soon to be done

latest render guys info in what ive done scroll down plz and comment :slight_smile: cheers


This is the third time I try to write this post without writing a novel about character design, composition and other aspects that can go to these things. I want to make clear that I’m not posting this to push my suggestion from my previous critique but because I’m concerned that critique might have put you on the wrong track instead of helping.

In my previous post I assumed a direction you want to take the image based on what I saw, the way you might want to present your character and the messages you want to send to the viewer: A powerful/threatening/scary/mysterious character that is not to be messed with when it’s in front of you. If you have something else in mind, don’t use those suggestions.

There were no backstory so I made up a vague one from “elemental warrior, visible ground”: this lone warrior is coming from a battle and moving through a forest until he stopped because he saw the viewer. The changes in the character, background/environment are all supposed to play together towards that.

  • I suggested to make the head smaller. That makes the shoulders look wider and the body more powerful (head to body ratio). I didn’t pull that from my hat,
  • Yes there are scary characters that are scary despite having a big head (Giger’s Alien of course, witch from Hellboy) but those designs use other means to make sure there’s no second guess if the character is supposed to be scary or cute. Many others play safe for one direction or the other (smaller head: threatening, bigger head: non-threatening, cute). I played safe
  • The flows in my overpaint are supposed to direct the viever towards the eyes and I also put a high contrast there to add to that effect, even though we humans tend to look for heads/eyes anyway. There is a direction for the viewer where they should start and can explore the rest like it was a badly lit christmas tree, again with a direction
  • The strong backlighting also gives an excuse to make the upper torso much darker and makes the character more mysterious
  • Pulled some texture on the harness to support the backstory a bit and made the flames give more light
  • Backlighting works as a rim light so put some subtle outlines to extract the character from the dark background
  • Negative space on both sides of the character to still keep the focus on it

There is a big tangency issue (red arrows) with the tree brances and shoulders and the backlight/moon has a tangency issue with the head.

Things to note

  • I took the lazy route. Centered composition, dark image is quicker and I didn’t have to make changes to the pose or start painting it from another perspective
  • Even though very simple and badly executed, there are quite many things considered to make it work as a whole. If I would’ve made drastic changes off direction, like put a strong front light, the whole thing comes crumbling down
  • Backstory gives ideas on what to put there. Even a vague one is better than none. It can give an idea for the whole shot too
  • If you know the story or know the things you want to look at first, make those obvious to the viewers and guide them without them knowing it. They will be more pleased to see what you’re showing. If the image tells a story it’s more interesting (better story, better image). If the viewers don’t get lost in the image they’re more comfortable with it and might spend more time exploring
  • Don’t be afraid to sacrifice hard modeling and material/texture work by not showing part of it, if that is what it takes to make a better image. The models are fulfilling their purpose when you use them to make the image, unless you’re specifically showcasing your modeling/texturing

hey JA12 , and thx for the time. I did change the shoulders and made them alot bigger then before, and made the head smaller. i change the viewpoint from being exacly in the middle to some what to the side, i made a background that will illustrate the power of the being u are seeing infront of u . Yes the story should be told to get a grasp of the image totally agree. But some where i feel that if I make the head even smaller the proportions will look weird. I have research from your previous statements and been looking at wow charaters and what not and you are absolotly right with a bigger body then head and my first draft of this character wasent as good as its turned out now,

I also changed the camera angel to look up to the character instead of down as u said before. The point isent really to make him mysterous but the feeling of power is what I wanna give to the viewer. And the color of the fire etc should be lighter agree with u totally there.

Perhaps its the neck that are still to long ? becouse if u look at the prevouis image the head is almost 1/2 smaller then before.

thx for the tips and corrections, and I really appreciate that u are taking your time.

cheers mate!

just one question . so if I wanna use this background I have , to make the viewer be drawn to the eyes, what if i take away 2 fireballs and make one some what bigger just lver his head to the right , and make it brighter, that way it would work as a big contrast like your moon ? make the head a liiiiiiitle smaller and the neck shorter , take away a light or 2 to give som more shadows and make all the fire from him brighter ? would that make it better ?

Im really trying to learn to get better at it. thx agien

and the wide camera angel is perhaps wrong for this sort of image ?

Yes, those were the things why I thought my critique might have hurt. Can’t mix and match, it’s much harder than that.

It’s hard to explain what I mean but I try to be more clear and break it down more. There are few main things: the point/focus of what you’re doing (the character), character design decisions and whether or not to put him in an environment that supports presenting that character.

Today’s young audience aren’t easily impressed, they play videogames and make puree out of scary monsters and eat it on top of toast. Your current character design is not strong enough to portray him as scary, intimidating nor powerful. He is one skinny alien. Very human-like proportions, armor and environment. No camera angle or pose will change that when you turn the lights on.

Whatever aspect you want to show on the character, make it obvious. If you want to show he’s an alien it needs to be clearly visible on the image, make everything about him alien. If he’s powerful, that needs to be blatantly obvious, bulky body is a common way to show it. Could also decide if he’s a hero-type character (commonly more rounded shapes) or a very unpleasant enemy (commonly angled/spike shapes).

