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Thread: 2008 March Madness :: Discussion Thread

  1. #461
    biology nerd ondraedan's Avatar
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    Once again, my congratulations must go to flashlight, for what was in my opinion the best image of the round! Outstanding stuff, dude!

    I wanna acknowledge a couple of my stocks because I promised the artists I would do so at round end. As lefteye clarified in the polls, I was A1.
    (good call, Saint )
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  2. #462
    Happy FK'er TheWaste's Avatar
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    as most of you guessed, my image (B1) was indeed a last minute rush at 4am being already busy with other projects. Sorry I didn't put up a fight Gerbs, but it's better than getting one of those 'loser' images. I hope I didn't make you feel like you wasted your time.

    My image probably would have gotten more than zero votes if I'd not mixed the vector with raster, but it was a lazy 4am decision and after the ninja went in (the last thing I added) I was finished. In retrospect I should have just added some text instead of a cheesy hand-traced-in-Flash ninja image ... it would have been a lot better.

    I'm stunned that I got absolutely zero votes though. Even one of the 'loser' images last round got a vote. I know gerbs is an undefeatable juggernaut of photoshop skill, and comparatively I got the amount of votes that I deserved, but knowing that one of the loser images got one more vote than my image stings quite a lot for some reason, even knowing that it was a mistake.

    Even considering some of the images which I considered a no-brainer vote still got more votes than this image got. Gerbick is just that good...

    Still, I won't whine about it. God knows MM has seen more than a years worth of dramas already.

    Congrats to Gerbick for giving me a record-shatteringly low score I loved your image by the way mang.

    Also, I wont be doing crits on the images this time around... its 4am here again at the moment and I'm now even more overflooded with work than I was previously. To cut things short, there was some really mindblowing submissions, which is great to see being pulled out in the second round. I'm really proud of you Fk'ers for that
    "Good lord, you're wasting thousands of dollars worth of Interferon!"
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  3. #463
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    I've been so busy, I didn't even get a chance to vote this round.

    As it stands, TheWaste... I didn't even notice what the count was until now. I can't even lie... I had walked in at 11:37pm, had like two PM's to get an image in and barely finished before 12pm. Can't say I'm happy with my image at all; surprised it even got a vote to be honest.

    And pertaining work schedules... mine has been unrelenting since this has started... on both images, perhaps 1 hour total so far. And what's worse, I have travel and more work before this next round starts. And looks like I have the mighty fearless next round... damn.

    Regardless... Waste. Thanks for submitting... I see where you were going with it. And I think with more time, you would have had an image that would have satisfied you. I like the concept dude.

    And sorta sucks... was looking forward to your break down. I like jAQUAN's break down though... keeps people on their toes.

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  4. #464
    ...dishing dimes on an .fla! pointguard's Avatar
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    Mine was G1...I'm shocked and suprised I got as many votes as I did against Fearless' volley...I loved the Pirate bay image. good luck and I hope you win the tourney!

    great images from everyone...good luck to those in round 3!...and thanks to Lefty for organising it this year!

  5. #465
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    Whew. Ok, really great work from everyone this round. I didn't have time to comment during the voting yesterday, but I like when the work is critiqued, so I'm going to take a moment to do that now and I hope it's not too late to be relevant. I also hope that this type of post isn't inappropriate, given that I don't post to the arena really ever. I really appreciate people critiquing my work, so I'm hoping it's appreciated in return, so here goes:

    A1/A2 -

    A1 - This image took a couple passes for me to take everything in. First I was most aware of the "cutout" styling and I wasn't sure I liked that aspect of it, but as I took in the rest of the image, it felt more and more appropriate. I laughed when I read the text, and then I started paying attention to the details present in the little island of capitalism floating there. Most importantly, this image kept my attention for a while, and that's not an easy thing to do. Really great work. My only complaint was that I kept wanting something down in the lower left to balance the weight of the floating objects a bit, but it wasn't a big deal.

    A2 - I liked the use of stock in this image, and the details of the force field and arrows. Much like a previous comment, it was really the blending of the different aspects that had me not vote for it. The realism suffered a little in that department.

    B1/B2

    B1 - From the previous post, this was a rushed entry, and so I'm not going to spend a lot of time picking it apart, but the main thing is that it wasn't very dynamic in that my eye just kinda moved to the center of the image and got stuck there on that ninja. I like ninjas. I don't like ninjas enough for one to win my vote.

