kabachuha's art (for IftU and AtS)

Make art for user-made content.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Forum rules
Before posting critique in this forum, you must read the following thread:
Post Reply
User avatar
kabachuha
Developer
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2020, 12:30 pm

kabachuha's art (for IftU and AtS)

Post by kabachuha »

Life is ... complex. For a long time I thought I had no creative skills in visual arts, and that I could only admire the works of others. However, having fully translated AtS and IftU to Russian — a giant amount of work in a relative short time — taught me that great things are possible with enough dedication and meticulous, systematic approach. Even when starting from scratch.

Let's be plain, I absolutely love IftU and AtS since the release of the latter in approx 2011. Unfortunately, I didn't get my hands on them until the quarantine began exactly one year ago when I touched the Russian translation of IftU. But it pulled me in and reminded of what the joy these campaigns have. Then came the translation of AtS, my addon server rework and other stuff leading to me joining the developers team. And then I thought, "The AtS has a great number of units with excellent sprites, especially the Chaos Empire ones, why not try making portraits for them?".

But we did not come here to read this elevated babbling about my inner struggles with learning to draw, don't we? (I'll probably make something like a post here later)

Now, let's get down to business.

I understand that I'm still pretty much a beginner, but I would be quite happy to contribute something to the visuals of IftU and AtS. Thus at the time I've started drawing the Chaos Faction, for starter — and cause he has a large staff easing the pose and composition — the Chaos Magus (perhaps, can be also used as a placeholder for the Chaos Invoker before one os made). If this one succeeds, I'll hopefully continue with the Chaos Lorekeeper. Also, I tried to follow Kitty's style and tips where possible.

The high-res original picture (on a black background):
Chaos Magus on a black background

Image
In-game views

That's how the downscaled version is seen in-game:

Image

And in the docs:

Image
The compressed version ready to be tested:

https://github.com/kabachuha/Naia/blob/ ... -magus.png

Surely, the picture is not fully refined: I'd like to put some fractal patterns on the clothes and the skin and render the shadows a bit more, but I'm not sure if I had not made any larger mistakes that ruin it as a whole. Thereby, I ask you, the experienced wesnoth artists and just players with a good taste, of any advice and critique you can give.

For timing needs, this one, in particular, took me like two weeks + one more thinking about the design, but I hope the needed time will shrink as the skill progresses.
User avatar
doofus-01
Art Director
Posts: 3985
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 9:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: kabachuha's art (for IftU and AtS)

Post by doofus-01 »

Hello kabachuha,

Not a bad start. :)
Two things that struck me:
1. The hands looked a bit strained, I think a slightly different pose would help. Something like this (changes the perspective a bit, would need to be propagated to both hands and the top part of the staff). Hands could also be slightly bigger.
kaba-demo.jpg
kaba-demo.jpg (38.09 KiB) Viewed 324 times
2. The staff looks a bit like some sort of thistle flower, not sure if that's intentional
BfW 1.12 supported, but active development only for BfW 1.13/1.14: Bad Moon Rising | Trinity | Archaic Era |
| Abandoned: Tales of the Setting Sun
GitHub link for these projects
User avatar
kabachuha
Developer
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2020, 12:30 pm

kabachuha's art (for IftU and AtS)

Post by kabachuha »

Back on track!

Thank you doofus-01 for the critique. Also, thanks everyone who gave the feedback on Discord after I published the first version, especially Jetrel, A_Southern_Gentleman, catbegemot, vpppr, kaygan, Partypus.

As suggested by doofus, I redid the right hand's pose while adjusting the staff's rotation which involved scaling up the other hand. The staff's tip itself was changed to use a less fancy design because many pointed out that it reminded them of some plants and distracted the view. The staff stick got a diamond-shaped texture for more roughness, so it won't look like a smooth tube.

The linework and shading, which were the main complaints concerning the previous version, got a massive rework: in particular, I replaced some lines on the face, which are barely visible IRL, with proper shading and completely reshadered the fists.

The high-res version on black background:

Image

The compressed version in a form that is available in-game (you can test it using my Naia fork https://github.com/kabachuha/Naia):

Image

If everything runs smoothly, I hope the final version (with the compression artifacts fixed) of Chaos Magus will be ready by the end of the week. (and I'll finally move on to the Lorekeeper)

Therefore, I'm looking forward to more comments and critiques from you, the forum's members. :)
User avatar
LordBob
Portrait Director
Posts: 1291
Joined: December 8th, 2008, 8:18 pm
Location: Lille, France
Contact:

Re: kabachuha's art (for IftU and AtS)

Post by LordBob »

Hello Karachuha. Got your ping on Discord. I hate giving half-assed feedback so I might be blunt in places, please bear with me.

Altogether, there is...A lot to say about this portrait, but most of it boils down to art fundamentals. Domains where it lacks at the moment :
- Anatomy. Inconsistent proportions between the head and hands, posture is stiff, hands are poorly defined
- Lighting. It needs a consistent lighting shemes that gives a good read on light and shadows, right now there is very little contrast. Where is the primary light source ? What planes are being lit by it ?
- Design. Take the horns, for example. Are they his own, or a decoration that ornates his hood ? If the later, how are they attached to the hood and what prevents them from falling under their own weight ? If they grow from his skull, does the hood have a hole made just for them ? Is there a cap underneath to which the horns are affixed ? All of this should be hinted at on a close portrait. Staff design doesn't read too well either, I should be able to imagine the tip in 3 dimensions by looking at it. The 18th-century shoulder pads do resemble the sprite, but they scream military uniform. Is this okay for that specifc unit ?
- Drawing / rendering would benefit from taking a closer look at your reference. Materials don't quite read as what they're supposed to be and brushtrokes are all over the place, which in turn makes the image harder to read. You should paint in large color masses that depict a consistent lighting scheme and give the correct material read before worrying about texture or ornaments.


I added a paintover, which is still far from perfect. Keep practicing and work with a lot of reference. Use pictures of your own hands if you have to, search the Internet for photos of clothes similar to what you want to show. Keep going and you will get there eventually.
Attachments
Paintover_Chaosmage.jpg
Want to see more of my art ? Visit my portfolio !
Post Reply