Mech cockpit - getting started
 
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  1. #1
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    Mech cockpit - getting started

    This picture started out as one of many thumbnails I made for a scene of a mech pilot in the pilot's seat. Anyway, I just got through blocking in colors, I wanted to get a feel for something both modern and futuristic (hence the jacket and the metallic armor covering his chest and legs), but I'm so unexperienced with painting things in color that I'm stuck now.

    Any help or tips you could offer me would be very welcome.

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  3. #2
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    I would forget about color for the time being and move back to composition. Would you mind posting that series of thumbnails?

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    I'd reiterate what Grunler said, forget about colour for now, focus on getting the values in greyscale right. There's also glaring issues with perspective (It's one thing I have a stickler for) - for one, there's no obvious horizon line, and therefore there's no way for the viewer to relate as to where to place the other mech and the mech being viewed from inside the cockpit in relation to the horizon.

    As far as designing goes, that should be the least of your worries for now, as usually most people have trouble designing and painting at the same time simultaneously on the fly, in value, colour, perspective, etc, all at once. But as always, mileage and practice.

    For value practice, I can suggest this:

    http://www.sketchwiki.com/shading/half-way-to-black.php

    Or if you want a more indepth one, this:

    http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color11.html

    (The latter one I can never get into O_o - I mean fuuuuck, just look at the page, it might as well be the fucking Voynich manuscript for me!)

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    I like the idea, but the perspective is ALL off! To make the scene more engaging, let the machine follow the same perspective the pilot has (sort of leaned towards the left, as of now it's looking straight forward). Redraw the whole drawing again but focus only on the perspective! Once you have a perspective and composition that works you can go ahead and work on the details (colors, designs, etc..)

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    Composition notwithstanding, you haven't thought the light environment out at all, and your perspective is completely off kilter.

    Back to the drawing board before you waste even more time on coloring an unworkable sketch.

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    Hey everybody, thanks for all the replies, I took your advice and completely redrew the image, touched up a lot of areas, most notably the cockpit and its design. I added a very crummy beginning of a background in a cramped city street. Before I move on to gray-scaling the image, I wanted to know if there were any more issues with the picture (not counting how unimaginatively dull the background is currently)

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  8. #7
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    How big are those mechas? From the perspective of the street, it would seem they are rather small - or the buildings immense. A 20-m robot would have a very high vantage point, wouldn't you agree? Also, watch the distance between the mechas; I am not sure it feels right. And you're still botching perspective. Perhaps a formal perspective plot is in order.

    Composition issues still remain. You've crammed the enemy robot awkwardly into the left side of the picture.

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    arenhaus, thanks for pointing out some of the issues, I'm still working on the perspective a bit (I went to bed right after I posted that update), and I'm going to be dropping the horizon line a tad (it's where the smoke cloud is) to increase the feeling of height.

    The mechs' sizes are supposed to be between 25-30 feet high, so I'm not going to make them absolutely immense, but I still need to do a few things with the environment, I'll probably shirk that secondary mech over to the right side of the screen and shrink up the street just a bit.

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    If you want to keep going on this picture, I suggest blotting out all the small details (remove them) and use the line tool to make a wireframe (chess-pattern) over all the big surfaces, including the glass in the cockpit. This should help with the perspective.

    Have a nice. Sneak.

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    Is the robot to the left an enemy or an ally? If he's an enemy, he should be dead-on on the target-thingy on the screen. Your perspective is still off though. The machine still seems to be looking straight ahead, whereas it should be looking more towards the left (makes a much more dynamic composition). I'd also make the buildings smaller as arenhaus noted, they look human-size as of now. The perspective on the robot to the left is also off.

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    Here's an update on the image after working with a better perspective grid than the one I made earlier. Tweaked some aspects of the cockpit to better line up with other sections, and I grabbed a handful of reference photos of elevated shots in city streets and I just worked from there in making a more "fleshed out" background with more of a scene going on. Oh, and I took out the secondary mech entirely in order to make our pilot's vehicle seem like a fire support unit brought in when it was needed most (the guy near the pile off to the left is calling out directions).

    So I've decided to grayscale the image for lighting and shading now, I'll probably post an update of that when I can.

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    Better. Try to lower the cockpit angle a bit and reposition the pilot's head to bring the pilot's attention at the wreck. Maybe redesign the cockpit with more glass below, so the dashboard does not obscure so much of the street. And rework the poses of the figures around the wreck - they are standing there too casually and disinterestedly. Give them something urgent to do.

    Don't be too hasty to add shading. Work everything out on line drawing first. It's cheaper. (As a matter of fact, why are you doing it digitally? Sketching on paper is much faster.)

    You'll need to devise some clear hints that the cockpit is a fire support unit.

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  14. #13
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    well i think this is looking rather good, and i agree with arenhaus about reorganising the street.

    it never hurts to have some kick ass work to show you how other people have treated the same genre and give you confidence..

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  15. #14
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    Much better! Keep it up

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    'Nother update, this is the nitpicking point where I went in, found several smaller details that I didn't like, and changed them.

    I rearranged the pilot's head to look more straightforward instead of having that slight dip, messed with the background and the posing of the infantry, did some small cockpit work and just generally did a last little look-over.

    I'm definitely moving into grayscaling now, any issues from here on, I'll fix in that form.

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    I think you should angle it a bit to add to the action. Velocity gave good examples. When blocking in values notice how much darker the cockpit is than the bg in all of those images.

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  19. #17
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    Blankslate, that looks awesome! That was a perfect suggestion, thank you!

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    thats a good suggestion, i think you could push the dark interior bright outside ever more if you wanted.
    also the pilot might not be able to see out at the action so i put a little screen for him to follow whats happening down to that side of his mech where his buddies are.. see what you reckon, as always just my 2c.

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    Wow, thanks for all of the suggestions guys! I'm sorry that I haven't responded for a while, but finals week is hell.

    This is about all that I've been able to get done during the whole event sadly, but I will have the grayscaling done within the next couple of days, assuming that my schedule doesn't get messed up again.

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