Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Finlal on February 22, 2016, 01:27:56 pm

Title: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Finlal on February 22, 2016, 01:27:56 pm
Hello pixelation.
I haven't really posted on this forum except for the Secret Santa and Hexquisite collab.
Decided to give a try running a topic with the machine city.
Here's how it looks right now:

And this is first more or less detailed draft:

Originally it had less open space and more buildings, but it felt wrong somehow.

I guess I should put the story of the city in here.
WARNING: following text contains poorly written sci-fi.
This city is actually a giant computer, a size of a city (25-30 km in diameter, depending on the side you measure from). It was built some years ago, but then funding was cut and all the research planned weren't realised.
It's hermetically sealed at about 200 meters in depth, so noone can get inside manually, even rats or cockroaches, not to say about people.
And for humans even those 200 meters are hard to pass since there are lots of pipes, wires and metal plates on the way.
But they've learned to get incide via special ports (like the Ш-3/Ш-4 thing on the picture - a places that have a connection with inner parts of the city) using computers. Or laptops. Or any other device they could pass the security systems with. They haven't found much information and mostly do it for a hobby (like people who go to abandoned places).

So, here it is. What are your thoughts and suggestions?
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Ambivorous on February 22, 2016, 06:29:26 pm
Really liking this so far, Finlal.

I like your current style of using a little dithering at the ends of some of your areas. The whole atmosphere reminds me of Kerning City from MapleStory (which I have only fond memories of, so that's a compliment).
I particularly like the cables you have going on in here.

Can't really say much from a critique point of view as it's pretty WIP still, but as far as I can see your composition and colours are great. :y:
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Seiseki on February 22, 2016, 07:23:53 pm
Looks very nice!
I like the cables too!

I think you could add more mechanical pieces other than pipes and cables, like gears, hydraulics, electronics, etc.
The very straight angled pipes at the bottom look more like architecture than a mechanical interior.

I like that there is a person for scale reference, I think you could put more emphasis on him by giving him a longer shadow.
Some other ideas would be adding light sources in the darker parts, although since the city isn't supposed to be powered, maybe things like ghetto barrels or other things that people have placed there. You could probably add some blue glow from the persons laptop on his face and clothes.

Something I personally like in pieces like this is making it seem like people are using the things, so ladders and tiny hatches for maintenance, warning signs, graffiti, trash, etc.

This really got me inspired, can't wait to see how it develops into a finished piece!
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Finlal on February 22, 2016, 07:49:15 pm
Seiseki, those are some pretty good advices.
Not sure about gears (there are no moving parts) and electronics (all of the electronics is inside or in special places set by research team which is also not there at Ш-3/Ш-4). But hydraulic might really add something, especially to background building.
The thought about people using it is also pretty interesting. Though I'd stick to "people were using it in the past". It's a place very distant from the civilisation, with closest town in about 15 km, so not many people come here to make graffitis.
Another thanks for the advices, I'm sure to apply those in the next update.
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Finlal on February 25, 2016, 12:54:04 am
Added ladder, some machinery on the background building (it doesn't read as machinery too much, but looks cool, I think) and one of the main elements - bike.
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Decroded on February 25, 2016, 07:35:53 am
love this nice texturing and dithering.
I usually think of battle angel alita the old anime movie when I see stuff like this which is a very good thing (required viewing imo).

im having trouble with the composition working out what height we are.
at first the scene looked like it was up high due to perspective of background but the black plane suggests ground level?
if its ground I'd love to see some nice uneven mounds of dirt and things around the place in subdued colours.

I also think it might give a good vibe if the laptop was connected by a cable either to the structure or some larger high powered hacking device like a cylinder for example (which could be a light source).
I dunno I think cables just give a cool retro feel as well as being visually interesting.
I still run many systems in my house on ethernet :-)

edit: another idea is they have managed to remove a large panel which is sitting nearby and they're connected to some of the exposed tech.
its nice when the scene tells a story and gets the mind going.
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Coltrane on February 25, 2016, 10:51:52 pm
Hi. Very nice piece. One of the few things i don't like is... the bike. I mean, i like the idea of it but i think it should be placed elsewhere in the composition. In your draft it was put against some stuff, and it seemed more real than in your latest update. Also, i'm not sure about all these outlines on it.

and I totally agree with what Decroded mentioned in his post. Some details would add some kind of story telling consistency, what would be a very good thing for this piece.
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Decroded on February 26, 2016, 11:21:02 am
I can only assume its just an area that isn't really started yet.

also if its just an art piece then I question whether the bike is important enough to deserve strong outlines?
kinda makes it look sprite-like.
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: Finlal on March 19, 2016, 02:46:09 am
Almost a month since the last update. There were reasons for it. Mostly dota.
Anyway, thanks for the advices, they were really useful. I brightened up bike's outline a bit, tried to make a pole to put it against to, but it looked really off to me.
Decroded gave a good idea about removing the panel in the front, placing some device and wiring it to the laptop. I had something like that in mind, but without a wire, because I thought that a thin wire would contrast too much with big cables in the buildings. But it looks good, so glad to be mistaken.
Also made a ground less straight and shuttered it a bit. Tried to make texture underneath, but strangely enough it looked like the plate, on which the guy sits, is floating in space or something like that. So I decided to leave it black like it is. Maybe putting some text would be a good idea, since it was a game mockup at the beginning.
Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: rocifier on March 19, 2016, 11:19:05 am
Damn that looks awesome. But why is the focal point the bike? All the angles are pointing to it, but it's not exciting. Compositionally, I'd probably focus on the big computer and the guy plugged in to it. Maybe it could be a panning shot in a game from left to right:

Title: Re: [WIP] Machine City
Post by: trough on March 19, 2016, 04:04:03 pm
And this is first more or less detailed draft:
Mind if I also nag you about that bike?  For some reason I really want to see the bike where it is in your draft here.  I think it adds a lot more and somehow makes me feel the depth and scale of this space, and the dude's place in it, which is a much cooler feeling than I get with the bike in its current position.  I don't know enough about composition for this to mean anything, but: