Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Full Color Version

Just because I'm curious. What do you think? (clicky clicky for more detail, a necessity with Alfrey's work!)

34 comments:

  1. I think the color looks great and doesn't detract from any of the details.

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  2. I liked the other versions, but this one is Wow.

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  3. Of the three, I like the full color version the best. It's really incredible.

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  4. Gonna go ahead and agree with the general sentiment so far: this one is the best of the three.

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  5. This is extremely evocative, full of mood and character -- like the first or last passage of a mythos tale. It captivates the attention and demands to tell its story. Well done!

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  6. I actually prefer the partially coloured one. I think in the full coloured version and the black and white one, the detail of the figures is lost in the busy background, whereas in the partially coloured one the figures leap out of the background, drawing the eye to them.

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  7. No. Not enough detail is coming through.

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  8. I think the best is the b/w (although it sacrifices the power of the raised hand); second best is the full colored one, although the guy is now not looking at the viewer, which was a big plus of the b/w version. Weakest (although still good) is the partial-colored one.

    A downside to this one is that the little idol-guy now looks like he's taking a whiz on the mandarin, which unfortunate visual effect didn't happen in either of the other two.

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  9. OMG -check out Fu Manchu's fucking eyes -intense !

    This is my favourite - I like how the muted shades bring out the squalid depavity and decay of the room.

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  10. I'm with austrodavicus. The best is the partial color one. Making the hand and the blood come through as the focus keeps most of the detail and really draws the eye to the creepy parts.

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  11. My last comment was actually pretty subjective, so let me try for something more useful in terms of comments:
    1) Your game and products seem to be moving away from pure swords & sorcery, and into a fantasy realm that is, as Kurt Vonnegut might say, "unstuck in time." It is a setting that is linked by horror, not so much by the way in which S&S is linked up by a pre-technological or weird-technological "time frame." The binding thread of your latest work is in an abstract, kaleidoscopic time, unrooted, made internally consistent by the perception of horror that pulls it together into "one world."
    2) The b/w image is reminiscent of an illustration from the 1920s or 1930s. I like it precisely because it is reminiscent - the fusion of the more modern horror with the retro style is powerful. This links up with your general "timeless" approach, but it depends on a fairly retro look. I don't know if you're shooting for that fusion, or if you're looking to get more modern in there.
    3) The partial color piece isn't a fusion of styles, it is a jarring contrast of styles, which leaves me feeling that it's a bit contrived, but I think might be closer to the type of horror you're focusing on. I could be wrong about it, but it seems to me that the partial color piece is the "edgiest" of the three. Edgy doesn't always mean best, though. It definitely emphasizes the hand, which is a strong improvement on the b/w in terms of making the picture work to best advantage.
    4) The full color piece is the most unrooted in time. To the extent that you want to focus on an abstract, timeless vision of fantasy-horror, the full color piece is the best.

    Conclusion: (a) if your focus is that "timeless" abstract realm of horror-fantasy, the full-color is best. (b) If your focus is retro-fusion horror, pulling in some Lovecraft feel by actually connecting to Lovecraft-era art, go with the b/w version and sacrifice the power of the bloodied hand in the composition. (c) If your objective is to hit the edgy-gory feel, then go with the partial-color version.

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  12. My order of preference:
    Best: B&W
    Good: Full color
    Okay: Partial Color

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  13. I still prefer the B&W, but like all three, for different reasons. The red and black is the most horrifying, the B&W gives me license to fill in the color myself. The color version has a 1920's feel to it.

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  14. I like the partial color best by far. The full color and B&W are a distant third and fourth.

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  15. The background colour needs to be knocked back a little so that it is suggested without competing with the foreground action. Cooler and less saturated shades in the background would suggest depth and provide a measure of separation.

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  16. I prefer the partial colour version. I'm not fond of this one.

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  17. I'm getting sort of Weird Tales old pulp magazine vibe out of this.

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  18. I like the B/W picture the best. It invokes a classical pulp horror mood. Colour is nice, sure, but this piece doesn't need it. It is horrific in the same manner as those old black and white photos of the Jack the Ripper murder victims. For a cover, I'd go with the full colour one, even though I think it needs more contrast so that the characters in the forefront stand out more from the background, which might need more shadows. Oh, and the eyes. The B/W Iri-Khan has better eyes. More inhuman without the pupils.

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  19. I think the partial colored version remains tops, but this full color version would rank 2nd among the three.

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  20. I thought something was different. And it is. The pictures are different. No, not just the color. Check out the upper left corner of all three pics. In the pure color version that curly-cue me-bob is missing. Also, the details are a bit different. The dimensions of the little doll's head is different in the color version over the other two. Looks like there may be a couple of other subtle changes. As I glanced at all three pics at once, the differences embedded themselves in my mind's eye. It was quite painful.

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  21. you are never going to please everyone
    go with your instincts
    personally , I wold like to see a
    purple people eater

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  22. I keep coming back to look at it... and like the color one. Aeron Alfrey has somehow managed to remind me of some of the qualities of a few of my favorite artists --- horror from Francis Bacon, texture and light from Max Ernst and the slime and scratch and sickness of Joel Peter Witkin.

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  23. I like the color one more than I would have expected... though lessening the saturation on the background might let the foreground pop a bit more.
    Did you try one in B&W with only the bloody hand in color?

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  24. B&W is the best. Though it does not make me thing of northern european fantasy, as most people have indicated it seems too Asian to me for your game.

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  25. Full colour.. here's why:
    Of the three, I feel it relies the least on actually analysing the content to achieve its effect. Perhaps it's due to the 'jarred loose from time' effect Matt mentions.

    When I saw the black and white, I studied it. I thought 'that guy is being eviscerated perhaps, and that monster is really cool - neato. And it looks very old.. I can almost smell stale pipe smoke.'

    When I saw the second, partly-coloured, I snapped right to the coloured bits. 'Oh! his hand is bloody. Well, that's to be expected.' And my eye kind of bopped around to the coloured bits, editing out everything else.

    When I saw the third, full-colour, I simply immediately thought 'Oh my god!!' I was surprised my reaction was so visceral, particularly since I had already seen the picture. My eye was pulled around through all of it, and instead of ignoring part of it, my eye was actually repulsed from parts of it, thereby making them even more prominent.

    I judge this one the best, since, for me, (much like a good weird tale) it creates a synergistic mental image that's beyond the physical object itself.

    Plus, the eyes are creepier.
    :)

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  26. The Iri-Khan character is not Asian.

    I took several meta-elements of the character concept (the faux-Asian name and the fact that a Belgian, then a Finn, was originally to be the reference model) to flesh the idea out.

    Iri-Khan is a Westerner who believes that magical knowledge comes from "The East" because the first tomes he came across were indeed from that way.

    He's decided that to show how culturally and intellectually superior he is to the people around him by adopting an "Eastern" name and fashion.

    However, he has no actual concept of "The East" beyond the magical books he has collected. (imagine if all you knew of Western culture was gained from reading Justice League of America and you thought that was a factual account of average, everyday life) This could be comical if not for the fact that he actually is a deranged Magic-User of some power.

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  27. I prefer the crispness and subtlety of the black and white. The red hand is almost over kill in the partially colored one and the wizzing idol distracts me in the full color version

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  28. Whoah...what...what is the nature of the entanglement between the lower portions of the cadaver and the homunculus? You subtle, sick fucker!

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  29. I've not asked the artist what was up with that because I think it's better to be able to honestly say "I don't know." I didn't instruct or discuss "necrophilibestiality" in any conversation with the artist.

    I suspect though that the anatomy is wrong for intercourse to be happening. Remember the previous Tutorial cover establishes the creature as having a vagina, not a penis, so it's definitely not buggering the corpse. I would think the positioning is wrong for the creature to be riding the corpse, but the perspective of the whole piece is (intentionally!) skewed so that's not a sure argument against.

    So yeah, truthfully, I don't know.

    (but I tell you, the fact that this even needs discussing is kind of rad)

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  30. I'm still for the partial color version. It's got the best foreground/background balance, and the best mix of austere and outre!

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  31. "I suspect though that the anatomy is wrong for intercourse to be happening. Remember the previous Tutorial cover establishes the creature as having a vagina, not a penis"

    ...and the corpse in question appears to be male...

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  32. This version is the best, and not just because it encourages Blair to display his perverted thoughts in public.

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