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Old 06-03-2007, 01:44 AM   #1
pofo
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Default Knights of Cydonia (17/6)

I'm going to try to enter one of our competitions for once And I feel that having a thread for it here might help me keep my focus a bit better than I usually do (and of course, your plentiful comments shall make the end result shinier).
Settled for the song Knights of Cydonia. Never heard it before, but I think it's very nicely open to free interpretation.

Here's the plan (which I will probably ignore quite freely once I get started):
The kind of electric spaghetti western sound of it rings of retro sci-fi to me. So I'm planning on two knights, mostly in medieval armor but with modern details like gas masks and guns. Knight A in the foreground with a spear (angled up to the left to hopefully draw the eye into the picture) and Knight B crouching with a rifle in the background, firing into the picture. I'll have them fighting some kind of giant flying insects (if you listen to the second part of the intro it sounds very much like a giant mosquito). Since Cydonia is one of the many names that Athena's gone by, I want to drop some of her symbols (owl, olive tree, loom, spear, helm...) into the picture if I can do so unobtrusively (so the loom is probably out). And perhaps something like the corner of a greek temple to close the picture to the right.

So, to get started I've been waving a tent pole around in front of a mirror (and feeling slightly foolish) to find the right pose for Knight A (I've started to think of him as Hefastus Effelmoor by the way).
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l1...azard/pose.gif

Last edited by pofo : 06-17-2007 at 02:53 AM. Reason: edited title
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:54 AM   #2
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I was thinking Mars when I read Cydonia actually.

I can't really critique this since you're so early in your drawing, but I will say that you should draw the rough of the entire picture out first before you really start working on individual figures.
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:16 AM   #3
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Yeah, I know. I have a couple of rough compositions already to test some ideas, but they're on paper so I've no way of showing them.
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:31 AM   #4
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If hes swinging that pole at a monster, I think the legs should have a wide stance for proper balance. Other then that though I cant really say much more until more of the composition is up.

Sounds pretty epic though.
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:40 AM   #5
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Hmm... I see what you mean about balance. I'll try it out to see how it looks. But I sort of want to have him moving towards us rather than be stationary. And the monsters are pretty small, so perhaps he doesn't need as much leverage. But I'll see what I can come up with.
Anyway, I roughed in the major parts of the composition so I can get some feedback on it while it's still easy to move things around.
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l1...zard/compo.gif
I'm not happy with the placement of Knight B (his name from now on is Orr by the way), but I don't quite know where to put him for good balance. So any thoughts on that in particular would be welcome.

Last edited by pofo : 06-17-2007 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:40 PM   #6
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Retro sci-fi spaghetti western... You hit it on the head, lol. Watch the video!
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:04 PM   #7
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Damn u i picked that song also ;p
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:29 PM   #8
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I need to figure out how to pwn this, and whatever Crazy comes up with <.<
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:30 PM   #9
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The guy in front swinging the pole is a little off posture, the swing should take him off balance and doesn't have a semi-sturdy stance for the swing he should looked a little more like he prepared for it, bring his right leg back a little.

Nice pic tho'

---Oh someone already said that lol.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:09 PM   #10
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Looking good, I might enter this...Good luck man.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for the comments people.
Treble: I wasn't going to watch the video until I was done, to avoid being too influenced by it. But now I did anyway. Heh, good thing I didn't do a western painting ^^

Haven't had much time to work on this during the week, but here's a quickish test of a colour scheme. Not sure about it yet. Also, is this pose better for Hefastus in the front?
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l1.../colortest.jpg
Thoughts on composition are still welcome.

