WIP-Digital City Matte Painting to be animated in Nuke

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  05 May 2013
WIP-Digital City Matte Painting to be animated in Nuke

New to this forum but my husband recommended I start posting here.
I am currently working on this background image composite in PS CS6 that will then be taken into Nuke to be animated and rendered for my Intro to Visual Effects class.

The image is currently maybe 70-85% finished and I've put 6 hours into it. The image is comprised of 17 different images I found on Google of Paris, France.

I am looking for technical critique as this is the first time I have ever attempted something like this. Does the scale and perspective look ok?

I definitely have a few obvious seams and little imperfections but overall, I'm hoping an industry professional can give me some insight into things I overlooked or should take into account for this and future works.

Also, does anyone have any insight or tips on how I might go about animating the clouds, smoke and search lights in the back right of the image in nuke without painting it in every single frame of the animation? Would I just create separate Roto Paint nodes and then animate those over the top of the image?

Thank you for any and all constructive critique.

  05 May 2013
Your cast shadows don't line up with your light source (the moon). You need to learn how to cast shadows accurately (a book like Andrew Loomis's Successful drawing and other similar books will teach you this, as well as online tutorials if you search for "how to cast shadows in perspective").

You have some areas that are sharp and others that are blurry, with no logic to why. Since this is a matte painting and not an illustration/fine art painting, it has to have logic, so you need to make sure the amount of detail/sharpness is consistent.

You need to also light your entire scene consistently. right now, it doesn't not look like your scene is lit by that moon, which is your main light source. This is essentially a back-lit scene and it has to look like it. You need to learn how to depict light direction convincingly. Start here: http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm

You might also want to look in the Art Techniques & Theories forum (linked below in my signature)--the sticky threads in it contains lots of very helpful information that will help you excel as an artist.
  05 May 2013
Actually, I already understand the mechanics of light and shadow. This is an unfinished work and while I appreciate the critique, you speak as if I have zero understanding of either of them. That's not the case. That said, yes they are off. I wanted to post this before I went any further fixing anything in case there was something serious I haven't seen.
  05 May 2013
Well, there was no way to know what level you're at, since there are no links to your body of work as an artist, and there's no way to guess what are mistakes in your WIP and what are simply unfinished. So it's only possible to comment based on what I saw.
  05 May 2013
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