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View Full Version : Requesting Advice: Environment/Genereal


rawb
02-05-2010, 02:25 PM
Hey everyone,

I've been having some artistic troubles lately and I was hoping I might be able to obtain some advice.

I am comfortable in some areas of art but lately I have been feeling like it's a huge uphill struggle. Admittedly I love drawing creatures and whatnot but I was going to do an art challenge and came upon a road block. MY idea was a city block leading to a walled sort of tower. Well, the perspective has been KILLING me, amongst other things. It just made me sit there reevaluating what I know, or more importantly what I don't know.

I really have no idea even where to even begin to improve at enviroments and perspective. Color palettes are a huge weakness of mine. I have been learning color theory and I have the basics but I have a hard time coming up with a good palette. I am also horrendous at gathering reference it seems. I want to improve - badly - and I am willing to put the time and effort into it but I don't know where to start. I guess I have a problem visualizing past the first stage, the stage where everything kind of looks like dung.

I am by all means not a quitter but I really want to find a way to learn and improve but I don't know where to start. I feel kind of silly posting this but I really just need a bit of direction. My gallery has a few pieces of mine to give an indication of skill level/competence.


Thanks,
Rob

rawb
02-05-2010, 04:06 PM
Also, something else that's on my mind regarding the subject of improving. Tutorials. I subscribe to IMFX (honestly, I love that magazine) and although I read it cover to cover and try to absorb the knowledge I never actually DO the tutorials. I am very hesitant to paint, actually. Like, once I get started and get into it I love it but getting started is really difficult for me. I guess one of the things I was thinking about regarding tutorials is that I can't really use the result if just copy a tutorial. Maybe it's the lack of originality? But I guess just doing it gives me the end result of practice and knowledge. Does anyone have an opinion on following tutorials exactly?

Lunatique
02-06-2010, 05:00 AM
Look at it this way--let's say for the next 10 pieces you do, they'll all be below the standard you hope you'd be able to reach. If you do those 10 pieces with your original ideas, you'll end up with 10 substandard works, essentially wasting your original ideas on substandard works. If you do the next 10 pieces following tutorials, you'll end up with 10 learning experiences that will really help you improve, so that starting with piece #11 and on, your original ideas will benefit from vast improvements gained with the tutorials, and you'll be able to execute your original ideas at much higher quality.

As for improving in general, have you gone through the awesome sticky threads at the top of this forum?

rawb
02-06-2010, 11:00 PM
Look at it this way--let's say for the next 10 pieces you do, they'll all be below the standard you hope you'd be able to reach. If you do those 10 pieces with your original ideas, you'll end up with 10 substandard works, essentially wasting your original ideas on substandard works. If you do the next 10 pieces following tutorials, you'll end up with 10 learning experiences that will really help you improve, so that starting with piece #11 and on, your original ideas will benefit from vast improvements gained with the tutorials, and you'll be able to execute your original ideas at much higher quality.

As for improving in general, have you gone through the awesome sticky threads at the top of this forum?

Hi,

Yes, thank you! I guess I was just going through a very discouraging little phase. I had some epic failage on a piece I was working on that really hampered my confidence for a bit. I am going to start doing tutorials more. I just have to get over the itch of not doing my own piece in order to learn for it.

Thanks for responding to my questions though. Sometimes you just kind of need someone to tell you to suck it up and push through it. :)

halen
02-09-2010, 11:32 AM
Color palettes are a huge weakness of mine. I have been learning color theory and I have the basics but I have a hard time coming up with a good palette.

Judgin by your work in the gallery I don't see huge weaknesses here. Maybe some minimalistic choises of color hues, but that might also be just a matter of taste. Color theory gives some tools to emphasis things you want to communicate and you already seem to use some of it.

What actually is the problem? How about picking some reference with palette you like and getting colors from there (just transferring that knowledge to environments??)? You may even pixelate the picture and get simplier starting palette if you want..?


Does anyone have an opinion on following tutorials exactly?

Imho following tutorials is like following navigator while driving. There is no point, if you know the way. There is also no point blindly following those directions. You should also pay attention where are you going so you won't need navigator the next time - and sometimes you may also know a lot better route.

