Perhaps I'll make a series out of it one day - for now, I'm happy I finally 'finished' this beast. I hope you like it!
Here's a process animation:
Thanks a lot to:
Sunrise_05_wolfworx_Imk77328 by wolfworx | Dragon Guard Sword - Hilt 1 by okbrightstar-stock | 4 more old indian arrows by Archangelical-Stock | Explosion 3 by Gamekiller48 | Injured Hand Stock1 and Wound Stock by AlysAlone | Ornaments purchased from photobash.org | fire textures from textures.com | snakes: www.flickr.com/photos/19731486…
+ some tiny part rendered in Daz3D (can you guess?)
© Erik Schumacher
This is no stock image, so don't use, copy or manipulate the original artwork without my written permission.
I had to look up his critique again because I couldn't remember it - yes they brought up a few really good points indeed, particularly with respect to the fire and the sword which I didn't see back then. To be honest I don't think I'll touch this work anytime soon unless it's starts to really bother me. It often takes several hours to update an old piece so I'd rather use the time to create something entirely new. Every once in a while I do like to pick an old work for a complete overhaul. I don't think it's that time for this one yet though.
Hi Erik, since you ask critical to your work I decided to add mine (though not usually do this review as technical as you do); so let's get to it:
1º- first of all let me say that I fully understand how complex it can be any photomanipulation by simple it may seem. I also wish to thank you uploaded the work process, as this facilitates understanding and analysis of the steps you followed to do the work.
2º- the work is more like a digital illustration to a photograph. This in due to the high intensity of the colors in general and high contrast. This has nothing wrong, but personally I prefer a photofinishing for photomanipulation. In this case the overall balance between photography and illustration is quite achieved, but can be improved with minor tweaks.
3º- of the two flames back of the character, which is more to the fund should be more blur (only a little more than blur the flames of the sword), would be better. The deepest parts must follow a blur order regarding the nearest parts that are more focused.
4º- flames head should illuminate equally both shoulders of the character; or at least add some more light to his left shoulder with an orange glow, and also to the top of his right ear.
5º- the left hand (holding the sword) clearly shows that is taken from a character in 3d modeling. You should soften a little the contours of the hand (like the contour of the face looks), would be better.
6º- the tone and color of the forearm holding the sword are good; but the shadows (the outer parts of the forearm and hand) are too dark (the black color). These parties would have to be just darker than the darkest parts of the right arm (change the black by a dark brown, forearm and fist), it would look better.
7º- eventhough the tone and color of the forearm holding the sword well, misses some veins to give more shape and volume, as it looks a little flat. You can add a layer with another forearm veins and try some 'blending option' layer with Photoshop; would be better.
8º- luckily not ask opinion in a forum swords, because fans forged swords that handle would be a sacrilege! The handle with respect to the blade of the sword is bent downward; and also the counterweight of the sword (the bulk motif end of the handle) does not match the correct position of the hawks (the 'blades' emerging from the sides of the sword).
Surely the 3d model that sword you have chosen is wrong done (unless you've manipulated you); in any case this is not good. I have let you chose the first sword: both the sword and the position of the hand and arm rest shadow had better left to the eye (hence the importance of raising the process for analysis).
There are some small things that could add in my review, but are imperceptible to the naked eye and I said the highlight.
I repeat! I fully understand how complex it can be photomanipulation for many technical reasons (lights, shadows, shades, colors, layers, filters, effects, etc ...), and Photoshop is a very powerful tool with great potential, but also that take into account the laws of physics (general and focused lighting, light reflections, etc ...) and other laws to "create" or retouch images, and they are well balanced conjugate.
I spite of all this, I think you've done a good job (I like!), And the whole is pretty well finished: congratulations, good job!
Thanks again for taking the time, I really appreciate it!
Listen, I'll give you good advice that I have learned over time for a good artistic photomanipulation:
1- build the puzzle with different pieces of photomanipulation (ok, that's easy).
2- Make sure the lighting of all the pieces are as similar as possible (create highlights or shadows own is very complex and difficult; to make them, must be a good painter and / or have other good knowledge).
3- when you're sure the final set is what finally want to do, be sure that the whole is balanced and harmonious sight. Then equalizes the tones and colors of all the parts; and only after this, you can start applying shadows and / or highlights (if needed, of course).
4- perhaps most important (what I was telling you the details): when you think you've finished your work, rest your eyes and your work for 1 or 2 days (or as long as you feel is necessary: remember, Da Vinci took 20 years to finish a masterpiece); after that time, again look at your work as a whole to ensure that it is balanced and harmonious. And only after that, looking with magnifying small imperfections that may be in each and every one of the parties to retouch them very carefully (the smallest detail out of place or bad finish can spoil all the work).
And ready ... okay, okay! the truth is that it is far more complex than this and I've left some things from the whole process (highlights and shadows with filters, various effects, layer properties, etc ...); but you already have a good handling of Photoshop, and are things you have to perfect your only to strengthen your own artistic style.
And if you want me to do another review of one of your work, send me the link of your formal request for criticism in DA.
P.S: to see some examples of this visit my gallery / eroticmetamorphosis folder; or look at my photomanipulation folder.
"Magic" is such a big name though, I hope they are not so careless...