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Posted: 24 June 2012 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Opinions?

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Posted: 24 June 2012 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s kinda difficult for anyone to give a meaningful response if you don’t tell us the two most important aspects of any image: Purpose and Goals. What are you trying to convey to the viewer, what are you trying to make the viewer feel? Without that you’ll get comments such as “I like it” or “it’s awesome” or “I wish there was more blue in the picture cause I like blue”.


That being said, if you look at it solely as an image, I have the following general comments:


Bring the image into Photoshop and look at the Levels. What you’ll see is that the image has a lot of midrange brightness, and little or no lows and little or no highs. That is called a “low dynamic range” image. Generally people like to avoid low dynamic range images because they tend to convey little interest. It ends up being something of a bright, washed out image that has few shadows and comes across as rather flat and uninteresting.


Second, based on the title, I’m assuming you want some sort of drama or tension in the image. Again, the low dynamic range is the opposite of drama and tension, it’s bright and flat. So give some thought to how you’d modify the lighting to increase the drama you’re looking for.


Third, everything is well lit and in focus. Images like that are confusing for viewers, because our eyes tend to go to the bright spots of the image to find the points of interest. When everything is bright, our eyes wander all over and any impact is lost.


Fourth, I’d suggest you re-think the fonts you’re using. Fonts actually have styles that come and go in popularity, and some fonts look old and silly (like bell bottoms and platform shoes), and others look new and relevant. Fonts are a study in themselves. I’d suggest you look around for font styles that are in common use now and see if you can choose something a bit more relevant.


Fifth, the lighting clearly shows signs of scene lights that either don’t have 100% shadow casting, or Scene Ambient set above 0. As a result, the lighting looks very wrong. Take a look at the even, bright light near her crotch, and clearly that gives telltale signs that the image is very fake looking.


Sixth, the background has no depth. It is equally lit, equally in focus, and with a constant haze that doesn’t make sense. If there really was haze like that (which there probably wouldn’t be on a bright sunny day), it would have depth, and areas that are further from the viewer would be more hidden by the haze than closer areas.


Hope that helps. I’m sure it won’t, but at least I tried.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I see the typical Carrara Plastic look. No offense. Its not you so mcuh has the render engine of carrara in my opinion.

What I have noticed is People like to make stuff that looks factory fresh and or perfect.

I clicked on the image and cant see it bigger, but I would add SEAMS, and cloth wrinkles to the clothing VIA a Bump and do some destressing on the fabic.

Also if you know how to UV map one cool thing you can do is and a real person face, with all the imperfection that are most Humans

This of course would not pertain to myself of my photo as I am way too perfect, symmetrical and perfect.

Did I mention I as modest as well!

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Posted: 24 June 2012 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hya Misticwolf,

Well I think the image has a lot going for it but at the moment I’m finding that all the elements are disparate.
ie the woman the forest the writing and the lion face aren’t related.

I’d start by enlarging the lions head so it filled the horizontal space, then zoom in on the woman and place her on top of the lion (her head where the lion;s nose is. That will associate the woman with the lion in the viwer’s mind - insinuating she is th edangerous temptation. 

I’d also flip the background left to right and that will make the river a lead in at the bottom left of the screen.

The camera and the knife are relevant? Emotively the knife has more meaning so I would have a horizontal bare knife at the bottom of the image for the whole width of the book and overlay the authors name over it perhaps?

For the title I’d lose the italics look and maybe go all capitals with the first letters D and T larger. And have a look at the font. The T is not really fitting in stylistically.

Lastly I’d look at the colours. Your main colour is green of the forest, so I’d think about making the woman’s top an dark greyed down red, then use a variation of that for the font. Theory being warm will come forward and that the complementaries (red and green will work with each other if you grey one down, and the larger the area of colour the less pure the saturation)

Vignetting is always handy so you could drop a black layer on top of the image and erase the middle of the black to bring focus where you want. I’d start by ereasing the black over the woman’s eyes and seeing what happens.


Lastly as Joe mamama says maybe a little tonal ‘pop’.

For the woman;s pose her right shouder on our left looks a bit high - which is what I get if I pose from the coller and not the shoulder.
If you zoom in on the woman you will find her round bits head shoulders breasts etc will fit in bettwr with the round bits of the lions head -ears eyes and general shape of the head.

I’d make the author’s name bigger than the “a caspian novel’

Finally I’d think about focal point. It could be the woman’s eyes. at the moment the woman and the lion are competing with each other followed by the knife and the camera and the then the text.

hope this helps too
 


just my opinions. each artist is the God of their own work and it’s our job as God-artists to filter reactions and decide which is relevant and which is not - and whether to incoorporate them inthe work or leave them out.


smile

it’s a good start and I think it has lots of potential.

