AuthorTopic: GR#186 - Betrayer - Sprite Process  (Read 14299 times)

Offline cels

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GR#186 - Betrayer - Sprite Process

on: March 22, 2014, 05:30:24 pm
Current version:



Original post / earlier versions:

Hey guys,
I'd really appreciate some feedback on this WIP. Primarily in regards to perspective, proportions and anatomy / pose. It doesn't look quite right to me.



Reference (not for the pose, but for the character) here




















« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 12:27:24 am by cels »

Offline Gil

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 05:56:57 pm
Pose is a bit tame to start with, maybe push the foreshortening a bit more? If I find the time, I'll do an edit.

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 06:14:45 pm



Khornates are pretty aggressive and all characters in 40k are extremely posey. i did a bunch of sloppy edits, probably all together they add a little too much; but each is an example of what you can do to make it more dramatic. especially the colors should be flashy and eye-catching, something that a desaturated green background doesn't pull off. The stuff in the windows is just to show that you could add fire, smoke, battle effects in general to make them more interesting. You could even use it as another light source if you feel particularly ambitious.

Offline Manupix

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 07:49:12 pm
Yes, perspective is wrong!  :mean:
There are conflicting clues about both angle of view (wide or narrow, corresponding to very near or not so near p o v) and point of view (low or mid-high).
I'll follow the clue from the floor tile: very low, very wide. Something like this:



Consequently, the character should have longer / bigger legs relatively to the torso; the front leg and foot should be significantly bigger than the back leg / foot; the halberd persp should be even more accented as the blade is likely the closest object in the scene; the head should be visibly seen from below.
This option should provide the most dramatic pov on the character.

If you want to explore different options, here are a few hints:

a classic photographic lens focal length comparison with constant subject size (see differences in both bg and fg persp, esp the model's arms); another example; still another (imagine the red cap as your character's head).

« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 07:51:58 pm by Manupix »

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 09:52:05 am
Uh oh, Manupix gave me the frowny face  :-[

Thanks for the feedback, guys! The background was something I rushed in the end and I think it really exaggerated all my problems, so I've removed it. I didn't really want to do some kind of crazy wide lens perspective, but I can see why the floor tiles gave that impression.

And while this is a "berserker" character, I'm actually going for more of a menacing, intimidating look, instead of a frenzied, energetic pose. Not so much evil super villain. Think more Luke Skywalker encountering Darth Vader in "Empire Strikes Back". Darth Vader isn't swinging his lightsaber like a madman, he's just standing there in the darkness, waiting. And then he flips out. So that's what I'm going for. Encountering Khârn the Betrayer in a dark hall.

Aside from the background I think the previous version had a problem with the legs and hips, perhaps.

Maybe this version is better?



Or did it make more sense to have the left leg forward, to balance the heavy chain axe? Fizzick, I don't know if the arms should be so much longer, because they're extending in opposite directions, not hanging right down. And if they were hanging right down, they shouldn't extend far past the crotch. Am I wrong?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 09:53:58 am by cels »

Offline Manupix

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 02:50:18 pm
Sorry  :D

This now looks like seen from eye level.
The feet being much larger than the head don't make sense anymore, contrary to the low angle view (supposing reasonably sized feet!).
Something else slightly disturbing is, the back foot heel should be raised, and the lower leg armor doesn't look different in persp as the front leg (example).

I do think the "menacing, intimidating look" is better conveyed in the low angle view, independently of the pose.

Do you have a DSLR camera? You should have a picture session with a friend, preferably on a tiled floor, and test in a systematic way a range of those 2 parameters: angle of view (= lens focal length or zoom factor, choosing distance so that model size is constant), and height of view.

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 03:46:18 pm
Uh oh, Manupix gave me the frowny face  :-[

Thanks for the feedback, guys! The background was something I rushed in the end and I think it really exaggerated all my problems, so I've removed it. I didn't really want to do some kind of crazy wide lens perspective, but I can see why the floor tiles gave that impression.

And while this is a "berserker" character, I'm actually going for more of a menacing, intimidating look, instead of a frenzied, energetic pose. Not so much evil super villain. Think more Luke Skywalker encountering Darth Vader in "Empire Strikes Back". Darth Vader isn't swinging his lightsaber like a madman, he's just standing there in the darkness, waiting. And then he flips out. So that's what I'm going for. Encountering Khârn the Betrayer in a dark hall.

