Portraits: Drakes

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thespaceinvader
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader »

Duly noted. Will rework tomorrow. Decided to look to other projects for today as these were starting to bug me, and g/f has been home ill, so I had to take care of things here, and house hunt...
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Yoyobuae
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by Yoyobuae »

Don't know if it would work any better but can't the burner breathe out the fire instead. That is, have the flames coming out of the front of the snout, rather than just floating upwards thru the sides.

The way I imagine is that drakes are resistant to fire, yes, but it would be quite uncomfortable to have flames going up over your cheeks/face/eyes (ie. they are not immune to it). Maybe they won't get burned nearly instantly from contact with direct flame, but with enough exposure it might.

Besides, that kinda solves the problem of fire obscuring his face.

Just a suggestion, though. I guess you where trying to ilustrate their resistance to fire with the way you did it.

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Simons Mith
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by Simons Mith »

[Aside] Racial mannerisms for drakes are something I want to write up for the Wiki, if I'm not beaten to it. This is likely to include things like, a drake signals aggression by opening his wings and then closing them loudly. Laughter is frequently signalled by blinking and blowing smoke or even flames out the side of the drake's mouth. Lashing the tail from side to side is a sign of nervousness or indecision. That sort of thing. So having a portrait where a drake is using its flame, but in a way that is obviously not usable as an attack is a handy tie-in for this sort of background info. So I'd like the current gesture to be kept, albeit toned down a notch. When I write up the gestures I'll factor in whatever the drakes end up doing in their portraits.
 

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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by johndh »

Are the flames necessary? They're an awful pain to draw, and the burner really looks plenty intimidating without them. If anything, he looks more like he's about to tear someone's head off with his claws. I suppose you could always fall back on the old "smoke wafting from the nostrils" thing. Reference.

There are two rather small things bothering me about the warden. The first is on the pauldron(?), where the lighting makes it look like the line is curving inwards, and then bends off in a weird almost zig-zag way. The gives me the impression of a shiny cloth rather than rigid metal. I highlighted that part in green to show what I mean. The second thing is the lower gauntlet (his right, our left). The curves make it look like the metal is wrapping around in front of the knuckles, which would make it impossible for our subject to straighten his fingers on that hand. The back of a person' hand is fairly flat along the axis defined by the second metacarpal, so I don't think there would be any reason for a gauntlet to have a deep curve going from the wrist to the knuckles. Anyway, I highlighted in cyan the weird curves and in blue the line where it seems the edge of the knuckles would be if I'm not misjudging.
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bera
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by bera »

I have problems on design elements with the warden portrait. You should rework his helm, as it makes him look extremely cute in my opinion. I think that's because all of those smooth and compact planes present. At the very least try to decorate his armor; I think even a reference to EVILEST's designs could be useful for that - or just use your imagination, go wild but do put effort into it (apologies but to see those flame stickers on the flappers of the helm look quite troubling to me :| ). I'm saying this as I'm sure you can do much better. I'd also suggest you to use some reference for the garments you put on your drakes, as your flows generally tend to look like molten candles. Also, the way you shade (specifically the armor) looks like you are using the burn tool, though I'm sure that's not what you are doing.

Also, I'd recommend you not to use computer effects so freely. This goes for the flames and the lightning effects on your burner portrait. They instantly (at least for me) clash with hand drawn artwork - they should be used scarcely and in a subtle manner.

I hope you'll read these lines as constructive criticism as I'm aware how much effort you have put in them already. :)
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader »

JOhndh, you've definitely got a point about the pauldron, and probably about the gauntlet (though drakes only have 3 fingers ;) )
I'm going to give one more try at the burner's flames and then consider removing them entirely in favour of putting them into the Fire/Inferno portrait, to distinguish it from the Flare/Flameheart line one a bit better.

Why does everyone see stickers? Gloss paint/enamel looks much the same, fits the time period, and has been previously used on the drakes. I don't particularly want to overdecorate the armour. It doesn't fit what I feel is the ethos of the Drakes - they'd make things look nice, and look scary, but they would keep things basic and functional with it. And no, I'm not using the burn tool. Check out LordBob's armour tutorial, that's the core part of the shading method I use. I still need a colour overlay layer - I was using blue, but Valkier rightly pointed out on IRC that it doesn't actually make sense on bronze, it doesn't reflect blue much at all.

I like the helm, but it can probably be improved. How do you suggest doing so without losing the unique appearance which has been inherited right through from the original drake sprites? I feel this is more important than it looking nebulously scary.
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by Kenpachi »

thespaceinvader wrote:
Why does everyone see stickers?
I don't, but it does seem to be missing shading on that part....

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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader »

Fighter fixes, hopefully this should be committable now, if Kitty and Bob could take a final look.

EDIT: and here's a prelim plan for the Blademaster. I liked Bob's idea of a martial arts type stance, but I felt his prelim was too upright, and not animalistic enough. So I came up with this.

EDIT again: here's bob's for comparison. Looking back, I think it would be easier to make something of this than of mine. The only difficulty being that making it look big enough will be difficult - including all the wings, it'll probably be smaller than the warrior even at 500x500.
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by Major »

Mabe the enamel should be scratched or damaged. (don't shout at me)
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader »

Here's my proposal for a better stance for Bob's blademaster's arms. I'll probably go with this version I think. It's inspired by a real martial arts stance from my old teachings.

Major: RAWR. No, you're correct, that would be a good way to show what it is.

EDIT: acted upon the suggestion, lines and flats for Drake Blademaster.

RE-EDIT: And another retread of the burner. Hoping this one is permanent. If not, I'll give up on the fire entirely. And the symbol is one Kitty designed, meaning fire breath.
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by Sangel »

This is just a quick post to say how much I'm enjoying the dynamism of these Drake poses. Nice work, TSI. :D
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by A-Red »

I really don't think the fire works. It might make sense for him to be leaking smoke during normal interaction, but not breathing out flames. It also doesn't integrate well with the rest of the textures, for whatever reason. I can't shake the impression that you've printed out the image and started taking a match to it, rather than that the fire is coming from the drake.

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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader »

I'm getting further and further towards just nixing the fire. Next version will be entirely without it probably, save for a bit of glow in the back of the throat and the nostrils.

Until such time, here's some more potential fiddling with the enforcer - armour design intended to be similar to the Clasher's but with chainmail covering the exposed portions. I've also slightly altered the claw arm, moving it forward into a more... connected position, and adding a bit of length to the bottom claw, which was noticeably shorter than its opposite.

EDIT: inked wings. Also, decided, at Valk's insistence (that boy can be persistent) to rework the hem into something a bit more... interesting. And drakelike.
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by kitty »

Enforcer:
Wow! That seems to be massive improvement to me! The new helmet looks a lot more drake-ish and designed with intent - thanks to Valkier's insistence :P The new wings look good, too. I really wouldn't look forward to rendering that much chainmail...

Fighter:
He seems to be pretty much there to me :) There's still minor symmetry issue about the head, but you've worked long enough on that guy ;)

Burner:
Hmm, the fire really isn't up to par yet. Do you paint it or is it a fx filter? Have you tried to draw really black smoke like in the pic LordBob linked to? And put the fire on a layer above the linework, the mouth's outline is really distracting.
And the left part of the figure is really a big lot of green. I've got a real problem deciphering what his arm, wing, wing's membrane etc. are... An easy way out would be some variation in colour, a slightly different hue for the inside of the membranes and the like. Plus I'd like to propose another colour for his skirt, preferably a more desaturated one - the focus of the Burner's portrait should be his mouth/nostrils/fire, but with the red skirt you have your eye-catching red scattered across the pic.

Blademaster:
Not much to say yet, I like your variation of Bob's sketch. The rear hand's weapon (what are those things called? claws?) seems too long in comparison to the front one. Will he feature glazed ceramic plates?

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thespaceinvader
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Re: Portraits: Drakes

Post by thespaceinvader »

Eh, chainmail's doable. Yeah, I think the enforcer is good to colour now.

I'll commit the fighter tonight. Any remaining symmetry issues are, in fact, broken bones not properly healed. *nodsnods*

Burner: I like the skirt colour, it's common across all the portraits thus far except the Glider. However, I'm open to making it less prominent. And yes, the fire is filter-drawn. My attempts at doing it by hand have thus far all benn horrible, including the ones I've not shown to anyone. I'll give it the old college try once or twice more, than give up and try again on the higher level. Duly noted on the rest.

Blademaster: I'll shorten the front claws a tad (and technically, they're war talons, but claws is fine) and shade. yes, I do intend for the ceramic to be glazed (though I think it will be dyed, also, so the repairs don't stand out as blobs of terracotta colour amid the black - I might try this to see how it looks, but if it's pants I'll change it).

Thanks =)

EDIT: fighter is committed.

EDIT BUMP: Burner re-render. Dropped the saturation on pretty much the whole image except the armour and the fire. Re-did the fire. Desaturated the wing membranes even more, and moved the hue a little towards the blue to make them clearer. Hopefully this is good for commit now - I'm certainly a LOT happier with it.
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