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Thread: !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

  1. #92
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    Rules are hard

    I must have gone right past this thread five or six times the last few days. I think this would be more visable/appealing if it had its own sub-forum under comunity activities.

    Anyway I've found it now and I think it is a great idea! I think I have a decent understanding of light/color, but the knowledge of a thing and putting that knowledge into practice are two very different questions.

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    I did these in Photoshop in about a half an hour. The first thing I did was decide on my light location and the local color of my spheres*. Then I started by filling the circle with the local color. For the entire exersise I used a chalk brush with pressure set to opacity, and tried to keep the brush size uncomfortably large.

    I kind of defeated the exercise by the way I chose my values. Instead of using a complete value range as instructed I used mainly four values with some overlap for smoothing. I also tried to keep a wide band around the spheres close to my local color. I did this to perserve the color identity of my spheres (see the Prom tut). These are useful techniques for painting without referance, but it also simplified the problem of matching values (the point of the exercise).

    The color version was the same as the grey except I pulled the hue slider closer to blue for the shadows, and closer to yellow for the highlight. Also I did something I came up with while researching some painting by my favorite digital artists: I made the shadows more saturated and the highlights less. I'm not sure of the reasoning, but I noticed the pattern while color sampling across paintings I liked. Shadows regardless of hue were more saturated and highlights were less. With the highlights it makes some sense, you're adding white so you will lose some color, but why would the shadows get more saturated?

    For the conversion I used Photoshop's mode->greyscale, and the results are moderately close. The contrast is better on the color version while the greyscale's values are kind of muddy. Looks like if I did a quick wash of my base color at ~10% opacity I could knock the color version down to the same level as the grey.

    *Local color:
    I know this concept from working in 3d, but Prometheus's tutorial gives a very good explanation of what it means for painting. Basically local color is the color an object would be in a perfectly neutral lighting condition, with no specular or shadow. In the real world objects are colored by light and shadow and by the color of the light sources nearby (bounce light). When painting from life this isn't really important, our brains automaticaly attach a color label to things we look at. So white paper looks white regardless of the lighting conditions and a red apple seems just as red on the shadow side as on the lit. When working without referance though it is important to keep in mind what color a thing should be. Check out the part about color identity in Prometheus's tut

    So thats what I've come up with so far. I'm going to move on to the next exercise tonight but I will probably come back and do this one again when I have time.
    [Always remember that if a topic seems uninteresting, then it's just because you are picturing a solution that lacks vigor.] - William b. Hand
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  3. #93
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    Talking More pictures less talk

    Exercise 2:

    The first problem I had was figuring out the cast shadows. I tried for a while to remember how to correctly project shadows but I wasn't even getting close. After a while I got frustrated with that so I just built a quick model of the scene to see how the shadows should fall:
    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    I'm not worried about cheating since cast shadows wern't the point of the exercise, but I guess I'll need to review cast shadows again. I know one of the Loomis books has a good treatment of perspective and shadows but if anyone knows a good tutorial?

    Next I added light and shadows. My key light was pale yellow and my fill was a dim blueish ambient light (this setup is a rough approximation of outdoor lighting). In this situation I think the key should add some white to the color of the objects and make the yellow component of colors more saturated right? So my green block would get shifted toward a yellow-green where lit and my orange would get brighter. I'm not sure what would happen to the blue block though, should it get greener, or should it get greyer? In paint blue and yellow are primaries, but in light they are complimentary so I guess it should lose saturation? This stuff is hard to explain so I kept some merged copies of my progress:
    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    I only did one odd thing with these that might need more explaination. Once I had the basic lighting done I went back and darkened the inside corners and brightend the outside edge. I tried to make a little diagram to show the reasoning behind this. Basically more light bounces away when approaching an inside corner so it will get darker (radiosity shadow), while light can hit an outside edge from more directions so it will look brighter. The effect is a little to exagerated but it still works okay.

