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  1. #27
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    I wasn't necessarily saying you were slapping things on, so much as that's what Giacomo came off as suggesting. Basically, it doesn't matter if it's wrong, good enough is good enough.

    The "tone argument" has never been a convincing one anyhow.

    I'm seeing a trace of the statue (which does get the angle of the bottom of the mouth wrong), but no structural breakdown (balls for eyes, centre lines, all the usual stuff). Could you post the one you did, please?

    One thing to add about the lower lip that I just noticed on closer inspection, you've made the terminator band of the shadow very thin, so it becomes a line bisecting the lip in that direction, rather than part of the shadow. Since it's a cast shadow from the nose, you won't get the same terminator band as in a direct shadow, since there's less influence by reflected light on the far side.

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  3. #28
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    For some reason I don't understand anything you said in this sentence:
    I'm seeing a trace of the statue (which does get the angle of the bottom of the mouth wrong), but no structural breakdown (balls for eyes, centre lines, all the usual stuff). Could you post the one you did, please?

    What is the terminator band? I don't understand the second sentence either.

    So sure enough, my painting got rejected with the following explanations:

    -There might be noticeable artistic or technical problems in your image.

    -The context of your image may need a more creative presentation.

    -The image might contain elements that could be offensive to some.

    So basically its not only shit, but its boring shit that is so shitty/boring that its offensive to some. Wow.

    I am just doing better and better...

    But I decided to adjust the mouth perspective as well as rotated the eye. It was unnefficient to do because I had to do it seperately on both the colour versions, while making sure the changes are identical.

    Let me know if this is structurally better.

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  4. #29
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    I really don't get the offensive thing at all. Maybe they meant the presence of the fly? It's a bit unclear.

    As to the rest, as I thought from what you said before these guys have crazy standards. Your A game isn't enough, you gotta bring your A++ game. For that, you've gotta have totally solid foundations, and high quality finishes as well. No amount of nitpicks (so long as they're accurate) is too many.

    I was afraid the terminology was a bit confusing, I might have been off. So for the terminator band (or just the band), that refers to the fact that the edge of the shaded side of an object is the darkest part of the surface. That's because reflected light hits the other side and lightens it up a bit. The first image in this thread may help clear things up. Cast shadows on the other hand will be dark throughout and have a much more defined edge, since they don't contain reflected light in the same way.

    So what's going on with her lip is you're treating a cast shadow like a shaded object, resulting in a very thin terminator that looks like a contour line, making it look like the lip is heading off in that direction. Take a close look at those photos you posted, you'll see the shadow there is more uniform than your painted version. Also, rotating the mouth the way you did does help. It looks way better now, so does the eye.

    I think it might help to reduce that reflection under the helmet, as I can't see it in the reference pics, certainly not as pronounced as in the painted version. Maybe tone down the reflected light on the cheek too. It's in the reference yes, but there's quite a bit of contrast in the painting that makes it seem brighter.

    I think even if this didn't make it into CG Society's showcase, it's still a damn fine study that gives you more experience and knowledge.

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  6. #30
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    Oh, and about structural breakdown, I'm referring to taking the reference and analyzing the forms that make it up, doing cross-contour lines/centre lines on the forms to map out the shapes. What you're doing is figuring out on paper (or virtual paper) the structure that makes up the form. That informs your values, since you know how the light works on a spherical form as opposed to a cylindrical one, etc. For just sketching obviously you wouldn't do that, but for more involved and detailed stuff like this, it's a good step to take, because it helps you firm everything up early.

    As someone said to me once, drawing is planning. Style goes on top of that.

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  8. #31
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    The line drawing you made before painting that bust is actually very symptomatic, if surprising in someone of your technical skill. It's a tracing of contour.

    It should have been a structural schematic, instead. You're recording lines and blots, and while focusing on lines and blots you are missing the whole point. Lines and blots are not the end, they are the means of constructing a representation of the form.

    Man, you are trying to compete with the best, and annoyed that they are rejecting your efforts? Well, they are right. After seeing that trace I realized that your problem is far worse than I might have guessed from the finished work; your relatively polished technique threw me off. Now I can see it clearly. It doesn't matter how many drawings of this bust you made; if you aren't using the correct method, your effort is wasted.

    Look at what you've traced. You've put in the irrelevant detail lines in the hair, where you should have been focusing on the masses it forms; and you've omitted relevant (and perfectly inferrable) lines in the helmet where they were obscured by the light bloom. You ignored the shadow despite it being useful for inferring the form. You weren't thinking, you were blindly following the photo and piling mistake upon mistake in the process, because you weren't looking at the right things.

    Here, I made a quick example of what a proper starter drawing of the same thing might have looked like. Can you see the difference in the method? I am not following the naive lines, I am figuring out and reconstructing the forms. I couldn't care less if a particular line is visible in the photo; all I care is whether it helps me to record the 3-D form for later rendering. I put in center lines to record the angles. I use little horizontal marks to record the parallels. I put in symmetrical lines for every structure even if I cannot see them; if I see a particular gradient on the right, I use my knowledge of perspective and human anatomy to figure out what structure is making it, then I mark it with a form-describing line and recreate the symmetrical line on the left even if the camera did not register it. I do use the contour, but only where it describes the actual form, not where it is visible in the stupid photo. Above all, I am not trying to copy a photo; I am building a head by inference.

    Is this enough of an explanation?

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  10. #32
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    Eugene I suspect you may not get thanks from many people for that due to wrangling and emotional issues etc.
    But I personally would like to say thank you very much I personally found that explanation extremely useful.

    Thanks mate and all the best as always

    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock



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  11. #33
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    Must have lost patience again... I can explain the same thing to the same person maybe three times before losing it a little.

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  12. #34
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    Nezumi,

    Thank you, I understand about the shadow band! Check out my new update I will post here.

    Arenhaus,

    That was actually a very helpfull and insightfull explanation, as always tarnished by your air of snobbyism. But if it allows you to be helpfull then I will take it gladly.

    This structural breakdown is what my teach in my outside of school class keeps on telling me about and its been nice to finally understand what exactly he wanted from me.
    I see that making this breakdown allowed you to understand the forms much more.

    But your lower lip is wrong, in real life it is actually flat, doesnt go into the mouth.

    EDIT: extra questions:

    What does the horizontal line on her forehead signify/measure? And what about the horizontal line on her chest? Is that the half way point between end of neck and end of chest?

    But I am worried about one thing. What if I make a nice scructural breakdown like that, but what next? Will that change the way I paint and my end result? I am afraid that I don't know how to use this map. Even thinking about it now, if I stole your map and repainted the entire thing looking at the photo, I don't know what I would do different.

    Is the point to forget about the photo and try to make something slightly different looking because I should assume the camera fails to capture the structure in its entirety? Which is why I hear people saying that working from photos is a much more advanced task then from real life observation?

    New update, probably the last. Moved the eye to the left (still rotated) to regain the expression that I felt was lost. Fixed the shadow band like Nezumi asked, and cut out a section of the nose on the shadow side to make it more parralel to the other side.

    What else can I fix?

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  13. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    This structural breakdown is what my teach in my outside of school class keeps on telling me about and its been nice to finally understand what exactly he wanted from me. I see that making this breakdown allowed you to understand the forms much more. But your lower lip is wrong, in real life it is actually flat, doesnt go into the mouth.
    That shows that a photo isn't a perfect representation of the form! See, making the breakdown didn't help me to understand the photo; it helped me record what I understood from the photo. I used my pre-existing knowledge to interpret and restore the structure from a flat, imperfectly lit image. It is no wonder that I misinterpreted something that wasn't quite clear in the photo! I also guessed about the eye holes and the nose guard of the helmet, for example.

    What does the horizontal line on her forehead signify/measure? And what about the horizontal line on her chest? Is that the half way point between end of neck and end of chest?
    The one on the forehead is simply a horizontal; it marks no structure in particular, just the direction of the plane it is on. The one on the chest is my guess about where the manubrium sterni should join the sternum. See, it's not a formal representation of the bust; it's a record of what I thought was important/helpful for me to render that bust. You will probably find you need different lines, even mark different things in different subjects. Think of it as shorthand record of the outward form and anatomical structures, not an all-encompassing model.

    But I am worried about one thing. What if I make a nice scructural breakdown like that, but what next? Will that change the way I paint and my end result? I am afraid that I don't know how to use this map. Even thinking about it now, if I stole your map and repainted the entire thing looking at the photo, I don't know what I would do different.
    Ah. When you are already trained in the method, then you could just paint using such a sketch. If your case is that you don't know how to proceed, I suggest you do it the "proper" long way, and make a plane breakdown.

