AuthorTopic: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !  (Read 3974 times)

Offline Zizka

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Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

on: November 11, 2013, 01:07:47 pm
DISCLAIMER: The reference used for thie piece might be considered bad. I am doing this as a favor for someone else so please keep that in mind   ;D.

Here's what I have so far.  I really want to understand how I can succeed in making the skin 3d as opposed to being flat. I think the nose is on the right path but the rest, I could use some help with.  :y:



Reference picture:

Offline Johasu

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 01:43:06 pm
I am fairly new to pixel art myself, but a few things I can see that you could do right away to fix this some before you get into more advanced things such as your color choices and how to shade and define shape more clearly.

One of your eyes ISN'T lower than the other one. Even in your particular picture the eyes are fairly level. If anything the one you have placed lower should be higher than the other one to match this pose.

You used a solid color for both your hair and the headphones. While you may perceive both to be the same color (black"ish") I suspect your hair is actually a very dark brown. While the headset is actually black. Another issue with this is that one is made of hair and the other is plastic. They shouldn't be the same colors at all.  [If you are going for less detail this could be okay probably but you seem to be aiming for more so...]

The headset itself is completely out of whack. It, like your eyes, is not so askew on the actual image as you portray it here.  Also the side which you have as larger on your image is farther away in the actual image which gives makes it look odd in this image.  The angle feels like it is sticking out from your ear sideways almost.

That super high contrast blue you are using for your background will pull some of the depth away from your other colors as it's so high in value. Use a more neutral color that isn't so deep and strong and you will have an easier time choosing your colors and shaping things.

A suggestion~   Break the image apart and work on separate pieces at a time instead of trying to nail down the entire thing in one go.  Work on your face and get the angle and shape right.  Then work on the headset.  Then the controller.  It will make your time more productive and you will KNOW that the face looks right before you try getting the headset to work and so on.   :)

Edit:

I went ahead and did a small edit. I didn't put much time into it so it's not even close to perfection. As you can see I compressed the other image down and put it side by side so you could see the way I lined up the face to more closely match the image. Don't mind the pixelated mess that the other became, we aren't after a clean image there.  I then drew some lines to emphasize the size and shape of a few things.

The biggest changes I made were to take down the length of your forehead which I think was too tall. I put a new positioning on the eye and a bit of a shape change on them. The nose could probably move up a bit too.
I took your palette and shifted it to a more flushed color as in the image. The big thing to do is to shape the face with contrasts and then move the colors into the place you want them. My super high division between colors is to show the shape of the face. Then coloring, shading, and contrast bridging could do a great job to really fill it in.  I did a bit of highlight work on the hair tips.  As your spiky hair style shows, the light reflects off of the individual hair spikes differently than the thicker bunches. That will give the solid blob of hair a more defined shape as well.
I actually think your nose was a little too wide and sharply cut for the face.

Finally your dithering. I'm not expert, but I think that dithering works better to define texture in this sort of piece. I could see what you were trying but the plane of the face doesn't seem to slope enough to warrant isolated patches of dithering like you were doing.  [Not an expert on this, so I may be wrong]  I think the dithering would work better on parts of the skin that need more of a texture definition, for example the whisker shadows, and more glossy pores that show.

Take what you see or leave it, I tried this out to see if I could. And to maybe help you out in the process.  :P 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 03:08:50 pm by Johasu »
Gallery:  http://johasu.deviantart.com/gallery/
Twitter:  @johasu232

Offline Zizka

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 03:58:58 pm
Thank you for the in-depth reply, Johasu.

You reminded me that I totally forgot to mention that the headphones have not been worked on  :o. I'm looking for crit about the anatomy of the face at the moment and I totally forgot to mention it. This is kind of the purpose of this piece, to become better at this.

Thanks again !  :y:

Offline yaomon17

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 05:45:39 pm
I find that painting directly over the image beforehand at a larger scale helps to define the shapes in your head easier
(srry for distortion, can't find a thing to make gifs that supports large images)

Offline Zizka

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 06:52:22 pm
I think it's a good idea too but I didn't want to do it because I felt like I would be ''cheating''. It's silly I know, but I'd like to develop the ability to create something just by looking at a picture as opposed to painting over it.

I've saved your edit, it will come in useful for sure. Thank you !  :y: Also, I don't know if I might be color blind but I have a hard time distinguishing the various colors in the original picture. You must have developed an eye for it but I have a really hard time seeing it, I don't know why (and it's a bit frustrating).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 06:54:36 pm by Zizka »

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 08:11:31 am
I don't think yaoman is adovacating tracing (correct me if I'm wrong), but rather to do it as exercise. That way the large shapes stay fresh in your mind when you're pixeling and thus it's easier to break down the forms.

Another thing you can do for the same effect, is to do a color reduction on your original ref image. Maybe 6-10 colors max. That will break down the shapes and light into an easier way to disseminate them.

You said you want to make the skin look more 3D. The way to do that is to use more contrasted shades. To get the effect you have to imitate how light falls on the subject. The human face is a complicated structure, so it's hard. Don't get discouraged. Study the ref. There's some strong reds in his cheeks, and some yellow in his forehead, that's a place to start for some varied tones. Also look into some hue-shifting.

Hope this helps.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 12:52:39 am
learn the proportions of the head and it's distinctive features.
learn the underlying structure of the skull and how the facial muscles are applied to this.

then look at your reference picture.
simplify all organical masses to more simple geometrical forms and try to shade this forms.
this is the whole secret.

although it takes serious work to know exactly how features look and how they are applied to the simplified base of the head. So you need to study each feature on its own to get to a level where you can use this skills.

Althoug it's enough to know the major rules and then work from a reference for getting your details right.
Of course you also can exercise those skills until you can draw realistic heads out of your imagination.

Just "tracing" or "gridding" your image without any constructive approach won't help ya to move forward.
Learn how to simplify and construct.
 
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline Zizka

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 07:17:15 pm
Hi guys!

Update :
-Changed the colors for the skin (added some blue for darker colors and some yellow lighter ones).
-Moved the left eye.
-Made the controller bigger.
-Messed a bit more with the left eye
-Changed the color of hair slightly
-Increased the size of the controller
-Worked on the headphone
-Changed the background color
-Slightly reduced the size of the forehead
-Narrowed the nose
-Added shading to the face (by using the edit generously provided as a reference).



Well, I think Iíve done just about everything now.
Whatís next do you guys think?

Offline Lexou Duck

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 10:13:32 pm
try and change your palette

atm the dark skin tones go into some grayish tone, you should rather hueshift it towards reds


btw try and level the headset a little better and make the dithering a little noticeable


i'd also recommend adding detail beteween the eyebrows for a more angry look

Offline Zizka

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Re: Portrait: Looking for a Mentor !

Reply #9 on: November 16, 2013, 09:21:41 pm
Alright I'm calling this done unless you guys still see something that needs some serious fixing. After 7 hours, that's enough.  :D

I'm happy with the progress I've made:

First version:


Final: