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21stCentury's Art journey! - Digital Art is Magic!

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  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    hjvheixg7zx6.gif

    Completed this animation. Pretty happy with the result.

    bowenMabelmaBlameless Cleric
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    Doing towers for some reason.

    81cci6E.png

    Not really liking this one. Feels like the Crystal is the only good thing about it and everything else feels too..... simple.

    Anyone have ideas or tips when trying to make fantasy buildings?

    Peas
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited August 2016
    Is this based on something existing, or is this a wholly original design? I ask because I'm not sure if you're looking for advice about building design in the sense of architecture, construction, indicating culture and purpose, etc. to help shape the actual physical shape of the building, or if this is an existing thing and you want advice about lighting, lighting design, material rendering, simplification/abstraction, etc. to arrive at a pleasing style and sense of finish, applied to this predetermined building design.

    EDIT: SIdenote: For fanart stuff, it's always helpful to link to reference of the original thing, so people have context when trying to give advice.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    Is this based on something existing, or is this a wholly original design? I ask because I'm not sure if you're looking for advice about building design in the sense of architecture, construction, indicating culture and purpose, etc. to help shape the actual physical shape of the building, or if this is an existing thing and you want advice about lighting, lighting design, material rendering, simplification/abstraction, etc. to arrive at a pleasing style and sense of finish, applied to this predetermined building design.

    EDIT: SIdenote: For fanart stuff, it's always helpful to link to reference of the original thing, so people have context when trying to give advice.

    Yeah, sorry, this is, as opposed to most of my stuff, 100% Original The Content (Don Otts Teal)

    I am mostly looking for the first half, helping shape the building, but over the day, i had a couple ideas.

    Still, super open to thoughts.

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Well, I just wrote a big post about clothing design in the chat thread, and most of that still applies here- in summary, the 2 big important factors are determining the logic of the building (function, culture, setting, etc.), and developing the abstract idea. Gaining skill at the logic side of this for architecture is going to come down to familiarizing yourself with as many architectural styles- real and fictional- as you can. Knowing what a flying buttress is, and what it does. Knowing how to distinguish between medieval central European, Italian, Spanish, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, Cambodian, Japanese, Gothic, Romanesque, Byzantine, Mayan, etc. etc, etc, architectural styles. Knowing what materials are used where and why, knowing why some roofs are steeply slanted and some are not, how rain flows off the building, how buildings fall apart under neglect or erosion or deliberate attack. Knowing these elements as intimately as possible, forms a visual vocabulary with which you can then utilize to articulate the more abstract ideas- the personality, the feel of a building.

    Reposting the chat thread post for reference- just mad libs in some building words for clothing words, and you should get the drift.
    @Lamp
    Another spoilered for length post:
    It's hard to speak with much definite authority on this because there's so many factors that go into it (and I certainly would not call myself an expert), and the fact that no matter what, there's never going to be a 100% perfect solution to a costume design (or more broadly, a character design). This is purely my 2 cents (and if I'm majoring on one thing more than another, it's not because agree, but because one's been already covered and the other less so).

    One big factor, and it's something that's easy to understand and communicate and rely on, is logic. What's the time, the place, the culture, what's the character's personality, what's their job, what's their rank in society, how much money do they have, how do clothes actually fit on a person, etc. etc. etc. It's easy to do a whole ton of brainwork and ref finding and feel that then you've arrived at a conclusion. But if you leave it there, you're likely to wind up with something that is both impeccably logical, and very likely generic to the point of being uninteresting. A real knight's armor is an exciting concept, real armor is not necessarily of any particular visual interest.

    The other big factor is abstraction; which is something that's difficult to pin down and talk about concretely many times, but is necessary to making your design 'a design' rather than just picking a bunch of bits off the Google Image Search rack. If you look at concept designers, they'll often start off with just abstract silhouette shapes when trying to figure out their costume choices. I've seen a few sketches out of fashion design, and rather than just doing what would seem like the logical thing to do- take a photo or very accurate drawing of a person and draw their clothes atop of it, so they'll be sure their clothes will fit on an actual human- they'll draw these impossibly elongated, stylized figures- because on an abstract level they want to capture a feeling of flowing, swooping gracefulness. When trying to generate ideas, trying to capture a feeling, or pursuing an idea in metaphor, or just outright arbitrariness, can be the factor that elevates just a bunch of clothes, to a design.

