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Lims-btvs round 10 icons

These were my entries for round 10 of  lims_btvs:

1 2 3 4

Alternative versions:

3' 4' 4'' 4'''

It was very useful to get feedback on my icons, as it made clear where the icons could be improved or where I should have made the concept come across better. For example, for icon 2 I got some comments on the text (font too plain; too white; too overpowering) and the border, but the idea behind the text and the border had been to mimic the Smoking kills warning you find on cigarette packets. As it turned out, that didn't work for everybody.

For icon 3 I got the very useful feedback from teragramm that Willow needed more color and brightening. So I changed that, and it improved the icon immensely (see icon 3') .

Icon 4 is the one that got me eliminated from the round. Several people commented on the icon having too much contrast, Angel's profile blending too much into the background, and the skin colouring being too dark / orange. So maybe I should have gone for one of the alternatives of this icon (lighter and less orange). Personally, to be honest I still prefer the version I submitted. I just think that the contrast and the flame-lit orange hue of Angel's face go best with the background image. Of course, maybe I should have gone with an altogether different background.

Update: I've added a third variant of 4, based on chasingdemons' good advice. It's probably still a bit too dark, but definitely a lot better than the rest.

In spite of everything, icon 4 did get to be Chosen One (mod's choice), and so did icon 3. Here are the pretty banners, made by hermionesparkle:

Let's see how far I'll get in round 11!

Many thanks to whoever nominated icon 4 for the No Rest For The Wicked awards! wicked_awards



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2016 12:55 am (UTC)
Wonderful icons! Personally I prefer 4 to both of its variants. I like the color of Angel's face being echoed by the background; the first variant is too pale as to be jarring, and the second is not a flattering skin tone.

Congrats on winning mod's choice!
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I agree with your assessment of the #4 variants. But that those are no good doesn't mean #4 couldn't have been better, of course.

And truth be told, in both cases most icons except mine weren't even eligible for the Chosen One category. So those were not exactly great victories (but I appreciated them nonetheless).
Aug. 1st, 2016 01:14 am (UTC)
Oh, this looks like fun. I won't sign up because I'm just not an icon maker. I have a lot of trouble working that small. In fact I have a lot of trouble seeing other peoples icons. I will join the community so I can at least watch. Can I give critique if I don't participate? I love your icons. But I agree with the critique on 4. I might have suggested having the orange color on the edges of his face and hair but maybe not throughout.
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:36 pm (UTC)
Many thanks for your kind words and your good suggestion for improving #4. Doing it like that never occurred to me, but I realise now that I could (and probably should) have been a lot more subtle with the lighting and colouring. So Iam definitely going to give it a try.

It's great that you've joined the community. As a non-particpant you can still vote and critique. More votes are always welcome, and in some cases even desperately needed. More importantly, you are good at giving useful feedback, and that is the most valuable thing of all.

Aug. 10th, 2016 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks again for your excellent advice. I've made a new version based on it, and I think it looks pretty good! I've added it to my post.
Aug. 11th, 2016 04:10 am (UTC)
I like it!! Since the side of his face we see isn't directly facing the glow I would not expect that side to be completely orange. Are you using Photoshop?
Aug. 11th, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
I agree it makes more sense this way, lighting-wise. I am using Photoshop (Photoshop Elements, that is) but I still don't know half of the things I could do with it!
Aug. 1st, 2016 05:37 am (UTC)
...so how deadly is a smoking vampire? :D
Have fun!
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:37 pm (UTC)
Twice as deadly at least, especially if it's Spike :-)

Aug. 1st, 2016 11:57 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're learning so much.
Both look great.
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I did learn a lot about what works and what doesn't. Now only to learn how to apply these insights in practice!
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:13 pm (UTC)
Well, you know my opinion of most of these (they were all awesome), except maybe #2, cause I kinda didn't dare to vote that round? It would've been my favorite (again :D ). )

I also still prefer #4, though chasingdemons may be right - orange color only on the edges would've been worth a try.

You absolutely deserved to get that far, or even farer.
Good luck the next round!

(I signed up again, too :)
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you signed up again too. I bet you'll get far this time. At least I'm sure you are going to beat me :-)

I've just seen your latest icons for whedonelite, and they look awesome. Your icons are just getting better and better at the speed of light. (A hyperbole, but I do mean it!)

And yeah, I'm definitely going to try chasingdemons' suggestion.
Aug. 2nd, 2016 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ha! I certainly won't beat you (and I kinda don't really want to either...), but thanks for the encouragement!

I'm somewhat unstable regarding the quality of my icons (I'm happy you liked those on WE <3 !), and I still lack so much technique! I got week knees when I read about a provided texture (uh - what??? I hope it means something that I can use like a cap...). Anyway, as long as it's fun :)
Aug. 2nd, 2016 10:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, I still really lack technique too. I sometimes look at icon making tutorials and most of them go WAY beyond my skills.

At first I was also confused by the term "textures", but I know now that they're basically just images (for example clouds or bubbles or paint strokes) that you can use to add some structure to your icon, for example as backgrounds or light effects.

Edited at 2016-08-02 10:10 pm (UTC)
Aug. 2nd, 2016 10:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for the explanation! That's basically what I meant (I even used an image of water for the background of the icon #2 in WE before I threw it all in the bin and started anew), only that I had no idea that there are even images of paint strokes and such things! Wow, a whole new world opens...
Aug. 2nd, 2016 10:32 pm (UTC)
There are people who make them and put them online for others to use. red_satin_doll has some good links in her resources post.
Aug. 2nd, 2016 10:36 pm (UTC)
And thanks again :) I always thought those were some PS specific things when people mentioned their resourses (stupid me...). I'm going to have a look at those asap!

Aug. 2nd, 2016 11:20 am (UTC)
#4 is great nevertheless (as well as all others))
Aug. 2nd, 2016 08:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Aug. 2nd, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad my icon advise helped.
Aug. 2nd, 2016 08:22 pm (UTC)
It really did, thanks again! I'm also going to make an attempt at improving #4.
Aug. 11th, 2016 10:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, I just saw you improved your icon after Chasingdemons' advice! It looks great! (It always did, though.)
Ah, and that's why I didn't see on your journal that you're nominated - you announced it in an update. Anyway, congratulations on the nomination!
Aug. 12th, 2016 12:00 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was great advice and I'm quite pleased with how the new version came out, though I'm still undecided if I like it better than the original version or not. But I do think it would have brought me further in the challenge! Oh well, new round, new oppportunities -- I just hope there will be enough candidates.

And yeah, I thought I'd keep everything icon-related tidy together in a single post. (Of course the drawback is that people aren't likely to notice it!)

Aug. 29th, 2016 10:27 am (UTC)
Good to see that are participating in this icon challenge community - your icons keep getting better and better.

I like what you did with the Smoking one especially the first image with the smoke. And I very much like your Angel & Sun #4.

congrats with winning the Mod's Choice.

Edited at 2016-08-29 10:32 am (UTC)
Aug. 29th, 2016 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks Cil! That image of Spike smoking in FFL is such a classic. I only enhanced it a tiny little bit.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )