AuthorTopic: fruity shading experiments  (Read 17057 times)

Offline Ai

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fruity shading experiments

on: June 27, 2012, 04:11:19 am
I decided I needed to be more disciplined in practicing art skills.. so, I drew a series of fruit and am currently pixeling them (64x64 images); Don't usually post my stuff here, but this looks like it could go for a few more weeks at least, so hit me with any crits you have :)

Basis sketch image (sketched from right to left, not the converse, BTW):
(full size image here)

My aim was... to -effectively- use as many colors as possible. (aside from improving skills with planes).
I have previously experimented with 'iterative/recursive shading' and I'm beginning to get it to work well here.. Also motivated by a desire to find some of the techniques Henk Nieborg has used that make it possible to churn out many sprites with high shading detail, really fast; I suspect really strong understanding and application of planes is a key element.

Here's an earlier stage (just to dispel any suspicions that I CGed anything, heh):



I failed in various degrees on the first two: the cumquat and lemon both needed roughish texture, which confused my attempts to expand the ramps used. Putting that in the too-hard basket for now, I went to an easier attempt, a smooth skinned plum. Latest stage:



Somewhat complicated by the palette restriction I was working with -- 64 rgb intensity levels, ie. VGA palette restrictions. I ended up dithering cause I couldn't insert any more distinguishable colors, in the dark end of the ramp.
Also doing some hue mixing, due to the VGA palette restrictions, too.

I'm feeling happier about this technique now. Back when I remade the graphics for Bub-N-Bros, I used this recursive/iterative shading technique.. bit less happy with that outcome, even though I did like it, it seemed messy at times.

I think I cracked that, though.. one technique I used a LOT in this is to view everything as diagonal gradients. This makes it easier to avoid lumpiness, and rounds things well.. (well, I think the plum is a little too rounded/smoothed, haha. OTOH, it has practically no banding/lumpiness.)..
The other technique for unlumping is, if you must stack strips of color, stagger them in a direction that matches the planes of the object you're representing.
Oh, and make sure color regions taper smoothly throughout the image -- the other two techniques help this, but it's still challenging to me.

One thing that's pretty time consuming is redoing all the tapering when I add another color to the ramp. This isn't too bad as long as the underlying clusters are tightly structured; then it's quick to find the corners.

I'll also be setting up an auto history-saver as I proceed further in this.. I'll make a GIF or APNG when I finish.
Think I'll go for something more textured, like the peach, next.

Stats: cumquat = 15col, lemon = 12col, plum = 44 :), cherries = 24. Time? 7 hours so far..?

EDIT: Nah, went with the cherries. (also, fixed up the depth of the plum.)



</text> :)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 07:57:03 am by Ai »
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Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 01:26:39 pm
I think the plum has an odd shape on your drawing, not too reminiscent of your sketch. Also for the lemon, the pores/dimples are not visible unless you really try to look. Maybe you could darken the dimples up a small amount. Besides that I think they look incredibly realistic

Offline Bissle

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 02:02:47 pm
All around wonderfully rendered; very realistic looking. The area on top where the stalk would be on the plum has a very odd shape; it looks bruised. The shape of the plum in general seems rather squished. Also, I've been looking at the reference pic and pics of real plums, and the upper right side has shading that implies multiple grooves, more like a squash or a pumpkin than a plum, which might at most have one groove along the center.

The lemon looks good, though I agree with Mr. Fahrenheit that the texture is not as discernible as it could be due to the coloring of the pores. The kumquat looks great, as do the cherries, although the shape could use a little work, too.

This is a pretty great exercise; never thought about applying the classic fruit study to pixel art!

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 02:45:50 pm
@MrFahrenheit
Thanks for actually replying :) While the plum sketch was pretty rough, I agree that the pixel shape was a bit off.
How about this?



(I also had a go at improving the lemon's texturing.)

@ Bissle:
Thanks :)
I can't even go without reference photos for something I know well, apparently :).
Haven't checked a reference yet, hope this is an improvement:

(.. is newer than the image immediately above this)

The shape of which -- the cherries? -- is off? I felt the shaping of the left cherry was wrong, but I haven't figured out what is correct yet. Is that the particular one you mean, or is another one also involved?
Is this edit

an improvement?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 02:56:50 pm by Ai »
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Offline Bissle

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 12:11:00 pm
The plum is much better. It's shaped more like the sketch and real plums. The shading towards the bottom center looks like something is sticking out inside of curving inward.

Sorry for not being clear; I was referring to the cherries, though looking at them now, I don't see whatever I saw before. The difference in the lemon is not very noticeable; maybe add more contrast.

Keep it up!  :y:

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 12:55:07 pm
re: "sticking out instead of curving inwards"
Google images seems very unhelpful in this instance. The plums on the tree in my back yard have always had this kind of bump (as opposed to the small bump or small dent found in shopbought plums or Satsumas). When I think about it, I agree that it is more rounded than my rendering is (though sometimes even more pronounced than I've portrayed. it usually curls somewhat, which I erred on.. my rendering is too pointed.) I'll get to work on that ASAP (probably tomorrow; am currently moving and my computer just got moved, need to adjust the furniture slightly and set the computer up in the new location.)

Google images has given me some good coloration/texture ideas otherwise, though (linked image is of similar type of plum to what I'm used to.. not quite, unfortunately)

Making the texturing more obvious than that on the lemon is going to be a challenge. But it is a challenge I will accept :)
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Offline Tourist

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 03:26:28 pm
I think the lemon suffers a bit because but lacks a core shadow.  This is hidden by using a pure black background.  The latest version of the lemon has a bit of a shadow, so this is headed in the right direction, but it's not quite there yet.  It's not a problem on the orange because of the difference in light position.

I am interested in the technique you mention.  Do you start with the lightest and darkest points and then simply build a dithered gradient between them?

Tourist

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 04:34:05 am
I think the lemon suffers a bit because but lacks a core shadow.  This is hidden by using a pure black background.  The latest version of the lemon has a bit of a shadow, so this is headed in the right direction, but it's not quite there yet.  It's not a problem on the orange because of the difference in light position.

I am interested in the technique you mention.  Do you start with the lightest and darkest points and then simply build a dithered gradient between them?

Tourist

A core shadow? I've never heard of this concept. Is it a shadow that, in conjunction with the outline,defines the 3d shape of the object?

There are no oranges yet, only cumquats :) It's distinct due to size (much exaggerated here -- cumquats are usually a bit bigger than a gumball.) and oiliness (because the pores are smaller in a cumquat, the shiny points are closer together. This gives an impression of greater oiliness whether or not there's actually more oil.). Oh and taste -- but that's not depicted here;)

The technique is more like.. do the basic shading (3 shades. probably.). then subdivide (insert another shade) until there are more or less no pixels in any given 9x9 sample area that are the same color. Only exceptions being for areas that are flat or virtually flat.
Also, I use a rule that if the new shade doesn't give an impression of increased detail, it is wrongly done.
Dithering doesn't exactly come into that.. I avoid using it whenever texture doesn't demand it. some minor shaped/creative dithering is often a consequence of applying the aforementioned rule though.

BTW, it looks like I won't have solid computer access until 16 july or thereabouts.
I'll keep making updates as I can.
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Offline Bissle

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 05:44:02 pm
Whenever you get more time, could you take a pic of the plums in your backyard? They sound interesting. Looking forward to more progress on this. :)

Offline Tourist

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 06:47:46 pm

A core shadow? I've never heard of this concept. Is it a shadow that, in conjunction with the outline,defines the 3d shape of the object?

Yeah, that's it.  I used to have a very nice picture of an egg with the shadows and whatnot labeled, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.  So here's the same info in a long tutorial:

http://www.conceptart.org/wiki/doku.php?id=tutorials:value

with the most relevant image here (linked for size):

http://www.conceptart.org/wiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?w=&h=&cache=cache&media=sphere_labeled.jpg

Human vision works on contrast.  If you smooth away all the contrast, the result looks a bit smudgy.  Maybe try a fractal approach?  Where you have smooth shading within each light/medium/dark area, but still keep a larger jump between the different areas.  That might give you a vexel style look though, which isn't what you're going for.  Dunno, jut thinking off the cuff.  

I like the experiment and hope to see it continue.
Tourist

Edit: Rats, messed up the link tag on the tutorial.  Should be fixed now.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 02:12:11 pm by Tourist »

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #10 on: July 01, 2012, 10:03:12 am

A core shadow? I've never heard of this concept. Is it a shadow that, in conjunction with the outline,defines the 3d shape of the object?

Yeah, that's it.  I used to have a very nice picture of an egg with the shadows and whatnot labeled, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.  So here's the same info in a long tutorial:



with the most relevant image here (linked for size):

http://www.conceptart.org/wiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?w=&h=&cache=cache&media=sphere_labeled.jpg

Human vision works on contrast.  If you smooth away all the contrast, the result looks a bit smudgy.
So, are you suggesting that the cumquat and plum also suffer from this problem? or just the lemon?
Personally I feel that if I substantially kill contrast, I've performed the method wrong.. it's supposed to detail the shading, not make everything smooth per se. (after all, that example image is full of continuous gradients itself, but it apparently has a terminator/core shadow.)
I'll try a few shading variations and post them.. previously, I'd had a darkening on the top left edge, which I discarded because it seemed to be just looking weird instead of improving 3dness.

Quote
Maybe try a fractal approach?  Where you have smooth shading within each light/medium/dark area, but still keep a larger jump between the different areas.  That might give you a vexel style look though, which isn't what you're going for.  Dunno, jut thinking off the cuff. 
IMO on the lemon at least, the problem is that the subdivisions of light level are too evenly spaced, they need variation.. AFAICS a zillion subdivisions are okay and shouldn't significantly effect contrast in important areas, -when properly performed-.. to clarify, the subdivisions usually should not be even.. The cherries are a good example of that. I'm getting the impression that I should totally rerender the lemon.

Quote
I like the experiment and hope to see it continue.
Tourist
Thanks; yeah, I'll be able to continue working on it and posting it.. my computer is fine, just, physical access to it is currently intermittent.


Quote from: Bissle
Whenever you get more time, could you take a pic of the plums in your backyard? They sound interesting. Looking forward to more progress on this
No chance of that  -- it's not plum season and the house is going to be sold by the time it is plum season.
However.. I have photographed them in the past, and archive all my photos, so I should be able to dig some up.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 12:21:35 pm by Ai »
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Offline Tourist

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #11 on: July 01, 2012, 02:53:29 pm
Quote
So, are you suggesting that the cumquat and plum also suffer from this problem? or just the lemon?

The kumquat does not suffer from this because the light is almost dead center.  There's not much shadow that will show up.

The plum and cherry do not suffer from this because there is a strong contrast between light and dark areas, though to be honest they both kind of fade into the background.  That could be my monitor though.  But yeah, they look fine.

Also, edited the tutorial link in my previous post, should work now.

Quote
IMO on the lemon at least, the problem is that the subdivisions of light level are too evenly spaced, they need variation..
I agree with this.  Here is a photo of a lemon with similar lighting to your image.  It has a distinct separation of light and shadow, like the labeled image I linked to earlier.  Your latest version has some of this, but I think it should be stronger.  Knock down the values on the shadow side of the lemon by a step and it will look better, imo.



About the process, do you think it would work equally well for palettes using LAB that incorporate more uniform steps in lightness?  Or does the linear RGB scale (non-linear lightness) contribute to the effect?

Tourist

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 01:46:48 pm
Quote
So, are you suggesting that the cumquat and plum also suffer from this problem? or just the lemon?

The kumquat does not suffer from this because the light is almost dead center.  There's not much shadow that will show up.

The plum and cherry do not suffer from this because there is a strong contrast between light and dark areas, though to be honest they both kind of fade into the background.  That could be my monitor though.  But yeah, they look fine.
Thanks, this is useful feedback telling me I need to improve my palettes (maybe add a second light source or increase hue shift). I tried to only shade naturally and not intentionally AA into the bg.

Quote
Quote
IMO on the lemon at least, the problem is that the subdivisions of light level are too evenly spaced, they need variation..
I agree with this.  Here is a photo of a lemon with similar lighting to your image.  It has a distinct separation of light and shadow, like the labeled image I linked to earlier.  Your latest version has some of this, but I think it should be stronger.  Knock down the values on the shadow side of the lemon by a step and it will look better, imo.



Excellent example, thanks!
Quote

About the process, do you think it would work equally well for palettes using LAB that incorporate more uniform steps in lightness?  Or does the linear RGB scale (non-linear lightness) contribute to the effect?

Tourist

LAB is near ideal (accurate perceptual inbetweens are best IME). I happen to be using RGB gradienting because I've chosen to use a restricted palette colorspace (64 intensity levels), and also cause I didn't want to bother with generating the new shades via GPick, just work on my basic technique.

EDIT: My previous work on Bub-n-Bros used LAB color mixing, now that I think of it, and while I think my technique could have been improved, I was happy with the overall color ramps created. The art is available in PPM format as part of the game download from http://bub-n-bros.sf.net ; one example of the method is the bubbles themselves -- 100 distinct shades used in a .. 32x32 sprite, I think? The bonuses also used the technique heavily. I'll make an edit with some examples if it seems I have the right software available on this laptop.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 12:47:42 am by Ai »
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Offline Grimsane

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 04:23:10 am
I think that approach on the colouring of the lemon just feeds into the generally unpleasant and murkiness that is dark pure yellow

something like this is both more realistic and more appealing on the eye in my opinion


which brings me to another piece of critique, I think the fruit looks a bit flattened and warped in your sketches and consequently your pixels, some more than others, and even if the reference was some rather oblong fruit it should be avoided because it's not the widely associated traits of said fruit, I've shown one suggestion on reintroducing more a more round and volumetric form in the edit.

the closest thing I could think of to explaining what I'm seeing is this:



in this example, imagine you are trying to achieve a sphere and you let people know you are trying to convey a sphere, if it wasn't known by other's what you are trying to achieve it wouldn't look off, but once we have a point of reference and know what it is intended to be they realize it doesn't look quite right, knowing this is what you intended



also there is also a case of not terminating the edge of the object's silhouette properly and stretching details out, which make the viewing angle look quite off, and it's what alot of artists go through in my general observation, i struggled with it early on too, here's something to illustrate



hope it conveys what I'm observing, just making you aware of it, because it'll be all but impossible to address if you weren't aware of it.

other than that the colour and texture looks pretty solid continue  :y:

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 06:37:19 am
I think that approach on the colouring of the lemon just feeds into the generally unpleasant and murkiness that is dark pure yellow

something like this is both more realistic and more appealing on the eye in my opinion



which brings me to another piece of critique, I think the fruit looks a bit flattened and warped in your sketches and consequently your pixels, some more than others, and even if the reference was some rather oblong fruit it should be avoided because it's not the widely associated traits of said fruit, I've shown one suggestion on reintroducing more a more round and volumetric form in the edit.

I think what is correct must be something in between. Given the many real life references I have here, my version looks skinny and yours looks chubby ( I have also really fat lemons occasionally here.. they scarcely look different from grapefruit. Obviously they fail the iconicness test.). Similarly, I intentionally gave a green tinge to the lemon's darker shades, but as you point out this doesn't work, OTOH your edit takes the goldness too far (for iconicness) and makes it look like a washed out orange*.  The bulge on the end of yours is spot-on though, definitely my 'point' was too pointy.

I'll probably end up making at least 2 ramps -- a semi-goldish one and a semi-greenish one, and mix them 80/20 across the lemon's surface.
Since I have a largish set of citrus on my list, you'll be able to judge for yourself how well I separate their characteristics iconically.

* FWIW I'm currently forced to view this through a laptop screen -- far from ideal :)
Also, 'dark pure yellow' is actually an artefact of the nonlinearity of sRGB. if you make a gradient yellow->black using LAB (eg. with the help of GPick), the colors produced are considerably more pleasing than the corresponding gradient in sRGB, which is actually unreasonably greenish.

Quote
the closest thing I could think of to explaining what I'm seeing is this:



in this example, imagine you are trying to achieve a sphere and you let people know you are trying to convey a sphere, if it wasn't known by other's what you are trying to achieve it wouldn't look off, but once we have a point of reference and know what it is intended to be they realize it doesn't look quite right, knowing this is what you intended
I take your point, regardless of my view on the exact details of your specific edit.

Quote


also there is also a case of not terminating the edge of the object's silhouette properly and stretching details out, which make the viewing angle look quite off, and it's what alot of artists go through in my general observation, i struggled with it early on too, here's something to illustrate



hope it conveys what I'm observing, just making you aware of it, because it'll be all but impossible to address if you weren't aware of it.
Yes, I can see this is very true! I'll definitely take that to heart, and work on defining the edges more truthfully. Very much appreciated :)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 07:05:58 am by Ai »
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Offline Grimsane

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #15 on: July 03, 2012, 07:11:39 am
yeah it wasn't a definite suggestion on the size or proportion to take your lemon, just an exaggeration to emphasis and point out that from my observation it seemed a tad too elongated, relative to any lemon I've ever seen, and the reference posted, and yeah I just used the curve editor and jacked up the low end of the red channel rather swiftly again another exaggeration to make my point obvious,

regarding those elaborations both were the same point really I just realized the first one was really poorly illustrated so I made another  :) glad my observations weren't entirely off and have been taken constructively, made the observation when you first posted this, but was hesitant to bring it up because it's some pretty critical criticism, but it is good to have things like that pointed out instead of ignored all in the name of improvement

oh and btw the most common lemons here look like that edit :lol:

