IDW # 230 Topic: Altar of the Divine [Fauna]
Deadline for voting: Sunday, March 11
No voting for your own entries! I repeat, no voting for your own entries
Give critiques and comments, we're all here to learn from each other!
Original thread: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...e-Divine-Fauna
Last edited by Pixie Trick; March 4th, 2013 at 05:18 PM.
Betula is a city in northern Sweden, surrounded by a dark forrest that goes on forever. If you drive south from the city for about 20 minutes, and then step out of your car when you get close to Dry Mountain, and walk straight in to the forrest you will soon notice that you are standing at the edge of the marshes that surround the mountain. In there you will probably find more than a few remains of what people call Old Betula. No one really seems to know what exactly Old Betula was. One of these remains is The Elken Altar. At the top of a hill that seems partly built, there is an altar. Held in place by two giant moose antlers, that some stories say are real and left from a giant moose that lived when the altar was built, is a big white stone, and during moonlight is very easy to see through the darkness. It's said to have been used as maybe a light house at night to guid people through the swamp. Before, curious people could visit the altar by wading through the swamp, but now the water is higher, so now you need a boat to get there.
Ps. Betula is the name of a story that i am writing, and i hope i am not breaking any rules by putting the altar that i designed in the story.
Any critique is very welcome! I am here to learn! Thank you!
If you are interested please take a look:
I didn't have too much time for this one. But i gave it a shot yesterday.
My fauna is the jellyfish
The shrine emits water from the top and when cascading down the waterfalls symbolize the tentacles. The general public offer precious materials for a blessing.
The Ika tribe were fearless with their adventures, travelling far and wide throughout the ravaged world they called home. High up in the ravenous mountains, they survived the onslaught of the roman empire, hidden among the crystal white peaks and harmony. Their technology had advanced considerably, unimpeded by the constraints of war. Of suffering.
But this is not their story.
Kaian was a lone traveller, who had lost his way for some time, his equipment faltering after the harsh desert summers with the Daomaos tribe. Their lives were a constant battle against the heat, the wind.... and the empire.
He had to leave their gracious company, their wide cautious smiles and warm eyes. He always had to leave... He never really understood why. He was driven, to look far into the depths of this world and discover its secrets...
And thats what brought him here, among the beginning of the vast jungle, where the Lyceus tribe, the last remaining tribe that held out against the formidable roman empire. Caught in the shadow of two great mountains, the valley floor was an insurpassable jungle, a massive hostile environment waiting silently for the oncoming attack.
They would come eventually, amassing a force destined to control the planet. However, they had never succeeded at taking the jungle from the brave Lyceus tribe, who used their advanced technology to their advantage. Causing suffering and pain to the outmaneuvered roman scout legions.
It was here where this monumental discovery was to be found, a beautiful solitary complex of structures, located high above the jungle upon the mountain side, overlooking the vast desert plains across the horizon.
Kaian had never seen anything like this.... a huge oval shaped building that looked like it was plated together, filled with escaping light. The path led towards a large door, emblazoned with unique unreadable symbols... what were they and what did this mean....
There was only one way to find out.
This is basically an old neural net temple belonging to the neurastrata tribe, they chose to gain immortality by locking themselves in cryostasis, connected to each other like a hive mind, through the neural net technology they developed. The altar is based around a jellyfish, in particular one jellyfish that is able to reverse the aging process and therefore theoretically able to live forever.
This was pain i wish there was more time to render and add extra points etc, and also just to flesh out the design but time carries on.
Love both the designs they are great here.
On the Vernal Equinox, the Warrior queen selects the finest of her Mantid Knights to pay homage to the Mother of Insects. Mounting him upon the altar, she chants the sacrificial rites to the Great Mother as her knight reaches climax. The instant he is spent, the headsman's axe swings. Still warm, the head is mounted to the altar to feed the Sacred Little Ones, who swarm to accept the offering. The altar, a riot of crimson and fuchsia, resonates with the echoing chants of the elders. In the Great Hall, the servers decant red wine as the lutists tune the strings.
AdamStolterman - That perspective is pretty epic, looks like a scene out of the Bohemian Grove or a haunted hunting lodge. I personally think the atmosphere would've been better if it was snowing and there was desolate white surrounding, or maybe a snowy forest. The island location is cool too. This is a convincing design.
