AuthorTopic: First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]  (Read 7538 times)

Offline Zizka

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First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]

on: June 05, 2012, 11:37:11 am
Hello again,

I've tried my hand at doing a portrait and I'm having a hard time. I'm trying to improve my pixel abilities and decided to do something pretty hard.

Reference (sorry, can't find the hide tag):



Here's my attemps (I'm using little paintings as a ''concept'':

1st:


2nd:


3rd:


4th:


Current 5th attempt:


Anyways, I'd really like to become good at this. I'm open to just about anything you'd have to say and I'm hard working.

Thank you.

Unrelated nudity:
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 12:41:34 am by ptoing »

Offline r1k

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 07:01:43 pm
I think working this small is going to limit the amount youll be able to learn at this point, its just going to force you to use symbols instead of actually understanding the face's structure.  Try going atleast 32x32 for the face or 64x64 or something.  Anyways, first things first, I think you need to familiarize yourself with basic proportions of the face.  Heres a quick guide

the white lines show that the face can basically be divived into thirds at those locations.  Everyones face is a little bit different though so its easy to start off by dividing it into perfect thirds then making small adjustments to match the person closer.  For example, the middle sections a little longer in your reference.
The green line shows that the lower third can ussually be divived about in half somewhere around the lips, but youll need to check this for each person.
The pink sections are just an example of how you can look for different areas that are similar in size.  So I noticed that the chin and eye socket are pretty close in height here.
make sure to notice the basic shape of the head too, taking into note the proportion of the height of the head to the width.

you probably need more contrast in your palette too.  Most of your colors are pretty close and just read as one value.  There should be relatively high contrast between light and shadow areas, and relatively lower contrast within each of these areas for more subtle details.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 07:04:48 pm by r1k »

Offline Seiseki

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 08:42:23 pm
You're focusing on the wrong facial features, any features you choose to include will be read as extreme features due to the low res..
For example, the laugh lines are extremely subtle in the photo, yet when it's 1 pixel thick (which is as thick as the lips) and dark it suddenly takes over and looks like an old person.
And you're making the head way too thin..

Currently it looks like aerosmith wearing a wig xD

I had a go at this, mainly to see if and how it could be done, just a quick job..

I learned a few things..
Like, 3 pixel eyes in a row is a bad idea, since it looks like a creepy stare and kinda neglects how eyes are shaped.
Also cutting away the upper lip improved the look quite a bit (it's barely visible anyways), and trying to add extra pixels to the sides just made it into a creepy joker grin.
Now this is pretty much a complete makeover, you'll have to play around a lot with shading to make it look good.


edit: Could probably use an extra pixel in height for the forehead. And the darkest outline is too dark..
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 08:17:21 pm by Seiseki »

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 12:11:04 am
Thanks for pointing me out in the right direction, I humbly accept your criticism. I've saved both your messages to my hard drive and will try again with a bigger size show it you later.

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 03:09:11 pm
Ok, two new attemps. There's some improvement but I'm not quite there yet. Readability seem to be the issue. I've tried to put into practice everything you've said.





A quick comparison:

« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 03:11:45 pm by Zizka »

Offline jinza

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 04:51:41 pm
Alright when you do a portrait ,sometimes starting small may not be the best idea the more room you have the more details you can add within the portrait pixel art piece which you are working on.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 08:17:05 pm
Sorry, but it's not really about readability, it still all about what features you're focusing on.
Since it's a girl you shouldn't try to bring out any features that mark strong facial structure since those are manly traits.
Like for example the chin and the dark patches under the eyes. You'd rather want dark patches above the eyes to make it look more feminine than tired.

As for the eyes, it still a crazy stare because it's one pixel with white around.
Usually your eyelid will cover the top and bottom of the pupil, if there's eye white around that it looks like the eyes are wide open and it also makes the pupils looks smaller.

