Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Mark Okon


||) |V| |^|, Cameron Gardner, and Nathaniel West: Thanks! I am glad you like the explosion :slight_smile:

lynch: I may be able to give that sense of rushing motion from the blast. I’ll see what I can cook up if time permits :slight_smile: Thanks!

Fahrija: Thanks! Saturating the foregroud may be ideal. I will see what I can do. :slight_smile:

walrus: Longer shadows? I think I will try that. I was hoping to leave the details in the shadow side of the buildings, but perhaps little lights may be a good compensation for the loss of detail. :slight_smile: I’ll see what I can do!

MDN67: Smoke is something I am still questioning, but it might be ideal, we’ll see how the day goes tomorrow. :slight_smile: Thanks!

sidchagan: Thinning the lines is the next thing on the agenda, right after touching up the riders . :slight_smile:

montclaris: Isn’t the sky great! :slight_smile: Adding more smoke isn’t a priority, but other people have proposed the idea. I probably won’t add it in the end, but tomorrow is another day.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I appreciate it a lot! I hope everything is going well if everyones entries. I’ll have a look at everyones progress tonight. :slight_smile:


Hey! This is looking very cool! I love the lighting and feeling of action, nice to see this comming together. My only crit would be the values and details of the buildings might be fighting with the riders a bit, a tad of motion blur and value change on the buildings here and there might help…

Just my opinion though.

Great job! Good luck!

My final:


HOLY FREAKIN’ CRAP MARK!! It’s been a little while since i’ve seen your thread, this pic is awesome!!!

That explosion is just incredible, good show on making the riders in the foreground bigger, puts a nice touch on the composition.

I only have one quarry on the whole image. The rider in the middle front, his head is hard to distinguish between him and the buildings behind him, maybe use some darker browns for clour, or better yet, that explosion is gonna give off quite a bit of light, just darken the shadows on his back and that will probaby be enough to fix this.

Other than that, for lack of words. HOLY FREAKIN’ CRAP MARK, THIS PIC IS AWESOME!!!


I think I am more or less done colouring all the details etc. The only thing left to do is create 3-5 different colour variations and decided if I should keep the current colour scheme or go with a slightly different one.

Anyway, any comments on this latest update? Especially regarding the motion blur I added to the middle ground?!?


Cameron Gardner: Thanks for the tip! I kinda like it, it definetly seperates the riders from the middleground which was a bit of a problem in the previous posts. What you think? :slight_smile:

newcenturydsn: I did touch up the colours on this helmet a tad but I think the motion blur really helped with knocking the riders out from the buildings. What you think? :slight_smile:

I feels great to have all the hard work done :slight_smile: All that is left is a few colour variations. Thanks everyone!


great work, the explosion is really effective, no real crits other than maybe adding a slight spherical blur to the mid ground to associate it with the rest of the painting’s tilt. hopefully that made sense. a very good entry so far, good luck


Very nice… love that motion blur. ; )


Hi Airborn,

the motion-blur idea is very good. It pins the viewers eye to the speeder group and gives the impression that he also sits on one behind them riding with high-speed into the action.

Maybe now, where the focus is set on the peoples I would detail them some more. What do you think about darken up the backsides of those characters because of the big flash light coming from the explosion?



Hi, Almost end!, The explosion very is successful, the effect speed
adds you dynamism, tries to bring back reality in returned of the
character for better an integration, good luck for the end.


AirbORn- The motion blur definetly makes the riders stand out more now, but…

It might almost be too much blur… I really liked the details in the buildings and the markings that you strategically placed (right?) on the buildings. The blur helps, but it takes away from the detail that you’ve spent so much time to perfect!!

