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Promoted to Junior December 2017
Edited by .v0ldiemort, Yesterday, 08:09 PM.
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Posted 31 October 2017 - 03:47 AM
hi rodrigo, welcome back to TDA!
you're off to a great start with your gallery i'm sure we'll be seeing you fly up the ranks my favourite things are probably your icons, the cuts are awesome!
feel free to PM me with any questions
Posted 31 October 2017 - 12:47 PM
Hiya! I'm Alli I am in awe and I envy you for the way you use soft lighting with stock images I really love your icons and the chapter image!! I can't wait to see more lovely stuff from you <3
M. Langley on PW
Posted 01 November 2017 - 10:30 AM
@starbuck hi! Thank you so much! I'm excited to be back. I have a lot more time to work on graphics now so it's good to be back. I'm excited to try and learn a lot more. Especially working with text!
@lucida hi Ali! Thanks so much! I really struggle with chapter images. They are an awkward size so I really appreciate it! Thank you both so much!
Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:58 AM
^ omg i'm not the only one who struggles with the sizing of chapter images. I don't know what it is, I just can never create a focus of the graphic because i'm trying to fit everything into a square.
HIya i'm Kelsey
You're use of colouring is absolutely lovely, it really creates a specific mood for all of your graphics, specifically your banners and your blending of stock is honestly beautiful
Cannot wait to see more of what you can do!
Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:18 PM
Hi Rodrigo! I'm Ronnie, here with your critique!
Ok, before I get started can I just say how much I'm fangirling over your graphics because all of the Stranger Things characters featured? I'm about 99% sure that means you watch the show, which is great because it's currently my favourite and none of my friends are caught up with season two which means I have no one talk with about it. So if you ever want to discuss theories + the newest season + least/favourite characters, just let me know.
(Also, we can also discuss our mutual love for Shakespeare. Gotta love the Bard.)
Ok, now actually onto the critique. To start off, my favourites! My favourite thing in your entire gallery is actually your current sig, +this. To me, it's absolute perfection, in part because of Joe Keery, but also because 1.) the yellow colouring is to DIE for, it looks so good, 2.) interesting comp, 3.) really great text! Every time I see you posting in the forums I always stop and look at your sig for a good thirty-sixty seconds or so just because I love it so much.
I'll first address the things you wanted me to pay attention to and then move onto some other stuff I noticed. First, text. So text seems to be a struggle for everyone, so you're definitely not alone in your battles to find just the right font, and the good thing is that you can easily improve with practice and experience. The sig I mentioned before I think is an example of really good text because it 1.) Fits in with the rest of the graphic, and 2.) Is interesting—and by interesting I mean it doesn't just look like you arbitrarily chose a font and slapped some text on there. It looks like you really thought about what font you wanted to use, how you wanted it to stand out (such as with the white stroke, which goes along well with the lightening bolt), and the positioning (I love how it seems to flow up Joe's body towards the top of the graphic.)
Going forward, try to keep continuity and interest factor in mind when you're working on text. For instance, I think there's a lot of experimentation that can be done on +this banner with text. Right now, the words "The Nightingale" are just in a cursive font that blends in almost TOO well with the base. Also, it's too big, as it spans almost a good half of the canvas. (And this is a point that you should take into consideration for all graphics you make—watch out for the sizing of your text!) If you want to practice trying out different font techniques, here's a couple of things you could consider giving a go before settling on a font/placement you like the best:
1.) Making both words smaller and stacking "the" on top of "nightingale" and moving both words closer to the model.
2.) Keep "the" in cursive and change "nightingale" to something a little more distinct (since it is the main word)—could either be another cursive font, or something bolder. Again, stack one on top of the other and move it closer to the model.
3.) Playing with strokes, drop shadows, and patterns on "nightingale." All of which can be found by clicking the button in +this picture.
4.) Playing with the warp text features on Photoshop. In the text panel near the top (see +this image for reference), you can play with some features that will allow you to bend and compress the text, which used in moderation can actually look pretty cool!
5.) Give it some texture! If you have a texture you particularly like, paste it into photoshop above your text layer and press Command + Option + G on your keyboard (I think it's something like Ctrl + Option + G on PC??) to link it to your text layer. If you want a more subtle effect, play around with the blending mode.
6.) Making the "N" in "Nightingale" the only piece of text in a really distinct font and putting everything else in a simple sans/serif font.
