9/25/2012 Feature: "The Look of Return to Ravnica"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "The Look of Return to Ravnica", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I know art has evolved by leaps and bounds over the years, but this set really feels like the art is 'auto-tuned'. Can we have some actual art instead of digital help? 

It is hard to feel like we've returned to Ravnica when the orignial cards were actually hand painted and not digital renderings. The digital stuff is cool and all, but so much of it feels very sterile. As of late I have been obsessed with buying things like All Hallow's Eve because you just don't make them like you used to, but maybe it's just me.    
I like the style of Rakdos this time around.... I was hoping for a clown or jester creature to pop up in the set though....

I thought that Boros were the police on Ravnica? Did I miss something by not reading AoA?

Also, thank you for getting rid of the Steam-punk look for Izzet...
Interrupted my reading to say Jeremy Jarvis is awesome. That building style guide is fantastic! Now back to reading...
I second that JJ and Richard Whitters and everyone else who helped make this world come to life again is just so freakin awesome and y'all did a great job!

While this article was mostly a recap for me from the PAX panel, it's nicely layed out for everyone to see, with some extra images that didn't make it to the panel.

I also just want to say that I personally love the more digitally rendered art. Vibrant colors and sharp clean edges are what I like to see. Anything else feels like an eye blight to me in this age of HD which I imagine will only get better. Don't get me wrong, there are older arts I did like ( although few and far between ) like Wild Aesthir, and Cursed Scroll, but I feel that I liked them ,at the time, for the same reasons I love the modern era magic art. Vibrant and Clean.
I know art has evolved by leaps and bounds over the years, but this set really feels like the art is 'auto-tuned'. Can we have some actual art instead of digital help? 

It is hard to feel like we've returned to Ravnica when the orignial cards were actually hand painted and not digital renderings. The digital stuff is cool and all, but so much of it feels very sterile. As of late I have been obsessed with buying things like All Hallow's Eve because you just don't make them like you used to, but maybe it's just me.    

Wrong. This article was released during the original Ravnica block.

I feel like a lot of people who complain about Magic's art getting "too digital" need to read that piece.

Also, I can't think of any Magic cards that are digital renderings. A render is not just any digitally painted object.
@fireballmage

While it's true that "Digitally Render" refers more to how special effects, 3D models + environments are processed and displayed. It's become a term of it's own among the magic community for how the art is created now days. I doubt it's going to change anytime soon. Especially since it's literal meaning is something extremely few people outside the art + digital entertainment industry know.
First off, like the vast majority of the changes - so yay!

But - the battery things the Izzet are holding just read retro-vacuum cleaner to me, it's kind of distracting.
I can only think of 1 reason why the Izzet are steampunk no more:

We're getting a steampunk block soon! =D 
EMBROIDERY.
I know art has evolved by leaps and bounds over the years, but this set really feels like the art is 'auto-tuned'. Can we have some actual art instead of digital help? 

It is hard to feel like we've returned to Ravnica when the orignial cards were actually hand painted and not digital renderings. The digital stuff is cool and all, but so much of it feels very sterile. As of late I have been obsessed with buying things like All Hallow's Eve because you just don't make them like you used to, but maybe it's just me.    

Wrong. This article was released during the original Ravnica block.

I feel like a lot of people who complain about Magic's art getting "too digital" need to read that piece.

Also, I can't think of any Magic cards that are digital renderings. A render is not just any digitally painted object.



Fine. Whatever you want to call it all this stuff looks like Audrina Patridge. It looks good, but it is dead behind the eyes.  

An interesting article. It's nice to see the redesigns and refinements, and especially how the world of Ravinca moving on in-universe intersects with the desires of the creative team to change things they felt weren't working properly.

However, this sentence:
We wanted a more awesome, more geared-up, and more aged-down version of Izzet with more attitude and a junkier silhouette.


...really makes me think of the scene in The Simpsons in which they hold a meeting to design Poochie.
Love it all.

I was a bit worried that you guys would go a bit overboard with the whole circus theme for Rakdos, but the spoiler laid my doubts to rest. They still look like cultists, but have a sense of style now.

Also, embroidery.  
The basic land from the original Ravnica block was by far my favourite (standard) land. I just don't understand why you missed the oppertunity to give us something magnificent for RtR.

Full art panoramic land...

...and if it was by John Avon that would have been perfect.



 
Also, I can't think of any Magic cards that are digital renderings. A render is not just any digitally painted object.



Richards Wright's land for RtR look very much like 3D models to me, I really don't like them very much...a shame given how amazing his Ravnicac lands were.


Syncopate - It just looks like a still from a (well done) video game. I imagine it's been tinkered with, but it looks close to a straight up render.
I've been fairly unimpressed by most of the art in this set. Richard Wright is probably my least favorite artist right about now, mostly because all of the big offender lands that bother me in RtR happen to be made by him. They look like 3D models to me as well. It looks sterile and bland, and doesn't mesh with other art well because it feels so out of place.
Do not want.
This just needed to commit to the nouveau shapes that the original teased.

What does that mean?
So...where are these embroidered guild symbol patches that Matt Cavotta is referring to?
This just needed to commit to the nouveau shapes that the original teased.

What does that mean?





en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau

www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=les%3...
"Guys, we need to move the Izzet away from old white males."
"Hmm... how about young white males?"
"BRILLIANT" 
Anyway, apart from that there is a huge flaw with the new Azorius symbol: they don't look like runes. They look like blobs.
I thought the previous golgari logo was fine. If you believe in the eternal circle of life and death, you'd have no issue with it. The current one juts shows an insect with no symbolism.
"Guys, we need to move the Izzet away from old white males."
"Hmm... how about young white males?"
"BRILLIANT" 


The gender count in the Izzet section of this article is 5 - 4, and two of those four women pictured are black.
"Guys, we need to move the Izzet away from old white males."
"Hmm... how about young white males?"
"BRILLIANT" 

I think the change was more meant to make the Izzet mages hip and young and good escapist characters than for any sense of political correctness.

Also, love the new Brainstorm art.

Fine. Whatever you want to call it all this stuff looks like Audrina Patridge. It looks good, but it is dead behind the eyes.  


Whatever floats your boat, but do realize that it's the style, not the tools.
I thought the previous golgari logo was fine. If you believe in the eternal circle of life and death, you'd have no issue with it. The current one juts shows an insect with no symbolism.


I like the subtle ouroboros imagery of the old one, and I wish it would have carried over because it's nothing to be ashamed of. But, I will say that the new art looks much more menacing. There's an inbetween that's not quite there yet.
Fine. Whatever you want to call it all this stuff looks like Audrina Patridge. It looks good, but it is dead behind the eyes.  


Whatever floats your boat, but do realize that it's the style, not the tools.



There's no texture from building up layers and no brush strokes because there is no paint and no brush. I consider that tools more than style, but I am not an artist. These images are nice, but they're flat and lifeless. And when that is the style used for everything, it comes across as very sterile to me. These guys don't need to be using paint as liberally as an impressionist, but I do feel that the digital stuff becomes hollow especially when that's most of what I'm getting. And as it is about art, it is entirely what floats my boat. I don't want them to abandon the digital stuff, but they have too much of it for my tastes.
Fine. Whatever you want to call it all this stuff looks like Audrina Patridge. It looks good, but it is dead behind the eyes.  


Whatever floats your boat, but do realize that it's the style, not the tools.



There's no texture from building up layers and no brush strokes because there is no paint and no brush. I consider that tools more than style, but I am not an artist. These images are nice, but they're flat and lifeless. And when that is the style used for everything, it comes across as very sterile to me. These guys don't need to be using paint as liberally as an impressionist, but I do feel that the digital stuff becomes hollow especially when that's most of what I'm getting. And as it is about art, it is entirely what floats my boat. I don't want them to abandon the digital stuff, but they have too much of it for my tastes.



Have you seen that article linked at earlier? Can you tell the differences? There are paints and brushes in digital art. What you dislike truly is a style and has nothing to do with the medium.
Count me as another fan of the digital art. I love the John Avon style of breathtaking bright light and subtle gradients, as also seen in things like Supreme Verdict. My favourite artwork from RtR is things like:

Swift Justice, Faerie Impostor, Street Spasm, Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord (lighting, background, drama)
Perilous Shadow, Azorius Guildgate, Transguild Promenade (lighting, atmosphere)
Nivix Guildmage, Rakdos Ringleader, Volatile Rig (lighting/colour effects, drama)
I do like the very striking poses of cards like Ash Zealot, Centaur's Herald, and Rites of Reaping as long as they're clear at card size. Many times this kind of piece is just too confused at card size.

Plus there's definitely a place for more old-school-style watercolour-ish artworks like Rest in Peace, Coursers' Accord or Call of the Conclave.
Oh yeah, I love the direction fantasy art has modernized compared to it's grungy, rustic, and/or comic past.
Oh yeah, I love the direction fantasy art has modernized compared to it's grungy, rustic, and/or comic past.


I don't mind the grungy, rustic, and/or comic stuff if it's done well. See Coffin Queen and Lingering Tormentor.
I can only think of 1 reason why the Izzet are steampunk no more:

We're getting a steampunk block soon! =D 



I really hope so.  I loved the steampunk look, and don't want it to die off.  I'll just get more izzet cards from that set if so. /crosses fingers.

This was a freaking awesome read.

Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
I am no fan of digital art just because it's digital, but I appreciate it a lot if the cards in my deck look like they belong together thematically. If the price is having  digital art then  let it be so. If theres like one card among  them that looks like its been drawn with crayons by a preschool kid, I cringe. 
"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Proud member of the Rakdos guild