AuthorTopic: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus  (Read 6225 times)

Offline Amorphous

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[WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

on: June 15, 2014, 02:04:19 am
Hello all! I've been lurking around here on and off for some time at this point, but, until now, I haven't posted any of my doodles for critique. So, since I'm running into some roadblocks on this current piece and because some opinions besides my own are probably long overdue, I thought I'd post this. Critique would be much appreciated!  :)



If you're curious about the context in which I pixelled this, here's some background: I started this as a school project a few years ago (the task being to create a poster of a hypothetical new movie adaptation of Frankenstein). The text came from Mary Shelley's alternative title to the book, which was a reference to the Greek titan Prometheus. The three characters portrayed are the creature/Frankenstein's monster, Victor Frankenstein, and Elizabeth. The palette I'm using is 6 colors, and, though I have no specific purpose for this piece, I'd be reluctant to change the count at this point. My original references were this and this, though I have not been consulting the former very closely recently.

Needless to say, the project has evolved quit a bit since its beginning, but the whole thing is still pretty unrefined. Some specific problem areas/unfinished sections, as I see them, are as follows:

-The creature's forehead and some other spots have banding that needs cleaning up.

-Victor needs a lot more work yet, and I'm unsure if and how I could improve the anatomy of all three. Elizabeth was bound to have exaggerated features just because I didn't use as much space on her, but I feel like the other two could be more realistic.

-I've yet to devote a lot of attention to the border besides a few unsuccessful scribbles, and the text, especially "Prometheus," could do with revising and/or polishing.

-I'm iffy about the composition and how well the image flows (notably on how I could improve the placement of Elizabeth in the top right).

There are probably a lot of other things I either forget or am just completely missing, but most likely I've already drowned you in my ramblings (sorry), so I'll stop. :ouch: Once again, feedback would be much appreciated (edits are more than welcome as well!).  :)


Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #1 on: June 15, 2014, 05:29:07 pm
Here is a paintover with some suggestions:

-The dither bg doesn't do much for you. Made it all black for cooler contrast.
-Composition: Your version had elizabeth super small and in the top right corner. Moved her and made her bigger so you have more res to render and so the portraits roughly create a triangle. The monster is at the top of the triangle suggesting power.
-The title itself is really sinking into the bg. Make it pop out! Changed the color for readability but you can probably stylize the text more. Don't be afraid to cheat and use a real font. Typeface can really convey emotion if you know which ones to use.
-I flipped victor because I thought it would be more interesting if he's side eying his own creation instead of looking offscreen.
-Anchored the composition with a circle just to make it more obvious who the real focal point was
- Messed around with rendering on all 3 figures mainly combining clusters to go for more implied "brushstrokes" as some the clusters got redundant and hurt readability a bit.
-The bit of orange is just showing the light source and how it might still work even with the flipped victor.

Overall I think you did a good job conveying the emotions in each face, and the colors are great. Clusters are for the most part good. I would also encourage, but this is up to you, an alternative design to the monster rather than relying on the iconography of the Boris Karloff film. Maybe take a description from the book and use that with other non-related ref to come up with a design we haven't all seen before. Keep going.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 05:31:15 pm by Corinthian Baby »

Offline Amorphous

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 01:40:14 am
Ooh, lots of good ideas! Thanks a ton for the feedback, Corinthian Baby. :)

Quick update. Can't go too in depth because I'm short on time, but I liked a lot of what you did. I'll try and fix more stuff tomorrow.

Offline Manupix

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 01:32:50 pm
Major improvement =D
I'd go for more clarity in the faces, esp Victor's.
More difficult, I'd try to give them some 'feeling' according to their characters and destinies (I have no idea how you go about and do that).
Maybe use color to emphasize that: assign each of them a main color? (the palette is great, and I'm not suggesting to let go of color recycling! Just to use them less evenly)

The type could use some work too.
I'm no fan of how the main word (Prometheus) is a smaller and less readable font.
Also, kerning. It's not horrible, but it's not optimal either (not easy in pixels).
I see this: P--r-ome-the-uS

Offline Amorphous

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #4 on: June 18, 2014, 11:19:09 pm
Alright, I'm back -- busy past few days; sorry I didn't update sooner!

