Remedy '99 Graphics Review
Written by Wade
Once again, in a blast of banality, we are granted a small party to distract from our twiddling fingers. One can rarely expect a great deal from these insignificant time fillers, other than a few signs of life from the shameless leagues of our scene.
I decided to give selected members of these divisions their chance in the spotlight, in the form of a graphics review; if not to promote their career, to at least acknowlege their existence.
With graphics taking a suicidal plummet in terms of quality, the expectations are justifiably low. Nevertheless, I took an optimistic glance through the top five pictures competing at the Remedy '99, my mind open to surprise.
Eh Grilla! by Red - 5th Place
A picture displaying a round pink circle on a bright orange backdrop. Above this thickly outlined circle is the caption "eeh.. Grilla! Det e gott med Flask" which translates approximately as "Eh Grill! I like Meat," leading me to believe that the tatty circle is intended to represent a cut of meat. When one encounters witless trash such as this in their archive, downloaded at their expense, it can be quite infuriating. It's pathetic images like these (over 300k in size) which deter sceners from downloading graphic entries from competitions. Such scribbles make a mockery of the genuine efforts and often receive high positions based on votes of friendship and ignorance. Those participants responsible, should find a more suitable hobby like painting by numbers or dot to dot puzzles instead of trying to demean the goals of ardent sceners.
Deathscope by Mindscope - 4th Place
Here we have a picture resembling illustrations found on old record sleeves from low budget rock groups. It depicts a skeleton in a baggy brown outfit with a lighting bolt clutched in his hand. On the plus side, the colours are benign and the textures are smooth. However, the image falls well short of the average mark, with awful proportion and little in the way of composition. The subject itself looks very flat, with minimum shadows and highlights; the only source of light to be found emenates from the long lightening streak, which at a guess was created via a software generated filter. The bolt itself casts a nice glow (a positive vote puller) over the page, yet no effort has been made to combine it with the main subject and was most likely a last resort to spice up an otherwise bland image. Though the motif is void of naked women, it in no way expresses originality, but represents the artist as an amateur in his field. Dazzled by rendering features, Mindscope has overlooked the basic elements of graphics, relying on the software to create the most difficult aspects of his work.
Raven Angel by Los - 3rd Place
A very simplistic image, depicting cartoon-like motifs and minimal detail. There is style within, but a style which is neither impressive nor entirely original. An ill proportioned woman with glowing eyes stands to the right of the screen reaching towards the centre, where she touches a glowing spark and an oncoming raven. The background is made up of a standard vertical gradient of pale blue, stretched towards an ocean from which jumps three glassy dolphins. First impressions reveal little more than a semi-talented artist at work, showing signs of promise, yet aspects of inexperience. The subject matter is most likely a mental creation, marred by its proportion and unnatural colour which could have been overcome by taking reference. Without success, the motif mixes elements of fantasy art with comic book illustration, flawed by a definite flatness. With an overwhelming paleness, the picture also lacks vibrance and colour, and fails in creating any sense of mood. For an image nearly 200k in jpeg format, using 24 bit colour and high resolution it falls well below the level of expectation.
I Want U by Flood - 2nd Place (and title picture of this Hugi issue)
Flood has taken advantage of technological progression, using the latest software and equipment to take his work to another step. 'I Want You' should serve as an aspiration to all 24 bit artists, displaying expected aspects of evolution. What confronts us when viewing this picture is a screen overflowing with detail and a vibrant explosion of tints and shadows. The motif is a female with shiny blue complexion. Her hair is strewn dramatically about the screen as the face and body glows vividly. The outskirts of the image shows a rather unique form of dithering; translucent, horizontal lines growing more distinct towards the outer rim of the picture. This works very effectively in concealing jagged edges and drawing focus to the center of the page. The design and colour work well together, implying a sharp, clean outlook with subtle texture and powerful depth. The details are conducted with high resolution playing a neccessary role in their creation. In places, strands of hair flail independantly, produced in a highly distict manner and are somewhat aided by the afforementioned dithering lines. Not unlike Radix's 1st place entry, I Want U relies on its glowing highlights to imply detail, and also to overcome the dull plastic-look gradients found in many images of this nature. On the whole, there is little to nothing deserving criticism. Whether a scanner has been neccessary in its creation seems irrelevant in today's superficial era of graphics, but Flood has created a commercially viable image with touches of originality.
Radix Syrra ar lacker by Java - 1st Place
A rather pleasant piece of work, one that feels nice against the eye and contains a pleasing tactile front. Radix has created a portrait of an attractive young female; original it may not be, but a nice attempt nonetheless. Before delving into detail, the presentation and compositon appear faultless, with complimentary shades and overall harmony between focal point and surroundings. The backdrop is a slightly garish red containing a mild squint factor, yet the foreground image with its tranquil shading, suceeds in taming its dominating harshness. In addition, Radix has used the red background to enhance the main subject, applying relevant tints and shadows, implying a reflective influence from the girl's surroundings. And now we move onto the detail, the most prominent aspect of which being the hair. Well defined streaks of gold, shimmering where it is most thick and fluffing at the ends; an admirable representation of nature. Though the picture lacks a certain sharpness, it compensates with strong highlights, bringing neccessary aspects of the picture towards the viewer, thus creating depth and dimension. An overall criticism of this picture is that it seems to lack signs of advancement, and though it takes advantage of improved technology and software, it appears visually inferior to many images created half a decade ago. When a graphic artist uses the latest available gimmicks, the viewer expects a relative enhancement, yet this image fails in meeting such expectations.