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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design » Rate my (first) screenshot:
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Topic Subject:Rate my (first) screenshot:
Ironclaw77
Mortal
posted 25 December 2007 11:03 PM EDT (US)         
I'm pretty sure this is allowed...I didn't see a better place to put it, but please judge this, my first screenshot:



It may be very bad, but I hope my next one will be better.

My initial comments on it, that I know are pretty bad about it is that you can see the health bar and to much lava to the left side, I realized that after the post...

I R O N C L A W 7 7
Everything that shines ain't always
gonna be gold.

[This message has been edited by Ironclaw77 (edited 12-25-2007 @ 11:05 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
death omenz
Mortal
posted 26 December 2007 01:16 AM EDT (US)     1 / 11       
thats not a bad screen shot,to make it better just add a little bit more eyecandy and maybe make it at an interesting angle and like you said;DONT CLICK ON THE UNIT
Weed Basket
Carrier-pigeon of bad news
(id: Baske)
posted 26 December 2007 04:29 AM EDT (US)     2 / 11       
This screenshot isn't really good, here's why:

  • As you mentioned, the life bar, in my opinion, a mortal sin in making screenshots
  • The 'Lava Bubbling' unit on the left is ugly placed, it doesnt feel like part of the picture, but rather as something thrown in.
  • The lighting, this screenshot has been taken in a dark place full of death, it would be more than suitable to add a dark lighting. Lightings can make the difference between a good and a bad shot.
  • The hills in the back look ugly, either smoothen them out a bit, or add some eye candy to it to make it more appealing to the eye.
  • Use cinematic textures for the most important units in the shot, in this case the, I believe it's Theocrat. Go to the Animations menu, click the unit, en select the 'cinematic' animation.
  • Add more eye candy; examples for this shot;
    - Black rocks
    - Fire
    - Smoke


That's all from the top of my head, hope you'll find this was helpful, and I hope to see more of your work!

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

[This message has been edited by Baske (edited 12-26-2007 @ 05:16 AM).]

HailToTheOboe
Bitten by a radioactive ostrich
posted 26 December 2007 04:40 AM EDT (US)     3 / 11       
Is there a story behind the shot?

Were the skeletons friends of the dude? Enemies?
Is he exploring? Is he trapped?

You don't have to come up with a novel behind every screenshot, but there should be some kind of brief story or idea behind it, and the key is to make the screenshot tell it without words.

In the Continuous Screenshot Competition thread, Elrich listed 3 elements that he thinks are important for great screenshots but are often ignored.

1) Lighting
2) Camera angle
3) Animations

(sorry if I'm getting anything wrong Elrich )

It looks like you've used the default lighting and default camera angle, and I'm not sure if the guy has an animation or not, but if he does it doesn't show meaning to me (holding up torch triumphantly or something?)

The lighting and camera angle you use really depend on what you're trying to say with the shot. The kind of thing I'd be tempted to do would be to set the camera so that it looks like you're peering down at the oblivious dude from above, or from between two rocks, and maybe show a hint of some threatening unit in the foreground to show that he is being watched. In general, using a lower camera angle and zooming in more than the default is a good move, but of course it will depend on the screenshot.

As for lighting, I usually use trial and error. If you have any editor extensions like Reyk's New Editor or Nottud's superpack, you can easily make custom lightings by choosing the colours (combinations of red/green/blue on scale from 0 to 255) of the sun and ambient colour, and you can try either darkening or reddening the shot. If you don't have those options, you can try pre-made lightings like Anatolia (reddish) or Eclipse (darker) or Erebus (no idea but apparently it was used for some underworld thing in the campaign)

As for animations, I can't really help. I only have Vanilla so I can only use animations from the single player campaign, or attack animations by making the unit attack an upside down house or something. Titans appears to have a much more extensive animation tool; I have no idea what it can do or how to use it.
The purpose of animations is to bring movement and life into the screenshot. You don't always need them, but sometimes subtle uses of animation can add a lot.


For the terrain, I would recommend raising the elevation of the land that the man is standing on so that the lava on either side is lower compared to the rocks. You have to be careful though, because you don't want it to look like he's standing on a rectangle. Try to smooth the elevation and choose terrains for the transition that make sense. You could also introduce other things into the lava, such as fire, smoke, or use effects such as "ball of fire" and "ball of fire impact"

And, of course, don't select a unit when taking a screenshot.

Holy crow that was probably the longest post I've written. I hope it's understandable and useful, and I also hope that better designers than me will come in and help you ever more.

