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synax444's avatar

Abyss Of Sadness

Whew. This is forsure my most worked on nebulae piece. Yeh yeh I know its just that, but thats all I wanted, a realistic scene with just nebulae. Its about 90% hand painted and 10% fractal.

Standard PS brushes and my OWN fractals rendered in Apophysis.

I made a few wallies too.


Cheers :) Hope you like it.

:bulletorange: My artwork is not stock and it is not to be re-uploaded, edited, or used anywhere in any way without my permission. Please respect that, thank you!
© 2009 - 2021 synax444
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This is amazing

tinanewtonart's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

<img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":omg:" title="OMG" />Oh My Gosh,<img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":omg:" title="OMG" /> I almost thought this was a picture from the Hubble space telescope and once I read the description I realized it is actually a painting /fractual. I decided it was worth a critique. <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" title=":D (Big Grin)" /> which is the reason why I am writing this. I love the reds and the impact of the colors. The stars look real, and it feels like it could be a backdrop to my favorite scifi space shows like Doctor Who, Star Trek or Stargate... Some mystical place in the far reaches of the universe waiting to be discovered. I <img src="…" width="26" height="17" alt=":love:" title="Love" /> it so much that I am <img src="…" width="15" height="16" alt=":+fav:" title="+fav" /> it now!
synax444's avatar
Hey sorry for the late reply, but I just wanted to thank you so much for the critique! :hug:
tinanewtonart's avatar
no problem, it shocked the hell out of me that it's a painting... but I :love: it :tighthug:
cosmicbound's avatar
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Impact

On first impression, this reminds one of just how close to being painterly you've made fractals in the past – I can almost see fractals here and there. Except there is a difference. These fractals are smooth and detailed, and yet strikingly appealing; natural. As if, aesthetically, there is a true difference – the artificiality of abstract fractals and the naturality of fully implemented fractals. You can see then how this excels further than even your previously impressive fractal-built nebulae: beforehand, you had the fusion and synthesis of abstracted fractals with a natural implementation. Here you have moved from a synthesis between artificial and natural, by purely painting the fractal-forms, hence making it entirely natural aesthetically, being expressed with far less rigidity and, it would seem, mirroring nature far more effectively in its immediate appearances. That said, you have used some rendered, abstracted fractals, and yet because of the rest of the work being painted and having the patterns of a fractal imbedded in it, the artificial fractals have also been entirely naturalised, solubilised. That is surely a good thing here and again is consistent with an aesthetic of a natural appearance. It goes then that piece does successfully accomplish what was endeavoured – namely, to paint a realistic nebulae.

But then the eyes move forward from the mere patterns, however natural and striking they be, to the subtle details, the beautiful reflections, and so on – there is an inscrutable form behind all those enumerable properties, and any good piece of artwork will evoke this sense. It can be explained as inspiring the imagination to partake in what the scene represents. In this case, one is drawn into the great celestial abysses of the cosmos, in their infinite forms. One can build up the entire structure of this nebulae within their mind, precisely because you have communicated such subtleties within the nebulae – the light flickering upon the gas from the great stellar fires, the splendid effervescence of the fluid, flowing clouds of gas which make up the backdrop. Static structures arise from great seas. This is the vision this piece is able to produce given proper attention. That I applaud.

Nevertheless, there are always finesses to improve upon, and which are worth mentioning. The starfield does give a bit of a sense of being two-layered, or rather, that there are only two planes of them in the picture. The finer starfield is quite fine and varied enough, though some changes in the colour they emit would help realism furthermore (one need not change them too drastically, however). Some dimming and brightening of the larger stars, however, could help remove the sense of uniformity which they have, as this uniformity gives them a bit of a flatness which is actually undeserving of them. Further changing the contrast of some and others, again affecting their emitted colours, and their glare effects, would help. On the glare effects, the ones that currently have them are, again, a bit too uniform. They all seem to have the same ratio of length to the star, to each other, and the ones chosen seem a bit arbitrary, although understandable that one would not wish to cover the piece with them. The largest glare to the left is also a bit faulty – it can be seen covering the star, as it is a bit brighter than the star – it would be better if the glare was of the same brightness as the star (the star's brightness could also be brought up to the glare's).

