AuthorTopic: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly  (Read 16069 times)

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #40 on: July 30, 2012, 02:10:28 am
Here's some thoughts on composition.

Visual Flow
As the viewer looks at an image their eyes move around to view each part.
The eyes will follow elements like edges, lines, shapes, etc, across forms in the drawing, even if they are separate objects.
Flow encompasses the image as a whole.


The flow of the right side is good.
The hair and the jaw lead us to the firefly.
But on the left there is nothing leading us back into the image.
While this isn't a bad thing the eye has nothing to do once we move out across the eyeline past the firefly.
Then we come directly back to the rest of the image.


We can catch the viewers eye with forms and lead them back into the image.
This keeps the eye flowing around the image easily.

Eyeline
Because these are characters in our mind we percieve that they are "looking" at each other.
An eye is a powerful symbol.
We look where the character is looking along a line to see what they are looking at.


The eyeline here is flat, Completely horizontal.
Horizontal elements are stable, calm, and have little motion.


The eyeline here is diagonal.
Diagonal elements are unstable, exciting, and have a sense of motion.


Motion
A static image doesn't move.
But we can still perceive it as moving.
Looking at an image we suppose that something happened before this, and something will happen after.
We can drop hints for the viewer that will amplify the sensation of motion.


1. The trail of the firefly shows us where he has been and we can predict where he is going. small accents emphasize turns.
2. The "dust" from the trail is drawn in a vertical progression which makes it appear to be falling.
3. The posture of the head and neck appears to be pulling back and tilting up.
4. The hair appears to be swaying as follow thru to the motion of the head.



Opposing Shapes
Shapes are similar to visual flow but deal more with individual objects and how they interact, rather than how the eye move across forms.

The rearing back version somewhat resembles the iconic head of a horse, like a chess piece.
The firefly's trail makes a similar shape overall.
While its not a blatant feature of the image it has some interesting properties.


Color Groups
The eye connects areas where colors re-occur.
I like to think in groups of color, but the same is true of individual colors as well.









Quote
Try making the entire image and then focus on the details. Like rough background, rough shapes. Basic shading and lighting.
Yes this is good advice and common process.
Complete the image at a very rough level.
Try a bunch of quick versions of the same subject with different properties.


There's a lot more to composition than this.
Also there's plenty of reasons to do things completely opposite of what I've done here to achieve a desired result.
Use the basics and do creatives things.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #41 on: July 30, 2012, 02:17:58 pm
Great edit PilePixeldriver! That's exactly what I was driving at and I think it's a knockout.

Offline Ai

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Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #42 on: July 31, 2012, 02:51:16 am
The only thing I want to add to PixelPileDriver's fantastic post, is two references to look up: the practice of thumbnailing (this will expand on the last idea he wrote about, and doesn't need to be done in any specific medium), and Rule of Thirds (which provides a nice simple framework within which you can distinguish, for example, that having the character's head at the top of the frame and lots of space below makes them look big, and putting it near the bottom with plenty of space above, makes them look small.). Also if you do photography, something that helped me with composition was to take a photo and crop it many different ways using GIMP*, noting the difference in the feel of the various crops.

* specified here because the crop tool and rectangle-select tool both have an option to display a rule-of-thirds grid.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

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Re: [WIP] Twily and the Firefly

Reply #43 on: July 31, 2012, 12:55:00 pm
Thanks all, especially PPD for that fantastic crash course on composition; I don't think I'll ever be able to see what I draw the same way again, even if I tried hard to not focus on compositional aspects.  Thinking of picking up a few books on the matter to learn more about the subject as well.

I think it's a fair decision for me to go back to the drawing board with this one :)  I'm surprisingly more inclined to start all over than revert progress partially, because I now have a "happy accident" to show from it, something for me to stash away and look back on later and see what I learned about planning and composition since then.  I'm going to read up more on composition, continue practicing drawing ponies for the rest of the week, then this weekend I'm going to draw up a few thumbs of other ways to go about working on this piece.

Oh, and I'll be sure to rough the whole thing out and work in steps on the whole, rather than keeping parts rough and finalizing others this time :P

Learning a lot, thanks again everyone  :y: