All right...it's taken me longer than I expected, but here's my thoughts on SEEDS OF BETRAYAL. I'm going to go panel by panel on this one...
Panel 1- Good opening "crawl." Touched on what has gone before and sets the stage nicely for this chapter.
Panel 2- It's good to open with a space battle, but this one seems rather sparse. I would have liked to have seen more ships in this shot.
Panel 3- GREAT action shot. The clones are nicely posed, the SFX are great, and even though the "slim-shouldered" Mace Windu has never been one of my favorite customs, he looks good here, deflecting blasts in that almost nonchalant way Mace did in the arena. While plummeting through the air. ON FIRE. But I digress...
Panel 4- Good shot of the Federation ships around Dathomir. Dathomir seems to be oddly glowing from within, though... the light on the planet doesn't match the light on the ships...but I imagine that's hard to do.
Panel 5- Ah, Naboo. Great mix of film elements and figures here, and great job with the sizing between background and foreground. I honestly can't tell if that's a custom R2 unit or a pic from the film. It's also nice to see Owen's patrol speeder making another appearance.
Panel 6- Great shot of the shuttles leaving Naboo...although it would be nice if they were prequel era shuttles, I realize reference on those is slim. Besides, whose to say these weren't just off the assembly line at this time?
Panel 7- Fantastic close-up of Rykrof, but I wish you's cleaned up Hasbro's paint flaws around his beard with your photo program...he looks like he just ate a chocolate chip cookie. Mmmmm...
Panel 8- Padme the bigmouth. I wish there were dialogue here to make Rykrof almost an afterthought in their conversation. It seems too convenient and plot-dependent, and makes it seem like Padme called Anakin only to mention Rykrof, which is unlikely. Great hologram effect as always, though. Please...paint Anakin's hair the correct shade. Freakin' Hasbro can't get it right. I like the little custom holo-table too. Where's it from?
Panel 9- Anakin is a punk snitch. The best part of this shot is Corusant in the background. Anakin's pose seems awkward, though.
Panel 10- Palpatine pats Anakin's ass. Seriously though, Anakin looks stiff as if that's just what had happened. Also, I'm not a big fan of the manipulation on Palpy's face here. Looks weird.
Panel 11- Great close-up...this really adds some depth to the conversation, and makes the story more cinematic in your presentation. Well done.
Panel 12- I really like this shot. Great way to close out the scene.
Panel 13- Great shot of the shuttles. It's a nice transition from Palpy's office.
Panel 14-18- Some really nice action shots here...this and clarity of story is really what sets your work apart from a lot of photonovels. The SFX look terrific and I especially like the embattled escape pod shot.
Panel 19- Great shot of the Separatist's bridge, and nice to see Grievous and Asajj together, although I think it's been established in the EU that Asajj doesn't take orders from Grievous, and has no problem telling him so. Some verbal interplay between them would have been nice. I'd also like to see you work on a custom Asajj that blends the more realistic CW Asajj with the Battlepack version.
Panel 20- Great blending of the "real" and "CG" elements, and again, the sizing of the figures in the shot is great.
Panel 21- Establishing shot. 'Nuff said.
Panel 22-28- Great close-ups here, and a great way to keep a long conversation lively. There's a lot of story groundwork being laid here, and I think the conversation is tightly written here...very true to the characters. As much as part of me wishes you'd gone the other way with Tylin as we discussed, this rings very true. I think you were right to go this way with him. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the manipulation on Palpatine's face. Again, it looks odd.
Panel 29- Great shot of Palpatine walking off...the droid and it's shadow are well done, and it's good to see you getting so much mileage out of Owen's playset. Another good scene transition.
Panel 30-31- Good to see Kala Mly Shundi again. I also like that he and Ki Adi Mundi are discussing Rykrof's fate, as they of all the council have had the most dealings with him. I have to wonder how involved they will get, however, since a Jedi's way is to be somewhat detached from others...
Panel 32-35- I love the jungle set you've built of Dathomir for these shots...very nice. The poses are also well done here, and you really get a sense of just how dire the situation is for Rykrof and these clones.
Panel 36- This is both my favorite panel, and the one I have the most problems with. For one, the swamp looks great, but the background sky looks much lighter than I ever imagined Dathomir. I guess even a sun shines there occasionally, but I would have liked to see a darker and more forbidding sky. Also, the escape pod looks awkward, and doesn't blend as well with the background as in some other shots you've done. However, the Rancor blends so well it's amazing...but again, that just makes the pod stand out more.
As far as story this time around, I think it's a solid set-up to the next few chapters, which promise to be a roller coaster ride. The dialogue was well-written and the characters were true to the personalities we know. I'd say this chapter is another rousing success, but as for how much...we'll need to weigh them against the next two acts.
Also, I have to say that although you do some great CG stuff, don't rely too heavily on it. Some of the best work you've done is with your custom sets and imagination.
Great work! Can't wait for DESPERATE MEASURES.
P.S. I'm not a fan of the "Sexy Alyssa" shot. Although it's a good idea, it looks kind of creepy. Her "rag-doll" pose makes me feel like I'm viewing a crime scene...