The nebulae, as mentioned before, is magnificent. All the subtle details and reflections, as well as the tones, are wonderful. That said a harshness in contrast in a few places seem a bit inconsistent with the piece. This is actually the nebulae below the apparently uppermost one with a glare effect, with a slight bit of abrasive texturing on it. Some very slight smoothing and reflecting of stars on this part of the nebulae might help make it less flat – although it is important to note that most of it is actually fine, especially the edges, so it is actually just the more central or innermost parts which could be modified to good effect in that respect.

Compositionally the piece is great, and I would not suggest any further modifications there. Although the scene is very appealing to the imagination and not too many space artists at the moment are making nebulae of such a realistic nature, I cannot really give more points for originality, as this should be a fairly obvious celestial theme. That said, I have noticed that your style is very original, and you have again improved with some unique twists in quality, and hence I can give points of originality to that, along with scoring your technique fairly highly, for although there are the aforementioned shortcomings, the first two paragraphs of this critique make emphatic how successful, on the whole, that you were in evoking a great scene.

Overall, then, a very solid and fairly inspiring piece. You have successfully approached making a realistic stellar scene, with an impressive sense of detail and motion particularly in the nebulae. Your style and skill continues to improve and develop, which is a very nice thing to see. Good work – I can certainly look forward to your future works, granting how far you have improved in such a short time.
Bozack's avatar
Very impressive (and long :noes:) critique :) I enjoyed reading it :)
cosmicbound's avatar
I'm glad you did. :)
parallellogic's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

<img src="…" width="18" height="20" alt=":plotting:" title="Hmm. Evil plotting in progress." /> At first glance, I'm not particularly pulled in by anything in particular, probably because I'm used to planets in space art which immediately draw the eye.

Reviewing your description, I think you've done an extraordinary job of capturing a realistic scene. The darker area on the right definitely reminds me of several Nasa deep-space shots.

Upon further inspection, I'm picking up on three distinct layers: the foreground clouds, mid-ground fuzzy stars, and a background of point stars. I've never tried my hand at space art such as this, so I'm not sure what procedure you are using to generate this, but if you are placing these by hand, it feels like the majority of stars that are drawing your attention are about the same size. At the bottom right of the image there are four stars in an arc and I see most of the stars as about that size or slightly smaller -- as though there isn't a full shift in size down to the ones in the background.

I think I see what you were trying for, and that was to make a lot of fuzzy stars which really brighten the scene to make it twinkle (and they certainly do), but I feel it draws away from the realism a bit since it separates the mid-ground from the background.

If you really wanted to go that extra level of detail, I would suggest using the same method for placing the mid-ground stars as you do with the background stars. I presume you probably wouldn't want to do that because of the exorbitant amount of work involved trying to place ever shrinking stars in ever growing numbers for a shrinking visual effect. I don't really know of a more efficient way since I'm not really sure what your method for generating these images is, but I would almost suggest writing a program to generate a place smaller and smaller stars on the canvas and to group them in areas that you want to draw attention to.

Stars aside, I feel your ore-ground clouds are excellent. You mention that 10% of this piece is fractal generated, and since there are numerous stars, I presume the clouds in part fractals? The dark cloud on the right certainly seems spot on and I'm almost wondering if it is a stock image, it reminds me faintly of oil dissipating in water...

I think in this particular application, the white cloud on the left looks rather good because it does wash out the stars to a fair degree. Considering the imperfection of nature, I rather like this cloud since it makes you focus on other parts of an image much like you would looking at a real rendering of the night sky where some portions shine brighter than others. I particularly like the right edge of the bright spot on the white cloud -- the group of stars with a violet background contrast with the stars around that area that have a purple background -- the light appears to the viewer as an unpredictable mix of natural colors.

