Author Topic: Background Workshop II - Concluded  (Read 37974 times)

Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #100 on: 14 Jun 2015, 21:30 »
I finally managed to put my thoughts down for all the pieces.

Ben, Cassiebsg, Cat, and Daniel can be found here.
Dropped Monocle Games, Lasca, Loominous, Myinah, Selmiak, Xil, and Ykni can be found here.

I hope I didn't miss anyone.

It was an interesting exercise to envision where I would go with each of the pieces; especially considering all the different styles here. Remember, when it comes to your own scene you are the expert. So if anything I said doesn't fit your vision, go ahead and completely ignore it. If nothing else it gave me some ideas about my own piece.

Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #101 on: 15 Jun 2015, 00:06 »
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm struggling to decide which setup I like best, there really isn't one that feels good tbh. The improvements that Daniel made reminded me of my first setup. I now tried to combine both sketches.
+ =

The last scene isn't quite finished obviously. I decided to keep the big blue sky because we actually have a lot of those around here, pretty flat country :)
Looking at it now I realise that I lost all the intimacy of the small town in the combined image :( I should probably zoom in a bit closer.

I love the edit that you made Misj' I only saw it only a moment ago. It never occured to me to combine these scene's, it fits my story perfectly. I'll try to take both the cliff and the dock scene to the next level. Thanks for that great idea.

Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #102 on: 15 Jun 2015, 00:13 »
Thanks for the input Misj', I really liked the idea of multiple platforms! I'm not actually worried about scaling as I'm going to be using this for my first 3D project in Unity so I can scale the player character however I like :).

For my secondary sketch I'm going to put together the 3D model and hopefully can do some of your ideas justice :)

I'm going to go through everyone's entries and just say what I like and don't like from a player perspective as, frankly, I'm not a background artist so it wouldn't feel right critiquing something I can't even do myself.

loominus
I really like the scene and think the harbour master building looks fantastic. Possible issues: the sign and the foreground rope would conceal the player sprite when he/she is on the stairs and that the umbrella tpye thing in the middle of the image is hard to tell if it's in the background or not.

Misj'
I love the foreground with the hook/crane thing and the use of a sort of crow's nest. Possible issues: the harbour master building gets a little 'lost' in the scene.

ThreeOhFour
I love the position of the light source, giving you an option in-game to do a little tinting when the player is far right. Possible issues: the boat/ship almost looks disappointingly small and I feel a little bit of a disconnection between the sign and the entrance of the harbour master building.

Cassiebsg
I prefer the camera angle in your second image and really like the unique position of the Harbour Master's entrance. Possible issues: I need to wait to see the ships in place but I'm not entirely sold on the shape of the Harbour Master building, it feels a little bit like it's leaning to the left.

Myinah
This is probably one of my favourites so far, I can really see it working well in-game. Possible issues: The arch could perhaps be made a little smaller and I'd like to see a bit more boat/ship I think. The perspective also feels a little 'fluid', if you intend to stick closely to this sketch then I would personally like to see it tightened up a bit.

cat
I agree that the light from the left in your last 'market square' approach really does add a lot to the scene. Possible issues: I would like to see the whole thing zoomed in a bit more as currently I can't quite visualise how it would work in-game.

Ykni
Although I liked your first ideas the current sketch is a huge improvement from an 'in-game' perspective. I like the harbour master building but maybe try to include the tent from your earlier ideas as it looked cool :). Possible issues: I'll wait till you decide on a sketch to take forward.

selmiak
It's really hard to do anything but love this scene so far :), I really look forward to seeing the ships go in. Possible issues: The only way I could see this working in-game is if each location had it's own 'zoomed' view.

Lasca
I like the camera angle and the way the tree in centred in the image. Possible issues: The harbour master building looks a little boring compared to how the rest of the scene is coming along. I think some more variation in depth on the face would help.

Daniel Thomas
Before your 10th June update I would have said to bump the scene to the right and add some more boat/ship in. You quite literally did that in the update and I like the part of the ship you used. Possible issues: The Harbour Master building sign is on the subtle side, perhaps a larger sign could be added?

Sox
I like the use of detail in the background and the plank/walkway going across to the ship. The idea for the Harbour Master building is probably my favourite as well. Possible issues: The foreground is a little lacking and I agree with what some of the others have said about the sides of the building matching up a little too neatly.

