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Kelso Advice Thread: a.k.a. Mark Amok!
 Group admin 
Got problems from exposing your stud?

Parts not fitting in the right holes?

Trouble keeping it up? (your MOC, people - sheesh, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Tell me your plastic woes, my friends. And I'll do my best to help!


Permalink
| February 25, 2012, 6:16 am
 Group admin 
Quoting 12Lego Greendude

Thanks for the critique! Mr.Kelso you always help out with my stuff, thank you. Maybe I should ask a BIONICLE AFOL... (Yuri?)


Yep, yep, yep! Yuri would be an excellent person to get some Bionicle input from. Great builder, nice guy, and he smells like bacon...which I always like.

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| February 25, 2012, 6:22 am
I understand that you do not have the time to do a MOC off. However, do you have any recommendations as to who I should challenge now? I want a hard challenge, so probably an AFOL.
Permalink
| February 25, 2012, 9:23 am
Hey Mr. Kelso!

Can I have some advice for another dragon? I know that you might think you would give the same advice from my earth dragon but this time, the dragon is more of a wyvern

Oh yeah, I may also want some advice for my first landscape

Thanks!

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/309976
Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 6:45 am
Quoting Luke, Builder of the Awesome
I understand that you do not have the time to do a MOC off. However, do you have any recommendations as to who I should challenge now? I want a hard challenge, so probably an AFOL.

AFOLs don't tend to have the time to lock horns with every young buck looking to make a name for himself; in practice, they tend to nuture feuds with one another, ex. Phipson-Kelso, Shannon-Other Shannon, Fassio-Flare, etcetera.

You'd be better off looking for a middle-range TFOL. Someone around fifteen or sixteen with few commitments and a great deal of spare time. Since I'm closer to AFOL than KFOL these days, and really never kept track of immature types, I haven't got a clue who'd match your apparent skills fairly well. I'll have a quick look through the two Favorite Builder pages and get back to you.

EDIT:
http://mocpages.com/home.php/1478
http://mocpages.com/home.php/64714
http://mocpages.com/home.php/73498
http://mocpages.com/home.php/63108
http://mocpages.com/home.php/51074
http://mocpages.com/home.php/24431
http://mocpages.com/home.php/12945
all seem about right. I can't really tell you anything about them, though, since I just went about clicking names at random.
Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 7:02 am
Quoting Zack .
I need some advice on my Commando Justin:

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/311200

Thanks!

Zack, you will for sure get NO advice on a custom clone. This is the totally wrong place for sharpied clones.
Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 7:47 am
Quoting Deff .
Zack, you will for sure get NO advice on a custom clone. This is the totally wrong place for sharpied clones.


Ooops, :3
Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 7:48 am
I'll take advice on this:

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/310427
Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 7:50 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Luke, Builder of the Awesome
I understand that you do not have the time to do a MOC off. However, do you have any recommendations as to who I should challenge now? I want a hard challenge, so probably an AFOL.


There are so many great builders out there, that would be terrific challenges. Hmmm...

Dave Kaleta, Shannon Ocean, Mr. Xenomurphy come to mind. These guys are pretty active right now, super-nice guys, and might have the time. (That's the biggest difficulty with AFOLs - their time is often very limited).


Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 8:07 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Quoting Areesta C

I really appreciate your time and thought to help me with this! I understand that AFOLs are busy, because just as TFOLs have school, AFOLs have jobs. I am glad that I joined MOC pages, because it is really good to get advice from older, experienced builders. I think I will challenge one of the people you suggested, Mr. Areesta.
Permalink
| February 26, 2012, 10:36 am
Hello Mark.
I doubt you remember me, but I was once on here. My old name was Dominick Sinclair (ring a bell?)and I would always post here. I built a lot for Dawn Forge.
Permalink
| February 28, 2012, 9:19 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Bluestar ~
Hey Mr. Kelso!

Can I have some advice for another dragon? I know that you might think you would give the same advice from my earth dragon but this time, the dragon is more of a wyvern

Oh yeah, I may also want some advice for my first landscape

Thanks!

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/309976


If you have a specific link to the landscape, I'd be glad to have a look. Meanwhile, the dragon...

Love the color scheme for starters. It's got an immediate aggressive quality to it with that dramatic orange and black.

