Monday, January 30, 2012

Episode 110 - Son of Critiques from the Grave!

Finally! Here's the one you've all been waiting for - part 2 of our Listener Critiques. Jeremy couldn't join us this time, but Socar, Drew, Kieran and your temporary host Patrick bring you more of the insights and comments you've come to tolerate from Ninja Mountain!

Subscribe to the Ninja Mountain Podcast on iTunes we'll pout. I mean, like, REALLY pout.

The pictures from our glorious listeners in this episode:

Gordon Napier:

Jeremy Rathbone:

Jan Pospisil

Matthew Sylvester:


Thanks everybody. We'll be back soon, promise!


Jeremy Rathbone said...

AWESOME! Thanks for the critiques. I really appriciate the work of the ninja, and your valiant podcasting. I will sit through a second listening to the episode tomorrow to really get into the details of what was said. I will be taking notes on my own piece. If you plan on doing more critiquing(did I spell that right?) in the future I'd like to send some newer stuff your way, unless you are getting tired at looking at my stuff.

Jan said...

Good effort on the critiques!!

I didn't quite understand the perspective comments on the first listen, I need to get back to that. The mausoleum is supposed to be on a hill above, there are steps going up to it. So, yes, you are most likely entirely right about the perspective being wrong!

I'm a bit like Socar in that respect, I try to hide perspective. And architecture.

I'm surprised Patrick got the comic booky feeling from the contrast - that's exactly what I was going for. O_O

I'll try to play with the values some more in PS, many thanks for all the specific places pointed out!

(watercolourish impression is a testament to the power of ArtRage - this was painted with mainly the watercolour tool and some light oil/gouache tool for the foreground)

Great episode!

Jan said...

BTW, I spent quite some time looking for images of cool walking dudes for this one. (for refence and ideas of course, not tracing. The whole cover idea is based on the book's author liking that scene in Kill Bill where Oren Ishii walks through the Japanese inn with her henchmen.)

This image I found and thought was worth sharing:

Professor Badass

Gordon Napier said...

Thanks for the critique. Some very good advice, which I shall try to take on board, as well as on the chin. I have given 'Retours' a bit of a reworking in the light of your words, and would be grateful for any further feedback...

The figures were indeed drawn individually and cobbled together. It's too late to do much but try to hide the (perspective) problem areas in the lower half with a lot of shadow. I was only reading recently about the importance of establishing a horizon line at the offest. (It seems obvious now.) I've also modified the shading, added more rim lighting, blurred the falling beam, brought the sword tip in from the side and made the expressions more varied.

Gordon Napier said...

By the way I wouldn't normally fiddle with something that's been approved, (the client seemed happy with it at the time). Should get away with it in this case, though. It had to be done quite quickly, but I've a feeling the initial deadline was not to do with actual publication, and am giving the client the option of going with the revised version. Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Gordon! I think that's really quite an improvement. Not that it was bad before, but this does address a lot of concerns. Great work! Let us know if they accept your update for the book. :)

Unknown said...

Hey Jeremy - glad to be of service! If you want to get one of your other pictures critiqued on an upcoming show, just let us know. We'll always looking for fodder... er, art to talk about. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Jan - glad you appreciated the responses, and also thanks for the link. :D If you want a quick draw-over of what we were talking about with the perspective, let me know and I'll throw some construction lines on it.

The rendering really did look great on that one. Ah Artrage, you are teh awesome!

Jan said...

@Patrick: I think I got it the second time I listened. It's silly, I should really plan perspective better.
The cover is a wrap-around and in the wide version it's obvious the characters are walking up on a hill, while the mausoleum is on another hill behind them, so it's roughly in the same height.

In the WA version the perspective makes a bit more sense, in the cropped picture it's just confusing.

*sigh* Next time, eh. :)

Matthew Sylvester said...

Thank yo Patrick,Socar,Kieran and Drew. Just got to listen to your critique of my work and it was very helpful.
Patrick,you are right on pumping up the brightness on the Bridge Scene,as I found out when getting it printed.Too dark.
I appreciated the comments and ideas on the" Jenny "scene.Kieran and Socar, you both mentioned playing with highlights on clothing and hair to give it some more depth,make it pop a bit. I agree. Patrick the idea with playing with filtering ambient light will be something to play around with.I am not sure how to approach it yet ,but it will be fun to play around with.It will help add another layer of depth.
Over all I was very flattered by the positive comments on the work and appreciate all of your critiques and comments. I will pay more attention to the details that can help to give my work that extra punch and spark of life.
Any ideas on good resources for learning Photoshop and Painter? I mostly have found my information on the internet as well as trial and error.
I would also love it if you did a show on processes and approaches to your work again. Always a good listen.
Thanks for the great podcast!

Jeremy Rathbone said...

Well, I have some new Fodder for you. :)
although Drew has already made some great suggestions leading to it's current state.

I have it over on the wipnation site.

Jeremy Rathbone said...

I did a reworking of the image after the brilliant critiquing I received for my Doctor who image. I uploaded it to Wipnation. Here is a link to it:

Thanks again ninjas!

ATOM said...

Great work guys, I dig your critique
episodes.It would be a good idea to do at least one critique each episode.Good idea Patrick. ;)
Got to check out your still life blog

Unknown said...

Thanks for all the comments, folks!

Jan - That's what critique is all about. If I was able to go back and fix everything I'VE ever done wrong... well, I'd never get anything new done because I'd be fixing everything! ;)

Matthew - a pleasure to get acquainted with your work! I like books myself (the Photoshop bible and the Photoshop Wow book were my faves back in the day..) but for my money, I just work until I realize I don't know how to do something. Then I look it up online! That usually leads me down a path of learning stuff I didn't know about and before long I've added a whole new knowledge set. (did that recently with Tilt-shift and the lens blur!)

Jeremy - great to see the updated version. Quite awesome!

Atom - thanks! Check out the new episode: two new critiques! Yay!

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