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The Tropic of CancerJune 10, 2017


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#19 red herring

red herring

    quelle night

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 05:47 PM

hey, ronnie! i'm here with your gallery critique!
honestly i'm a bit intimidated to be in here. your breakfast at tiffany's uc entry is SO beyond gorgeous, i've been swooning!
i've always really admired your work :loves:

my favorites in here are +this (i love what you've done to increase the image quality, i know working with caps can be difficult for this reason), +this, +and this!
the tops strengths i see are composition and text. your bases are complex and interesting to look at. you implement both stock and textures beautifully. i also love your experimentation with different font types and creative placement.
 
next i'll address your acknowledged weak points: blending and over-filtering.
if you struggle with blending, you must work extra hard to fix it because i don't see many discrepancies with blending at all. if i'm being nitpicky i'll say that your soft blending looks a little rushed both +here (the woman in the back), and +here (the right side of her hair disappears strangely and goes a bit green? but that could be textures as well). overall i think blending is pretty solid, your hard cuts all look clean. maybe just remember to do a spot check on your soft blending before you upload. using textures and stock to hide lazy blending is also an option that i greatly enjoy :P
 
i like your filtering overall, that 'moon river' banner is a perfect example of your great filtering. in some instances i do see where sharpening has started to lower the image quality on your faces. +this (mostly just the monochrome girl) and +this both have some pixelly-looking shadows on their faces. too strong of lighting textures over their faces can also be a culprit. sometimes i'll erase a little sharpening from the faces or i'll take the blur tool on a low setting and go over the pixelated spots to smooth them out. i know there's other filters that do this but i'm a control freak and like to manually touch up. as long as i avoid eyes, noses, mouths, jawlines, and hairlines, it works pretty well for me.
 
another point i'll mention is variety. i see you favor blues, greens, and yellows (you're excellent at these), so i'll challenge you to use some different colors :) especially in your banners!
you've given us a taste of how you execute simplicity in that orange audrey hepburn signature and fanmix, and i'd love to see more :sean:
also watch for skin tones. the audrey on the far left in +this banner is greatly lacking in yellows in comparison to the rest of the characters on the banner.
 
you asked for suggestions for what you could get rid of at the end, so here we go.
+this banner. it's lovely, but the contrast levels are inconsistent and i think you have stronger banners. the blacks on the left and right edges are nice and dark, but the girl in the center looks flat because the shadows in her hair are not as dark and don't match.
+these icons. the coloring and filtering are beautiful, but there is not much variation in the cuts, and i think the icons are left wanting for some text or stocks or textures to break up the monotony. i'm almost hesitant to even include these because they are lovely and take up a large amount of your 'icons' sections, but i don't think they show off enough of your skills.
+this blend. your composition is on point, but the contrast levels and image quality i think are what's throwing me off. the girl has much stronger contrast in comparison to the men, who could really use some darker shadows. they also look like they are screencaps, which is probably contributing to the image quality issue.
 
i hope that this was somewhat helpful for you and that i wasn't too harsh :loves: :dumbles: you have a GORGEOUS gallery and i'm excited to see more!
 
-ash xo

 

Lol even though you were so kind as to stop by many months ago, I feel obligated to respond because your review was so so helpful. :loves: Thank you so much for taking the time to so thoroughly review my gallery; your critique has been invaluable. Thanks again, Ash. :loves::loves:

 

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Hey Ronnie!

Just dropping by to leave you a bit of holiday love on your gallery!

I have to tell you that your gallery is one of my absolute favorites. I love your style and coloring so, so much. Your graphics all have this crisp, vibrant look to them.

Your header/subheader set is lovely. I have a soft spot for Fantastic Beasts, so I was super excited when I saw them. Your Newt Banner, your Fantastic Beasts blend, and your signature are all lovely as well. The reds, golds, and blues in them are really vibrant.

I also really like your Fanmix cover. The teal coloring with the mono is a really pretty combo. It almost has a sort of vintage 60s feel to it.

Wishing you a happy holiday and a New Year filled with great things!

~Kaitlin

Omg, tysm Kaitlin. Fantastic Beasts is my new graphic-making inspiration, I loved it so much. :loves:

Happy (belated) holidays to you too, and Happy New Year!


Edited by red herring, 01 January 2017 - 05:48 PM.

ronnie!

