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Author Topic: Background Workshop II - Concluded  (Read 43425 times)

Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #40 on: 08 Jun 2015, 09:57 »
Started my first sketch this morning:
While I like the idea of having an open-spaced harbor by putting the open-space part somewhere in the background, my biggest concerns are the lack of clear exists. I see stairs on the right and possibly a route to the back. But the exit on the left (west) leading to the docks is very difficult to make out (if it exists at all). The front is also difficult to define as an exit, but if the player also enters from the south then it's not really a big problem.

Also I'm not sure whether the composition leaves enough space for additional NPCs. But that's not a major concern to me.

The piece does give me some ideas for my own lighting...

Myinah

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #41 on: 08 Jun 2015, 11:37 »
Updated my original post with some of 304's recommended changes.

304 - I found your comments very helpful. I learned something completely new which is fantastic! I think I knew there was something wrong with that line which is why I added the fanned doormat thing to the harbour masters door. I just didnt really know what the problem was or how to fix it. Hopefully my changes have improved things. I tried to sort out the other problem areas too.

« Last Edit: 08 Jun 2015, 12:53 by Myinah »

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #42 on: 08 Jun 2015, 11:44 »
Updated my original post with some of 304's recommended changes.

You should just make a second post. It's better for archival purposes so people can the backgrounds progress and learn from it.

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #43 on: 08 Jun 2015, 12:46 »
It's great to see so many entries there already!

I'll try to give short comments to the work posted so far. I'm in no way a pro, so I'll comment from a player's point of view. Others will have better feedback regarding the artistic side.


Misj' Amazing how much work you put in the story behind. What I'm missing now a bit is the harbour element, but I'm sure this will be more visible once you start coloring and adding details.

ThreeOhFour Looking great, but just from looking at the BG I'm not sure where the exits are supposed to be.

Cassiebsg I agree with the view point beeing too high. I like the placement of the ship and the tower and the general open feel of the setting. However, as a player I would not know that there is an exit somewhere at the bottom.

Myinah Your scene looks so inviting, I like the idea with the elevated area a lot. Great improvements regarding the tangents and the vertical space. Still, the exits are not clear and obstructed by various objects.

Ykni I agree that your inital version, while looking interesting, was not suited as background for a game. The new background looks interesting although in a different way, with lots of stuff going on. Just make sure to make the exit at the bottom more obvious.

selmiak The stage is too early for me to comment.

Lasca Interesting composition, the house on the right seems a bit off, perspective wise.

Dropped Monocle Games Interesting composition with the low horizon. There seems to be a lot of empty space in the upper left area.

loominous Looking great! However, the openness of the area suffers a bit from the fence separating the player from the rest.


Feedback to my thumbnail attempts would also be very appreciated.

Myinah

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #44 on: 08 Jun 2015, 13:33 »
Ok tried to make the exits clearer and had a very rough go at my lighting but it really is something I struggle with. Any suggestions are welcome.


Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #45 on: 08 Jun 2015, 13:42 »
Updated my original post with some of 304's recommended changes.

You should just make a second post. It's better for archival purposes so people can the backgrounds progress and learn from it.

I think the way Myinah did the updates was correct. It makes keeping track of the progress of a particular piece easiest. Adding a new post for every update (containing a large image) is far from ideal. As it stands Myinah just follow Ben and my example I also think Myinah, and also followed Loominous' advice:

Regarding updates, I think it's probably good if people post their progress in new posts, but also update their "main" ones, to make it easy for people to find the new stuff, but at the same time makes it tidy n easy to follow the progress.
« Last Edit: 08 Jun 2015, 13:45 by Misj' »

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #46 on: 08 Jun 2015, 13:59 »
Myinah: The arch exit is much clearer now, but I still don't understand where I would board the ship.

Regarding updates: I think it's best to include the updated picture in the last post to immediately show the changes and also in the original post to track the progress. Posting only in the original post without a link back makes it hard to follow for me.

Myinah

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #47 on: 08 Jun 2015, 14:06 »
Ok so this is my WIP. Just some basic line work and colour placement.
The two things that bother me most (apart from the tangent lines mentioned by Ben) are a. the image looks quite flat. This can be easily solved by adding shades. And b. the exits. The exit on the bottom is obscured by a framing element (the arch) and the exit on the left is obscured either by the box (if the exit is on the bottom of the screen) or by the narrowness of the walkable area between the tent and the stand in the top-left (I'm not sure which of the two is intended to be your exit.

I would also look into the curvature of the wall on the left. It feels illogical to me that anyone would build it like this, because it would - in reality - make the walking-area at the bottom smaller (two opposite arches) for no particular reason (not that backgrounds have to be entirely logical...or city-planning for that matter).