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #16 on: July 03, 2012, 11:55:33 am
yeah it wasn't a definite suggestion on the size or proportion to take your lemon, just an exaggeration to emphasis and point out that from my observation it seemed a tad too elongated, relative to any lemon I've ever seen, and the reference posted, and yeah I just used the curve editor and jacked up the low end of the red channel rather swiftly again another exaggeration to make my point obvious,
Good to know.

Quote
regarding those elaborations both were the same point really I just realized the first one was really poorly illustrated so I made another  :) glad my observations weren't entirely off and have been taken constructively, made the observation when you first posted this, but was hesitant to bring it up because it's some pretty critical criticism, but it is good to have things like that pointed out instead of ignored all in the name of improvement

oh and btw the most common lemons here look like that edit :lol:
Commercial lemons are always super gold (as lemons go) and plump, so no surprise. What I see in people's backyards hasn't matched that image even once so far :) Anyway I'll do a bush lemon (image link) as well, which will be fascinating to render.. they're commonly that gold, so we can both be happy  :lol: (also, finding images of them online is really hard, wow)
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Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #17 on: July 04, 2012, 02:24:46 pm
Old:

New:

Fah, this transition to a new setup has been strange. I seem to be flailing away at this far more than purposefully doing stuff. I think I misdistributed the shades on the left/upper side. Well, I've been working at this awhile now, hope it's better in at least shaping :) Any other C+C welcome too.

Edit: newest:


Edit3:
Trundle trundle.
It's getting there..

That segment at the top is giving some serious trouble. Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 09:12:16 am by Ai »
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Offline Tourist

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #18 on: July 07, 2012, 04:53:48 am
Maybe use the sawtooth / square wave style dither to break up the banding at the top?  Definitely looking better though.

Tourist

Offline Bissle

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #19 on: July 07, 2012, 10:24:27 am
The lemon is looking supermarket fresh (whatever that means)! Like Tourist said, maybe dithering the lemon in that style would help with the banding.

Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #20 on: July 07, 2012, 02:47:15 pm
Maybe use the sawtooth / square wave style dither to break up the banding at the top?  Definitely looking better though.

Tourist
Thanks:)
I've tried it, it shouts HELLO I'M DITHERING!!!!! WHAT IS YOUR NAME?? ... I LIKE PIE! (seriously, the result is like I actually pasted a checkerboard pattern over it, even though there is no literal checkerboard pattern in the image. actually looks much worse than the banding does. ) When I get access again on Monday, I'll post an example.
I think this is because the direction of the dithering is at odds with the actual angle of the plane.

That said, after adding the next subdivision level, the banding will reduce drastically.
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Offline Ai

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 06:16:50 am
RISE FROM THE DEAD!

I just picked this up again in the past few days, thinking I can also include vegetables/ 'vegetables' (eg capsicum). Haha, that plum is looking pretty blurry to my now more-developed artistic sense, oh well.

Old:


New. with Tasmanian purple garlic added (a mere 18 colors inc bg. Here's a ref photo; I used a physical ref myself.):


Trying to improve my ability to use clusters (and clusters of clusters) to emphasize particular parts of shapes. A partial success on the garlic, I feel. I would have liked to convey the 'succulent bulginess' of the individual cloves better, but struggled with the overall low-contrast nature of garlic skin.

Also used my new 'adv_spread' script for GrafX2 to generate intermediate colors when needed. It's like a vastly improved version of the builtin Spread function. When you select adjacent colors as the endpoints, it automatically inserts a color between them and adjusts the picture accordingly, so it's very easy to use with the 'ramp subdivision' rendering method I'm using for this series. It interpolates in Linear RGB, LAB, or LCH colorspaces, but isn't yet published on the web.

I only just looked here and saw I said that I'd subdivide the lemon another step; I've just begun on that.

EDIT: Wow, this is a real test of my cluster-stacking abilities -- I must be out of practice. Happily, even though it's a greater effort than I recall, I'm getting a much more satisfying result, quicker. It seems to take quite some skill to stack up clusters in a regularized/conforming way without introducing inadvertent dents or bulges, but I'm finally getting there.

