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2, Issue 10
February 17, 2000
Im a bit backlogged with critiques on readers artwork,
I thought Id take this entire week to devote to that. Again,
Id like to stress that the opinions I give are based on
my background in traditional and video game art. Im not
an authority on what is good or what is bad, but I think Ive
acquired enough experience over the years to give some good feedback.
So, with that said, Im going to jump right into it with
a look at a graphic made by O.DOGG.
some questions O.DOGG asked about his image:
can I add more atmosphere to the image and how can I make the
base seem more real and not so plastic-looking?
first question, there are several things you could do to make
the base seem less plastic looking. For starters, you could definitely
alter the material more and see if you can refine it to have a
more realistic look such as messing with reflective parts, or
tweaking settings using the Raytrace material (if you are using
3-D Studio MAX 2 or higher). But, this is a lot of tweaking little
numbers and spinners to see if you can get something better. So,
besides that, I would try another approach. I would not use the
same material on the entire image. It looks like you used a plug
in which adds little boxes and hi-tech looking gadgets on the
mesh (I cant remember what the name of this plug-in is offhand,
but Ive seen it before). Those boxes look pretty cool, actually,
but besides that, what I think would really liven this image up
is adding windows emanating light or just little lights scattered
in certain places. To understand what Im talking about,
take a look at the Death Star from Star Wars. Because of all the
lights, it really gives it a feeling of having life
thing you might want to do is make the shape of the base more
complex. Maybe make it much skinnier in the middle or have antennas
or rods extending from it in certain places (which you kind of
already have, but could add more to maybe). The high-tech boxes
protruding from the skin of the base definitely make it look more
complex, but I think the overall design needs more complexity
rather than just making the outer skin complex (just a thought).
But overall, I still think this image looks very cool.
do I make it appear bigger, but still fit on the rendering?
this, I would mess with camera lenses. Specifically, altering
the Field of View will really change how your 3-D images looks
on the screen. With a really crazy field of view, you can make
something tiny look gigantic. Again, this boils down to a bunch
of tweaking of settings and seeing what looks best.
told me the explosion wasn't realistic. How can I make it more
a tough question for me to answer, actually. For one, Im
not sure if a human being has ever seen and explosion in outer
space (other than a supernova, but thats not what were talking
about here). Maybe NASA has performed some weird experiment to
see the properties explosive matter in space -- although I havent
heard of it -- but considering that there is basically no oxygen
in space I wouldnt have a clue what it would really look
like. Anyhwho... since this is science fiction, you really have
to use you imagination to think one up. The one thing offhand
that I would immediately do to make your explosion look more real
is make chunks of metal flying out from the blast hole. Also,
you might want to alter your mesh and make part of the base peeled
back from the blast. Nice work on your graphic, I hope my advice
the next critique...
an image sent in by Angus "froofy" McCann ([email protected]).
sends word that it was created using 2b and 3b pencils, then scanned
and cleaned up in Paint Shop Pro.
a really nice drawing. You can see that Angus spent a lot of time
doing some nice detail work inside every part of the drawing.
He also did a nice job getting the arms to extend outward and
things that I can see that might make the robot look better is
by making the legs longer. They are looking a bit stubby to me
and could be extended downward quite a bit. Also, it would be
nice to see the feet extend outward too. I think they wouldnt
be really be big enough to support the size and weight of the
have some cool machinery going on this guys body and I particularly
think the head is well created -- its kind of small for
the body, but I personally think it looks cool that way. Another
thing I was thinking is that the waist of the robot might be too
big. I think there is just too much girth there -- looking from
the armpits down to the waist, there isnt much of a change
(it kind of indents in, but could probably stand to go even further
in). Instead of just having it gradiently pinch inward, maybe
if it sort of steped in at one point. All in all this is very
nice. Youre definitely on your way!
thats all the time I have this week. I hope this was helpful
not only to the artists who sent their work in, but also for others.
Critiques are a part of just about any college art course you
take because they help people learn to see and understand art
styles and techniques. Also, the best part is that it helps artists
improve. Thank you very much to both O.DOGG and Angus for submitting
- Rick "Flatness" Grossenbacher works on Gameboy Color
games for Vicarious Visions.
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