DMP Mini Challenge_002 - August 2014 - Monolith Future


1st: Mai Anh Tran

David’s comments: From start to finish, Mai really followed the Brutalism type of architecture well. Very strong shapes and angled walls that go with the Monolith Future. I think the sky could be worked on a bit more to capture a more unified look, and some atmosphere of white smoke in the middle seem a little too flat with strange matte edges. But overall, great control of perspective and believability on this.

Milan’s comments: Congratulations on winning this challenge. You have started out strong from the beginning with extremely impressive skills. Your concept was in the correct colour range and your composition along the thirds was solid right away. You have demonstrated a nice sense of balance and I am eager to see your skills evolve even further in the future. One of the most impressive attributes you have demonstrated was your ability to take direction and address notes, while well documenting your work step by step. That said, there is always room for improvement and I have a few suggestions, which I have quickly painted over your image. Even though I have seen those highly saturated windows in real life, it breaks your visual harmony and as DMPs we tend to not do that. Therefore, I would reduce any vibrant colours to even things out. Painting with light is loads of fun and can help you lead the eye but as you’ve noticed, in our line of work it has to be rectifiable. This however, still allows you some liberties. The best way to explore the outcome is by trial and error. In the end it comes down to taste, I guess. Last but not least, I also recommend more texture overlays. You have a strong painting-based skillset but for your art to appear tighter and more photoreal, you want to give faces more defined surface quality.

Milan’s Paintover:

2nd: Sun He

David’s comments: You get to see more of a terraced look in this piece. Lots more to escape from the oppressive buildings with a bit more life infused into the roof tops. Some niced shapes here and massive buildings in the distance. The sky is nice, however, the lighting doesn’t match too well with the buildings as some are front lit while in the sky, the sun is behind these buildings. Also some bits of trees are going too flat and could use more environment fill light and less haze in the foreground to bring out their local colors and details.

Milan’s comments: Good job on seeing this through and submitting a final entry. You have obtained second place because of your clear visual communication and natural understanding of the vision. Technically, there are a number of notes which you should pay attention to in your future work. Pay more attention to materials and lighting. Try to avoid cast shadows within cast shadows, or unreasonable lighting. You have done a good job dirtying up the buildings but the trees appear especially CG next to the concrete. Your light hits are interesting enough but to improve your upcoming images, explore and push this even further next time. Make up your mind more decisively and don’t be afraid to experiment here and there.

Milan’s paintover:

3rd: Aaron McNaughton

David’s comments: I really loved Aaron’s angular bridges and shapes here with some nice focal points and composition. His concept is really strong, although maybe too clean and shiny for this type of environment. Great fog/pollution in the lower parts of the city, and nice use of lighting/color. For the lights in the darker areas though, they could be less saturated as it’s getting just a little too green/color dodgy feel in the bottom left beam of light.

Milan’s comments: Congratulations on 3rd place. You have shown a very strong vision from the beginning and have demonstrated a natural creativity with your architectural designs. At the same time this has unfortunately locked you into a narrow vision, similar to a train going along set tracks. On projects such as this, it is important to step out of your familiar workflow, in order to let yourself be guided to a higher goal, which in this case was matching to an already established art direction. You can take many more cues beyond the architecture or the colour grade, when you have precise reference provided. The art of Matte Painting relies heavily on observational skills and a good eye for making judgement calls during your process.

and Paintover: