View Full Version : Master and Servant 2D Entry: Martin Constable

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 09:04 PM
Martin Constable has entered the Master and Servant 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: My Rebellious Self (

Here it is. Wrote a small thingy on its making: Mostly stuff I found out whilst posting to this board. I have decided on a title: "My Rebellious Self". Ambiguous, but hopefully it encompasses all my ideas and expectations of it.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 09:49 PM
I think my first posting was a bit thin on detail concerning the genesis of this piece. One benefit from this challenge is that it obliges one to account for oneself more fully. This can be a learning thing.

First: the idea. Being an art historian it is only natural that some of western art history has found its way into my thought processes. Without thinking too hard I can mention The ‘Flaying of Marsayus’ (by Titian), just about any painting of St Sebastian, various saint martyrdom images, the beheading of Sampson etc.

There is also quite a bit of ‘Mr Creosote’ exploding from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (brilliant!).

Finally there is all the stuff out there in web land. I am a big fan of Ogrish ( For anyone needing a source of really extreme images this is a one stop shop (warning! Not to everyone’s taste!).

As I mentioned, the emotional relationship between the two characters comes from the brief. That has developed since its first inception, I am now decided that the little man inside the first is the master. I see clearly now that it is a refference to the notion of body and how easily it rebels from being something that we master into something that masters us. The spaceman figure itself owes a lot to Caspar David Freidrich, one of my favourite Germans.

Second: realizing the image. I owe a lot to the ‘vista’ artifice in classical landscape painting.

Here is one by Gainsborough. I am addicted to this wonderfully effective yet simple device: a dark frame leading to a light toned centre. Many variations are possible within that basic set-up.

I am also indebted to those wonderful people at The Project Apollo Image Gallery ( I do not know what I would have done without this incredible resource.

Third: the source material was the easiest part. I used stuff I already had lying around. This is one of my favourite ways of working.

The chest was from a self portrait project I have abandoned. The original image was simply a scanned photo. Not an ideal way of working as the resolution is only just big enough to print to the size I want . The insides were a re-hash of material I found when I was making 'Loss, Pain and Regret. But Mostly Loss' (

Assembling the first draught only took about an hour. Very simple. Been working at it pretty much 24/7 since then.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 10:49 PM
Well. Stating to warm up. It was my friends idea to remove the body altogether beneath his shirt. Works better I think. Worked out some of the formal issues in its construction. Most important was getting the planes right. From my diagram you can see that I set two planes going into each other leading towards the light source, much in the manner of the classic landscape vista.

The lower plane was set at a lower angle than the upper plane. Again, much like sky and ground. haven't worked on the inside figure much.

Also worked on integrating the insides with the outsides. had trouble finding a good looking spine. Does anyone know a REEEEELLY good anatomy site for such stuff?

Browsing through the forum I see that other people have very different ways of working and there are also some interesting responses to the brief are going down. Going to have a better look when I have time.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 11:17 PM
Had a look round the forums. Some dam fine preparatory drawings out there. Never been much of a one for them myself. Prefer just to jump straight in. However, I attach one to to show the low expectations I place on my drawings. I made it an animated giff so people can see what bit of the photoshop it reffers to. Think it might not have been obvious otherwise!

03 March 2005, 03:34 AM
cool beans bro. very interesting! the moon man does kind of gets lost in the guts of the pic.

03 March 2005, 05:30 AM
interesting concept and gory man~ :thumbsup: love it

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 11:24 PM
Yeh, yr right about the inside figure. Been working on it some. Also the general tone/colour of things. As you can see from my initial reference photo, I've had a long way to go in that regard. Been trying to do the Remberant thing on the light which means many, many tone adjustment layers. Still unsure of what exact direction I should go. The light looks a bit vague in its structure at the moment. Would welcome input.

Each little addition requires a separate adjustment layer. I would love a way to globally adjust several selected layers at one and this capacity is rumoured to be in the upcoming Photoshop. Cant wait.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 07:17 PM
Well... now I admit to being officially knackerd. That's English for tired. The more I work on this thing the further away it seems to get. Bills are going unpaid, important emails unanswered. Thought I would take a break to do some posting.

