Friday, September 20, 2013

Blogger I'm cheating on you

I'm trying to get my website overhauled, so I'm looking into wordpress, some from scratch-HTML builds and one or two new suprises. In the meantime, here's an update on that picture I was working on the other day.
The thing about this approach is you really need to slow down and be methodical. I got sloppy on this one early on and ended up rendering a bit on my flats layer, which bit me in the ass later on. Also, I need to refine that when I work in thinner lines I should up my resolution so that my filling scripts don't go haywire which is sort of what happened here.
Learning though; got to play with some depth dissociation through colour here. Also got to  play with brush shapes and try driving a subtle more graphic approach in an otherwise painty landscape.
All going well I'll be doing a lot of painting next week, so hopefully I'll be nicely warmed up by the time it get to my evening-tide excursions.
I can't wait. But first, I depart on holiday with the family. I doubt there'll be any internet, but I will be doing up some pictures to be sold at DICE next weekend.

...or I'll do some dramatic watercolours of the Atlantic coast., both of them sound fun.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Through the Woods WIP

A few months ago I did a loose little doodle that I was quite happy with, and I'm finally getting around to giving a proper going over. I'm looking to capture the approach of some of my day-job stuff and mix it with my own colour palettes and little flourishes, so this is a bit experimental.

I usually fine line my character work, but looking through my personal environment work I seem to stick to splodges of colour and refining as I go. As a technique I love that approach- changes are instantaneous and nothing is ever locked down, right up until the final save. In animation production, however, lines get signed off on first so everything has to be thought out and placed first.

There are definitely benefits to this approach; once you finish the linework it's exactly like a comics workflow in many respects. I've worked out some quick ways to flat out pages in colour, and they all apply in situations like this.
Also, with everything planned you can line out seperate planes for easier rendering later on. This doesn't help *that* much for me because if I'm being clean, I always refer to my flats for selections anyway. If I do go lineless later on, it'll still stand to me. Similarly, line holds are much easier to manage.

The biggest disadvantage is it drawing a line in the sand in terms of design. About 3/4 of the way through doing those trees (all the background, and half of the foreground) I thought 'what if they were all curled and gnarled, and the stones were taller so it draws the eye more'...not much use to me after an hour or two of inking.Were I just splodging along in paint I'd have painted straight over, but my hands were tied unless I wanted to draw a whole lot of trees all over again.

So for finished designs, yay it's a win, but for evolving designs on the page it's an absolute killer.

I'll update again with this as I go, and it should be interesting to see how the rendering process will be affected. Fingers crossed!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Streaming Done!

Was streaming earlier at   - hopefully it'll become a regular event from here on out.

I had a blast, and thanks to everyone who stopped by and spread the word.

Here's where I'm at on this, definitely closer but a long ways off being happy with it. Had a LOT of fun designing the lizard creatures, will definitely do this back-and-forth creature vs landscape design thing again. Yeah, this is fun. I'm actually really looking forward to the polishing pass.

Some quick things I've learned on this
-Name your layers. FROM THE START
-Grouping objects/layers is your friend.
-Starting off with a greyscale render is fine but it loses oomph when you try and convert it to colour. Still trying to work around it. Doing a colour thumb on another layer before you render your greys definitely helps.
-I need to play around constructively with channels some more. I have ideas that SHOULD be simple that I can't quite do without just painting it out straight.
-Preparation is ALWAYS worth it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I love this part

The one thing I'm always very wary of when I'm working in-studio is finding time to work on my own things. Doodles are doable, and the odd bit of sketchbook work is definitely feasible, but it takes a significantly greater scheduling commitment to dedicate seven or eight hours on a finished pic.

Hence, I've been doing a lot of cel shaded stuff and speedpaints as of late, but I'm trying out a new approach and giving about an hour to any night I'm home to chipping away at a bigger picture. My initial brief to myself was much more constricting, and that'll reveal itself in time but for now it's all about putting in the time and getting something done that's just for practice and just for me.

So I've been working on this the last two nights. at about an hour a night, and I realised that THIS is my favourite part. Not the thumbnailing or the finishing, but where you get to go in and add the visual style to a picture.  Right now I'm going all CURVY SPIKY with everything, in honour of Mr Lizard who will probably be redesigned to suit his environment when I'm done with the rest. Actually rendering out surfaces and finishes has its own unique glee, but this is where it feels most like I'm putting my own stamp on a picture.

That's sort of the point with personal stuff. Stamping yourself on the page

Anyways, all going according to plan there'll be updates on this picture as it nears completion (WAY off yet) and I'll have a little WIPPY GIFFY thing to go with it in case anyone's interested as well as some master studies and whatever else I think is super important and needs to be done before laundry and other practical things.

If anyone has any suggestions of artists (or architects, philiosophers, or ANY field) that you think are cool/relevant/worth looking at, please let me know! Knowledge is power and all that jazz :D