View Full Version : texture/light/render - character & environment - puddlefish

04 April 2002, 11:46 PM
I'm definitely in for this one. Hope all you other 2D artists are too. We pestered the moderators enough for this forum, so we better make good use of it!!

I'm going to do a demon type of thingy in it's environment (I'm thinking of a swamp) from an original concept design.

Early concepts will be up shortly.

Good luck to everyone!

04 April 2002, 07:22 PM
Ok, here's an initial design. Kind of a big mantis with a dinosaur head type thingy. The rear 'leg' is a tail of sorts that protrudes from the middle back and is used for a single rear leg when not moving fast. To run, it propells the body up so that it's arms can act as it's front legs and the two short ones as hind legs. The tail then acts as a balance.

All clear? :rolleyes:

He will be posed and placed in a environment before any heavy painting work is done.

Anyway, crits welcome!

04 April 2002, 07:58 PM
PS: Will be painted in Photoshop 6.0 with a Wacom.

04 April 2002, 08:02 PM
He he...interesting!Are you going to base your final pic on that pose?

04 April 2002, 08:22 PM
No, this is just a design sketch to figure out proportions, mechanics etc. I think he'll probably be running in the final painting, I have to do a similar sketch to this for that position before I start painting, just to make sure it looks (mildly) believable.

04 April 2002, 09:39 PM

That is one scary looking critter. I like your detail work and use of crosshatching.. Very cool. Looking forward to seeing more.


04 April 2002, 09:40 PM
:bounce: Dude!
Making such a great sketch for "proportions, mechanics etc." is way beyond me... You are my hero! :thumbsup:

The design looks like the bugs in Starship Troopers with a twist...

04 April 2002, 09:53 PM
I'm going to post an update tomorrow, of the running pose and probably with a slightly altered head ( a little too tricaratops at the moment ). After that it's into composition in the environment.
In reterospect, maybe a swamp scene wouldn't suit him, those pincer legs probably wouldn't be too practical, maybe a forest? Seems like he could maybe climb trees pretty easy.
Anyway, let me know what your thoughts are, and thanks for the comments!!

04 April 2002, 01:42 AM
Nice work :D
I like the design...really original creature, and it's method of locomotion is interesting. Can't wait to see more.


04 April 2002, 07:44 AM
great design, but i think the head doesn't really go with the body, just because i'm used to seeing it as dino i guess...

04 April 2002, 05:52 AM
Ok, a bit behind schedule, but here's an updated design.
The direction of of the small rear legs' knee joint has been reversed (this makes much more sense when he is in his moving/running pose), and the head has been altered (let's hear those comments!).
Tomorrow (promise!) I'll have a sketch of the moving/running position and hopefully a rough idea of environment.
Crits welcome as always!

04 April 2002, 06:12 AM
Gotta redo that head. Too much like an elephant!! (damn it's late :o)

04 April 2002, 04:18 PM
god... how some people can draw so good ??!! :) :) :) :)

not patient to see the final one ;) :) :)
excellent work

04 April 2002, 05:40 PM
Ok, here's a (very rushed and messy) sketch of him in his running/moving position. The final painting will probably be closer to this pose, but a little more dramatic. I was thinking of having two of them fight?
On second glance, I think I kinda like the head, and once you view him at 3/4 view, as opposed to portrait, it loses some (but not all) of its elephant look, given the dual feelers.
As always, crits welcome.

04 April 2002, 05:52 PM
:) Nice going.I really like what you've done with the muscles and skin. Interesting bone structure.I thing that you should give it a pose with greater use of perspective...well waiting to see the progress:thumbsup:

04 April 2002, 06:33 PM
:bounce: Great :bounce:

Really nice drawings. Looking forward to see the painting.

04 April 2002, 08:15 PM
yeah like your character, can't wait to see him with color!:thumbsup: i agree with Cgkoko, try a more angled view to get better perspective

04 April 2002, 08:35 PM
Thanks for the comments guys.

Cgkoko & System404: These are still just proportion and design sketches, the final composition will of course be more dramatic.
When I said that the last sketch would be closer to the painting, I meant that he would probably be on his four legs in a more active position, as oppossed to the first two sketches where he's in his 'staying still but using his arms' position. :)
I'm thinking of having two of them fighting in a swampy environment, maybe with one clinging to a big tree with those claws.
Any thoughts?

