I'm missing something, and don't know what, any ideas?

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I'm missing something, and don't know what, any ideas?

Postby Jason Embury » Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:52 pm

Okay everyone, I've been lurking for a few months, and posting on a SOMEWHAT regular basis, so I thought I'd throw in my first piece for public crits. :) I'm having some issues with this page. I'm not EXACTLY sure what's missing, but I know that it needs SOMETHING. Any thoughts or ideas? Comments or criticisms? This is the first page I've done in low lighting, and I'm not very confident in the play of the light in the top panel. I'd love to hear if there's an easy fix to really make this page pop.

Image

thanks!
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Postby Chris Summers » Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:17 pm

Look pretty good but one thing kinda jumps out at me. In th first panel it looks like the colors between the skintones, his shirt, hay and the ground are too close to each other and it is kinda flattening out the image.

I would also like to see deeper Shadows around the edges so that it really feels like the light is coming from the candle more.

Also, in panel 1, it looks like the guy is wearing ass-less chaps :shock:

Those are 2 cents anyway. No pro work for me yet so take it for what it's worth :wink:
~Chris
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Postby Laura » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:34 pm

Chris made some good points. I think the main thing, though, is that for low-lighting and firelight, it's very gray in some areas, particularly the skin tones. Take a look at movies that are set at night, in firelight, and you'll notice that the skin has a lot of contrast, and reflects a great deal of the yellow-orange light. Just take all your skin tones and increase the saturation; that ought to do it, for a quick fix, and I think you'll find that it warms up the scene considerably.

The second thing I'd like to see is more decisive directional light. This, unfortunately, isn't a quick fix...You're making some strong attempts with your shadow placement, but sometimes it's as if you just laid in these dark spots over soft, nondirectional rendering. The shadows and rendering have to work and blend together to be convincing. Specifically, I'm talking about those really harsh shadows on the characters' noses. And while I can see the directional light in panel 1, it's sort of lost in the soft rendering in panels 2-6. Do you see what I mean?

Also, is it me, or do we switch sides from panel 1 to panel 5? Wouldn't the candle still be in front of them and to the right? Just an observation.

Smart choices in making the surrounding shadowy areas purpley-blue. Good on you for that. I'd like to see the backgrounds in panels 2-5 be desaturated a bit -- the blue! purple! blue! purple! is a bit distracting. How about matching the backgrounds to the brick wall behind them in panel 1? Sort of a dark, desaturated purple. it's okay if they all have the same background color -- the camera isn't moving around all that much, and it'll help to unify the scene.

Just some thoughts. I hope they help!

-- Laura
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Postby Jason Embury » Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:16 am

Chris and Laura, thanks for all the input. I'll definitely take the saturation on the skintones advice to heart. and now that you mentioned it, panels 2-6 were where I was having the issues. the directional light is sort of gone in those for sure. and panel 5 yeah....the candle light should still be to the right. I can fix that pretty quickly though as well. I may not have time this go round, to fix EVERYTHING, but I'll take it all into consideration on future pages though and hopefully things will start to work much better. really appreciate the time you both spent to point some things out to me that I could be doing better. :D
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Postby Nathan » Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:08 pm

Just a quick addition to what Laura's said: if the candle in panel one is your light source, why isn't it the brightest spot on your page? It should be way hotter than the figures. Also, the weird dark nose bridge shadows are really not working with the soft airbrushed rendering on the faces. In the last panel in particular, it looks like the guy has gone cross-eyed trying to see what's on his face. I always fall back on photo ref when I'm trying to figure out how to render something that's giving me trouble. Maybe try that!
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Postby tedbragg » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:02 pm

First up, I totally dig the character designs. What is this book called--LetterMock? Who publishes?

Anyway, the colors:

When I first started, I would get caught up in the mechanics of masking/lassoing selections and getting the dang grad tool to do what I wanted. I'd miss any really juicy cool stuff. Directional lighting was my biggest trap. Lack of it, that is.

Try this: flat with darker colors, and use the color of the light to render with. With these two lovebirds in the barn (I love her design, btw) you could flat about 3 shades darker than you normally would. Then take the yellow orange light from the candle and use that with varying strengths to render out the characters and background....

An intimate scene like this plays great when you bathe it in a soft, golden glow

I can't get over the lineart. So clean and consistent...think your publisher would mind you uploading that page to our resource section?
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Postby Jason Embury » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:53 am

Nathan and Ted, thanks for the input and suggestions. I think part of my problems lie in that I haven't truly found my "style" yet, and since I started off trying to go for a more painted look on this book (50 some pages ago) I've had to change over to a softer, flatter, controlled airbrushed type of style to fit these pencils better. I've got SO many things I see wrong with this page now, and I wish I could got back and fix them all but I think I'll find the time somehow to make a couple changes. Regardless, the advice is helping with subsequent pages that I'm working on now, so I can't say thanks enough :D Ted, the book is called Season of the Witch, Image publishes it. The pencils I'm in total agreement with you on as well. Nicola Scott is the penciler and she is just fantastic I think. We had to change artists after issue 2 for a variety of reasons, but I REALLY wish she would have been on board from issue 1. I'd have to check and see if they'd let me upload anything to the resource section (there are some other pages that are even more beautiful that would be EXCELLENT as well) They're also isn't any inks, so it would be good to have penciled pages for practice since a lot of books are taking that approach now. thanks again guys. :P
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