Author Topic: RE #14 - SURVIVAL  (Read 4899 times)

Offline Darth Delicious

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #30 on: October 2, 2005, 10:58 PM »
All right, this has been up awhile, but I've been holding off on commenting...mostly because with all the work CHEWIE puts into these, I feel he deserves an in-depth response...but I haven't had time until now.

Panel 1: Opening crawl. Another effective description to bring the reader up to date. I wonder though, how this would look if you really went for the gusto and engaged in the hyperbole of the old movie serials? Still, hyperbole or no, this is well-written, intelligent and does the job...much better than ROTS' retarded crawl. (Heroes on both sides indeed...)

Panel 2: Opening with Alyssa was a nice touch, and reminds us of the human element of this story. She looks awesome in that robe, but the bedroom looks a little too dark and kind of like a dungeon. It matches the mood here, but I might have felt more compelled if it contrasted what we're about to see in Rykrof's ordeal.

Panel 3: A stalwart effort, but I still don't think this pic works. Alyssa looks like a broken doll, and the whole thing, to me at least, is kind of creepy.

Panel 4: Nice transition shot of Dathomir. The lighting seems much improved over last chapter as you seem to get more comfortable with the "sfx" shots. Would have liked to see a few more Trade Federation ships though, and maybe THE INVISIBLE HAND. (Unless Greivous has left the system by this point, which, come to think of it,  I imagine he has.)

Panel 5: An ambitious shot that comes off well. Really creepy and unsettling, and gives us a great sense of the danger that Rykrof has been dealing with.

Panel 6: Run, runner! I like this a lot. It's dark, forbidding, and has a good sense of motion to it. The shadows from the trees above are a nice touch.

Panel 7: A nice shot of the Rancor closing in. The clone looks a little awkward...I imagine he was hard to pose in an effective running position that looked good from the side. I am glad to see this was shot against the diorama... an SFX shot would have looked out of place here.

Panel 8: Great ROTJ style shot...reminiscent of the Rancor closing in on Luke. I like the added saliva.

Panel 9: Poor clone. I feel bad for the Rancor when he has to pass that armor though. Great shot. The only thing that would have made it more effective would be spurting blood...but that would be a bit much for a Star Wars tale.

Panel 10: An SFX shot that really works. One of my favorite, and a good transition to what comes next.

Panel 11: At last we see Asajj! I like that you shot her in such a way that her hand looks like it's pointing rather than made to hold a lightsaber. The foliage here looks great, as does the battle-worn clone and the pool. Very cool!

Panel 12: The clone looks a little awkwardly posed, but in the context of the story, it makes sense that he can barely hold himself up. Great shadowing here.

Panel 13: Another nice piece where the elements come together perfectly. I like that Asajj is lit here to make her the focal point.

Panel 14: Well done. Shadowing's good and it's a nice counterpoint to the earlier shot that was framed much the same. I like the choking bit, very keen.

Panel 15:This is a great shot. The clone looks really natural the way you submerged him, and the water effects here are amazing. I like that it's foamy...makes you wonder what gunk is churning in it.

Panel 16: Nailed the hologram! Very well done.

Panel 17: Effective establishing shot.

Panel 18: Love the hallway. Love the custom Sora Bulq. Hate, hate, HATE the photo manipulation on Count Dooku. He looks like he's got downs syndrome. Sorry, but I just do not like it, especially considering the ROTS Dooku has such an excellent sculpt. It seems unnecessary. Honestly, I'd stick to just manipulating their mouths when appropriate.

Panel 19: Count "Corky" Dooku again. Honestly, this really took me out of the story. Sorry. Also, I don't feel Dooku sounds as authentic as he has in past chapters, but maybe that's because here, he's playing the role of Darth Exposition, and that's always tough to pull off.

Panel 20: "I see" and "And so it is" seems awkward to me. Still, I love that you remind us here of the sub-plot on Rhen Var.

Panel 21: GREAT effects shot. The reflection is amazing! The one thing I would have liked to have seen here though, was Asajj with her hood up. Seems like she'd be wearing a full cloak on Dathomir.

Panel 22: An inspired transition to bring Rykrof in and a great FX shot.

Panel 23: Great job on weathering these guys...they really look like hell. I like Rykrof's beard stubble. Again, glad to see the diorama in place and not a CG background. Is that part of a "Day the Earth Stood Still" diorama sticking up in there?

Panel 24: A zoom in shot, but it really shows the great weathering on these cats. I like TK-42...maybe Rykrof can give him a name as this storyline wears on. I like the missing gloves, and would like to see more armor damage as the story winds on, like maybe straps wearing away on the armor and they have to lash parts of it to their bodies to make it stay on.

Panel 25: Hup, hup, hup! Great "double-time" sequence. The reflection in the water is an amazing touch.

