Author Topic: Background Workshop II - Concluded  (Read 34452 times)

Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #180 on: 04 Jul 2015, 22:31 »
I'm always torn in these cases - this kind of technical dissection does lead to a clearer grasp of why stuff does n doesn't work - but I do treasure the romantic side of painting. The scientist in me does tend to get his way in the end though.
I use art in my science and science in my art. And they've both gotten better because of it.

As long as you make sure that the dissection is not destructive I think that it's a romantic's approach. Maybe that is why I prefer Goethe's color theory over Newton's.:)
« Last Edit: 04 Jul 2015, 22:40 by Misj' »

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #181 on: 05 Jul 2015, 04:59 »
Misj': New colours look way better. I'm curious to see how strong your final thumbnail reads, it's still kinda hard to gauge while you're doing your detailed values last. It's an approach I've never really seen before.

With regards to science vs romance, I think painting is a series of decisions and then lots of working those decisions in. The more theory you have to inform your decisions the easier it is to achieve the ideas you have in your head, I think. Eric recently linked me to an AMA with a background artist from Song of the Sea and it was interesting to read how they specifically put many tangents into the backgrounds for the film in order to get the look they wanted. Shows that knowing a theory doesn't necessarily homogenize your art, it can even help diversify it by showing you the pattern your work follows and give an understanding of how to break that pattern, I think.

As for my piece, I'm nearly done. Been using some reference photos to allow my designs of stuff to be better informed by reality (I stole this term from Ilyich, it's a good one, thanks il-chy ^_^) seeing as I'm not really going for a "cartoony" look. Included them here to give an example of how they influenced my designs. I've got some more cleaning up to do tonight before I call it finished, but I'm pretty close.



As for guiding the eye with colours and stuff, saturation is probably as good for this as hue. I have orange foliage over a yellow sky, but because the difference in how vivid they are is so big the tree stands out. If I bumped the saturation of my sign up to the same as the dark wall behind it then it'd be the exact same colour, but because it's less saturated it stands out from that wall. I think the real thing to keep in mind is that the eye is caught by all forms of strong contrast, no matter how you achieve it.

Armageddon

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #182 on: 05 Jul 2015, 07:59 »
Not a huge fan of the cobblestone street. Doesn't look like it could really exist. Especially up to the edge. They'd just fall off. Especially at a shipping dock where tons of people walk over it and carry heavy things over it all day.

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #183 on: 05 Jul 2015, 10:47 »
That's an interesting point, and shows that I didn't really research cobblestones enough before drawing. I've edged it to keep it a bit more "real" looking.

And with the detailing done, and the due date just around the corner anyway, I'm submitting this as my finished piece. I'll probably share some ideas on what I could have changed/done better in a few days once I've got fresh eyes, but for now feel that trying this method was quite educational, and am interested to see what other people feel I could have done better. Thanks to loominous for hosting & JudasFM for the theme and everyone who entered, shared their process, gave feedback and helped keep me motivated to work on the piece. Look forward to seeing all your finished works. It's been fun and educational!


Cassiebsg

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #184 on: 05 Jul 2015, 10:50 »
Only have one grip with the edge. The little hack for the steeps looks unnatural to me. You normally build steps down from the edge. As it's a lot easier to build. One would not add extra work just for the sake of it. ;)
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ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #185 on: 05 Jul 2015, 11:07 »
I feel like I've entered a forum of masonry enthusiasts suddenly. :=

Interesting point, though, and again, I know basically nothing about building steps, so thanks for your insight! :cheesy:

Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #186 on: 05 Jul 2015, 11:38 »
Having no strong opinions on the construction of the ground, here's some progress instead:

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #187 on: 06 Jul 2015, 18:28 »


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Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #188 on: 06 Jul 2015, 19:23 »
Hmm :undecided:

I understand you're bored with the background (I think we all know that feeling), but there are a few things I want to comment on.

First, and I think you agree, the placement of the character is less than ideal. This was something I was afraid of in my piece, which is why I included them early; the disadvantage being that I had a lot of emptyness in the layout.

In the full-size image - partly due to the character, partly due to the very bright air - my eyes keep moving to the top-left...losing sight of the important areas in the scene. I really have to force myself to look at the right area, but I'm almost immediately pulled back to the top-left.

Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #189 on: 06 Jul 2015, 20:45 »
First, and I think you agree, the placement of the character is less than ideal.

Actually had him at the center first, since the idea was to have him block the pathway down to the restaurant area, but thought he covered up too much of the background.

The idea behind the layout was to have the walkable area be very close n limited, with instead a vista of the main harbor area. So in a way it's good that the eye is drawn to the background, since the foreground really only has to feature the harbormaster's office, and the guy and the stand really aren't any important. His red hair isn't ideal for making him pop either, since it blends into the background, and I should probably have placed him higher up as well, to center him more in the picture (and give space to pass him), but the character was just something I threw in since I was bored of the painting, so don't pay any attention to him.
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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #190 on: 07 Jul 2015, 00:55 »
In the full-size image - partly due to the character, partly due to the very bright air - my eyes keep moving to the top-left...losing sight of the important areas in the scene. I really have to force myself to look at the right area, but I'm almost immediately pulled back to the top-left.
For me, my eyes are drawn to the bottom and right-hand side. Maybe the adventure gamer in me is trained to zone in on areas that might have the most useful items and interactions. The background is nice, but I can't say my [heathen] eyes were drawn there. It's a lovely piece though, I gotta say.

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #191 on: 07 Jul 2015, 02:58 »
First, and I think you agree, the placement of the character is less than ideal. This was something I was afraid of in my piece, which is why I included them early; the disadvantage being that I had a lot of emptyness in the layout.

I'm a bit wary of this approach, simply because all characters - whether player or not - have the potential to move through a scene over the course of a game and I think a piece should work without characters. So many screenshots of stuff I've worked on have made me cringe just because some journalist or programmer took a shot with the player character in a really weird spot and threw the balance off completely. (roll)

I also think it's a bit much to add another stage to the workshop where we design characters, mostly because I think designing, iterating and drawing a character is a separate, very different set of skills and ideas and worth exploring in a completely separate workshop. I'd love a character workshop or something - naturally, once everyone has finished their piece and we've all recovered from such intense drawing/feedback/critiquing over the last month.

That also means people who don't care much for background art or don't have the confidence to work on a whole scene yet can join in, too. Maybe yourself or someone else here would be interested in running it (or maybe a few people together, seems to work well!)

Those are my thoughts!

Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #192 on: 07 Jul 2015, 07:14 »
naturally, once everyone has finished their piece and we've all recovered from such intense drawing/feedback/critiquing over the last month.

I've been pondering what one can do about the fatigue issue that seems to set in about halfway through, and my thought so far is that it's worth exploring more focused workshops.

For instance, for a character workshop it can simply be only about creating a solid silhouette, the rest would be a regular sprite jam for example, or for a background workshop it can focus only on colors.

This way we can sort of focus our energy on that issues, and make the whole thing shorter.

-

How's your piece coming along Misj' btw?
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ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #193 on: 07 Jul 2015, 08:08 »
I'd love more focused workshops. Even without the need to take it to a "finished piece", I think there's worth in just helping each other improve a single core aspect of drawing & sharing processes. I loved the value study portion of this workshop alone, and felt like it could have been its own thing, without the need to go "right, you spent a whole week tweaking this value study, now do a background from it" after.

Stuff like doing workshops on essential stuff like getting a solid silhouette/thumbnail, establishing an interesting colour scheme, drawing believable stonework, experimenting with details on a single object could all be unique activities that would be very valuable without having the whole fatigue set in, I think. At the moment there's so much to learn, which is awesome, and I really value all the knowledge being shared, but it also makes sense to learn in the little steps you mentioned.

Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #194 on: 07 Jul 2015, 08:43 »
How's your piece coming along Misj' btw?
Moving slowly, but moving nonetheless. :)
This is mostly due to lack of time, but also because I'm rendering it in a painterly style that I'm really not used to (and that doesn't really fit within my normal workflow). This means that individual elements can take a long time to get them the way I want them. It's actually so infuriatingly slow that I can spend an entire evening on only a few elements.

(don't mind the shadows on the ground, they are there mostly for reference at the moment, I'm a bit further already, but I don't have access to that right now)



This is of course far form ideal, but it's mostly practice and - in the future - severely adapting my workflow, but yeah, that's one of the disadvantages of regularly experimenting with different (render) styles. It's also much more frustrating then when I'm simply doing the black-outline European comic book style. The advantage though is that I'm not really fed up with the background, because every little element can surprise me again.

There is such a huge difference between making shapes with (out)lines and making shapes with shades. And I really like both looks for different reasons.

------

Regarding (focused) workshops. I would love to host a series of workshops on character design. I would still base them around getting from a description to a final game-sprite. But without the without the need of going through the entire design process for a single sprite. And people could jump in and out of subjects depending on their needs. I do think it's good to work towards something, just to learn more about the entire workflow, but to keep it a bit loose.

------

So yeah, going (really) slow, and if you feel we should just stop this workshop because the main teaching element has been attended to then I'm okay with that. I will keep experimenting with this style and getting the right workflow, so it's not that big a loss for me to stop here, and to go into some micro-workshops.

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #195 on: 07 Jul 2015, 08:55 »
Making shapes without lines vs making shapes with outlines! := := :=

...sorry :cheesy:

One thing I noticed here and with other artists is that "lines first" artists tend to flavour forms with texture in the line phase, before the colour phase, which is kind of the opposite of what I'm used to (see here with the bumps on the tree trunk, stone details, tiny windows, etc). It's an interesting thing, because here it feels like you already textured your forms a fair bit, and spent a lot of careful time detailing them, and are now spending a lot of time carefully detailing them all over again, whereas the format suits me super well because I slap big rough areas around for my shapes first, then do the little details last. I'm lost whenever I try to draw any lines, let along careful ones like this, and it's interesting to compare.

Misj'

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #196 on: 07 Jul 2015, 09:22 »
It's an interesting thing, because here it feels like you already textured your forms a fair bit, and spent a lot of careful time detailing them, and are now spending a lot of time carefully detailing them all over again, whereas the format suits me super well because I slap big rough areas around for my shapes first, then do the little details last. I'm lost whenever I try to draw any lines, let along careful ones like this, and it's interesting to compare.
This is actually where I'm lost with the 'shape'-approach. I understand the 'not getting lost in details', because I have that too in my lineart, but how - and mostly when - to go from a blob/shape to a refined from with little details and character-traits? - I can do this really quick with my lines, and it's such a fast iterative process (for me) that every little spot and dot has some sort of purpose.

Painters tend to fake details, and they are extremely good at it. They make great choices which areas should have real texture and which areas can do with a couple of brushstrokes. This is something I can't (yet) get my head around, and it's something really mysterious to me.

With a pencil, adding details is very fast (because I'm used to it), and normally my sketches are much more textured than this, because every little detail is fun, and its own little character to play with. With (digital) paint it's terribly slow to recreate that shape I've sketched (because I'm really not a painter and just have to figure it out as I go).

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #197 on: 07 Jul 2015, 09:45 »
I think a lot of it is build in experience, as you say. I don't think about every single cloud, that would be incredibly inefficient, but I've painted enough clouds by now that I know what I can usually get away with. Your hand and mind kinda go on automatic, like forming chords on guitar.

Andail

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #198 on: 07 Jul 2015, 10:25 »
I haven't had very much time so far this summer, so as you can see I've had to miss out on one of my favourite AGS activities entirely :(

Great art as always, really inspiring to browse through the pages and take part of respective artist's progress. I hope you can all push through the mid-activity fatigue that usually sets in by now and finalize these great pieces!

I'll probably drop in later to offer c&c on the finished backgrounds, should anyone want some.

And it's funny how people criticize the paving of Ben's street and the design of his stairs, when clearly the largest structural flaw here is that crane, which would stand no chance of supporting even itself in reality ;)
It's pretty though.

ThreeOhFour

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Re: Background Workshop II - Stage III
« Reply #199 on: 07 Jul 2015, 10:39 »
I never had to deal with this "doesn't look believable" shit when I was painting neon green skies. :=

Jokes aside, and as for c&c, I think it's always useful to get another opinion on stuff to break down what could be done differently!