Strange Behavior (Illustration) Entry: Mark David


Great work on the modeling and texturing… I like the details… :thumbsup:
The background looks very lighted, so it could be a bit dark


Hey Mark, great BG work man. all the clouds and stars look great, love the matte painting.

Though, i feel it’s a little too bright, maybe that’s what ur going for. However, I feel like you’ve lit and colored this ship against a dark BG for all this time, which was working. Now i think with this whitish BG all that should look a bit different… One example is when an object is blocking/or next to a very bright light source like that, everything other than the light itself looses brightness, and look very dark in fact. think of your picture being taken with a flash, for a sec everything other than the flash light will look almost like black. i think trying to reduce the brightness of your Bg could help a lot easily, rather than adjusting the lighting of your ship. but i know it’s a wip, so feel free to ignore if you’re already on it dude…

waiting for the next post!


beautiful work on the background mark. I like the pink patch in the corner.It all blends really nicely with the ship.


Hi Mark, background is a little bit more bright and I’m aggree with overcontrast about It’s distracting the focal point. Anyway the scene is great. Cheers!


hahaha… just noticed all the tropical images painted on the ship! nice touch Mark


Thank you for your clear and helpful suggestions. I’ve tried some darker backgrounds and, even though there’s a lot of good sense in what you say I’m still tempted by the light appearance. But as always, you gave me some excellent things to try out and I appreciate that

Thank you to you too! It’s possible I’m doing the wrong thing here but after trying a bunch of different skies I’m still tempted to go for a light nebula sky instead of a dark empty one. Thank you for your feedback buddy

Thanks Mathias. It’s always great to get your feedback. Your seagull idea is brilliant but there’s a bit of a surprise on its way where a lot of things are explained and unfortunately I can’t see how the seagull could fit in

Hey thank you Per. In order to get close enough to the hippynaut to see him clearly while still also seeing the whole spaceship, I’ve had to use a wide-angle (almost fish-eye) lens, and that is creating the unusual perspective you noticed. So there’s nothing wrong with your perception!

Thank you! That is very kind

Thank you. It’s interesting that there’s a lot of support for a darker background. I appreciate your feedback a lot. In the next post I’ll show how a darker background looks. I must admit that I’m still a bit of a fan of a lighter background

Thank you. Wow, another one suggesting a dark background! That’s quite a few people now

Hey Jeff, thank you. Another one suggesting a darker background. Well I just can’t ignore so many intelligent people saying the same thing. But when I try it out I end up with a different ‘feel’ to the illustration. It does look more like the space background we’re used to seeing but it loses something which I find hard to define. But I see the sense in what you say. I might still come across something different which I hope you prefer

Thanks John. Your encouragement is always appreciated mate

Thank you. You’re another one who thinks the background is too bright! I’m definitely trying all sorts of things with that background

Thank you again! :slight_smile:


Well there’s been very strong support for a darker background and I’ll tell you right now, it’s always nice to see so many people in agreement. Unfortunately there is one especially difficult guy hanging around this thread who just keeps making trouble by taking a different line of argument. Yes, I’m talking about that mdavid guy.

But I can’t ignore so many intelligent people saying the same thing. So in between various freelance jobs this week I’ve been filling up my hard drive with a bunch of darker backgrounds.

Some of them I found a bit too colorful and so I won’t show them. The thing is, I want the background to be, well, a background thing. Which means not too dominating. But there is a strong consensus that my light background was doing exactly that - drawing too much attention!

So after trying a whole bunch of versions I ended up looking again at the light version and doing something really simple to it - I darkened the big white nebula behind the umbrella. That makes a big difference I think, and hopefully means it no longer draws too much attention, while also giving it a bit more sense of interesting structure.

So here I’m showing that light background with a darker nebula, and also another background where the whole thing has gone dark. I definitely think that by making the light bit darker the top version is an improvement and I’m still leaning to that one for the slightly dreamy effect it’s giving. Because that’s the look I’m aiming for, for reasons which will possibly make more sense soon…

So that’s the way I’m thinking but you sure don’t have to agree with me. All those suggestions to go darker encouraged me try a whole bunch of changes which I really believe have helped, and so I appreciate your honest feedback

  • Mark


Very cool! Love the ship.

I am in also agonizing over my background colors and values. I like both backgrounds the light one has a great nebula and lightness and links to the color of the ship while the darker one accents (value wise) with the ship and the darkness is a bit more space like. Have you tried a blend of both? Copy both BG layers, then diddle with opacity of the some blending gradations. Try for the best of both worlds, both are cool, now if you can combine the best of each. Maybe the lighter background with darker bluer edges?

The good news they are both good.


Tricky. Yeah, the dark background makes the ship and hippy easier to read. But… the light one makes it more like a part of the scene instead of a backdrop. Also, without any scientific reasons I think I like the bright one more.
In short, I agree with that mdavid guy - he seems to know what you’re after!