Curved walls arent logical but they exist I guess because people find curves attractive. I wanted the docks to have a curved plaza following a curved shoreline/bay. I am not planning a working shipyard. Mine is more a small port town. My grandfather lived in the harbour masters house in Alderney and the dock there isnt exactly curved but its angled. My drawing is loosely inspired by it, but with the gameplay designs in mind and a busier feel because Alderney is super quiet.



Myinah: The arch exit is much clearer now, but I still don't understand where I would board the ship.

Does there need to be a visible ship to board? My thought was there just needed to be an exit leading to an additional screen for the boats and docks. So you would walk off to the left in my scene to get there.
« Last Edit: 08 Jun 2015, 14:27 by Myinah »

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #48 on: 08 Jun 2015, 14:24 »
Ah, alright, I didn't understand you could walk between the character and the rope on the floor.

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #49 on: 08 Jun 2015, 14:37 »
Alright, time for some comments!

Misj': Interesting comparison of shots, and unfortunately, I agree that the walk in shot is perhaps the least interesting of the potential sections of this scene. I'm wondering if it's at all possible to make it a little more dynamic, perhaps add some more depth, but the high horizon line does make this difficult (though I totally understand your usage of it due to the busy nature of the scene and the difficulty in getting a clear walkable area with a lower angle). Curious to see if you can solve this problem a little with your colouring, perhaps.

Cassiebsg: A fun thing to do if you feel stuck with a shape is to do an image search for buildings/market stalls/etc and see if you can find some of a different configuration - L shaped market stands, angled/curved roofs, that sort of thing. Another thing you can do is to make the contents of the stall break the outline of it - whether it's a big barrel, or a cart/wheelbarrow that sticks out from behind/in front of it that helps break up the plain forms into a more interesting silhouette. I love the big tall building, though, working such a big structure in is very fun and breaks up what could otherwise be a pretty flat scene.

Myinah: Yeah, I like that much better! Although the crate might be a bit awkward in terms of walkable areas, I'll often favour a slightly awkward design over the most practical one if I think it looks better. Good work getting rid of a whole bunch of those tangents, too, this really helps your forms stand out!

cat: I think you're definitely onto something with the composition down the bottom, it definitely reads more clearly and is more interesting than the rest. One thing I think would help a little is to move the top of the big building down a tiny bit from the top edge of the frame - this will let the shape of the building stand out a bit better and read more clearly. Another thing that might help is dropping the height of the roof of the building directly behind it, to let the shape of the main building stand out against the sky a bit more. I totally agree that it's tough to fit all of the various elements into the scene while still coming up with something that looks good (as you noted, my exits are a bit tough to read, thanks for the feedback!), but I think your last one is pretty well balanced while catering to all of the elements listed in the brief.

Ykni: You've gone with "Striking visually, but not very practical" and "Very practical, but a little more crowded" here, and while I prefer the feel of the first, I totally understand going for a more practical approach in your second sketch. One thing I'd have liked to seen in the first scene is more buildings breaking the silhouette of the clifftop behind and making interesting shapes. I'm hoping you can find a way to balance the visual appeal of your first image with the practicality of your second one!

Lasca: I think you're off to a good start, and I like the idea of splitting the areas between light and dark. It's a little hard to read the "goal" of the game at the moment, though, maybe you could find some way of distinguishing this shape better from its surroundings, although the general composition currently looks quite nicely balanced! Looking forward to seeing more.

Sox: I love the structure up on the cliff, it really adds interest to the scene. I'd suggest bringing your plant (if that's what the cylindrical shape is) into the centre of the image a little, because at the moment it doesn't quite feel part of the composition, almost like it's stealing all the attention off to the right hand side of the scene rather than reading as a whole. This might change if you get more interesting shapes in the middle part of the image, of course, but currently it grabs my attention away from the square shapes in the middle and ruins the balance a bit.

Loominous: It's really interesting to watch how the lighting affects how the image reads as a whole, on the basis of a single rough layout, the changes are immense. I like the idea of trying to balance the large building with the height of a ship's mast, reminds me of this. One thing that catches my eye is the shape of the round tree and the square directly above it - two very similar sized shapes right in the middle makes a kind of weird central focal point that I can't quite look away from. Really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Selmiak: I like how the shape of the land (?) breaks up the straight lines, that works very nicely. One thing I'd be wary of is that the opening is a little hard to notice at present - maybe you could adjust the angle of it to catch the light a little better? It's a great start, I want to see more!

As for my own sketch, I've updated my original post with a fourth set of progress images!



