Round 1 Theme: Minion Madness
Winner: Leviathan Seagreen
Samuru Lantis: Excellent use of the vertical shot to capture the full scale of your Elezen tallness compared to Saint Shiva’s petite minion frame. I love the coordination of your outfit with the minion especially – Shiva staff, Hailstorm themed gear. The particle screen effect adds a nice twinkle of ice, perfect for the location. If you had zoomed out just a hair more, then you would not have cut off your boot, which is about the only thing bothering me about this image.
Destiney Delvanguard: A perfect little pup in the woods to match your hunter! Good outfit coordination with your minion, especially the usage of the ears. I am not so sure about the angle of the image you chose – it introduced some severe distortion in your character’s figure and resulted in more ground than background. That said, the ground is lovely with the dappled shadows, and the location is great for the overall theme.
Gangly Zilla: Two lovely butterflies in a garden. The grass framing the bottom makes it feel like spring, and the usage of the ephemeral wings was a great decision. This image just feels so fresh. The flowers are also a nice frame, but they somehow got distorted from the angle you chose, and they feel kind of…. squished? Need to be careful when lowering the camera to a ground angle to avoid that. I think my favorite part of this image is the butterfly’s bright blues really stand out against the pastels – if you had gone with a blue dress, it would have taken away from that, so the color choice of your outfit was perfect.
Leviathan Seagreen: Great usage of the angle to capture your entire character (and minion!) I especially love the choice of the background combined with the evening shot and the pastel filter. Your character seems to pop right off the screen. Also, fantastic usage of colors to match your minion. The one thing is that I wish I could tell where the location actually is – the background is SO dark, I can’t see it; it’s just large chunky geometric shapes. Since the emphasis is on the minion and not the location for the shot, it works for this week.
Linmei Quan: Oh no, the voidsent are leaking again! Great choice of location for this minion, and I especially like how you framed her against the gate. The purple cast and filter give a mysterious feeling to the image, but I’m not sure the angle was necessary here, and your outfit neither contrasts nor complements the minion in this case. The particle effect was used well, I think, and adds a nice bit of sparkle against the dark background.
Samuru Lantis: Hey Samuru! Welcome to the competition. In your audition rounds, I thought it was really out-of-the-box to submit Portrait Style shots. It was risky, and it paid off by getting you here. But I was disappointed this week to see a Portrait Style Shot again. Two weeks in a row is already overkill, in my opinion. Moving on from that, I love a lot about this photo. The glamour, your pose, and location you chose match the minion you selected perfectly. Great choices there. I think the cutting off of the staff and shoe will count against you. I would have liked you do zoom out just a bit more. I also think this could have been taken somewhere different in this same zone to give the back ground some more dimension, vs the blackness on the top and the straight white line at the bottom. Lastly, I wish the minion was facing the same direction as you, giving off more of a “together we stand” vibe instead of The Dogs from Up “SQUIRREL!” vibe. My personal challenge to you is to use submit a Landscape shot next week. Good luck!
Destiney Delvanguard: Destiney! Another Elezen this cycle! Welcome! I really liked the simplicity you brought in your audition round, and I hope you realize it is a strength! This week the location is great. Paired with that minion I get a Western/Adventure feel. I love the top corner having some green just to break the image apart. The position of the minion and the glamour are the weaker parts of this shot for me. I would have loved him to be in front of you, between your legs. Being off to the side, I feel, lacks the synergy between you that we usually like to see in this round. But it could just be…The glamour. The bow and the outfit don’t really match the minion or the scenery to me. I do love the ears though! I think this week you tried to get crazy with your glamour-ing, but a simple wooden bow and a less detailed glamour would have fit perfect with the simplicity of the red scarfed puppy. My personal challenge to you is, if you do decide to get more complex, go all the way with high detailed minions/glamours/gpose effects. Good luck!
Gangly Zilla: Gangly! Welcome back and we look forward to seeing you in the Youtube Edition as well! When the judges saw everyone’s auditions, I had no idea who was who…except for you. Your character model is very unique, which I think gives you such a boost above all other competitors. When we see a Gangly shot, we KNOW it’s a Gangly shot. This week is no different. You’ve taken every critique you (and possible every other model) has ever received and used it to frame this piece of art. The washed-out colors of green and white with just that small dash of blue. Incredible. If I have to critique anything, it would be the butterfly in your hair and the pink blush on your cheeks. I would have loved to see this same image without the makeup, and with maybe a flower head piece instead. It’s lucky that the butterfly in your hair is black, because it made it less visible. The Blue Butterfly is such a great choice, it doesn’t need any other competing butterflies in the shot. I think this is a great first round from you, and I hope you continue to succeed. I believe this is the strongest shot of the week. My personal challenge to you is, I think you are a perfectionist, and as such I want you to consider every last detail from head to toe. Good luck!
Leviathan Seagreen: Welcome to the ENTM family Leviathan! You are a warrior at heart! Your audition shots were both battle poses, and this week you are in one again. My personal challenge for you next week will be to soften up, and give us a more relaxed pose. That being said, I love this image. I think your pose, the lighting, the gear, the water at your feet and the black void around you, are all really great. The colors are really well done as well, almost too well done…I can barely see your minion! At first, I was like “where is it?!” but when I noticed it I was at peace. I think it’s a great shot. I like that both you, and the minion are facing the same direction, looking at some unseen enemy and ready to fight together. Were you a FFXI Dragoon? I miss the dragon too. Haha. I don’t have anything else to critique on this shot. I like it a lot. Keep it up. Good luck!
Linmei Quan: Linmei! Welcome to the competition. I loved your audition scenic shot, so I am very happy to see you made it into the competition. This is a celebration of FFXIV and our characters, so while I understand if you don’t, I would love to see your character without the blue makeup. Actually, I would also love to see your character from the opposite side so we can see the face paint more clearly! The way both your audition, and minion shots are taken, it looks like a strange shadow on your face that is distracting. I like the idea you had in this shot. The minion choice and that background are great. But I wish you would have thought a little bit more about the synergy between you and the minion. Are you scared of it? Or are both of you looking at the same thing and the Minion isn’t scared but you are? The story is really hard to understand here. I am not sure if you are taller than the levitating height of the minion, but what if you stood directly behind the crystal while she was in the front, and did some kind of open armed pose. It could have looked like she was being summoned from your chest. I think you had the right idea with this location, and just needed another 30 minutes to work out an exciting shot. My personal challenge to you is to think hard about the story you want to convey with your pictures, and then check to see that they are actually being conveyed clearly. Good Luck!
Nicol Grunenberg: Nicol this isn’t too bad of a shot. I like how it feels like you’re telling the node “just make one more move…” I would really hate to see what happens shudder. I’m not too sure if you need that much tilt in the shot. If anything, perhaps just a slight tilt would work better. Your shot is a bit on the dark side. What can help improve your shot even more is play around with the lighting from different angles to help make you and the node pop out a lil more. Other than that, not bad of a start 🙂
M’telihgo Feilyon: M’telihgo this is one of my favorite shots for this week 🙂 The blurriness in the wings makes it appear as the hawk is coming to you and about to land on your forearm. Your outfit has me also think Assassin’s Creed a lil bit with the background. I do wonder though how this shot would look if zoomed out just a bit more. Overall good job :):
Amelia Amber: Amelia this is another of my favorite shots for this week 🙂 I really like how you are singing to your lil bird friend to come to you, almost like what you see a princess do with her animal friends in the movies. Your outfit goes very well with the shot as well. Very good job 🙂
Zetsumei Tsunarashi: Zetsumei this is yet another shot that I had like. Your wyvern looks as if getting ready to cuddle up to its momma. The lighting and colors within in the shot compliments each other very well. The only thing that I find off is how your arm is cut off in the image. It looks a bit unnatural. I wonder if it would look a bit more natural if image was either slightly tilted or zoomed out just a smidge. Good job 🙂
Nicol Grunenburg – Ooo, how sassy! Staring down a node without a care in the world! It’s a little dark, though, and the tilt doesn’t add much to the overall composition. Try a bit more contrast between yourself and the background, and less tilt to keep yourself the main focus and not the prop. Definitely looking forward to seeing what else you have to offer!
M’telihgo Feilyon – Adorable! The serene look on Telihgo’s face, the hawk looking like it’s about to land and feed from her hand, very cute. I’m also a fan of the background centered as it is, with the arch right between them. Although, that might be a bit distracting overall, giving the shot a flat look. Try either getting closer to the part of the background you want in your shots, or pulling out to get about half your character in the overall composition, if not all of her. A dynamic pose would really make your beautiful miqo’te pop!
Amelia Amber – What a beautiful shot! I love the color scheme as well. However, I’m unsure if the degree of the tilt adds or subtracts from the overall look. I definitely look forward to more of you.
Zetsumei Tsunarashi – So sweet! That look on the dragon’s face made me do the weirdest of “aww” noises. Overall, though, the pastel over pastel washes you out, and it was difficult to understand what was happening in the shot right away. You’ll want to stare at it to figure it out, and not because it’s beautiful (which it is). A little more contrast can go a long way!