AuthorTopic: Cartoony? give me a break  (Read 9965 times)

Offline Conzeit

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1448
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Camus
    • conzeit
    • View Profile
    • CONZEIT

Cartoony? give me a break

on: May 03, 2006, 11:29:09 pm
http://www.gamasutra.com/upload/features/20060417/sondergaard_01.shtml

it's like he's saying all what I want to say for me.

This should be a good guide for C&Cing and make a good discussion piece.

Offline goat

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 230
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • bl33t
    • View Profile

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #1 on: May 04, 2006, 01:12:02 am
I read that when it was fairly recent, and sent it to all my friends at school, and we all laughed at how completely crappy it is. 

All art is an abstraction the second you translate it to its medium.  Thinking of realism, fantasy, and style in those terms leads to quantification of intangible concepts, which is misleading IMO.

Not to mention, it doesn't seem like an article that was actually designed to "help" anything.  It seems like most reactions would either be "well, duh" or "bzzt, wrong!"  On the other hand, that makes it designed to spark debate.  Scintillating conversation awaits!
typing ewith fdace

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #2 on: May 04, 2006, 01:17:18 am
I didn't read all of that because it was written badly. But the first page that I did read, I don't follow you, goat. In the sense I understand what you're saying, of course I agree, and representation is abstractive, as is trying to communicate an already disparate idea through any medium, artistic or otherwise. He [the author of that piece] wasn't discussing on such a bare level, but a few ones higher.

What you're saying doesn't invalidate the usefulness of more fully catalogued steps between the opposing ends of attempted realism/abstraction.

Offline goat

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 230
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • bl33t
    • View Profile

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #3 on: May 04, 2006, 01:38:33 am
I take exception to the suggestion that they oppose, I think they can coexist without compromising 50/50 or 70/30, and I'd say that many of the examples he gives support the coexistance of both better than any sliding rule he imposes.  My standpoint is one that opens up the boundaries of cartoony and realistic art.

Maybe it all depends on background and practice.  The way I do things, it all stems from the same process, and the difference between a "realistic" piece and a cartoony one is at which point in certain stages I decide to move ahead to the next step (shading before anatomically correct linework is finished, etc).

edit: I know the third point in the pyramid kinda mitigates that a little, but it's ambiguous.  Fantasy can be boiled down to abstract/unrealistic elements that are placed in a context and executed in a manner in which be believe it is "real".  Any visual representation of artistic style that relies on every piece of art ever made falling within a set of boundaries doesn't feel right on a very basic level for me :p
« Last Edit: May 04, 2006, 01:47:24 am by goat »
typing ewith fdace

Offline Conzeit

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1448
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Camus
    • conzeit
    • View Profile
    • CONZEIT

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #4 on: May 04, 2006, 02:14:23 am
I take exception to the suggestion that they oppose, I think they can coexist without compromising 50/50 or 70/30, and I'd say that many of the examples he gives support the coexistance of both better than any sliding rule he imposes.  My standpoint is one that opens up the boundaries of cartoony and realistic art.

Maybe it all depends on background and practice.  The way I do things, it all stems from the same process, and the difference between a "realistic" piece and a cartoony one is at which point in certain stages I decide to move ahead to the next step (shading before anatomically correct linework is finished, etc).

edit: I know the third point in the pyramid kinda mitigates that a little, but it's ambiguous.  Fantasy can be boiled down to abstract/unrealistic elements that are placed in a context and executed in a manner in which be believe it is "real".  Any visual representation of artistic style that relies on every piece of art ever made falling within a set of boundaries doesn't feel right on a very basic level for me :p

heheh.

I'm not...proposing this as a way to see art, or some kind of intrincate way to analyze it, just a step up from the usual cartoon/realism cataloguing we do here.

it's not a piece of genius, but it'd make for better discussion when someone goes "this piece is cartoony" when they want to avoid an anatomical error, so that it can be argued with a little more depth.

