Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
I dunno, I thought the backstory they gave it was actually kinda clever (read this in the Art of book, in a note by the Enviro Art Director Scott Watanabe)- that in this universe, after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 destroyed a ton of San Francisco, many decided to rebuild using architectural styles that would better stand up to earthquakes than the Victorian model- hence the old school traditional pagoda-esque buildings in the older parts of the city (where in the real San Francisco there are still tons of older Victorian-styled buildings from that era), while newer buildings like the expo hall and the downtown skyscraper buildings have a more modern international aesthetic (maybe I'm wrong but skyscrapers seem pretty similar looking these days no matter what country they're located in).
Maybe this is the architectural equivalent of a 'she's wearing bikini armor because she's EMPOWERED' argument, but I dug the aesthetic of it. Also if there was an anime movie where there was a fictional town called Kyotoxford, having a bunch of Gothic architecture pop up there probably wouldn't raise any eyebrows.
You know what would be super useful? (This may already be a thing I'm just ignorant about.) A window in the corner of whatever program you're using that allows you to zoom in and focus on detail while still maintaining a look at the overall image so you keep accurate proportions. I keep getting super detailed and when I zoom out I realize I've drawn something way too small or off center or whatever. Re-sizing and moving that particular part never really looks right to me either.
I guess I just need to learn to draw, zoom out, tweak, zoom back in, repeat.
If you're using PS there's an option (I think in the Window menu under Arrange, but it might be another submenu) that says New Window for (file name here). Hitting that gives you a second duplicate of your canvas that you can zoom to whatever you want, and it updates as you work.
Also tynic figured out that Rodin anecdote was from The Art of a Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri, if anyone was curious.
Starting to get more and more sensitive about milestones that remind me time is passing, because my immediate nagging reaction is invariably, "I really thought I would suck less by now." :/
EDIT: Does anyone else get kinda 'armchair art director' when they see certain games? Even though I don't play a ton of these games, whenever I see a 2d-viewpoint game that uses 3d graphics, I almost always find myself irritated that little thought was given to making sure that the characters and foreground objects you actually interact are adequately visually distinguished from the background. Put some haze back there or control your color contrasts more tightly or pare down the level of detail back there or SOMETHING. Good art direction isn't just about making a collection of cool models, it's making everything work together in a coherent, purposeful way.
I don't really play Street Fighter games, but this trailer for SF5 made me immediately forget I am supposed to be viewing it as a potential customer and not as an art director, because my reaction wasn't "COOL!"- it was, "Can we up the saturation on the characters, or maybe give them a rimlight effect? Right now the background is so much brighter and contrasty than the characters it becomes very distracting. Going forward on these level designs I want to make sure that when we're reviewing we're always pulling in some of our character models in front to make sure they read well."
I know nobody on the consumer end is going to consciously pick up on this stuff so it seems like a really petty complaint if I were to talk about this to the average person... but I dunno, I would have thought a bunch of long-standing pros like Capcom would be on the ball with this.
Anyone else do this?
EDIT2: If anyone else has read The Natural Way to Draw, can you confirm/deny whether or not I'm remembering this correctly? There's a point where the author is talking about how no detail can be made more important than the whole, and they illustrated this with a story about how Rodin had made a sculpture where everyone thought it was great, but invariably everyone's eyes traveled to the sculpture's hands, and marveled at how well they were done- and Rodin responded to their marveling by smashing the hands off with an axe, to everyone's horror- because he knew a sculpture where a detail was overwhelming the whole was nevertheless a bad sculpture.
I'm been flipping through the book trying to find the story again, but I haven't been able to- and now I'm wondering if it actually was in that book and not in another. Does it sound familiar to anyone else?
I leave all my PS hotkeys plain ol' vanilla, so in case I ever am on the run in a HACKER THRILLER I can pull up to an INTERNET CAFE and do some CRAZY PHOTOSHOP HACKING ANYTIME ANYWHERE on ANY COMPUTER, except of course, Macs.
My only thing I really do to customize the proceedings other than install brushes and some mild window rearrangement is install StepBackwardSmart and use it instead of Undo or Step Backward because not doing so drives me crazy.
Speaking of crazy, today's one of those days where nothing actually went wrong, but nevertheless I feel like all the wind has been sucked outta me and all I want now is to go out to a sunny, soft, gently sloped grassy hill a million miles from anywhere*, fling myself down it, and pass out right as I roll to a stop at the end, and remain unconscious for several hours.
*In terms of scenery, I think there was a scene kinda like that in the shittiest Star Wars movie** but like, imagine it without all the stupid crap and terrible acting.
**Attack of the Clones, in case you were confused.