 

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Posted: 24 June 2012 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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head wax - 24 June 2012 03:34 PM

I’d start by enlarging the lions head so it filled the horizontal space, then zoom in on the woman and place her on top of the lion (her head where the lion;s nose is. I’d also flip the background left to right and that will make the river a lead in at the bottom left of the screen.

For the title I’d lose the italics look and maybe go all capitals with the first letters D and T larger. And have a look at the font. The T is not really fitting in stylistically.

Lastly I’d look at the colours. Your main colour is green of the forest, so I’d think about making the woman’s top an dark greyed down red, then use a variation of that for the font. Theory being warm will come forward and that the complementaries (red and green will work with each other if you grey one down, and the larger the area of colour the less pure the saturation)

Vignetting is always handy so you could drop a black layer on top of the image and erase the middle of the black.
Lastly as Joe mamama says maybe a little tonal ‘pop’.

For the woman;s pose her right shouder on our left looks a bit high - which is what I get if I pose from the coller and not the shoulder.
If you zoom in on the woman you will find her round bits head shoulders breasts etc will fit in bettwr with the round bits of the lions head -ears eyes and general shape of the head.

I’d make the author’s name bigger than the “a caspian novel’

Finally I’d think about focal point. It could be the woman’s eyes. at the moment the woman and the lion are competing with each other followed by the knife and the camera and the then the text.

With all due respect, why?


Seems like you’re suggesting a lot of personal preference, but like I suggested, the goal of the image is, presumably, very clear: to sell books. So EVERYTHING associated with the image has a single goal. Vignetting and shoulder poses and the size of the tiger’s head, without a clear reason toward that goal, are nothing more than preference. Without understanding the content of the book, and the market for the book (who are they trying to sell it to, who reads that kind of book, etc.), any suggestions could be just the opposite of what’s really needed.

I’m not trying to bug anyone, just trying to get people to understand about purpose and goals, and how vitally important it is for commercial work to really understand the market for your product, their likes and dislikes, their interests, etc. This stuff isn’t just a matter of “I think it should move to the left a little”, it all has a distinct purpose.

 

Keep in mind that there are different aspects to an image. There are basic image qualities which I was addressing, and apply pretty much independent of purpose and goals. Then there are properties such as Composition and Content, which directly address purpose and goals. Without knowing Purpose and Goals, you really can’t address Composition, Content, Style, etc.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Joe,


aesthetics are/is personal taste,
if you can’t see the value in my c and c well that can’t be helped.


you might have noticed that I didn’t do a c and c on your original comment
because I understand it for what it is - one viewpoint

personally I think they are both relevant

it’s nice to see you back on the forum

(apologies: edited to remove unnecessary comments’)

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Posted: 24 June 2012 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I am NOT saying you’re comments aren’t valid. They could be perfect comments, very applicable, and help to sell thousands of books. But unless you understand what they are trying to convey with the image, you don’t know whether they are beneficial AT THIS POINT.


For all we know it could be a romance novel about a girl and her pet, a baby Siberian Tiger named Fluffy, who go on a journey, and she’s tempted by various lovers along the way. And maybe it’s not about getting eaten by a tiger, in which case the tiger is actually a good guy. Would you still suggest the composition have a huge tiger face? Probably not, especially if it might scare away female readers. Get my point?


And the stuff I posted about image qualities is not my personal opinion. If you study how people react to images, how people in the image business evaluate images (film, photography, commercial, etc.), those are standard parameters applied by professionals when evaluating images. And it’s beneficial for anyone working with images to study how people perceive those images (as well as very interesting, at least IMO). 

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Posted: 24 June 2012 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Would you still suggest the composition have a huge tiger face?

Yes, I’m afraid so.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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head wax - 24 June 2012 04:47 PM

Would you still suggest the composition have a huge tiger face?

Yes, I’m afraid so.

And that’s fine if that’s what you decide.

However, if it’s, for example, a romance novel, and the women who might read it are looking for an image of a woman enslaved by passion at the feet of a muscular hunk with a torn shirt, and instead they see a big tiger and a tourist with a camera, you’ll have to answer to the author when nobody buys the book.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Heh that’s funny Joe how we are at this point - when the OP asked for ‘opinions’ - and that is all. 

I guess in reality I would be answering to, not the author, but the publisher via my agent as neither of them would want to be associated with myself anymore.
Mind you, having made the decision to go with my ‘idea’, maybe they wouldn’t want to be associated with themselves anymore.

Anyway, I must bow out to your superior knowledge on this Joe.
Thanks for the banter.
I’m afraid I must do my tax.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 24 June 2012 05:06 PM
head wax - 24 June 2012 04:47 PM

Would you still suggest the composition have a huge tiger face?

Yes, I’m afraid so.

And that’s fine if that’s what you decide.