EDIT2:
Here's the finished subdivided lemon. I'm pretty happy since I banished most of the banding without damaging the sharpness that much. 23 colors in final.



Bonus: Silly impromptu lemon typography:


EDIT3,4:
And here's the next addition: a pineapple. Still WIP:



EDIT5:
Nearly done with the pineapple's basic rendering:


Currently 19 colors, I'm struggling to imagine how I can usefully add more than about 3 colors, looking at the current state of it. Pointiness needs few colors, apparently.

I also have a capsicum worked out and just waiting for rendering.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 08:52:08 am by Ai »
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #22 on: August 02, 2013, 12:55:37 pm
Capsicum:


Early WIP, only 15 colors.. I seem to have hit a real 'Amiga feel' with this one -- I guess capsicums naturally have the right aesthetic qualities to fit that.

EDIT,EDIT2:


Yeah, this is going well. (23 colors. The 'recursive shading' thing gets a bit more complicated when you're reusing an existing ramp.)

It looks like the GrafX2 quantization code did something unexpected to my palette at one point, as I noticed I now have a few consecutive duplicates in older ramps (plum+cherry). I can fix this, I guess I'll just have to stay away from quantization for this piece.

EDIT3:
NEW:


Yeah, I'm getting quite happy with the planes in this now. Reached 26 colors. 3 or so more red shades seem like they'd be useful. This one might manage to get up to 32 shades.

I started automatically versioning this using 'watch' and a little shell script I put together 'gitwatcher'. Hopefully the playback/slideshow will be enlightening.

EDIT4:
NEWEST:


Nearly done with this one, I reckon.
33 colors at the moment, no obvious additions to make.





Most recently I've been learning to sculpt in Blender, so I made a little materials/shape mockup to help rendering the carrot;
from that reference I produced this:



Currently I feel it's too dark (partly caused by my patchy 'reuse existing ramp' skills and a semi-failed attempt to stack the full set of shades one by one instead of recursively refining.). Maybe a little too knobbly, too, but I can live with that as a mere stylistic choice.

However, the material and sculpting mock did really help a lot to shake out how I wanted this to look, and I'm getting faster all the time. Digital sculpting is  so amazingly fun it's almost beyond belief :D

I'm also pretty struck by the strong difference in definition between the old (items on the left) and the new (items on the right)

EDIT:

Fixed the darkness problem and the texturelessness.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 11:38:07 am by Ai »
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #23 on: August 11, 2013, 10:58:58 am
Old account restored, posts merged; have my post as a bump~
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #24 on: August 14, 2013, 07:34:53 am
Thanks :)

Here's my latest progress:



I've got a few different versions of the tomato there -- I was trying to avoid being bland and mocked up a striped tomato ala Russian Black, but when I went to render it I couldn't get it to work, so I ended up doing this sort of swirly sparkles thing, end result being a mix of 'fleshy' and 'glassy' feel.

I'd like to re-emphasize though, that Blender's material system and sculpting is really great for getting a strong idea of how I want a particular item to feel. 'Subsurface scattering' option is especially useful for anything fleshy (ie. most fruits :)

I've done a lot of drawings for this by now, when I look at my list, I see I've sketched:

* Apple
* Apricot
* Blackberry
* Cherimoya
* Grapefruit
* Cashews (yes, nuts are classed as fruit)
* Jackfruit
* Mango
* Peach
* Pear
* Persimmon
* Plum (yeah, I already rendered this but I can do much better than that!)
* Cherry (ditto)
* Quince
* Raspberry
* Strawberry
* Broccoli (okay, not fruit, I ended up including some veges too)
* Sweet potato (ditto)

The original list are not prioritized because the old sketches are crappy esp WRT planes  :lol: But those fruits are included in plans -- I actually based the total list on wikipedia list of fruits, so it's quite inclusive.

I'll show or link some of those drawings here when I have a large block of time available for scanning.

Some interesting things to learn here -- I wanted to reuse the capsicum color ramp but mostly couldn't because it was too desaturated to give the right intense tomato red. That kind of issue doesn't come up with low-color icons, since all the colors are approximate and cover broad areas, there's more leeway for inaccuracy (as long as it's an -interesting- kind of inaccuracy, for example the wild exaggerations of color, pattern and value encouraged by EGA palette.)

Still got about 110 palette slots free -- a few colors were reusable for the tomato, and most colors from the kumquat were reusable for the carrot.
I guess I'll start a 'part 2' image when I run out of palette.