It doesn't look that weird when viewed in small res, but when you enlarge it it looks really strange and scary.
But it's clearly an improvement!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 08:19:37 pm by Seiseki »

Offline Cupcake

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 11:48:01 pm
Have an edit:

-
edit -- original

Changes:
* I edited your palette: some of the skin tones are alright, but everything was very washed out, and the yellows you used look more like lemon-yellow than blonde to me. I think the teal you used as a background contrasts nicely with the hair, so I kept it.
* Moved figure up: you have a lot of unused space in your version and it's a little distracting. Added in more of her body.
* Shifted facial features a couple pixels up on the face to make her forehead seem like enormous. In the reference image the forehead is maybe 1/3 of her face, in yours it's more like 1/2.
* Reshaded most everything: I didn't work off of it directly, but for some of the tricky portions I found it helpful to size down the original image to the size you're working at, reduce it to 16 colors, and use it as a reference. Again, I did not work directly off it but I found it helpful for areas I wasn't certain how to shade.
* Dropped the lipstick color. Not strictly necessary, I was just reducing the palette and never put it back in. I'd make it less neon-bright.
* Made the eyes bigger. Mostly personal preference/style, they looked fine at the original height with bigger irises.

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 02:05:45 pm
Quote
Sorry, but it's not really about readability, it still all about what features you're focusing on.
Since it's a girl you shouldn't try to bring out any features that mark strong facial structure since those are manly traits.
Like for example the chin and the dark patches under the eyes. You'd rather want dark patches above the eyes to make it look more feminine than tired.
Ok, I removed the dark patches under the eyes. Iíve messed about with the chin but canít really find anything convincing so Iíve kept it.

Quote
As for the eyes, it still a crazy stare because it's one pixel with white around.
Usually your eyelid will cover the top and bottom of the pupil, if there's eye white around that it looks like the eyes are wide open and it also makes the pupils looks smaller.
Ok, I understand. Iíve removed the crazy stare.


Have an edit:

  -  
edit -- original

Changes:
Quote
* I edited your palette: some of the skin tones are alright, but everything was very washed out, and the yellows you used look more like lemon-yellow than blonde to me. I think the teal you used as a background contrasts nicely with the hair, so I kept it.
Agreed about the hair color, Iíve changed it.

Quote
* Moved figure up: you have a lot of unused space in your version and it's a little distracting. Added in more of her body.
Agreed, Iíve also fixed that.


Quote
* Shifted facial features a couple pixels up on the face to make her forehead seem like enormous. In the reference image the forehead is maybe 1/3 of her face, in yours it's more like 1/2.
True, Iíve fixed that too.

Quote
* Reshaded most everything: I didn't work off of it directly, but for some of the tricky portions I found it helpful to size down the original image to the size you're working at, reduce it to 16 colors, and use it as a reference. Again, I did not work directly off it but I found it helpful for areas I wasn't certain how to shade.
Thatís a good idea but Iíd rather stick to the original size as a challenge if you will.

Quote
* Dropped the lipstick color. Not strictly necessary, I was just reducing the palette and never put it back in. I'd make it less neon-bright.
Iíve decided to remove it too. I tried reducing the saturation of the lip color but in the end I thought it just looked better without.

Quote
* Made the eyes bigger. Mostly personal preference/style, they looked fine at the original height with bigger irises.
To be honest, I find the eyes a little big. The hair is really nice though.

This is what I got:

Before after

Offline Jeremy

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 02:52:55 pm


Your colours are all very saturated and fairly light. It makes it difficult to differentiate between different areas. The teal background and brown border aren't helping that either. I agree with r1k, it would be easier to get all the features in with a larger canvas to work with (not massively so; perhaps 50 x 50?).

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #10 on: June 16, 2012, 05:48:16 pm
Thanks for the input, Jeremy.  :y:

I played around with my palette a bit and give another go (yeah, I won't give up!) and got this:

BeforeAfter

The colors are better I think but I'm quite there yet. The proportions seem fine. Anyways, rip it apart guys!

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #11 on: June 23, 2012, 03:26:02 am
The colors are better, but still lack contrast. Play around with the color palette some more--more lights, more darks, and experiment with different combinations. As it is right now, the color combo makes her skin a lot darker and hair quite lighter(-looking; it's mainly in contrast to the tanned skin) than the photo suggests. My mind jumped to Pamela Anderson.  :o

I'm not sure how much getting a good likeness of the subject is your goal, but in general, try to get a handle of her features--the shapes, the sizes in proportion to each other, etc. At this size that is going to be very difficult, so as others have suggested going bigger may not be a bad idea.





I may have gone overboard, and I don't think the likeness is any better (also, Farrah Fawcett hair  :D), but I hope this edit helps you see what I'm talking about. Something I like that you did is outline the outside of her eye with a much darker color; such a little thing did shape the eye quite a bit. I tried to do the same thing, but it didn't look right. The size of the eyes is a personal thing; they looked alright two pixels high, but another pixel kinda captured her 'look' a little better to me. Depends on what features you want to emphasize.

