Need help with rubble, debris and destruction
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    Question Need help with rubble, debris and destruction

    Hi, I'm new here so I'm not certain about how it all works, so forgive me if this is the wrong section to post in.

    Like most people here, I'm an artist who's looking for help/advice to improve. My passion is drawing concept styled art and game art work. My current inspiration is my favorite game series, Portal, and I've been trying to do some Portal 2 artwork.

    Sadly, I have no idea how to draw debris or rubble so it's not really working out that well.

    This is one of my recent pictures: http://hellsplumber.deviantart.com/a...al-2-177208919
    As you can see, the ground looks much to clean for a place thats supposed to be falling apart.

    This is what I'm aiming for: http://images.wikia.com/half-life/en...ta_rubble2.jpg

    So I really need help with rubble, debris, destruction and making things look aged and worn.
    If anyone could help or point be to a good tutorial I'd be really grateful.



    PS
    I know that the picture I linked you to isn't great as it is; poor lighting/coloring, bad perspective etc but I've already been improving on those. But rubble is really holding me back and it's what I need the most help overcoming at the moment.

    Last edited by Elwell; April 7th, 2011 at 01:05 AM.
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  2. #2
    JeffX99's Avatar
    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Get a digital camera and drive around until you find some. There are always construction/demolition projects going on everywhere - or old piles of concrete and stuff laying around. You could also find a scrap yard and find some interesting stuff there. There are no tutorials for this kind of thing - just your own effort and research.

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    As JeffX99 said, go get lots and lots of pictures of rubble (make sure that you get them at different times of the day and at different angles... the lighting changes).

    Also, I don't know what medium that you work in. But, the basic rules for doing stuff like this is to 1) define the planes, 2) define what planes are hit by the light and which ones are in shadows, 3) define which ones are your primary rubble... most defined.

    If you draw all of the rubble equally sharp, you lose a lot. In reality, the rubble near your focal point will be sharp and the rubble outside of that area becomes more impressionistic.

    The trick that I use for complex things is to just lay down some basic shapes into light and dark. Step about 10 feet away and see if it looks like rubble. If not, figure out what parts stand out.

    Dougie

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    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Drawing rubble is like drawing anything else. Soooo, if you can't draw it then you really can't draw. Start at the beginning and work learning the basics. As has been said there is no way to draw rubble. Its a group of objects; if you get the value, shape and color right it will look like rubble, if you don't, it won't. Stop focusing on drawing things and focus on light on form, any form. All you are doing is making two dimensional marks learn to make them accurately and all your problems go away.

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    The trick to believable "stuff", as in clutter, is to work big to small. That's the trick to anything, of course, but especially things that need to be there but sort of unobtrusive. Don't overdefine them, learn where to pull your marks, learn to rub out edges, and most of all, use reference!

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    http://www.youtube.com/user/FZDSCHOOL

    Look through the school's video. The teacher teaches you how to create texture by digitally using photos, not just as reference.

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    Thumbs up Thanks!

    Thanks for the help, really worked for me =)

    Although I don't agree with the "if you can't draw it then you really can't draw." thing. Just because someone can't draw one particular thing doesn't mean they can't draw at all and should start from basics again. Can't be expected to know everything =D

    I defiantly found that observation helped. Managed to find some examples on a vacation and got some very useful pictures that have really aided me, so thanks for the advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by HellsPlumber View Post
    Although I don't agree with the "if you can't draw it then you really can't draw." thing. Just because someone can't draw one particular thing doesn't mean they can't draw at all and should start from basics again. Can't be expected to know everything
    The point is that if you know the basics and can draw, then you can draw anything - given enough research and reference.

    When someone says they "can't draw" something, they usually means they can't draw it from their head without reference. But you don't have to draw everything from your head, and you're not expected to - nobody can draw everything purely from their head without reference.

    If you ever have a situation like this again where you think you "can't draw" something, remember, research and reference will almost inevitably solve the problem.