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    This one was fun and a little bit complicated. I really did try to think about how the colors would change across the lit and unlit surfaces as I did this. In the end though I just used a low opacity wash over the surfaces, color picked, and did minor hue/saturation shifts. The finish painting is a little too rough for this size but I guess the lighting looks okay. The next exercise looks like a lot of fun, I'll see if I can get it done this weekend.
    [Always remember that if a topic seems uninteresting, then it's just because you are picturing a solution that lacks vigor.] - William b. Hand
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  4. #94
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    Kitsu: I really like the box idea of rendering a model to check the shadows. Why didn't I think of that?! Hah!
    It looks like you got the boxed idea down, though it does look "a little to rough for this size". As for the balls, they look good though the left side seems too dark. When I looked at your green color ball, I squinted my eyes to see if it would stand out from the monitor screen. What it did instead was rise where it was light and where it was dark green/black it just went into the screen. Almost like it was a piece of clay where I used my finger to push in where the blackness is (if you can understand that; brilliant!). My advice (though not professional by all means) would be to lighten the darkest areas a few notches up. Then the ball(s) will look more blended and won't have a deformity to them. Keep up the sweet work! Can't wait to see your next project submittion.

    CreationEdge: There actually is no other tablet brand that you could go with that will give you everything that Wacom tablets have to offer. Other brands occationally have pens that you have to replace the battery every week or so, whereas Wacom tablet pens have no need for batteries for eternity. And this is only one of many bonus' you get by getting Wacom over the other brand. Not to mention that Wacom is totally reliable and built to last for your entire art career, life, etc.

    If you're going to spend a measly $200, I would rather spend it on a Wacom than anything else. Also, 4x5 is good enough for any artist getting into the digital painting scene. I've been using my 4x5 for 3 years and find it quite comfortable on my lap while drawing, instead of this huge 12x12 tablet that wouldn't even fit on my desk let alone my lap. Haha. I also love to take my 4x5 Graphire in my backpack with me to my college campus and hook it up to their computers (they have Photoshop 7; and I have the Wacom driver in my email so I can install it anywhere with Internet connection) and paint things there when I have the time.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd save my money until it reached $350 and buy a Wacom Intuos 3. This is actually what I am saving for and hope to be able to buy it by Summer 2006.
    You don't have the money, you may say. But think about all those times you spend your money without thinking (fast food, candy, soda, etc). Drink water instead of soda for a week and see how much you save. Or if you dont drink soda, and your a mineral water lover, skip on the mineral water and buy a cheap filter for your tap water and drink that water instead. There are so many ways you could save money each month to reach your goal of a Wacom.

    I hope this helps a little, or a lot.
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  5. #95
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    Actually... I have about 40 dollars, + 13 my bro owes me. I don't have a job yet, so I really don't have any other source of income. I actually really need to get a job(save up for college), but I've got tons of excuses not to, >_>

    If there's no Budget Wacoms available, looks like I am going to have to save. I don't mind, I guess. Once I get a job practically all the money that I don't immediately put away is going to art supplies and the like,

    Thanks anyway!
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  6. #96
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    I lied, ran out of time today; should have an exercise up tomorrow though. Thinking it will be a some simple shapes in different brightly colored enviroment focusing on the shadows and reflected light again. Lot's of reflected light. Let me know if you have any ideas and or suggestions, maybe there is something else you want to work on?
    - - - - - - -