** (I've mostly gone through the posts from the first page assuming people have updated so let me know if it sounds like I've accidentally referred to the wrong image.)

Let me know if I missed you out!
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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #103 on: 15 Jun 2015, 06:43 »
Mainly messing about with the foreground:

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Cassiebsg

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #104 on: 15 Jun 2015, 19:05 »
@loominous, I actually like the foreground stall on the left best, seems to frame the picture better, and not mess with the Harbor Master's house. Only thing that bothers me is the "black" patch on the lower right side. Maybe you could try and remove that? That way you have a neatly framed south exit. ;)

PS - Sorry if I'm not providing that much feedback, but with such talented ppl in here, all I can see is beautiful pictures...(laugh)

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cat

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #105 on: 15 Jun 2015, 22:15 »

Click image for link to first post.

Loominous' last tutorial was a real eye-opener. I knew that my background felt somewhat impersonal, but I didn't know why.

Lasca

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #106 on: 15 Jun 2015, 22:18 »
Thanks for very inspiring and good comments on my work! Here's a small update on my bg.

Also, still curious about the best way of using perspective grids in psp. Do you guys have ready made grids and just put them in, or do you create new ones <-- if so, what's the best way when have vp's outside of the work area. Sorry if someone already responded to this and I accidentally missed it.
cheers!
« Last Edit: 15 Jun 2015, 22:20 by Lasca »

Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #107 on: 15 Jun 2015, 22:21 »
Just took some time to study all wop. Not many suggestions on my part because they all look very good to me and a lot of great feedback has already been given.

Loominous: Not much I can say about your background other than I think it looks amazing. I don't like the new foreground that you added. Even though I'm fond of this kind of framing I think in this case you can do without.

Cassiebsg: I like the round harbour and building, it has a very futuristic feel to it. I do like your previous cameraposition better though. Probably because it's more closeup which feels a bit cosier. I guess it depends on what kind of feel you want the place to have.

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm learning a lot from all the tutorials and thought processes. Thanks for spending so much time to give such great feedback and sharing your knowledge. This is a great, yet ??? experience.
 

Daniel Thomas

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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #108 on: 15 Jun 2015, 23:43 »
Update of thumbnail sketch HERE
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Re: Background Workshop II - Started!
« Reply #109 on: 16 Jun 2015, 06:27 »
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cat

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #110 on: 16 Jun 2015, 11:37 »
For the next stage I suppose we should start to work in the final resolution? I never painted a background before (I'm still not sure which style I will choose). What are your recommendations? Do you make a larger painting and scale down later? Do you work in the final resolution? What resolutions do you prefer?

Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #111 on: 16 Jun 2015, 13:10 »
Do you make a larger painting and scale down later? Do you work in the final resolution? What resolutions do you prefer?
I generally work three (or four) times the final resolution and scale down. For a painterly style I find that this is less relevant (though still advisable), but for line-art it really makes a differences; scaled-down lines are simply much cleaner. Of course I also tend to use a lot of layers, so it can be a bit of a memory-hog. Again, this originates in the comic-world, where a 3x final-size is common-place (at least before they went digital, but I assume most digital artists have adopted this).


ps. @Lasca, I'm not ignoring you, I'm just not using Photoshop to paint. I use Photoshop a lot, but I prefer Painter for painting, it's closer to my way of working (though I miss certain photoshop-features, just as I miss painter-features in Photoshop). Painter has a build-in (customizable) 2-point perspective grid that is independent of the working-area, so I rarely have to use any other tricks to insert a grid.

pps. I'm not planning to start a discussion on 'which painting-program is the best'. I think that's different from person to person, what works for me might not work for you. Just as you cannot not have a discussion about which is better: pencil, brushes, or spray paint. :)
« Last Edit: 16 Jun 2015, 13:22 by Misj' »

Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #112 on: 16 Jun 2015, 15:44 »
@Lasca: This is a helpfull tool for generating a perspective grid http://epicgames.com/community/2012/11/free-art-tool-released-thanks-to-epic-friday/
I think I found it somewhere on this forum and find it very usefull since Artrage (which I use to do my painting) has no perspective grid either.
@Misj': I've been wondering about the differences between painter and Artrage. Have you by any chance ever used Artrage?

Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #113 on: 16 Jun 2015, 17:35 »
For the next stage I suppose we should start to work in the final resolution?

Well, all these things are up to you, but I would suggest you do, to avoid having to redraw stuff in stage III.

