WSAS: Milestone Three

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Sangel
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by Sangel » July 5th, 2009, 8:13 pm

Those are some great scales. The size and overlap are extremely well judged, and apart from the saturation issue noted by kitty, the colour scheme works very nicely too. Great stuff TSI!
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by thespaceinvader » July 5th, 2009, 8:35 pm

Preliminarily completed portrait. Added some embellishment as on the sketch and all remaining issues raised.
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clasher.png
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by tsr » July 5th, 2009, 8:47 pm

Looks really nice, and I cant wait for this summer to be over so that the drakes have their own protraits and a set of new sprites!

...but: 2 minor issues (both ofc, imho): the teeth, especially the frontest one looks like a sticker not a real 3d-object. The hand-razors are too different, the difference in size and finnish is to large even counting for a slight difference in perspective and distance to viewer.

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by A-Red » July 5th, 2009, 9:00 pm

Wow. And also, wow.

The secondary lighting on the scales seems to flatten them, and the wooden spear shaft seems a little untextured compared to everything else. Otherwise, it's simply phenomenal.

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by Boucman » July 5th, 2009, 9:07 pm

hmm, it seems to me that the outlines on the back side of both arms are a tad thick... I "see" them, usually, they are thin enough to "blend" in my mind...

probably worth checking
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by thespaceinvader » July 5th, 2009, 9:12 pm

That, or possibly a little dark.

I'm going to leave any further alterations til the morning, to give people time to suggest things...
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by vonHalenbach » July 5th, 2009, 9:34 pm

It is overall a very good portrait. I see no obvious flaws, which need to be changed, so i want to thank spaceinvader for it. I love the shiny metal and the flames!

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by Blarumyrran » July 6th, 2009, 1:58 am

The "flames" are well done, but they look like car stickers; imo in general most things meant to look like as if painted on metal armor _will_ look bad; most modern fantasy art goes towards ornaments & weird gemlike things to avoid it, which can work out great if you dont overdo it. (also clashers are the only drakes who _cannot_ breathe fire, but that is not that important by itself). Same thing to lesser extent goes on the circle on the belt.

Also you keep using that weird brown armor material on your portraits; really i dont know much about materials, but it doesnt look like metal to me, while i assume from the contours it is supposed to be a metal? Bob did post this tutorial, im not sure how helpful it is, havent tried myself; but his metal armor certainly looks way more... metal armorish?

I really like the head & horns.

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by SouthernOracle » July 6th, 2009, 2:23 am

This is an awesome portrait! I agree with the "fire stickers" comment however. The only suggested fix I can give is maybe having the flames "etched" into the armor - as though a dragon smith used his index finger to scratch the design. The drawback is the lack of color however..

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by Blarumyrran » July 6th, 2009, 3:15 am

& just to illustrate what i meant with the "ornaments instead of "paintings"".

Essentially its still stylisized drake head; but such "3d" ornaments _do_ look better than paintings.

Also, cloth doesnt fold that way, and the yellow reflection of the armor(?) on the cloth looks unnatural; but im not qualified to say more on that.

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by Skrim » July 6th, 2009, 5:13 am

:shock:
Whoa. The Clasher portrait is really quite awesome. It really conveys the look of the bronze armor accurately.

But yes, Syntax's has a point. Ornaments do look better than those anachronistic decals.

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by LordBob » July 6th, 2009, 5:22 am

Good-looking portrait, though I might have gone for red scales (still, that's only my tastes so don't account it as critique). Two points :

- I'd deepen the shadows of the armour in order to increase the metallic sheen of your Bronze
- The claws on his left gauntlet (the fist holding the lance) look fragile, like they might break or bend on the first parry. I think this is due to their extremely thin tip and the difference in thickness of their base compared to the right-hand claws
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by kitty » July 6th, 2009, 7:22 am

Really, really nice!

Most problems that still need to be adressed have already been mentioned, so I can make it short:
  • the cloth parts don't read like cloth. On the one hand the folds in his loincloth don't look natural (get a ref...) but moreover the yellow highlights don't work. Cloth isn't that reflective. Put some cloth over a chair and point a lightbulb (which generally emmits really yellow light - we are just used to it) at it - you won't get saturated yellow highlights at all.
  • The spear shaft needs more work; colour, detail etc.
  • There should be more castshadows present, for instance on the breastplate's inside around the neck etc. The head's cast shadow which looks generally right, looks muddy because your brushstrokes are way too visible - use bigger brushs.
  • The beltbuckle and the painted on flames on the armour look slightly cheesy. I'm sure you can come up with a more interesting design. For the flames it should be enough to embellish them instead of painting thme on.
  • The left hand's razor claws have already been mentioned by lordbob as well as the lacking dark tones in the armour.
But you're really getting near. I was very sceptical about this project since I loved Jormundgardner's old drakes so much, but yours (and Girgistian's) ones start to grow on me. :)

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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by thespaceinvader » July 6th, 2009, 10:05 am

I like the idea for the belt, SynErr, I'll see about working something like that in. But i'm keeping the fire, whether or not it looks like stickers - there's little functional difference between stickers and painting anyway, and I'd like to set it up as a theme throughout the armour. Bob, I took the idea from the shield painted on the front of your Sergeant's armour. Any tips you could provide about how to execute it better would be greatly appreciated.

Otherwise, all duly noted, and will be worked on today.

EDIT: bumpery for Slasher animation blocking. A bit more motion needs introducing to the rear foot, to compensate for the weight shifting, but as you might be able to guess from the size of this animation, it's intended that the unit stays basically static and strikes from his hex into the neighbouring one without any slide, hence having two separate directional animations. He'll need a whole nother set each for north and northeast too (though again they'll have a common windup).

And obviously, the halberd head needs redrawing with proper perspective for the south strike frames, but this is only blocking, after all. And the foot recoils slightly too quickly on the second swish frame for SE. Will fix. And the wings need to move around, too. And the tail. Working with beasties with too many appendages is confusing...

EDIT: and Gladiator's impact attack - rather than the mace of previous versions, this is getting replaced with a headbutt. Also needs more movement in the rear foot and tail. So yeah:
Attachments
gladiator blocking.gif
gladiator blocking.gif (9.4 KiB) Viewed 2026 times
slasher-blocking.gif
slasher-blocking.gif (23.84 KiB) Viewed 2069 times
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Re: WSAS: Making a start

Post by Jetrel » July 6th, 2009, 2:10 pm

We talked about this over IM, but the slasher animation looks great. :D
kitty wrote:
  • the cloth parts don't read like cloth. On the one hand the folds in his loincloth don't look natural (get a ref...) but moreover the yellow highlights don't work. Cloth isn't that reflective. Put some cloth over a chair and point a lightbulb (which generally emmits really yellow light - we are just used to it) at it - you won't get saturated yellow highlights at all.
Yeah, this is a big issue that needs to get fixed.
kitty wrote:
  • There should be more castshadows present, for instance on the breastplate's inside around the neck etc. The head's cast shadow which looks generally right, looks muddy because your brushstrokes are way too visible - use bigger brushes.
Emphasis mine. I (quite personally) know it's hard, and I really have little 'authority' to criticize here because I haven't done any portraits to speak of in some time. But you've gotta do it. I would say this is, far and away, the single biggest thing separating you from kitty/lordbob in skill. If you nail this one thing, in your overall skillset, you will get dramatically better. You will have a big breakthrough.

Use bigger brushes, with less strokes. The hard part is - this means you have to position them more carefully/accurately on the places where they should go. And yes, this very much seems like a catch-22, because it seems like you can't know where they should go unless you do a bunch of smearing around and experimentation with lots of little brushstrokes. It's tough.

Eventually, you'll get good enough to (usually) do it right the first time, but until then, a good strategy might be:
- do the smeary experimentation, and then remove said experimentation and try to do a more controlled, "big brush, less strokes" version as a replacement. This is very analogous to doing a rough pencil sketch of lineart, and then carefully tracing a controlled, pen version of the lineart over it. This might take several attempts, and until you get good enough that such attempts are time-cheap, I'd probably save all the attempts in different layers and compare and contrast them.

I wish you the best of luck; this is a hard act that I, too, am going to have to follow in time. :(
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