    @CreationEdge: I dunno, both painter and PS seem to come up with the same mixes, Painters just seem more realistic because of the simulations it does perhaps? I'm not sure PS would be a mixture for light either, it should get brighter instead of darker when colors are mixed right? It still seems like subtractive color theory. I dunno, I'm a painter guy anyways. Definietly save up and get a tablet, don't go budget, but I don't know if you should go Intuos either. I think in all likelyhood you'll be satisfied with a graphire for awhile, or at least long enough until you have the money for an intuos.
    @Kitsu: Haha! It's own section under the community activities... I wish it was big enough to deserve that kind of exposure. Perhaps I should try and get it sticked? or maybe moved into say Sketches and WIPs'? Anyways: Good idea to keep the brush large, it will help with some bad habits and eventually really speed you up. I'd caution always having your highlights yellowish and shadows blueish, this would mean your lightsource is yellow and the ambient or enviromental light blue. Outside the light is usually white, meaning it has all colors of equal amounts, and lots of it! The blue in shadows is caused predominatly by the reflected light from our blue sky. So, figure out the color of your lightsource and the ambient lighting and go from there. Good job on the spheres, you may have "bent" the rules but you got the purpose down. I might try keeping a really high opacity for the roughing in stages and then going lower to blend however, you might like how this looks better, or not . Exercise 2: hahaha! Awesome, I wish I could have made a model too, I really need to work on my shadows. Do be careful though, I don't think 3d software has all the answers. Oh and it's not cheating, it's research! On your lightsource, I have to disagree with outdoor lighting as being a pale yellow. True the sun appears yellow at times, not sure why; I've heard it's because our eyes are more sensitive to yellow or something, it's also definetly orange or red at sunsets/dawn. However the sun's light is actually all colors, white, like I said before. It will make every color more intense when it hits it, as well as higher in value. Now you could have a pale yellow lightsource but usually I think it would still be a white light with extra yellow. So things should still be fairly vibrant/intense? I'm not sure what you mean about adding white to make the yellow component of colors more saturated though. White has no saturation/intensity. I think your right with the green block, good reasoning there. The blue block your thoughts were right too, yellow and blue are complements so they should cancel each other out to gray eventually. I'm not quite sure on your brown block though, because it's local color is pretty close to yellow it shouldn't loose much if any (perhaps it would gain?) in intensity at all where it hits the light. Oof, hope this doesn't sound like I'm picking on you; you've actually done a great job. I really like the shadows and the textures. Thanks for the part on the edges and corners; I'll be using that. I think you might enjoy working with a little more intense colors next time, try starting with more intense local colors or a white lightsource that will make everything else more intense. These are good things to think about, you can really have great control over your composition if you practice these things.
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  7. #97
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    Idiot: You're right. I don't remember what I was thinking of at the moment in PS. It might've just been the color wheel. I'm not sure. My bad >_<
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    Idiot Apathy, cheers for running this, perfect thing I was looking for!! something I really wanted to study. I will participate soonish. This is an awsome thread. Gotta do some careful readings.
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  9. #99
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    Project #5:
    Warm and Cool Colors with Aerial Perspective Etc.


    All too often colors selected for the foreground or background just do not fit in, they can throw the entire picture off. This exercise is meant to get you thinking about what colors are suitable for what situation. It will be limited to keep it simple and to keep you on the right track.

    - - - - - - - - - -
    The Guidelines:
    A: Do the project and create a dialogue of what you did and why. (Try and think about this while you do the project, this is important; we will be better able to learn from each other as well as catch each other's mistakes.)
    B: The Dialogue will be analysed by your peers; (Right or wrong, the idea is to have a reason why and explain it. I think this will be key )
    C: And of course at the same time peer critiques will be offered. (Pretty simple no?)
    D: You shouldn't have to spend a large amount of time on this however spend as much time as you need, give it your best.
    E. All Projects/Exercises are of course optional, have no order, and are always open to participation. Start wherever and whenever you want!
    F. People who are too embarassed to post their results will be shot on sight, you're here to learn not to show off.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    I strongly recommend you read the discussions and analyses within others posts that are between exercises. I see a lot of the same advice being repeated. Read through this for your sake; I mean don't you want to learn faster?

    This being said, sometimes advice or critiques will be given that may be incorrect, or misconceptions; I most likely am not innocent of this either. If you spot mistakes be sure and correct them! Don't confuse these with opinions however, which are never wrong only different.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Edit: If you haven't started this yet I might do Project#7 First, might help you out on this one.

    For this project you will select a photograph from a public domain photography site (see links below!). You are specifically looking for something that has a lot of depth but will also be fairly simple to re-create. You will have the choice of two colors to recreate this photograph. One should be a warm color the other should be a cool color, do try and keep these as complementary as possible to avoid hue shifts in the blended areas (or just don't blend!). I recommend maybe Orange and Blue, perhaps closer to Blue-Cyan.