Those are not set in stone of course, the point is that the design need to speak right messages to the viewer. Something about the character is very clear right away, preferably that is one of the main aspects you want to convey about it. Sort-of is not enough and it can’t be hidden, viewer won’t go looking for it.

There are ways you could utilize to support delivering that message. Camera angle with or without an environment is important but it’s about more than that. Overall composition, lighting, action, provoked emotions can support that goal or hurt it. In my example I changed a lot of things, character design and then changed the environment and lighting to support presenting that character as I wanted the viewer to see it, or at least tried.

Don’t get frustrated though, character design is hard. Maybe you could do what all good artists do - Steal. Look for inspiration and references, analyze other characters and try to find out the aspects of the character design that makes it look alien/scary/powerful/whatever. Same if they’re in an environment: how everything is placed in it, lighting, how the environment supports presenting the character, is there a story.

By steal I mean take the ideas the same way you might take or disregard ideas from the critique, just doing it by reading the images instead of words. I don’t mean copy the content from the images, that’s wrong.

hey Ja12 and thx agien , well i was not intening for an alien pursay , more like the drenai in wow , they are alien thou … : D

But the thing i wanted to show was a powerful being that was a wielder of the elemental power of fire, a kind of a fit warrior that master both the skill of a warrior aspect and a wielder of the elements.

In my head that character isent very big, but atlectic but I do get what u mean , and i agree with most of it becouse even thou I think it looks good, obviosly it isent that good otherwise ppl would have said it.

but I will try to take in what u have said, and I think its great that u have taken the time , im all about learning , even thou it can sometimes be hard since I myself like it ! : )

But well I want to take my skills to another lvl and make cool things not only to my liking and then I have to follow the “rules” I guess : )

thx alot mate, and merry christmas

His chest and torso is very small and the armor on his torso is to form fitting. It would be extremely uncomfortable making it difficult to move and breath. There Should be space between the armor and the body in most places so that the force from a blow doesn’t transfer directly to the wearer and so anything that pierces the armor will have less chance of causing significant injury.

Hey 1up, dident think about the real psysics of it , and THx I Will think about that when i remake it. But there is some characters in like lol that has this tight armor !?

But i do like the idea of it, THx

so here is an update, I think I have done alot of different things and I think ive taken all the tips and made something that is better then my first design…

how can I make it even better guys ? : )

I like where this is going Rybergs, if I could give a critique, I would say that the image is a little bit dark. I know that it is supposed to be at nighttime, but maybe it would benefit from something like a rim light to cut the character out from the background, and maybe a fill light.

Hey Joshua, and thank you, im liking the path this character is going aswell :slight_smile: Nice to hear im not the Only one :smiley: . Brilliant tip I Will do some research on it, sence im hopless with the lighing. The rim is from behind right? And the fill is from the side ? THx agien cheers.

You are exactly right Rybergs! The fill light is from the side opposite to the key light, and it is usually a bit dimmer, as to fill in the dark spots. The rim light is from behind the character, and it is usually a light that is harder, made to cut out the character from the background, so that the dark of the character does not blend into the dark background. Good luck on the project, I wish you well!

hey agien johua, so ive watched some tut on the ligntning and im using this 3 point lighting. And I also added just a cool concept with the book thats gonna be redone but just wanted to se how it would look.

changed the fire to blue as it is comming blue glow from the book thought that would be cool . what do u think guys `?

Nice improvement. have you textured the hand yet? it doesn’t seam to match his skin color. I like that you’ve added damage to the armor but why in the crotch area and legs? The shoulder Paldrons, arms and chest are the most likely places to receive a strike. I would also suggest a cloth or chain mail skirt thing over the crotch that is how most armors cover the crotch allot of flexibility is needed on the area so plate armor really isn’t an option.

I would add a few nicks and dings on the pauldrons. They look extremely smooth. The smooth look would be great on a car, but on an armored demon type, not so much. And of course, the hand needs work like 1up3d said.

I’m liking where this is going. Keep it up! Oh, I just noticed this guy has a cape. If you can somehow add some light in your background to highlight this detail that would be cool.

hey thx 1up3d. well the hands are textured but the sss makes it change sense the fire ball and book glow… hmm not sure how to prevent that , perhaps remove the sss there ?

ye I perhaps went overboard with the damage on the legs, i thought i was going to give him the backstory of being a really old sorcerer arvided from a crashed blue star. hmm i have a belt on the croach area forming a “face” is that where u ment? , yes a cloth between his legs would be cool , ill add that for sure. thx alot mate

Hey sween . ye the paudrons havent been textured yet ,havent had the time but for sure there is gonna be some texture! :slight_smile: yes i will defentily make the cape more noticeble , its alot cooler with that on then without. thx alot for the feedback !

one more question, how do u like the rounded peice on the chest armor guys ? , I cant decied if I think it looks good or horrible : D

So here is an update ,

i think i will go back to the fire red color thou on the fireball , its just gets to be to much blue otherwise.