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Yo! I know some of you "feel" behind but it's been a little while since I posted an exercise; any ideas? Something you'd like to focus on? Suggest something!
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@Kitsu: Nice, thanks for putting that up; gunna link to it on the front page. I went over that handprint link over the holidays too, good but confusing stuff. If you figure out anything else do post it, much appreciated! And thanks for taking the time to comment on others exercises as well!
@Kronos: Hey you made it, good to see you. On the spheres, good job! You got the point of the exercise and you did great matching them. Some little things that you might want to experiment with though. You have about as full as you can get a value range, not wrong, probably seldom seen but in my opinion a little oogly. Try stopping yourself before getting close to white and black and only use them sparingly, see how you like that. Your shadows are also as saturated as possible, again not wrong just a little out of the norm. Less white light (sunlight) means less value and less intensity/saturation so even though they aren't as intense as your midtones you might try to "exaggerate" it a little and lower their intensity a little bit and see if you like that as well. On the blocks: I don't think you missed the point at all, you saved time and effort by usuing the selections, skipping ahead to the important part of the exercise. However you did leave out a few fine touches, mainly reflected lighting coming off the enviroment and the other blocks. Little touches can add lots of believability. Colors look good, think about where you would go for just one step higher on the highlights if this was say a sphere or something; would you go to white? would you stop when you couldn't get any more intense? Would you go inbetween? Shadows look ok, still trying to unravel them myself so I can't really comment. Anyways dude, good to see you in here, keep up the hard work; maybe you can teach us something about cartooning .
@glikster: Hahaha, yeah the third illusion; thanks for joining us by the way. The spheres look good and you matched your values pretty well. I might try going a little more saturated/intense in your midtones and seeing how you like that though. Good textures and everything; and with a mouse... ugh that brings up bad memories. Tablets better than mine are running for around 90$ so you might want to save up.
thanks! I have a tablet, I just don't bring it to work with me.
I tried the spheres again, this time I think I upped the saturation, and I tried to bring some complementary colors into it.
I also tried the 2nd exercise, but this one I'm going to need LOTS of help with.
I kind of had some ideas going into it, such as using complementary colors in the shadows, the wall of the box facing the other box (both are blue) I thought would be more saturated... I dunno... I'm totally clueless when it comes to color.
Haha, you should totally see if you can get away with bringing a tablet to work, just tell them your concerned about repetitive stress injuries.
On the spheres: What I meant to say is try having your midtones the most saturated, a bit of a curve as far as saturation goes. It's kind of one of those rules that bug me because they ignore some situations but give it a shot; usually it looks better. Here, I scribbled this out; you might start with the midtone and go from there.
Top is sampled from yours; I didn't change any hues on mine, that all depends on the situation too. With the complementary hues in the shadows; can't say I've really got my head wrapped around that; some of it is illusion that is always there but usually I'd say it depends on the enviroment, usually the sky, what color your shadows will take on.
On the blocks: Your learning mate, that's all thats important. Good thinging that blue on blue would be more saturated, that's the sort of thing you need to be thinking about. What would say yellow on blue be like? Green on blue? What would happen to the saturation? Would the hue change? Hard to say on the shadows, they don't seem to match up with the lightsource. Do you know much about 2pp? If you do this again I think it would be in your benefit to make your own block (or two) in a strict 2pp enviroment, choose a lightsource and plot the shadows perfectly. Check some of the links I posted and Kitsu guide for help.
Anyways, cheers dude; keep it up.
All right, since I just got a tablet I thought I'd give this a try. I'm starting from the beginning, so I hope it's okay if I just play catch-up for now.
I suppose you could say I cheated on this, I just tried to pick the colours from the same locations in the colour chooser for each one. They didn't come out too different at least.
I started by converting the image to grayscale so I'd have a better idea of the values I was using, and filling everything with the same value. I then began adding shadows and highlights. When I finished with the shadows, I began selected the blocks and applying the colourize tool (I'm using the gimp). Done with that, I created a new layer and added reflected colour to some of the shadows before really turning down the opacity.
I think the shadows coming out from between the blocks should be angled slightly away from each other due to diffraction. And somewhat blurry.Originally Posted by glikster
First project, others on the way!
Ignore the white spot, that was an accident...
Anyways, I started both off with pure black. Then I had a very large soft brush (For grayscale) set to white, at 5 or 4% opacity. Then I just Went in smaller and smaller circles until I got it to there. I started on the color, with the most intense red (Fully saturated), but I was trying to figure everything out, and kept going Left (This is in Photoshop 7 by the way) Until the color looked about right. I did cheat though, I desaturated it a couple times to compare the colors. Not to look like I'm good, but to learn more about that color box.
Here... I had little idea of what to do, but I did my best to figure it out Unfortunatley, I wasn't watching the layers pallette and accidentaly had some of my guidelines on this layer here... D: But you can see where my lightsource is at least. Someone paintover please, so I can see where I went wrong. Much appreciated!
Last edited by Pixeldragoon; December 30th, 2005 at 12:40 AM.
Sorry for the late reply. I've been busy lately, and my true vacations start tomorrow (unfortunately my computer access for the next week will be very little to none) so I will be away for even longer.
This was an attempt I made after Oblio's post, I just haven't gotten around to posting it until now. I tried making this more spherical, but as you can see still very new to all of this (and to be honest, I haven't painted that many spheres before!). Anyways, even though this wasn't really the point of the exercise I see why it would be important to practice. This fix-up kinda ruins my values though oops.. hehe
Also here is a quick try at another one of these great experiments... I couldn't finish; I have to go pack for vacations and get some sleep now.
See you guys next week
venomai / davedes
@Number_6: Looking good; you've got a nice curve with the saturation right in the middle. All together its not that saturated; gives it a bit of a different look. Keep in mind you don't always need to go all the way to black and all the way to white; experiment, find out what looks best to you and what looks best in different situations. Picking colors from the same area isn't really cheating, its using your tools properly. They are set up so you know your values; maybe having a good memory is cheating though? On the blocks: A bit of a backasswards way of doing things but if it helps you learn then keep it up, however try not to rely on layers and opacity for too long; it would be best to learn it for yourself eventually. Some the shadows you have say around the tops of the blocks are pretty odd, not sure how you've done these. I think I'm going to write up another exercise dealing with shadows next so stay tuned.
@PixelDragoon: Hey dude, nice to see you in here. The Spheres: Huge value range and it works. Your control on intensity is really great too, it's consistant and bows right about where it should. Nice touches on the sides as well, really adds to the overall roundness. Not going to ignore the white spot, it looks good; a nice specular highlight. Don't worry about "cheating" its like training wheels mate; I do things like that too. Now, what the hell is with you people and your low low low opacity? You trying to kill your hands? It's not necessary, there are much quicker and more efficient ways to work! On the Blocks: I like the overall feel and the colors, looks nice. Not entirely sure what your doing with the shadows, just a little crazy. Gunna try and do a shadows in perspective exercise next so stay tuned as well. Again, cool to see you in here.
@Venomai: Have fun on your vacation ! Keep practicing mate, your getting it, Blocks look promising.
Well see- I meant to put the white spots on BOTH of them, but it's only on the color accidentaly. That's why =P
Idiot Apathy: I just found this thread and quickly skimmed through it. This is great! Thank you so much.
I did the first exercise already.
At first I had some problems with getting the saturation right, then I had a tiny theory on how to get it right. Here's an illustration of the theory:
The saturation curve forms sort of a parable. Of course, it doesn't work in all occasions, but I guess it's okay.
@Pixeldragoon: Yeah I figured, just giving ya crap.
@Naav: My pleasure dude, it's been great for me too. On the spheres: While its not really the point your spheres don't match in value when converted to grayscale/desaturated. Just keep thinking of color in value is all; it's not very often you need to convert something gray into color. Anyways, I like the color you choose, very erhm... pretty. On the "Theory": Yes I think that's right; PS's color wheel always confuses me. However the amount that it curves and where it begins and ends depends on many different things; experiment and see what you like. Personally, I think pure white and pure black are ugly, but they have their uses I suppose; however ... if you have a bunch of ugly colors it can make your beautiful colors stand out even more, but white and black still suck.
Mine was more of a half parable, going from the far bottom right, curving to the white.
I thought about that in the beginning. That ends up with really saturated shadows, right? I'm not sure if the colour in the shadow should be saturated or not?Originally Posted by Pixeldragoon
Where's the new additions you lazy bums?