I never painted a background before (I'm still not sure which style I will choose). What are your recommendations? Do you make a larger painting and scale down later? Do you work in the final resolution? What resolutions do you prefer?

I personally prefer to work in the end resolution, though with some margins on the side, so you can reposition the image (so your workspace is larger than the image).

I just like how the pixels turn out when you work in the end resolution, something about the anti-aliasing or something, which you don't get when you scale down stuff. Course my stuff usually end up looking slightly blurry, which I kinda like, though the crispiness of for instance Daniel's pieces are usually stunning, though hard to pull off correctly in my experience.
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Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #114 on: 17 Jun 2015, 15:54 »
I suggest we leave colors to stage III, so this would be about creating a detailed "back and white" piece.

I don't really agree with that. While I know that some people work with shades (values) that are then colored, another - equally valid - approach is to start with flat colors that are then shaded.

Using values and adding colors only as a refinement (almost as an afterthought) really never worked for me as I didn't find the pieces where I did that appealing (in my style). Personally I use a combination of hues, values, and saturation with a higher emphasis on hues than saturation (though they all go hand in hand) and - again adapting it from comics - starting with flat coloring that is then refined into shapes.


Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #115 on: 17 Jun 2015, 16:46 »
I suggest we leave colors to stage III, so this would be about creating a detailed "back and white" piece.

I don't really agree with that. While I know that some people work with shades (values) that are then colored, another - equally valid - approach is to start with flat colors that are then shaded.

Using values and adding colors only as a refinement (almost as an afterthought) really never worked for me as I didn't find the pieces where I did that appealing (in my style). Personally I use a combination of hues, values, and saturation with a higher emphasis on hues than saturation (though they all go hand in hand) and - again adapting it from comics - starting with flat coloring that is then refined into shapes.

It's mostly about separating things into steps, so we can focus on one thing at a time. People are of course free to start using colors, but perhaps we should put the major color discussions off til stage III.

It's like the thumbnails, it sort of forces you to look at the piece from a very basic but important perspective before moving on, to make sure everything is working properly, before getting distracted by other things. So in this case it would be about making sure the picture is working well on a value level before getting distracted by colors.
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Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #116 on: 17 Jun 2015, 17:01 »
It's like the thumbnails, it sort of forces you to look at the piece from a very basic but important perspective before moving on, to make sure everything is working properly, before getting distracted by other things. So in this case it would be about making sure the picture is working well on a value level before getting distracted by colors.
I could easily argue it the other way around. :) - First focus on colors (and making sure they work) before getting distracted by values. As I said, that's the way it has been done in comics for decades.

I'm all for focusing on one thing at a time. But since we have three stages, where the first focused on 'composition and values', and the second now focuses on 'details and values' means that two-third of the workshop is about values where hues are equally - if not more - important to guide the viewer.

I've not intention of hijacking this workshop; I'm just pointing out some concerns in light of a different workflow (that feels slightly incompatible with the proposed stage).

Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #117 on: 17 Jun 2015, 18:37 »
Never heard of people doing colors before doing values, so I dunno how well that works.

But I think you can compare it to photography, you can easily strip a photo of colors to see how it works in black and white (and a nice photo will probably work well in b/w), but stripping it of values seems trickier. Can't really picture it to be honest. Just areas of color?

So to me it's about creating a strong b/w photo like picture first, to make the lighting/silhouettes functioning well, and then moving on to colors. It's not an ideal division for many reasons, but I don't see a good alternative.

But if you feel like going colors first, then by all means go ahead, but perhaps just hold off on tutorials etc until stage III (though the effort and your efforts in general are highly appreciated).
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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #118 on: 18 Jun 2015, 05:27 »
Kinda dropped the ball with the sketch presentation thing, so here's my last sketch in full res, pre refinement.



Mostly eager to start refining the design of everything to get rid of all the predictable generic stuff.
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selmiak

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage II!
« Reply #119 on: 19 Jun 2015, 01:20 »

I added some boats and some colorful lamps and some houses up the hill. I really have to stop adding stuff or I will never finish painting this.
If noone sees some glaring composition error I'll render out some sperate layers to make it easier in PS, probably the balcony front layer, the shops, the big buildings, the ships, the houses on the hill and all water reflections on seperate layer and see what comes out of this :)

render time at this resolution (click for full size) 47mins :P


added to my first post