AuthorTopic: Mr. Tortoise  (Read 6398 times)

Offline Johasu

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Mr. Tortoise

on: October 11, 2014, 10:58:29 pm

Spent a couple hours on this guy today.
Looking for some feedback on how to improve it.
I started out using this as a reference http://eswalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/picture-animal-tortoise-turtle-ucumari.jpg
Tried getting a lot more of the brown, yellows, and pinks in but I was having a lot of trouble nailing that bridging effect and the effect was reading like vastly different elevations of terrain and flat surfaces.

I feel like Im still not getting enough depth to his jowly under chin area.  Like... it looks stuck in rather than as if there is depth there.
Also... Mirrored down the middle. I know.  Im ok wit the top downish lighting.  May go in and do some anti-symmetry touches after I have got the chin feeling right.

Anyway...  Looking for all kinds of comments, criticisms, or other such thoughts on what I could do.
Btw Long time no see.  I've been really swamped at work for the past few months and have had no time to post anything at all.  ^__^
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Offline Amorphous

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 04:47:08 am
First of all, as someone who has an unbridled obsession with the order Testudines, I must say that I approve of your subject matter. :D

You've got a good start going, but there are some pretty big issues with proportion and form. I couldn't resist doing an edit, so here's the ridiculously messy result of about an hour and half of scribbling over your work:



There's a lot wrong with my edit, so I wouldn't read into it too much, but hopefully you get the idea. Here are some of the main things I see:

-It looks like you went into detailing before you got the main forms down. This flattens the whole thing, especially under his "chin," like you noticed. Focus on giving him a depth before adding all the little bumps and wrinkles.

-Another issue in the area under the chin -- you added a scale-like texture when the reference actually shows more of a wrinkled-looking skin. If you google "tortoise skin" and scroll for a while, you'll find that many tortoises/turtles have a lot of areas bare of scales (which helps them be flexible and articulate enough to do things like tuck their heads into their shells).

-A lot of the colors are very close to each other in value, and more contrast would help make it pop. Particularly brighten the highlights on the top of the head because that would add more depth and also makes the lighting clearer.

-The proportions are very different from your reference's in some spots. The ones that stick out immediately: his nostrils should be bigger (they're about the same size as his pupils in the reference), and the whole mouth/nose region should take up more space; the eyes should be further apart and less centered; and his head should curve in a tiny bit towards the middle before going out again.

-I don't think mirroring and then going in and changing some parts is going to work in the long run for this guy; there's a bunch of asymmetry in your reference, and adding in the extra work to show it all would make him look a lot more life-like.


I know I'm forgetting stuff as I write this, but I'm tired and probably getting less and less coherent. Hopefully something in that garbledook was useful to you. Keep going with this! :)

Offline Johasu

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 10:57:13 pm
Thank you so much for the edit.
In the beginning this was a 1hr challenge.  You are quite right that I began detailing before I had the form down.  I started with an eyeball and worked from there creating the entire form at the detail level as I went. The chin was the worst part previously as I was using another color type for it and it looked REALLY flat and out of place.

Definitely going to give your suggestions a run, since yours looks a lot more like an actual tortoise and mine looks like some weird tortoise/frog sprite with a poofy neck.
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Offline Skaz

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 08:16:11 pm
Agree with the comment above, it's amazing, but lack depths and volume. Amazing anyway.

Offline Johasu

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 05:09:28 am

Reference:  My old link is broken. http://blognostics.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/animal-tortoise-turtle-ucumari.jpg
Finally got some time to work on an edit of this guy.
Been looking at it daily, agonizing over what to do with it.
Started by reshaping the head some and hacking off that horrible undercarriage that looked pasted in.
Applied a brighter highlight to the top and focused on capturing some of that glare that is in the reference.
Shaping and defining.  Worked with the colors to push the grooves and creases in and bring the raised portions out more.
Tried to rework the eyes so that they were angled back more and further up on the head.  Feel like the right eye (its left) needs more angling attention.
Raised the nose.

It looks a bit shorter than the other one (chin/neck is missing) but the shape is more correct and I am applying detailing to both sides rather than mirroring.

Now for the critique part.  Better?
Anatomy is closer for sure.
The nose.  Can I capture this brown/pink look or should I make it a light blue on the pink portion?  It contrasts heavily with the scale colors and I'm still no master at bridging colors well.

The neck.  I tried it again but scrapped it.  This is hard.  Any thoughts on this?  On the reference it's a kind of fleshy white/pink that hangs down and is stretchy.  Aside from the color change it's difficult to go from the chin which is very dark because of hard scales to this other surface which is a brighter color.
When I try as on the first version it begins to look like it is not part of the same as if it were glued on like a sticky beard.

Appreciate any feedback.
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Offline Tijjer

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 05:35:04 am
For the neck, think of it like pinned drapery I should say?  I won't say it doesn't quite hang a lot but more of tends to curve around?  The more they contract their head such as withdrawing in their shell the more folds you'll see in their skin, if the expand their neck like here I believe (its hard to tell, the picture is kinda bad) there wouldn't be much folds.  I don't know maybe this picture of my turtle well help?

Edit: I've been told that the image be broken, so...perhaps the link to the image page would be better.  http://www.furaffinity.net/view/15149831/

« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 02:12:02 am by PixelPiledriver »

Offline Johasu

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 02:36:41 am
It's ok.  I saw what you meant before it went down.
I will be working on an edit this weekend when I have some free time.
Thank you.
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Offline Johasu

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 11:33:42 pm
  Reference:http://i.imgur.com/3ZHWfLE.jpg

Still working on this.  Trying to bring him closer to the real thing.  Not worrying so much about detailing until I have the proportions and form down.
Mostly focused on the shape of the eyes, nose, and mouth still.  Positioning of them as well.
Brought the shape of the head less outward as it descends.
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Offline Nirel

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 07:18:30 pm
Just played with the palette a bit.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Mr. Tortoise

Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 07:37:15 am
Cool subject  :y:

I think the new shape is less recognisable, reminds me more of an eagle at first glance.
Check out the lighting in these references which really help bring out the forms...

http://th07.deviantart.net/fs31/PRE/i/2008/221/c/9/Giant_Tortoise_40D0017052_by_Cristian_M.jpg
http://raisedcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Large-Tortoise-Head.png