Maybe just slow them down a bit, although, that might be hard to do than to say…

Hope I’m not being a pain in the ass, the pic is still rockin’ !!:buttrock:


Hey, it’s lookign really good with the characters placed in there! I may be alone in this, but i find the blur effect kind of, well, cheesy. (sorry!) I wish i could better explain why it bugs me, but i’m having trouble enumerating it precisely. Maybe it’s just that I’ve seen so much bad CG art where people slap on filters and call it cool computer art. NOT that I am accusing you of being a bad computer artist, i like your art very much. It’s just that one-filter global solutions tend to bug me because they remind me of that. This is entirely subjective, and obviously others like it, but hey, you asked for opinions, so that’s mine. I DO like the feeling of motion that it gives, though… Maybe a subtler effect would work better, a least for me.

right now the characters are getting a little lost on the background. Their flyers’ bodies read well, because they’re nice simple blocks of color more saturated than anything else. But that propeller on the right gets very lost in the similar values and hues beneath it. i agree with fahrija about darkening the characters’ backsides to mak them read more. Saturating them more could work, going for a strong saturation contrast between foreground and backgrond.

One last thing - am i saying too much? - the black things in the sky: not sure they’re reading right now. Can’t tell whether they’re ships, birds, or debris from the explosion.

But anyhow, you’re most of the way there, you’ll make it no problem! Good luck with the finishes, and nice work!



airborn great art! I like the explosion alot. Those bigger plast particles really make the explosion alive.:thumbsup:

Anyway i was wanting to share my opinion about the motion blur.
Idea does work, but there are few reasons that might be holding it back.

Im not sure, but i think it is possible to see all the same contrast values inside motion blur. So as you add the motion blur. It just simple destroys the colors and hilites. If you can draw back some of the lost hilites and opposite values. It would in my opinion work better.

Also motion blur should be controlled in certain areas. Pinpoint straight down and thats were the motion really helps to draw me as a viewer to look at the rider and gives a cool feeling of speed.

Motion blur should be controlled gradually so it would dissappear towards to the center of the pic. Just by thinking of the speed and direction. Speed of the motion blur should lower partially not just the focus.

I might be wrong thought… Good luck! :thumbsup:


Damn, Falcor! Very thoughful post. The degree of motion blur is something I never would have considered. However, I like the way that it sets the characters apart from the background, a concern I had when I looked yesterday. A few things I’ve got to mention:

Forearms look too long.
Review highlights, making sure they’re true to the light source (is there one besides the explosion?).
More shadow on their back? If the subject is between you and a bright light source (explosion) the subject will be a sihlouette.

Pic looks very nice. The riders remind me of the lost boys from Peter Pan.


conundrum: Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to see how I can improve this, several people have pointed out that blur may be a little too much so I will have to adjust it accordingly. :slight_smile:

Jezzarts: Thanks :slight_smile:

Fahrija: I think darkening up the shadows on the people is important. I just hate to lose some of the details. :frowning: But perhaps some subtle highlights and glows in the shadow areas may help bring back some detail. Thanks!

Tranchefeux: Thanks for the comments! :slight_smile:

newcenturydsn: DOn’t worry, you are not being a pain in the ass. I rather you guys give me some solid feedback then none at all. :slight_smile: I think I am going to try a different type of motion blur. I’ll probably paint in speed lines like they do in manga and comic books. Hard to explain I guess, but it works in my head. Thanks! :slight_smile:

walrus: No worries! THe more you explain the better. :slight_smile: I enjoy comments anyway. I agree with you with motion blur being a “cheesy” way of painting you can say, I don’t enjoy using it sometimes, but in situations like these where time is running out, and certain effects need to be achieved, they sometimes can help. But, I still have a few days so I am going to try a different type of blur. I am going to add motion lines like they do in manga and comics. It works in my head, so we’ll see how it works in photoshop :slight_smile: Thanks! As for the riders in the background, I’ll try to make them more readable, but I want to avoid making them any larger because then the sense of scale will be incorrect when compared to other elements in the background. I think at least :slight_smile: Thanks!

Falcor_: Thanks for the comments! I think I know where to go with this motion blur situation. You and several other people have pointed this out, and with everyones suggestions I should be able to fix this accordingly. :slight_smile: Thanks!