Aside from the background I think the previous version had a problem with the legs and hips, perhaps.

Maybe this version is better?



Or did it make more sense to have the left leg forward, to balance the heavy chain axe? Fizzick, I don't know if the arms should be so much longer, because they're extending in opposite directions, not hanging right down. And if they were hanging right down, they shouldn't extend far past the crotch. Am I wrong?

Uh oh. I would keep the palette changes, but scrap those strange proportions.  :(
It is important that the parts of any creature move together, but here it looks like he's twisting his right arm backwards and his right leg forwards, which doesn't flow at all. I think the only issue with perspective was with the floor: instead of altering the marine to the floor, you should raise the floor's vanishing point to get a higher shot.

The reason I said lengthen the front arm was because its hand is currently at a horizontal level with the back hand. Now I see that maybe you should shorten the back forearm.

But really, for artistic purposes, I strongly suggest you make this guy less passive. It looks like he's posing for a catalog showcasing his armor and weapons. That's why I bent his knee, twisted his head and gave the eyes a glow. You could consider raising his plasma gun to up a the ready. But his breed of khorne knights never rest. If they're in a fight like it seems he is, they should always be looking for the next IG to crush.

I wonder what the plasma glow would look like green?

EDIT: sorry, I totally missed your paragraph on feel. I totally get that, though. Right now it seems a little flat footed, though. Earth fader was still pretty poised for action. Try bending the knees a little more and leaning him in?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 11:14:03 am by Fizzick »

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 12:27:40 pm
Well, I feel dirty and cowardly, but I've gone and looked at more references to get a more realistic pose and perspective.

Since I didn't spend too much time on the previous versions, it seemed smarter to start from scratch instead of trying to fix something fundamentally flawed.

At some point, I just need to learn how to draw better, study anatomy and perspective properly and practice with paper and pencil, but... for now, I've taken the easy route and tried to imitate.



References here and here.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 12:36:12 pm by cels »

Offline tim

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 12:43:19 pm
Well, I feel dirty and cowardly,
[…]
I've taken the easy route and tried to imitate.

Don't feel like that. This is totally ok and part of the learning process.
Actually, I don't know any artist born with such knowledge.
Everybody just study from reality / photos / other drawings.
When you'll feel comfortable enough, then you will be able to rely a little less on them, and more on your brain.
Founder of Odd Tales
Art Director - Game Director - Game designer - Motion designer

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 05:24:20 pm
Thanks for the words of encouragement, tim (if that is your real name  :)) I guess I have somewhat unrealistic expectations sometimes.

Here's a slight update.

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 07:22:03 pm
At first I was enjoying the progress. Now I'm eagerly awaiting it! Everything looks pretty dead-on but the hands. I would get some specific references for those, but the direction you're headed in now is great.

Offline big brother

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 10:17:50 pm
Don't forget to raise the hip on the right side of the image to achieve contrapposto.

Offline wolfenoctis

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 06:07:36 am
How about playing with the perspective a bit, a rough edit to illustrate:

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #13 on: March 29, 2014, 11:20:24 pm
@wolfenoctis: That's a great edit and I appreciate you taking the time to do that. Unfortunately, it seems I wasn't clear enough in my response to Manupix, when he suggested a similar perspective. It's not what I'm going for with this piece, although I do realize my pose and perspective is probably a bit boring compared to yours. I like what you did though. Particularly making a very passive pose look intimidating by perspective.
Oh, and I stole your idea of holding the axe higher up on the hilt, because that's a sure sign of being a badass.

@Fizzick: Thanks, tried to work a bit on the worst of the two hands now.

@ bigbrother: Never even heard of contrapposto until now. Great advice, thank you! I'm not sure if I got it right here, I was worried I'd take it too far.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 10:44:05 am by cels »

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 01:55:44 pm
Why not put the chain axe in his right hand, and have him swinging or dangling the giant ball and chain in his left?

