Yet another rejection! Help!

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  03 March 2013
Hey man,

Try to zoom in a little more on your wasp, and add some color to your background. I think the pose on your wasp could also use some tweaking. I might help if you pushed it all the way to the edge of the comb, and extended the legs so the body isn't touching the comb. I think it would look better in more of a side profile. The head might look good if it was bent down, like the wasp is working on the nest.

The lens flare also looks a little tacky.

  03 March 2013
This certainly has come along from the original image. I won't go into lighting/materials/etc. as many others here have been advising there. However, for me, the bee's pose needs to be alot more dynamic. maybe put a reverse arc through the body/head and pose individual legs at various angles. As it is, the pose is akin to a T-pose on a character. Also, as mentioned, the composition is uninteresting and too far from the main subject. I think AJ has the right idea above: find a more interesting lens angle/direction/distance
  03 March 2013
I'll see what I can do. Check back tomorrow lol.
Thanks for checking in on my latest work.
  03 March 2013
Well, taking all of your ideas and advice in has really opened my eyes to the little things (I thought no one would notice) that really make the art stand out. Instead of giving up, I tried repeatedly over the past week, revising every inch and recreating most of the scene over and over.

I'd list all the changes I've made, but it would take forever.
I'm satisfied with the end results and hope it can make its way to the 3d stills section. If it doesn't, forget you ever read this thread lol.

A special thanks to AJ1, Quartermater, Leigh and everyone else who has set me straight. Your advice was priceless.

About the scene. I decided to stick with the camera angle and DOF (AJ's Original Idea). I feel it was a good angle to express the feeling I wanted to capture. AJ talked me into adding a background as well and I think this tremendously brought the scene out. Raising the Yellow jacket High off the nest, and arching his back down was a great idea and really helped the photo realism. I created all new materials over and over and over. Re-vamped the look of the legs and antenna as Leigh mentioned to gain high detail it was lacking.
Ultimately, I chose not go the macro lens route. The yellow jacket is the main focal point, but I didn't want to loose everything with blur.

All in all, it's time to move on. If I ask my wife her opinion about the yellow jacket one more time she is going to sell my computer.

Let's hope everyone approves. Thanks again. Enjoy.

  03 March 2013
The composition & lighting there is 100000000000x better than you started out with.

Now that you have that, time to nail down the body segmentation, details on the antennae, see if you can't 'irregularize' the hive cell shape & texture a bit and you're on your way!
  03 March 2013
Thanks Quartermaster.
I think it would have been easy to abandon the honey comb or the whole project all together lol, but I stuck with it, and I think it paid off.
  03 March 2013
Denied again.
  03 March 2013
Dont be discouraged. This looks WAY better than the original. You have come along way...keep pushing it. Its getting closer to a finished piece. I agree with the others, the hive cells should still look a little more irregular (if you are doing this in Max, a noise modifier added to the geometry can go along ways). Keep pushing the realism of materials in the wasp. Keep looking at photographs of wasps/bees/hornets and be real critical when comparing those to your model.

You have done a real good job taking all the criticisms that everyone has offered and use this as a learning experience to drive your future works. So don't get bummed out if a piece doesn't make it into the gallery, having your work honestly critiqued here in the forums will be way more valuable to you in the long run.
WIP 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
  03 March 2013
Wow, comparing the first render to the most recent one it looks like an entirely different scene!

I think a lot of what they're looking for in the 3D stills is a render that looks realistic and doesn't shout "I'm 3D!" There are certain things that I can tell when looking at this piece that still seem a little unnatural. For instance the texture in the paper of the hive is evenly spaced and straight throughout. Its also an even distance between each line. I also noticed when looking at some of the refs a few pages back that there's a lot of dirt in each hexagon, so maybe making your hive more dirty would help.

I think the focus of this piece is definitely the wasp itself. There seems to be a similar amount of detail in each part (the plant, the wasp and the nest all have about the same focus). Try to focus only on the wasp and don't stress as much focus on the plant and nest. In Photography, when using a macro lens to shoot an object of this size you'll often notice that the photo will only capture about 1 inch diameter in focus. The wasp itself is about 1 inch long and you may even end up getting some parts out of focus around the abdomen. Here's an example of what I mean. I took so many photos of that snail, but not a single macro shot had the full snail in focus. The snail was about 2 inches long.