I'm wary of posting a FULL image with all my wip stages in a thread due to the size, does it make sense to everybody to just include a smaller, single image like this?
« Last Edit: 08 Jun 2015, 15:19 by ThreeOhFour »

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #50 on: 08 Jun 2015, 15:04 »
I'm wary of posting a FULL image with all my wip stages in a thread due to the size, does it make sense to everybody to just include a smaller, single image like this?

Maybe make it zoomable for those of us starting to question our eyesight due to it being the ridiculous year number of 2015?

And...ummmmm...yeah....not connected to our birth year at all...

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #51 on: 08 Jun 2015, 15:20 »
Done :)

Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #52 on: 08 Jun 2015, 19:17 »
I can't really offer any comments as I'm horribly unqualified so apologies about that! I have, however, decided to partake as higher resolutions backgrounds (it's still pretty low res! :P) are something I don't ever normally do.

I've gone with a twist on the theme which I hope is okay:

- It's a 'space' harbour in a steampunk/cyberpunk etc low sci-fi setting (think Firefly)
- The whole thing is a floating platform
- The ships (yellow) are in fact space ships
- The trees (blue) are going to be some sci-fi rectangular things



The most trouble I had was the spaceships, it really seems to rely on artistic talent to pull them off so I'm in a bit of trouble I reckon! I'm fairly happy with the rest of it and my next stage will be to add some life to it with some people and traders, maybe some guards etc
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Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #53 on: 08 Jun 2015, 19:41 »
1941, baltic country recently occupied by germany. Pavel, 13 years old, needs to get his best friend Sonya, who is jewish, out of the country and over the sea, to the neutral country sweden.
I'm not quite sure of the visual tone I'm going to go for, and I don't have a real bg creation routine, so I'm going to pick up what I get from the rest of you and try not to derail to much from the original script.
The great thing about developing your background from a story rather than a setting is that you immediately know certain things. Sure, the setting will give you some knowledge about the atmosphere, but the story creates something much more intense. In your case - and I like the story by the way - we have a great conflict between Trin who, from the description, is a good man but at the same time has to work with the occupying forces (due to his position). He his proud of his position and convincing him (which can jeopardize his position) might be difficult despite his nature. But still you will need him to help smuggle Sonya out, and the fact that he can be convinced shows that he's good at heart. Also, German guards that block your route make perfect sense and you can't have them discover your friend.

Misj' Amazing how much work you put in the story behind. What I'm missing now a bit is the harbour element, but I'm sure this will be more visible once you start coloring and adding details.
Truth is, in my fictional world it's more like an airport than an actual port. Except that my ships don't fly in the air. It's more dedicated to (high class) passengers than to cargo. You loose a bit of the typical gloomy harbor-feel (and this might be slightly in disagreement with the original script) but you create a world where traveling by ship is as commonplace as traveling by plane is to our world. Of course once I have a fully rendered ship things should be much clearer :)

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #54 on: 08 Jun 2015, 20:19 »

Click image for link to first post.

Following ThreeOhFour's advice (thanks for that!) I increased the space around the house. Once I had the house done with perspective, it felt rather unbalanced to the right. So I made the ship on the left bigger and removed the tower - maybe it is too big now, I have to do some research on Hanseatic ships ;)
Also the upper left part feels a bit empty, but I don't know if this is a problem.

Note to self: buy a new rubber

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #55 on: 08 Jun 2015, 22:27 »
I made an update of my post. If I new how to link to a specific post I would do that! ;)

I also want to thanks for the feedback given! And apologies for not giving any feedback of my own! Which is not because of lack of interest, but lack of time! I really want to do this workshop, and to even be close to be completing I have to focus on the actual painting. It feels like only participating in half, and I'm sorry for that.
But I'm REALLY impressed and intrigued by ALL contributions.
/Lasca

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #56 on: 09 Jun 2015, 01:39 »
xil: Nice, lots of interesting forms and lines. The space ship on the right hand side of the image seems to share the exact same top line as the back wall of the building, though, and this makes my eye read the ship as part of the building until I study it more closely. Changing the height of one would fix this!

cat: Very nice, the building really stands out wonderfully now, and the big ship balances everything beautifully. I wouldn't worry too much about the upper left corner being empty - if anything, it gives you a chance to use clouds to frame your image better, I'd say.

Lasca: I like your value study stuff a lot! This is turning out to be a very striking scene. As for linking to posts further back, the title of each individual post is a direct link to that post's position in the thread. Right click and copy the link location (or simply left click and then copy the URL that it takes you to).
« Last Edit: 09 Jun 2015, 01:41 by ThreeOhFour »

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #57 on: 09 Jun 2015, 01:43 »
after some more modeling it looks more like a harbor. expect some small shops and the Harbor Master (on the upper level) to the front right on the next update.