    B2 - Ok, so, from what I read, this was put together in about 23 minutes, and, quite frankly, that terrifies me a little. This looks to me to be the work of hours, not minutes. Gerbs, I would LOVE for you to explain how you did this in that amount of time! Perhaps it looks more complex than it is? Anyway, great image. It really moves my eye through all the different elements, and I spent a lot of time searching through the detail areas noticing new aspects of it. The color scheme is really nice for the subject matter, and I really enjoy the red/orange highlights in the tree drawing attention to that area of the image. This was one of my favorite images of the round.

    C1/C2

    C1 - >Flashlight<, amazing work, as always. This is an image I'd love to see at higher res. There is a lot of detail going on and I feel a little bit of it gets lost in the smaller size. As stated previously, though, I agree that the image has a lot of energy, and I enjoyed the use of the stock and the bright colors. Great work!

    C2 -

    D1/D2

    D1 - I really liked this one, too. The color choice is a nice touch and keeps the image from feeling like something I've seen before. It's very nicely executed and manages to feel very clean and calm despite the grungy overlays. I agree with the previous comment about the dragon's tail being a bit too blended in the foreground at the bottom. It gets lost for me, and up until that comment was made, I hadn't actually even paid attention to what it was. I took it to be a land element (mind you, I hadn't studied the image long at that point). Very nice work.

    D2 - I liked the concept of this image and a lot of the visual elements. Where I wasn't quite sold was in two areas: 1. The composition feels just a little funny for me. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it feels like there's a lot of dead space at the bottom of the image that doesn't really move, while the tree and hill to the text to the girls hair and back to the ground creates this little closed loop that my eye gets a bit stuck in. I think if the design elements around the text weren't encroaching on the surrounding pieces and the whole thing were shifted down a bit and perhaps spread back to the edges of the image more, it would have been a tougher call for me where voting was concerned. 2. The blending of the elements was the only other thing that stuck out. While I don't think there should be a shadow, per se, under the girls hand, I think the weight of it on the beach could be acknowledged somehow. Right now it feels to be floating there.

    E1/E2

    E1 - While I usually don't go for the sexy-lady-type designs (it's just a personal taste thing) I voted for this one as I felt it was really well executed, overall. The design is nicely balanced, there's a lot of detail work even in the "less important" areas of the image, and the horse's face is pretty classic and got a laugh out of me. Nice work on this Lefteye.

    E2 - For the reason stated above, I almost went for this image first, and I liked the use of stock more. The image is well executed, and I liked the attention to detail. Overall, though, I think I'm getting a little bored with the top-down, place-setting type images and I felt that there was probably more time put into the previous image, hence I voted for it.

    F1/F2

    F1 - I wasn't going to comment on my pairing as I wasn't sure if that was kosher, but then I just decided to go for it, so here goes. Herr_dada, I haven't seen a lot of your work, and I've liked what I've seen. This one, though, I didn't feel like I "got". I wasn't sold on the color combinations (I would have been fine with the foreground elements if it weren't for the background elements in the cool tones, and vice versa). I think overall I just wasn't sure I understood what it was conveying. The detail work is nice, though, and there are a lot of elements that I like about it, I just wasn't sure they came together to create a cohesive whole.

    F2 - Well, clearly this is my image. I'm not sure I like how dark the whole thing ended up. I would actually be really curious to know how anyone thinks I could have improved on this one (and perhaps it's just the overall concept that some people didn't like?). What I noticed is that a lot of people commented on the fact that it's funny, which is great. I'm not sure how apparent all the detail work ended up being in the end, though, since no one really mentioned that end of it (there are about 20 stock photos that went into this thing) so I'm left wondering if it was how I executed it that allowed for that. I've only been using Photoshop seriously for about 3 years (it took me a long time to give into digital as a viable medium), and I still have a lot left to learn about it. One thing I notice is that I tend towards super-saturated colors, and I'm not sure that flies for a lot of people. So, especially with who I'm up against next round, I would LOVE suggestions from anyone!!

    G1/G2

    G1 - I liked this image, though I was bothered by the halo on the dragon and the hard edge on the fire. I think in this case I ended up wanting to see more of the original stock used to shape the concept, as I felt it could have lead to an image with a theme that was a little less standard.

    G2 - I actually had to view this image on my PC to fully appreciate it. Some of the detail got a bit lost on the HD display of my MacBook. Most everything I could say about this one has already been said. I like the message and the detail work. It's a very clean image and I think it is well-executed. The balance of it is delicate enough, though, that on the lighter display of my MacBook, the composition lost a little something as it felt very heavy on the left where the ship is placed. Once viewed on my PC, though, this was resolved since the buildings on the right gained more weight as their details appeared darker. I mention this only because it is an aspect that only affects certain designs, so for most I don't need to switch computers, but to fully appreciate some, I have to move over to my other machine.

