Changes After the April Vid Crit

  • SVS OG

    Lee surprised us with an epic video crit for last months contest and I am sooooo glad he did. I’m finally getting around to implementing the changes he suggested to make it better. The story in the image is that the chef lives in a bland world and his surprising new acquaintance is about to show him what he’s been missing before they get caught. I wanted the moment before to be the “getting caught” but now wonder if it should be the colors emerging from the chef’s special instead. I thought the color spreading through the room would strengthen that element but Lee didn’t mention it at all in his critique which I take to mean that the spreading effect either isn’t as strong or is at the wrong point of the process.

    As for the changes I cracked the door and adjusted the expression and eye direction of the little fella in the back to emphasize the man about to walk through the doorway and toned down that back tentacle so as to not draw attention too fast.

    @Lee-White does this version fit the moment before theme better?


  • @Jon-Anderson

    Can you show a before and after -to compare?

  • SVS OG

    @Heather-Boyd This is what I originally submitted.


    After coming back with fresh eyes I don’t think I pushed the crack in the door enough or maybe it’s too wonky. The lightning might be wrong, too. The cracked door doesn’t feel like it works after a break.

  • SVS OG


    For accountability sake here’s what I’ve done trying to focus on that door opening. I’m realizing why the door was the last focal point Lee mentioned in the crit. Perhaps the moment before focus should remain the elixir because it is the first read. Maybe I should come up with a way to spice that even more.

  • @Jon-Anderson Have you done any crops of it? I've done one as an example and lost the lobster in the sink to get closer to the story action. When I edit news photos I have a wide shot, then I'll do 3-4 crops of each image. To see if I need the whole picture or get stuck into the action quicker. A lot of the time my crops will sell more because the focus point is there right on a plate for a picture editor to notice.

    It depends whether you want the viewer to explore the whole frame and find Easter eggs or to notice something quickly.


  • SVS OG

    @sigross Thanks for the feedback! I did crop in a little early in the painting and then wondered if I should have gone in more. What you've done definitely brings the focus as I really did make it quit a busy room. I'll explore doing a heavy crop. It might just be what this piece needs.

  • @Jon-Anderson Glad I was of some assistance. Be good to see what you do.

  • SVS OG

    Calling it done and moving on. I realized, once again, the value of planning ahead and laying the foundation then building the illustration on that. I took the advice to heavy crop and focus on what’s actually happening. I hope the changes make it better. Now to move on and apply what I learned to the next one.


  • @Jon-Anderson from what I remember of Lee Whites critique on this piece, the main issue is that it’s too unclear what the story of this situation is, if they are about to get caught why does the octopus look happy and the young chef passive? Neither of them are alluding to the fact they should be there. The kid doesnt look like he’s worried about getting caught. Hes not trying to corral the octopus he’s not even looking at the door.


    If the octopus is supposed to be the main chef, what is the moment before?

    The message about what is about to happen when that stranger walks in is what’s unclear.

    Some solutions can be:
    Facial expression of the kid freaking out or pulling the octopus off the pot,

    A sign that says “no octopuses” or a picture of an octopus with a line going through it.

    The chef is asleep in the corner and the octopus is the one freaking out?

    It just looks like the person that’s about to walk in is gonna be upset that its messy, not at the octopus.

    I actually like that theres a lot going on, it gives off that feeling of chaos, but the expression of the young chef doesnt show concern about getting caught. I think if you made him look towards the door and gave him an expression of concern, it would be way more affective than forcing the focal point with cropping.

  • SVS OG

    @Aleksey Thanks for the input and you are totally correct! I should have planned that out and really focused in on that objective but the focus and story shifted so much during the process and the image suffered for it. Every single one of those things you listed are great clues and story telling elements that I need to learn and implement early in the design phase. I think with this piece I became more interested in seeing if I could design a messy room with characters in it than making a believable scene that gets people invested in the story.

  • @Jon-Anderson A filter that helps me is dont be subtle with your message. Exaggurate the body language and expressions. Which is why i love your messy kitchen and even the lobster. The execution of the concept is so fun, it’s the message/feeling/story that needs to be honed in on. Cause you only have 1 image to tell the story.

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