Frank's Concept Colosseum



  • AvrahamAvraham Registered User regular
    :bz: :bz: :bzz:
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Thank you, Sir. Nice link!

    Update on this art test, I'm going to be sending it off after another pass. Also, my super early sketch for the beginning of my first Caravaggio study. His form is really impressive...I'm trying to take it slow and use this study as a warm up.


    F87 on
  • SeveredHeadSeveredHead Registered User regular
    your designs are super easy to read and are very subtle giving them a very solid feel, like you believe they could exist in some other world or future.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Those material call-outs are incredibly small. Remember the purpose of them - you're trying to show the artists after you (modelers + texturers) what materials are being used. It's really hard to tell what the material call-outs are.

  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    I haven't peeked in here in a few days but Bacon is bang on. ND too.

    Also, everyone should know Caravaggio. Dude was the biggest gangster thug of the old Masters. Here, everyone learn about Caravaggio.

    Rembrandt and Bernini episodes are also great.

    Scosglen on
  • Getting a little off-topic:
    To be honest, my "art history knowledge" was built mostly just looking at a lot of pictures and hanging out in bookstores flipping through a ton of art books without reading the text- so that video is pretty fascinating because I usually don't know all that much about artist's personal lives. I had no idea he had killed a dude, for example (seems like a hard bit of information to miss, considering I've had a book on him sitting on my shelf for like 4 years).

    I guess I look at art history from more of a reverse-engineering perspective than the average art historian (ie: 'what is here that is useful to me')...but maybe I just got a bad taste in my mouth from a class about the early renaissance I once took, where I had to read a couple of chapters of Giorgio Vasari (the first kinda real "art historian") practically pissing his pants in excitement at anything any artist ever did, seemingly.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    your designs are super easy to read and are very subtle giving them a very solid feel, like you believe they could exist in some other world or future.

    That's a really nice compliment, my man. Thank you!

    It's always nice to gain some perspective on a subject. That video was really interesting... I especially liked how when he arrived at Rome, he was told to just draw the statues. I wonder how those fuckers sculpted such accurate statues!

    I'm thinking of doing the Caravaggio study in black and white first, the color seems to be an entirely other thing to tackle. I tried a few times to grab the right local colors on the skin and when I referenced those to the master, I was waaay off.

    Also, I did 3 nice facial structure from these:
    in my sketchbook. I don't feel like digging out my scanner, but I think I learned a bit from them and I may try to do a handful here and there! (Thanks ND ! )

    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    pooost them! and keep working on that master study!

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    I am working on the master study, I'm trying my best to learn from it as I work, which is different.

    And my scanner is ridiculously inaccessible right now, so I can't post those facial studies.

    Now, I know I'm supposed to be taking a break from concept art stuff, but I really need to get on a roll with some portfolio pieces and especially obtaining sufficient 3d skills. So, I've started this orthographic sheet for my zday yakuza character. I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew, but using some video tutorials, I'm going to sculpt this model out in Zbrush for my portfolio.


    Edit: Oh, and I finished that crest commission! It turned out OK, considering it's my first design like this.


    F87 on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Progress on the Caravaggio study I'm doing. I need some feedback on it, but I'm learning a lot I think!


    Also, trying to get used to zbrush, so I made a goblin head!


    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    you are missing a lot of dark on that study:

    And the eye shape is becoming its own thing, his upper lid is pretty level.

  • SeraphSwordSeraphSword Registered User regular
    Other than what Iruka mentioned, his nose has a couple of small problems that I can see. The bridge of his nose seems like it's protruding a little too far, and his right (viewer left) nostril looks a bit slanted versus it being pretty much horizontal in the reference.

    Still, excellent work so far. Can't wait to see it finished.

    Mastery is the result of ceaseless error, combined with ruthless self-appraisal.
  • Excellent start! Everything is pretty much generally right, but now comes the more difficult part of getting all those finicky- but important- subtleties right; which you may find nitpicky to try to deal with in the short term, but I think buckling down and working them out will help you out a lot in the long term.

    (In fact it's probably one of the most important parts of doing master copies in the first place; the reason they are so great at honing one's skill is that they are utterly unforgiving, and they force you to grasp for a deeper understanding or the subtleties involved in order to replicate the results properly; whereas in drawing made-up things, or even life drawing or using photoref, it is far easier to make excuses to avoid the extra exertion. Getting used to going to this level makes you a lot stronger when you do your own work, because now you know just how far you have to go to get those results.)