And of course these are just a few ways you can play around with text and make it seem more interesting and complex. When making graphics, I would suggest trying out a few different options for text before settling on one—I rarely stick with the first text option I chose; usually the finished graphic will use the a second or third option, or maybe a combination of two of them. Basically, you want to try out a couple of different scenarios before closing out of Photoshop, especially if you're getting the vibe that something isn't quite working.
When it comes to text position, don't be afraid to move things around! Text doesn't have to all be clumped together in order to maintain the focal point. For instance, on +this banner the name of the author could easily go on the left side of the model, whereas the main text can go on the other side. Same with +this header—"DA Digest" could go on the left side of all the Natalias, and perhaps the "December" bit could go on the right side of the little Natalia, near the bottom? Just a few ideas, but remember to move things around to make a more complex graphic.
Another thing you said you struggled with was making your bases too stock/texture heavy. First off, I don't think there's anything wrong with using a lot of stock or textures on a graphic, but it's all about image selection and blending to make sure that things look neat and clean. I think +this header is a great example of where you've used both stock and textures brilliantly—the windows in the background with the moon near the top and the yellow of to the sides look great together and very clean. On your banners, for instance, such on +this and +this, I think the textures you've chosen have made the stock in the background too murky. In the second banner, for example, the sparks/light/fireworks texture is completely obstructing the beautiful stock you've chosen for your base, but you can still get a really pretty lighting effect from this texture by setting the blending mode to overlay or soft light or one of those blending modes, rather than something like lighten or screen. Same thing with +this CI—try setting the texture you've placed over top to overlay or soft light and see if you like the lighting effect it creates more than the blotchy white/black over top.
Composition-wise, I think this is actually one of your strong points! The comp in the Joe sig is especially good, and I like that you're already experimenting with putting multiple people in one graphic (such as in the Natalia header). Going forward, trying moving that multiple-person-per-graphic theory over to your banners as well, and make sure you watch out for covering up people's faces with textures. On +this header for instance, the lightning should be erased from the small Natalia's face.
Besides that, just keep adding to your gallery! (I'm looking forward to seeing more stuff in here soon, especially blends and CIs!) I hope this review was helpful, and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about anything I said, or want to discuss ST.
Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:22 PM
Thank you so much for the awesome critique! I love love love Stranger Things! Seriously if you need to talk theories about this season please let me know!! Steve is currently my fave but I'm not sure overall favorite is a hard choice! And yes! Shakespeare! I direct Titus Andronicus this semester at school and it's been a BLAST! So please message if you'd like to talk!
Again thank you so much for your critique! I really loved reading all the text help! It's super nice about the texture work! I had no idea that was even possible!! I tried some of your techniques on the Nightingale banner and I think it looks better! Still not 100% sure but I think the comp is better! I'm gonna work on more CIs definitely and a few blends in the future! Thank you so much!!
Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:26 PM
Hi Rodrigo, I'm here with your requested critique. First of all, let me apologize for the delay in this, I've been bogged down by work stuff lately. I love your gallery, it full of great stuff. I've broken my comments down into sections where I'll mention what you are doing well and what, if anything, you can improve on.
Text- You have a great tack for your positioning of your text. The main text connects with your focal point and it flows with the overall graphic. Your text works really well with textured bases. In the case of your stock banner here+ the text is hard to read. The main word stands out in the title but the rest of the text is smushed and I'm not sure that was the best font for it. You could try experimenting with the spacing between letters as well. Ultimately I'd watch out for the small text on stock filled graphics. I am in awe of your font choices too. In most cases, the font is a great fit for the mood and the flow of the banner.
Composition- In most of your pieces you have a clear focal point. Your composition is very good but in some pieces, it could be more spread out. This banner+, for example, is stunning with the base and the coloring. However, the text takes up the majority of the right side and the model the off left/center. The banner could flow more if you added in a smaller model on the right side. Also, The two models are fairly similar in size and the focal point is unclear because the eyes are drawn to two places at once.
Blending- Your blending is fabulous. Your models and stock flow together as one piece. I'd say that this is one of your stronger skills.