EDIT:
Fixed up some of the texture + excessive glassiness issue:



Reasonably happy with this now, it still visibly needs  about 10 more colors (currently clocks in at 21 colors FWIW)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 02:32:33 pm by Ai »
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #25 on: August 18, 2013, 12:25:57 am
I thought if I changed my process a little I might actually get some crits.


Working in parallel on 3: Raspberry, Persimmon, Strawberry.
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #26 on: August 23, 2013, 12:43:42 am
I chucked it onto a mid-grey BG and cleaned up any selout:


Also refinement, and early apricot and mango. Tomato is done, I'm happy with how it's smooth while still having character.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 12:46:06 am by Ai »
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #27 on: September 03, 2013, 11:44:54 am

Update, Head-exploding strawberries edition. Slowly getting there.
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #28 on: September 03, 2013, 11:57:45 am
Some of them are quite nice, but I think you should try to get solid volumes without as much colours as you are using right now.

I think the bell pepper is best atm, just as far as overall volume and lighting goes. The tomato has nice lighting but could probably need a bit more definition, plus the green stem bits at the top. The raspberry and strawberry look largely invented and do not really have good volumes/look pillowshaded as far as the overall shape goes.

I might attempt some edits at some point, but atm I am busy as well as having troubles with my wrist :/
Keep at it :)
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #29 on: September 03, 2013, 02:26:37 pm
Thanks for the critique :) I agree with all of your crits completely, actually -- I'm probably better off restarting the raspberry and strawberry from reference (they were originally done from relatively-recent memory, as I was trying to improve that skill. Volume was never really right at all and I just shoved them around frustratedly). In general I think I start with 4-5 shades (after doing flats) and yeah, 3 or even 2 would be better. Good to be reminded of what is really important.

It might also be good for me to use contour-fill a little less, as it gives an addictive feeling of effectiveness but often rather approximate results.
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #30 on: September 03, 2013, 03:03:23 pm
Contour fill is nice to lay down big shapes to block out, but you certainly need to clean up afterwards.
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #31 on: September 07, 2013, 11:53:23 am
I'm in the habit of doing the cleanup with cfill too ;) Helm's suggested method of using the line tool is definitely better though!

I got my hands on some actual strawberries and this is the result:



(old strawberry still there because I forgot to remove it)

Also some nut drafts. Cashew is pretty crap, but I'm satisfied with chestnut and acorn.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 11:56:21 am by Ai »
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #32 on: September 08, 2013, 09:56:53 pm
Chestnut and acorn are OK bases to go from I reckon. The green on the strawberry looks weird, too much of huejump, also the green gets way light visually on the darker red bits and I am still not convinced of the lightsource/shape of the strawberry. When looking at the direction of the highlight some of the shadows look very odd to me, for example the very harsh dent on the left side. But it is definitely a good improvement over the old one.
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #33 on: September 08, 2013, 11:34:00 pm
Yeah, maybe I'll make the seeds yellow. At the moment they are there just to increase plane definition.
Here's a version with decreased dent (well, it's definitely too small now, but it looks better.), in two subversions -- seeds removed and with seeds.


In case there is any ambiguity, the original reference was a fairly broad strawberry with 3 'creases' of varying weight passing along it. This should be more evident now (probably exaggerated. I struggle to make myself simplify the forms because I hate to discard information derived from the reference.)
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #34 on: September 12, 2013, 01:08:38 am
Relatively happy with this in terms of feel:


Seeds are still too prominent, and maybe still need color tweaking. Much more ordered, though.
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #35 on: September 12, 2013, 02:15:39 am
Love them! :D But I think strawberries are a tiny bit more pinkish and have shallower... dents?

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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #36 on: September 12, 2013, 02:22:12 am
Indeed they are, I need to make new colors just for the strawberry rather than reusing old ones. The dents will be lightened when I add more colors (I had to put 'a darker color' to show the indentation and currently there are only a few colors to work with).

Thanks for your feedback!

EDIT:
Adjusted colors:


Adjusted strawberry alone:
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 02:41:57 am by Ai »
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Re: fruity shading experiments

Reply #37 on: November 01, 2013, 06:50:13 pm
Fixed up the apricot to be respectable:


And finally uploaded all the traditional-media work I did for this project:
(pt1 is poor quality, so omitted.)
pt2
pt3
pt4
pt5
pt6
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