions. Just sharing Hope it helps ~peace
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