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The Tropic of Cancer  ♠  semi-available; pm first






#20 and peggy

and peggy

    mc pee pants

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 02:52 PM

hi ronnie! i'm here with your requested critique :happy: first off i just read that you're from NYC... :O omg me too! i'll probably pm you bc i always get v v excited to encounter another new yorker :')

 

since you wanted a sort of general & cleanout critique, i'm gonna go through each of the concerns you mentioned and give you some overall thoughts on cleanout & what my favorite graphics of yours are :)

 

 

variety/simplistic bases

 

when i look at your banners, at first glance the ones that stand out the most are this+, this+, and this+ and i think it is because the bases are the most versatile and bright. the stock use in "the ivy league" banner is fantastic and i think it's my favorite banner of yours. the colors in the second to last banner & the stock & colors in the last banner are also both fantastic.

 

i don't think that your bases are too simplistic at all. if anything, i think that some of the lighting detracts from the bases because it washes things out or hides parts of your base completely. for example here+, particularly on the right side, i can't see any of the subtle textures that you have on the left, and my eye really just sees to light spots and two dark spots, rather than any details. similarly, in the funny face & an education sigs, the stock-based bases are really great, but then you have shadows that obscure them at the bottom of both graphics, which makes them look a little flat, when really there should be a great deal of depth because of how well you've coordinated the stock use.

 

filtering

 

to me, where this is most noticeably an issue is that some of the lighting on your graphics starts to look really blotchy, rather than adding accents & contrast in your graphics. this is very noticeable on the "blue dream" and "newt scamander" banners. you can also see it on the "ivy league" banner on the bottom left and the top right. i love using lighting textures but i think that it's important to remember to erase coloring layers off of them if they become too bright and to also watch out for what they start to look like after you filter them. you can see that the most on the newt scamander one, the way there are sort of blobs of purply-white surrounded by greenish, which will happen to me a lot when i use topaz clean and/or detail on graphics where there are already huge white patches.

 

you can also see it a bit here+, and i think it stands out mostly because you also have the huge black spots, specifically in the bottom two corners. i think getting rid of the extreme whites and the extreme blacks here would be the best way to alleviate this issue, because it detracts from an otherwise awesome comp. the coloring on the breakfast at tiffany's and "melancholy hill" sigs, however, is very even. there are no splotches anywhere, and the lighting is subtle and really adds to the strength of your coloring. in this+ ci, i think the lighting almost works, it's just a little heavy on the top left. other than that, i think since this graphic is highly contrasted, it works with the coloring and composition of it.

 

other

 

this is pretty nitpicky, but i do see some graphics where image quality is detracting from the piece as a whole, even if it's just slightly. i'm 99% sure based on your graphics that you have topaz :P or at least topaz clean. it's a finicky beast, as we all know. here+ the model looks really smooth and clean; the filtering is excellent! however in your fantastic beasts blend, for example, you can see a little bit of graininess/pixelly-ness on newt & tina, mostly on their necks. i'm assuming this came out during the coloring process. what i usually do towards the end is to add a copy+merge layer on gaussian blur (super low value for the gaussian blur, usually less than 1) and set it to soft light & lower the opacity, or even keep it on normal but put it to 5-10% opacity at the highest. this'll sort of smooth things out a bit. then i always make sure to, as my very last step in filtering, use the sharpen tool over eyes & lips. for example, in your newt scamander banner, that might be a good thing to do over his face, and i would even do it on the two smaller models in the banner right above that one. the topaz is a little much in the "melancholy hill" sig, but i'd just lower it a tiny bit. i think it's all about finding a good balance between the smoothness of topaz and keeping things look semi-realistic and not turning people inadvertently into cartoons -- which you're not doing at all :P but that's the opposite end of the spectrum. finding a balance with filtering is super hard and i've noticed your filtering get a lot more natural looking recently! :)

 

a tiny bit on text: the only thing i'd suggest about that is to not let your experimentation get in the way of legibility. that's not a huge issue but for example here+ the text almost matches the graphic too well, and the word "try" is difficult to make out at first glance. i also think the shadows & outlines you have going on "blue dream" in your first banner make it look sort of out of place. but otherwise i think your experimentation is awesome!

 

in terms of clean out, i think you can get rid of banners 1, 3, and 4, sig #2, and for CI's i'd say just make more :P also make more icons! i haven't said anything about your icons because i really like them; they make a great set :) i think you could definitely make another blend, too. your fanmix is super awesome! i think your fanmix and your second banner are my favorite pieces in your gallery :)

 

i hope that was helpful and not too harsh and/or confusing! please let me know if you have questions about anything or i was unclear. your gallery is great and i think you just need to work on a few things in terms of balancing lighting & filtering. other than that, i think you show a lot of versatility while still having a really distinct style. your composition and text are really strong. you have all the skills! keep making more pretties! :D


Edited by nyx, 16 January 2017 - 02:56 PM.

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