    Couple of notes I've got- they might seem like super minor things, but once you address them I think you'll see they actually make a huge difference in practice. (Spoilered for big.)
    Also, you probably want to lighten up the value on the collar/cross; seeing the original next to the copy makes it clear those were much brighter.

    Just a reminder of what I'm talking about in terms of edge/shapes:

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    Thanks @Iruka and @SeraphSword!

    @Angel_of_Bacon -
    Those notes are extremely helpful!

    I realize now how much I isolate details instead of understanding the full form. Also, the edge variations in Caravaggio's painting are amazing. I'm trying to pay close attention to my edges, but it's hard when I keep finding values that seem off.

    I need to work on a lot of things still, but I tried applying the feedback and this is where I'm at now:


    The values need work, more darks like Iruka said. I haven't gone over all the edges and I need to work the beard/mouth and collars a lot... but it's coming along.

    Also, I think my monitor isn't calibrated properly or something. On the images you guys posted, the values seem slightly different. : \

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Do you know the trick about blurring your eyes to see value shapes more clearly? That might help you avoid the trap of working on the small-scale details/subtleties before having completed the larger sections.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    I did not know that! That's a great trick.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    Hey guys, I think I fixed the proportions and design on this character for the better, what do you all think?


    and a quick sketch of an android concept I'm playing around with:


    I made myself a new avatar as well!


  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    That avatar is more interesting than everything on this page.

    I meant t o post this comment like a week ago, but I guess I clicked save draft. You really have some imagination in there, and I will always pressure you to apply it to all of your work, and not just aliens. I will probably also forever hound you to put less cleavage in your designs. She has the exact same wonderbra design as the last girl for no real reason other than "boobs". I only try to put the pressure on because I think you have alot of potential, just perhaps not a lot of introspection about the multiple levels at which your viewer perceives your work.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    Damnit. You're right.

    I don't know why I can't "inject" the same kind of imagination into my serious character designs. And when I design, I think I only consider what I like, rather than who might view my work.

    I'm also struggling with balancing study and practice vs. finishing some characters/environments/zbrush stuff so I can apply for work.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    F87 wrote: »
    Damnit. You're right.

    I don't know why I can't "inject" the same kind of imagination into my serious character designs.

    Forcing your hand on your imagination is hard, but remember that being creative is part of your job.

    Pretend I'm your art director for a second.
    You need to draw a female solider character with extremely functional armor. I want you to base it off of current military uniforms, and only push it into the future maybe 30-40 years. We like this one: irah_concept1.png But we'd like her to be muscular. refer to Samantha Wright.

    We'd like a version that is plain, and one who's decorated with metals and has a few pieces of custom armor.

    No reason that something that fit that brief couldn't fit your portfolio. No reason that your Zbrush work couldn't work towards that brief. You can build your portfolio and improve, you just need to take the time to decide what you are going to focus on and to what degree of polish you are going to take it. If portfolio work means "I dont have to push myself in uncomfortable areas, I just need to do what I'm used to" you will get a bunch of the same work and you wont be happy with it. There is a difference between playing to your strengths and coddling your weaknesses.

    It will be easy for you to reign it in if your brief tells you it needs to be more generic, but how will you practice "put something unique in there" or "get crazy with it" or "we want something surprising" if you can't do that with your personal work? This is the time to practice that, and its not deviating from your long term goal to get a job.

    Putting a bunch of stiff boring characters in your portfolio isn't your goal, even if polishing them off will take less time than doing some gesture studies and trying to push yourself forward. You have a portfolio, if someone wants to hire you based on the skills they see now, they will. Its time to stop treading water and make sure that the next work you put out is a leap forward. Commit to that. You have no excuse not to. Literally none.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    I'd suggest you not worry about ZBrush stuff right now. The amount of time it would take to create something portfolio-worthy is probably going to be better spent perfecting your concepts and doing studies. If you can say "I can work in Zbrush", that's a great plus, but it can take a long time before you might make something that would benefit you to show.

    You can definitely still work at it on the side, but considering it's a pretty new thing to you, I'd recommend showing your strength in 2D stuff instead. Not meant to be a downer (Zbrush is hard!) but looking at your concepts and looking at your ZBrush guy, it seems your 2D is at a much higher level.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    OK, I'm going to heed your advice and focus on 2D exclusively.