BTW you've coaxed me into drawing a plague knight. Hope that isn't macking your jive too much

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #15 on: March 30, 2014, 03:15:47 pm
\

ideas 4u

skull thing because the piece seriously lacks skulls, fucked with the hand a little bit, added more spikes, increased the size of the knee things and put a screaming skully thing on the left one. also put some hella crease marks where the chain might have been.

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 10:05:36 pm
Latest update:



First off, thanks for your interest and thanks for doing the edit! Now, to answer your comments:

Lacking skulls and spikes:
This is still at a very early stage, which is why the shoulderpad is so clean, for example. There's a lot of stuff I haven't added yet. I prefer to draw in layers, so I'll draw most of the armour and then draw over it with decoration, skulls, spikes, dents, bullet holes etc, in time.

Re: Why not put the axe in the other hand?
Well, one of the interesting features of Khârn is the fact that he's mysteriously ripped off the left shoulderpad and arm off his power armour and is carrying a huge fricking chain-axe (!) called Gorechild in the same hand. As far as I know, there's no official explanation why. Maybe he wanted to strip his armour of his Legion markings, as an expression to his loyalty to Khorne above all else. He is the betrayer, after all. Regardless, there's a nice contrast between the barbaric element of his naked arm and the futuristic weapon he's holding. It's quite iconic, I think.

You'll also note that I left his right hand empty, instead of having him hold his trademark Giger-esque master-crafted plasma pistol, because I wanted to copy the pose in the reference I posted above, showing a Chaos Space Marine with a power fist and a chain sword. I do think that the original artwork  by Mark Gibbons is better and more intimidating, because the Marine is looking right at the viewer, whereas I have Khârn looking slightly to the left. BUT... I feel like swapping the chain axe to the right hand makes the whole portrait a bit unbalanced, because he's looking to the right, the weapon is in his right hand, he's got a huge shoulder pad on the right side, while his left side would be naked with a small ball and chain. I could put the plasma pistol in his left hand, with some glowing light and smoke to add interest to the right side of the portrait, but... I'll have to think about it.  ;D

There is one thing I liked immensely about your edit was the green tassle fluttering in the wind. Because nothing says badass like a statuesque pose in turbulent surroundings, standing still while there's a raging storm or battle going on in the background. I did consider adding a ripped cloth, flag or banner in his clenched fist, fluttering in the wind, but I played around with it and couldn't make it look good. For now, I will at least make the tassles a bit more dynamic. At least that's something :)

I very much looking forward to seeing your Plaguemarine (?), there's so much stuff a creative person can do with them.

If anyone has the time or desire to help me further, I would especially appreciate technical feedback regarding what I have so far. Does anything look wrong, is anything out of proportion, is the pose wrong, should I change the colours, is my pixelling technique off, have I pixelled the metal realistically, does the axe look a bit weird... those sorts of things. At this late-ish stage, I'm not primarily looking for ideas like changing the equipment or pose, because... well, I've already put some time into this and I'm more worried about fixing mistakes or improving major flaws right now.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 10:10:57 pm by cels »

Offline Manupix

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 11:11:10 pm
Looking better :) (see, I'm not grumping)

Either the head is too small, or his left arm too big, or more likely both.
The arm has issues: the shoulder is way too far out from the neck, even without referring to the head size.

The size difference in hands isn't strongly supported by extreme perspective elsewhere.

I just had a vision that one foot should be raised and supported by some killed enemy, crushed skull etc.

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 04:07:25 am
My last major complaint is that his right hand feels quite shoddily done compared to the rest of the body. While the rest looks very painterly and has nice clean brushwork, the front most extremity seems quite off! Give that another look. Also, the shading on the red of his right Paulson is a little boring- but it only stands out after scouring, so it would be fine left like that.

I'll maybe try a bit of palette fuckery when I get home. I don't think it needs a lot, but I'll see if I can provide more input.

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 04:42:38 pm


@Manupix: Much appreciated!  ;D You're spot on about the hand, I guess it wasn't close enough to warrant that size difference. I've tried to fix that.

I will play around with the head, maybe make it a bit bigger and move it a couple of pixels higher, to make the shoulders less of a problem. But the width of the shoulders and size of the head is a major problem for Space Marines as seen in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. If you do human proportions, it makes the armour look very wrong compared to the official artwork. So I'm not sure what I'll end up doing, I just have to pick my poison.




I may also look at raising one leg, if I can get away with doing it without drawing it again from scratch :)

@Fizzick: Thanks, but again, please note that there's plenty of stuff that isn't finished. It's not shoddy, it's just that I've worked more on some parts than others. The backpack, for example. If something looks very sloppy and there's not much progression between each update, it's because I'm not done yet ;) If something looks polished, but wrong, that means I messed up.

PS: The skull hanging on a chain blows, I know. Just testing out the colours, will probably draw it from scratch. And make it a bit bigger :)

EDIT: Made head bigger and some other minor stuff. I really don't know how to give the skin depth with these colours, without making it look like it's made of gold.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 01:38:35 pm by cels »

Offline Gil

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 02:00:42 pm
The arm is pillow-shaded, which is a problem right now. Also, I'm having trouble figuring out your light source, mainly because there's no cast shadows. Like, for example, shouldn't the axe cast a shadow on the arm?

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 02:36:49 pm
The arm is pillow-shaded, which is a problem right now. Also, I'm having trouble figuring out your light source, mainly because there's no cast shadows. Like, for example, shouldn't the axe cast a shadow on the arm?
Thanks for the advice!

The light source is on his front left side, from above. So I tried to make everything brighter on his left side (our right). I think you'll see that if you look closer, but I suppose there are areas where I've made mistakes which are throwing you off. Perhaps the metal?

Since I'm not working from a reference with great resemblance, and since I'm working with a somewhat limited palette, I admit I'm having trouble showing the light source, while also showing depth and illustrating the shape of the armour. Especially for the metal, because I want to do shiny, polished metal, instead of dull, brushed metal. And figuring out the way the light reflects is tricky.

The arm has the opposite problem, because sharp highlights makes it look like it's covered with metal instead of skin, and with 4 colours I found it hard to create depth while indicating the light source clearly. Now that you mention it, the lower arm and upper arm have conflicting light sources.

The axe should cast a shadow on the arm and/or hand. That didn't even occur to me before. Though I can't really imagine where it would fall and what it would look like - I don't have an eye for that stuff yet. I suppose his helmet should also cast a bigger shadow around his neck.

As usual, I have overextended myself in terms of difficulty level, so any kind of suggestions would be helpful.

Offline Manupix

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #22 on: April 02, 2014, 04:46:58 pm
Shading edit. Didn't really bother with pixel placement (MSPaint on laptop touchpad sucks) and anatomy.



The axe shadow falls on wrist, hand and knee. Roughly fixed light on arm, legs, head, taking into account orientation of surfaces relative to light. For instance, the upper arm is in full light but angled away so the light is more grazing (= less bright) than on shoulder or forearm. Similarly, there is a difference in brightness between both legs.
The visible side of the axe is in shadow (could be deeper). I failed at knuckles, don't really understand their volume.

Your metal reflections are quite good. However glossy metal only reflects directly the light source: any surface that is not a specular should be dark. This is generally not so nice so additional reflections are drawn without respect of light source: surprisingly there's no problem with that, brains are not so good at light consistency in this particular instance.

Offline Gil

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #23 on: April 02, 2014, 10:18:33 pm
I was going to do an edit, but I probably can't do a better job than Manupix, so yeah, study that one :)

Offline Fizzick

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #24 on: April 03, 2014, 01:55:57 am

While perhaps a little too small, I might do something a little more like this for the hand.
Currently it looks to me slightly twisted towards the viewer?

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #25 on: April 03, 2014, 03:31:42 pm
I was going to do an edit, but I probably can't do a better job than Manupix
Nope, you probably can't.

Reverse psychology, see?  :D

@Manupix, that edit was extremely helpful. It'll take me a while to fix the issues you've worked with, but I'll get it done. I feel like I see the light in the end of the tunnel now, thanks.

@Fizzick, thanks, I'll have a look at the right hand.

UPDATE:



Still not done resolving all the issues that Manupix adressed, but I'm getting there. Changed the tassles from green to blue. They're supposed to be blue, but I thought green would give better contrast, and now I've gone back to blue. Do the colours work? I think so.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 11:38:03 pm by cels »

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #26 on: April 06, 2014, 11:30:31 pm
Here is my attempt of edit (it's sloppy but idea is there). From the beginning of this tread I wanted to create edit of this, but somehow I was repelled by strange posture of character and my lack of information about him.

I still didn't solve awkwardness in my eyes, but I think that I've fix couple things, especially that fist position. If not, at least I tried. :)

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #27 on: April 07, 2014, 01:56:57 am
I feel like this picture could use a focal point of some sort. Its pretty tiring to look at. Everything has high contrast, similar colours, tons of details strewn around and it is just sort of hard to take it in. Leaving some areas less rendered out could be a good thing.

Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #28 on: April 14, 2014, 03:39:06 am
Thanks for your help, guys. Very helpful indeed!

@HarveyDentMustDie: It looks like I would have to make some drastic changes in order to solve the issues you're referring to. At this point, I don't want to start from scratch, but I've tried to make a compromise by working on the position and angle of the legs. His right hand seems to be in a no man's land where no compromise is possible, so I guess I'll have to do something else with the right hand. Right now, I think I'll let him hold a helmet of some vanquished foe. He's supposed to collect skulls, so...

@Mr. Fahrenheit: Maybe just reducing the contrast in the red areas will help a little bit. There was also a lot of high saturation colours, so I can see where you're coming from. I'm not sure if this is an improvement, but I gave it a shot.

Offline Manupix

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #29 on: April 14, 2014, 09:52:18 pm
You have something here.
What I see: make that skull the shakespearian focus of the piece!  :o
Extend the arm so that you can legitimately make the hand and skull bigger. The wing skull may interfere: skip it if it does.
The skull should be seen slightly from below, because point of view is something between knee and waist high (right now it's facing straight).
Put it in full light, decrease brightness elsewhere except maybe the face and a shaft or two of light.
Lower the axe and axe-arm as they no longer are vital to the pose.
Also I agree with Mr. Fahrenheit: now that you have a focus, think composition again and mercilessly remove any detail that doesn't help with it.

Offline Reo

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #30 on: April 14, 2014, 10:59:10 pm
Hey Cels! kudos on taking the piece as far as you already have! Hard work pays of! :y:

I messed around with an edit earlier today looking at it now it might look a bit muted.
What I mainly did was upping the contrast creating some difference between light and dark for this menacing character.
I also tried to tie your ramps together a bit. I would even consider incorporating more red-ish shades into the skin tones to  separate them from the gold. I also took a stab at trying to fit the helmet after your reference, but if you're deviating from it that might not matter much!
I do think the blue tufts of hair read a bit as blue flame, I think more muted colors/removing the highlight might help here.
I messed around a bit with the codpiece skull and gave it a stronger shadow. You have some banding to look out for (for instance on the skull on his right leg around the eyes).
I realize scratches and other such details is something you'll add later on but I messed around with it anyway :P
Also I'm not a huge fan of the excessive reflections on the gold trimmings, I think a simpler approach is easier on the eyes and won't clash as much with the red part of the armor.

It's already an impressive piece, and I'm excited to see where it will end up done :3


Offline cels

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Re: Betrayer (sci fi portrait)

Reply #31 on: May 18, 2014, 12:20:30 am
Thank you so much, guys! Don't think I'd forgotten about this. I just needed to leave it for a while, as my muse kept tugging me in another direction. I'm ready to finish this now.


@Manupix: I totally see what you're saying about the axe and the axe arm, but at this point I want to avoid redrawing such a huge part of this piece. I don't want to risk running out of steam, you see. Having said that, I think you had a really interesting idea in moving the focus to the skull and I'll try to pursue that idea. I suppose I'll need to make the hand holding the helmet (it's not a skull, but I don't know if you were being literal) brighter, but I can't really tell if the perspective and pose is correct at this point. I don't really have an eye for this stuff, I'm punching above my weight, as they say.

@Reo: Thanks so much for taking the time to do the edit. I really love what you did to the colours, removing the pink and making it look muted. I actually went further than you did, partly because Manupix suggested to make everything darker anyway.

I haven't had a chance to incorporate your advice about tying the ramps together, and I do see the great work you did to the codpiece skull, the scratches and the way you've fixed the shading in several areas. I will try to follow your example more in my next version. The skull is something I will have to reconsider as well.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 02:57:07 am by cels »