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December 21st, 2012 (11:00 AM). Edited December 21st, 2012 by derozio.
s c a r l e t
Join Date: May 2009
Well, first off, I'd like to say the first three icons are very well done. I really like the colors in them. Especially the first and the third one. Mickey's is..well, a little underwhelming compared to the other two, imo. Mainly due to positioning and maybe due to unavailability of interesting shades of colors like the ones in the other two. Anyway, yeah, good job on those.
^ has some problems, though. You probably went for a gradient map for this one. But I think you went a little overboard. The image has some really dark areas due to the excessive amounts of contrast which kinda ruins it, imo. I also feel that the face has been over-sharpened. The colors could do with some more work as well - it looks really dull right now.
one's done well, btw (although monotone). Other two are brought down by lack of focus. Second one's MUCH better than the last one - pretty much because for some time I couldn't even tell wtf was going on in the last one. :p But yeah, there's no focal in the second one and colors aren't as interesting as they could be. Saturation might help a bit but the problem largely exists in placement in this picture. I would've gone for their faces or their bodies individually. But trying to fit so many different characters in a small space like those in icons lead to overcrowding and lack of clearly defined focal. So yeah, best to steer clear of multiple entities in an icon, imo. :D The last one could've turned out much better if you hadn't gone for over-sharpening and over-saturation of colors. I think you've used a gradient map here as well. Try to limit their use a bit. Your icons should not end up looking overly-contrasted or saturated due to the gradient maps. I generally use them to even out the colors. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, when you use 'selective colors', sometimes saturating a specific color might lead to an imbalance in the colors. Think of an tag which mainly comprises of red, blue and yellow. Now if you saturate the red and leave blue as well as yellow as they are, the red will begin to contrast with the blue n yellow part of the tag too much leading to sloppy colors (using this for the lack of a better term :p). Gradient maps help balance colors to a certain degree and that's what I use them for. Oh, and do mess with the opacity as well as blending mode (I don't really know what this is called so I just use the term blending mode. :p It has all sorts of modes like "Lighten", "Soft Light", "Overlay", "Difference" etc.) of adjustment layers all the time. The results might surprise you! :D
As for the tags, I'll probably comment only on the last one for now. Let me start by saying this: THAT TAG IS FREAKIN AWESOME. It has some really good flow, the text is pretty darn good, effects really work in favour of the render and render itself is nicely placed. I just wished you had messed with the colors a bit more or had experimented a little more with some other effects. A little red wouldn't have hurt. Needn't even go for some different c4d - just a red variation of the one used here could've done the trick. Also, just a tip - the parts which need to be sharp are the focal and the foreground effects. Background effects are generally supposed to be blurry. If you try and apply this tip in your stuff, you'll probably be seeing tags with better depth. :]
Hope this is satisfactory for now! Will probably post my thoughts on axel and m2 tag later.
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