Coloring- You have cohesive coloring. Each piece is evenly balanced. I suggest experimenting more with monochrome and vivid bright coloring as well to give each piece a little more pop. Selective coloring and gradient maps may be particularly helpful. Another thing I'd watch for is matching skin tones in a graphic. Take this blend+ and see how the bigger face is more yellow than the smaller face? Also noted in this sig+ 3 of the models are darker/yellow in complexion when the fourth is light and white. Matching skin tones really helps the consitency of teh graphic.
You are doing an amazing job and are off to a wonderful start. I have no doubt you will go far with your art. My favorite pieces are this+ for the text and this+ for the composition and the text. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask me. I'm also glad to help you out anytime. Great work and I look forward to seeing more from you!
Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:40 PM
Hi Taylor! Thank you so much for taking your time to critique my gallery! I am really trying to get better at the skin tone matching! I've been trying to work on my text so to get yours feedback is pretty awesome. I'm trying to experiment with a lot of different fonts, but right now that's still my biggest insecurity. I think I'm going to tr and work on some mono graphics. So thank you so much for coming along and giving me all this awesome stuff to work on!
Posted 26 November 2017 - 07:32 PM
Hi Rodrigo, Just stopping by to look at your gallery, as you've been quite active in your graphic making!!
And I can see they've all made the way here, which is awesome!! <3
I really love all the cuts on your Icons! And the comp and creativeness on your 'the plot thickens' chapter image.
and I really love the Alchemist banner!! I think that's pretty awesome.
Just some general critique; perhaps work on some hard cuts? Some of your blending and hard cuts still have halos, and watch coloring on skin tones, some of these are look greenish/washed out and unconsistent (we've all been there!!)
Apart from that you're well on your way to greatness - see what I did there?
Keep up the good work <3
perfect sig by my Big Buddy, bittersweetflames. aka Carla.
Amazing Icon by Sunbear.
+May We Meet Again.
Posted 26 November 2017 - 08:19 PM
Hey Karni!! Wow! Thank you so much stopping by! I really really appreciate it! It means a lot that you came by! I appreciate your critique! It's definitely something that I'm looking out for! I'll send you a message to ask some questions because I would love your input! Thank you so much again for coming by!
Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:27 PM
Hey rodrigo!! I wanted to stop in and say hey on your gallery finally, as i've been lurking it for probably about a month now as i keep seeing you around the forums!!
I love your work it's very good and even in the short month or so i've been watching I've seen insane growth and am so happy you updated your gallery! +this is literally a gorgeous piece. the composition is so beautiful and the text I could cry because the text is so amazing and I suck at it so much. lol
Honestly if I did have any critique for you from my very beginner basic level as well then I would suggest practicing the hard cuts! I use a brush as small as 5px sometime on 50% opacity and go around the entire image. I'm obsessed with hard cuts and if you ever want advice or to pounce ideas or anything hmu I'm happy to always talk graphics!
Continue working pls I love
stalking watching you enter the challenges and update your gallery and everything.
xx Jess [:
Posted 27 November 2017 - 03:41 PM
Hi Jess! Thank you so much for stopping by! I really appreciate that! Wow!
Thank you!! That CI is one of those things I'm really proud of! I really appreciate you saying so!
I definitely need to work on those skills for sure! I'm trying and learning but I definitely need more practice!
I hadn't thought of changing the opacity on the brush itself I will definitely try that!
Thank you so much, Jess! Yes please! I'd love to talk any time you're free!!
Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:09 AM
eyy the magicians (have you seen the season three trailer?)
So yeah hi, I just wanted to pop in and say I'm a big fan, especially of how committed you are to creating new content and posting it up here. Love the style (even more so since I can see a consistent one developing already) and really like your use of stock!
The Magicians chapter image with Eliot is a big fave of mine and not just because I'm biased. The comp and colouring on it are great and it flows really well as a whole. It might be nice to see another blend, maybe with a different focus/images? But those icons are fab and I love the colouring on them!
Basically just a little bit of admiration from one beginner to another, even though you're miles ahead of me <3
Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:20 PM
I LOVE THE MAGICIANS I AM SO EXCITED FOR SEASON THREE IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZING
Thank you so much! Wow! That's amazing! I appreciate the style comment!
Thanks! I was trying something new and it really worked out for me! Yes, I'm definitely working on more blends because I agree with you.
I can't wait to see your work! Thank you so much for coming by! Feel free to msg me any time!
