AuthorTopic: GR#011 - Trees - Canopy Styles  (Read 57386 times)

Offline JJ Naas

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 08:43:03 am
In the big picture you sketched out how the branches would go and that's a very good idea, you should just follow that construction. I mean, like..



1. Let's say you choose this

2. This is what you have done

3. The leaves seem to be spreading out from only two dirrent places.

4. But the end of each major branch should be a point from which the leaves spread out, helping to break the shape and make it more natural and random.

A bit like this, very rough and actually not so good but anyway:


I adjusted the colours more to my liking, you can keep your palette, just a little bit more contrast would still be nice.

Offline Scribblette

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 02:20:02 pm
JJ - I like what you did, and what you say makes sense. It does look more natural than mine, though perhaps I'd adjust the trunk to allow for something a little more cone shape. Thanks! :)

I had this image in my head that somehow I'd wind up with a whole bunch of smaller tree tops and no central mass if I used that trunk pointed out, so just used Zyndicate's tree as reference and tried to imitate structure. As mentioned above, my intent to use a better palette screwed up when I tried to 'cheat' my 3 colors + dark transparent color + palette adjustment. As is colours would definitely need more contrast. Also it turns out my monitor needs calibrating throughout the day - I was definitely lacking contrast to begin with! o_O

I've started a proper attempt at that bonsai tree you linked, and will hopefully be properly demonstrating step 4 as you suggested. Even as crude colour blobs it is looking a lot better. :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:25:06 pm by Scribblette »
Now reading: Animator's Survival Kit, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Fun With A Pencil. No time to pixel!
Pixelated Anatomy|Foliage

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 02:59:44 pm
Yeah JJ Naas, pretty clever making a quick "tree skeleton" in order to know where to put foliage, makes a lot of sense. I hadn't really taken note of that in the original post. We do the same with people do we not?

Hehe I'm referring to the only tree labeled "ENSEMBLE" - the 4 palette-swapped instances in the top right of the image, odd swampy lookin' tree. Graphics Gale eh, I've heard about. I don't think I can ever not use PS, I'm too used to it. I encourage you to continue to learn, you sound like you'd be at home once you learned it. Been a PS user for over ten years, it's second nature by now. PS can do everything you just mentioned and yes there are ways to dynamically alter pixels with dodging/burning, smearing, whatever you want, while working with layers and maintain limited palette. Hint: Adjustment Layers. But all of this is pure evil.



Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 03:33:22 pm
And what's up with the "stemixing", it doesn't even produce pixel art. I didn't spend much time browing through that huge post of his, but it seems like one guy's workflow with digital drawing with tutorials kinda mixed in. When the person teaching a method gives examples that two finished examples that suck I don't feel real compelled.

Offline Scribblette

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 03:39:22 pm
Ahh, the one by Ensemble w/ Opacus in the Keen Minds thread. Took a while to figure out it wasn't in this thread XD

I'm rather fond of Graphics Gale, but there are quirks I get frustrated by. Any non-rectangular selection once pasted comes with white filling in the gap to make it a perfect rectangle, resulting in unnecessary clicking. Hopefully I'll get some time to devote to photoshop tutorials tomorrow.

Stemixing - ya. It's quick. It's easy. It's cute in its own way, but it's certainly not pixel art, and I haven't tried it. I'd like to create plants with a better sense of form/depth, and I like the crisp appearance of pixel art.
Now reading: Animator's Survival Kit, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Fun With A Pencil. No time to pixel!
Pixelated Anatomy|Foliage

Offline Scribblette

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #15 on: April 16, 2009, 08:22:13 am
Ugh. I think I'm going backwards. :(

I tried using the bonsai tree as a reference. I drew a trunk and tried to get it at the angle I wanted, which is a little more top down than the picture provided. I then tried to just block out the colors so I could have a starting point... but I can't seem to get them even vaguely right.

The lighting on the reference tree is all over the place, courtesy being surrounded by white walls, I guess. I tried treating each branch-end cluster as its own half-sphere for lighting purposes, but it falls apart and doesn't make sense to me. I'm missing the basics, but shading more balls and cones on paper isn't helping me.



Any advice would be appreciated. I'll keep fiddling with it when I get more time - will try to extend the foliage on left and right 'around' the tree, rather than just on the sides.

Edit: Forgot to include picture. I apologize to your eyes.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 08:26:57 am by Scribblette »
Now reading: Animator's Survival Kit, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Fun With A Pencil. No time to pixel!
Pixelated Anatomy|Foliage

Offline st0ven

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #16 on: April 16, 2009, 04:29:45 pm
Hey man, i wanted to say that i definitely appreciate your struggle and i like some of the elements that you have going on here. the trunk of the tree in your first image next to the 'flat tree' text i think shows the most promise in trunk design, i was hoping to see you use that one for the basis of your experiments.

I wanted to run through with this with you , so i actually decided to download one of the video capture programs in the off topic forum thread and give it a go from scratch. unfortunately just like every other program that i tried using yesterday, it crashed at the very end after i stopped recording, so that just added some whipped cream on top of my cursed luck sundae for the day.

so ill post the image in a very early stage, toock me about 15 minutes to get to this point.



i dont think that this alone is going to say much for the process that i was using to get here (and yeah i realize it still looks really rough and the branches/leaves needs more balancing), so when i have  a few minutes at work, ill make a simple animation of what each layer might look like and the order i drew it to get to where i am here. not nearly as good as a recording but itll have to do. Just to try to briefly explain into words, i do like your practice of forming out the skeleton of the tree with the branches, no detail is required there as youve been just scribbling them in just fine, so long as you get a nice balanced skeleton of the leafwork required in the tree you should be alright. From there, made a layer behind the tree branches, used a really dark, desaturated greenish blue and paint in large globs of leaf clusters. this stage forms the general shape and balance of the bulk of the greenery. The only thing on this layer im worried about is shape and balance, no leaf detail goes here. Then i made a new layer that goes over top of that one and the tree branch layer to start filling in the details of the highlights.

perhaps tonight ill try a different piece of software and try recording the next phase in detailing even though i dont think that stage is as critical to watch via video.


*edit* wtf is going on with the img encoding? will fix that at work. have to run!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 05:33:04 pm by st0ven »

Offline Turbo

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #17 on: April 16, 2009, 04:55:39 pm
Did you mean this one,Stoven? You copied the filename wrong.


Just dropped in to say that this thread is awesome, and that i immediately saved every picture in here to my references folder. Also, very useful reference sheet, JJ Naas.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 04:57:27 pm by Turbo »

Offline Dr D

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #18 on: April 16, 2009, 05:36:29 pm
Scriblette, your updated attempt on the leafy tree is my favorite. I really like the whole look of them, very pleasing to the eye. Although it may be less realistic than what you're looking for.

And, yeah, love this thread, seconding Turbo.

Offline st0ven

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #19 on: April 16, 2009, 05:40:12 pm
thanks turbo! was in a rush in the morning, had to catch a shuttle.   :yell:  now i just feel silly.


*edit* just had some time to do a little update on it, not much, but progress none the less. i still will make that progressive animation thing but it wont be as exact to how i actually drew it like a video would have been. also im clearly not the authority on foliage so im actually enjoying doing this with you so that i can work at some tree skills as well, its fun to have people to study with!

« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 12:37:28 am by st0ven »