    I wanted to draw my new d&d character, but I'm going to try a muscular military girl based on Iruka's directions tomorrow.


    F87 on
  • wahaywahay Your Handicapped Hero Cincinnati, USARegistered User regular
    Your design work is deceptively simple! Beautiful and readable forms, here. <3

    "Sorry ladies, I give my everything to Sallie Mae."
    My Artist Corner Thread • Everywhere I Post
  • MinokoMinoko Registered User regular
    I draw a dick and fart panel strip so when I see stuff like this I shut my PC down and cry a little. This work is awesome friend. The line work, the colour...I can't stop going through the site.

    I cannot, and will not, have an arguement with someone who doesn't know who Omega Supreme is!
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    @Minoko - That's really kind of you to say, it really inspires me to keep going when I hear such nice things about my work!

    @Wahay - <3 Thank you, very much, Sir! :)

    I was piddlin' around with a character based on Iruka's quip, but somewhere along the way I lost track and I'm not sure I like her so far. Or that she is any different my normal characters. For some reason she was getting pretty frustrating. I need to take a break and do some environments.


    Environment Thumbs: Which one of these should I do variations of?


    F87 on
  • MinokoMinoko Registered User regular
    Either the 1st or last thumb. Your cityscapes are always a delight

    I cannot, and will not, have an arguement with someone who doesn't know who Omega Supreme is!
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    I'd like to see something done with 9. I like grand space vistas

  • SeveredHeadSeveredHead Registered User regular
    i think for the more muscly girls you could search for fitness models for some ref, they usually have nice looking bodies while still having some muscle definition.

    one thing you seem to lack if different type of bodies, like fatter dudes or frail looking bodies. like that old guy with the eagle, his face has a beard and looks old but his body is like a fit 20 year old, a man that old should be more hunched and frail looking or some type of variation that correlates with his face.

  • F87 wrote: »
    I was piddlin' around with a character based on Iruka's quip, but somewhere along the way I lost track and I'm not sure I like her so far. Or that she is any different my normal characters. For some reason she was getting pretty frustrating. I need to take a break and do some environments.


    I think one of the reasons this is kind of misfiring is because the gesture isn't really working to convey any real information about the character.

    I mean, here's what I know from Iruka's prompt:
    She's a soldier of some kind. In a real military, not just a rebel or mercenary.
    She's muscularly built.

    Now, on the first bit, the thing that immediately feels off is that she is demonstrating very poor trigger discipline with those there guns- waving them randomly in various directions, with fingers on the triggers.
    A real soldier would know you never point a gun anywhere where an accidental discharge would hit someone- usually people will either point it down at the ground, or down range if they are at a shooting range. Also, you should never put your finger inside the trigger guard unless you are ready to fire your gun, because otherwise the slightest bump or jostle could wind up accidentally blowing somebody's head off. Even if you want to make the argument that the guns were empty, or that the safeties are on, the general rule is you should always treat a gun as if it were loaded with the safety off, so people don't go fooling around with them irresponsibly.

    If you want to have her look like a solider, she needs to behave like one- right now it doesn't look like she knows what she's doing with those guns, so no matter what build or costume you throw her in, she's never going to look legit. A real solider just standing around would probably have those things holstered (which she would need holsters for, on the costume design front), or if she's got two guns out, it would mean she's probably in the middle of a fight where she needs two guns out- which is not something you would need to draw out, a whole war scene background- but her pose would need to imply it. Keeping her head down, or running to cover, or signalling to other soldier off screen some directions- something like that. (I'm sure you've seen enough movies and games involving soldiers to have some idea of what a soldier might be doing under the circumstances.)

    On the second bit, her pose can be used to flesh out her character a bit; she's not just a soldier, but specifically muscularly built; she's not a standard action movie waif-fu girl, using acrobatics and flashy moves and Hollywood trickery to take out dudes; she's got a lot of actual raw power to draw on, and is explicitly a very physical, active person. She is capable of feats of strength and athleticism; why have her just stand around like she doesn't know what's going on? Give her something to do! Doing stuff should be what she's good at! Why give her dinky pistols instead of a heavy machine gun, she can handle it! Where's all the armor and equipment a soldier generally is loaded down with- she can handle those too.