Welcome to the world of screenshots.
I Love Bananas
Mortal
posted 26 December 2007 04:51 AM EDT (US)     4 / 11       
It's actually a quite good screenshot. The terrain is neatly mixed, and the way the focus in the picture is moved slightly to the right is also very nice.

However, there are a few things you could improve on:
First, units in screenshots should never be selected. It seems like you know this, but still, it's important.

Second, the background needs more eyecandy. It's good as it is, but there is still room for improvement - for instance, you could add one or two Fire objects to really make it look like it's burning down there. Other objects you could place out are lesser Smoke objects, some burnt Cinematic Rocks, and also Smoke Underworld. In addition, consider moving the two Lava Pools away from each other.

Third, there's the lighting. Standard lighting is never recommended, since lighting may bring a whole new feel to the shot. Especially in Underworld shots, the default lighting just doesn't cut it. Try using a dark red lighting, for instance.

And fourth, what is it you're trying to say with this screenshot? What's the story lying behind? I find that important to think about. Shots may be greatly improved by the story behind.

You might also want to change the Oracle into a Theocrat/Krios and take the screenshot in Cinematic Mode, but this is only optional, I'd say.

But let me say again, I'm impressed that this is your first shot. Keep up the good work
Overall, I'd rate it somewhere between 6 and 7 out of 10.


Well, that's a relief. Here I spend twenty minutes writing a lengthy reply, and two people have already posted everything I was trying to say.



Sweet baby maizes!

[This message has been edited by I Love Bananas (edited 12-26-2007 @ 04:54 AM).]

Lupus
Sage
posted 26 December 2007 07:25 AM EDT (US)     5 / 11       
Personally I don't like lava pictures at all (not even when Vandhaal creates them) and I think such sceneries are very hard to make good.
An underworld theme is different, but when it contains to much lava it becomes ugly by it selves. (almost true)

A would like to add two things to the earlier comments.

- Stalagmites do also fit in lava shots.
- It's too much lava... Maybe you could cover the hills with the hades rock and have small stripes of lava falls down the cliffs.

Elrich
Hero
posted 26 December 2007 09:31 AM EDT (US)     6 / 11       
    I think the terrain mixing is good, but on the hills, lava doesn't really make sense. Like Lupus said, make it hades rock or something. The main problem with the shot is that it has no story. A great shot needs to spark the mind of the viewer. Is this a wizard that just vaporized his victims with some awesome power? or is it just a guy standing in a bunch of lava?
    Take a look at the Eyecandy Showcase thread (speaking of Lupus who just entered four awesome shots). I also recommend giving a try to the Continuous Screenshot Competition2. This is a theme-driven picture making contest where we give each other criticisms and share ideas and techniques. It's a great place to build your skill.

In all your science of the mind, seeking blind through flesh and bone
Find the blood inside this stone
Well, I know I've never shown what I feel, I've always known
I plan my vengeance on my own - and I was always alone
Ironclaw77
Mortal
posted 26 December 2007 11:02 AM EDT (US)     7 / 11       
He is holding the staff thing triumphantly because I had to turn him into a hero, and had to be clicking on him. Is there anyway I can do it by not clicking on him?

I R O N C L A W 7 7
Everything that shines ain't always
gonna be gold.
Bingo Little
Mortal
(id: Medusasson)
posted 26 December 2007 11:15 AM EDT (US)     8 / 11       
Triggers, I assume. Personally I'd take it in the editor, us e the animation viewer to get him at exactly the right point in has animation and take the shot using the file menu to hide the interface.


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Ironclaw77
Mortal
posted 26 December 2007 12:54 PM EDT (US)     9 / 11       
Hmm...is there a "heroize" trigger?

EDIT: I can invoke valor...

I R O N C L A W 7 7
Everything that shines ain't always
gonna be gold.

[This message has been edited by Ironclaw77 (edited 12-26-2007 @ 12:54 PM).]

Caribdus
Mortal
posted 26 December 2007 03:19 PM EDT (US)     10 / 11       
Or use change unit type...what you could do is go into the animations and pause the point when he is holding his staff up high.

I'm very responsible, when ever something goes wrong they always say I'm responsible
Zumox
Mortal
posted 26 December 2007 08:52 PM EDT (US)     11 / 11       
Rate it? Well maybe 6.5/10. Nothing exceptionnal or original (except for the terrain mixing, which is great!).
Good job for your first screenshot.

-Leader of the VerSus Clan- Visit us!
AoM TT ESO Username Currently VS_ZzumoxX
Working on the Kradle of Chaos.
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