The overall form is looking pretty cool, and once again you've done a good job with the head. I think my biggest recommendation would be to try to utilize parts that will help you with the surface texture. The head, for example has a good number of studs exposed, and to me, they're interfering with the look and feel that you're going for. If you could have managed some parts (like slopes, wedges, curved bricks, etc.) to form the head with no studs showing, I think the result might be more effective.

What I'm struggling to describe might actually be easier to understand with an example. This appeared just recently, and is a brilliant example of parts usage where each piece functions as a body part:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/retinence/6787051822/

If you need to use a combination of pieces to create a form, I would recommend trying to get them to fit together as closely as possible (ie - as few gaps as possible). This makes the form feel solid, and makes it very recognizable to the viewer's eye. Have a look at this example. He's used a LOT of pieces, but they're very tightly compacted to create a very clean form. Notice, too, the lack of studs:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/retinence/6558076009/

Hopefully these examples will provide some guidance.

Good luck!

Permalink
| February 29, 2012, 8:01 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Zack .
I'll take advice on this:

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/310427


Not bad, Zack. I like the color work and the level variations in the MOC.

I think it feels a bit cramped to me. I might have tried going a bit larger with the MOC to allow for some more open areas - give the piece a little breathing room, ya know?

In your next landscapes, you could also try going for a more complex selection and arrangement of parts for a more detailed environment. In this MOC you've utilized a fair number of bricks for the section leading to the upper level. The use of the bricks, one stacked upon another, creates a blocky visual rhythm that tends to look a bit unnatural. I might suggest additional plates and slopes for something like that, to break up the blocky, rhythmic quality and give it a more organic feel. You could even go studs out for the landscape rock forms. Here's a great example:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blake-foster/6709434493/in/faves-22824835@N05/

No studs, and some wonderful variety to the rock work. A smaller version of this approach, and perhaps in different colors, would have been a great option.


Permalink
| February 29, 2012, 8:12 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Luke, Builder of the Awesome
Quoting Mark Kelso

Quoting Areesta C

I really appreciate your time and thought to help me with this! I understand that AFOLs are busy, because just as TFOLs have school, AFOLs have jobs. I am glad that I joined MOC pages, because it is really good to get advice from older, experienced builders. I think I will challenge one of the people you suggested, Mr. Areesta.


Good luck, Luke - hopefully you'll be able to find someone to really help you push yourself to that next level.

Permalink
| February 29, 2012, 8:14 am
i'm thinking of making an expantion with my dragon's cave heres the link http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/289509 i wanted 2 make it with some ruins of a dwarf city to give it a cool effect but i want it to be really unique and have some new stuff but i need help so.. thx 4 the help! :)
Permalink
| February 29, 2012, 8:17 am
I would like some advice regarding anything and everything about this moc.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/311955
I know the photography isn't amazing, some pics are out of focus, etc.
Permalink
| February 29, 2012, 8:27 pm
Hey Mark. I don't have a picture yet, so bear with me.

I'm trying to build a mosaic representing this (or someting similar):

http://sleevage.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/patricknagel-rio.jpg

I plan on trying to finish my mosaic and enter it in the "MOCing The 1980's!" category for the MOCathalon.

Any tips on building one? You are an artist, so you might know.....
Permalink
| March 1, 2012, 6:24 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Samuel Hepple
i'm thinking of making an expantion with my dragon's cave heres the link http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/289509 i wanted 2 make it with some ruins of a dwarf city to give it a cool effect but i want it to be really unique and have some new stuff but i need help so.. thx 4 the help! :)


Nice work on the cave. For the ruins, I'd go with dilapidated architectural elements - broken columns, cracked and withered decorative walls, etc. Now how you make that unique is very much up to you. Think about your interpretation of what dwarfs are and what they do. How would they have lived their lives? What would their priorities have been - or in other words, their perspective of their place in the world? Such things would dictate their behavior, and the way in which they would've expressed themselves. Once you've developed these kinds of details to your scenario, unique qualities in the building of the MOC will naturally start to manifest themselves.

Permalink
| March 2, 2012, 8:21 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Ben King
I would like some advice regarding anything and everything about this moc.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/311955
I know the photography isn't amazing, some pics are out of focus, etc.


Wow, quite nice. I particularly like the composition of the walkway, and the arrangement of the foliage in the landscaping. The height variation is a subtle, but wonderful touch, too.

