AuthorTopic: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help  (Read 4057 times)

Offline Friend

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First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

on: June 24, 2012, 12:26:31 am
I'm working on making a portrait of my lovely friend, but I am wondering if I am doing it right, since this is like my 3rd time trying pixel art, and I sorely lack ALL traditional art skills.  Regardless, I gave a crack at it.  Well, here it is.  

I still have a lot to do I think, but I want to know if I'm in the right direction, since I don't really know what I'm doing with pixels besides having a slight idea.  I haven't finished the glasses nor have started the ears.

What's getting me is the shading.  I haven't really tried as much yet as I should, especially on the cheeks I just sort of threw a cluster just because, but I just don't understand how to shade to save my life  :'( :'( :'( :'(  I look at references and I think to myself how the  :yell: does the shading make sense, and then when I try to copy it, it ends up looking nothing like the references; it ends up looking flat and random shading clusters....   :'(      

OK, I would really appreciate help, but I really want to do this on my own.  I mean I don't want someone to show me exactly how to correctly shade and then just copy it, because I want to do it for my friend.  In that case, someone to direct me on shading, and everything else like pixel technique would be MUCH appreciated  :-[

OH, and the nose is really messed up.  Definitely need to continue tweaking that


« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 06:20:24 pm by Friend »

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 12:55:59 am

I respect you wanting to do this on your own--it's why I rarely post my stuff on here. But hey, nothing wrong with asking for help.

Actually, it's fairly good. Good use of colors, nice form, etc. The shading of the middle of the face feels a little off, but it's really hard to say what is right and what isn't without knowing what your friend looks like. Would it be OK to post the source? Comparing your portrait to the person it's based on would be a big help.

Either way, this is awesome for a third attempt. Do you really lack ALL traditional skills--it looks like the work of a person who at least has some experience with paper-and-pencil.  ;)

Offline Friend

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 01:16:43 am
 Sorry for lack of reference.

I know the shading is off, I just can't grasp the concept of shading.  I've sat with paper and pencil and with my 3ds and tried to shade things before, but I just can't grasp it for some reason.  It's so hard to me.  

Yes, I really lack all traditional art skills and experience.  I've tried drawing simple things and shading and when I find I can't I get so frustrated I want to have a mental breakdown  :blind:  I find I have about the drawing ability of a typical 2nd grader  :P  I think I just got lucky with this attempt if it is somewhat decent so far.  

Thanks for the reply!   ::)  Hopefully the reference helps.  

EDIT:

I decided the contrast was too low.  Did a few OCD tweaks, finally got the nose decent I suppose.  Removed the  :crazy:derp :crazy: shading to be replaced with proper shading for future edits

EDIT EDIT:  Took another crack at shading?     Is it just me or does this new attempt at shading make him look like a madman for some odd reason?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 04:25:00 am by Friend »

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 03:59:22 am
Despite your first post indicating the last thing you wanted was an edit... well, I couldn't help it!

I can see why you might have found shading a major challenge. Aside from his nose and chin, he doesn't have any feature that project strongly (not meant as an insult to your friend at all!). I had originally wanted to say that the nose was overly rendered, but didn't because of the lack of a reference. Now I see what you were aiming at. His nose is prominent: not detailing it from takes a lot a way from the likeness, but you don't want it to take over his face; after all, it doesn't in the photo.

I totally ruined the antialiased style you were doing, not to mention not having the best grasp of anatomy in pixel art myself, but I hope this helps you. I also made a lot of OCD tweaks, which is why it took so long for me to reply. One learning aid I recommend if you are really struggling is to resize the reference pic to the same size as your portrait and reference how his features are in relation to each other at that size.



Offline Friend

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 04:31:21 am
 :D !!! That is quite lé helpful edit!  Will take note and get back to you.  Muchas Gracias Bissle!  :)

 < Current version, still haven't finished applying Bissle's edit yet.  

Current version >

Almost done, I hope.  I fear the ears and finishing will be the hardest part :S





CURRENT ^ ;D

Thanks for the help Grimsane and Bissle.  I really appreciate it.
Sorry the new version is a bit rough, but it's just to show the direction I'm going with for the shading. Hopefully it's an improvement, and I think I made a solid improvement on the nose
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 01:16:14 am by Friend »

Offline Bissle

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 02:10:58 pm
Re: the edit above my last post: The madman look is partially due to the shading around the mouth (it gives him sunken cheeks and a protruding mouth, making him look malnourished and crazzzy   :D). Since you haven't added in ears and temples yet, it causes his hair to look like a bad toupee. But that'll eventually be remedied.

Oh, I recommend you don't apply my edit; you had a style going that I wasn't able to replicate. It should just give you an idea on how to handle certain shapes. Actually I made an edit of my edit , trying to reclaim a little more of what you were doing and fixing some of my own issues:



Your latest version is making progress. The shading on the face and the neck has improved. Not sure if at this size the shadow of the lenses would really work. But regardless, your friend will look a lot better when he gets some ears. ;)

Keep it up!

EDIT: Hmm, new version is coming along. Ears won't be so bad. Just do what you've been doing. Use lots of reference, keep in mind general proportions of the ear (usually from the eyebrows to bottom of the nose), and hey, maybe study your own ears in a mirror.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 05:11:57 pm by Bissle »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 12:50:01 am
I did this edit after you posted the first version, but didn't post it because I was curious to see how you'd progress,
(although I did just edit in those glasses shadows after seeing your latest :lol: , I think they do add depth to the glasses. also edited the red on the cheeks to match the ref)

but with the reference here is a Non-Pixel art image to help you further understand what you should be trying to convey with your shading, you need to concentrate on and isolate the regions that receive the most neutral light and that protrude forth the most, and concentrate on conveying depth by reinforcing those points/"planes" of the face. and also one thing you should also pay attention to is the shadowing of the hair

yellowish tone is the volume you should do lighter, and the blue is shadow, at the moment you are only concentrating on the very most highlights which don't escape the flatness on their own

« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 03:11:42 am by Grimsane »

Offline Friend

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 08:16:13 pm
Hey Grimsane, how did you alter the colors of the image to display like that? It definitely helps with shading.  Well... I think I benefited from your help, but I am not 100% sure.  Here's the current version.  


« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 09:52:07 pm by Friend »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 10:06:29 pm
Quote from: Friend
Hey Grimsane, how did you alter the colors of the image to display like that?
I painted over it.

definitely stepping in the right direction with some of it, I think now you should concentrate on the left cheek (your right) it is looking entirely different than the opposing cheek, and the forehead of course needs the same approach to volume and keep the shadows in mind, just continue in that direction and refer back to the reference regarding shading, but remember that you are rendering the face front on and the reference image itself is not front on so don't stick to it too rigidly.

also his nostrils are off centre and relative distance of a pixel makes it look rather intense.

the approach to the hairs shading is looking pretty good so far too

keep at it, I commend you on your perseverance thus far :y:

Offline Friend

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Re: First Portrait Evaaaar- Could use some help

Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 10:28:29 pm
Oh,  ;D Well thanks for painting over it to help  :)

About the nostrils- Actually I spent like an hour working on nostril distance and keeping the skin between the nostril the right width and the best solution I found was how I have it now.  I find you can't tell it's really off at normal size, and tiny asymmetry is normal on a face anyway.  Besides, other ways I tried doing it with having the nostrils on center make other parts of the nose less off, more noticeably so.  

I'll review the shading a last time and see what I can do, but I'm happy on where I'm with the piece now, so I probably won't post a final and bump the thread again for no reason.

I'd like to express a big thank you to you, Grimsane and Bissle for helping  ::)  
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 10:34:28 pm by Friend »