    Step One:
    Pick a picture; there are several links below to explore, each website is public domain as well. At the bottom of this page I have quickly picked a few that might be simple as well as pretty good for this project. Make sure you click for the High Res in these sites!

    Public Domain Photo Links:
    http://www.imageafter.com/
    http://www.morguefile.com/
    http://www.sxc.hu/

    Step Two: Set up your workspace however is best for you, your going to be copying from a photograph here. You might try having just a small thumbnail on your canvas or if your lucky enough to have a dual monitor setup that's great.

    Step Three: You are going to be use only two colors for this entire project, your warm color and your cool color. You can not vary your hue at all from these however you can and should vary your values and intensities. If you have complementary colors you might find that they mix quite nicely into neutral greys. As you paint think about what parts of the photograph should have higher or lower values; what parts should have higher or lower intensity? Ask yourself does this look right here? Is the picture cohesive as a whole? Keep your brushstrokes uncomfortably large as long as you can!

    Presentation: Try and keep your image size below 800x600 so everyone can see it, feel free to work as big as your computer will comfortably allow but do resize it when finished, odds are it will look better when it is shrunk down anyways. Link or have a thumbnail to your reference as well please, do not hotlink either, that's just plain mean.

    I'm going to wait a few days to post my results until you have all had a chance. Want you to have a clean slate to work with

    Some images: (Click for Link to High Res!)
    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !!!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !!!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !!!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !!!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !!!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !
    - - - - - - - - - -
    Any comments, suggestions, corrections etc. greatly appreciated!

    If there is anyone that thinks they could set up a project/experiment or a little lecture or some notes let me know, I'd, We'd really appreciate it!


    Edit:
    Ok, looks like I didn't make myself very clear; sorry 'bout that. I'm trying to set these exercises up very simplistically to A. keep the time needed to participate/redo/learn short and B. To clear away things that might bog you down or confuse you. I think it's better to learn things in small steps, building a foundation and then building upon that foundation with the things you learned along the way. Also it's easier to learn a specific thing if you can focus solely on that.

    This exercise was set up in mind to clear out all the hard thinking and correcting involved in color picking. You should focus on making things the proper value and intensity for not only how they look but to re-inforce their distance, closer or further away from the viewer. (Go ahead and exaggerate these effects, in fact, you should exaggerate it!). Think about what will happen to your warm color as it disappears into the distance and what will happen to it when it's in your face, what will happen to your cool color? Remember you should vary both value and intensity but NOT hue. Your colors should be complementary so that you can mix them without changing hues, this way it will look cleaner, proceed faster, and allow you to use the eyedropper. You might try using your cool color for shadows and warm for sunlight, I believe our mind naturally responds this way. (do keep in mind this isn't always the case!)

    To pick perfect complements you can either arbitrarily pick your first color and invert it to get your complement or go an exact 180 degrees opposite of the hue slider.
    Last edited by Idiot Apathy; January 7th, 2006 at 07:54 PM.
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  10. #100
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    ~Ooo cool, Bumskee's in here too!~ You have a great sketchbook and I've been real fond of the Digital Painting in PS thread too. Great to have you in here !

    I've updated the guidelines a little bit and added the projects to the front page to make it easier.

    Anyone have any idea's for the next project?

    Anyone think they have anything they could contribute?

    Edit: Just remembered I forgot to address this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsu
    Also I did something I came up with while researching some painting by my favorite digital artists: I made the shadows more saturated and the highlights less. I'm not sure of the reasoning, but I noticed the pattern while color sampling across paintings I liked. Shadows regardless of hue were more saturated and highlights were less. With the highlights it makes some sense, you're adding white so you will lose some color, but why would the shadows get more saturated?
    Shadows could be more intense if you were say in a blue enviroment with a warm lightsource on a blue object. The light spots on the object would be receiving competeing colors in light, from the ambient blue enviroment light and the warm lightsource. On top of that the object's local color is blue so it would already be pretty pale. Now the shadow part is mostly receiving only the blue reflected light so it would be fairly intense.

