Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

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Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vulpine » June 6th, 2017, 5:28 am

Hey all! This is my "official" "art" thread, where I post what I like to call "art", but feel free to call it "crap" or anything similar as long as you keep a PG rating and provide helpful feedback! I'll also be posting questions about digital art here, so if anybody knows the answers they would be much appreciated.

Just so you know what you're stepping into :D


First some pixel art I created from scratch using my desktop background as a reference. (Hopefully it's good enough so you don't have to guess at what it is.)
wolfvsfox.png
Next to mainline wolf.
wolfvsfox.png (4.13 KiB) Viewed 815 times
So... I may be biting off more than I can chew trying to draw fur here. I have looked (albeit a bit more briefly than I should) at the mainline wolves and at UMC wolves, and am completely stumped as to where to begin. Any help concerning that would be received gratefully.

[edit] I just realized I forgot the shadow! That would probably help the overall image quite a bit. [/edit]

Now, about up-sizing too-small images.

Is there any recommended method? I recently found the filters menu in GIMP, and was getting creative. I pulled up this file I pulled off the website somewhere (probably Contrib:Doofus-01) that was 410x205 and blew it up to 1800x900 (or something like that) and used the sharpen filter several times until it looked good, and shrunk it back down. I didn't clean up the black background very well, so there are stray pixels and black spots etc.

Is there anything wrong with this method? Is there a better method? I ask because there are several (older) portraits that are smaller than 400x400 that I haven't been able to use because they would be too small/blurry.
I stuck the image in here to avoid cluttering up the page.
seeress_hawkeye_447-sharpened.png
If up-sized normally it would be blurry.

Advice and answers would be greatly appreciated :)
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby zookeeper » June 6th, 2017, 8:13 am

Vulpine wrote:Now, about up-sizing too-small images.

The method of first upscaling to a much bigger size and then downscaling to the target size is good, but you might consider some different details:

- Upscale to for example 4x the target size using nearest neighbour and then use Enhance->Despeckle, adaptive and recursive off, radius/black/white to 4/-1/256. GIMP's despeckle makes a mess of the transparent edges though, unlike for example Paint.net's Noise->Median which I greatly prefer. This method is pretty much an emulation of xBRZ scaling.
- You can try using Distorts->Value Propagate to make linework thinner and generally eliminate the "blurred jaggies" that linear/cubic/etc upscaling produces.
- You can try adding some slight grain, Noise->Spread, sharpening (as you did), ripple/crystallize anything else that helps. Do experiment with Enhance->Unsharp Mask.
- Downscale to target size using whatever scaling produces the best result. And of course you can repeat the process in slightly different ways several times and combine the results.

But there's no one-size-fits-all solution, usually you have to experiment for quite a while before you find what works best for a given image. And of course nothing will magically conjure up details that weren't in the original image in the first place.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vulpine » June 6th, 2017, 2:54 pm

Wow... That's a lot more information than I was expecting! I'll definitely try these and experiment some more. Thanks Zookeeper!
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Wussel » June 6th, 2017, 4:38 pm

One more method: Ask Katrin for a higher resolution of the base image! I really wanted them some years ago, but newer asked myself. The right fellow got officially discarded because of pointing his weapon in the wrong direction. :lol:
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby WTrawi » June 6th, 2017, 7:19 pm

Didn't Katrin leave Wesnoth? Or can we still ask her? :D
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vulpine » June 7th, 2017, 2:49 pm

Wussel: :lol: But I actually searched the forums for the name, and the only place it came up was here. So, no idea how to contact this person or who she even is. But these portraits are the only ones I had that could be used as an example, which is why I posted them instead of some other one. I want to be able to enlarge (that's the word I was trying to find!) any portrait that is too small.

Update on the fox; I tried hard to use the mainline wolf as reference, but couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on. I took a look at Bitron's wolf and decided to do it a bit simpler. Not nearly as good as either of them though. I'll be working on a base-frame next I think... unless this needs more work.
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Fox.png
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby ForestDragon » June 7th, 2017, 3:07 pm

Vulpine wrote:Update on the fox; I tried hard to use the mainline wolf as reference, but couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on. I took a look at Bitron's wolf and decided to do it a bit simpler. Not nearly as good as either of them though. I'll be working on a base-frame next I think... unless this needs more work.
actually, the "Bitron's wolf" you are talking about was actually made by doofus-01, Bitron just used it in his add-on.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Bitron » June 7th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Right, credits to doofus for that incredibly awesome wolf.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vulpine » June 7th, 2017, 4:04 pm

Eep! :oops: That's good to know! I was planning on using it in my next campaign. That would have been awkward asking Bitron for permission :oops:



And here's the base-frame. I think I'm probably going to end up reworking it. Suggestions and advice appreciated.
Fox_baseframe.png
Fox_baseframe.png (1.79 KiB) Viewed 672 times
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vyncyn » June 7th, 2017, 5:01 pm

The fox would look more alive if his posture wasn't as stiff, so try to curl his tail instead of having everything in a straight line.
You could make his legs black, if you want to go for a more realistic look.
The fox has a continuous dark outline (not black, so already good). If you use a selective outlining (break it at some points) it could look even better.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vulpine » June 7th, 2017, 7:08 pm

Thanks for the tips! I had noticed the black feet before, but my mind dismissed it as soon as I started drawing :roll:
His tail looks just a bit off to me, but I'm not sure what exactly it is. That and his mouth. I can't seem to get that right :augh:
I tried sel-out where the light would be stronger. Not sure how it worked; my eyes don't pick up details like that. On the pixel-joint instruction page when it was giving examples of good and bad sel-out, I couldn't tell the difference :(

Anyhow, thanks for the quick response! It helps a lot
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Foxbfram+mlinewolf.png
Foxbfram+mlinewolf.png (4.2 KiB) Viewed 632 times
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby zookeeper » June 7th, 2017, 8:23 pm

It's a bit wonky. The shoulders are very beefy, whereas foxes typically look very slender, and the front elbows are way too low. The pose doesn't really scream "fox" either; if you see a fox standing around, then it's pretty likely to have its head perked up and front legs straight.

Here's a rough sketch-level edit of what I think would make it more fox-like.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Vyncyn » June 7th, 2017, 8:52 pm

Looks like zookeeper was faster.

I've also made a edit that hopefully fixes some problems.
fox.png
fox.png (1.2 KiB) Viewed 613 times


-few pixels shorter and hopefully a more foxlike anatomy (as zookeeper said, foxes should be more slender)
-changed black feet to a bit more brown, because i think it looks nicer that way
-changed shape and colouring of the tail to make it even more curved. I'm not quite happy with the result, but it should give you an idea
-changed outline. The darker colours of the outline shoud be on the corners and brighter pixels (where you "break" the outline) more in the middle.

I hope this gives you a good reference for you work.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby zookeeper » June 7th, 2017, 9:36 pm

Also I think that if you intend it to be a normal fox and not a direfox, then it should simply be smaller. It's now the size of the wolf, or actually even bigger than the wolf in some ways.
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Re: Vulpine's "art" thread. (and questions concerning art)

Postby Midnight_Carnival » June 8th, 2017, 1:49 am

Your fox is beautiful, but as said, big. They are bigger than cats but still what most people would regard as a "small" dog size.
My favorite was the one with the head sticking up above the body.

I'm also curious to see what role a fox would play in Wesnoth. They tend to make themselves scares unless there are chickens about. Perhaps as the familiar of a magic user?
But you were asking about your art, not how foxes could take down Orcs, so...
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.
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