    Now, how these factors are balanced depends on the project and the intent. If you're designing costumes for a very realistic show about knights, you're going to hew closer to reality, to logic- since if nothing else, actual humans need to fit in these designs, so they need to be constructed in a certain way or the actors would be unable to move. If you're designing for say, World of Warcraft, the role of pure logic is going to take a back seat- no actual person could walk around with pauldrons the size of Mini Coopers on their shoulders, and even if they could they'd never be able to lift their arms without smashing their head in from both sides. But the FEELING of those designs, of making the characters seem powerful and intimidating, of getting across this heightened fantasy world that at times operates via cartoon logic rather than reality, makes those ridiculous designs nevertheless, successful designs.

    Another thing to think about is format: A real bad guy isn't going to look any different than any other person- and if you're making a show where you slowly find out a guy is a bad guy over the course of 400 episodes, then it makes sense to design in that way. If you're making an illustration with a bad guy and the audience is supposed to know he's a bad guy, even though they've never seen this guy before and will never see him again and have never read a word about him and never will, and you have the 3 seconds of initial viewer reaction to make "this guy is a bad guy" clear, that realistic approach is likely going to be less effective than even the most generic, "bad guy = spikes, black clothing, metal, leather, blood, scars, etc. etc." approach.

    Or to use another example: a real spacesuit is probably one of the most logically constructed garments ever made- there's probably 500 pages of logic that went into every decision made when designing it. I doubt there's a single thing on it that was arbitrarily decided. Contrast that real spacesuit, with the Moebius designed spacesuit from Alien: it uses a few logical aspects- the dome helmet, the airhoses, etc., but a lot of what's on there makes very very little sense- it's got worn copper samurai-styled armor plates, hockey gloves, cricket pads, weird exposed twine stitching, there's lingere lace in there, there's electronics from old british cars, it's a 2-piece suit when there's never been a 2-piece suit spacesuit in history because that would be very dangerous...as a functional spacesuit, it's a disaster. But as a design of a spacesuit, it's great: because it gets across the FEELING of what it is all about very well: it's about that bulky feel of spacesuits, feeling vulnerable because of the immobility, it's about feeling like it's been around a long time, been knocked around, that it's for people doing the blue collar 'space truckers' work, even as many of the details exist purely for an abstract visual interest. It makes no sense- and yet, it somehow makes perfect sense. It makes more sense than if it actually, well, made sense.

    Video about Adam Savage's replica of said suit and all these cool details in fascinating...well, detail:


    So while yes research and ref are great, if you're having trouble, just simply questing for more and more ref might not crack that nut for you, not give you the confidence of direction you want. So after determining a base level of logic ('male, ranger, he's got this personality, he exists in this setting', etc.), doing a lot of quick thumbnails or silhouettes can help a lot in working to figure out what is interesting on the abstract level.

    Do you want to make them seem edgy? Add spikes. Graceful? More flowing. Representing order, law? Maybe something more symmetrical. Something more chaotic? Asymetrical. How many different permutations of these abstract ideas can you come up with? Can you think of the character in terms of metaphor? An obvious choice for an evil queen character might be to drape her in black- but if you think up a metaphor for her, it may open up more possibilities; perhaps she is like a carnivorous plant, waiting for the hapless to fall into her trap, destroying them- so perhaps draping her in the colors of such a plant, or using aspects of their shape, will yield a more creative design. Perhaps you see this ranger like a tiger, so maybe an idea would to take a cue from the color patterning of a tiger, and use a lighter color on the front of the torso and insides of the arms, and a 2 tone, darker color design on the back. Not necessarily a 'tiger stripe' pattern, but it could be indicated by armor design motif, or leather straps pulled over a differently colored undermaterial. Just a random idea that you can snowball into something.

    Hell, a lot of the more photo-bashy concept artists will just be totally arbitrary with decisions like, "I saw a cool hubcap, so I took half of it, inverted the colors and now it's the top of this guy's sci-fi gauntlet design." At this stage of design, reference images of things that are definitely not clothes, may be more helpful than images of things that are clothes, because a metaphor or abstract idea may be the thing you need more than, 'what's the 100% right belt buckle?' David Bowie used to use a computer program that chopped up and rearranged sentences from news articles to spur ideas; I've used random word generators, or closing my eyes and scribbling, then seeing if I can figure out how to turn those random lines into a design, for the same reason.

