Spectacular 2D Entry: John Barry Ballaran


John Barry Ballaran is entered in the “Spectacular Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: “RAIN”


Hi all! This is my first challenge and I’m definitely excited. I’m not really expecting to win… I’m more in it for the sake of learning some new stuff and meeting some new friends. So hope I meet a lot of you out there.

Here’s my first concept. What could be more spectacular than actually seeing the very gates of heaven itself! I’m not really a religious guy but I bet it would be awesome! The guy at the opening is the prophet summoning the gates to open just for some size comparison, to make the gate seem more awesome. Hope to hear from you guys. I still have a couple of concepts in mind, I’ll just try to sketch it out if I get in the mood. My Wacom broke down a couple of days back and I wont be getting it till after 2 wks. Goodluck to all of you.


Hey man, good luck with the challenge, its my first one too. I’m finding it a challenge already…harder to think of something than i thought it would be. although there’s a theme it seems way more open than master and servant / machine flesh etc.

Your concept seems cool, maybe the gate could be viewed from a lower angle. Could make it a bit more dynamic…I Like the design of the gate too!


Very Good Work ! I Like the colours :slight_smile: Good Luck !


Interesting color palette, But I would go with more warmer colors though personally, the outside just seems to cool , personal preference though, but anyways great concept and good luck to ya, holla!:thumbsup:


wow,like heavens doors,although i imagined them to waaaay bigger.great image!!


wow great idea, looking good!! Nice work! :smiley:

Good luck :thumbsup:


yAdam: Cool advice man. I’ll try to change the angle to emphasize the size of the gate. Yeh, i agree it really takes a lot out of your imagination to come up with something spectacular, making this one the greatest challenge yet for cgtalk. Goodluck to all of us man!

The Witch: Tnx for droppin by. I dont have a definite set of colors in mind yet coz it’s really hard to color using a mouse since my Wacom is broken… But I’m glad you like it :slight_smile: Just want to focus more on the ideas here.

beelow: Check out my answer for The Witch. I wanted the idea of the gate being in the middle of the really barren, hot place… That’s hell, and the really cool, and lively place being heaven. The whole wall and gate’s gonna be glowing, and the clouds too are gonna be affected by the climate change from hot to cool, drawing out a lot of contrast in the picture. I’ll try and improve this sketch some more to clearly express my idea.

NOOB!: Yeah, I also wanted to make it bigger and more larger than life coz were talking about heaven here! :slight_smile: But I dont want to sacrifice the little people down at the bottom of the gate, since they’re the ones who are witnessing the “spectacular” aspect of the gate. So I still need to work on this to make it seem more spectacular. Making the gate bigger’s a cool advice, tnx.

enialadam: Tnx! I’ll be checkin’ out your thread too along with everybody else’s. Goodluck to us all! :slight_smile:


I think I just found the concept that i really wanna develop. I love battle scenes.

The hero’s comrades have fallen and they’re still surrounded by a horde of thousands of orcs or goblins or whatever… As a last hope of defense, the hero unleashes his hidden talent in spell casting, that even his buddies are shocked by the awesome spell. He calls out the “arrow maidens” (working title:P) who unleashes a barrage of glowing arrows at the horde, creating a fireworks display of spectacular proportions. The spell is so powerful that even the clouds in the background seem to react to its supremacy.

Composition wise, I think the clouds, as well as the hill they’re standing on, will draw you towards the hero and suddenly explode your eyes towards the enemy with the arrows. Really feels dynamic to me. I’m planning on making the whole picture darker in order to emphasize the glow of the arrows as well as light up the spell cloud of the Arrow Maidens. What do you guys think?


neat stuff!



Spectacular concept!

And i reckon you’re gonna need a bucket full of patience with an idea on that scale… good luck!


Cool, the heavens gate was cool but I like the second idea better for sure. More apealing layout and composition. My only critique would be to make some new creatures or someting to be attacking. If it’s a big army of orcs and/or goblins, thats just gonna scream Lord of the Rings and I think it would only hurt you in the end with people subconsciously comparing you to that.



[li]squibbit: tnx 4 dropping by man. i like your ideas too. [/li][/ul]

[li]duddlebug: i’m probably gonna need 2 really big buckets of my patience for something this big man. ive never stretched my concepts as far as this one before. hope i can hold it together in this contest and actually finish a piece before the end. goodluck to you too, tnx. [/li][/ul]

[li]feeesh: i agree about the orc/goblin thing. that’s a great advice. and you’re right, the last concept is definitely a lot cooler than the first one i did. except i think battle scenes like this might be “too-used-up” already. it’s a spectacular scene, but it’s definitely nothing new. as for the 1st concept, im not sure, but i dont think heaven’s gates has ever been done before, atleast not the way the i can see it in my head… that’s what makes the 1st one tempting. the end image of the gates of heaven in my head kinda looks cool, and this one will probably get more attention since not many people are into painting religious stuff these days. so it’ll be unique. i cant decide yet. well, ive still got less than 2 wks for me to think about it before i get my broken Wacom back from the shop. i’ve got your vote for the 2nd concept though. tnx a lot man. looking forward to your future comments. [/li][/ul]


The second one I am diggin on! Play with the composition some more though, I love dynamics! good stuff so far!:thumbsup:


Hey I like both ideas, very colourful :slight_smile:


Nice concept… Would be cool if the the magic fighters would also use different weapons and even engage in close combat, but still keep a lot of archers :slight_smile: they are cool!


[li]beelow: Yeah, I’m gonna try and pull in a little closer to the heroes, and come up with a lower angle to make the hero seem like he’s conquering over everything else in the pic. Except I dunno how I’m gonna maintain the awesome look of the Arrow Maidens if I do that. Tnx for checkin’ in. Btw How’s it going with the “pain-and-sorrow -of-the-whole-damn-world’s-on-my-shoulder” concept? [/li][/ul]

[li]element5: Glad you like the ideas man. I still havent decided on which of these two I should actually commit to. I’ll just develop them both at the same time, and the one that ends up being the coolest is it. [/li][/ul]

[li]FrozZT: You’re right, I should add more fighting in it since this is a battle scene. Tnx for the advice. [/li][/ul]


Nighttime setting. Sacrifices the colors. But emphasizes the lighting effects, which is exactly what the idea’s about. I mean, who’d watch fireworks during the day right? That’d be stupid. Any thoughts?


I’m curious about how you’re going to do the sky - since it’s such a big part of the picture?


Good point man. I plan to pull the clouds towards the hero’s torso, make it seem like he’s absorbing the clouds and using it to power up his spell or something. That effect will also focus the viewer’s eyes on the hero, make it seem like they’re being sucked in, forcing them to look at the middle of the picture.

This effect applies to the last concept. I’m tryin’ out a new angle, and I dont think the torso-absorbing-clouds concept wont work with the kind of view I have in mind for the next layout. Check it out and tell me what you think. Tnx!