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Messages - RAV
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General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: February 01, 2018, 01:36:52 pm »
Here another showcase of effective editing in Minecraft. Sure does turn even a single builder into a creative powerhouse.

General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: February 01, 2018, 12:48:45 pm »
But even so, as usual, this is only half the truth!

While a great number of the ordinary Minecraft folks do live by these backwards default conditions,

you can also bet that with a creative scene this lively and sprawling, it wouldn't take long for someone to offer advanced editing services for Minecraft.

There is a large modding scene, and people are offering auxiliary tools to work with Minecraft content.

Two of these that I have come across are WorldEdit and VoxelSniper, aside various landscape generators.

Working with these advanced features feels a bit more natural as an artist. Suddenly you have functionality like hard copy of content, making lines and boxed areas in one go, and the ability to paint with bigger clumps or "brushes".

For examples of how that feels working with, look through the channel of GeminiTay:

Certainly looks more artsy in the overall approach. She still proudly calls herself Builder tho!

General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: February 01, 2018, 09:04:59 am »
But really, the working conditions are even a lot more ridiculous than that.

What these people deal with is basically... whenever they want to set a block, they have to go all the way up close to set it.

Imagine everytime you need to set one pixel, you have to zoom all the way in until that pixel occupies most of your screen, then set it.

After which you may zoom all the way out again to see how that looks in the grand scheme of things.

That's what life is like for a Minecraft builder. If there is a hell for pixel artists, this is it.

Oh there sure are alternate voxel tools, specifically made to address these problems.

To make life easier. You might say, to give these pitiful creatures human rights.

None of it catches on with that crowd. This is life for a Minecraft denizen.

Yet despite these horrendous working condition, Minecraft is by far the most active pixel tool and voxel tool.

Virtually all voxel content is made in Minecraft, to the point any other voxel tool may as well not exist.

The by far coolest and greatest voxel content ever created is done in Minecraft.

It may be the single most active dedicated creative scene there is.

General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:30:16 pm »

In this video, though it looks amazing of course, we can also see most glaringly one of the main reasons for why they need large teams to build anything.

They don't have tiling available. Not even as a simple copy&paste of sections. Whenever there are any sort of repeated elements, they have to re-build each from the ground up again anyway.

I noticed the builders trying to make this a virtue, by giving everything a slightly unique touch, but you could do that afterwards anyway, without having to rebuild _everything_ from scratch.

It doesn't even have a line tool. There is nothing but setting one pixel at a time. The matter of fact is, Minecraft is probably among the least functional tools you will ever have "pixeled" with.

And yet it is probably the most popular one ever in use. In its own way, the Minecraft scene is the worst purist you will ever have come across. It has nice shader effects tho!

General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: January 31, 2018, 08:03:51 pm »
Though I guess, even among Builders, there are certainly those with a more artistic slant.

by CeltiCraft

I am excited to see in a lot of these presentations, how they managed to have a much more organic design, from what you would otherwise expect from having to work with rigid cube shapes.

General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:18:51 pm »
It's interesting to note that the people in that scene don't call themselves artists. They don't call themselves Minecraft Artists or Block Artists or Voxel Artists.

They call themselves Builders. just that. They see themselves more in common with architects.

The work of an architect, constructing buildings and cities, and even environment work such as public parks etc, has a lot to do with aesthetic design work, it needs a lot of imagination and creativity, but it clearly is heavily mixed with hard technical planning skills and organisisation of large construction teams, to make it work. A building or city or park needs to work. Just like a level of a game is not simply a painting -- it too needs to work, so there are all kinds of gameplay design and technical considerations that creatively mix into the final result. It is very creative on all levels of what needs to be considered.

To get just a little glimpse into the thought process of a Builder, we can look at one of the countless Minecraft tutorials, that show you how to effectively go about constructing a certain type of asset.

Here it is just a cute little viking house:

Here is what goes into the construction of a more complex building:

Having seen this, you might be able to appreciate better the work that goes into the top level scene crafts, with entire cities built.

Maybe have a look at what team AriaCreations does, with a more modern setting for a change.

Knowing how to plan and organize a skilled team of builders/architects is crucial for competing at the top level of this game.

The top teams of "amateurs" in Minecraft have reached a level of skill in scene design and construction that rivals what you would otherwise expect only from AAA developers in the games industry.

General Discussion / Re: The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: January 31, 2018, 10:08:05 am »
These projects are build by teams, and there are of course many more teams, in friendly competition for the most impressive scenery.

