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November 23, 2012
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The Cataract by SamODJ The Cataract by SamODJ
Feels good to stretch the legs a bit and finally devote some time to the celestial again. I'm in talks to work on a 2 month long space related project, so figured now was a good time to see what I could accomplish after all this time.

This is actually developed from a speedpaint I did some time ago ([link]) - seemed like a decent jumping off point. I enjoyed how violent the nebula was looking in that speedwork and wanted to further push the notion of conflicting, volatile gases colliding in space. Turned out tamer than I had it midway through the process, but I think I'll revisit the concept somewhere down the line - see how stormy we can make these nebulae.

I played around with some of the lovely brushes by :iconglennclovis: which I highly recommend - at the very least they show what can be achieved when time is invested in constructing a good set of brushes (something I will now attempt to do myself). I was also lazy and made use of one of :iconhameed:'s fantastic starfield resources.
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:iconv4nssi:
v4nssi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student General Artist
This is crazy stuff! Great perspective and the colors are really beautiful!
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:iconsamodj:
SamODJ Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good to hear you like the piece!
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:iconcosmicbound:
cosmicbound Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
Correction: [...] where darkness seems "white-washed" and likewise for the colours [...]
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:iconcosmicbound:
cosmicbound Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I'm glad you revisited the speed painting. Quite a difference, too (I can still see lightning bolts though!). However I do have ambiguous feelings about this piece. I'll begin with the negatives. There seem to be sections of the image like the bottom left and the top-most left where darkness seems " " and likewise for the colours, giving the picture a flat, dull appearance, as well as the appearance of off-colour hues. In other parts of the image however there is over-saturation, top middle-to-left in particular. Another problem is that I feel the details are under-sold. This is mainly due to the aforementioned white-washing. I think some selective use of contrast could transform this piece for the better, while maintaining the nice form and light gradient of the piece which tends the eye from around the apparently largest planet to the sun.

Onto the positive then. I've already mentioned the general use of light working well with the form (especially of the nebulae) to direct the eye in the composition of this piece. The elegant forms of the nebulae are particularly what works here, so use of light could further add to this effect. The planets, by the way, are lovely. Their double-lit sides add to the flow of the nebulae, maintaining the movement of the eye towards the sun. It's also just nice to look at. The way you've made the sun appear like a celestial body -- not a daub of mere light -- is also ingenious. Quite effective. You could justify some of the white-washing by explaining that the viewer is seeing through a special lens to enable them to see the sun so clearly in its form. I would still add some more contrasts though. I also don't mind the over-exposure of some of the clouds near the sun, but nevertheless I think it would look better if you placed detail within those highly exposed parts. The star-field of course is fine but your laziness shows up -- a unique star-field would surely complement the entire piece!

Anyway, glad to see new work from you, I would eagerly await new pieces from you.
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:iconsamodj:
SamODJ Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I know what you are referring to: there is a lot of, well, grey in the shadowed areas which is what is giving it that white-washed appearance. I was tempted to up the contrast but ultimately wanted to keep the use of absolute white/black minimal, the idea to show an great expanse of gases that extend further and further out of the reach of the brightest light. It was a gamble though and, as you picked up on, can come across as dull.

Also, thought i'd removed all the lightning bolts but looks like one or two snuck back in, cheeky little monkeys. ;)
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:iconcosmicbound:
cosmicbound Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Lightning bolts tend to be irresistible, don't worry.
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:iconwuestenbrand:
wuestenbrand Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great Work .. :D ..
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:iconsamodj:
SamODJ Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
;) Thanks.
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:iconromscuderia:
romscuderia Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
Wow this is awesome!
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:iconsamodj:
SamODJ Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks man ;)
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