Panel 26: Isla Sorna! That's what this reminds me of. Great shot.

Panel 27: Good shot, but the three are grouped too closely. It doesn't come off that they're moving up on the defensive. Would have liked to see some military style formation here.

Panel 28: A nice moody shot, but they should really have their weapons in the ready position. I like the mess on the floor. What playset is that?

Panel 29: Good lighting here. Gives a sense of forboding.

Panel 30: This is a really nice relief effect, and I like that you remind us of what has gone before...makes Rykrof seem real.

Panel 31-32: Again, these soldiers don't appear to be ready to fire on a possible threat, and are moving too closely together. One burst could take them all out. I know your tired, soldiers, but remember your training!   ;)

Panel 33-38: Nothing too dynamic here photo-wise, but effective shots to showcase a discussion and highlight the human (and Mon Calamarian) emotions. Nicely done. Also, Y-Wing engines are just lying willy-nilly about the universe. I like it though, it's a convincing "thingie" for the backgrounds.

Panel 39: This effect shot didn't come off to well...it looks very flat. You can tell the elements don't occupy the same space.

Panel 40: Awsome shot! Very well done, and Coeli's AT-TE looks great!

Panel 41: Another nice shot. What planet is that supposed to be? This is a shot that's really blended well. I like the two battle droids that look like they're conversing in the foreground.

Panel 42-43: Looking good. I really like Freelo. I think Rykrof trusted him a little to soon... some more questioning might have been in order... but he's a cool character and a great custom.

Panel 44: GREAT shot! This one gives me the willies, and although I've seen who that character is before, I like that you kept her in the distance for the story. Very well done, and the best shot of Dathomir yet.

One could say that not a lot happened in this chapter to advance the overall plotline, but as this is still very much the first part of a multi-part arc, I'd say it advanced the story nicely, touched on existing plotlines, and gave us a lot to look forward to. Most importantly, I think, it built up some tension about just how in trouble Rykrof might be. The new threat at the end is very chilling, and it seems there is much more story to be told here on Dathmir. I hope it doesn't unfold TOO quickly, as I think this particular thread has a lot of potential to advance Rykrof as a character.

Overall ,my comments might seen more critical than positive, but don't be fooled...I really liked this chapter. There's a good sense of desperation here, and Rykrof's melancholy is bulding with each chapter. I can't wait to see what troubles avail him next.  I just hammer a little on the things I think could have been better so that when you do the next installment, I'll REALLY be blown away. So far, you haven't disappointed.

-DD





 
« Last Edit: October 3, 2005, 01:25 AM by Darth Delicious »
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #31 on: October 4, 2005, 12:22 AM »
DD, thanks for all of the feedback.  It's really appreciated!  In depth comments like these are a huge help and keep me wanting to make the next ones even better.  Great suggestions that you came up with.

 :P

Offline Quazar

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #32 on: October 4, 2005, 05:40 AM »
Even though DD totally ripped off my idea of doing panel-by-panel analysis, here comes my belated detailed review:

The opening crawl is fine.  No real comments here...

Alyssa looks cool in the robe. Good composite, the crib is a great choice, looks like it belongs in the SW universe.  The window in this shot, however, almost looks more like a picture on the wall than a window...the background used isn't the greatest choice.

Ah, the controversial Alyssa nightie shot.  Still think thinks looks odd and a little creepy...The window effect is much better, but it looks like Alyssa's apartment is in the basement....I guess handmaidens don't make that much.  The sunlight effect, though, is very cool.  But why is she going to bed so early?  It looks like maybe 7:00 pm at the latest.

No real comment on the Dathomir shot.  Looks good, except that the text says "fleet of battleships" and there's only one visible.

Cool shot of the dead/decaying clone!  Creepy and gross!

Love the fleeing trooper and the rancor!  The rancor looks really life like in your shots.  Well done!

The close-up is GREAT.  Love the salivia!  The rancor attack sequence is really terrific.

Good choice of "real world" shot for the battle droids.  Very minor nitpick:  wouldn't the STAPs cause any kind of wake or displacement in the water they are hovering above?  I'm sure that would be nearly impossible to do, though.

I like Asajj and the clone.  However, in the panel where she confronts him, you should have moved at least one of her arms.  Unfortunately, the figure really looks like she should be holding her sabers given her stance and the way he hands are sculpted.  Some arm posing would have made her seem more, I dunno, "alive."  Still, it's a very cool scene and the combination of the various elements looks great.  Love the use of the foam rocks, as always.  I will definitely be getting a set of those!

Hey!  Great hologram!  The transparent effect works brilliantly!

Nice re-use of Owen's base as the separatist ship.

As for the modified Dooku...though the results here are mixed (there is the much-discussed cross-eyed effect), I think it's great that you're trying this very bold technique.  There's nothing worse than having immobile plastic mannequins as your main characters.  I applaud your efforts to make them more expressive and life like, even if the end results are not always perfect.  Keep trying, though!