Ilikesoup: Thanks for the suggestions! The forearms do look a little long, that shouldn’t take to long to fix, and the shadows on the riders will be adjusted. There is a second light source but cloud cover on the right side of the scene I think would prevent it from influencing anything on the ground. Unless you think otherwise :slight_smile:

Thank you everyone for your thoughs and suggestions. I really apperciate the feedback! Once again I will adjust the piece according to several suggestions and I hope to have them posted tonight or tomorrow night (Friday). Good luck !



Wow, a lot of feedback on the motion blur… good comments all of them, subtlety is the key I believe. I agree it really adds the feeling of speed to the riders. it’s a nice way to add separation and depth as well. I guess you’ll just have to decide how much is needed and where. Think about some strong cast shadows from the blast across the backs of the bikes to add more pull… hmmm, such fun at this stage!

Nice work.


Wow, very cool atmosphere and dynamic feel. Great sense of movement. Maybe use some more of that motion blur effect you have going? I think its coming along great. Good luck!


Time is almost up, so I hope that I was able to nail the right adjustments :frowning:

Any comments? Critiques would be helpful regarding the motion lines!! Tomorrow is the last day I will be working on adjustments, while Sunday I will be uploading the final.


•I added a little bit more reflection to the body of the bikes
•I added shadows to the back of the riders
•I also redid the entire motion lines/blur problem I had before based on several suggesions, THANKS GUYS!! (what you think?)
•I also changed the base colour of the “butt” of the bikes, HOWEVER! I feel that the more saturated orange worked better, what do you guys think about that?
•Oh yeah, and the explosion also has a little bit more “velocity” due to a little bit of radial blur on the rays.

I uploaded a larger version this time for you all to see more detail. :slight_smile:

Voytek: Thanks for the comments. :slight_smile: It seemed to have worked well on beefing up the explosion. Didn’t think I could improve it much this late in the challenge :slight_smile:

Cameron Gardner: You are right, “subtle” was the key to fixing this blur problem.! :slight_smile:


Mark - Great update! Way to take everyone’s feedback and concertns and use them to really strengthen your piece! You blur effects now are perfect: still conveying motion but artfully done and not to extremes. The stronger shadows on your characters help them read better. I now get what the shapes in the sky are. Just a few more smaller comments, if they’ll help:

With the new positioning of the right-most biker’s arm, the arm compositionally moves right up into that vertical column. It wasn’t a problem in the previous post, but now they visually blend together. Moving him just a little bit either way, left or right, would help it read more clearly, or going back to the old position.

On the same bike, the propeller is different, but it doesnt necessarily read better now. Perhaps a little bit worse. Just an idea, but overall that lower right corner isn’t all that important: Perhaps you can push its values in one direction (lighter or darker) and then also push the propeller in the other (i.e. darker or lighter.) I think the latter would work better in both cases, but i may be quibbling over something small, it may not be that important to read the prop. I think it’d be cool because it says something about the technology on your world which is different than everyone else’s, but in the grander scheme of things, it’s not a huge issue.

Lastly, the center guy’s back has been darkened, and to good effect… but the radiation symbol on his back hasn’t and so now it really glows and sticks out… Admittedly appropriate for a radiation symbol, but it draws the eye thre pretty strongly, perhaps more than you would like?

but anyhow, you’re 99.9% of the way there, great work! and chalk up one big victory for the prop-cycle rebels. Hurrah!



Hey I didnt mind that huge blur directly downwards i think it worked there.

Just be careful with the blur effect. Its very complex to do it right.
Also the explosion might not need much of the blur. Since big explosions sometimes build up slowly. Like nuke. I dont call myself as any expert on that field.

Depends which parts you really want to convey sense of speed. If everything moves with super speed to every possible direction there is a danger of creating fully blurry picture.

It was also fun to know that you didnt use any help of 3D blocks when doing the buildings. Its way more time consuming doing it traditionally. Good luck! Hope you do the right last minute changes :thumbsup:

Challenge is about to be finished soon.