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #12 on: June 23, 2012, 03:31:00 pm
Wow, thanks Bissle!

Actually, it might not be noticeable but I'm increasing the size little by little. I've tried on a bigger canvas but I think it's bit overbearing as it gets a lot more difficult (I've only been at pixel art for a few months). So I was thinking increasing the size little by little as I become more comfortable with working out details. Maybe it's not a good idea however.

About the skin, I just honestly don't understand how it works. It's not that I don't want to, I'm just having a hard time making the whole thing more readable. From the tutorials I've read, increasing contrast should make things more readable but I think I still don't grasp that concept just yet.

Anyhow, I'll double the size for my next attempt and see how it goes.

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Ever: Could Use Some Help

Reply #13 on: June 24, 2012, 11:27:48 pm
One thing you could do is open up the reference photo in whatever program you use, copy some of the colors, and mess around with them in your portrait until you find a combo that looks good. Reducing the depth of the photo would make that even easier.

Actually the lighter colors from your last edit would be a good start, maybe combined with some of the darker colors on your newest one. Also, add more volume to the hair. Your attempts from your first post were better in that regard. Maybe the subject's hair is not that thick, but at least add a darker shade between her hair and her neck to indicate she has hair in the back, too. ;)

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]

Reply #14 on: June 30, 2012, 04:21:09 pm
Alright, here we go again. I honestly think it's loads better although the hair is still very flat. Tear it apart guys  :y:.

Before: after:

(yeah, it's not exactly double size but it's certainly bigger!)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 04:29:25 pm by Zizka »

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]

Reply #15 on: July 01, 2012, 11:27:26 pm
My, are you guys ever quiet!  ;D

Meanwhile, here's a skull to entertain you lot:

Before: After:

If you'd like to criticize either, you're more than welcome  ;)

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]

Reply #16 on: July 03, 2012, 04:07:45 pm
Hohoho, somebody's been reading up on anatomy. ;) The skin is much better, though the lemon-yellow blonde still isn't working for me.

Work more on utilizing your lights and darks. Another thing I recommend is reducing the color depth of the reference pic; it will allow you to get a good feel for for the volume, to see what pops out, etc.



Definitely do not depend on this tactic every time, but it can help if you're really struggling.

I started working on a edit; it took way longer than expected. Just to show I also have issues with contrast, I posted what I started with. I almost uploaded the first by itself before thinking, "Wait, that is ugly; it's not gonna help at all", and did some more work on it.

 

As far as the skulls, while the right one is better constructed, I kinda like the colors on the first one better.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:20:49 pm by Bissle »

Offline Zizka

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Re: First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]

Reply #17 on: July 15, 2012, 09:50:36 pm
Ok, thanks for the comments on the skulls (it was just to practice anatomy).

Alright, it's been a while, so...:

Before: After:

I've tried to use the new photograph and Bissle's edits for this version. I think she kind of looks older this time around though (and a bit retarded, might be the upper lip which I removed). I changed quite a few things but I thing the best additions is the hair behind the head and the larger neck.

I think I've made a mistake with the cheeks and that's why she's looking a bit odd this time around. Eyes might be too close to one another.

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Ever: CnC please [Nudity]

Reply #18 on: July 24, 2012, 10:31:16 am
Certainly an improvement. There are a few reasons I can think of for why she may look old:

  • The lack of sclera makes her eyes look either bloodshot or deeply hooded. The subject's eyes actually are hooded, but not to the extent that it would obscure the sclera.
  • The darker outline under the eyes. The same hand-drawing principle of hard lines aging a face applies to pixel art, too. Keep in mind that all of the edits in this thread have tried to avoid that.
  • Her cheeks and nose are outlined similarly, giving the impression of wrinkles.
  • The shading is still kind of rough, adding creases and bumps that a younger woman would not likely have.
  • In general, while the colors have improved, the combination lacks the "luster" that a young person's skin would have.
  • The removal of the top lip, yes. I wouldn't call it absolutely necessary to include, but you could definitely at least suggest the top lip.

Her eyes, yeah that is going to be a struggle. I went back and forth on how to appropriate the width of her eyes when I was editing, but couldn't get it to work.

Good progress in any case: you're getting better with anatomy and proportions, and she is beginning to look more like the subject. In general, keep playing around with colors, reduce the palette (I think that tan color in the area between her eyes and cheeks hurts the piece), and smooth out the shading. Keep it up!