Blake-Rottinger-Art - Pleasurable view, I like how you did it. The structure looks a little bit too much like the top of a mushroom, or a giant spore you'd find at a kid's water park. Not as original as it could've been but tight execution.
Care - Fascinating implications here, almost like a cognitive dragon hoard to maintain a dynasty. I'm curious to get a better view of everything as a whole because it's hard to distinguish details in it's current state. I encourage you to take this further!
Maxscomputer - The backstory is well done and this is a tangible, toxic looking design. Effective because it wreaks of good instincts. You seem like you've worked with insects before in some way. Really nice work.
My vote goes to Max.
Adam-sweet mood! very clandestine worship site. I enjoy the lightness of the altar (though I feel the wing-like implements to either side worked better in your earlier, bird version). While the symmetry of the composition is working well here, consider designing in 3/4 view to give us a better idea of the construction of the piece, and to get yourself thinking of form, first.
Blake-Very happy to see you thinking three dimensionally from the outset. Hooray humans for scale! This is important! Consider warping the texture you have on the top of the jellyfish to make the form read as more rounded. Solidly executed.
Care-First, in response to your "where do you get your ideas" question from my thumbs, I'd recommend checking out Paul Richards' Thumb War article. He very eloquently discusses importance of the thumbnail process; I come back and read this article every few months. He is a great resource!
Second, this is a very ambitions entry! I really love cyberpunk so your backstory was a pleasure to read. Very exciting, organic shapes. If you haven't, check out the work of Geoff Darrow. Presentation-wise, I'd like to see this with a bit heavier line weight and simple lights and darks (say 30% and 70% gray) to delineate the main chamber better. Keep it up!
Great work 'errbody! Next stop: SHARK WEEK
First off let me say this is a tough subject. I doubt I could turn something like an altar into compelling subject matter.
This is a general crit for all of you. Obviously some much more than others. But to address the lore, back story and explanation I have four words for ya "too long didn't read". I hope the effort was for you and not for the viewers to know what they are looking at. A few notes on the image is fine, but do everything you can to make sure they aren't needed.
ADAM-Love the concept, but it doesn't look like moose territory. As a matter of fact it looks like a moose that size would sink into such marshy terrain. You could have done some cool stuff with the moose antlers. Stuff like this www.peakantlers.com/wp-content/uploads/European throne chair-682x1024.jpg
BLAKE-Your design is the most solid of all the entries. I know exactly what it is and what it represents at first glance. Not a bunch of bells and whistles. Sort of a strength and weakness though. More reflections, water ripples and the "scale figures" could use an indication of costume design. Those trees also contradict the ocean motif you built. They belong with the moose altar.
CARE-Shit is bad ass. I love the shapes and ornate designs. My eye flows from one panel to the next. Only one problem and I think you know this but I don't know what the fuck I'm looking at. I see corn, a Predator's reproductive system, sewage lids and an epic space toilet.
MAX-My only problem is I don't know how you'd use the damn thing. It's the windows 8 of altars. Aside from that it's great. I would talk shit about the obvious copy+pase+flip+distort=finished, but I think you handled it like a photoshop champion. You saved time with a parlor trick and focused on rendering materials. It looks more like an in game asset.
Thank you so much for the crits! I am loving this! I'll take notes and start on the next one, bring it on!
I want give an extra thanks to Raul for his crit to all of us. I myself can't help to write a backstory when i draw something, and i love to read others, because to me it makes everything so much more real, so i haven't even thought about the fact that a design of course has to work standing on it's own without the backstory to explain it. Thanks again! I will definitely think about that for the next one.
Now, i've never given crits to anyone before so let me just try this:
Blake - I love the idea! The only thing i would like to mention is that, though i'm always very much a fan of simplicity in designs, this could use something to make me more interested. It's very clean and nice, but maybe a little too clean and nice for my taste, even though that makes it read very well. When i saw i was like "ooooh i wish i had thought of that!" It's really cool. =D
Care - Also awesome idea, and i love the story. Also the panels are cool and i have been looking at them for a while now, and i kind of get what they are showing me, but maybe not. Ether way, i think that i would need to see a clearer image of the design. Maybe even just the biggest of the panel would work if you made it more clear what's going on. I would really like to see it because it really looks awesome. I also like the exterior panel a lot, if i understand it correctly.