    And these ideas I'm throwing out? They might work, they might not work, they might work for something but not the thing you want them to be working on, they might kinda work but not exactly in that way, who knows. Which is why doing a lot of different takes on a design, developing them iterating on them is important, because you're never really going to arrive what's going to work well, until you actually start doing it. If you always try to think your way through the design problem logically, trying to arrive at the "right" solution on try one, you might not have 20 failed designs you spent 3 days drawing wasting space on your desk- but you'd never get to that 21st one that you really ended up loving either. So if this all sounds like a bunch of arbitrary fucking around, well yeah in a way it kinda is- that doesn't mean it's not also incredibly helpful. Because there' never a 100% "right" solution, moving forward is always more productive than wrestling with the paralysis that comes with trying to arrive at one through Sherlock Holmes deduction.

    And once you get that thumbnail you're digging on, THEN you want to get on with bringing in the truckloads of specific clothing ref, working out the problems of how it's actually going to work, how it's going to be constructed, how they'll be able to move in it, how it's going to fit, what's going to bend, what's going to sag, etc. Because it still has to LOOK legit, as a drawing, even if the decisions leading up to that point have been totally arbitrary- can't have gravity just suddenly not apply, or have a dude with arms that are 8 feet long when he's just supposed to be a normal human.
    If you can get my, the viewer's, interest, can get me just to not balk at too many logical leaps, is not conflicting with something else in the project (ie: 2 designs being too similar to distinguish from each other), and you present it confidently enough that I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you meant everything in there intentionally, chances are you've got a pretty good design in your hands.

    Now, since I'm not sure if you're familiar with the idea of 'silhouette studies', I figured I'd try to whip up a brief rundown of the exercise:
    While I'm using Photoshop with a tablet here, which admittedly has certain advantages to it, these can also be done with pencil, pen, brushpen, sharpie, etc. The important thing is to be able to bust out a lot of ideas very quickly, play around and modify them to push the big, broad ideas easily. While being able to bring some amount of logic to the table here can help- ie: knowing the shape of a distinctive architectural feature can immediately place a building as evoking a certain culture or function- it's more important when developing to start freely, even randomly, to create interesting shapes- which can then be modified through subsequent sketches to add necessary real-world architectural features to sell this fanciful shape as a legitimately constructed and considered structure.

    So, I took a stab at this- and maybe I should have used some other core idea to avoid poisoning the well for you, but I decided to try some variants on this "tower with a floating crystal" idea- likely, you've got some more specific wants in mind (sunny, landlocked temperate setting, medivalish?), but I'm keeping it pretty broad in my examples. These silhouettes took no more than a few minutes to develop a piece, and that's the point- save the detail for the second stage of development, right now you just want to get a bunch of ideas out of you as quick as possible.
    21c_silhouettes.jpg

    Now, this is a many and varied set of ideas, some of which might appeal, some of which might not, maybe they're all bad, that's up to whoever the stakeholders are in a particular project. Maybe I need to do 20 more to get something that I feel comfortable going forward with, then maybe I need to do 5 variants of that one to really tie down the ideas that are most appealing, before starting to develop a finalized design/drawing. But the point here is less, "hey aren't these cool/not cool", it's 'how did I come up with these ideas'? And there are a few different answers.

    For A, B, and C, I had some definite ideas I wanted to get across. For A, I wanted it to look evil. I wanted something chaotic, asymmetric, lots of spikes and jagged, sinewey rock, something looking unnaturally narrow. For B, I wanted the opposite- I wanted something powerful, immense, authoritarian- hence, the wide, solid base, the symmetry, the horizontal windows and entryway and crushed domes, emphasizing the idea of weight- like gravity is pressing down on this massive object so hard that it's kinda squishing down into the ground. Added to that, the tininess of the flags and a hint of people outside to sell the feeling of scale. For C, I wanted the idea of a tower that has been built up over time- so a base wall of squatter, boxier towers and keeps, with taller, more refined cylindrical dome-shaped buildings near the center.