I think the only immediate nit would be the inconsistency of the flooring on the interior. For some reason that caught my attention fairly quickly. I think if they built one floor a certain way, others - in such a small building - would be the same. If this were a more modern building, or a large structure, variable floor colors and patterns would make more sense. But here it feel a bit awkward...to me, anyway.

Lovely job, in general, though. I really like the color variety in this. The textures are all nice, the proportions sound, good detailing...just a sweet MOC.


Permalink
| March 2, 2012, 8:29 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Kyle Peckham
Hey Mark. I don't have a picture yet, so bear with me.

I'm trying to build a mosaic representing this (or someting similar):

http://sleevage.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/patricknagel-rio.jpg

I plan on trying to finish my mosaic and enter it in the "MOCing The 1980's!" category for the MOCathalon.

Any tips on building one? You are an artist, so you might know.....


Sorry, Kyle - but as I'm a judge, I can't ethically offer you advice. I'll be glad to talk about it after the contest, though!


Permalink
| March 2, 2012, 8:32 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Wow, quite nice. I particularly like the composition of the walkway, and the arrangement of the foliage in the landscaping. The height variation is a subtle, but wonderful touch, too.

I think the only immediate nit would be the inconsistency of the flooring on the interior. For some reason that caught my attention fairly quickly. I think if they built one floor a certain way, others - in such a small building - would be the same. If this were a more modern building, or a large structure, variable floor colors and patterns would make more sense. But here it feel a bit awkward...to me, anyway.

Lovely job, in general, though. I really like the color variety in this. The textures are all nice, the proportions sound, good detailing...just a sweet MOC.


Thanks for the advice! The reason for the awkward flooring is because I started out with the first floor, but didn't have enough tiles to do the second, so when I made a bricklink order at the last minute I picked the first store that had the other pieces I needed along with something to cover the floor. I'll keep that in mind for next time though.
Permalink
| March 2, 2012, 3:28 pm
Quoting Mark Kelso

Nice work on the cave. For the ruins, I'd go with dilapidated architectural elements - broken columns, cracked and withered decorative walls, etc. Now how you make that unique is very much up to you. Think about your interpretation of what dwarfs are and what they do. How would they have lived their lives? What would their priorities have been - or in other words, their perspective of their place in the world? Such things would dictate their behavior, and the way in which they would've expressed themselves. Once you've developed these kinds of details to your scenario, unique qualities in the building of the MOC will naturally start to manifest themselves.

thank you much i already have some ideas again thx
Permalink
| March 2, 2012, 5:14 pm
 Group admin 
By the way...

For anyone in the MOCathalon that would like input from me, I'll be glad to discuss a creation after it has been judged.

As mentioned above, I can't ethically offer advice before judging, but for the sake of self-improvement if you'd like to talk about a creation afterwards, I'd be glad to throw out my thoughts...*in a tone of self-depricating sarcasm* whatever THAT's worth!

Permalink
| March 3, 2012, 7:37 am
Hey Mark,

I'm back with another lighting effects test similar to my Twilight Zone MOC. This time, I bring you Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera!

http://mocpages.com/moc.php/312324

My main goal with this was using various lighting effects to show off my custom minifigures.

Any advice would be appreciated :)

-Evan
Permalink
| March 3, 2012, 3:03 pm
Hello Mr. Kelso,
I've been planning to make a nighttime moc, but I'm not really sure on how I should do the lighting without making the pictures horrible and completely black.

I don't have a fancy studio or anything, so I would really appreciate it if you could tell me a good method on making a night moc.
Daevster's phantom of the Opera is the kind of darkness that I wish to achieve.
Permalink
| March 3, 2012, 3:29 pm
Quoting Jason Kim
I don't have a fancy studio or anything, so I would really appreciate it if you could tell me a good method on making a night moc.
Daevster's phantom of the Opera is the kind of darkness that I wish to achieve.