For example, NewHaven

Since these sceneries are handcrafted block by block, the workload is quite heavy, and it is difficult to compete alone.
In a way you might say, that scene slightly compares to the demoscene of olds, but with a focus on organization of large scale construction and video editing.

General Discussion / The Master Builders of Minecraft
« on: January 30, 2018, 11:32:10 am »

Watch more stunning content like this on ElysiumFire.

General Discussion / Re: really what's so bad about my pixel artwork?
« on: January 17, 2018, 11:05:07 pm »
Why not practice both? Because I believe that your own free creativity benefits from nurturing too.
And what are we discussing here? Simply practicing some particular execution, or how to produce something that may interest a greater audience.
Because I doubt that simply making the x-th carbon copy of an existing artwork is that much of an interest to others. This assertion is independent from any moral whining.

And so, though I do think that it really is helpful for your own creativity to enrich yourself with practicing closely to how the world looks and others see it.
I would also say you don't have to first spend years copying others until you have attained the skills for "daring" your "own" stuff.
I also don't believe that practicing your own stuff means hours of heavy-handed thinking beforehand.
Just go ahead and throw down whatever weird shit is spooking through your head.

Another thing I will mention here, since we have often discussed the importance of fundamentals, is that the interest of dramaturgy exceeds any particlar form of art.
You can go so far as thinking that any particular form of human expression, be it visual arts or music or poetry, is just a matter of technical execution itself.
You can have a writer describe a situation, have an artist translate that into visuals, and have a musician translate that into audio.
It doesn't mean at all that every visual has to start with words, or every music with visuals,
but it does go to show that all these forms of expression describe something so deeply fundamental,
that it even beats the fundamentals of a particular form of expression.
They all kinda say the same thing, but by different means for impact.
And if we are to practice fundamentals, well.. you might as well go all the way.
You can even argue, your art skills will grow for free, from practicing that.

I have seen people with zero art skills, produce more interesting things than "well practiced" ones, simply by having a much better grasp of dramaturgy overall.
Though it of course is incredibly important to also understand the particulars of how drama is expressed in a specific form of communication.
Since I am not an artist, I never practice art at all. Once a year I may "draw" something that apparently warrants a couple hundred views, for what that's worth.

It's not that big of a deal. though anyone who's tried creating things for an audience, knows how difficult it is just having one hundred people look at it.
I also noticed that the piece that got by far the most views with over a thousand, was the one that had the most firm "dramatic" visual "story" of it.
And that although I made the very least effort to promote it, not that I have ever put much effort into that.
You certainly don't go to PJ or Pixalation with the goal of becoming popular these days, lol.

I know so many pieces of work that I admire, but that sadly do not find the audience it would deseserve by standard of my own preferences.
And there is plenty popularities I will never understand for the very life of me. But that's okay. People have fun.
Now having an audience taking interest in your work, is nothing that warrants particular pride, nor shame, in my opinion.
It either happens or not. Maybe you are lucky or not. And then your livelihood either depends on it or not.
So maybe you'll have to find strategies of turning things more into your favour when it matters for you.

For the sake of discussion and demonstration of the issue, let's examine my most "successful" non-art coder-art shenanigan bullshit.

I made this in no more than 15 minutes. It may be the piece I put the least actual effort into, of all the pieces that were by any measure substansive at all.
The idea for this simply popped into mind, and I wanted to see, just how I could ridiculously cheap my way through constructing that crap.
And I am absolutely sure you could vastly improve on that same scene with your awesome art skill that I very much admire.

So what exactly then could it have been that made this my most "popular" demo video, even though it was the least one popularized?
Maybe it was on some level technically interesting, but I made more technical show cases in the past with much less views, if we go by that measure.
But either way, you will often notice, even with art, that a greater artistic vision, or just mere technicality, either way is often not enough on its own.
As a technician, you have an interest to spice your showreel up with something approximately artistic,
and as an artist it won't hurt seeing your art in an also technically accomplished context.

We can go through the particulars in which I tried to implement some sense of dramatic story in that scene.
The general idea behind Castle Garden was "Save Space". It is a very idyllic place on first glimpse.
But as you enter, you also notice that cobble stone with a magically glowing inscription.
And the way it glows, there is something cool about it, but also kinda unsettling.
As if maybe it could be a warning. Maybe, who knows. You can't read it.
It's in a language you don't understand.