Whats uh... what's a parabola? I'm going to let you guys figure this one out for now, you'll understand it better this way I think. Maybe a small hint: When you add white to something your saying that an object is reflecting an equal amount of all colors that combines to white; think about that when you find yourself going towards white... and black is the opposite.
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Added some new links, this is good stuff; it's about as manditory as anything gets in here so read them. They contain some of the same material but they are all good.
In Depth on Colors, Design Based
On Contrasts, Design Based
Another Color Overview
Pixeldragoon's parable asked his father for his inheritance early, then went out and spent it all on booze and chicks. It came home asking for forgiveness and Pixeldragoon threw him a party.Originally Posted by Pixeldragoon
LOL, i r teh funnay
Still some good stuff going on here! I'd like to see some people get past spheres and blocks, but the're still things to learn there too. About the parabola: I don't think that is a safe rule. In different lighting situations, and on different materials I think it will fall apart. The white point will change in intensity and brightness with the main (key) light source, its color and brightness, and how shiny (specular) the surface is. The saturated band will become thicker and flatter in most real world situations, as it picks up environmental light and as saturation will vary with light intensity/color. Lastly the bottom of the scale will always be above absolute black, and usualy have some color (saturation). Try running the color-picker over some photos and paintings, how closely do referances follow these guides? I think this is good stuff to think about!
Okay, I'm not a complete slacker... This thing only took a little while to do, and was very informative. This might be a nice way to start a b/w image, or plan values for a paint.
[Always remember that if a topic seems uninteresting, then it's just because you are picturing a solution that lacks vigor.] - William b. Hand
Yeah, still don't get the parabola thing; can it change shape or is it mathematically confined? Anyways don't worry about finding some hidden math secret, hell there might one for every situation (light is physics after all) but it's a lot harder to do it that way if you ask me.
Ok, here is a question for all of you:
What would the path be for a red object in the most powerful sunlight? Just for the sake of simplicity start it at black and end it at white.
@Number_6: Yeah, I got the parable joke. Dork .
@Kitsu: Good, good reasoning against the parabola, and your right. I suppose a lot of other situations might create what looks like a parabola as well though. Careful though, sometimes black is used/necessary. I'd caution against color picking from photo's as well; values and colors are really not as the human eye sees them. Anyways, good job on this last exericise; nice to see that someone is still around. I think you did really well on everything but the red window shutters. Squint at your photo again and see else they closely match in value. Yours seems to be about the second brightest value. The street light might be a little bright as well. You don't need to get it the exact value for the exercise just relative to everything else, however getting it as close as possible will help in the future.
Well, the parabola can be squished and rotated, but the general shape remains the same. Think of an ellipse: there are many different ellipses (almost round ellipses, flat ellipses etc.), but the general shape is still the same in every one.Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
Mathematically speaking, a parabola contains all the points in (two-dimensional) space that are the same distance from a certain point and a certain line.
Yeah, I didn't mean that it works everywhere, I just noticed it to be handy in that specific exercise.Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
Finally I get around to posting on this great thread! I usually paint in oils, but here I'll go digital to try to accelerate the process of teaching myself Photoshop (still don't know what two-thirds of the functions do). Please excuse my debut not only for its lateness but also for its lameness - just the first part of the first exercise. But I think I've spotted a few misconceptions about lighting and colour at large on this thread, so I'm hoping it might be useful for me to spell out my process in some detail, and put it up for discussion.
My objective was to draw a shiny red ball under a white main light, with a weaker white ambient light. The first thing I did was to put on my mental polarizing sunglasses and deal with the diffuse reflection (which we see as the red colour), before turning to the specular reflection (which we see as the white highlight).
To represent the diffuse reflection, which gives the modelling of the sphere, I needed to find a series of colours for the main light zones of the sphere: the full-light, the half-light, and the shadow. I also like to have a separate mixture for the centre-light, the most strongly lit area in the middle of the full light (an idea I got from a book on the teachings of Frank Reilly). The trick is to find a series of colours for these zones that will look like a surface of a single colour turning out of a light source - what we can call a "shading series".
Since in this case the main light and the ambient light are the same colour (white), there will be no hue shift between the centre light and the shadow. We want the total amount of light to diminish, but the ratio of wavelengths (which we control by the ratio of R to G to B) to stay the same. For a pure red ball I just had to find (by trial and error) some appropriately spaced numbers for R, keeping G and B at zero:
Centre-light: R 215 G 000 B 000 ( = H 000 S 100 B 084)
Full-light: R 204 G 000 B 000 ( = H 000 S 100 B 080)
Half-light: R 180 G 000 B 000 ( = H 000 S 100 B 071)
Shadow: R 102 G 000 B 000 ( = H 000 S 100 B 040)
Looking at the HSB values for this series you'll notice something very interesting: H and S stay constant and only B changes. This suggests to me that in Photoshop, finding a shading series is much easier than in paint: provided that the main light and the ambient light are the same colour, all you need to do is decide on numbers for the Hue and Saturation of your surface, and then plug in appropriately spaced numbers for Brightness.
(Notice by the way that even though I am painting a pure red sphere, I refrained from using pure red (R 255) even in the centre light. I did this for the same reason that I would have to use a light grey for the centre light on a white sphere: something needs to be left in reserve to show the (brighter) specular highlight. If you use pure red on the sphere you will find that your white highlight persistently refuses to look like a highlight, and just looks like a white spot).
Next, it was just a matter of painting these colours into simple flat shapes whose arrangement was consistent with a definite location of the main light source. I used soft edged brushes and then applied a strong Gaussian blur to get it looking nice and spherical.
Now for the specular reflection (highlight). We see the highlight at the point on the sphere where the surface is at just the correct angle to bounce light from the light source to our eyes - that is, where the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. For spheres in general, this in NOT in the middle of the centre-light, but at a point on the line between the middle of the centre-light and the middle of the sphere as we see it. (Light hitting the middle of the centre-light hits the surface at right-angles, and so bounces straight back to the light source, not to our eyes).
For most materials, light does not change colour when it bounces in a specular manner (main exception: coloured metals like copper and gold), so here, where the main light is white, the specular reflection will be white. At the highlight there is actually an additive mixture of this white specular reflection and the red diffuse reflection, but on polished surfaces the specular reflection, which appears as a tiny image of the light source, commonly completely masks the diffuse reflection. Any roughness however makes the highlight more or less fuzzy, as tiny points over a diffuse area will lie at that exact angle that bounces light to our eyes. Over this fuzzy area there will be noticeable additive mixture of the two, which can be mimicked in Photoshop by brushing white over the red with brushes of less than 100% opacity.
Finally I airbrushed a little of the background colour onto the receding planes of the sphere, to suggest the neutralizing effect of specular reflection of light from the background in these areas.
Any comments on my thinking here would be most welcome. I've noticed that quite a few people here seem to have been (1) placing their highlight right in the middle of their full-light area, (2) making their full-light area less saturated (more whitish) than their half-light areas, and (3) giving their full-light area a rather indefinite shape. When all three tendencies occur together they combine to create the impression of a pearly sheen rather than a proper full-light, so that the spheres begin to look more like coloured pearls than solidly coloured spheres.
Last edited by briggsy@ashtons; May 22nd, 2007 at 06:24 AM. Reason: restoring accompanying illustration
@briggsy@ashtons: Your late and lame debut is much appreciated, really good stuff here. Much respect to you and your work. I wish I could visit you at your school, seems really great and exactly the sort of place I've been looking for. You seem to be a really humble and modest guy and I really hope you stick around!
Now, I'm still quite the amatuer so I have some questions if you have the time.
I understand the hue not changing, after all your lightsources were both white. Although I should think the blue background should have quite an effect on hue-shifting but that wasn't really part of the equation I think. Value makes sense as well of course; being directly linked to light after all. However no shift in saturation is where I am troubled. Perhaps I don't quite understand exactly what controls saturation but; is this only the case because the sphere is "pure" red? If it was a weaker red would the saturation not change quite predictably as well? If you have the time and if it would prove the point do you think you could do another one of these; this time with a weaker red sphere or perhaps with different colored ambient lighting?
Second, when can the full-light (not sure if that's the right way to put it) area become more whitish? Is the guidline just that it shouldn't be less intense than the half light? If I understand it correctly after a color becomes as intense/saturated as it can be it can then only increase in value towards white which will also decrease in intensity. Now, this again wouldn't happen on a "Pure" object that absorbed all but one color right? White light is after all, every color. So then assuming all this if your color becomes white the object is then reflecting an amount of all colors interfering with the color it reflects the most? Or is this caused by the specular? (It's a pity that this was the best I could write to explain myself, complicated words for a complicated situation I suppose).
Next question is unrelated to what you've posted but I'm hoping you have the answer, it's something I've been trying to work out.. Complementary colors will produce a gray right? Same with light or not? Now a gray light produced by complements wouldn't act the same as a weak white light either would it? Would it react with only the two hues contained? Or would it only add value since the hues are neutralizing each other?
Anyways, thanks in advance for the help and thanks again for your post; look forward to hearing from you. This stuff... well for lack of a better word excites me.
Edit: What's a jaffa?
Last edited by Idiot Apathy; January 6th, 2006 at 01:52 AM.
Welcome and thanks for the info! I like the way you're not just thinking about painting a sphere, but also about the color, hardness, reflectivity, etc. of the sphere. Two things I noticed about your sphere: First it is too perfect, it looks like a vector graphics illustration rather then a painting. Second the blue fuzz on the shadowed side is way too strong. It is uniform in value and nearly obliterates that shadow edge. To produce that effect either the atmosphere in this image would need to be very thick, or the background very brightly lit. Other than those your conception and execution look good. Your observations at the end are very good/true. Especially the centered specular reflection.
[Always remember that if a topic seems uninteresting, then it's just because you are picturing a solution that lacks vigor.] - William b. Hand
Idiot (mm, that doesn't sound right)
Thanks so much for your quick response. You've raised quite a few issues there. I only have time to respond to a few of them now - hopefully I'll have some more time in a couple of days.
Well, it happens all too often in photographs - when they are overexposed. The full-light areas of one or more elements of the picture becomes too high in tone to stay in their correct relationship to the midtones, and are forced into pale, washed out colours. For example, in a digital photo of a red ball: up to a certain light intensity, the amount of red light in the screen image responds in proportion to the amount of red light coming from the ball - the more red light from the ball, the more the red phosphors on your screen glow, and the more chroma (intensity) of red you see at that point on the screen. When the light increases beyond this range, the red reaches the limit of its response, and only the green and blue phosphors can continue to increase - result: this bit of the image becomes lighter in tone and lower in chroma (more white).Second, when can the full-light (not sure if that's the right way to put it) area become more whitish?
The only reason I can think of at the moment why you would want to make the full-light more whitish in a painting is to suggest the equivalent effect in the eye - that is, to suggest a spot of light that is much brighter than the eye is ADAPTED to. When this happens the light isn't actually white, in the sense of the red, blue and green components being actually equal, but the R, G and B receptors (speaking very loosely here) in our eyes are all fully stimulated so that we can no longer distinguish any colour in the light. When that is the situation that you are trying to depict then yes, the most strongly lit areas should be whitish. But otherwise the full-light colour should be the highest in chroma. The great thing about painting, both digital and traditional, is that you can set the full light colour as the richest one and work down from that to the darker tones, thus ensuring a natural luminosity that is lost in an overexposed photograph.
Not. You can have weaker or stronger light, but not grey light. Greyness is a property of surfaces only. We see something as being grey when we sense that it is reflecting all wavelengths equally, but not reflecting as much light as a white surface would. (It is actually a somewhat subjective property dependent on the surroundings - a surface can look white until you place something that reflects more light beside it, then it will look grey).Complementary colors will produce a gray right? Same with light or not??
Sorry, must be just an Australian thing. Dark chocolate ball about 1.5 cm in diameter, thin hard shell of orange-flavoured candy. Mmm, .... jaffas.What's a jaffa?
Maybe, but are you sure? Try holding up a glossy sphere or cylinder (a shiny coffee cup will do) just in front of a moderately lit wall, and take a close look at the receding planes, especially on the shadow side. The specular reflections of the background here can be surprisingly strong.Originally Posted by Kitsu
My apologies for the excessive perfection.
Please excuse me for my very... VERY late entrance into this thread. I just found it today and have decided to join. What a wonderful idea! Big thanks to Idiot Apathy for creating this.
Ok, I'm going to try and work on every single activity here, so to start off here is my contribution for the very first activity posted:
I started this one off by doing the colored sphere first... just because I felt like it. One major thing that I noticed when I converted the blue ball to grayscale was that on the original gray one, my shading is a bit darker. One thing that I want to work on is learning to add more ambient light to my images... needless to say that I didn't exactly do so in this excercise. I saw one experiment that dealt with that in here and I really think that that will help me once I get to it.
Any constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.