Posted 03 December 2017 - 07:03 AM
Hi Rodrigo,i'm here with your requested critique.
I'm going to go through and tell you what I personally feel you need to work on, please bare in mind its just what I feel, not what anyone else thinks/see's just me. We as Artist all have our own opinions on peoples creations, so every critique you ever get in life shall be different, completely different!!
I'm going to comment on the techniques you mention when you filled out your form!
Your hard cuts are actually pretty good. I noticed in some, like +here, the guy on the right hand side, closet to the top, his face looks extrememly warped, wherethe rest of your guys on here are nicely cut and cropped.
1 tip, always hunt, don't just go for a photo you like because it may not cut or blend properly, like his face. It was obviously hard to cut but you liked it so kept it, but his face does look extremely warped.
The halo's which we have already discussed previously especially in +this, but I know you're working on these so we'll skip that.
Comps pretty good and I see you're experimenting with it quite a bit which is great to see! It's not as bad as you may think, just keep practising with this and you'll be fine!
Oh the bain of my existence - as everyone else's. I really can't comment on this because it's hard to say what's right and what's not. I look at some graphics (as people do with mine) and I can't agree on their text that put on a particular graphic, however you have to experiment with all kinds of fonts and their placement. No where you ever put it will please Everyone. Ever.
A great example is I remember when I was a senior there was a miniature disagreement among-st us members over a comment, a comment was made over the people who had been promoted and it said
"I don't understand why I was not promoted this month when blah blah was" and one of the responses I'll never forget was "My blah blah was squeed this week in the squee thread, and mentioned by 3 separate Artists and it was also my YBW entry this month where it didn't get 1 vote. Just because 1 person loved my graphic, doesn't mean another won't completely hate it"
This is how I see text. Not just pure evil, but also tricky because not everyone will agree on placement or color or what font it is. Just experiment and in my experience if I like it, it's staying (unless I'm really really stuck)
We have already touched base on this, and I can see that you've already made so many improvements! Your pieces are looking a lot sharper with color and fresher
Keep up the good work!
Hopefully I've been some help! You've been improving so fast because you're willing to learn and just keep experimenting which is fantastic! If you have any questions you know where I am, although it's not as bad as you keep thinking it is!!
perfect sig by my Big Buddy, bittersweetflames. aka Carla.
Amazing Icon by Sunbear.
+May We Meet Again.
Posted 03 December 2017 - 10:06 AM
Hi, Rodrigo! Here again for your second critique!
Ok, so I've been seeing you post a lot of your graphics lately, mostly in the PYLC thread, and can I just say that I have been BLOWN AWAY by how much you've improved in such a short amount of time? Literally, everything I see nowadays is *stunning*. You've improved a hundredfold, and I've especially noticed it when it comes to text, composition, and colouring.
Still a huge fan of your current Joe Keery sig, but in addition to that I think my favourite thing in your gallery is +this Natty Ice banner—everything on this is perfect. The composition is great—you've done a great job with placing the different people and resizing to make the composition really interesting (I especially love how the smallest Natalia is facing away). The focal point is also so strong because of the way you've been mindful about which direction the models are directing their eyes. The colours, I can't even—the soft/spookly/unssatured undertones are illuminated brilliantly by the orange, and I love the way that colouring (perhaps you used a texture) also adds great shadows and depth to the Natalias. Finally, I love how you've been able to combine the use of textures and stock without overwhelming the graphic. Seriously, this is one of my favourite things that I have ever seen on TDA.
In addition to that brilliant banner, I also like +this blend, +this vertical sig, and +this CI; I think all of these are the best examples of really interesting/complex composition and great text. The text on the CI especially looks really natural; it's not too big, and I like how the blue colour fits nicely with the background but you're able to make it stand out with the pinkish stroke.
Ok, now I'll move on to addressing some of the things that you wanted me to look out for:
Making banners too stock heavy:
I actually don't see much of a problem with this! I think the Natalia Dyer banner I pointed out is a great example of an uncluttered stock banner, and as I already said, it's one of my favourite things in your entire gallery. Going forward, I might even challenge you (if you want to get experimental that is—you don't have to if you don't think it fits your personal style) to use more stock on your graphics. Just like your placement of people and text can really make or break (as well as add complexity) to a graphic's composition, so can stock. I'd say don't worry if you feel like you're adding too much; it's hard to go overboard, but if you think that you're graphic is beginning to look cluttered, it's likely not because you've added too much stock, but rather because of how you're blending it. When working with stock (and as well as with people, of course), just make sure that your blending is neat, clean, and looks natural and you'll be golden.