    The teacher teaches you how to create texture by digitally using photos, not just as reference.
    Actually, I wouldn't recommend doing that for learning purposes... Sure, it can be a useful shortcut on a job, but you won't learn to paint your own textures if you get into the habit of using found textures too soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HellsPlumber View Post
    Thanks for the help, really worked for me =)
    Glad it helped...I've done a lot of rubble for various games (it's a common element) so I was often climbing around on piles or rubble and taking shots...you gotta not care what people think!

    Quote Originally Posted by HellsPlumber View Post
    Although I don't agree with the "if you can't draw it then you really can't draw." thing. Just because someone can't draw one particular thing doesn't mean they can't draw at all and should start from basics again. Can't be expected to know everything =D
    I would like to offer a bit of insight/correction on the drawing point. Drawing really is so fundamental that subject doesn't matter - if you understand drawing it doesn't matter what you draw, rubble, trees, astronauts, castles, figure, insects, etc.

    It is actually exactly opposite of the idea that you "can't be expected to know everything". If you take the idea that you can draw one thing well but not another, that assumes you would have to learn to draw everything individually instead of just learning to draw so you can handle drawing whatever you want.

    Anyway, just a gentle correction that I hope makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by HellsPlumber View Post
    I defiantly found that observation helped. Managed to find some examples on a vacation and got some very useful pictures that have really aided me, so thanks for the advice
    I'm thinking you meant "definitely"?

    Last edited by JeffX99; May 4th, 2011 at 01:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HellsPlumber View Post
    Thanks for the help, really worked for me =)

    Although I don't agree with the "if you can't draw it then you really can't draw." thing. Just because someone can't draw one particular thing doesn't mean they can't draw at all and should start from basics again. Can't be expected to know everything =D

    I defiantly found that observation helped. Managed to find some examples on a vacation and got some very useful pictures that have really aided me, so thanks for the advice
    Then you're not learning your foundations.
    Basically anything is broken down into basic shapes and observation. If you can't draw it, as others have said it's because of a few things.

    You didn't bother to reference. I think there's some big misconception that there is no research done. If you were planning to build a house...you get blue prints, cost analysis and so forth. Drawing pictures for various jobs do is in the same vein.

    You will pretty much spend X amount of time (usually set by the illustrator due to deadline/time constraints) - I think if you download Dan Dos Santos DVD - http://theartdepartment.org/dvds/dan...lustration-dvd he goes through the process of making a book cover. You know what this dude does? HE READS THE DAMN BOOK! I mean, someone asks you to illustrate the book cover and he just goes "okay derp derp" and draws some chick in a bikini and a gun that has nothing to do with a fantasy sword and sorcery story? Or what if it was a story about cats? He'd look pretty stupid if that isn't what the client wanted either. (There may be a chance a client WANTS a bikini with a gun on a children's story for cats...but who knows )

    You want to draw rubble, start looking it up. Do your research. Not just google but start looking around in magazines, and other sources. Look at old neighborhoods, ghettos etc.

    Now to the other reason "I can't draw it"
    You didn't learn to break it down to your foundations. What are the basic shapes the rubble is making? Depending on the kind of rubble how does it react. Ask yourself WHY? Is it because it's sand or gravel? Is the rubble machine parts? Why did it break that way, what caused the kind of rubble?
    So with the foundations, if you know it's steel but corroded, you know that it's going to reflect in how it's drawn, lighting conditions and material conditions.

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    Definitely

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    I would like to offer a bit of insight/correction on the drawing point. Drawing really is so fundamental that subject doesn't matter - if you understand drawing it doesn't matter what you draw, rubble, trees, astronauts, castles, figure, insects, etc.

    It is actually exactly opposite of the idea that you "can't be expected to know everything". If you take the idea that you can draw one thing well but not another, that assumes you would have to learn to draw everything individually instead of just learning to draw so you can handle drawing whatever you want.

    Anyway, just a gentle correction that I hope makes sense.
    Yeah, it makes sense. Although I was talking more along the lines of drawing from your head. I can draw things that are physically there, but trying to imagine random placement of broken peices and rubble was difficult for me without first researching it and getting advice here. Thus the referance pictures idea really helped me.

    And yes, I definitely meant definitely. Odd typo I know XD

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