AuthorTopic: [WIP] Dragon  (Read 4083 times)

Offline andrae

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[WIP] Dragon

on: June 16, 2015, 09:09:46 pm
Hi. I'm currently working on this piece.

Color reduction on a value sketch as a guide:

Current piece


Also, I'm not sure if this would be alright on pixel art.
I might use a lot of AA to make some edges blurred and soft. Should it be kept or make it sharp like the rest?


Offline 32

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Re: [WIP] Dragon

Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 02:06:18 am
Looking really nice so far ;D

My impression compositionally is that the guy is too close to the top of the frame, I'd really try to get him a bit lower or extend the canvas a bit. The dragon is also a little too far into the centre of the frame. Either really push the overlap of the two characters or try to obey the rule of thirds I think. I like to just cut the main compositional elements out and move them around a bit till it feels really right. Flip the image horizontally so you can get a fresh impression of it.

I think the soft AA works great against the light. Please keep doing it if you can commit the time. Pixel art paintings often suffer from being overly sharp everywhere.

Offline Decroded

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Re: [WIP] Dragon

Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 04:15:03 am
I would flip the guy horizontally something feels weird like the dragon is coming down to sniff the sword or something and  I think it will add a nice flow to the image while increasing the drama.

don't overthink AA and all that just let it happen.
u can create very nice softness with no AA colour blocks and just add some AA as a final step
its a trap to AA early on as it hinders u from making changes.

EDIT: Just looked at this again and ur initial sketch looks like it has a couple of rough figures there kinda cowering/scrambling away in fear.
Its just an idea that it would increase the drama and boost the heroicity of the sword dude (assuming thats a sword) if he (or she?) is the only one brave enough to face the dragon.
You could have one guy cowering behind a rock and another one stumbling as he scrambles away across the rocks.
Yeah just ideas...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 07:32:10 am by Decroded »

Offline andrae

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Re: [WIP] Dragon

Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 09:44:42 am
@32
I moved the man and the dragon slightly from your suggestions. Fixed the dragon's neck since it was crooked.

@Decroded
I tried to mirror the man so that the weapon will be on his right, but the silhouette was not that readable as it merges with the mid-ground.  Your ideas are good. I'll be adding birds flying away from the dragon instead of people though.

Also, thanks for the tip, I get tunnel vision most of the time when adding AA.

Not much of a progress. The foreground is almost finished:


Offline pistachio

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Re: [WIP] Dragon

Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 12:37:14 pm
Latest compo is a real improvement :y:
But you could develop even the polished parts way further.

This process kinda looks like building up from low-opacity blobs.
You see it being used a lot in speedpaints and raster art but on this level of polish, for pixel art, that needs a lot of refinement.
On the large-scale level you can have these wonky compositions, as you start seeing less abstract stuff, and more flat 2d stuff in the blobs.
On the smaller scale it's harder to control the shapes and hard > lost edges.
I know this piece is in a rough state but as its being refined, maybe a lineart layer on top of that could clear those issues up, or hard-edged brushes.
Just keep checking those edges.

Rough mousepad edit:



Tweaked the composition, more angles, gave the slayer more line of action, some ideas about edges.
But that also traded off some of the SoTC feel here.
Didn't mess with the dragon yet.

Also will pull up some refs of edges/work that uses edges really well.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 06:57:25 am by pistachio »

Offline andrae

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Re: [WIP] Dragon

Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 11:41:01 pm
Thanks pistachio! I'll keep those in mind.

Changed a lot of things.

Offline pistachio

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Re: [WIP] Dragon

Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 09:42:32 am
Again, a definite step up.

There's this great negative shape now between the dragon and the slayer guy, I have to say that's 75% what was holding this image back before.
But what you also got from my edit was the sloppy shapes, which at that point was basically caffeine fueled greeble.
Trust me on this, it's not a concrete guide :lol:
It's still hard to tell where the limbs are on the slayer for example.
So you're gonna have to do some MASSIVE reduction IMO to most parts of the image to know that the features are where they have to be construction-wise and get the piece really polished.

Couldn't find a lot of useful tuts on edges that can really be pulled off in pixel art.
Just paintings that do them really well and in a way pixel art can accomplish.
Most of these were N.C. Wyeth's, there are specific examples by other artists but that should kick you off.

Last problem, this is also a big one, is the 2 focal points here need something to integrate into the BG. Those paintings can give you ideas on how to do that.
A lot of how they did that was by adding shape overlap or middle-ground stuff. (Like this guy talking about Moebius, scroll down to where he talks about DEPTH INDICATORS.)
The rest of it was light on dark contrasts, that's another thing you can try working into this.

That's all I've got right now, pretty disjointed but should help. Keep going.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 11:37:22 am by pistachio »