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Thread: Realistic vs. Cartoon/Anime Style

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    Realistic vs. Cartoon/Anime Style

    I've just recently taken a real disgust toward cartoons and anime in concept art. I personally don't find it nearly as respectable as realisitic art where form is so real it seems you can almost touch it. It seems I'm the only one who believes cartoony and anime styles don't belong in concept art because when I see people on this forum posting clearly distinct anime as concept, people simply applaude and there is NO critique at all for them. They just say "great!" and when there's someone who does a damn great job on a figure, people flood him with negative critiques on the smallest of problems (and no, I'm not talking about me).

    What I'm curious about is if I'm breaking my balls for nothing doing realistic drawings when game designers would prefer seeing anime and cartoons instead of realistic-looking figures?
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    No, I don't think learning to draw realistically is EVER a bad thing. In fact, for the most part I'd say it's required, since that's how you learn to understand things like form, light, and shadow.

    On a realistic drawing, it's completely obvious to most people when something isn't right. So until you can nail everything perfectly, it means your technique isn't where it should be, meaning you still don't have complete control over every mark you make. Until you do have this control, then your "cartoony" drawings will never be exactly what you're aiming for. You want things to be exaggerated because YOU meant for them to be, not because you can't draw properly.

    That's the short answer.

    Oh, and so-called "cartoony" work is no less valid than realistic work. You'd better try accepting that, or you probably won't get very far, since having that sort of mindset stems from something deeper.
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    Originally posted by danteort
    No, I don't think learning to draw realistically is EVER a bad thing. In fact, for the most part I'd say it's required, since that's how you learn to understand things like form, light, and shadow.

    On a realistic drawing, it's completely obvious to most people when something isn't right. So until you can nail everything perfectly, it means your technique isn't where it should be, meaning you still don't have complete control over every mark you make. Until you do have this control, then your "cartoony" drawings will never be exactly what you're aiming for. You want things to be exaggerated because YOU meant for them to be, not because you can't draw properly.

    That's the short answer.

    Oh, and so-called "cartoony" work is no less valid than realistic work. You'd better try accepting that, or you probably won't get very far, since having that sort of mindset stems from something deeper.
    Why I bring this up is because I don't find cartoons or anime nearly as impressive as realistic. I almost find anime an embarassment to art for its absurd styling. It never appears three dimensional nor does it even mirror the figure in any realistic fashion but it's considered flawless. Why is this technique so endorsed? When I visited the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the first thing the game art & design instructor said was he was looking for artists who could draw realistic life drawing. This pleased me because he even said he was not looking for cartoons or anime. And I see why but I don't see why this forum supports anime concept art so much.
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    I think concept art is a way of getting an idea across. Whether it is realistic or a simpler style doesn't matter. As long as what the artist wants to convey is understood I don't think it matters. Yoshitaka Amano, the lead designer for the final fantasy series started off with anime but his style has evolved into something unique and interesting.
    Last edited by SylkX; May 13th, 2004 at 12:33 PM.
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    This is what I think...
    There are things we deem visually beautiful and forms/shapes we do not.
    There is a reason why, and this reason, I believe, is a certain ratio (phi) between the forms, shapes, etc, of a particular design.
    Human forms, and other plants, animals, etc, all fall, on way or the other, along this fine line. So, when someone successfully draws something from life, we see that beauty shine through.
    When someone successfully distorts, or makesa "realistic" charicature out of real life, we still see that beauty, because the distortions probably fall somewhere between this ratio... and the closer it is, the more beautiful, or believable, it becomes, I think.

    So it is with cartoons. Whether or not they have "realistic rendering" is, I believe, a choice of style. Anime is a more rigidly set style than cartoons, anime's proportions have been somewhat loosely defined, already, constructing something, ideally, beautiful.
    All design falls into this.
    I believe both sides of the coin are great, because one attunes your skill of awareness, of becoming a crystalline filter between what we see and put down on paper, and the other traisn our ability to create within this framework of beauty that we call design.
    Creativity is a great thing.

    In this sense, I believe, we can observe the connections between life and "created" design, and the value of both.
    I also believe that studying life, life forms, and the abundance of design already available in it, can improve our own sense of style, allowing us to create from our imagination in a form that is believable.
    Not all cartoons, anime, or life drawings, in this point of view, are "Believable" then. It all depends on the skill of the creator.

    Just my thoughts on the subject. :chug:
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    Just a little note of my observances on this topic. Generally schools don't condone anime or comic drawing because people who do it often learn by copying already existing drawn materials exlusively. The ability to "draw hair just like dragon ball z" doesn't necessarily help you learn to draw any other kind of hair or hair style, or anything else, for that matter. However, some manga/anime/cartoon artists actually study from life and use their knowledge of anatomy and proportion to make stylistic decisions when they draw from imagination, blending realistic and comic. You can almost always tell the difference between anime/comic drawing done by a person who can ONLY draw in that style, and similarly stylized drawings done by a person that could also handle a still life or live model without much trouble. Anime and cartoon drawings can display a level of skill with line, rythm, color, light, etc that just shows - whether the subject matter is stylized or not.
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    Well stated
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    It seems I'm the only one who believes cartoony and anime styles don't belong in concept art because when I see people on this forum posting clearly distinct anime as concept, people simply applaude and there is NO critique at all for them.
    where would be the point to critizise a stlye deciscion, other than "i (/dont) like it"? its much more reasonable to crit something thats goals been realistic appearence

    what is it that bugs you? that all those who draw cartoon/anime stlyed pieces get praise? aint that jealousy?

    i seriously question your goal here....
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    I think when people post life drawings or realistic drawings in here they're mostly looking for critique.

    Critique isn't the same as tearing something apart. Comments on what could be improved aren't negative, though it can be easy to interpret them that way. People who critique other people's work are, for the most part, trying to help each other improve. I just think that realistic drawing invites critique while stylized art really doesn't.
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    Originally posted by sone_one


    where would be the point to critizise a stlye deciscion, other than "i (/dont) like it"? its much more reasonable to crit something thats goals been realistic appearence

    what is it that bugs you? that all those who draw cartoon/anime stlyed pieces get praise? aint that jealousy?

    i seriously question your goal here....
    What bothers me about it is how much more difficult it is to draw a realistic life drawing versus an unrealistic anime drawing and have people praise only the anime drawing and tear the realistic drawing apart. Personally, even if the life drawing does indeed suffer a little, I give them more credit at trying to attempt to actually draw from life than try and make some distorted cartoon-like style that can be whipped up in a matter of seconds.

    My point is is that I don't believe anime should be as highly praised as life drawing simply because life drawing has boundries whereas anime is drawn flat and its bounds are unlimited; proportions are non-existent because the artist created no bounds for such imperfections.

    This is what irritates me: how these dime-a-dozen anime artists create this cheap style that anyone can do and get their asses kissed for whatever they lash out. I'll admit that I'm damn jealous of the attention they get but I'm not at all jealous of the quality of their work. I mean I'll find posts where people just go on and on about how great the anime drawing is and then I find this one thread where a guy did a superb job of figure drawing and all I see is someone post "good job, proportions fit" and that was all. This really bothered me. Like that was all he was looking for, a flaw to point at and expose but finding none, he moved on, not at all commenting in-depth on the magnificent job the artist did as he would have if he had made a flaw.

    I'm just a little enraged right now and if I offended you, sorry, this is just my opinion.
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    you didnt offend me at all... im not into anime myself, but i know to make it look really good it takes a lot of knownledge.

    if you dont like some pieces... dont bother and move on. theres so much for everyones taste, i dont see the reason in stoping by by something i donot like anyway... or to think about it.

    do, observe and enjoy things you like, and dont put your time into things you dont.
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    Originally posted by ohGr
    some distorted cartoon-like style that can be whipped up in a matter of seconds.
    Chances are it took that artist years of study to get to the point of being able to whip out a cartoon drawing. Just because it only takes a minute doesn't mean it doesn't take talent.


    My point is is that I don't believe anime should be as highly praised as life drawing simply because life drawing has boundries whereas anime is drawn flat and its bounds are unlimited; proportions are non-existent because the artist created no bounds for such imperfections.

    That's EXACTLY why people draw cartoons, because the bounds are limitless!



    This is what irritates me: how these dime-a-dozen anime artists create this cheap style that anyone can do and get their asses kissed for whatever they lash out.
    Ummm, sorry dude but no, not just anyone can do it and make it work. A LOT of people can copy anime/cartoons and make it look pretty close to what the original artist drew, but to draw cartoons with your own style, and from your head takes a lot of skill to do properly. A good artist can see the difference between mediocre comic artists like Akira Toriyama and designers like Hayao Miyazaki and Katsuhiro Otamu. There are plenty of other good, and probably better anime artists out there, but I can't think of 'em off the top of my head.
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    I have a sort of similar feeling about anime but its also different; I quite like the look of professional anime, but I hate how all these 12-15 year olds are all trying to draw anime and then anyone whos half-good at drawing in that style will simply get 1000 replies of "great" "awesome" etc and no crit at all becuase these children on the most part dont even know/care about crit they just want people to say their arts good.

    It annoys me a lot because these people keep drawing in the same way making the same mistakes.. I've seen so many bad anime artists than any other form of art (including non-anime comic art) that are just doing what they learnt from reading a tutorial on polykarbon and their latest episode of DBZ. They never improve and that annoys me.

    I guess it probably shouldnt tho :/
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