You do see swaying grass, flowers and some bussing bees.
A strange little pond in the middle, funny waters.
Things also look well maintained, and clean.
Maybe a little too artificial.
And some cracks.

Well, until you notice the little "sub-spaces" up in the thick wall surrounding everything.
Looks like .. cages? but they are broken. And there is something in it. You see glowing eyes.
Now somehow the expression you don't quite like. Doesn't look so nice.
and since the cages look broken, there is a creepy sense of emergency rising.
You have to make it through that lovely garden, but you never know what jumps out from the walls.
Will you make it out? Looking up to the blue sky, the sort of rooftop looks strange.
It doesn't actually look like a rooftop that would protect you from bad weather.
Rather it looks like an interesting obstruction of the blue sky.
What is this garden? a cage itself?

Anyway, at the end, I guess the destruction is kinda technical again.
But you know, you may as well fuck this creepy place up on your way out.
It also shows that mere technicality can be used for dramatic/artistic effect.
Another example is my usual use of zooming in on little details to paint even smaller details on it.
It's a very cheap way to provoke some stupid sense of "woah" here and there.
Some sort of reliable running gag I build in, because this is something I got going for me.

You do need some kind of flavour or premise for your work.
It's not necessarily about how damn deep this shit is. It's not a big deal.
It's a common idea good enough to drive that scene, even at a low level of execution.
In a way you might say, what I did practice was trying to visualize a higher concept of life.
In such a way that maybe has a subtle visual impact on a somewhat emotional level and stuff.

I have nothing else going for me as an artist, so I might as well try being a little clever.
That's something you'll notice about a lot of my work, that in many ways it's rather ordinary,
but in another sense makes do by being a wee little clever in its own little way.
What else can I do? Certainly not simply drawing beautiful, lol.

Now you can go ahead practice just copying what you see. That's meaningless. This scene is way too basic.
Even though I believe it was on some level interesting to look at, it's not any worth literally copying as such.
But what could be worth practicing in this case, is taking this scene and trying to improve it, in all kinds of particular ways you come up with,
Maybe as an inspired mesh from a dozen other sources, that you uniquely compose in your own way. Or just set it in a different context.

What may be worth is studying the very general concepts and composition of this scene. If there is anything interesting about that, what would that be?
How exactly did I visually implement this idea of dramaturgy, though that is not to say anything about the idea and execution is particularly unique as such.
If there is anything interesting about that video, how did a zero art skill coder manage to produce anything of visual interest at all, flawed as it may be?

You should work on both, your abstract conceptual understanding of things and the very particular feel-feels and touchy-touchs of what you are doing.
In that I expect you to become a wholesome human being with a developed brain as much as developed heart. For whatever it is you do.
As much as I expect you to develop an eye for the kind beauty of life as well as the vicious cruelty of it, that both must be laid bare and processed in art.

General Discussion / Re: really what's so bad about my pixel artwork?
« on: December 30, 2017, 08:40:30 am »
You need to learn about dramaturgy.

I would actually recommend this as an exercise to that:
Take whatever ordinary object in your room and try to draw it in an interesting way, from an unusual angle, with an unusual light.

Practice with setting ordinary objects into unusual situations. Draw an apple on a sky scraper. Maybe the apple is thinking about jumping off!

Draw an apple that slices itself into pieces with a knife, while an orange looks at it in horror.

You could have a pine apple slowly crush an apple to mush in lustful vengeance.

Have the apple shoot at a bunch of onions by spitting its apple seeds on them.

Have the apple flay the skin of a live banana while it cries in agony.

Have the apple stand proud ontop a pile of broken carrot corpses.

But also try work with more subtle suggestion of drama.

Right now, your pieces are too naive, than to be more interesting to a larger audience. I'm afraid they lack the murderous intent of a normal human being.

We are looking full front on just puppets standing there with a blank stare. They have no posture or otherwise expressive quality, to kill innocent fruit.

You can make them pretty all you want, you can refine your art techniques, nothing will really help, but bloody murder. Well, besides rape.

Possibly, make the apple rape a little cherry in a glass bowl, while other fruits are watching and laughing.

Or just dress up an apple and put a wig on it, while jumping into a fruit cake.

But these are just my personal preferences. Remember, there is all kinds of drama.

Once you are well practiced with dramatic scenery, your audience should increase.

You may use your popularity to increase awareness about a healthy diet.

This way you can shut up the jealous people. No jelly for them.

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