But if there is something that is not trivial to do, it is usefull to do tutorials, untill you know the way and know how to apply it.

Usually I'm not for doing blindly anything and I am quite reluctant to do any tutorials or rehearshals if I don't know WHY I'm doing those, but when I do, it is easy to choose what I need to do. There are some exceptions. Some things can't be covered just with step by step tutorial or with one rehearshal, they just scratch the surface of some greater thing that might be discoverable only by getting involved.

For example actors may do dozens of improvisation exercises or throw themselves to some weird flow while rehearsing. Those exercises in themshelves usually produce just useless crap (sometimes you can also hit the gold vein), but they may teach small part of being more confident on the stage or front of camera or to react more spontaneously to suprising situations or to get more connected with the character one is working.



sidenote: I just "love" this kind of tutorials:

TUTORIAL: "How to draw an amazing space ship"

Step 1) draw an amazing space ship :rolleyes:

Steps 2-72).... some trivial polishing, after you already got it there.

vapsman88
02-09-2010, 06:20 PM
sidenote: I just "love" this kind of tutorials:

TUTORIAL: "How to draw an amazing space ship"

Step 1) draw an amazing space ship :rolleyes:

Steps 2-72).... some trivial polishing, after you already got it there.

That reminds me of a bit Steve Martin did back in his stand-up days:

"You can be a Millionaire and never pay taxes! First get a Million dollars...."

vapsman88
02-09-2010, 06:29 PM
Does anyone have an opinion on following tutorials exactly?

Actually I love IFX magazine too and I do follow the tutorials I am interested in exactly, it's like training wheels until you can ride on your own. I also try to understand the why of the tutorial steps so I can understand how to apply the techniques on my own.

Another thing I do in respect to environments is study photos of different environments and also study works by Concept Artists such as Ryan Church, Syd Mead, etc.
I used to develop 3D environments for a flight simulator so that gives me some insights as well.

halen
02-11-2010, 11:25 AM
That reminds me of a bit Steve Martin did back in his stand-up days:

"You can be a Millionaire and never pay taxes! First get a Million dollars...."

My toughts exactly. :beer:

Myrmedus
02-14-2010, 11:09 PM
Have to agree on the IFX comments from the OP, I personally find it generally unhelpful in any form of artistic direction or tutelage. What I find it useful for is ideas/help with creating useful custom brushes and simply adding to the visual library, perhaps picking up things purely by looking at the pictures, but this could be done purely by looking taking a quick tour of top concept artist webpages and as for the tutorials themselves they are indeed fairly useless because of the reasons already explained (ie. Step 1: Produce a masterpiece, Step 2-100: Polish it off).

DVDs are generally excellent however and I find Ryan Church and Dylan Cole especially good in not only producing excellent work on the DVDs but also being exceptional at teaching it and breaking down what they're doing.

Lunatique
02-15-2010, 03:15 AM
The problem with most magazine tutorials is that magazines do not allow the author of the tutorial enough space to really explain in detail. The truth is, magazine are all about cramming in a ton of content to make the magazine look like it's filled to the brim with goodies--that's what sells the magazine. But you'll find most magazines do not go in-depth on much because they have strict page counts and word counts, and most established features/columns/reviews have strict formats dictated by the established visual design of the layout. They are always sacrificing the depth/quality of the content for the sake of the visual balance.

If you create an in-depth tutorial for a magazine, they'll simply just chop it down to fit their layout format and page/word count. They will paraphrase you to the point of creating mistakes due to altering the context of what you're saying, and they often delete entire sentences or paragraphs during editing. Since they're not you and they're usually not artists, they would chop off really important parts of the tutorial without even realizing it, mistaking the important parts as less relevant, and keeping the parts they think the lowest common denominator will relate to the most. This is an unfortunate reality of publishing.

The most helpful tutorials are the ones that don't just show the steps, but explain the cerebral/creative reasons for all the decisions made, how mistakes were corrected along the way ( I hate tutorials that makes it seem like there were no missteps along the way--bullshit), or talks about clever workflow/tips&tricks that are really practical and useful.

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