Offline goat

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 230
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • bl33t
    • View Profile

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #5 on: May 04, 2006, 02:19:42 am
Oh yeah, I definitely hear ya.  I just read your post as a prompt to post our two cents, so I threw in about five.
typing ewith fdace

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #6 on: May 04, 2006, 05:15:55 am
Oh I see, and I agree with you both. I don't like style as an excuse, although I probably do a hell of a lot more of this myself than I'd like to admit, and when an artist uses it as a shield against critique it's just sad most of the time. That being said, there's tech critique (on this board, pixel art tech) and there's style critique. The latter isn't my biggest concern when I at least critique here, and I try to encourage other people to help each other with techniques more than they just discuss how things look and how they could look, mostly because there's a million places to go for style critique (from eatpoo, right down to asking your dad or something) but as far as I know this is the only hardcore pixel tech critiquing place around. People come when they want to learn pixel gameart, dithering, aa, selouts, pixel-art-related color theory, palette management and the like... you know, the tech. This is good. We're keeping the medium alive and self-informed. This is why I usually don't go too much into anatomy and construction and the like in critique. I might mention, but it's secondary stuff to the pixel.

About cartoony being just a variation of your realistic proccess, goat: I have to disagree. I know how to draw a human face semi-coherently and signify a lot more than just the basic symbolic information about it (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, even 'happy face' or 'sad face') and still sometimes in design I make conscious decisions to alter my usually-realistic approach, tint it with a different rule set that one would say is 'cartoony' or whatnot. It's not just 'lazy lineart that managed to live up to rendering'. At least not always. These things are always blurred.

Offline ndchristie

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 2426
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #7 on: May 04, 2006, 10:15:16 am
im dont see this piece as attempting to describe the process, but more the end result, though even then im not sre i agree with it.  a solid foundadtion in tradional studies and realism is imperative no matter what type of art you create. i believe that there is realism, and then there is simplification and stylization, both of which being inherint in the artistic process.  the difference between abstract and iconic is nonexistant, people simply recognize some abstractions better than others.  if i were to make a face with 5 strokes of a brush, that would be considered stylized abstraction.  if those 5 storkes happened to be two small slashes a horizontal line and a circle around them though, that would make it iconic, and not abstract?  the difference to me is in popular recognition of the abstraction and nothing else.
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline big brother

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 341
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • herculeanpixel.com
    • View Profile
    • Portfolio Site

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #8 on: May 04, 2006, 03:38:50 pm
In the picture plane, I'm not sure why abstraction, reality, and iconic interpretations are positioned in an equidistant formation. I would propose the realism and iconography both vie for the viewer's instant recognition (just in a different way), while abstraction focuses less on subject to emphasize the design mechanic.

In fact, I would argue that the iconic and the abstract can exist more as a Roland Barthes-esque spectacle than the realistic model can imply (due to its inherent constraints).

Once the writer delves into specific traits of the system, he succumbs to the fallacies of over-categorization. His lack of a trained eye becomes especially noticeable in his description of the "enhanced realism" label. Simply by the inclusion of "different combinations of the above" on his "new set of categories", he destroys the differentiation that could make the model plausible.

Of course, the Junior HS level writing ability also detracts from his credibility.

At least he thought about it enough to attempt an article.

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Cartoony? give me a break

Reply #9 on: May 04, 2006, 09:19:43 pm
Symbolism isn't 'against' realism. A symbol is when you use one thing to say another (how's that for HS level of writing? I rock) and has very little to do with how you render said thing, really. Icons are also yes, socially mutable and therefore very difficult to approach and codify in such a rigid format. But since he's borrowing from Scott McCloud, do read Understanding Comics for the full model of the triangle, which is quite useful as far as representational sequental storytelling goes. Can it be applied to game art? Probably, although it takes a bit more of skill than that author posesses or put to use. Art, generally? not so much.