Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Factory Workers Contest Ending 7/25

The Theme

Lands, lands, lands. It's actually kind of surprising we haven't tackled this subject before. No time like the present, let's get into it! With Matty neck deep in GP Portland prep, superstar Derfington has stepped up to guest judge this contest with Josh and Brandon.

The Sponsors

The home of the contest is the Z's Proxy Factory Google+ Community. Our amazing friends at ManaDeprived and Face to Face Games are the proud sponsors of the contest, with store credit prizes of $40 to first and $10 to second place.

The Entries



Daniel Sexton
Overall Score - 21.5
7.5
This screams that more work was needed. The title bar not spilling over the border causes it to appear out of place. A very vanilla approach to an iconic card.

6.5
Excellent choice of artwork that suits the full-art design very well. The artwork resolution is a little low, however, and the design itself is a little too conservative. I'd like to see the designer be a little more adventurous. The world is your oyster!
7.5
I love this artwork for this card...I just wish it was higher resolution. Having the top of the title marquis not coming over the border on the unhinged frame is unfortunate...with a render this vanilla you really need to execute those details.




Vincent Shiel
Overall Score - 22.75
7.75
This doesn't feel like a Magic card to me. Sure, the text is there, but the frame work is done in a manner that scrapes the rest of the card away. Very technically sound, but the art doesn't fit a land as well as it would a human or wolf creature.

7.5
The first thing that stood out to me was the very creative card border - it's almost a blend between the card design and the card artwork. The creator nailed that dark forest-ish feel and treatment. I feel like more time could have spent on the text, though. The title feels a little plain, and a little extra treatment on the text font would have made it much easier to read. Polish the text, and I think you have a real winner.
7.5
We saw this one go through quite a few different iterations through the course of the contest. The art  looks like its more fitting for a creature card than a land card. I think all the different textures/frame work is very cool, but they come off a bit collage-y and I feel like the placement of your text was governed too much by the frame elements and hand spill.




Harrison Almey
Overall Score - 22.75
7.75
Great idea and art. Not sold on the execution. I'd like to see Bespin zoomed in on, as it is the focus of the card. The artist/tm text is completely lost in the cloud. Props for flavor, and as is oft mentioned, sweat the small stuff.

7.5
I like the minimalist design that shows off the beautiful artwork here. The title and flavour text fonts are nice little nods. The flavour text and illustrator credit are a little hard to decipher, but they are relatively minor nitpicks. I wouldn't have minded seeing a couple small cloud cars in the artwork to add a bit of spice and give the primary subject a better sense of scale.
7.5
Flavor is spot on...this is perfect for Cloudpost. The resolution on the artwork is really low, which ultimately brings attention away from some great details you put in. Shadows on the text take a small bit away from the airy feel. 




Anthony Deeter
Overall Score - 23.25
8.25
The foam-as-mana symbol is a nice touch. I'm not sure why the sick Island/Not for sale wasn't carried over to the TM line. The shadow on the beach doesn't reflect the change in the foam.

7.5
This piece has kind of a surrealist theme going, which I can dig. The treatment of the mana symbol and the surrounding artwork is definitely the strongest point. The other design elements feel a little disjointed, though. The wave border feels like it should be part of the artwork, but it isn't, and its width is too varied to effectively frame the card. The text in the sand is also a little hard to read, and the copyright line feels like an afterthought. There's a strong sense of resonance overall, but it's slightly hampered by a few inconsistencies.
7.5
Interesting idea. For me this looks closer to an album cover, could be that I'm not a huge fan of photo realistic images for magic  cards...but if you are going to go that route then make sure all your elements are at the level...foam island symbol is nice, the border though could use a bit more work. Things that I notice are that "not for sale" is barely readable and no artist credit is given. 




Jake Roberts
Overall Score - 24
8
Busy busy busy. The spill, while well executed, is overdone and abrasive. Seeing some of the light behind the frame would have given some great depth to the piece. I'm not sure why you changed the shape of the type bar, I think you could have kept it rounded and achieved the look you were reaching for.

8
This artwork treatment is so in your face! I love the boldness. I am a huge fan of the lightning extensions, although the fact that it obscures such a clean title is a little bit of a downer. I would like to see the opacity on the text box bumped up just a touch. Overall, a nice piece of work.
8
Interesting take on making an Unhinged/M15 hybrid frame. The choice of art flavorwise seems more white to me (..and D3 ActIV shows not so indestructible). I would have liked to see some experimentation with the blend modes on the lightwaves spilling over the border to give a more transparent feel, right now they are a bit over the top.




Robert Callhoun
Overall Score - 24.25
8.25
Interesting frame work, and I'm digging he Land box at the bottom. The art is just framed wrong. You can't tell that the end of the maze is there as it's under the rules text. Shifting the art up would have helped counter the need for the rules text.

8
This piece is solid. The design guides the viewer's eye very naturally through the entire piece, and the designer made the artwork play nicely with the card design. The card conveys a consistent sense of atmosphere as well. No complaints - great work.
8
Unhinged stylings are very popular this contest! Great find on the artwork. I do like how the frame is treated so it doesn't take away too much from the super art aspect, but I do wish that instead of just fading it out, there was more of a slight gothic embellishment closing the shape, akin to some of the shapes within the Beleren font set and the architecture of the Ravnican landscape. The text font doesn't mesh with the rest and look like it belongs on a different card.




Christopher Ciolino
Overall Score - 24.25
8.5
 I like everything about this but the font. The spill is well executed, and the art fits the card like a glove. You did well to add some textures to the title and type bars. Excellent first submission!

7.5
Great theme and colour palette. Unfortunately, I have to ding the score for Slag obscuring the text box. Generally, there's a hint of the blocked words so the reader can piece together the rest of the card. Omitting the missing words entirely causes a fair bit of confusion that, in my eyes, mars the otherwise commendable work. Dammit, Slag!
8.25
Great choice of image for the card, the landscape is amazing.  Very nice textures on your frame elements. What pulls this down for me is the stark contrast between those parts and the spilled dinos to the right which makes the right side feel a bit heavy. Lightening that area up with some dodge work might pull everything together. Solid first entry!




Tony Osterloh
Overall Score - 25
8.75
Great art, odd mix of elements otherwise. You used beleran for the title and Plantin for the type. Was this a conscious choice? I like the gradients on the text, though Shuffle needn't be capitalized and you're missing a period after "library". the expansion symbol seems tacked on as an afterthought.

8.5
Gosh. This is so pretty. Like Trine pretty. You'd think a gradient-treated font would get lost in the artwork, but the designer somehow pulls it off well. A solid bit of work that would look killer in foil.
7.75
Nice choice of art. I think the text needs a bit more attention, the multicolor treatment while working nicely in spots such as the rules text goes over the top in areas such as the legal info, also watch your line spacing in the rules area where you have a jump in spacing between 2nd and 3rd line.  I would've liked to have seen a small spill somewhere, possibly the edge of the palm branch coming over the "es".




Tyler O'Halloran
Overall Score - 25.75
9
At 1st glance, this was a "so what, a 2 minute hackjob on the old frame" response. Then I looked at it and saw the vast amount of work put int. The pinstripe following the curves is SICK work. This render is exactly what an expertly crafted render should be. Instantly dismissed, then seen as genius. Great work!

8
Very clean, technically sound mashup of border styles. Easy to read, well laid out, with a little bit of flair/flare having the sunlight extending past the top border. Conservative, but solid. Good work.
8.75
I'm on the fence on this one. There are some things I am totally in love with about this...the oh so subtle light spill coming over the bottom of the title bar, the way you made the edges of the older frame follow the curved edges of the m15 border..thats all extremely well executed and very cool. I don't think the white border translates well and it brings attention to how much the older Magic font clashes with the new legal info fonts, something that I think may have been tamed down a little if the border was black and info white. Regardless, the art choice is amazing and execution was very well done.




Thomas Driessen
Overall Score - 25.75
9.75
Sick sick sick sick sick. I must've looked at this 20 times before I realized it was in English. Evokes a Chinese print simply perfectly. Amazing work! The only downside is that "legendary land" gets lost in the tree.

6.75
This piece is a great concept hamstrung by its implementation. The artwork and palette are beautiful, and I am fully on board with the idea of carrying the theme into the card text. However, putting complex text onto complex artwork results in far too much visual clutter. I found the Asian-style font so hard to read that it may have been better off in an actual language (with the reading order switched from left to right accordingly). More negative space would have also strengthened this piece immensely.
9.25
I don't think I've seen as many heated opinions fly as I have with this render. For the most part I feel you were extremely successful at the feel you were trying to achieve and I love the visual impression you get from the card...the textbox treatment is pretty damn sweet. Without getting into the kanji discussion, most japanese art I am familiar with uses the negative space in the art for the kanji placement...which solves readability problems, so I do wish that the composition took this into account and that the artwork itself was a more "sheltering" depiction. Extremely impressed.




Patrick D
Overall Score - 25.75
9
Great art and flavor. I love the "hidden" expansion symbol. The font just doesn't scream lithograph to me, and while visible with the stroke, it's nearly impossible to read.

7.75
Now that's how you set a mood! Very strong choice of artwork and font. The card title is perfect, but legibility breaks down a bit when you get to the card text. I think semi-opaque text boxes would have put this design over the top without taking too much away from the artwork. 
9
I've always loved old school printmaking, so I'm really digging the choice of using one of Dore's amazing engravings, and I think your font choices mesh really well with the art. Flavor is dead on. Usually I like my lands less populated, but I think it works for this particular land. Great job!


The Winners

In 2nd this time out it Tony McCallie and his Minecraft themed Contested Cliffs.
9.5
Outside the box and it kills it. You cannot see this and not be instantly transferred into Minecraft. The font work is especially nice and well transformed for the perspective change. I wouls have liked to see a larder opening to the art, as I feel the earthen border is just a tad too wide.
8.5
Wow. I'm not a Minecraft player, but this design's theme is charming as hell. The sun is a giant block! So good. I love the use of depth, guiding the viewer (player?)'s eye deeper into the artwork. My only nitpick would be to make the credit lines a little more legible. P.S. I will upgrade this piece to a 9.5 if the designer actually created this level in Minecraft.
8.75
Extremely inventive job of creating a minecraft frame. The outside frame, title and textbox all work really well (great job on the text perspective). The center art looks like it could have been handled a bit better...it looks like 70% of the image is just outside of the texture draw distance which leaves some blobby looking shapes. Very nice job overall.
It had to happen soon based on his recent finished, and this time Judson bring it home, literally, with his Oz themed Homeward path. Congrats!
9.25
Great art, framing, execution, the works. Flavor is a 9 out of 10 as while the card name and art mesh, though I'm not sure the ability of the card fits the Oz theme. Amazing work as always.
8.5
I hate the artwork on this card for being so damn cute. The way the road draws your eye to the text box is just beautiful - it's as if your eyes are accompanying Dorothy and her friends on the trip! The choice of font style and colour is very appropriate, although I feel the card title could be a little more legible. I want to hug this card. Well done.
9.5
Completely sick. A great render makes you forget about each individual detail and leaves you to enjoy a whole that is more than the sum of its parts....expansion symbol and card type on the grass is killer. Great choices all the way around...Well done sir!

Total Scores

Judson Gruber - Homeward Path - 27.25
Tony McCallie - Contested Cliffs - 26.75
Patrick D - Lake of the Dead - 25.75
Thomas Driessen - Boseju Who Shelters All - 25.75
Tyler O'Halloran - 7th Ed M15 Plains - 25.75
Tony Osterloh - Misty Rainforest - 25
Christopher Ciolino - Undiscovered Paradise - 24.25
Robert Callhoun - Maze's End - 24.25
Jake Roberts - Darksteel Citadel - 24
Anthony Deeter - Island - 23.25
Harrison Almey - Cloudpost - 22.75
Vincent Shiel - Kessig Wolf Run - 22.75
Daniel Sexton - Bazaar of Baghdad - 21.5

Social Media

You can find all of the judges on Twitter, so feel free to follow and bug us!
Josh - @TheProxyGuy
Dave - @derfington
Brandon - @iamnarb