However…

Joe, your first post was perfect. Honest, neutral, practical. In the spirit that you gave that first advice, Please Walk Away, you are undoing the good you have done…. The artist-to-be will take in all the information at the level they are ready to process. There is no *winning* here.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Hi Misticwolf,

my 2 cents…..

get rid of the girl and the trees, etc…....just show the tiger’s face against
an all black background…...more mysterious, and would draw my
attention vs trying to put it all out there on the cover.

Also agree with Richard that it looks “plastic”, i.e. the tiger needs work…..more color?
Better hair?

As is, I wouldn’t be tempted to check it out at all (no offense).

Keep at it. wink

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Posted: 24 June 2012 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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RichardChaos - 24 June 2012 03:22 PM

I see the typical Carrara Plastic look. No offense. Its not you so mcuh has the render engine of carrara in my opinion.

What I have noticed is People like to make stuff that looks factory fresh and or perfect.

I clicked on the image and cant see it bigger, but I would add SEAMS, and cloth wrinkles to the clothing VIA a Bump and do some destressing on the fabic.

Also if you know how to UV map one cool thing you can do is and a real person face, with all the imperfection that are most Humans

This of course would not pertain to myself of my photo as I am way too perfect, symmetrical and perfect.

Did I mention I as modest as well!

Hey Richard, strangely enough I agree with most of Joemama’s first post in this thread, wink  and I disagree with you regarding the “Carrara Plastic look,” being the fault of the render engine.  I have seen some very good looking renders with Carrara that don’t look plastic. It looks to me as if the OP is still learning the lighting and shading system in Carrara, and a little more practice in those areas will lead to a much more dynamic look to the OPs images.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Misticwolf - 24 June 2012 12:49 PM

Opinions?

My suggestions are going to be Carrara-oriented because this is a Carrara forum:
#1 Put some hair on that kitty! He needs to look magical, so play with the direction and color of the lights in his scene (I assume you rendered him separately). In post (photoshop) try giving him a zoom blur that focuses on the eyes. I think that’s the effect you wanted here.
http://www.3d.wetcircuit.com/wp-content/plugins/page-flip-image-gallery/popup.php?book_id=1
_
#2 The forest needs to be re-rendered without ambient lighting. Everything is de-saturated ( is that fog to make it seem distant?) but it should be MORE saturated and darker. Your figures will be more important (brighter) on a dark background. Allow the bark of the trees to become black. We know what a fantasy forest “looks” like in our heads better than we can physically make one, so like any good monster movie keep most of it in the dark. Also try using a 4D cloud or Primivol fog to create better fog depth. Assume this is meant to be a wild forest, not a city park, so more chaos and more density of trees. Render some foreground trees too so your kitty and hero can be *in* the forest, not floating on top.
_
#3 That river needs work. It has a uniform color from side to side as if it’s unrolled silk lying on the grass. It also seems to emit green light. If this is a commercial project you might just plunk down the money and get the Howie Farkes scene here in the store with the creek in it…. If this is a personal project I suggest maybe investing in a plugin or two like SHADEROPS so you can get fake fresnel, or maybe buy Holy Forests’ water shader pack also here in the store. For water to show refractive caustics and absorption it needs to be a volume, like a cube that lies just below your terrain (a thin sheet of glass doesn’t make convincing water). There may be online tutorials about making realistic river scenes, but this could be a big project unto itself just tweaking a water shader so consider spending a little money to save frustration.
_
#4 The girl’s lighting does not match the rest of the scene and she is probably standing in the river—I would move the river…. The jpg is too small for me to see her skin or hair texture, but the shirt and leather knife(?) leg-thing are too saturated and look 3D-fake. She is pretty but I am not really getting any sense of who she might be that would interest me or make her seem journey-worthy. Her hair and face seem Asian, the outfit is 1989 mall rat, and the knife(?) thing is vaguely Southwest American Indian…. The camera is 1960s being that large and that shape. From the story descriptions given by the boys above, she is going to have a lot of sex in this novel. Obviously she’s a slut because she’s showing her bellybutton (and Temptation is in the title which must mean sex…). I *personally* thought she might experience some sort of spirit-tiger emotional inner struggle mumbo jumbo and would be “tempted” possibly with a magic/supernatural metaphore and she’s forced to grow and become more confidant in herself and her abilities, but instead now I realize she will be have lots of sex.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Yes, I need more practice with the lighting.

And no worries, I am absorbing all advice given here.

Unfortunately it went live as soon as the text formatting was complete.  But the is the free preview.  So I can update as needed for the cover of the final full book release.

The target audience is Young Adult, and it is a paranormal adventure romance.

Seventeen year-old Kaitlin Sinclair’s world is turned upside down when she moves to Indonesia, and discovers the secrets that threaten the existence of the enchanting Cadmon and his people. She dives into a foreign culture, full of mystique and dangers everywhere she turns, where keeping her heart safe might prove as impossible as staying alive!

Cadmon is a shape shifter, hence the tiger.

Shawn.

God bless.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sex sex sex. You guys were right afterall. cool grin

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