Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Daniel Lieske

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  05 May 2008
I think a slight tilt in the image may help the composition a bit. It may give it a bit more action to the piece. I like what I see so far though Daniel. Colors and Designs are nice though. I think composition can be pushed further though.
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  05 May 2008
@ beelow:

I see what you mean. But in fact, I sort of realized that my original plan to create a pure action piece sort of failed because I've chosen a very iconic view on the scene in the first place. I did a lot of experimenting within this particular view and I've come to the conclusion, that for having a real action scene I would have had to choose a totally different view (like one of the very early composition tests). Now, that seems to be a little too obvious to call it a discovery but for me this point wasn't clear at all. I really thought, that I only had to find the 'real' pose for the Captain to ignit the action feel of the scene. I totally overlooked the fact, that there were loads of more dramatic camera angles in this scene which would all have led to a cool action scene. I really learned a lesson here and I think this one I finally have understood.

You know this strange difference between knowing and understanding? I knew all this long before but I guess I've never really understood it.

Now, but that's not a big problem for me. I guess, there's a reason why I've intuitively chosen the iconic composition. It's simply, that I love pictures of that sort and again could not overwhelm myself to do it the other way. Now that I've realised this I'm making my peace with it (we say that in german - no idea if you can translate it literally...) and I'm just going to finish the artwork as what it is: a stylized image of heroism in an iconic composition with a strong emphazise on decorative and epic intergalactic detail (what a sentence).

The last week's started. I hope the finish will not be too close.
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  05 May 2008
Work In Progress: Trees



This is a collection of trees I created for the near background. They were created out of four simple textures which were painted with the ZBrush Deco Brush. The Deco Brush 'grows' the textures and warps them along the brush stroke. It's quite fun to toy around with it in fact. But enough playing around. I have to find out if they work in the composition...
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  05 May 2008
ahh beautiful colors, I really have to save some coinage so I can get z-brush
 
  05 May 2008
I still regret that you don't do it in 2D, cause i like the scribbles on the first page a lot.
But obviously you do very well in zBrush , too. I would like to give you some critics and helpful
hints, but all elements look very nice... well, okay, i don't like the beast that much, but i
guess it's just my taste. I'm looking forward to see how this will fit together in the end.

Anyway lots of luck to you! I bet an award will be yours!
 
  05 May 2008
Thumbs up

this tree is just brilliant! very dreamy colors and the way it fades into the background adds to the depth .. love it a lot!
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  05 May 2008
This is really a joy to watch . Not much to crit, just keep up the good work
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  05 May 2008
Work In Progress: PreFinal Composition



Ok, I'm really closing in now. I have completed the background elements and have nice and crisp detail all over the image now. In fact, it scares me a bit but hey, it's a 3D image and those details are supposed to be there. :) Maybe I try some subtle depth of field in the final image.

Things that are left to do:

The reflective materials on the Captain are just dummy at the moment. I waited for the final setup for being able to create an environment reflection map that fits the image. That will be next. And then there's a ton of minor details like reflections on the eyes, tuning a shadow here and there and perhaps detailing some background clouds a little more. I also will see, if I still like the color balance in a few days and might do some adjustments, if necessary.

And of course I will closely listen to any suggestions that might come to your minds!
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  05 May 2008
Wow! I was impressed last week when I saw the finished modeling, but now with the excellent choice of colour scheme... superb!
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  05 May 2008
Talking outstanding!

Daniel,
If I were a judge you would take best art direction. I am inspired and in awe! Everything looks great. I am fasinated by the seemless cohesion of 2d/3d. Such strong form and lighting from the 3d, such enjoyable color and general esthetic from the 2d. Its so interesting to see someone really bridging the gap.

WHen you color your render over in photoshop, what kinda layer settings/technique are you using?

BTW-I absolutely love your original sketches of the captain.
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  05 May 2008
Hi Daniel!

Great work as always, but here are
some thoughts on my part:

The other pose of captain Orion looked more natural and actually had a reason - this one looks very "movie-poster-macho" like and doesn't really make sense in the situation.

The two planets just hang within the atmosphere - and it even looks as if the bigger planet is in front of the smaller one (again within the atmosphere). There are even clouds behind the moons?? One other thing to observe when depicting planets within an atmosphere - the dark (shadowed) part of the moon/planet will merge with the atmosphere colour.

Keep up the great work!

Dimitrij.
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  05 May 2008
Very nice This looks close to a final. I agree about the planets and the atmosphere.
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  05 May 2008
really nice image daniel


great work..

cheers
n
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  05 May 2008
@ headtrip:

Thank you! Towards the end I always tend to noodle around with the colors in order to make it look 'better'. This time I tried to stick to my color concepts and I'm glad that it seems to work out.

@ winchester:

That's a very nice comment, thank you! With this project I have a special interest in the integreation of the material that ZBrush gives me. I was playing around with the Software since last July and I have tested several of the techniques I ultimately used in this artwork (the multipass rendering, the 2.5D detailing and the Deco Brush Trees e.g.). It was important for me to put all these things together in one artwork and find out, if it works. I'm quite happy with the result so far but I also found out a lot about the downsides of 3D from a visual standpoint. I might go into detail about that when I'm finished with the image. I also will see if I can sum up some details about the compositing. It's quite complex by now but it follows some simple concepts.

@ HornlessUnicorn:

Thanks for your input! You are totally right, the planets are within the atmosphere. I wrote about that a few post up there. Captain Orion is stranded in a place that I currently call the 'atmosphere cloud'. There are many small and big worlds within this atmosphere that can all be reached trough breathable air. Just think Super Mario Galaxy and you get the point. I wanted to create a rich universe of different worlds and alien races but without having the aliens to have an advanced technology. The aliens travel between the worlds with balloon ships and generally have the technology of the earth's 19th century. Captain Orion gains a sort of superhero status because he's got energy weapons and that stuff. Additionally he's got some super powers because gravity in the atmopshere cloud is lower and he's able to jump further and lifting big objects more easy. You see, I sort of want to create a fantastic steampunk world with sci fi space and superhero elements.

Concerning the pose, I definitely see that the old one had it's merits. But the new one has them, too and I'm not going to change it. The whole scene evolved into an epic decorative piece and the stylised and iconic pose does work in this scene, I think. I was aiming for a Frazetta in the first place but arrived perhaps at a Vallejo. Not that I want to compare my work with these outstanding artists, let alone compete with them. But you hopefully get the point - I did not really achieve to channel the action but hopefully compensated that by supporting the iconic style. I also wrote something about that above.

@ MartinNielsen & bearfoot:

Thank you!
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  05 May 2008
Final Image: Saving The Alien Girl



"What the heck am I doing? A few minutes ago I was happy to having finally managed to scare that eerie little girl away. It's bad enough being stranded in this foreign world. I can not risk to get into contact with whatever alien natives of this strange planet.

And now, after barely having survived the crash, I'm running after her and risk my life again.
Maybe it's her screaming. Although coming from an alien throat it sounds so familiar. This universal sound of fear and desperation gives me the creeps. And it triggeres something deep inside me. I'm not thinking about risk any more. The only thing that's in my mind now is not to let it happen. I will save this alien girl. I'm not giving her up."
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