    I suppose there are other different situations that shadows could be more intense than the rest of the object but it seems like stylized color to me. Nothing wrong with that, in fact I love stylized color. I think outdoors usually the midpoint will be the most saturated. Indoors is another story, lots of different lightsources.
    Last edited by Idiot Apathy; December 11th, 2005 at 10:56 PM.
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  11. #101
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    Idiot Apathy, you are too nice dude. I linked this thread to the digital painting thread, this is the missing info there! coz I am too much a newbie to help anyone with these stuff. As you will see shortly, hehe. But good on you for doing this, cheers mate.

    So i tackled the first exercise.. Hope you guys don't mind, I will catch up quick. please excuse my jaggy edges.. and I know I am very weak with colours and values.. But I had NO idea I was off by this much.. I went with my animal instinct but painted the coloured version very dark.. as below.. yeah.. BUT I vaguely remember reading about difference in intensity, like with blue and yellow of same value, yellow will have to be significantly darker in value to match intensity of the blue. Maybe I am not using the right term, I think I read a bit about it in the colour theory book I have.. *covered in dust by the way..* better do some reading on it. But yeah I am off by miles

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    So I went again..and I think the zaggy edges are little less this time.. a little closer but this time a little lighter! sweet my eyes must be crooked..

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !

    As for suggestions, using complimentary colours only to paint something? is that too big? I remember seeing such exercise being held over at wetcanvas.com. Would be good to do some studies involving different surfaces. eeek
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  12. #102
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    I've been reading this thread for awhile now. I confess wrapping my brain around some of it will take time.

    I thought I'd finally take a stab at the first exercise. Pushing the lightest light part was a problem for me for some reason. I guess I am scared of highlights

    !!Peer Project!! Foundational Activities - Learning, Teaching, and Toast !
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  13. #103
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    Good stuff!

    First I want to thank Idiot Apathy and MattGamer for their comments!
    Matt: I think I see what you were saying about the deformation; it is caused by the quick transition back to light on the shadow side. The fill light is too strong, nearly as bright as the key light. It could probably be fixed by darkening the bounce light, and lightening the shadow too. Idiot Apathy: I like how you put it "...a white light with extra yellow." That is just what I meant by 'pale yellow' except your way sounds brighter. You are right also, white light adds to all colors equally, except when they reach the maximum we can see. Then the color values will start getting closer together = less saturated/intense at higher values. I try to paint in a medium key of chroma (from Ron Lemon's color theory) so I get a decent range of intensity, but then really saturated colors look out of place. Maybe I'll try something high-key in a future exercise. Hope I don't sound defensive having an answer for every comment, I will definitely try to put your advise into action!

    Bumskee:
    Good job on these, especially on going back and redoing it to get it right! Though... I think your first attempt looks very good. How did you convert these to greyscale? It might be a trick of preception, but if anything the green sphere looks brighter than the grey. Your reflected light looks better in the second one though, and you had much smoother transitions between value areas. In the first one you were getting some of my deformation in your shadows.

    Edges, value, and deformation:
    From Ben Mathis

    Painting with compliments sounds fun, how exactly would that work?
    Last edited by Kitsu; December 12th, 2005 at 05:02 PM.
    [Always remember that if a topic seems uninteresting, then it's just because you are picturing a solution that lacks vigor.] - William b. Hand
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  14. #104
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    jubilee, nice going dude. looks pretty spot on though I think you can push the core shadow smidge towards the centre, kinda looks like a bevel button..

    Kitsu, I am trying not to read too much of these advanced discussion you guys are having, hehe I don't want to mix too much in my head but start from the beginning. so I haven't read much after the last exercise I did. But I will join in soon! Yes, I really should post some findings on the book I mentioned. It has the intensity and blah blah on it.. that should explain some things. You can easily paint a diluted dull green sphere that would match the intensity of the gray one. Like what jubilee did.. or am I talking nuts here? I used two different brush for them, the green I had a wet edge rectangle brush so blending wasn't too smooth, not that it matter much I guess. Oh and I just used hue/saturation adjustment layer to compare the two.

    complimentary colours? well I saw some, happening at wetcanvas.com u just use two complimentary and b&W to paint.. meh can't seem to find it. but yeah limited palette was the idea..
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