And the winners for May 2016’s challenge are…
1st: Sergey Burdukov
- A spot in CGWorkshop of choice
Simone’s comments: First of all congratulations for winning our contest! I really like your work, you demonstrated to be able to play well with the light, both artistically, regarding mood and look, and technically, concerning the interaction of the light with the complexity and intricacy of the numerous buildings.
I’m also happy to see such an interesting structure and placement of the main element. I like its design, color and material, so overall a very good choice.
A little constructive feedback for the next time: on the horizon line on the right side there could be a better integration between sky and city, both in terms of atmospheric perspective and scale of the clouds, they would need to be smaller at that distance.
Keep up the good work and all the best for the future!
2nd: Alik Sarkisyan
- One digital copy of “Advanced Matte Painting” video tutorial
Milan’s comments: I think you did a great job with this image. You have evolved into a strong artist over the course of these challenges and I can tell that your “eye” has become very good. Beyond delivering solid quality work, we also always notice that you take a more unique and riskier path, portraying a very artistic nature. Matte Painting is a lot about how little is enough to fool your audience and you have the stuff that will lead you to working on whatever projects you want in the future.
This poster aspect DMP shows wonderful composition, tremendous sense for colour balance and outstanding attention to detail. The reason you did not win is because your aesthetics outweigh the visual information directly translated from the brief, in my opinion. From a technical point of view, your submission was the best. While you created a mesmerizing atmosphere in your scene, I feel you should have dialed back on the snowstorm and let us see more. Especially of the space elevator.
That said, you do have the right idea about the environment and nailed even the elevator’s architecture. However, even though it’s your choice, you could have pushed the futurism in the look of the buildings far more to present your creativity. My recommendation would be to further channel your head-strong individualism and never pick the safe route in order to continue to set your work apart from your competition. Soon enough, clients will be asking for you because of that. Nevertheless, this was a very important piece for your portfolio to show that you can hit every style required within any production. Very well, smart and efficiently done. Watching your progress and decision making process was impressive. Make sure to share your step by step breakdown for potential future employers to see.
As for the image itself, from a nit-picky point of view, I’d have a few minor suggestions which might help you improve it or hopefully at least spark additional ideas in order to elevate the final piece even further. When you have this much freedom with any art, especially since you decided to depict a scene rather than a static environment, you should always prioritize the viewers experience. What do you want your audience to be looking at, and in which order? You usually select three points of interest and lay them out with the rule of thirds but control the flow by forcing the contrast levels. Meaning, if you blur your vision, you should be able to recognize three areas which stand out, and also be able to tell which one you take in first and what the one thing is that makes your eyes linger. In your case, I still think the actual space elevator could use some more smaller lights to sell scale as well as draw attention. However, it’s a lot about what you don’t see in this case, as in, don’t draw too much attention to the illuminated signs that have no purpose. Visual lines should lead you into the image but not make you spend any time lingering. Do not create any competition. This could be as simple as reducing intensity or changing colours. I believe you have an established sense of this, so feel free to experiment some more.
On a more detailed note, maybe additional reflections on the ground, windows, etc, and possibly softer edges towards the top, letting the buildings blend in better. Might be worth experimenting with something like a depth focus, even though you have an extremely wide angle lens here.
All in all an extremely successful accomplishment that you should be proud of. Bottom line is, you can always keep tweaking everything but it was important to see what you are able to pull of within a hard deadline. Congratulations. And good job art-directing yourself.
3rd: Flipe Rio Branco
- One digital copy of “Introduction to Matte Painting” video tutorial
David’s comments: Coming soon!
Congrats to all! That might be it from us as far as mini monthly challenges go. We want to thank you to everyone who have participated in the past contests and being active on the forums. Please continue sharing the knowledge, ideas, and posts about digital matte painting in the regular DMP forum. We also want to thank CGSociety/CGMA for allowing us to do this last challenge. It’s been a blast hosting these challenges!