I think I almost like the cloud on the left better than the darker one on the right. The white cloud washes out the color of the stars behind it like it would be expected to, but the black cloud does not. I recognize the stunning effect stars shining through a black cloud can have, but I feel this effect has been over-done here. I see that the mid-ground stars do not appear in this area, and the ones immediately surrounding it are not as fuzzy, but the background stars continue unabated which distracts from the general objective of the setting I feel. The background stars that appear equally as bright in the dark cloud as they do surrounding it make the black cloud as a whole just look semi-transparent rather than as a mix of chemicals with varying densities that alternatively block out more or less stars in different areas.

Because the dark cloud no longer feels like it completely blocks out the stars, the effective contract between the dark cloud and the shiny star in the middle of the dark cloud's curl is diminished. The star isn't so much shining past an opening in a cape as it is peeking around a thin curtain.

Looking at the dark cloud for a while makes me recall the scene from WallE when the Axiom is seen for the first time, the purple/violet clouds are quite thick in that scene as I recall and might provide some insight as to what I am referring to with thicker/thinner space cloud formation...

Looking at =JoeJesus's comment, the more procedural elements are beyond me, but I do agree to a limited extent that the mid-ground cloud are a little numerous. I don't really know how they would typically amass in nature, but at first glance I feel like they are too evenly spread out, as if there are too many stars between the clusters.

All-in-all this is a very nicely composed piece, I would suggest working a bit more between the layers -- trying to place stars and then to alter the clouds layer (like with the liquify or smudge tool) to make the two layers interact more -- as if the stars are bending the light of the clouds rather than the clouds simply letting the light thought evenly which makes them feel more transparent than melded with the scene.
JoeyJazz's avatar
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

First of all I must say I'm glad that I can see some hand made nebulae (or at least non-fractal) that looks real. Yeah, some small fractals here and there but all in all I'm finally getting natural feel of this baby.
Colors are nice even when red is not my favourite (but who knows, maybe I'll make something similar much later).
Structure of the nebula is clean and understandable and that is a BIG +. Background structures mostly support the main "pillar" in the centre of the image. Maybe a less bright left side would support the overal composition - now I tend to look there instead on the pillar.
The pillar (or the most obvious middle part of the nebula) could use more volume. It's nicely detailed but lacks depth. It's simple - just add some shades where it is lighted and vice versa. But it's just a minor problem.
Bigger problem is with starfield that flattens the whole image much more. And it's not a difficult task to achieve either - there is just too many bigger stars - I know that people (even myself) tend to overcrowd it with all the beautiful shiny lenses that just look so cool but this move usually flattens the whole scene in not-so-cool way.
In overal - a good piece with nice detailing and some unnecessary flaws. (and less fractals then usually <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=":D" title=":D (Big Grin)" /> )
synax444's avatar
Exactly what I was looking for, the depth troubled me so much using this technique, hail JoeJesus! Thanks man!
AudaciousF0X's avatar
Looks pretty tho. :)
AudaciousF0X's avatar
But why is it the Abyss of Sadness? Pink is representative of happiness!
TrueTaurean's avatar
quasihedron's avatar
I love the fluidity and the rich red wine colors! :love::iconflyingheartsplz:
Well done! :D
kpkarynp's avatar
This is so pretty. :w00t:
kpkarynp's avatar
These are so neat and pretty.
Coreycupcake's avatar
Love this! Well done.
TheSPunk3d's avatar
THIS NEEDS A DD! Every time I look at it my brain just explodes!
TheSPunk3d's avatar
You're on a whole other level man! Truly inspiring!!!
Purinku's avatar
Wow! It looks like a photograph taken straight from the hubble space telescope! o.o
Lunelva's avatar
i love the colors you used in this, it looks so real! :]
ribbaribbahey's avatar
This is everything but sad. ^^
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