Dooku's "just so happened to crash on" sentence doesn't feel quite in character, though.  Rest of the dialogue is good and it's nice to see Sora Bulq again.

The shot of Asajj and the battle droids is GORGEOUS!  The combination of all the elements is flawless and the reflection looks terrific!  Amazing job!

Love the binocular vision shot, too!

The dirty, weathered figures look friggin' fantastic!  Wow!  Amazing customizing job!!!!  Only one extremely minor nitpick and that's Rykrof's black "collar" is just slightly uneven looking, especially when compared with the real thing on the clone right next to him.  Would it be possible to sculpt a proper "collar" on him?  Like I said, very minor criticism...I could live to 150 and still never make a custom anywhere near this good.  fantastic, fantastic job!

LOVE the shot of Rykrof leading the men off.  The "ripple" effect is so beautiful I almost cried!  WOW.

The shot of the base, troops, rocks and mountains is AMAZING.  EXCELLENT compositing....how did you make the base in this picture??

Like DD, I was also reminded of "The Lost World".  Very, very cool stuff...

What did you use for the base itself?  Please post a picture of the toy that you used so we can see what it looks like.  I'd love to try to find one myself.

Agree with DD that their entry doesn't seem quite "military" enough...maybe one clone should be crouched down or something.  Try to do more to convey the sense of these guys working as a well-oiled machine.  Like the troops in "Clone Wars Vol I"....more militaristic formations and actions, etc.

The base itself looks great.  Love the Trigg Fudda image!  Nicely done.

Again, in the panel where Ryrkof says "set for stun"...try to do more with the troops...one crouching behind a box, one standing guard, etc...

I love Freelo!!!  Great character, great custom!  Fantastic!!  By the way, what is that big black cylinder next to him and where did it come from?  What is Freelo made from?  Just Meena and a pilot clone?  Or are there other elements.  He looks great.

The transition from the two-shot of Rykrof and the helmetless clone to the next shot of the clones cleaning up is a bit awkward.  You should have had Rykrof talking to Freelo first before the clones feel safe enough to go cleaning up.  The text and images create a bit of an awkward, abrupt transition.

By the way, it's funny that Rykrof is kicking back with a beverage while the clones work!

The shots with Ryrkof and Freelo are terrific.  I have a very minor problem with Freelo's backstory, though.  He was hired by the separatists to help with Rhen Var, a very, very important project for which they were going to pay him handsomely.  But wouldn't he at least try to contact them once he crashed and saw their troops?

Maybe he should have said something like, "Strangely, when I saw the troops, they fired on me and I was forced to retreat."  Seems odd that he's so willing to trust and cooperate with Republic troops (and admit he was going to work for their enemy!) so easily. 

Or maybe he should have been working for them on Rhen Var until he decided to quit or something, having grow disillusioned with their cause.  That would make him more apt to trust Rykrof (and for Ryrkrof to trust him.)

I really like the shots of the on-going war, especially the battle droids in the wrecked city.  I like how the futility and misery of the war are a recurring theme in the stories and keep coming up.  We really sense how this war has been affecting the galaxy and weighing on Rykrof's mind...

The final shot is extremely creepy and forebodding!  An excellent cliff hanger! 

All around, another great chapter!  I really love Freelo and look forward to seeing more of him in the next installment, despite my minor quibbles about his backstory.

You really made the planet come alive.  The rancor was awesome, the selection of shots for the forest and swamps were great and the compositing of all the different elements was the best yet!  You continue to top yourself with each successive chapter!  Stunning work all around.

I have a comment about the direction of the story itself.  Well, not the story so much, I suppose, but rather your use of certain characters.

Though you usually do a great job in writing for Count Dooku, who is one of my favorite prequel characters, I think you should re-think your use of the established villains like Grievious, Dooku, Ventress and Sidious.  I think having quick cameos every now and then is fine, but the problem that I have is that, given that these are Force using characters, it becomes a bit frustrating that they are so important in Rykrof's story.

We know that Rykrof's direct dealings with any of these characters will be extremely brief at best.  Dooku has been a major presence in the photonovels, but Rykrof only met him once and for a brief second.

We already know that Rykrof isn't going to face off against Asajj in a battle  - she'd kick his ass in a split second.  So it becomes a bit frustrating that she's so important in this chapter.  It's a foregone conclusion that certain things won't happen with her and I think you end up limiting yourself.

If, on the other hand, instead of Asajj, you had a different, original character, you could take the story theoretically in any direction and could preserve the elements of suspense and surprise better. 