    When trying to figure out a character like this, it would probably be helpful to compile a big ref sheet to draw from, like so (linked for huuuuuge):
    I've put together the Samantha Wright ref along with some other weightlifters, some judo/MMA/boxing/muay thai fighters, soccer/football players, and Tough Mudder participants, so I get a sense of not of just what a very athletic person looks like in terms of build, but in terms of gesture and emotion as well. Even on the ones where they are standing still, most of them are still, doing something in terms of gesture to describe their character- even if it's just raising a fist, or adopting a taut, fighting pose.

    Now, that is not to say that the solution is just to give your character some kung-fu pose, or make her appear just more violent.

    Looking back on Samantha Wright, part of what makes her specifically fascinating, is that she is powerfully built and participates in a sport generally associated with a lot of large people grunting and straining in a kind of violent action way, but as she does it, it comes across as feminine and dainty- part of it is she just has a cute face, but a bigger part of it how she moves, what gestures she takes on. In movie terms, she seems to be cast against type, which can add a lot of interest to a character. Can you make a powerfully built female soldier that moves in a professional, but at the same time somewhat dainty fashion? Doing something like that can instantly add a feeling that the character has a bit more depth than just being a stereotyped "tough girl" or just a body propped up in a boring pose, nothing really going on inside their head. If you can show how a character thinks, you've probably solved most of your design problems.

    My ultimate point isn't to say you should make this specific character this way or another way, merely that these are issues you should be thinking about when you design a character, and why gesture is something to spend a good deal of time and brainpower working out, rather than committing to a standard standing pose right out the gate. Do some thumbnailing or sketch out some stick figures on some scratch paper first at least.

    Remember, the job title isn't Costume Designer, or Body Designer. It's Character Designer. Designing the costume and body are only useful as means to describe the, well, character of a character- they are not an end in and of themselves. If their gesture doesn't tell their story, doesn't tell the audience who they are, you're not getting all you can out of your work; and doing that means knowing your character from the inside, not just from their exterior.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    AOB, you are a saint. That really clarifies what I am trying to get at.

    And to push it further, I want to be clear that though the boobs/tiny girls/slutty armor in combat situations is a personal beef of mine, I'm not going to pretend that you cant be perfectly successful doing that, if your skills are high.There are avenues where a more fashion and clothing oriented design work is appropriate, like sims and dance central and such. Still, they are probably going to be interested in a variety of face/body types, and they will be interested to see if you can read into a prompt and find the important information and expand your research based on it. You'd need to probably get more intense with your clothing, and start digging into fashion at an in depth level.

    Even so, that doesn't seem to be where your interests are. You want to do narrative scifi work with deep characters right? So its time to get way serious about upping your variety in that area. You seem to tend to stop on projects when you get "frustrated" Dont. Sure, every now and then, I need to put aside a piece because I'm hitting my skill limit, but the answer is not "go do something completely different that I find easier." Getting frustrated is the time where you sit down and say "Man I really cant draw this power glove, let me practice hands. Hey I'm having a hard time with hands, let me gather a lot of reference, and try and quickly block them out with geometric shapes. Man I stuck at making rectangles in perspective, let me do some simple shape studies"

    Break down your problem until you find the very route of it, and then build back up. Your girl looks like all the girls you draw? Copy the reference exactly, first. Copy five or six references until you find qualities to combine. Doing drawing from reference is a little more mindless than trying to invent everything. You seem really reluctant to just take in what you see, use it to relax and inspire you. If you just draw that weightlifters body, I promise you can modify it enough to make it your own character.

    My main point is though, I've never improved on any media, subject matter, or basic skill that I let lie until I felt better about getting to it. Tackle these issues head on, work through the discomfort, ignore the doubts in your head. None of us can force you to stay on task, and to not do what you don't like. I'll continue to call you out on it, though, so long as you keep wanting to improve, and keep posting the same kind of work.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    @Angel_of_Bacon , thank you so much for helping me understand what's been lacking.

    I will strive to understand the character from the inside! I've read what you wrote a few times now and will continue to do so. For now, I've tried to apply some of your feedback.

    When I started over, I kept thinking of a soldier walking through a battlefield, almost calmly, just attacking. I went with that for the pose, which gave her reason to have guns drawn. She has little regard for her own life, or maybe just too confident. :P

    I wanted this concept to be sci-fi, so the armor is pretty form fitting nano-carbon whathaveyou. Now I wanted to capture some feminine quality or cuteness, because I like what you said about casting against type. It would be cool to have a killing-machine maverick be some cute girl. That's where I'm having trouble. Maybe this pose doesn't really allow for that, or the design. Perhaps I could try a couple different hairstyles.