    For D, E, F, and G, I used a random word generator (http://www.textfixer.com/tools/random-words.php) to come up with starting seeds of ideas. D was "Glove"- and at the beginning of me drawing it, it very much looked like just a hand reaching up out of the ground. But while you can still get that idea, the fingers have been abstracted to mere rods, the palm has been made to curve down, structural supports have been added- if developed further, the idea of "glove" might not occur to the viewer, but it was the springboard from which I could abstract to form this new idea. For E, the word was "burning", so I started with a wiggly sketch of flame, burning up and to the right in the wind. Hence in the final, I end up with that upward lift, those spikes, the organic feeling versus a more standard architectural shape. For F and G, these are two different takes on the word, "Barbarian". In F, the idea was to play off the idea of a barabarian culture- so a natural rocky spire with a rune carved into it rather than a constructed building, surrounded by crudely put together ramshackle shelters of cloth, poles, unrefined wood. In G, "Barbarian" became a figure of a literal barbarian- those arching branches around the crystal started as the horns on his helmet, that bridge to the right started as the head of his axe. Probably can't make that original barbarian out, but that's not the important thing.

    H, I, and J, is more of a "Rorschach Test" Method, where I closed my eyes and scribbled around, and then tried to solidify those random shapes into some kind of building- if you've every looked at clouds as a kid and tried to see objects in their shapes, same deal. Just taking random swoops and curves and seeing what I can do- this is a real free association jazz kind of approach. That may sound like a lot of nonsense, but it's a common enough idea that there's even a program out there, Alchemy, (http://al.chemy.org/) whose sole purpose is to add a bunch of randomization factors when sketching, to help act as an idea springboard.

    Now, I had a bunch of these really loose ideas, so I took my favorite and decided to develop it as a rough sketch. (Though a lot of the time, your favorite isn't actually the best choice, because there may be more factors to consider other than, "looks cool? Great!" A cool sketch of a million mile tall spire isn't going to be the best choice if the ask was to draw a bus stop, for example.)

    So I started with E- which is in some ways is one of the most nonsensical building designs here, but I liked it so now I've gotta deal with it. So I had to try to figure out how I might actually make this building- I decided on going with kind of half-timbered design since I felt that lighter material would lend itself more readily to that outward tilting than something heavier like raw stone (an architect might tell me I'm wrong about that, though). I also went with a Japanese style of tiled roofs, because I felt that fit with the curvature there. Given this Japanese-ish theming, I added a Japanese-temple-type big ol' set of stairs up a mountain, and turned the normal Shinto red gates instead into something that echoed the architecture of the main building. I also added a Japanese-castle stone foundation base, rope for architectural support- (again, an actual architect might tell me I've totally got them in the wrong place, but it's still useful to at least try to justify some of this more whimsical architecture here), and redesigned the details at the top to highlight the crystal a bit more.

    Now, can I say any of these decisions I've made are, "right"? Totally logical, the 100% correct design for this building? Obviously not- you might be looking at it, and just be listing off all of the ways that it's totally, completely wrong for what you had in mind. But even looking down at something you've made and saying, "I hate this!", means you've now got a basis with which to start honing in on something you will be happy with- just make a new sketch doing the exact opposite of that last thing. The important thing I'm trying to convey is the exercise, and not the specific result.

    Hopefully some of that is helpful? And not just hopelessly confusing.


    (Also, I know I threw a bunch of book recommendations at you before so I don't know if throwing more at you is just shitty of me, but if you come into a wealth of amazon gift cards, 2 books that might help flesh out these points are
    -The Skillful Huntsman, which is a book put out by an Art Center College of Design class, which goes over their concept development process of making a theoretical film project. It's kind of a classic in the concept art field and shows a lot of the thumbnailing and silhouette work concept artists will do when designing buildings, landscapes, characters, props, and compositions- as well as just being a lot of nice eye candy to look at.
    -Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang, which may seem a little simplistic at first glance, but is actually very good at breaking down how pictures work to convey emotion and meaning to the viewer with shape, color, and placement, even when the picture is entirely abstract. Things that a lot of people will pick up through just doing a lot of designing and getting critiques over the course of years, but it's good information to know when trying to design things starting in the abstract, as in this exercise.)

    21stCenturyIrukabowenEchoProspicience
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    tumblr_inline_ocn7ynN0PR1qlv5j9_540.png

    So, took another stab at it.

    Looks more interesting, I think.

    Also it accidentally looks just like your A. Bacon.

    D'oh.

