AuthorTopic: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour  (Read 579 times)

Offline garwan50

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Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

on: May 22, 2019, 10:04:30 pm
Hello,

i'm new to pixelart, I wanted to learn this art to make my own little games, I have a loooong way to go but at least now I have a starting point, I bought this book called Make Your Own Pixel Art, and it's pretty good so far but that would be awesome if I could get some insight, reviews and more generally help from more experienced artists.

So the first thing I want to do is shaping (and shading) a bag of flour, something that looks kinda fluffy but also have round edge, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. So I tried to merge 5 primitives together : 1 rectangle and 4 spheres.

I tried and made this so far, I like the left part but I can't get something satisfying for the rest. Could you give me a hint ?

Thank you, the grayer parts was meant to help me picture the image in "3D", I guess it'll take time for that. I can't draw IRL and I probably lack observation skills.

Thanks !

Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 01:06:24 am
Hi Garwan,

It's quite hard to tell what are you trying to do exactly since the piece is so early in the process and we lack a reference of what you are trying to do, so far I have the impression that you are mixing a bag and a sack of flour together.

Anyway, I'll try to help you a bit by providing a reference and a quick, sloppy process on how I would do this using your workflow, I'll try to keep this excercise under 15 minutes so pardon for the low quality.

Here's the reference:



Here's a .gif of the process:



And here's a description of the process:

First of all, I picked the reference, mirrored it horizontaly on my mind and drew a quick outline sketch. Picked a lightsource on my mind, in this case the lightsource is in front of the object in the upper left part.

In the second, third and fourth frame you can see how I continue with your workflow, adding a mesh to picture the volume of the object.

Fifth and sixth frame I added some color to the planes and removed the mesh.

In the last four frames I added some detail and did the shading of the object.

I've read tons and tons of books and articles on how light behaves and how to shade an object. From my experience, the best you can do to trully understand how light works (At least the basics) Is to buy some Play-Doh, recreate the basic shapes of the object that you are trying to do, grab it, go to a dark place with a flashlight and iluminate the Play-Doh from different angles.

The rest is a matter of taste and practice, lots and lots of practice. I'm pretty sure that I've made a couple mistakes during the excercise so don't take my example as 100% accurate

I'm quite bad at explaining but trying to improve that, so feel free to ask questions if you have any.

By the way, try to use Imgur to upload your images, is better than uploading images directly to the forum :)

Regards,

SeinRuhe
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 01:08:08 am by SeinRuhe »

Offline garwan50

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 04:41:32 pm
Hello thanks for your answer!

Here's what I did following your instructions :
-Found a reference I liked (pretty hard since I wanted something a little cartoony)

I ignored the rope and some of the other details as I'm not experienced enough to do it in low res
-Found a palette from this color : https://www.colorhexa.com/8b4513

I chose the 4 darkest ones
- I then designed the shape from the reference :

-Tried to make a matching mesh, so that I know what is stretched (figured that was his purpose), but it was really hard due to the low res :

-Tried to shade using the 4 color palette and the mesh as a helper.

I like what I did on the left part, the part on the reference image that was squished/bend, I gave this part a darker color and I think it looks okay. But I'm not happy with the upper part, it lacks details and the flour just look like it don't belong. I think there's also perspective issue.
-At the end I was also unsatisfied with the lower part so I decided to add a fifth color that will be used as an outline to make it look better.


That's as good as it could based on my actual skills.
I would have liked to make those parts look good : and
And of course the upper part that really looks bad.

What do you think ?
And again thanks for your time, I'm really starting from nowhere so just making this looks good is like impossible right now.

Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #3 on: May 26, 2019, 05:42:44 am
Hi Garwan,

I think you went a step further than last time wich is great, but also there's a long way to go before we can call your sprite finished. Since you are just beggining your pixel art journey it's understandable that you doubt if the step you just did is fine and if it's good enough to continue.

Some advices I can give you:

- When beggining your learning curve always use real references (Photos, Objects, etc). Learning from other peoples drawing is fun and all but you're missing key information, if you have all the information possible about an object you can choose to simplify it to your liking (Since in pixel art you have to pick what information would you like to put in your art)

- Study other people, pick some artists that you consider good and study them, how they render things, why they render said things in the way they do. Don't copy them, understand the reasoning behind their work.

- Finish your pieces, believe me, you may not be happy with the results, but at least you finished the piece and hence you've learned more than when taking one step at a time waiting for feedback. (I probably had a head start since I like to draw since I can remember, but I'll let you see how my art have changed with the time at the end of the post)

- Do the excercise I told you with the Play-Doh or any kind of modeling clay, trust me in this one, it's super helpful. Sounds silly, I know, but I have all kind of modeling clay (Play-Doh, real clay, kids clay, that blue thing that the architects use to erase, etc) in my workspace because it's so helpful.