For Phantom, I used a setting called called "spotlight" on my camera and manually held a small flashlight on the figs until I found the lighting I liked. The backgrounds were mostly black bases with no details because only the figures were going to focused on in the shot. I also used flicker bulbs to create the ambience of the candles and such.
So if your looking for a cheap setup, experiment around with your camera and mix different settings with different lightning. I'm sure you'll find something to your liking :)

-Evan

Permalink
| March 3, 2012, 5:12 pm
Quoting daevster !
Quoting Jason Kim
I don't have a fancy studio or anything, so I would really appreciate it if you could tell me a good method on making a night moc.
Daevster's phantom of the Opera is the kind of darkness that I wish to achieve.

For Phantom, I used a setting called called "spotlight" on my camera and manually held a small flashlight on the figs until I found the lighting I liked. The backgrounds were mostly black bases with no details because only the figures were going to focused on in the shot. I also used flicker bulbs to create the ambience of the candles and such.
So if your looking for a cheap setup, experiment around with your camera and mix different settings with different lightning. I'm sure you'll find something to your liking :)

-Evan


Thank you for the advice Evan

Permalink
| March 3, 2012, 7:50 pm
Quoting Jason Kim

Thank you for the advice Evan


I go with what Evan said.


Permalink
| March 7, 2012, 1:40 am
 Group admin 
Quoting daevster !
Hey Mark,

I'm back with another lighting effects test similar to my Twilight Zone MOC. This time, I bring you Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera!

http://mocpages.com/moc.php/312324

My main goal with this was using various lighting effects to show off my custom minifigures.

Any advice would be appreciated :)

-Evan


Sorry for taking so long to get back with ya. The judging of the MOCathalon - along with general modding - is killing every bit of free time. Anyway, on to the Phantom MOC...

VERY nice! I love the close up shots and the contrasting warm and cool colors in the various pics.

I think it might not hurt to keep an eye on the focal points of your subjects. There are some shots just super-crisp, and then others that are a little fuzzy. Getting all the shots in focus can be tough when you're dealing with strange lighting conditions, so it's something ya have to really watch for.

I think this page would've REALLY been cool if you had also included some wider shots with a large construction. Mix those wider shots with the close-ups and you'll really pull the viewers in. Contrast, in general, is always interesting, so shoot for it whenever you can and from every perspective - color, texture, scale, values, composition, etc.

Permalink
| March 7, 2012, 4:36 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Jason Kim

Thank you for the advice Evan


Yeah, Evan really did get to the heart of it. You have to experiment a good bit. Fortunately, we've all got the beloved "delete" button. So, don't be afraid to really play around with a lot of options. It takes time, but the payoff is worth it, in my opinion.

By the way, for a night scene, if you can utilize a lighting effect that has a bluish cast to it (or cool it down in a photoeditor later), you can get away with the entire image being lighter than you might expect - which allows for more details to show up. I like to use a flashlight with a halogen bulb. I'll then go into photoshop and cool it down a bit more.

Also, by using the flashlight, you can direct the light source to the area where you want people's attention focused. The camera exposes for the light on the subject, and surrounding elements fall into darkness.


Permalink
| March 7, 2012, 4:46 pm
Hi!

I have a couple questions and requests. One, could you look comment/review http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/314456 and http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/314097 and http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/311314?

Another thing is how do you get more people to comment on my MOCs? I've joined lots of groups, commented (paragraphs at times) on a lot of places, but I'm still not getting any comments or ratings. How can I get more activity in this area? Are my MOCs not appealing enough to get people's interest?

Thanks for your time!

- M2com

Permalink
| March 17, 2012, 11:51 pm
I got a few Q. I would like to ask about taking pics and such.
The first Q. Is what can I use to have good lighting for my pics? I have a bright ceiling light and bright wall light but they just don't seem like enough.
Second, what is the best thing to use for a black or blue or white background? Those are the colors i like to use for a background.
Third, what is the best angle to take a picture of a creation?
Fourth, what all do I need to have my own Lego picture studio?

That's all the Q. I have for now

~ Samuel~
Permalink
| March 18, 2012, 12:13 am
 Group admin 
Sorry to have to do this, but I'm going to be taking some time off from the social end of the hobby for a while.

This is in an effort to maximize what little time I have towards doing some building. Please don't hesitate to hit Chris up for questions in my absence.

Hopefully, in a few months, the work schedule will ease up and I'll be able to return to offering tips and advice. Meanwhile, keep building, my friends. And thanks to all who've honored me in asking for my perspective on their work!

Cheers!

Permalink
| March 20, 2012, 3:56 pm
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