    H1/H2

    H1 - I voted for this image mostly due to the use of the stock. It was a bizarre combination of elements and I got a laugh out of that. I also thought the treatment was well executed, and while not every single element was completely photo-real, all lighting was believable and nothing stuck out to me as being out of place. Overall I thought the submission was bright and clean and I enjoyed it.

    H2 - I liked this one a lot, but I actually didn't vote for it. I reacted strangely to this one in that all the stuff I liked about it was also the stuff I didn't like. I enjoyed the painterly aspect of the image, but at the same time I felt that in some ways the lack of clarity detracted from it (again, this was one that didn't work too well on my MacBook since some of what got lost caused it to look almost fuzzy). I like the composition, though the image feels a bit heavy on the right side to me. Overall, really great work.

    Aye. Ok. Halfway through that I wanted to quit, but I decided to stick it out. Hopefully this is viewed as a contribution and not a nuisance. I feel a little funny posting a crit when I'm barely involved in this circle, but I enjoyed writing it, so, there!
    Last edited by TheDevilRidesIn; 03-19-2008 at 04:43 PM.
    "If, he thought to himself, such a machine is a virtual impossibility, then it must logically be a finite improbability."

  6. #466
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    ROUND 3 STOCKS have been sent...and they've gotten much harder.

    Round 3

    a - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/967027
    b - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/950991
    c - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/961214
    d - http://www.sxc.hu/photo/955505

  7. #467
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    Hahaha. Holy crap. This is going to be INTERESTING. Great work on the stocks!
    "If, he thought to himself, such a machine is a virtual impossibility, then it must logically be a finite improbability."

  8. #468
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    devil, in regards to your comments about the last round....awesome. you don't need to preface that you're not here often. Comments like yours (and others) are what makes the arena keep going.

  9. #469
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefteyewilly
    devil, in regards to your comments about the last round....awesome. you don't need to preface that you're not here often. Comments like yours (and others) are what makes the arena keep going.
    Awesome. Thanks man. I was worried because I've read some posts (not in this thread) in which I got the impression that crits weren't always... welcome? So it seemed like it could be the sort of thing that, coming from the "wrong" source might not be appreciated.

    So I appreciate the response and the encouragement, as I love it when I receive feedback from others and find it to be a rather invaluable contribution as I always learn something.
    "If, he thought to himself, such a machine is a virtual impossibility, then it must logically be a finite improbability."

  10. #470
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    Oh man, only 4 pairs left!

    Again, I'm really looking forward to see what everyone else has come up with.

    Comments/critiques towards other people's words are always really helpful. Keep them coming, I say...

  11. #471
    yeah yeah yeah sandyrivers's Avatar
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    Well, since sxc has crapped out on me and I can't see your stocks for the next round... I thought I'd take the opportunity to thank the 9 people who voted for my image (H1). Of the 4 subjects I feel I'm worst at Photoshopping (people, animals, light and shadow, and water) I purposely picked 3 of them to focus on in my round 2 image, and although I still have a lot of work to do, was pretty proud of my image. I really took my time on it (spent 18 hours in all) and while I think the message is sort of weak (I had a tough time coming up with an idea and eventually just picked something since I was running out of time), I had a good time with it and felt it was great practice for me. That being said, Saint, you did a bang up job with your image and definitely feel you totally deserved to win! Thanks for the competition!

    I had a great time with the 2 rounds I was a part of and look forward to competing next year!

    As for crits, most of what I wanted to say has already been said by others here but I will say a few things:

    Ondraedan and Fearless: You guys both really should be commended for your images. I sometimes feel (looking at your prior work) that it is really easy for you both to go dark with your images, since that's obviously your strong suits. But, in both cases, you both went bright and airy and totally pulled it off. Both of your images were my personal faves. Really, really excellent job.

    Lefty: What can I say, man? Your image was superb! I loved all of the detail you put into it, and the composition is perfect. Nice job!

    Nords: While I felt your image was very clean and your composition was well thought out, it's pretty much an exact rip off of what I did in round 1 (and evidently an image gerbick did sometime in the past, although I never saw that one). I also did not know what the two fence bits were meant to represent. So nice piece, but I feel you could have flexed your creativity muscle a bit more.

    Ctranter and Pointguard: Please don't take offense, but I found both of your images to be pretty boring, although technically well executed, because of the subject matter. Insomuch as the forlorn girl gazing out into the horizon is played out, I think dragons are as well. In fact, once MM is over... I'm thinking of starting a battle myself where dragons, gothic chicks, and explosions are expressly forbidden. Your images were both nice, just a bit "safe".

    Devil: While I loved your concept, I did not vote for your image because I felt your blending was a bit off (especially with the fireballs and the reflections of the fireballs). Don't get me wrong, it was still a strong image, just felt it could have been perfect if you spent more time on integrating the images in without having to go so bloody dark with it. Still, twas a great image and once I voted I wished I could go back and change my vote (sorry herr dada).

    TheWaste: I understand you didn't have time to really work on your image so I won't say anything other than I agree with what everyone else said.

    Lastly, Saint: Really beautiful work. I loved your background elements and color scheme. It was very dreamy. My only critique (that hasn't been mentioned to this point) is that I felt that you should have used more of the stock. I know technically you can use any bit that you wish in any manner, but I personally feel that the spirit of the rules challenges the competitors to interpret the stock in a creative, yet substantial way. I felt your use of stock was almost an afterthought. That being said, you deserved to win that round. Very nice work!

    Good luck to all in Round 3!

  12. #472
    yeah yeah yeah sandyrivers's Avatar
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    OK sxc came back up for me... damn... good luck to whoever got the nesting dolls!

  13. #473
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    Yes...the selection of stock photos for the next round looks really challenging.

    True I didn't really incorporate much of the given stock. I'll try to do a better job next time...but I want to go ahead with my idea for this image...

    Last edited by Saint Benedetta; 03-20-2008 at 12:01 AM.

  14. #474
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDevilRidesIn
    F2 - Well, clearly this is my image. I'm not sure I like how dark the whole thing ended up. I would actually be really curious to know how anyone thinks I could have improved on this one (and perhaps it's just the overall concept that some people didn't like?). What I noticed is that a lot of people commented on the fact that it's funny, which is great. I'm not sure how apparent all the detail work ended up being in the end, though, since no one really mentioned that end of it (there are about 20 stock photos that went into this thing) so I'm left wondering if it was how I executed it that allowed for that. I've only been using Photoshop seriously for about 3 years (it took me a long time to give into digital as a viable medium), and I still have a lot left to learn about it. One thing I notice is that I tend towards super-saturated colors, and I'm not sure that flies for a lot of people. So, especially with who I'm up against next round, I would LOVE suggestions from anyone!!
    Just thought to put in my bit for TDRI.

    I don't really have problems with it being dark on my monitor, it's actually the right balance for me, but I can imagine that if I was viewing this in my home computer, it would appear much darker.

    To nitpick at it, more can be done with blending the robots in with the rest of the image. Ie. perhaps extend some smoke in front of them? Also, the rubble behind the green robot looks blurrier compared to the other details. Would be more fun if you could link the type with the robots. That's pretty much it though *shrug*.

    I'm not sure about the border. Although, looking at it closely, it kind of reminded me of those borders you get for using a DV camera. Maybe if this was made to look like as if someone was videoing a robot invasion..lol.
    Last edited by Saint Benedetta; 03-20-2008 at 02:44 AM.

  15. #475
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    devil, to the fact that you put 20 stocks into your image and no comments is the reason why you won. what you put into it doesn't 'really' matter. What you did was put together a complete image, and the it shows. personally when i saw it, i immediately tried figuring out what stock you used, and when i saw your blending into the water, i was very impressed.

    TBH, 3 years of using PS doesn't matter either. If you have a great artist's eye and can figure out the basic tools, it doesnt' matter how long you've used the software. It's all about the concept and execution. Either PS can make you an artist, or PS can make an artist better.

  16. #476
    yeah yeah yeah sandyrivers's Avatar
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    lefty, please give poor >flashl!ght< some competition, will you? He's put up two phenomenal images now, and both of his competitors ended up being no shows...

  17. #477
    Mourning Morning. groupof1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefteyewilly
    TBH, 3 years of using PS doesn't matter either. If you have a great artist's eye and can figure out the basic tools, it doesnt' matter how long you've used the software. It's all about the concept and execution. Either PS can make you an artist, or PS can make an artist better.
    I couldn't agree more... The tools do not make the artist. I know plenty of people who can use PS and other graphics software for layouts and such, but having creative vision and the ability to bring it to life is something that can't be taught.
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  18. #478
    I'm still learning...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefteyewilly
    Either PS can make you an artist, or PS can make an artist better.
    i think i am the first one...

    i love to read those encouraging posts.

    great image guys... i've got to practice more on creating beautifull images... you guys are my inspiration.

  19. #479
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyrivers
    lefty, please give poor >flashl!ght< some competition, will you? He's put up two phenomenal images now, and both of his competitors ended up being no shows...
    wow, you're right. i didn't even noticed he's just floated on to round three with no competition. I'm going to try my best and at least show up.

  20. #480
    Yeah, a competing image would be nice although, not trying to sandbag myself here, but I'm not feeling inspired at all this round. But I will deliver!
    >flashl!ght<
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