- Grab the next page and study all, and I mean it, ALL of their tutorials, it's so useful that I wish every of us had this kind of resources when we started. https://lospec.com/pixel-art-tutorials you can find a lot of other useful resources there.

- If you don't like to read go and check this YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/atMNRArt/playlists there are four awesome playlist for you to start learning the basics, I'm sure you will know wich playlists are.

- Lastly, pixel art is a slow process, behind every character, background, item, etc. are countless hours of work, as a minimun, where you are on your learning curve, put two hours or so on that sack, I'm sure you will notice the difference.

As for the very last, here's a selfsona that I've been doing multiple times over a year:



My point by showing you this is: Finish your pieces, you will learn, you will get better, you will change and shape your own style.

Regards,

SeinRuhe

Offline garwan50

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 04:54:55 pm
Hey,

thanks again for your answer I appreciate it.

I'll make sure to use real objects as reference, the issue with real objects is that they're not really interesting to reproduce, like, there's no dragon, or knight in shiny armor in real life etc, but you're right, I have to start somewhere!
As for studying other people works, it might sound weird but instead of inspiring me it makes me depressed, like for some artists I see their piece of art and it's just so beautiful I can't imagine having half the skill they have one day. It comes from my lack of confidence and I probably must overcome this.

I'll do the Play-Doh, it'll help to mix primitives together, and I have a light bulb I can use to have the light I want, that's really good advise worth the investment for sure.

I'll read every tutorial, slowly but surely, tbh I'm a little depressed lately, and I wanted to do some art to express myself, but I lack the skill to do that, in the same way you need to learn a language before speaking, if that make sense. So my progression will probably be slow, but at least you gave me something to start with, and I realize it'll ask probably hundreds of hour before i'm good at it, but i'm sure it'll be worth it. I just need that shot of dopamine that I lack, again due to depression.

Thanks again for your time, I'll probably get back on this forum in a few month with some new sprites !
Sincerely,
Garwan50.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 05:32:14 pm
the issue with real objects is that they're not really interesting to reproduce, like, there's no dragon, or knight in shiny armor in real life etc
Working with real objects as reference doesn't have to be that limiting. Even artists drawing high fantasy works with dragons and knights use reference. For example, studying (or at least referencing) the anatomy and movement of lizards, bats, and other animals helps in drawing convincing dragons. Knights are just people in armour, and both of those you can study from reality. Even something like glowy wizard magic is something you can improve on by studying reality, e.g. you can study how fire, lightning, water, etc look IRL, you can study interesting lightning created via artificial and natural lights, and so on.

Most of the crazy stuff humans come up with has at least some basis in reality, and drawing from that reality can help us depict the crazy stuff better.

On the flipside of this, studying the reality doesn't have to be boring, you can use your imagination to turn those exercises into something more exciting just by adding some fantastical details or a story, while still getting all the educational value of drawing the original thing.

Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 07:32:04 pm
Hi Garwan

First of all, I need to say that I totally agree with Eishiya, reality is not boring at all, literally all the amazing stuff in fiction is a product of reality.

I suggested you to analize other artists, try to see how and why they do the stuff they do like they do. Inspiration (at least for me) always comes from within.

Quote
I'll read every tutorial, slowly but surely, tbh I'm a little depressed lately, and I wanted to do some art to express myself, but I lack the skill to do that, in the same way you need to learn a language before speaking, if that make sense.

Believe me, I get the example but you have to remember that even before the first word of a baby there are a lot of others way they use to communicate themselves: Cry, babble, scream, yawn, just to name a few. With art is the same thing, you may lack the expertise to talk fluently or in a eloquent manner, but you can surely cry, babble, scream or yawn and still express yourself and communicate in an effective way.

Lastly, I don't know your age, background, life experience, etc. but if you feel you are deppresed and/or lack self confidence, talk to your relatives and go see a profesional, a psychologist may help, or if they identify the issue is more chemical they could refer you to a psychiatrist. Thing is, I don't know why but this state has become quite common in the world we live in, I've seen so many people I love and care for get sunk on depression, the more you wait to treat it, the harder it becomes to overcome it.

I really hope this helps.

Regards,

SeinRuhe

Offline garwan50

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Re: Shaping & Shading a bag of flour

Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 10:05:01 pm
Hi,

thanks eishiya you really convinced me, I'll find stuff i'm excited about.

@seinruhe: I'll try to look for pixelart artists with a style I like.
I like your point of view about expressing yourself even as a beginner.
I'm 23 at an advanced stage of depression, I said "little" depressed but sadly that's an understatement, but I see a psychiatris, it juste take time, thanks for caring.

Both of you helped putting things into perspective and I appreciate it, thanks :)