Last edited by pofo : 06-17-2007 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:53 AM   #12
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I'm liking the colour scheme you have at the moment. Lovely looking sky already, may I ask how you achieved this effect? My only concern about the colours are that the peachy colours kind of create a calm atmosphere, yet the knights are fighting in the foreground, not sure if you were looking to contrast those two things or not. However I don't think it's that much of an issue.
I think you could also change up the mountain ranges on the right a bit, they're all about the same height and it's creating a horizontal line across your page, so I think it'd be good if you threw in a few different sized ones and even the general shape of the mountains all together.
I also think that the building on the right is out of perspective at the moment, I don't think it quite lines up with the furthermost person's leg which is resting on the ground [the plane that they're on that is].
I'm also curious to why you cropped the picture at the front knight's knees, to me that feels like an odd place to end the image. I'm not an expert on composition though so this might just be a personal preference.

I think your blocking in and refining is going really well right now, looks good... Looking forward to the finished product =].

I should enter this competition, I have no excuse this time around.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:56 AM   #13
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sweet... you're making it a tight challenge if I want to pwn this @.@ The lighting looks so snazzy ><
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Old 06-09-2007, 10:01 PM   #14
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Smallish update again:
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l1...d/refining.jpg
EI: Thanks The sky was painted rather quickly with some custom brushes. First I take a big brush and get a bit of a gradient with the colours I want. Keeping the horizon lighter than the nearer clouds. Then, using somewhat smaller brushes I start shaping the clouds. Making brush strokes more horizontal closer to the horizon and trying to keep the light consistent. I try to build mostly from the horizon and up to keep the closer clouds on top of those further away. Also I try to sort of make the clouds point towards a common point. None of this is really very clear in this particular painting, but hopefully it'll get better when I refine the sky later on.
Big thanks for your thoughts on the peaceful colours vs violent theme issue. I think I'll keep the colour scheme and try to contrast against it with some green/yellow gore in the foreground. A rough and exaggerated test can be seen here
Also, the bug on the far left will have a glowing tail, providing the blue secondary light.
Tried to fix the perspective issue with the pillar on the right... although it might be in the way for the swing now. I'll see what I'll do with it later.
The mountains on the right will definitely get a major reworking later on.
As for why I cut the image where I did, it just felt right. I was planning to crop it a bit higher up at first, but then I couldn't fit the bug in like I wanted. Making the picture higher to get Hefastus' feet in would have put him too far away from the observer I felt.

CD: May the best art pwn.

edit: oh, and I might disappear for a few days. My silly 'internet quota' is almost used up again. Bloody stupid uni restricting internet access even for researchers... not that I'm using it all that much for my research, mind

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Old 06-10-2007, 01:49 PM   #15
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The minor thing that bothers me: The composition could use some work imo. Everything is very centrated (characters, focus, hororizon line) which makes it a little boring.

The major thing: The squere-ish shape of the image makes my eyes feel somewhat uncomfortable. It's like looking through a window on something and only getting a peak of something much greater and larger.

I hope this makes sense to you.
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Old 06-10-2007, 02:02 PM   #16
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LOL, ur missing kung Fu cowboys with lazer guns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV1bRfLHA3A

Nice pic btw
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:53 AM   #17
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Still have no 'internet quota' which is part of why I didn't reply earlier.
Ninken, not sure quite what you mean by the squarishness issue. It sounded like you felt the picture was too open, so I tried to close it a bit more with some trees on the right. Dunno if it helped or just made the whole picture too busy (I know the light and reflections on the knights isn't taking the trees into account yet). Thoughts on it are welcome, but I'd better just finish this one as soon as possible. Work's getting pretty hectic and the deadline isn't all that far off.
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l1...d/version2.jpg

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Old 06-15-2007, 08:11 AM   #18
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Man, great piece, really. Except that some things are a bit unclear (like the lying guy's gun and his opponent)
Great work on the leafs and the grass, and the insects (I love them)
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:51 AM   #19
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I think Ninken just means the shape of the canvas, it's very 'square', it's not quite landscape or portrait and I do agree with him, it is kind of awkward.

It's definitely turning out to be a great piece.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:42 AM   #20
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beautiful piece
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