I had the idea to view the whole scene from some elevated balcony while hanging around at a lake with some friends and soaking up the june sun some days ago. But noone had paper or pen, but once I had this idea I didn't need to sketch it down at all, this is really close to what I had in mind indeed. So sorry, there is no scribbeling for this. Just a man and a machine.
I haven't applied any textures to these 3d objects yet but I think I'm finally getting warm with blender with this huge scene and not modeling things like mugs or pans or knives or so. I guess I have barely touched 10% of what is possible in this cool 3d thingy. I am tempted to do it all in 3D and really use textures and so on, but my plan was to use blender just for sketching and easily setting the lights, seeing where the shadows are, not having to worry about perspectives, beeing able to adjust the view every now and then and so on and then painting over it. Blender is complicatedoverwhelming at first, but interesting. Very interesting. Who am I kidding, this is great fun! :-D If I were more used to blender (I'm working on it), this should speed up paintings (or should I say computer artworks) by a lot.

rendertime @ this resolution ~13minutes

added to my first post


@Ben: Thanks for your feedback, I made the tunnel through the mountainfoot bigger and increased the lightsource inside. This is actually a deadendtunnel with a light inside as I screwed things up in 3D space. But when overpainting in PS I will change things around anyways.

@lasca: just copy the url of the 'Background Workshop II - Started!' link above your actual post and use that. it should have a # in the url, then it should link to s specific post

Daniel Thomas

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #58 on: 09 Jun 2015, 05:24 »
My first set up thumbnails and process. Not very detailed I'm afraid as I jump all over the place and layers when working, so trying to catch a "step" doesn't feel so natural to me.

This is after gathering a lot of references and inspiration paintings/pictures.




Update 10th June

Took on the "challenge" of having a south Exit. Just to clarify, as Ben, this is a personal taste, I personally hate "invisible" exits at the bottom of the screen, and if used usually force a very high camera angle looking down to make the scaling look good. But enough ranting about that, we all have personal taste and solutions.
I still kept my camera angle I wanted for this when working on the thumbnails.

The last thumbnail has the best south exit, but it's the fact that it's SE exit more than anything, meaning the character isn't walking straight towards the camera and don't need to scale so much.
I so far like the first one as it solved all the practical problems (although the South exit isn't as clear and scale-friendly as the last one).
Not sure about the shape language yet, but figured I would try something different than those sharp triangles. I will probably tweak the South exit going out more to the side and not straight for the camera, although I like that composition flowy line that move the eye in to the picture.

The first thumbnail is more or less a evolution of all the thumbnails I made before. When doing it I had all the problems and solutions made in the previous thumbnails in mind  - this is a great benefit of doing a lot of thumbnails and not being afraid of being messy and be ready to change stuff around. Many times, for me, I have a thumbnail and I try to fix problems that just isn't working. It's better to start all over than trying to polish something that at it's core isn't working. Hooray for thumbnailing, wouldn't want to realize this 10 hours in to a painting.



Update 16th June
Made tweaks from feedback and some of my own.
* Major thing is probably the ships, while I liked the old one I didn't know if it made any sense for the to "back" in to the docks. (How do they leave the docks, wait for the right wind?).
* Pimped the harbor master building.
* I liked the perspective better in the old one (felt more like an narrow lens?), so might re-introduce that.
* A little more water showing


« Last Edit: 15 Jun 2015, 23:41 by Daniel Thomas »
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Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #59 on: 09 Jun 2015, 06:37 »
My first set up thumbnails and process. Not very detailed I'm afraid as I jump all over the place and layers when working, so trying to catch a "step" doesn't feel so natural to me.

This is after gathering a lot of references and inspiration paintings/pictures.
They are interesting compositions, but I would love to see a sketch with the exits at the design-document's location though.

Firstly, because I wanted to have a nice stone archway but couldn't due to the bottom exit (an arch at the bottom just doesn't work)...the south-exit is actually one of the big complexities of the scene and I would love to see your take on in.

Secondly, within the context of a game(world) you can't just change the exits in a single screen. If you left the previous scene going up/north then - for readability - you schouldn't enter the new scene at the top going left, down or right. As a result you would have to redesign all these other scenes as well (which is a pain of course) and possibly rewrite parts of the design-document. A project-leader wouldn't be too happy doing that for a single scene.

I think your exits work well - probably better than those described in the script - but from the point of designing a game I would reject them (I'd be said about it, but I'd reject them nonetheless). That being said, I wouldn't blame you if you chose to continue with them for this workshop.