Book 5 - Prologue 21

What would Mary Sue do?

Book 5 - Prologue 21
Comic - Book 5 - Page 21

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I'm so happy to see another update :D

The writing, as always, is exquisite; Erfworld does to my brain what drawing myself a bath and having a good soak does to the body.

As for the artwork (which I'm assuming critique is still being requested?), I do agree with previous posts that the hedges were confusing, and I really didn't know what I was looking at. I'm also having trouble seeing the sword because it's completely black and in front of the very dark green hedges. For the Paige model, the lines don't seem to be as bad in this update compared to the previous one, though it still looks a bit unnatural. For instance, the curve of her left side and the shading near it makes her backside look like an oval, it just doesn't seem to match proportion wise. It doesn't help that her nightgown seems to be skin tight around her knees, so it exaggerates the roundness back there. Maybe if her gown had been made a bit more loose at the bottom, it wouldn't have looked so bad.

On the positive side though, can I say that I really like how the bottom of the tower looks?! That water paint type look reminds me of the backgrounds from Okami (see the youtube link in my signature if you haven't seen it before).

All in all, though, I understand you all are working hard trying to make it so the continued making of Erfworld remains doable; so thank you, Team Erfworld, for working so hard, and I hope you figure out how to make everything work better so people don't get burned out.
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.
I'm pulling for y'all, but you've already got a lot of cheerleading go-get-'em-tiger comments, so I'm gonna skip that stuff and just be blunt.

The writing seems to be spinning its wheels. It comes across to me as more meta-commentary about writer's block than plot advancement. Hardly surprising, considering how much attention the various Bad Things are demanding from Rob.

As for the art... woof. It's real bad. Like, below the level of stuff motels and fast-food chains buy in bulk to take up wall space. As it currently stands, it's sort of passable as bland-but-unnecessary illustration of the text, but it's a long, long way from being able to call itself a comic, and million light-years from the visual inventiveness of previous books.

I know the 3D modelling project is too far underway for there to be much point in some rando commenter with few comments and no badges expressing reservations about it, but I just can't conceive of it ever being worth the investment. Even if it achieves all its lofty goals, I still don't see how it could ever match the panel-to-panel creativity of, say, the hand-drawn Thinkspace scenes.

Like I said, I want the best for you guys (especially, obviously, Linda and whomever is on the receiving end of whatever Bad Thing II might be), and I'm sorry I don't have anything more upbeat to contribute.
I'm sorry for more downer feedback, but it seems necessary. I also cannot see this art style ever getting to a point where it is worth the time spent making it.
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.
Carl wrote:
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.


It sounds like what they should be doing a proof of concept then instead of whatever the heck this is (as has been suggested in this thread). Take one of the Book 1 areas (Like GK) and recreate some of the pages using the 3d art. That'd be the easiest way for us to provide feedback as we could do a comparison between new and old. Since Erfworld relies so heavily on signamancy, and one of the driving forces behind this whole thing was lengthy reader discussions around minor flaws in the comic. Not take those minor flaws and magnify them by a massive change to the art style (e.g. does Paige looking blurry/indistinct mean something, or is it just 'low quality' art).

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the art team is not doing their best. We are just suggesting that this is a very difficult task, and maybe a new approach is needed.
Carl wrote:
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.


Sorry, no, the lining of her face made her look like less of a background element, but she still didn't look like a person. She looks like a badly made statue of a person at best.

The front view really exposes the problems, especially in the eyes. They're lifeless. Given what Erfworlder eyes look like, this might seem tricky, but the previous art has always given a soul to the character's eyes. These have none.

It's not just the eyes, though. Her hair looks like a solid piece with vague texturing that looks more like rock than hair. Her clothes have a similar appearance. I really, really hope they can make some improvements on this. If not, well... I'd say abandon the 3D. And don't fall for the sunken cost fallacy... some things just weren't a good idea to begin with, no matter how good they seemed to look on paper (or on the computer). I wouldn't say give it up just yet, but I would definitely be leaning that direction if I were Rob.

(I could still be okay with the 3D with some minor improvements for the backgrounds. Those aren't nearly as critical as the characters.)
Axiom wrote:
If the impressionistic style is something you're doing as a theme for Paige updates, then great. You're nailing it.


And frankly, I'm into it! If that's the direction you're heading for, then take it further. Give me pastels, give me pointilism. This isn't bad, it's just different from the standard most folks are used to. The hedge sure looks like a hedge to me, it just feels weird that Paige is placed where she is; this panel looks like she's out of bounds, coming from the side when there might be a more apparent approach (though that's really more of a story choice than an art one). And the soft lighting and colors are a fantastic balance to all the line work and perfect for the general sense of a lonely tropical-ish island. I also like the font used for the writing!
Swiftbow wrote:
Carl wrote:
-D- wrote:
At the cost of being banned for being negative, the Emperor has no clothes. I mean, the art is abysmal.

I'm not sure what others are looking at, but that art is crude at best. Proportions are off, there are no outlines, the style is just non-existent. This feels like someone's first Blender 3D project because it most likely is.

Making serious 2D looking graphics from 3D is a super hard and expensive craft, just ask people that made Guilty Gear Xrd. Here is a serious link about how to achieve such effects.

You'll note it took several talented 2D/3D animators several years working on a game, that reuses a boatload of its background.

At this point, I'd rather prefer Text updates with no images to whatever this is.


No offence but as someone who has been in that first time position, (albeit in another program), this is faaaar above that. For that matter look at my example from stanley's desk up thead, that still looks far in advance of the most recent page. And if you go to the reward unit models they look genuinely quite good, for that matter the typewriter from a few pages ago got lots of praise and some simple lining of paige's face in the previous update by a forum user made the art look remarkably good. The reality is they ARE most of the way to producing art similar to the existing style via this method, what they're really trying to figure out is exactly how to texture some surfaces and what kind of filtering to apply to produce a natural look.

It's giving them trouble, which is not surprising. But it's a long, long, long, long way from first blender project levels.


Sorry, no, the lining of her face made her look like less of a background element, but she still didn't look like a person. She looks like a badly made statue of a person at best.

The front view really exposes the problems, especially in the eyes. They're lifeless. Given what Erfworlder eyes look like, this might seem tricky, but the previous art has always given a soul to the character's eyes. These have none.

It's not just the eyes, though. Her hair looks like a solid piece with vague texturing that looks more like rock than hair. Her clothes have a similar appearance. I really, really hope they can make some improvements on this. If not, well... I'd say abandon the 3D. And don't fall for the sunken cost fallacy... some things just weren't a good idea to begin with, no matter how good they seemed to look on paper (or on the computer). I wouldn't say give it up just yet, but I would definitely be leaning that direction if I were Rob.

(I could still be okay with the 3D with some minor improvements for the backgrounds. Those aren't nearly as critical as the characters.)


According to prior posts they're using the same basic process, (for that matter they have a common starting models for human and human like units), for creating the raw textured models for every character. Compare Paige to the unit your badge says you have. Paige's current overall model doubtless looks very similar in style and quality to that one. Her mushiness and other issues are almost certainly a result of the filtering they're apply to the 2D image and/or textures in an attempt to take away that underlying 3D CGI look everything has in their prior examples.

Don't mistake the efects of filtering for the underlying bits and pieces.
I'm so happy to see update.