Following are the results along with the comments & critiques by our honorable judges on the final entries of the contestants of the challenge, 'Great Depth with Layers of Haze'
.First Place : Tim Guo (Xesses88)
Frederic St-Arnaud : Very magical, impressive. Full of details but, at the same time, easy to read, great job!
David Mattingly : You created a spectacular entry, full of wonderful detail, lively, unexpected colors, and an an easy to read composition, in spite of it being very complex. If I had a single comment for you, it is that I wouldn't have minded even more haze in your piece, but only in the places where it would have clarified the position of the elements in space. When one object is passing in front of another, like the pagodas on the left, you can fake a little more haze behind them to make it clear they are in front of the larger floating mountain. If there is a question of what is in front of what, add a little extra haze to make it clear.
The foreground figures are well done, and I like to colorful, weird costumes. Again, a bit more haze between them and the background might make them come forward more.
I think your piece as the best in the competition, and I expect to see great things from you in the future! Very nice work.
Martha Snow Mack : Incredibly surreal image! This image is filled with intriguing details, like a puzzle. There is an overall frequency of noise that flattens the depth. The mystery is bordering on confusion. Clarify and simplify the depth ques. Really fun to look at, I want to go there!Second Place : Rohit Nayak & Andrew Manzella (MysticalDisaster & ChippedTooth)Rohit Nayak (MysticalDisaster)
Frederic St-Arnaud : Good sense of depth. Fog and sky color make the image quite moody and mysterious. Nice!
David Mattingly : You had the most complete development process of any of the entries, and I loved seeing your work throughout. The final painting is quite nice! I have just a few comments.
1. You have your main subject in the middle of the composition. This would be improved by having the main focus of attention off to one side. Just as a general rule of thumb, avoid putting the main subject in the middle. You can explore using the golden mean to divide of the space, of even easier, the rule of thirds, where you put the main point of focus on a line dividing your subject into thirds.
2. I wish you had hazed your composition a bit more, and clarified the planes in the composition. I did a crude paint over to show you what I mean. The fog you have has an "all over" effects that prevents the viewer from understanding where each plane in the composition is. The foreground elements should be darker, perhaps just a silhouette, to make it clear where each plane of depth occurs.
But you created a nice piece, with lots of detail. I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future!
Martha Snow Mack : Intriguing and ambitious image. The light on the rocks on the right is a great addition to the scene. Add more of the light to the middle ground. The distance between the foreground jungle and the waterfalls is too vague. Less haze on the foreground jungle and clearer detail along the edge of the jungle will help define the space. Cool concept!Andrew Manzella (ChippedTooth)
Frederic St-Arnaud : Great composition. I like the interaction of the sun against the mountains. I would love to see a richer palette.
David Mattingly : Your piece has the most depth to it, and if that were the only rational, you would be the winner. However, I think your final product looks a bit cartoony, like a background for "Kung Fu Panda". That is not a bad thing, but I generally think of matte painting as being more realistic. Your color scheme in particular is taking it out of the realm of realism.
Having said that, it is still a wonderful piece, and, by the way, I loved "Kung Fu Panda"! The shapes are elegant, and beautifully painted, and the composition is also one of the best in the competition.
Martha Snow Mack : This is a great matte painting. The image tells a story filled with mystery and a definite sense of place. The mountains in the distance could be a bit more defined to really push the depth. The pink glow conveys dawning light that will soon burn off the haze, a poetic image!Third Place : Jamie McComb (Jamie McComb)
David Mattingly : I love the development process you went through for your final piece--it showed every step of your process. I see a couple of problems with the final that you should think about in future projects. First, your main subject, the mountains, do so silhouette, so the final has an "all over quality where you don't know where to look. With any good matte painting your eye should know exactly where to look at first glance, but since the volcanoes are about the same tone as the sky, the blend into it. When you look at the work of a great matte artist, like Peter Ellenshaw, it is often his superb use of silhouette that makes his paintings so striking. If you had darkened the volcanoes, and lightened the sky behind them, it would work better.
Second, the structure on the right hand side is hard to identify. The snow pouring out of it is much lighter than any of the other snow, (or water) in the scene, and it is hard to tell exaclty what is going on there. Snow, or water, dropping down from that high black structure would be much darker than what you are showing here--it is like you have a different lighting scheme on that element than the rest of the composition.
Lastly, the two mountains in the background are lit from different directions. The one on the right is lit from the right, and the one in the middle is lit from the left. You have to be consistent on direction of light within a composition.
You show promise, and I hope you will enter another contest in the future. I look forward to watching you grow as an artist!
Martha Snow Mack : Very ominous mood is captured in this painting. Interesting details with the falling water and odd blue lights on the towers. The sky perspective seems unclear, perhaps more definition at the horizon would emphasize the depth. The volcanoes need more detail, push the light/dark ratio for more impact. Bring the foreground elements up to add to the spacial ques. Very promising!PrizesTim Guo
(first place winner) is requested to send the details of your residential address and e-mail id to email@example.com
| your prize of 'The Digital Matte Painting Handbook'
will reach to your home address within a week after you send me your home address details; you will receive your prize of a 12 months subscription to the 2DArtist Magazine, after you send me your e-mail id! Rohit Nayak & Andrew Manzella
(second place winners) are requested to send their e-mail ids to firstname.lastname@example.org
| both of you will receive your prize of a 6 months subscription to the 2DArtist Magazine, after you send me your e-mail id! Jamie McComb
(third place winner) is requested to send your e-mail id to email@example.com
| you will receive your prize of a 3 months subscription to the 2DArtist Magazine, after you send me your e-mail id!