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Looking for crits on Mass Effect wallpaper (off topic what?)

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I posted this thing in my journal, but I'm really after some crits on how to improve this so I'm posting it here too. Don't like it TOO BAD!! (unless you are a mod, have a higher post count or are better looking than me, in which case, sowwy) Ok so the Bioware forums have a little 'make a Mass Effect wallpaper' thread and I made this up to post there. Unfortunately the thread died moments after posting so I never got any feedback. I posted it in my journal but nobody ever reads that thing anyway. So in a last ditch attempt to get some crits on where and how I can improve, I'm posting here. Now I realize I still seem to suck at backgrounds and the coloring in this seems...bleh, so I ask you GDnet, what I can do to improve? (if you want it, a 1280x1024 version is yonder.

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Wow, that's good! I actually think that the background goes well with the rest of the scene. The guy hitting on the blue alien (sorry, but I haven't played Mass Effect so I don't know any of the names or races) in the bottom right, and the alien in the swimming pool on an inner tube with the floaties on its arms are great [lol].

Some quick things that I noticed:
  • Is the red alien supposed to be doing a cannonball on the brown alien's head?
  • The pavement seems to abruptly change from one side of the slide to the other side (the edge is farther back where the benches are).
  • The ladder leading into the pool seems out of place and extends somewhat high (I usaully don't have to step down when I get off of a pool ladder [smile]).



Other than those things the wallpaper is great. In fact, do you mind if I use it as my wallpaper?

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Quote:
Original post by greggles
Is the red alien supposed to be doing a cannonball on the brown alien's head?


Yes. I'm pretty sure that the shadow being cast isn't actually the correct way of shading though, and I'm still not sure how to get it to look right. The only feedback I have had so far was one comment on my journal and that suggested I draw the red guy from more of a “looking upwards” angle. I think it would have helped a ton since he looks very flat at the moment (I had to move the chairs because otherwise it looked like he was doing squats on them...)

Quote:

The pavement seems to abruptly change from one side of the slide to the other side (the edge is farther back where the benches are).

Ah, good spot. The tiles that go around the pool only extend for about a foot or so, but while I added them to the foreground I forgot to add them to the other sides [oh]
Quote:

The ladder leading into the pool seems out of place and extends somewhat high (I usaully don't have to step down when I get off of a pool ladder [smile]).

HAHA, oh God I never even noticed that. I drew the thing in rather messily at the end wow I never even noticed that gaff [lol]
Quote:

Other than those things the wallpaper is great. In fact, do you mind if I use it as my wallpaper?


Sure, go ahead. I wasn't too sure what resolution to make the thing, so I hope 1280x1024 is ok.

Thanks for the crits, it's amazing the stuff you miss sometimes [smile]

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I think it looks pretty good, especially the glare off the water on the left hand side. Aside from the things already mentioned, I would have perhaps put a diving board behind the red guy doing the cannonball. At first I thought he was flying out of the bushes.

I haven't played the game either, so I guess that makes it a bit more difficult to tell that the red guy had his legs tucked in and wasn't just some sort of large-headed midget.

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Quote:
Original post by boolean
Quote:
Original post by greggles
Is the red alien supposed to be doing a cannonball on the brown alien's head?


Yes. I'm pretty sure that the shadow being cast isn't actually the correct way of shading though, and I'm still not sure how to get it to look right. The only feedback I have had so far was one comment on my journal and that suggested I draw the red guy from more of a “looking upwards” angle. I think it would have helped a ton since he looks very flat at the moment


Actually, I thought right away that he was going to land on him, I just wasn't sure if that is what you wanted [smile].

Quote:
Original post by boolean
(I had to move the chairs because otherwise it looked like he was doing squats on them...)

[lol] [lol]

Quote:
Original post by boolean
Sure, go ahead. I wasn't too sure what resolution to make the thing, so I hope 1280x1024 is ok.


I have a terrible monitor right now, so 1280x1024 is even bigger than I need [smile].

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Quote:
Original post by Moe
I would have perhaps put a diving board behind the red guy doing the cannonball. At first I thought he was flying out of the bushes.


*smacks forehead* A DIVING BOARD!

Dammit. I was going to have one of the other races (there are two missing because I ran out of room), who are pretty hardcore alien type guys, clambering onto a diving board Mr. Bean style, but when I had to remove him my brain just went 'well there goes the diving board too'. Having one wobbling underneath the red guy with a bit of motion blur would have been a great idea.

If there is one thing I am quickly learning, it's not to forget the big details. I get so focused on one tiny little line or one little shadow nobody will pay any attention to I forget to think "Now is this how a pool really looks?". I really need to sit back and take a look at the whole picture more often.

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Another thing you could have added if you had room would be one of those lifeguard chairs (the really high ones) and a lifeguard.

Just out of curiosity, what did you use to make it?

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All the characters were drawn in pencil then scanned into Photoshop, while the background was lazily done with the line tool.

Once it was all inked up in Photoshop, I used my Wacom to color it all. In retrospect I really should have done the background in pencil too because the line tool can be a nightmare, but as established, I was lazy

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I like it. The color is bold and the characters are pretty well drawn - clean lines, good shading, nice overall cartoon style.

The problem with everything is poor perspective, proportion and composition. Some things are planar, some things have depth, and the things that have depth don't appear to share the same coordinate system. When you do a redraw, start by establishing the perspective and drawing construction lines that lead to the same vanishing point(s) - establish one-, two- or three-point perspective. That will give the scene a fundamental coherence.

On top of that, then worry about composition, and making foreground, midground and background elements all appear to be part of the same scene (the three foreground characters appear completely disconnected from the swimming pool, while the swimming pool has no real bearing on the benches and shrubs beyond it).

Perspective. Proportion. Composition.

Great work. Keep it up!

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