    All in all, I think I get the gist of what you and Iruka have been saying, but it's easier said than done for me.

    @Iruka , I know what you are saying. I don't want to be limited in my design skills, so this is all perfect advice and feedback.

    And yes! You are exactly right about where my true interests lie. Deep, believable characters in a hard sci-fi setting. I'm going to try and apply your "break down problems" method as much I can.
    My main point is though, I've never improved on any media, subject matter, or basic skill that I let lie until I felt better about getting to it. Tackle these issues head on, work through the discomfort, ignore the doubts in your head. None of us can force you to stay on task, and to not do what you don't like. I'll continue to call you out on it, though, so long as you keep wanting to improve, and keep posting the same kind of work.

    That reminds me of a part in the Art of War talking about attacking the weakest points first. I'll remember that! And please keep calling me out on it, I seriously want to improve.


    I did a couple small gestures and started with this, which felt weird and looked extra bad:

    And after messing around, tried flipping the legs and the pose came together a lot better. I'm still not entirely sure I've chosen the right pose to actually apply the feedback you guys gave. Maybe I'm just not sure if I like this in general, could be the face mask.


    Also, an early sketch of a commission for a friend:

    Again, thanks AOB and Iruka! :)

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2013
    That actually looks way better than your previous attempts. Her legs are a little broken, but the direction and body type are getting better! If you are still working with the prompt, though, I'd prefer if you'd base it off of a current military uniform, US Armed forces is fine. I said only 30-40 years in the future, which may be a little early for complete facial coverage via a mask. Shes not a merc, so some of the standard affairs of military uniform are in order.

    she should have
    -Ammo packs
    -Pockets. Skin tight is great for looks and ninjas, but shes not, shes a heavy lifting, combat oriented soldier. She can handle carrying some provisions.
    -Give her a heavy weapon. She can handle it.
    -Emblems, I said she was decorated, so maybe a dress version with medals and a combat version with a special forces emblem.
    -Is there a military uniform without a flag on it???

    Also, personality wise, maybe she has disregard for her life, but military training is regimented to make you much less spontaneous in combat. Shes not going to run around with her pistols in the air. She probably has a platoon. This is only 30 years in the future, so we are probably talking urban, city street cover based war, not guns flying in space shit. Make it as realistic as you can, and then add some futuristic touches. Stuff like the google glass is fine, Full face mask is a little too far.

    Iruka on
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    The nods cover most of the upper face, and I can only imagine as night vision becomes cheaper and some of the other optics (thermal, infra red) become cheaper , they develop an all-in-one sort of thing (despite splinter cell games, it doesn't exist yet because it's too expensive). And I would hope that 30 years from now they have a more comfortable contraption to mount it to the face aside from the stupid, clumsy, bulky mounts they have now.

    (sorry for the size)

    ninjai on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    @ninjai Are those pretty much just for night/dark combat situations?

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    Roger that, Iruka! I will overhaul her design.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Yeah F87, that last pose is waaaay more interesting/engaging/descriptive-of-the-character than any of your other poses I've seen. That's awesome. Learn from this and keep going! :)

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Iruka wrote: »
    @ninjai Are those pretty much just for night/dark combat situations?
    Yeah, night vision is pretty standard for anyone who goes outside the wire, but they're used when it gets dark. Though thermal and infra red optics (being much more expensive and therefore less likely to be issued to the average grunt) can be used in any lighting situation. I thought I had put something in there about night time, guess I didn't sorry :P

    ninjai on
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Alright! Thanks guys.

    I pm'd Iruka to talk about the character some. She gave me some sound advice and a good reference for a pose. I've started the new version and I need more feedback!


    The bending leg is giving me trouble, but overall I think the design seems more like a soldier and is more believable. I want her to have a heavy weapon, but I'm not sure of the weight distribution. Maybe I should lose the bag and move the weapon to the other hand. What do you guys think? Also, are her proportions correct? I've been too focused on the design I think.

    F87 on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think her leg may be elongated around the ankle. I think those shoes are a little dainty looking, anyway.

    She actually looks like a solider, though! Super pleased by that. I'll go more in depth later maybe.

  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    This is looking good, Frank. The face even looks a little more developed than your previous versions.

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