AuthorTopic: GR#011 - Trees - Canopy Styles  (Read 57387 times)

Offline Scribblette

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #20 on: April 16, 2009, 11:57:24 pm
My crash was courtesy of Spybot S&D's Teatimer eating my monitor calibration software. ::) Fortunately it was only bad blotting that I lost.

Thanks St0ven! What you've provided there is plenty helpful, and should help me start off on the right foot when it comes to shading. And it'd save me time on trying to erase the darkest layer over the brances later on when looking to expose a little trunk. Eesh. :) I can also see now that my bonsai is horribly off balance at the front. Hard to draw foreshortened branches to look at the right angle, especially as just silhouettes! Have to rework the trunk.

I don't know about videos. I'm still a big fan of a collection of saved WIPs (as is probably obvious!). I'm especially curious about painting in clusters with appropriate lighting and the detailing stage.

I'll be making a slightly larger version of the trunk next to the flat tree later on - I thought I'd thrown off the perspective on the branches and thought I'd try for simpler trees first. Had a reference x4 the size from a Secret of Mana tileset. Buried somewhere on my laptop, must find.

EDIT: Awesome, St0ven. Given how long it takes me to get as far as you did so quickly, there's probably a lot to be learnt if you do manage to get video recording to work on your PC.

--

I wonder how much harder - or easier - I'm making it by drawing as large as I am. It's difficult to work out the lighting on something like a tree - especially this upper top left angle traditional to games. Most of the light visible on the tree would probably be reflected light, then. To get the hang of lighting, I figure maybe I should go draw a giant cone, then explode it from within. Maybe that'll help?

Last night, my partner helped me with some advice I'd never heard before - squint when you're shading something. Somehow it seems to make it easier to see whether something 'looks right'. It worked with some sketches I had (balls and cones, yippee) so hoping it'll help with this bonsai attempt too.

Must resist... urge to squeal... like schoolkid... with autograph... squee?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 06:53:23 am by Scribblette »
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Offline Scribblette

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #21 on: April 17, 2009, 12:29:16 pm
As I wasn't able to work out what was wrong with my bonsai attempt at the time (volume on the left but flat on the right and confused how to colour blot it out) I started from scratch again. With st0ven's advice I considered the tree branches better while working, knowing that parts of it would be on display. I have still color blotted it to start with, to be as close as possible to getting the basics right - form and lighting.

I think also perhaps the top of the tree skeleton doesn't obey the same perspective as the base of the trunk. I might try to improve the curve at the base of the canopy to match it too. Two brighter canopy highlights are available in the palette for later use, but all the darker ones are already in there. I suspect I use too many colours for a newbie.

I 'think' this is close enough for me to continue on properly. I'll update the image as I progress and note in the edits, but I doubt I'll get much done on the weekend. The hungry monster in the living room will be stealing most of it, I expect...



Edit: Updated. Hit ctrl-f5 if you can't see the giant yellow haybale on the lower right.

I feel like I started off on the right foot but screwed up when it came to lighting foliage. I feel like there's some core fundamental that just hasn't stuck in my head yet and do not know what it is. This looks like a hay bale. I don't know how to capture leaf clusters yet.

Sigh. I like the general design of the branches (haven't anti-aliased or shaded or anything to that yet - just the structure I like) so hopefully will come back to it when I'm more knowledgeable. For now I think I'll abandon trees and work on weeds and very small bushes instead. Maybe I'll learn the something I'm missing.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 06:44:33 am by Scribblette »
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Offline Dusty

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #22 on: April 17, 2009, 09:48:14 pm
In your first post, in the sprite sheet the very first 'leafy' tree is the one I like the most. It has the form and a sort of 'puff' to it that really reads tree, in a beautiful way as well. What's wrong with it?

Offline PypeBros

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #23 on: April 18, 2009, 11:44:59 am
at least your "pepper tree" is a good reference for my little growing forest ...
The "balls" approach seems dangerous to me ... It could too easily lead you to "brocoli" trees.

(will come back and try to learn/give more interesting advice, promise.)

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study

Reply #24 on: April 20, 2009, 05:48:13 am
In your first post, in the sprite sheet the very first 'leafy' tree is the one I like the most. It has the form and a sort of 'puff' to it that really reads tree, in a beautiful way as well. What's wrong with it?

I was concerned I wasn't learning to draw a tree so much as learning to copy and paste, so wanted to try another approach. Plus I was worried it'd look too messy. I thought I'd practice with larger leaves first since they'd be quicker, but as is now clear that just wound up with a very different looking tree.

I accidentally saved over it too >_<

Edit - nevermind my color depth issues. Color depth can't be changed to x bit when it already IS x bit. I'm surprised I can put one pixel next to another...

Edit #2 - I don't mean to abandon the leaf by leaf approach, though. Will likely come back to it depending on progress with other styles.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 06:50:56 am by Scribblette »
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Offline Scribblette

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Project Broccoli updated (again)

Reply #25 on: April 23, 2009, 06:48:23 am
Ow. My brain.

I've been studying the trees from Orcs! by Big Brother, but I can't get my head around the final highlighting stage where they complete the impression of leaves. I don't understand how he'd draw the leaf cluster (stem with one each side and maybe four before end point) in a colour and then remember the shape inside it to highlight properly... or something.

The WIP image of 'Project Broccoli' above has been updated.

I feel horribly like I'm missing out on some fundamentals somewhere, and I don't know what they are - as if to get this right I'd have to have been a painter or some such, as if others can just paint 'almost right' from the start, while I spend forever working from the ground up.

Not that I mean to give up - I'm just hopeful there's some advice out there on how to capture leaf clusters properly. Otherwise I'll have to consider a simpler cartoonish or cell-shaded type design to make progress at a decent pace. Advice on that is welcome too.

Edit: Updated, but no point making a new post/comment about it. I really don't know what I should be doing to improve and only seem to be going backwards, so I am stopping the foliage of that one there. It is not working out despite numerous different style attempts. As suggested I may return to the leaf by leaf approach, but I will start with weeds, radishes and small saplings instead. Maybe I will learn the 'missing something' in the process.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 06:51:38 am by Scribblette »
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Offline Scribblette

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Arf. Project Broccoli Phase II

Reply #26 on: April 24, 2009, 10:01:51 am
Sometimes I think I'm human. Then I remember that I'm like a dog with a bone. And. I won't. Let go. Of your trouser leg. Grrr. Dog don't care if not bone, dog just want CHEW.



Project Broccoli continues. This time I grabbed the palette and style from a tree in RPG Maker XP - I think it was an edit someone did. RMXP uses 2x2 squares and a cross for some of theirs, but I was curious how it'd look with 3x3.

A MARVELLOUS IDEA CAME TO ME! All I need to do is do the exact same thing with not 3x3 and not 2x2 but 1x1 squares and OMGS IT'LL BE PERFECTS!!  :noob: - yes, sarcasm.

The third and fourth phase of shading here were very rough and detracted a bit. However, I feel like I'm making some progress with my 'hidden fundamental something that is wrong'. Specifically, I think it can bypassed by cheating.  ::)

Edit: Updated, now has three rows of trees. Still battling with pillow shading.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 04:05:34 am by Scribblette »
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study (updated 24th)

Reply #27 on: April 24, 2009, 02:07:04 pm
the biggest thing, and i think it's been said, is that leaves do not actually form spheres most of the time, they form something more like muffin heads.  imagine, say, a bucket of concrete, holding out your hand, like a branch, and spraying it all over it.  That's probably as close as most tees will come to a sphere form - it's a really flattened, lumpy and droopy ball.  evergreens on the other hand tend to have better upward motion, even the bally ones like olives.  Either way though, few trees have branches which spread their leaves equally in all directions.
The other big "oops!" is that tee branches do not form themselves soooo influenced by their neighbors.  they are far more independent from branch to branch, producing these overlaps you'll see in the photo.  You've got them hitting like little nations, where each branch and its leaves inhabit a space exclusive of all other branches - this isn't how it works.  A branch will fall where it wants, for better or for worse.
Last, you're pillowshading a bit.  try to consider the whole as you work.

googling simply "tree" comes up with i think the est example:

« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 02:12:39 pm by ndchristie »
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Offline Scribblette

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study (updated 24th)

Reply #28 on: April 24, 2009, 02:56:55 pm
Thank you for the constructive input, ndchristie.

I tried to set it so that the branches that were most prominent were the ones I developed twigs on, that I might have some idea where to start leaf clusters - and to keep it easy to distinguish between branches by avoiding overlaps on the front - but I get now that it's going to be a lot more complicated than that.

Maybe the horrible fundamental was the pillowshading - I think it got worse the more I did. I'm still not sure how to capture the light (lack of core knowledge maybe, so more sketch practice required), but will keep trying - I practiced with balls and cones, not gloops of concrete, unfortunately. It seems most tree pictures come with the light from up front and left, but I don't know if that makes them easier to shade.

Hoping I improve from here and can actually put the advice into action.
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: [WIP] Tree / forest / canopy study (updated 24th)

Reply #29 on: April 24, 2009, 03:26:23 pm
I know that trees can be a tough subject for a lot of people, but I can't help but think that you're making things a little too complicated.  This is nature we're talking about, just feel things out gesturally.



here you have a 5-minute tree drawn while drinking coke and listening to Queen Jane Approximately.  It's nothing stunning, but there's not anybody I know that would look and say "brother, that's no tree."  It has all the important things - a sense of air, a sense of volume, a sense of light, and organic asymmetry.  It's also small, which makes that easy.  When working fast for studies it's a good idea to take GBA or DS sizes because they are so wieldy.  I think that's a good exercise for anything - pick out a longish song you love with a modest beat (don't race yourself) and only work until the song stops.  Under Pressure is another good one that I work to.  After you've thrown all that down you can go back and polish, but don't try and polish from the start with all the leaves and little ditty dots and things.
Beside it is a similarly quick doodle shown not because i think it was particularly successful, but because you can see how i started with just largely places shapes and just began to fill in over.  this can help get stated.  Remember: wieldy :).
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 03:36:21 pm by ndchristie »
A mistake is a mistake.
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