Nothing huge done so far, mostly I just cleaned up Victor some (I decided to stick with the original set of light sources after all) and played with the borders a bit. Elizabeth and all of her gloriously anachronistic hair have been scrapped while I search for references, and I also got rid of the "Prometheus" for the moment.



Quote from: Corinthian Baby
Don't be afraid to cheat and use a real font. Typeface can really convey emotion if you know which ones to use.
Quote from: Manupix
I'm no fan of how the main word (Prometheus) is a smaller and less readable font. . . . I see this: P--r-ome-the-uS

Looks like, at the very least, I'll have to test out different fonts for "Prometheus" until I find one I like, or get good enough reference/inspiration to draw something decent myself. Do either of you have any suggestions on where to start?

Quote from: Corinthian Baby
I would also encourage, but this is up to you, an alternative design to the monster rather than relying on the iconography of the Boris Karloff film. Maybe take a description from the book and use that with other non-related ref to come up with a design we haven't all seen before.

Ah, yeah, you hate the nail on the head. This depiction has been done to death so many times -- I'm kinda annoyed I didn't think of deviating from it earlier in the process before I spent so many hours on it. :-[ That said, coming up with alternative designs would probably be pretty fun anyway. I'll try to do that once I can get my hands on the book again!

Quote from: Manupix
More difficult, I'd try to give them some 'feeling' according to their characters and destinies (I have no idea how you go about and do that).
Maybe use color to emphasize that: assign each of them a main color?

That's a really cool idea! Probably would be a little hard to implement, but I'll have to play with doing something along those lines as I keep working.

Anyway, I'll keep chipping away at this. Thanks again for the feedback! :)

Offline Amorphous

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #5 on: June 29, 2014, 01:58:44 am
Update! I've been trying to incorporate your advice and also fix other things I saw. Sorry for the slow progress!



Getting closer to completion, but I've still got some polishing to do. Some notes since last time:

-I swapped Victor's and Elizabeth's positions because, as I drew, I noticed that the diagonals the heads made formed a nice triangular shape when arranged that way. However, now all of the characters are staring off into space -- I've been looking at this too long to be a good judge, but I'm guessing that the way this affects how the viewer's eye travels around the image isn't good. :-\ Opinions?

-The text is looking better, but some parts are still iffy (like the S, which looks pretty ugly).

-I'll probably need to tone down the triangles on the border so they're not quite as distracting. This view might give a better sense of what it looks like than the forum background.

-With varying degrees of success, I tried to implement Manupix's concept for the different color balances for each character. Can't tell if it's noticeable, but it was fun to play with!

Nothing else I can think of off the top of my head. Feedback on the above or anything else would be greatly appreciated! :)

Offline Fizzick

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 02:42:39 pm
i liked how amorphous had the light source on-page. it really provided some interest, composition-wise.

Offline Amorphous

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 08:37:06 pm
Necro-post (sorry!) more than a year later . . .
. . . it's aliiiiiiive!



So I've made some progress and a lot of changes, and I feel pretty much done with the characters besides minor details, but the text is still pretty bad. I was thinking of trying to merge some Victorian script with ancient Greek lettering; obviously haven't had luck there yet. Thoughts and/or edits on the text or any other part of the image would be much appreciated!

Offline BlackTerror

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #8 on: June 22, 2015, 10:23:09 pm
Nice! I love how you changed the monster's shading and form. But I don't like how much blank empty space there is between the heads. If you look at hand-painted movie posters, they overlap forms constantly to create interesting compositions, but your heads are just floating dull and sterile in space. Those are not themes I would associate with Shelley's Frankenstein.

I would move all four subjects closer together, especially the monster and the title, and possibly enlarge the former. That would also help emphasize the monster as the real subject of the work -- now, so much of his portrait is in shadow, he nearly fades into the background.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 10:24:48 pm by BlackTerror »

Offline Decroded

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Re: [WIP][C+C]The Modern Prometheus

Reply #9 on: June 23, 2015, 03:02:04 am
I love the palette but yeah google "movie posters" and analyze the compositions you'll notice they're probably the most important aspect actually that everything else is built on.
watch for the pos/neg spaces, leading lines, the way people face their bodies and/or eyes etc.