Choosing text and placement:
Again, I think you've improved 100x with this. I mean, you managed to pull of using four different texts on +this blend and it looks great; that's something a lot of people wouldn't be able to do. Like last time, I'll just give a couple more suggestions of things to try out the next time you're experimenting with text.
1.) Try working with some more scripty fonts! This is actually the opposite of what I end up telling most people; most people are too keen on throwing a cursive font on top of any graphic and forgo the san-serfic block-y fonts that you seem to use more often. Though these bold fonts look really great on a lot of your graphics (such as +here, for instance), there are a couple of your graphics where I think a cursive font would suit the mood better. Take +this signature; you've opted for a light background with light accessory colours, there are some flowers, etc.; on this particular signature, I think a cursive font rather than the simple san-serif one that you've chosen would cap off the serene, soft tone that I think you were going for.
2.) Make your text interact with the graphic with size and placement! Again, I think this is something you've already tried to tackle so props to you, but when you're making graphics, ask yourself, "How can my text placement and size contribute to the composition of the graphic?" +This banner I think is a great example of your text "interacting" with the rest of the graphic. I love how the word "riding"is kind of sloping down with Joe's shoulder, and I think that it's good that you chose this to be your main text while the remaining words are significantly smaller. Try a similar technique perhaps with +this signature. Right now, what should be the main text ("Melchior Gabor") isn't really interacting with the graphic or adding anything to it's composition. I'd try making one of these words (probably Melchior) larger than Gabor and then experimenting with how the shrinking or enlarging of "Melchior" (or just the "M" in Melchior) makes the graphic look.
3.) Be mindful of text colour! One of the things I love about your graphics is how unafraid you seem to be to experiment with bold font choices and colours (I always say when it doubt, it's better to go bold than to go safe). However, make sure you're still keeping in mind the colour scheme of the rest of the graphic when you're making these decisions. On +this blend, for instance, I don't think the green colour of the font goes particularly well with the rest of the graphic. To me, it makes it stand out just a bit *too* much. However, if you prefer bold font colours, fear not because you can still make this happen. Considering the colour palette that you've gone with so far, what would a purple or even light blue (like the colour of the geometric shapes in the very bottom right hand corner) look like?
Ok, so to wrap things up I'm just going to focus on blending a little bit because it's just something I noticed.
Ok, so it seems you've got a really strong command of hard cutting; on most of your graphics, the hard cuts look really good and clean. Make sure you strive for the same quality of blending when you're trying to do someone with, say, wispy hair. On +this signature, for instance, the edges of Natalia's hair are too soft so it doesn't look like she naturally fits in with that background. Probably the best advice I can give for blending wispy hair (as it's something that I still have to play around a lot with, too) is to not rely on the soft brush to get the job done, especially if the person has dark hair and you're trying to blend them into a light background, or vice versa. (A lot of the times you can get away with it though if you're blending a dark-haired person onto a dark background though). Something that I end up doing a lot of times that is really quick is that I'll take my model, paste them onto my canvas, and then either set them to darken/multiply (if dark hair on a light background) or lighten/screen (if light hair on a dark background). This will get rid of a majority of your background while still leaving a lot of detail in the hair. You'll then have to take a layer mask to get rid of the remaining parts of the background, but it mostly gets the job done. Then you'll have to duplicate that model layer, set them to normal, and a completely black layer mask, and then only fill in with white the parts of the model that still need additional detail (namely their face and body—if you don't do this, then there's a chance that part of your background will be peaking through their skin, which isn't good).
Ok, I think that's all I have to say for now! Here's a brief wrap-up of what I think are your strongest and weakest points:
Strong: COMPOSITION. Like literally, this seems to come so naturally to you. Colouring and hard cutting are also really good.
Points to work on: Experiment some more with text. Your text is already actually really good, but make sure you keep in mind those things I mentioned, primarily placement so it looks like it "fits in" with the rest of the graphic and colour. Also soft blending.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything I said and/or want me to elaborate on anything! Hope you've found this helpful, and I'll be looking for more of your graphics in the PYLC thread shortly!
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