Max - It's freaky and great. I love the story as well. And the only thing i would add would be something more to get rid of the mirror effect that Raul mentioned. I think just making some difference between the rows of sculls would be enough. And that's mostly a technical problem and not a problem with your design. I also want to say that the idea that the Orchid Mantis hive eat the head of the sacrifice is brilliant.
Any critique is very welcome! I am here to learn! Thank you!
If you are interested please take a look:
thanks everybody for the crits they were much appreciated and pointed out a lot of things to work on! I wish i had more time, also I totally forgot about the best part of the story for my entry. So heres the thing, when the unsuspected victim is lured towards the altar via pheremones released into the air, the wires attach to him her, and he is given access to the entire neural nets knowledge.... however it comes at a price, and that price is that they take the persons most precious memory and retain it in the neural net... The person doesnt even realise that the memory is gone they just get this aching feeling that something is missing. ahahahahahahahaha.
Edit: also got tonnes of thumbs and stuff for this, i didnt post cos i was so busy trying to get this in... will post on my sb when i get back to doing this for real as a painting
Ok so the entries this week were great....
Adam: you were my fav, very evocative, i looked at it and thought this could be a beautiful place in real life, in fact ive been to some places where this would be PERFECT. the sun glistening off the metal just made me warm and happy inside and for that u got my vote. i think you know already but just stuff like perspective, and also maybe a little more detail and transitional forms etc.
Blake: Solid idea, really nice and simple, maybe some more transitional forms could help it read more like a structure. this one grew on me a lot tho, it just feels tangible and a good real life design
Maxx: Great colours! lovely acid green. Im confused by the design language here, there was like a postmodern playful kinda feel to the base, and then there is angry mantis scythes on top. however its got that kinda gross out feel.
Great work everyone! I was wondering if this topic would scare some of you off and I was pleasantly surprised not only by how many people participated, but also by the quality of your entries. I just thought of how relevant an old project I did is to this so I'm going to stick it in here for a look- it's a bike shelter inspired by ferns. Note the diagrams that took about 2 minutes to make but explain things pretty well.
I'm going to try to avoid repeating some of the previous crit-ers as they made some great points. So... some crits:
adam: Speaking as someone who has nearly hit moose a few times- they pretty much live their whole life in swamps so you've got that bit right. I'd have to ask though, what makes this an altar to moose other than location and the antlers? Something reminicient of a moose's waddle would be fun (such as a hanging bell or some such). I mayyyybe kind of see the shape of the hooves in the side wings but that's about it. That aside, let's address another of the points- material. Take another look and tell me, purely on the basis of eyeballing structure, does your altar look like it's made of stone? And lastly, I'm just going to reiterate what max said about 3/4 view just to get a better idea of what this thing really looks like.
blake: I'm going to agree with Raoul about the solidity of your entry, but I think what you have is the bare (good!) bones of something that could be taken a bit further given more time/experience. You have realism in use of material, obvious way of sending off offerings etc. One thing that as an architecty type person that stands out to me is that we have no idea what the underside of the canopy looks like- which is what everyone at the altar would see. A bit of a picky note, but important I think. The second is more in terms of taking this design to the next level- what you have is a direct interpretation which isn't an elegant solution to a design problem. Once you have this solid base to work from, start having some fun with it! The twin spirals around the main column can start being integrated into it. Perhaps the podium is a bit more fluid to match the rest a bit more... etc,
care: I had to read about 100 words to figure out what critter this was an altar to. My suggestion would be to focus on one drawing and take it to a readable level before starting on the other drawings, especially if you reference the first in the others. For example, the shutters I think are what make up the whole pod thingie, but there are no hints of similar detail as shown in the diagram to make you think this. That being said, dropping flat washes of two different values where needed would have made this entire drawings about 200x more readable. Anyway to summarize, lovely drawing, no idea what scale the people are at in relationship, or where they go. (and it kinda looks like the inside of the TARDIS which is always a good thing)
Max: Nice image, but no idea how this works without reading- diagrams are your friend. The bottom could be a little more ergonomic (I know the poor sod is gonna be dead soon, but still) and body shaped would help too. Take a look at what I said to Adam about 1st level design and direct interpretation. If you look at almost any religion, there is a traditional stylization of the main characters involved which helps give their items character.