I think you should pull back more with Dooku, Asajj and others and give Rykrof more enemies that are in his "league", like Trigg Fudda, who was a very cool character.  Trigg and Rykrof had a much more personal (and dramatic) relationship that Rykrof could ever have with Dooku.  Despite Rykrof's success, at the end of the day, he is really of little consequence to guys like Sidious and Dooku, who have to contend with far greater stakes and far more powerful adversaries. 

When Trigg Fudda met Sidious, for instance, he was immediately wiped out.  Such a thing would ever happen if Rykrof ever met Sidious or Dooku or even Asajj in a one on one fight. 

I think you should consider greating a new recurring adversary for Rykrof and reducing the appearances of the other characters.  Maybe another Separatist Commander or mercenary or Badoo Corba member who Dooku possibly assigns to take down Rykrof or who develops a personal animus towards him for some reason.  You could do whatever you want with such a character and not be hamstrung by any limitations.  We would never know what direction the story is going to take, whereas, in this particular instance, we know Rykrof won't kill Asajj, nor even that Asajj might get killed by the witch. 

In any event, as always, this is first rate work.  The amount of effort you put into these is staggering and I know everyone appreciates and enjoys the hell out of your hard work.

As always, bravo and thank you!





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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #33 on: October 4, 2005, 10:25 AM »
Lance, thanks for the in depth review!  It's always very helpful to get your opinion on how something could have been played out.  I'll try and answer the main quetions that you have in the story.  Mainly, about Dooku.

Before I hit into that - about the fleet of battle ships at Dathomir, Rykrof was attacked by several of them in the previous story, but just one remains in the system now.  I suppose I should have stated that in the description of the picture, that with the war going on the Separatists are not leaving so many ships in the system.

Dooku is just such a fun character to work with, that it's hard to leave him out of the story.   But I agree, I need to continue to create original characters.  I am working on doing that, as the character Troffar the Terrible (the Gran that has assumed leadership of the Badoo Corba) will be returning to the series before too long.

As for Dooku, the reason he sent Ventress really was to make sure that Rykrof is just out ot the picture.  Palpatine does not want a non-Clone in the military who has influence on any senators.  Better to just get rid of him now.  He's continued to survive many missions when the odds have been stacked against him.  Really, Dooku intends for this to be merely a test for Ventress to see how she fairs in a hunt on a dangerous planet - she will soon be ordered to kill Anakin Skywalker.

Freelo had been contracted by the Separatists in the Rhen Var excavation, but has not arrived on Rhen Var yet.  He is just a contractor, nothing more.  He has not chosen a side in the war.  He at this point is neutral.

Commander Snodd of the Trade Federation is a character that I created that will arrive on Dathomir to complete a final sweep of the area to ensure that there are no survivors.  I think this character will be kind of fun.

By the time story #15 rolls around, Rykrof will have been on Dathomir for a couple of months.  The climax of the Dathomir story is going to go out with a bang - I just hope it turns out like I want it to and that everyone is pleased with it.

Anyways, here's some previews.









 :P
« Last Edit: October 5, 2005, 11:41 AM by CHEWIE »

Offline Darth Delicious

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #34 on: October 6, 2005, 08:26 PM »
Great previews! I can't wait!

It will be interesting to see how the Seps patrol for Rykrof when they are just as vulnerable to Rancor attack.  :P

-DD
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #35 on: October 7, 2005, 12:41 AM »
Thanks DD... I am so close to being done with this next story, and am breaking it out over one more story after #15 for the Dathomir plot.  It's just too big of a story to make into 1-2 chapters... so if there are a couple of questions left unanswered in #15, I believe they will be answered in #16.

 :P

Offline Gregorbian

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2006, 09:44 PM »
Wow, what a dark chapter here!
I liked having the words on the pictures, but if they take forever to format, then it's not a big deal reading it on the forum page.

I finally got to meet Freelo!  Woohoo!
I love that picture of the battle droids in front of the rubble strewn city - very cool pic!

That dead, rotting clone corpse is freaky.  I think you made a preview shot of it so I had seen it before, but it was still pretty unnerving seeing it again.  Great work on that.
The scariest thing that I've ever seen,
Is the terrible AT-AT walking machine.
It's as big as a house on walking legs,
and whatever it steps on it crushes like eggs.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2006, 11:41 AM »
Thanks Greg, I remember making that dead rotting clone pic... imagine how much better it would look with one of Fritzkrieg's dead clones.   :)

Yeah, I was happy to be able to introduce Freelo here.  I really like the character of him a lot.

As for the word formatting, it really does work better for me to have them typed into the forum post.  A whole lot easier.

 :P

Offline Deanna Rash

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2006, 04:22 PM »
 ;DYour lighting and customs are so cool and a neat story to boot
The ablity to speak does not make you intelligent - now get out of here!

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #14 - SURVIVAL
« Reply #39 on: January 8, 2007, 12:17 AM »
Thanks you Deanna - I'm in the process of the redo on this chapter...

 ;)