    That is, you use a sketch like this to simplify the form into large relatively flat planes. Each plane would be evenly lit from a definite angle, see? You continue analyzing the form, only this time you do it in relation to the light. The result might look like this sample (not mine):

    Pavel Sokov's Sketchbook
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Eiwce13X73....Man.vsm.W.jpg

    Obviously, if you continue the plane breakdown further, making smaller and smaller planes, you'll end up with a smooth form because they'll blend together. And there's your painting!

    Artists experienced in this method do this step in their head, without even thinking, but if you never tried it, it pays off to do a few exercises like that. It teaches you to think in terms of lit form in space, rather than flat image on a photo. If you start looking for solid form and the lit planes automatically, both in photos and live models, then you are halfway "there".

    Is the point to forget about the photo and try to make something slightly different looking because I should assume the camera fails to capture the structure in its entirety? Which is why I hear people saying that working from photos is a much more advanced task then from real life observation?
    Not "forget", you use the photo to figure out what the real form was. But yes, you should assume that the camera registers the structure differently from your eye/brain. And yes, this is why you hear that working from photos is harder than from life. You have to have extensive knowledge not just of form, light and anatomy, but also of what camera does to them.

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  15. #36
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    Wow, what an informative thread.

    If I can add comment to the earlier pictures.

    The idea of size is lost because of the eye level or the familliarity of the objects first seen
    . The instinct is to assume that you are the size of the statues and the style of the gates is sized for things human sized(density), a water dropplet would be jelly to an ant. Likewise a gate that size should have an altered look as not to look like an upsized/scaled up human gate. Something in the desighn of the gate should indicate magnitude and not just how it compares to the dudes going through it.

    Stuff like flames not being as large as you would espect them to be or something like that.

    Hope this makes sense.

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  17. #37
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    Allright Arenhaus.

    I took a photo of a friend that made my website, and will paint his portrait digitally. During it, I will try to make a plane breakdown like the one you showed and hopefully will get a better result at the end.

    You never commented on whether or not there was imporvement in my last version of Athena?

    George,
    How do I design the gate with scale in mind? I figured that not putting details or engravings into the steel parts of the gate will make it look large. How would you go about it?

    I made some adjustments to my Davids, mostly David 1. trimmed his right leg down, and made his head hole wrap around the head.

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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel Sokov View Post
    I took a photo of a friend that made my website, and will paint his portrait digitally. During it, I will try to make a plane breakdown like the one you showed and hopefully will get a better result at the end.

    You never commented on whether or not there was imporvement in my last version of Athena?
    Good luck. I'd recommend asking your friend to sit for you at least for the sketch, though, rather than coping from a photo again. Don't forget to work structurally.

    As for Athena... honestly, I think that building a few structural drawings from the start would be better training than fixing a finished painting. Unless you need that finished painting for something, of course.

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  20. #39
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    hey pavel!
    my anatomy and painting skills are laughable and you have some top flight people here advising you on that so i wont, but one thing i would say is remember you can always go back and chop things around to tie it all together graphically... photoshop is perfect for experimenting with that kind of thing. if something is looking loose and not hanging together, cut it apart, flip things, change their colour, etc etc etc
    that hellgate image, lots of interesting ingredients, not hanging together. so go back and play around with it till the parts start to relate to eachother. i messed with the it 10 mins, see what you think, might give you some ideas to play with..

    thats not to say Arenhaus isnt 100% correct; he is. plan everything out beforehand by drawing it and redrawing it til it all sits nice before rendering every tiny detail and youll save yourself a lot of headaches.

    about the Davids, i guess the issue is youve taken one of the most beautiful works of art ever and sort of uglied it up. his face is all rotted off and he has horrible wounds on his body. that could work but its all painted in a dark smudgy way. its ugly on many levels. i realise thats the point as this is a gate to hell but there you go.

    imo that head is looking pretty good! 12000px seems insanely high res (double the area, quadruple the work...) but thats up to you.
    maybe a slight perspective issue on the hat where the photo washed out but in general not too shoddy.

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    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; October 29th, 2011 at 07:56 AM.
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