    21stCentury on
    Peas
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    It's a definite step up on the visual interest front. :^:

    And beyond some superficial similarities, I don't think it's similar enough to what I did to be reason for concern or anything- similar functions will naturally yield some commonalities in design. It'd be like Ford getting mad at Toyota for also using tires on their cars. :P

    21stCenturybowen
  • bowenbowen PEPSI IS THE BEST SODA ayyyyyyyRegistered User regular
    Yeah it's different enough imo, looks a lot better.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    h7bzblebckc3.png

    Improvement over 2 years.

    bowenPeasBeNarwhalDoodmann
  • SublimusSublimus AustinRegistered User regular
    Should have done a sweet pixel "2 years arrow". :P Just my two cents.

    21stCenturyShellbacksquidbunnyDoodmann
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    tumblr_inline_odymo6FTiU1qlv5j9_540.png

    Alchemy. still adding stuff as it strikes my fancy.

    Peas
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    I love looking at sweet sprites and fantasy art
    More please

  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    I should add ⛎ somewhere....


    But i don't know where.

  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    Peas wrote: »
    I love looking at sweet sprites and fantasy art
    More please

    i'll post more sprites when i get to making more.

    Lately i've been a bit busy with a less visual art project....


    i mean, if you can call feeding an AI data to make a novelty twitter accoutn "art", LOL.

    Peas
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    jbu0p496wudt.png
    P-dot practice.... done really quickly but quite happy, i guess.

    as long as i don't look at it.

    Peas
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Coming back to Pixel Art because it's more fun.

    tumblr_inline_ofkg2fsNrE1qlv5j9_540.png
    enjoy this thingy, i guess!

    Edit:
    Also this thingy
    tumblr_inline_ofmwffJbbP1qlv5j9_540.png

    Started Timing myself.

    This one took 37 minutes, going at my normal pace.
    tumblr_inline_ofoqeri1ng1qlv5j9_540.png

    Made a cute waifu as requested by a friend. took me 27 minutes.
    tumblr_inline_ofsjzvAScd1qlv5j9_540.png

    Bucky, 32 minutes, not super happy, but practice.
    tumblr_inline_ofx0ojVB3g1qlv5j9_540.png

    36 minute portrait of the mysterious ghost.
    tumblr_inline_ofy1702yP81qlv5j9_540.png

    28 minute sprite of manny Calavera for Day of the Dead. Not my best Manny, I think.
    tumblr_inline_og0st9mc4I1qlv5j9_540.png

    21stCentury on
    BeNarwhalPeasWinkyKid Presentable
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    ae5yg94aaoyo.png

    Attempting to craft something to use as an avatar on other places... something representative that be be thematic as well...

  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    tumblr_inline_ogflg5yirb1qlv5j9_540.png

    I'm 40% happy with this D.Va Sprite. First time going with such a scale....

    I'd really like to know why it feels so off. :\

    Dark Raven XKid PresentableBlameless Cleric
  • Kid PresentableKid Presentable Registered User regular
    Oh hey I am often too lazy to get over to the other forums but I did it, here I am. I think that D. Va looks great, 2first, I really like your style on a bulkier scale like that!

    If we're searching for things that might be making it feel "off" to you, the only thing that jumps out to me is the arm being a bit indistinguishable from the body (not sure how to fix, the area is just a bit busy, maybe too much detail/too many lines) and maybe the guns could be a little bigger.

    21stCentury
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    ah, yes, as always, the answer is more dakka.

    Kid Presentable
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    tumblr_inline_ohfqadFZHu1qlv5j9_540.png

    Gonna do an idle animation with this sprite. probably 8 frames.

  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    Got a tablet from a friend! Here's my first real effort with it. it's flawed, but i'm learning.

    My biggest issue is getting a good control of the pen. i just need to practice for that.

    x2dzj5ce30g0.png

    bowen
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    Slowly working in Digital Art Practice in my daily routine.

    w94hhenl6j2m.png

  • bowenbowen PEPSI IS THE BEST SODA ayyyyyyyRegistered User regular
    you're improving pretty well dude, keep that shit up!

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
    21stCenturyBlameless Cleric
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    605h2mf9axty.png

    Took a 3 month break, it seems, but I'm back.

  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    88bofi9jr5mm.png

    Already did another thing! This time i tried a different shading approach. I.... still think faces are very tricky, haha. at least the hands aren't the worst i've ever drawn!

  • 21stCentury21stCentury Emotions are prohibited. WORLD IS A FUCK.......... I AM TRASH YoRHa........ Registered User regular
    7pxbh62l.png
    (Click for full-size)

    Finally made a new phone lock screen background. I'm pretty happy with it.

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