Yo Mark! The light/colored version still interests me more, especially now that you have
fixed the bright spot! It’s more of a “mdavid original” than with the black bg!
I understand the opinion about the darker bg and “standing out” thesis, which is sound
and reasonable, however, the lighter version is more poetic and intriguing, which can
better justify the mood of the hippynaut, and compliment the overall effect of the scene,
as Gunilla stated!
Besides, the viewer will read all the details on the ship and around it anyways, cause there
are plenty of it, and most of the texturing makes sense now!
Either way, I wish you luck with the rest of the project, as you mentioned something about
a surprise, ooo, I can’t wait!



Hey Mark, sorry to put you in trouble:sad: not was my intention :rolleyes: hahahahaha :smiley: Seriously, I like the new “not too bright” nebula and Varma point its good, its a strange behavior and i´m thinking in a realistic deep space photo :banghead: :smiley:
I know that the final BG will be awesome !! Again, great and superb work my friend! Cheers ! :beer:


It’s been a long interstellar voyage. Too many years of solitude have done strange things to the mind of the astronaut.

The hippy phase came first. That’s when he painted his spaceship. Then the paranoid stage, when he installed his primary weapon.

Then came the outdoors stage, when he built his timber deck and decorated it with plants.

He’s settled into a new routine now. Same time every 22-hour ‘day’ he opens the hatch on his cockpit. Then he climbs along the hull to lie back and tan in the light of a nearby star, occasionally picking up his guitar to strum a few chords. He hasn’t noticed that his music can’t be heard in a vacuum. He doesn’t care that even a short exposure to cosmic rays can be dangerous. It never even occurred to him that there’s no air to breathe.

Strange behavior? It doesn’t seem strange to him. But then he doesn’t realise he died twelve years ago

I’m extremely grateful to the many folks who joined me on this thread. The feedback, advice and encouragement not only helped me and taught me things, but also often changed the direction in which this thing unravelled. If I haven’t managed to carry out your suggestions to your own high standards then I can only say it’s because I still have heaps to learn.

  • Mark


Thank you for your suggestions. Yes I have tried a blend of the two backgrounds - in the end I’ve settled on the lighter one (after I made it darker!)

It’s always great to see you here Gunilla. Thank you for your opinion. I’m glad you think that mdavid guy is at least partly on the right track - after all, I have to live with him all the time!

Thank you mate! Thank you

Hahahah! I can assure you, your thoughtful and helpful insights and suggestions have never been trouble at all! Quite the opposite. I know how I get too ‘close’ to my own work so I value objective and informed opinions like yours. Thank you once again my friend


Hey Mark, my friend, that is a impressive work. For the first time that i see your first wip, I stayed impressed by all the detail and artistry that you were putting on your concept. You have a superb imagination and creativity and that is reflected in your amazing image. Your talent is fully committed to your work and that is something I really admire you.

The hippynaut voyage its simply awesome, i love that space ship and his cool relaxed hippie pilot, great my friend !! The all details creates a wonderful far deep space atmosphere and a warm feeling at the same time, really amazing!! Fore sure your entry is one of my favorites !!

Mark, it was a great experience (a great learning experience :slight_smile: ) to see the evolution of your wonderful concept to this awesome work of art!! Congrats!! I wish you the best of luck my friend!! :applause: Suerte amigo mio!!!

And now is time for a really well deserved many beers and tequila drinks!!! Cheers Mark!! :beer:



Right click, Save as …

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:


congrats amigo on ur cool bananes final image :thumbsup:


Yeah, what he said about cool bananas :buttrock:

Big congrats from me for finishing this fantastic piece (or should I say peace?) :). It’s been real fun following you from the start with this - each step very inspiring.

I think I can smell an award somewhere.


Heh, what a wonderful finish! Congrats!:applause:

And thanks for a cheerful, not so scientific, but nevertheless most entertaining thread! Has been so much fun to follow! :smiley:

Well worth a price!


Mark, congrats on finishing your piece! It’s been a pleasure, again, watching you on your entire voyage, and congratulations on completing it!

So now that that’s over and done with, can I get back to constructive notes?

First off, the tire doesn’t look like it’s casting a shadow on the hull of the ship… shouldn’t it be? Is that just a quirk of the angle we’re looking at it?

Secondly, now that you’ve chosen the lighter nebula background, wouldn’t that setting influence the lighting on the foreground in some manner? What about a lighting pass to add a strong rim light on the top of the ship. It would especially show up around the man’s hair, as it’s not solid: Backlighting usually gives the hair a bit of a halo effect. And one of my mottos it that a rim light always makes a piece look cooler. I thinkk it could work well here, if you feel like it.

anyhow, hope you don’t mind the comments now that you’ve submitted your final image… Take care!



Congrats for finishing this man! I love your modeling :bounce: