Whoops. Now *this* is a late post. We had a few developments with this contest that invariably led to this delay. There are 7 entries. This is obviously not what we'd like to see from a community of 500+, so we gave it an extra week to no avail. This has led to some changes. From the next contest on, any contest with less than 10 entries will only be judged. No prizes will be awarded. We'll revisit this down the road and see if any other changes need to be made. Derf is on vacation, so the scores below are from myself and Brandon only.
The home of the contest is the The 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 art fits the card, but not so much the theme. What are the Crusaders seeking revenge for? They fit the white side of the card, but not so much the black. I really like the clean and simple-at-first-glance execution. I'm not terribly sold on the card title being a different color than the rest of the text.
If the title of this card were not Vindicate and spelled out for me, I'm not sure the piece of artwork would feel like revenge.I know that you mentioned Steve's Eye Gouge in your write-up and unfortunately seeing the Diablo font does bring his render to mind. This feels safe and rushed. The artwork feels oddly cropped, with the bulk of the flail off the page as well as what he's attacking. As I am looking at the original artwork you started from...there's an advert for Reaper of Souls right next to the image, which really shows what could have been done with the frame elements and text treatment to bring it more into that Diablo world other than just with art and font choice. I do think the blowing ember overly that you added is a nice effect. If I'm sounding harsh its only because you are extremely talented and I know what you are capable of, really want to see you kill the next one.
The flavor of this piece is simply outstanding. The tiny little touches, like adding the type lines into the art for each is extremely well done. This piece can be seen from both angles too. It's not out of the question to see it as the Wolf getting revenge as LRRH is now a werewolf. The font on the flip side is harder to read than I'd like. It works, but the stroke and shadow obfuscate rather than highlight.
Using a double faced card is a very smart approach, as a storytelling device it allows you to expand on the revenge theme in a way that a single image doesn't allow. I enjoy the art style as well, the combination of realistic elements and flat areas of texture create a nice juxtaposition with each other. Looking at the transformed side I'm reminded quite a bit of the "ones we don't speak of" and the "bad color". There are some nice touches nice such as the way the card types are nicely hidden and blended into the artwork. I do think that they read very "red" and don't feel green at all, so there is a bit of a disconnect between the card color/abilities and the artwork. Using the same font for both title and card text might be overkill, especially on the werewolf side, and be careful to make sure your text shadowing, if used, is consistent (shadow falls over the tap symbol and is missing on the single G mana)
With the treatment you gave this piece, I would have like to see you go just a small step forward and turn this into a manga cover. The feel is almost there as is, The title font screams it to me. The execution and time put in show, and it's so close to its potential, just not quite getting all the way there. I like the mana cost, save for the color choices. The red gets lost in the background a bit. I know you have hardware issues with this, and that might have led to not being able to take that step. Excellent work.
Being that the contest theme is revenge and I started playing after Kamigawa, I felt I needed to go back and read the lore associated to get a feel for the story. Graphically, the image comes across as high impact and in your face, which I really like. The font choice for the title and type works really well with the art, but the Beleren in the rules text feels out of place. I can see you did attempt to research the proper way to do kanji for the mana cost, but it may be bit hard to figure out unless you know what it is so I'm on the fence about it. I don't think you need the drop shadow on the spilled cloth, as it flattens that area out. I wish there was some flavor text to give a hint on how the subject fits into the theme of revenge.
Clean, concise, and perfectly revenge filled. The flavor of Vendetta in regards to your choice of art is just spot on perfect. You're showing a propensity for taking "simple" ideas and making them shine. Try to to lean to heavily on one style or execution. Like Brandon, I;m not sold on the Fawkes mask-as-mana symbol, but it is nice to see it as an element that might not be noticed initially. Very well done.
Vendetta fits very well with the theme in a very literal sense and from looking at the sources of inspiration I think you have created a very striking visual image...even if it doesn't really attempt to explain the need for revenge amongst a sea of V words. The way the card title is highlighted in contrast to the other words comes across very well, and I really like the way you treated the rules text in exactly the same manner, the rest falls away as a texture of sorts. V's mask doesn't quite read as a black mana to me, and I wish it had been scaled to fit exactly the height of the letter it replaces. This render though not technically difficult, looks very well polished and I think would look killer in foil. Nice job.
I love this render, The initial impact is of it simply being a Marxist propaganda poster, and only by investing the time to seek it out does the viewer learn that it's a Magic card. The elements in this are superbly crafted, From the almost hidden copyright info to the quite hidden expansion symbol on the clock face. At least this wan't from Mirage! The only nitpick I can give it is the art very much screams RW.
I have to admit that I do not know the origin of the figure in the image so I'm judging off the feel I get from it. In terms of the theme of revenge this seems more like war propaganda, but I find the image very striking and enjoy the play of all the graphic elements.Personally, I like the text treatment...but it may be possible that it might be viewed in the wrong light similar to Boseiju, even though that is not the intention. What could be overlooked very easily is the amount of effort it took to edit out all the old text in the image, which you have done with great skill. The copyright line, mana cost, and hidden expansion symbol are great touches (though I wish the expansion was adjusted by a few degrees). The time taken to make all these elements feel like they are part of the original poster was well spent and pays off well, I do wish there was a way to get around needing the drop shadow on the last two lines, but overall a very impressive execution.
The WinnerssThe podium is crowded with familiar faces. In 2nd is Jud with his homage to Kill Bill.
The ability to open a render to community critique and suggestion can be a frustrating experience, yet you embraced it fully and this shows what can happen when folks get together.It's dead-on in terms of the theme, and it's quite impossible to see this and not immediately be drawn into the world of Kill Bill. The red vs yellow debate led to you choosing the red, and I think that it works much better. Seeing the lone figure in yellow vs the horde lets you know who in the art is out for revenge.
The choice of "The Bride" and Dread Return feels so good in a revenge card. I really love your choice of art this time around, and this is the first time ever that I have not minded that a piece of art was placed and squashed a bit vertically, it adds a bit to the framing and compositional placement of your text elements on the card, without seeming abnormally skewed. The only thing about the card choice that might not jive with the art is the sac three part. I'm glad you chose to keep her as the sole yellow element as it really makes her the focus of the card. Very nice cut work, without looking at the original you wouldn't know that the entire background layer had been changed to the solid red. My favorite moments are also some of the most subtle, but very well executed....the black on black spills of the leg and the sword arm over sorcery. This type of stuff makes me smile. Well done!
Keep this up and you'll be a judge before you know it! Taking something as iconic as Mad Max and turning it into a flavorful card is definitely in your wheelhouse. I understand the need for the card title to be legible, but I'd have loved to see it as if it had actually been painted on the vehicle. A well placed mana cost and expansion symbol make great easter egg like elements to find.
This is super impressive. I've really become a huge fan of your work. This particular scene from Mad Max just screams revenge. Contest theme: nailed. Usually I'm not a fan of photo renders, but this is most definitely an exception. What is so good about these last few renders that you have done, and most definitely on display here is how well executed and polished each of your creative ideas are. As a fellow magician that knows a few tricks...its a joy to be able to sit back and see familiar tricks done at such a high caliber that you forget about the motions it takes to perform them, instead you are left to explore every nook of an expertly crafted scene that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Amazing.
Patrick D - 19.25 Judson Gruber - 18 Thomas Driessen - 17.75 Zeofar RM - 17.25 Robert Calhoun - 16.5 Ignacio Bascoy - 16.25 Jason Sanderford - 15.5
You can find all of the judges on Twitter, so feel free to follow and bug us!
Josh - @TheProxyGuy
Dave - @derfington
Brandon - @iamnarb