AuthorTopic: GR#013 - Xochiquetzal (Nudity) - Human Anatomy  (Read 9870 times)

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

GR#013 - Xochiquetzal (Nudity) - Human Anatomy

on: December 17, 2009, 12:32:27 pm
First really serious attempt at female anatomy, decided to do something shiny. The skin's meant to be golden, feathers are a macaw's (Was previously trying to pixel a macaw this size but discouraged myself :P ) though they sorta look archaeoptrix-ish. So yeah, any crits on anatomy, face, rendering style, colours or anything else I failed to mention would be great :)



Nothing but the face and some of the feathers has been seriously pixelled, obviously, and the ref from posemaniancs is to the side. I pretty much copied straight off it.

I decided to make it an Aztec-type figure because the feathers and abundance of gold reminded me of them, and just now found that the feathered Goddess Xochiquetzal who just so happens to "have great beauty" existed. Yay coincidences :D

Offline EyeCraft

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 597
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • What are you scared of?
    • View Profile
    • Death By Dev

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 02:06:33 pm
If it's your first serious attempt at female anatomy, you're making it very hard for yourself by not only attempting to do it, but also pixel it on a pretty large canvas, and then douse it in complex texture and colour work.

I recommend just doing anatomical studies with pencil and paper, or a tablet, and learn the basic 3d shapes. If you just sit a reference next to you and start copying the contours and basic shadow shapes, you're taking the long... loooong road to learning figures. Learn how to capture the gesture of the figure, then fill it out with basic construction, then detailed construction from more extensive study of skeletal and muscular systems. Once you feel pretty fluid with that... then you can make the crazy bird lady (which is wonderfully colourful and interesting, don't get me wrong).



Start with basic solids (I start with a simplified ribcage and pelvis), work out the spine curvature, then build the forms up. Once you have your forms you can establish your planes and lay down your shadows. Sorry, don't think the edit demonstrates it very well.  :-[

Offline questseeker

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 111
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 09:15:09 am
Eyecraft's advice is good, but I think the problem is that you not only "start copying the contours and basic shadow shapes" of your reference without a good grasp of the general structure, but that you take an unreliable reference picture too literally as a consequence of this insufficient understanding.
For example:
  • The breasts of the bird lady are as spherical and unnaturally erect as those of a silicone-filled pornstar, and strangely flat and deformed (the left nipple is remarkably out of place) as if pressed against a glass, in motion or something. This is a direct consequence of the reference having large breasts in a strange pose and lacking the flesh on the upper half  of the breasts that would give them a more natural shape.
  • Arms are too thin and muscular because actual people, even if they are slim, have a bit of fat and skin over muscles.

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 11:43:41 am
Thank you both for your criticism, I realise that posemaniacs is really just for proportion and  posing help  :lol:

I posted this as the start of what I hope to be a more long-term project unaffected by deadlines, the version I posted started as a map of where the feathers would go but turned into me scribbling all the shades too :crazy: I did, as I said, just pretty much faithfully copy (I.e. the abs and legs won't end up being anywhere near that defined) the reference, and obviously not very accurately in regards to the legs :-X

I have a book, Human Anatomy for Artists by Andras Szunyoghy, which my mum grabbed a couple of christmases ago. I'm not sure of its reputation or anything but it has nice views of respective segments of the body from different views, so I plan to use that for more in depth stuff.

Here's the unfeathered version, I haven't done any further work on it but it may highlight any other errors I've made that were otherwise obscured. I know about the ridiculously over-defined legs \o/

Offline questseeker

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 111
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 12:30:19 pm
I have a book, Human Anatomy for Artists by Andras Szunyoghy, which my mum grabbed a couple of christmases ago. I'm not sure of its reputation or anything but it has nice views of respective segments of the body from different views, so I plan to use that for more in depth stuff.
But there is no "more in depth stuff": you are already trying to make a large and detailed drawing of an anatomically plausible person in a nontrivial pose, what could be more challenging? How can copying a bad rendering of a bad 3D model from posemaniacs.com compete with a book that really teaches you anatomy? "Proportion and posing" is precisely what you should learn both from books, from experience, and from your own taste without looking for shortcuts; a mannequin would be more helpful than confusingly detailed references.

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 12:41:12 pm
I have mannequins too, they're just pretty simple ones (Not detail-wise, bending ability). The book's really simple as well, shows different body types and everything.  :P
By in depth I meant shallower ( :D ), as in with skin.

I'm not looking for shortcuts either, I'm not talking about laboriously copying from book to screen. Just for a reference which is unobstructed by coloured rendering like the one previously used. I need reference because otherwise I find myself with appendages which grow bigger and bigger, and not realising until I've put in more work :blind:

Offline EyeCraft

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 597
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • What are you scared of?
    • View Profile
    • Death By Dev

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 02:49:01 pm
Good update!

You need more solid construction, a strong base upon which to render the subject. For instance, the figure is off balance, since the feet are further to the right than in the reference. Compare vertical landmarks (eg measure the alignment (or lack of) of the head, naval and ankles).

Your focus on details is dominating and obfuscating the shading process. It like super-shiny pseudo-pillow shade. Planes! Break the forms down into planes, decide on your lightsource and then lay down the values.

I agree with questseeker in that your reference (and your apparent copying/mimicking process) is leading to bizarrely thin, skinless limbs. There's flesh and fat that needs to go over the top of what you have; it creates rolls/folds and more significantly softens a LOT of the musculature.

NaCl asked me to elaborate on my earlier post, and I ended up making a (bit of an ugly, but serviceable) mini-tut. I figure I might as well make it available for you, too, since I think it applies... and I'd rather not write it all out again!  ;D
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z212/gastrop0d/sketches/figure_process_00.jpg

Keep it up!

Offline Jad

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1048
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 04:33:30 pm
Why are you drawing individual musclesssss!!!!!?

Draw a silhouette! Draw geometry! Draw curves that are appealing! Check that all this seems to correspond to the muscles on your reference but don't bother more than that - just make that base solid and then put in the details YOU want there.
' _ '

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 02:24:25 am
Further update, a little closer to my intended rendering style  :-[


@Eyecraft: Thanks for that tut, believe it or not this did start as that  :( I end up going overboard and instead of mapping out shades end up with scribbly pillowshading, so I basically redraw every pixel a couple of times :P

@Jad: Because I like to make more work for myself >.<

So, I'm pretty happy with my technical side of things thus far, concentrating on making sure the image has depth, a problem I generally have.

EDIT: Those feet were done at 2 am last night. No where near how I want 'em :P

Offline TheOne

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Karma: +0/-3
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 04:21:22 am
Eyecraft that tute is awesome! If you could recommend some books for the know muscle groups stage that'd b nice.

Hey jeremy the head features don't follow the looking up perspective. I like the finished hand.

You know mermaids they are sexy even though they are half fish. You don't think about having sex with a fish as Ricky Gervais pointed out in a joke. If the head was a fish head and there were human legs it wouldn't be sexy anymore. I think there is a fine line between a sexy mythological woman and something that is just weird. This goes over the line for me. Just an idea less feathers on the body and just keep them on the head and wings and tail: http://images.inmagine.com/img/image100/06004/060040269.jpg

Offline Ultimaodin

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Unknown Artistry
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 08:14:47 am
Okay I've used posemaniacs a lot myself to learn because book stores here have stuff all. First off try not to follow each and every muscle lines. Be selective and let some blend togeather to allow it to become smoother and less shinny looking. I personally don't find skin on a human (and many other skinned creatures) to absorb much blues I actually believe your contrast is too much. Then again I'm newish to pixel art so I could be wrong.

I honestly don't see any issue with the feather usage, after all the general pose is more of an enigmatic look rather than a sexy look.
What I do have a gripe with is the fact that her left (our right) thumb is on the right side of the hand.
As far as lighting goes, stand near a light source and see how the light hits your arms and skin. Vary rarely does the light become thin slithers. I think this may also be what's contributing to the appearance of the thumb looking to be on the opposite side.

Also not to sound perverted but I like the look o the boobs in the last one. How I mean is with the colour range and shading style.  You do not need to add mega detail to everything. And this is comming from someone who over dithers he shot out of everything.

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 10:42:50 am
@TheOne: The head's changed from the ref, it's not as up. I can't really see any features outta perspective  :ouch: My love of Ricky Gervais aside, have you seen depictions of the Aztec Gods? Pretty terrifying :) Those feathers are by no means final placing-wise either btw ;)

@Ultimaodin: The over rendered, sloppier stuff (Like that hand. Oops.) is gonna be completely overhauled to the style of that more refined section (Right arm, torso and abdomen). As for the skin colours and everything I'm going for a made-out-of-living-gold type thing :)

I think I'll probably make the head feathers longer. Looking a little buzz-cut. Update possibly coming soonish :P

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 10:42:28 am
Small update...


Pretty sure the far arm's proportionate. The speculars don't look pillowy do they? :yell:

Offline 32

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 538
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • @AngusDoolan
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19827.htm
    • angusdoolanart
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #13 on: December 20, 2009, 11:45:15 am
The breasts are really messed up, too high up for being so large, they should hang more, and the topside should be much flatter. Just look at some references.
The face isn't very feminine, I think you mostly need to soften the features, particularly the jaw and brow.
Last thing is pretty big and probably a bitch to fix but her spine curves like in the reference for the bottom half then goes straight up, in fact it looks kind of like two pictures spliced together right at the point I'm talking about, the abruptness of the hips aren't helping.

The rendering is very pretty, looking forward to seeing how you manage the feathers.

Offline rikfuzz

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 427
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • twitter @hot_pengu

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #14 on: December 20, 2009, 12:45:06 pm
Very very quick paint-over of the chest area:



What you have at the moment, is very peculiar looking.

Also the face could be a bit more fem, at the moment looks like the scary man from Blade Runner. Though the hair will help this a lot, so maybe leave tweaking the face till later.

Are you intentionally going for the three fingers thing?  It looks quite strange on a more 'realistic' piece.

Keep up the good work!  Look forward to seeing this piece get fleshed out, so to speak  : )

Offline EyeCraft

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 597
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • What are you scared of?
    • View Profile
    • Death By Dev

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 12:22:12 am
Ah, sweet updates!

Nice edit rikfuzz, though with her left breast slightly lower than her right seems out of sync with the orientation of her arms (raised arm should shift the pectoral and pull the breast up?)

But by all means yes, the breasts look more in perspective with an under-side!

Issues I recognise:



The main thing is the plumb line from the top of the head. Compare various landmarks of the legs against it, and you can see what I mean about the figure appearing off-balance. Its like the entire legs and pelvis need to the grabbed and rotated clockwise.

Regarding the neck, I hope it's obvious what I'm trying to say. The silhouette is basically correct, but the rendering has introduced all manner of strange impressions. Break the area down into planes.

With the head, you can draw lines from the corners of the brows to eachother, and to the ears, and you get a rough "box" of the head, which lets you measure the implied perspective/orientation of the skull. You seem to have almost done an oblique projection, with the face dominated by horizontal and vertical lines, and then the other parts of the head extruding back from it. Jawline should angle up from the chin, and curve upwards in line with a horizontal at the mouth. Let me word it another way: jaw curves up where the mouth is. Yours seems to almost be flat, and then curves up near the vertical of the brow.

Last thing is just something that could be a concern; different stages of rendering across the piece. I recommend working iteratively; at any point you should be able to say "if I stop now, the piece would function". Work in progressive refinement of detail. Begin with basic blocks of light and shadow, and refine the planes in finer detail until you're satisfied its complete. This isn't the only way to work (I don't follow this so vehemently, but hold it as the ideal), of course, I just see a potential problem with how you're proceeding currently. Seems like you're beginning from a shadow silhouette and adding increasingly brighter shades until you reach the speculars. Can creep into pillow-shadiness.

Pretty sure the far arm's proportionate. The speculars don't look pillowy do they? :yell:

Forearm appears too short. I'd say speculars on their own, cannot look pillowy. It's the combination of all the shades and how they are arranged that decides pillowness (oh god, I used that as a noun?!). The speculars actually beg the question "wheres the lightsource?" because the speculars on the upper torso imply up and to the left towards us, but the shading on the head implies slightly up, slightly to the right and slightly towards us.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:29:51 am by EyeCraft »

Offline Joel

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 12:41:42 am
Very very quick paint-over of the chest area:



What you have at the moment, is very peculiar looking.

Also the face could be a bit more fem, at the moment looks like the scary man from Blade Runner. Though the hair will help this a lot, so maybe leave tweaking the face till later.

Are you intentionally going for the three fingers thing?  It looks quite strange on a more 'realistic' piece.

Keep up the good work!  Look forward to seeing this piece get fleshed out, so to speak  : )

This is what I was going to point out, great edit. The breasts looked like flabby separated pectoral muscles. You really need to get that illusion of roundness and globe-likeness on the underside of the breast, it really eradicates flatness or the silicone look. Nipple position is also very important.

Offline TheOne

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Karma: +0/-3
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 10:40:48 am
eyecraft did u use books or figure that technique out yourself?

hey for you and jeremy, if u change the hand so it has a dagger, aren't you messing with the curves in the beginning stage of that tute. find a poser ref where it looks like she could be holding a dagger.

if u are just copying the ref u could edit the actual ref with feathers/background as a proof of concept. i kept the original pose and made her holding a heart (jeremy post link to scary aztec gods to help)

Offline Jeremy

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • howdy
    • pixellerjeremy
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/19218.htm
    • pixellerjeremy
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 11:40:45 am
I'm not sure I follow you... Are you suggesting that I pixel over / colour reduce the reference?  :-\

@EyeCraft: Truly informative, THANK YOU  :D
I've make amendments to nearly all your points (I assume that the four states of rendering wasn't a good thing :P ). Kept the shape of breasts I think, just changed nipple position and under-shading. (Thanks to rik too :) ) That weird neck anatomy was my joining of the #2 tendon thingy and and under-highlight. Also removed some of those feathers that were obscuring neck. It's not as enlongated as the ref, which I'm pretty sure justifies differed head angle (Head is almost leaning back) ??? Blocked out vague legs' positions, lengthened arm.

Vaguely brainstorming a bigger crest of feathers which, though not very macaw, sort of resembles types of Amazonian birds. I prefer it, anyway :)

Thanks to all for your help so far  ;D

Offline TheOne

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Karma: +0/-3
    • View Profile

Re: Xochiquetzal (NUDITY)

Reply #19 on: December 21, 2009, 12:22:31 pm
no as u would not learn anatomy which is the point. but have you thought about what the finished piece would look like. will you just have a lady looking at dagger with feathers on transparent background ( bit boring ) or will you have a scene of some sort? if u r going for the scene then do a rough version (the rip is there only to save u time)