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Postby khan95 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:04 pm

  khan95
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Subject title: Composition, Motion and General advice

Hi!
Lately, I've been practicing my digital painting. In this piece, I tried to focus on using a perspective that portrays motion/action. Other than that I also experimented with lighting, composition, and cloth.
The original resolution is fairly high (5760 x 3240), which in the preview turned out to be pretty bad! I recommend that you download the full resolution here (button to the right) if you want to get a closer look!
https://www.deviantart.com/khan-the-cake-lover/art/Violet-Evergarden-Fight-or-Die-753536465

I would appreciate any critique with regards to these (or other glaring) aspects! Thank you :D

The source material is the anime Violet Evergarden, by the way.

Image

 

Postby Ambiguity » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:56 am

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  Ambiguity
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You have too many areas of high contrast(both in value and saturation) all over the place, which detracts from the readability and makes your focal area seem less important. Your color and light was also pretty confusing. You're letting some areas be completely dominated by the light source colors, while giving no consideration for the local colors of the objects, which is leading to weird monochromatic areas next to more temperature rich areas(I'm assuming you painted up from greyscale, this problem is common with that).
Image

P.S. I missed that part about the full resolution download, I ended up making the preview size bigger and painting on that before downsizing it again for comparison :lol:.

 

Postby svarn » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:16 pm

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  svarn
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If you think that your piece doesn't look good in the "preview" size then that's a major concern.
Since that's how majority of your audience will see it.
Starting your work with a thumbnail is a good practice. Because that way you make sure that the image is both readable and that it looks good at any size.

I think the image is quite nice overall, and I like how you paint.
The main issue I have with it, is that the arm feels detached from the character for me. Initially I wasn't quite sure if it's her arm or not. I think that's due to it's size, I assume you wanted to use forshortening but you may have overdone it.

Also I'm not sure how do I feel about the train behind her. Initially I thought that it's just a random row of lights, and I only realised what it is after watching your full sized picture (which again, not many people will do). But I think that you have a very dynamic perspective overall, and this stright flat line breaks it. We can even see a tilted horizon in the top left corner, and the train is almost horizontal line.

Good luck!

 

Postby khan95 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:10 pm

  khan95
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Ambiguity wrote:You have too many areas of high contrast(both in value and saturation) all over the place, which detracts from the readability and makes your focal area seem less important. Your color and light was also pretty confusing. You're letting some areas be completely dominated by the light source colors, while giving no consideration for the local colors of the objects, which is leading to weird monochromatic areas next to more temperature rich areas(I'm assuming you painted up from greyscale, this problem is common with that).
Image

P.S. I missed that part about the full resolution download, I ended up making the preview size bigger and painting on that before downsizing it again for comparison :lol:.


Great feedback! Lots of stuff I didn't realize. I like what you did with the glove! I really struggled adding detail to it. I also think I may have gotten carried away with the contrast in value and saturation throughout the whole picture. And yes, in a sense I started with grayscale and added flat colors before shading over that using effects and straight on painting over it. I often feel like I get values with way too little contrast when I don't start with grayscale, which I'm going to guess is also a common issue.

Although I'm a bit confused about the dark shadow you added behind her as I avoided that due to the bright moonlight hitting her from behind. I get that it adds good contrast there, but does it make sense light-wise?

svarn wrote:If you think that your piece doesn't look good in the "preview" size then that's a major concern.
Since that's how majority of your audience will see it.
Starting your work with a thumbnail is a good practice. Because that way you make sure that the image is both readable and that it looks good at any size.

I think the image is quite nice overall, and I like how you paint.
The main issue I have with it, is that the arm feels detached from the character for me. Initially I wasn't quite sure if it's her arm or not. I think that's due to it's size, I assume you wanted to use forshortening but you may have overdone it.

Also I'm not sure how do I feel about the train behind her. Initially I thought that it's just a random row of lights, and I only realised what it is after watching your full sized picture (which again, not many people will do). But I think that you have a very dynamic perspective overall, and this stright flat line breaks it. We can even see a tilted horizon in the top left corner, and the train is almost horizontal line.

Good luck!


Oh it wasn't that I thought it looked bad! It was that the resolution was so high that the entire image didn't fit! Should have been more clear about that ^^.

Thank you! I also sense that the arm sometimes felt detached, but I actually checked the perspective using 3D software before painting and based the pose off that, so the foreshortening is "correct" in that sense. Although it was based on a distorted lens which may have been a bad choice since other elements in the scene may not convey that distortion, making her look distorted relative to everything else. Perhaps. But yes, despite it perhaps being technically correct, the detached feeling has been on and off during painting with no obvious fix at the time.

I've heard from friends about the train as well. It's unfortunate, as I didn't really know how else to fit it in. Perhaps I could have made a much more narrow turn to bring it out from behind her head much sooner. Next time I'll try to avoid accidentally covering up important background elements with the foreground. I also didn't think about the train being horizontal! Big whoops on my part! I think you're totally right about that.

Overall huge thanks for all the feedback so far. I should have tried this sooner :D

 

Postby Ambiguity » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:13 pm

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  Ambiguity
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Location: Your dreams

khan95 wrote:Although I'm a bit confused about the dark shadow you added behind her as I avoided that due to the bright moonlight hitting her from behind. I get that it adds good contrast there, but does it make sense light-wise?

Yes and no, the problem is the moonlight isn't moonlight, it's way too strong to actually be the moon. Have you ever shown a flashlight on something at night vs. the day? It'd be pretty hard for whatever that light source is to not overpower actual moonlight at this distance from the character. I left the intensity of it because it seemed important enough to you to go full white on the back of her head and dress, but if this was my piece, I probably would have opted to mute that altogether and focus on using the orange light to show what's really important like this:
Image

I've done this cinematic lighting with night scenes before though, so it's not like I'm against it in all instances, I just think the orange light was plenty for the story in this case.

Now if that wasn't the moon, and just a really strong artificial light(or if this world had a super self light emitting moon) and the orange light was equally or almost as strong, what you would have is 2 shadows, both of them weaker than this except where they overlap, and that ground plane(top of the train) would more more lit up.


P.S. Just realized I forgot to make that little triangular light on the camera left side of the train orange too :P

 

Postby khan95 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:54 pm

  khan95
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Ambiguity wrote:
khan95 wrote:Although I'm a bit confused about the dark shadow you added behind her as I avoided that due to the bright moonlight hitting her from behind. I get that it adds good contrast there, but does it make sense light-wise?

Yes and no, the problem is the moonlight isn't moonlight, it's way too strong to actually be the moon. Have you ever shown a flashlight on something at night vs. the day? It'd be pretty hard for whatever that light source is to not overpower actual moonlight at this distance from the character. I left the intensity of it because it seemed important enough to you to go full white on the back of her head and dress, but if this was my piece, I probably would have opted to mute that altogether and focus on using the orange light to show what's really important like this:
...

I've done this cinematic lighting with night scenes before though, so it's not like I'm against it in all instances, I just think the orange light was plenty for the story in this case.

Now if that wasn't the moon, and just a really strong artificial light(or if this world had a super self light emitting moon) and the orange light was equally or almost as strong, what you would have is 2 shadows, both of them weaker than this except where they overlap, and that ground plane(top of the train) would more more lit up.


P.S. Just realized I forgot to make that little triangular light on the camera left side of the train orange too :P


Ah I see. Yeah I definitely exaggerated the moonlight quite a bit. Like you said, not necessarily bad in and of itself in all cases but I agree the orange light may have been more than enough and more effective on its own. The moonlight fix really does make her face pop way more which I like.

I think I treated the orange light a little bit too much as an afterthought. I also used to do really monochromatic paintings in the past and wanted to start moving away from that and may have forgotten that the solution to that doesn't just come in the form of colored lights that push the values close to white :D. I'm probably going to need some value practice and check my values more frequently for hotspots that drag the attention from the area of interest. I especially like the dimmed contrast on the cloth. Makes it look much more clothlike than before.


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