I hope that you do continue to rework this since I would love to see you make it into the 3D still gallery. Maybe take a break for a week or two and come back to this with a fresh view later.
  03 March 2013
I've been following this thread and have to say that your attitude about all the suggestions here has been inspiring. Your image is sooo much better than what you started with. Personally I think this should be a WIP of the week on the main page since it perfectly exhibits what this section is supposed to be about: Applying constructive feedback and making your images better.

I agree some noise on the hive would really help to "naturalize" the overly stiff hex walls. Might think about a very subtle kicker light underneath the wasp (like light bouncing up from the hive) to help rim light the body and legs just a tiny bit. Maybe a little back light to bring out the hairs just a bit more while you're at it. In any event, it's still a nice piece regardless, and a great progression in quality.

  03 March 2013
Thanks for your support guys.
I'm not discouraged that it still hasn't made it to the 3d gallery. It is what it is. Every time it gets rejected is a lesson I'm going to learn and take with me to "drive my future works" as @Innovator stated.
The beginning and current result is night and day, and that is motivation for me to push my every growing abilities in 3d modeling. I could have took the high road and put the eastern yellow jacket on a leaf and called it a day, but that's not challenging nor fun.

I'm glad this thread has inspired some. The biggest thing I've taken from this experience besides using better detailed reference images, is if you can't use a telescopic lens to zoom on every inch of a scene, the scene is useless...

I'll try and add some more resolution and than the noise modifier, or pull out a magic rabbit on the hive if I get some free time in the near future and keep you guys up to date. Currently it has UV maps to define the bump and texture with nothing repeating, but maybe I will try procedural textures and see if I can get a little bit more out of it. And I'll try and apply the advice about the lighting @Artbot.

We will get this thing top notch sooner or later lol.
Thanks again for everyone's help.
  03 March 2013
Yes really great progress!

I think you should work more on the shader and texture, have a look at this bee done by an other artist : http://payload134.cargocollective.c...ircut_fur_6.jpg You can see he added SSS ,look his wings they look great, etc.

Also the textures,material and modeling of the honeycomb an be upgraded a lot, look the ref Leigh gived to you ,and search for even more on the net , you should Zbrush it also to make the modeling next step, etc.
Also Avaliable for freelance.

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  03 March 2013
I haven't looked in on this thread in a while, and looking at your latest render I can see it has improved greatly. It's nice when someone comes in and takes the crits on the chin, sticks with it and shows how he used it to improve. Full marks for determination and willingness to listen.
I like to learn.
  04 April 2013
Sorry for the MIA. Had some other things to get caught up on.
So I took your advice bigguns, and created a new nest in zbrush.
For the rest of the composition, I was going for a "Less is more" concept as of right now. I'm playing around with everything and seeing where I can take it.

I'm gonna take my time and see where the project can go in my free time.

Here is the nest.

Here is the latest work.
  04 April 2013
Nice! I'm glad you decided to break this one back out. Things were really moving in the right direction, and improving greatly with each render.

The pose on your wasp is looking a lot more natural. The DOF still looks a bit off, but I'm glad you decided to bring it more in line with what you would get with a macro lens. I completly understand the temptation to want to show all the details that you've worked so hard on, but sometimes you have to cut stuff out to make the final composition more pleasing to look at.

Once again, I would recommend you lighten up the background. If you saw your current render in a thumbnail, you wouldn't be able to make out the wasp. When you look at it full size, your brain has to work extra hard to try to make out the shape of the wasp. Imagine reading black text on a dark green background. Your brain likes it when things are bright and clear, and outlines are easy to make out.

The lighting looks better, but it doesn't look very natural. I think insect photographers will use a flash, but they run it through a light box so its nice and diffuse. I'm obviously not a nature photographer though. Your wasp might look neat framed like its under a branch on a bright sunny day. The background is bright, but the comb and wasp are in shadow. There could be some nice blue, green or yellow bounced light that fills your comb and illuminates your wasp. You could use a soft flash like light to light your wasp and comb from an angle to get a nice rim light.

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