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rockhoppermedia 12-31-2010 02:10 PM

Pandora Deep

Background I was aiming for a rock structure I was inspired by gruyere cheese. In these holes are bioluminescant bacteria that is heavier than water so pools of light are created. The acid they produce erodes the rock, bit like modern day plaque.

The alien vessel is made of glass and rock and is opaque, it has been deformed by the crash, its shape is that of a stumpy glass dragonfly, the proboscis is a drill and it extracts minerals from the ground. In the centre of the vessel is a white cylinder this is pure unobtainium.

The vessel glows purple as that the bacteria previously mentioned has collected in the wreckage and has been in lifecycle for a long time,

The research habitat is a deployable modular habitat system design for deepwater living. The company is interested in how the alien extraction system works, they are also interested in aquiring the pure unobtainium.

There are natural predators not shown,

I always provide a clean matte as much as I can, I have put a volumetric light on this image so the the compositor can work from it.

Any questions on this matte are more than welcome,


wip and breakdown

rockhoppermedia 01-18-2011 11:44 AM

385 views and no comments, cant see why I bothered. I despair put so much effort and time into this whilst on Christmas vacation, should have just got drunk and hung out with my mates. This is one of the reasons why I am so close to throwing the bloody wacom out and selling my laptop.

Those of you viewing and going away and leaving no comments are so rude.

Everytime I post I get no feedback nada nothing.

Might not bother sharing my work with you in future.

Alex Jenyon 01-18-2011 01:46 PM

This is a pretty difficult piece to crit - it's basically abstract art. It's difficult to judge if it's a good matte or not, because it doesn't look real*. Any crits could easily be countered with 'but it's supposed to look like this'. It's a transparent alien spaceship, with glowing purple bacteria, surrounded by ice, so how can we judge if it would look like this or not? Under these circumstances, crits are reasonably unlikely, I'm sorry to say - no-one wants to look like a fool!

If you are looking to make some attractive images, then you have certainly accomplished this. If you are looking to add this to your matte painting portfolio, then it probably isn't so successful, since it is so nebulous. In terms of general level of replies - you've been around long enough to spot that (unfortunately) only two kinds of images get lots of replies here - the really, really good ones, and the really, really bad ones. Your work, falling somewhere in-between, tends to miss out - it's also posted in the 'Artist Showcase' section, which (for some reason I've never worked out) is specified by the mods as 'no crits'.


*By 'real', I mean that I don't see an underwater base next to an alien space-ship without reading your description. I see some interesting 3D shapes arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner, with lots of glowing lights. Kind of fractal-art desktop-background material. If this was an establishing shot for Avatar 2, I would need to be able to 'read' the scene correctly within less than a second - since the point of the shot is to tell us where we are. I also can't tell the scale, which is one of the most important things (and also one of the most difficult to sell, in a shot like this).


Alex Jenyon 01-18-2011 01:50 PM

I'm wondering if we should have a whole new forum - an 'enter at your own risk / brutal crits / tear the work to shreds' area.
It would take some guts to post there, certainly - but it might encourage people who feel reticent about posting comments to actually do so. There seems to be an unwritten rule that unless you can produce work to the level of the image posted, you aren't allowed to comment on it. It would be good if this could change, and a 'no-holds barred' forum might be the way to go. It perfectly possible to have an opinion on something even if you aren't able to do better yourself, after all.

It might also lead to lots of bad feeling, bruised egos and unnecessary trolling, but it is sometimes unclear if comments on 'final' paintings are welcomed by the artist or not, and this might help.

What do you think?

Matty 01-18-2011 01:57 PM

ahh alex i was in middle of writing a long comment.. but u said it right man :) for the matte i liked the colors alot but one problem: as a human you tend to see commonplaces as objects/trees, houses, streets, clouds, tables, chairs, etc The brain also constructs and stores these places. When you move out of that libary the human brain doesnt seem to gett anywhere. The problem for me as said above is that I really dont know what im looking at. I love art and I also like this picture just in a different way.

rockhoppermedia 01-18-2011 04:41 PM

Cheers guys been very down about this image, to me it made sense, however Alex and Matty have brought me round to where it has gone wrong.

I really appreciate the reply given, as it is a nightmare working on your own creating work, you need feedback to work effectively.

Been very down lately and the one thing I love is painting. Sometimes it is like being in the wilderness when creating and it is a lonely place.

Comments are more than welcome, good or bad, I can cope with and have the discipline to carry on.

Cheers Alex and Matty


DanteHR 01-25-2011 01:54 PM

I think there's a type of shot called 'ambiguous space', designed to disorent or maybe overwhelm the viewer, where you can't tell what is up or down, and this image does that for me. I was looking all around because there are maybe five focal points of equal intensity. If the there are fewer focal points and different intensities it's easier to understand. As Matty and Alex say, the image is still balanced so looks nice.

Alex Jenyon 01-26-2011 02:53 PM

"Ambiguous space" shots are pretty rare. The only real use for them that I can think of is to show disorientation when a character is drugged / knocked out, or in a surreal dream sequence. Neither of which is particularly common in film as a whole, and even fewer would require matte paintings.

Probably best to avoid doing them, since they could very well be confused with unsuccessful matte paintings, even if you did it on purpose.

DanteHR 01-26-2011 05:20 PM

I agree, very true

Looking forward to seeing your next painting Rich

halen 01-27-2011 02:09 AM

I agree with comments above. This one is hard to comment as a matte painting, since the setting is so special. Beautiful colors, shapes, surfaces, and there are a lot of details to study - but getting a quick grip of it is a bit challenging.

If you don't mind couple of comments anyway: As mentioned - everything can be as they are since the subject allows it, but you could also try to define the thickness of water somehow (maybe some floating stuff or image disorder by water at the composition) and maybe turn down the glow of red lights and green spotlights and try instead to define them with the effect they make to the environment. For example red lights could reveal and reflect some parts of the surfaces they are fixed to and also green lights could hit something too etc. But again - the water could make the glow like that.

And even that above could be considered as critique which is not allowed here. So as a general subject I completely agree with Alex that we need also place to give critique. Current arrangement is somewhat weird that even the finished work should be posted to the WIP side first to get some critique. I'd love to have brutal crits if posting something someday. :-) For me there is still a difference between being an idiot and giving feedback or constructive - even brutal - crtitique.

edit: and I'm also looking forward for the next piece. Like the way you make the process transparent Rich. Just keep posting.

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