Been looking at the colour. Want to share a tip with folks and also a feature request for the next Photoshop: the ability to view a file as HSL. Ironically this was in the first version of Photoshop, something I happen to have. When I am unsure as what to do next colour-wise I check out a flattened version of the file in Photoshop 1, looking at its Hue, Saturation and Luminescence channels. Somewhere in the hallowed boards there is a thread on duplicating the same effect in PS CS. Haven't made it work yet.

HSL channels are very different from RGB. For my purpose, the two most important channels are S and L. L gives a tone overview of the whole thing (you can achieve much the same thing from de-saturating the image in an adjustment layer). Looking at it can tell you if your colour hasn't distracted you from establishing a good tonal backbone to your image. Painters often check out their painting in a darkened room for much the same reason.

As you can see I still have some way to go on blending in those dark edges into the background (especially on right side).

The S channel is where all the goods are concerning your colour intensity values (the brighter, the more saturated). I have tried to concentrate those into the centre of the image. Might offset all this red with some sort of green later on. Might not.

03 March 2005, 07:22 PM

and all of ur submissions including concepts must be sent through the cgtalk database,go to the main challenge page and click on submit entry.


i thought i was a goreholic.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 08:03 PM (

Had a look round the forums. Some dam fine preparatory drawings out there. Never been much of a one for them myself. Prefer just to jump straight in. However, I attach one to to show the low expectations I place on my drawings. I placed it next to the source so people can see what bit of the photoshop it reffers to. Think it might not have been obvious otherwise! Bad though they are I am very fond of my scrappy drawings and keep all of them.

What the drawing is actually saying is that the three arrowed areas need working on. The cast shadow on the ribs need establishing, the edge of the hanging shirt needs lowering and the lung thing needs attention.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 08:15 PM
Thank you for telling me. I have done everything wrong. Doh! Will re-submit stuff in proper way.

03 March 2005, 08:17 PM
dude haha,thats sick!

i think its against the rules to show this much gore!

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 08:33 PM
Well I hope not. Though it might look a bit extreme you will notice that the guy doesn't look too concerned at his situation. This, for me, exemplifies the metaphorical nature of the image. In other words it is a state of mind that the thing is 'about' and not the situation itself.

I have thought a lot about what the image comes from. Though I am loathed to get personal I can tell you this: that some years back I was chronically sick. I could not work for about three of four years. In that time I was obliged to no longer take my body for granted and to treat it as a thing in revolt. I could only sit back and become a passenger to its dysfunction.

This was neither a good thing or a bad thing. Everyone will eventually face something like this in their lives.

That is where this image comes from. What do people think?

(PS I am better now).

03 March 2005, 08:39 PM
haha i hope u are better,i thinks its great,i'm just worried that it might conflict with the rules.

but lets hope its ok.its an interesting concept.

Jack Youngblood
03 March 2005, 08:49 PM (

Here is the image further down the line. In the forum I have posted a little thing on colour. For me it helps to separate the tone from the colour and to do this I use the HSL capacity of Photoshop 1 (other application have this like Apples Shake).

Looking at what I have done so far I can see that the edges are still too dark (especially on the left hand side). Also the specific light condition is still a bit primitive.

For the flare I used Knoll Lens Flare. This is a tasty little plug-in that was invented by the same guy who invented Photoshop (we are not worthy! etc).

04 April 2005, 12:08 AM
:eek:, well what can i say... is a very original concept i'll never think i something like that.

04 April 2005, 12:30 AM
Wonderful work man. Quite a delight, something fresh and interresting.

04 April 2005, 04:44 PM
hey, great idea, so schizophrenic... keep up good work

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 06:54 PM (

Well here is the image further down the line. The colour has been greatly rationalised since my last posting.

I have separated it into two to demonstrate the following:

Previously: most local (ie arm layer, head layer, chest layer etc) tone adjustments were done via a topmost adjustment layer set. This was uneconomical and confusing. I have now separated local adjustments onto local layers (seen in the left half) and the global 'tweaks' onto the topmost layer set (right half). It helps to keep a tidy file.

I have, in the process, tidied the file up visually. I shall post some before and afters in the forum to show what I mean.

I still have a long way to go. My progress is slowing down considerably (the last %10 takes longer than the first 90 etc) and I do not expect to have it finished until at least a weeks time.

04 April 2005, 07:21 PM
wow, i really like the flesh and organs:thumbsup:

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 07:34 PM
Here is an animated gif to show the last three stages I have been through. To stop the gif at any stage try click and holding your mouse over the scroll bar of the browser (works on a mac ;).

From 1 to 2 I have made many adjustments and refinements on the details, many of which cant be seen. The original image was put together in such a rush that I had a lot of shaggy masks to tidy up. The biggest change was in moving the shirt tail lower down so its edge did not coincide with the edge of the shirt roll. I do not like it when edges and points coincide without a good reason.

I also did numerous other tweaks like putting in that little triangle of light in the crook of the raised arm.

Also, as I mentioned in my previous post the tone adjustment layers were rationalised. A lot of this work is invisible, doing little more than making my file easier to work on. A sort of spring clean. Most of my tone adjustment is either by curves (for adjustments) or by multiply/screen layers (for invented tones).

3 is the final, top most, adjustment layer. This was no more than two curves (one to darken and warm the image, the other to enrich the organs in the middle) and two layers set to screen (for the flare effect). The flare was courtesy of Knoll Lens flare Pro.

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 09:00 PM
I'v been assembling all the images I posted here into a sorta online tutorial thing. Here is a set of mid stage 'before and after's' that I knocked for it. Thort they were interesting.

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 09:15 PM
I've nearly finished now. I've worked on the tones, tweaked bits and pieces endlessly and tidied things up. Recently added / changed = a little bit of blue reflected light on some edges, the line of the lower shirt edge, the trousers sorted out, a final corner darken to the whole thing.

Watya think?

04 April 2005, 07:30 AM
your cloth is reallly nice. Nice textures. The rest is pretty slick also. man o man cool little details.

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 08:20 AM
Thanks! The cloth was a real frankenstein job. Lots of photos, some scans, some textures, lots of painting. No photographed clothes are ever excatly as you want them.

The details I always like working up. I feel they hold they eye.

Had a look at your space opera response. Heluva scope! Reminded me of Dune.

04 April 2005, 11:10 AM
It´s really a hand drawing image??????? WOw it´s like a photo, you are a monster, original design mate. How many hours take to this point?.

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 06:57 PM
Actually a mixture of hand drawn and collage. The reference photos are page one of this thread.

Had a look at your page. Not for the first time I am interested in ZBrush.

04 April 2005, 08:36 AM
!!!??? I don't know what to say: just that when I look at my entry, I wonder why I bother!!! :-)

It's awsome, and can't believe that you did that for the 2D challenge, when I saw it first, I thought it was for the 3D challenge! what software are you using?

Jack Youngblood
04 April 2005, 09:09 AM
thank you!

Software used = Photoshop, also lots of Google searching (for reference material) and some plain old photography (again for reference photos). Some of my reference material can be found on the first page of this thread.

04 April 2005, 09:12 AM
now that is one intriguing concept...

Jack Youngblood
05 May 2005, 08:33 PM
I have finished now. Wrote a small piece on it ( Not excatly a tutorial, more a small overview of some of the things I found on the way especially through posting on this board.

05 May 2005, 09:07 PM
awesome dude, & unique:)

Jack Youngblood
05 May 2005, 09:10 PM (

Here it is. Wrote a small thingy on its making: Mostly stuff I found out whilst posting to this board. I have decided on a title: "My Rebellious Self". Ambiguous, but hopefully it encompasses all my ideas and expectations of it.

05 May 2005, 02:56 AM
Jack very interresting concept, I think in way it suits the contest, great work

05 May 2005, 09:57 AM
I think I'm going to be sick... :argh:

Jack Youngblood
05 May 2005, 11:06 AM
yeh. and look what happened last time I was sick....

05 May 2005, 11:13 AM
Haha! Good one! :p

05 May 2005, 12:08 AM
I can't say more that your work is very original, your finished image are well done, sorry for don't say more, is too "fleshy" for my likes. but i want to celebrate your work.

And thanks for your replies in my challenge those help me a lot.

...very original :thumbsup:

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