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Full Version: Environment Design Rocks!
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Ah that's too bad Voss. I AM in rural NZ. Akatarawa yeah I know the pain, though it's been better the last couple of months!
Hey guyzzzz and galz, week 05 crit stream is up for viewing on Sywork. Go check it out! Check out the first hour or so for my photohashing...I mean photobashing "techniques". I spew my drink out even calling it that! Hope it helps

Voss and Monkeybit, I totally crashed and just couldn't do yours which were the last you get your own individualised vid crits as before ....once I become less comatose.
I only see a 4 minute long stream with technical difficulties :( Please please let there be a recording of the rest... ???
ah.....damn it wasn't the right one...apparently 3+ hour streams take a while to process :P. Should be good now. I have it on local drive as well...
Haha, people holding lanterns and the main character being on the left with a path leading to the focal point on the right...

Great crit, Amit, thanks a lot. I feel a lot better about where to go from here and will try again soon. I feel like I keep making the same mistakes though, so I need to learn from my mistakes and make a more conscious effort to realize them! So making the focal point bigger, not sticking the focal points to the edge of the painting, having better values and subsequent colors, and mixing up the compositions.
I missed the stream....again T_T I came like 20 minutes after everybody was gone already. Seems like I have a reason to get up early on a weekend as well now. It's my goal to catch the stream at least ONCE during the whole class.....! ò__ó 9

I've been trying to watch the recording of the stream multiple times today, but it either doesn't load or the one time it did, it crashed on me. Anyone else having these problems? I'll keep on trying in the meanwhile.
It's working fine for me now.
Monkeybit: your crit is uploaded for you to view in the usual place. Sorry it's a bit long, I kinda got into it...shows me I really haven't been painting enough personally!

Vossgraphite: your crit will be following sometime later, so check out for it as well.

For everyone else, I did another photobash on Monkeybit's piece, which I think was probably better than my live demo if you wanted to check it out.
Hey Amit!
First off thanks so much for the crit, i appreciate. I'm sorry i can't participate on the Syword chat. There are technical problems signing in, don't know why, what ever... Anyway, well the name is pronounced like Holmes, without the L, so you got it right. Yep, I modeled the ship in 3D. I'm sorry for the mess in the first two scenes. Your feedback is helping me getting aware of what i did wrong (i need to practice :) ). I'll do my best on the third NVR for the current week.
Thanks again man.

I hope everyone in the class have a good week (perfecting the drills on their projects).

Yay, I was able to watch it today!

Thank you so much again for the crit and new suggestions! I like switching the perspective to having the docks in the background. I also like the idea of the ship, somehow. I think it adds to the narrative. I've already worked a bit on the robo design, but I' have nothing final yet. Just a bunch of sketches and things I've tried out. I think if I feel more comfortable with the design I will play around with the composition ideas again! \o/
[Image: OKJVRo1.png]

Hey Amit, I was trying all what you said about depth on my crit, so I've been trying to do new values. I still have to lower the contrast on the tower tho, and those lines on it are just an idea for the structure.

The ice pieces are gigantic, but I don't know if I am still conveying it right. I am also changing the iceberg, but I'm thinking it of removing it.

Thanks for the crit on the stream, I will try to photobashing next!
i missed the stream as well. i was caught off guard with life so i wasn't able to log into my computer for a day or two, im watching it now though...

EDIT: just finished watching it, first of all , i know its been said many times before but i dont care because its the least that i could do, THANKS very much for doing this! im not gonna lie whenever it see my own personal crit from you i kind of feel a little anxious. im not sure why. anyway im gonna go with the building thumb. not only because you suggested it its because its where i worked through the most.

im gonna work more on my set design. and i totally see my work having a lack of narrative and not having so much stuff to describe whats going on. its because either i dont know what to put , or i simply dont know HOW to incorporate it on my piece. i really must think about these kinds of things.
Thanks a lot Amit! I actually wasn't even expecting a critique. And don't even worry about it, I definitely don't mind the longer times :^D The more the merrier!

But yes, I will take a look at those line art tutorials, they look pretty sweet.

It's already, with the color addition at the end, looking so much better. I really can't wait to start refining and photobashing, thanks again!
@Aumes: Haha glad I got it right. Can you contact the Sywork admin/help team man? It's a shame to let something so silly keep you out of the chat!
And don't ever apologise for your work man! It's very easy to get off track, which is also why it is really important to keep checking back with your original idea to make sure any changes are improving it and also why we should be ready to scrap a whole lot of work we might have done at any time!  The idea with a phased workflow is to help minimize the time wastage that can happen in a more organic process!  :)

@wasgodx:  Great that's better, and the large ice spikes do look large. Be careful now that you are changing things on the fly, that you don't lose the perspective. Are you still using a grid? You should be if not. One of the things this new comp suggests is almost that we are looking up slightly through a passage of large ice spires up to the tower. That could be quite nice, but mean a reworking of the perspective a bit. I will try and help you to refine this during the week. 
I want you to hold off from photo texturing until you get the ok on your composition and values. Lastly always remember to use reference. You will not be able to make this stuff up out of your head without a lot of visual library.

@Cyprinus: Awesome, can't wait to see your reworkings.

@KurtJeremy: Great man, I like that tower base thing. A solid comp that we can build on. Let's get a more detailed value sketch going, with a bit more of that set design, a bit more suggestion of scale and a bit more detail in whatever focal points you choose, then we can start on the rendering phase.

@monkeybit : POWER ON man!!! :)
Hey Amit, thanks for the critique! I like the first one better at the moment, but I think that's why I should probably concentrate on the second, which was giving me a lot of trouble last week, so I might learn more from tackling that one. I don't really feel ready to attempt photobashing, given my struggles with value, scale and perspective, but if you think it would help me learn those things rather than confuse me, I'll give it a try... In general I'm after a more painterly look in my work, but I'd still like to have it in my skillset.

I did look at my reference for the trees, but I struggled to imitate similar shapes and the general feel of them without copying them branch by branch, any tips for that? The plane is still pretty much the rough from the first sketch at this point, but I do have reference for it, both photos and a 3d model (that I didn't create, because with my limited Blender skills that would take me weeks to accomplish). I don't know why I didn't think of looking up reference for the people's poses, that was a stupid oversight.
@Olooriel: I would suggest not photobashing until you feel more comfortable with your own painting and judgement so you are able to self-correct those basic fundamentals.
Photobashing is very much about integration and does require enough knowledge to be able to know how to change the photos to make them work. Where pbashing comes in handy is really in getting detail and pattern into your work quickly so you don't have to paint it all from scratch, and this is why it is so prevalent in concept design.
You will definitely learn more by painting from reference from scratch so I'd say paint from reference instead this time, and maybe we can add some details in small areas with photos as a finishing technique.

For any areas where you are struggling even painting from reference, do separate studies. This is the best way to teach your brain what to do. You have to begin to learn to simplify and abstract the things you are painting down to enough of a level that you can get the nuance of them without necessarily painting every pixel the same, so focus on simplification. Decide what it is you are trying to capture from the reference and focus on that in your study. If it is lighting...then focus on nailing the lighting. If it is the texture, focus on the texture. Do enough studies, and you will notice that you will begin to understand the subject, find little techniques or brush choices to become more efficient. You are problem solving. The problem being how do I depict the reference with the tools at hand? So be as thoughtful about your studies as you need to be to solve this problem and don't just become a duplication machine.

Some tips for studies:
Before you begin decide what you want to focus on and what problem you want to solve.
Spend some minutes really just observing the material. Use the colour picker to examine Hue/Sat/Value relationships. Why just eyeball it when the software can tell you exactly. (Keeping in mind that photos aren't accurate to lighting conditions but close enough to be practical)
Work zoomed out of the canvas on screen. You don't want to focus on detail (unless it is some detail you are studying)
Squint your eyes at the ref, it helps by simplifying down to the most basic tonal and edge structures. The more you squint the more it cuts out detail and all but the most important edges.
Work from large to small / general to specific.
Try and use the fewest strokes possible to depict anything.
Think before you put down a brushstroke, don't noodle.
Put the study down when you have learned what you set out to. Don't worry about how good it looks, it's for learning, not display. (I do want to see them ! :) )
If you aren't satisfied with the result, do more studies, until it starts to click. Then you can begin to apply to your piece.
So I was looking on the google page for the class and I noticed that it said it ends on 22 Nov. Does that mean the class is done, and we're just here to continue our work of our own free will? Because if so I'm kind of glad because the hustle at the end of the term is starting to get to me and I'm not sure how much time I can set aside for this.
There were several weeks which went over time because I was too busy, so things have extended past the initially estimated end date. I am still looking at 3 more weeks (rounds) of crit before I stop. After these 3 rounds I will be stopping with the crits in a formal way.
You will have to prioritise what you need to work on of course.

EDIT: make that 2 rounds of crit. There will be no crits on the last week, just suggestions on how to finish and if you guys want to talk about your folios or freelance or something else.
Ok so Im still working the values and composition. I should be spending the rest of the week on color. Im thinking of showing some more pterodactyls landing on the statues. Also Ill be adding more falling debris from the volcano which i moved off frame per Marjorie's advice.
Nice progress Adam! A suggestion would be to perhaps make the pterosaurs of the smaller variety, so the scale of the statues isn't so diminished. You could then have larger flocks of these smaller guys hanging out like vultures do perhaps. In terms of overall values I wonder if you could play with having a bit more in the lower ranges overall because it feels a bit washed out. You can do a quick brightness/contrast overall and see if you like anything a bit better.
With the 3 main lizard figures...could try some more dynamic poses as they are a bit nonchalent and stiff atm.
Oh and here's that mullins piece I was talking about.:

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