04 April 2002, 02:35 AM
Once again I'm running behind schedule!! Dammit!!
Ok, I absolutely PROMISE (for real this time) to have my compositional sketch done and dusted tomorrow. Then it's into the painting itself over the weekend.
Later :)

04 April 2002, 02:47 AM
I'm impressed! Question: How are you making such drastic changes to your image and keeping it so clean? Are you drawing on paper or on a digital art pad? Just wondering. Excellent design. Great style.. I think your scene idea sounds really cool. I'd like to see some carnage in a scene with animals like that. Good job!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
(2 thumbs up)


04 April 2002, 03:47 PM
DigitalSkorpyon: They're all drawn in photoshop with a Wacom tablet :wip:
The second image is a reconstruction of elements of the first, with changes and blends added. The third one is a totally seperate image.

04 April 2002, 09:24 PM
OK, here's the first one as it will (probably) be posed in the final painting. There will be two of them, and this one is circling the other one in a confrontational kinda way. The other one will be up on its little hind legs ( la picture 2) preparing to defend itself.
They're in a swampy type of environment which I'm going to fill with crazy plants. That's the plan anyway.
Comments welcome.

04 April 2002, 11:19 PM
i like your style of drawing, it looks like it belongs in an old science book, like these creatures actually existed. can't wait to see it painted.

04 April 2002, 01:33 AM
Great job puddlefish. I like all the variations we've seen. I've got to get me one of those wacom tablets. Do you or anyone know how much I could get a pretty decent one for? I couldn't imagine being able to draw directly into Photoshop.... :drool:

Waiting for the next update..... :thumbsup:

04 April 2002, 02:15 AM
love your last picture!! like the pose a lot. can't wait to see them painted:D

04 April 2002, 03:16 AM
Thanks guys!!
DigitalSkorpyon: My Wacom is an A5 size, which I think is perfect, any bigger gets a bit awkward for me. It means you can hold it on your knee like a real sketch pad. It's an Intous 2, and It cost me about 500 euro(ish).
Well recommended though!
Here's a (very rough and messy) sketch of what I think the layout of the final painting will be. The plants and trees will be made look a lot more interesting, and there will be a lot of vines and creepers hanging from the canopy, which the light will be coming down in beams through. The creature on the branch is steadying himself by burying his back claw into a thick section of tree.
I'm focusing as much here on the surroundings as the creatures, which is why they're quite small in the frame, and the poses aren't overly dramatic. Trying to give it more of a nature programme feel than a fantasy painting look. Think this might lend to believability. Maybe.
What do you think of this approach? Would you prefer to see a more straighforward dramatic painting?

04 April 2002, 03:19 AM
Crap! I just noticed the creature on the tree's right arm doesn't make sense!
Aww nuts!

04 April 2002, 03:47 AM
i like the composition for your piece. It would be great if you tried a more realistic setting instead of the fantasy one. if you can get realistic textures of trees and composite some real plants over it, it would be amazing. The idea with beams of lights coming from the canopy of trees is also good because it will give it some nice setting and mood. I think the character poses are pretty good if you want something more dynamic have the one on the tree up in the air with water splashing out from underneath, just a thought though. can't wait to see it colored

04 April 2002, 06:42 AM
Great Character....Only thing is all 5 limbs right now look too pointed to permit feasible least two of them should be a little bit flat or adapted for gripping.
:buttrock: It rocks enough for 5 stars though!! :buttrock:

04 April 2002, 03:15 PM
System404: I think if I was to have the further creature in the air, I'd have to go in a lot closer to them, losing alot of the environment. Not too sure if I want to do this, but I might do up a quick sketch to see.

skello: The idea with all 5 limbs being pointed is that it lives in a swampy environment, laden with interwoven tree limbs and creepers. The spikes are used to navigate these easily, not having to worry about footholes or grip, seeing as everything would be moist and slippery.

Thanks guys!

04 April 2002, 05:22 PM
:D aah! that's cool then
:wip: ok time for a WIP:wip:

04 April 2002, 07:33 PM
Wicked stuff!!!

I think that this could be one of the great entries of this month and would even knock most of the 3D dudes out of the ring!!! I guess this piece will be hard work for you since you told us that you work in huge sizes!!! Anyway good luck!!!

Keep it coming!!!

04 April 2002, 01:35 PM
Very nice!:bounce: waiting to see some textures and lighting!

04 April 2002, 06:43 PM
OK, running a bit behind schedule due to my trying desperately to cling to some loose semblance of a social life...
I'm still not sure whether to go with this style of 'documentary' type composition or something a little more dramatic.
Will post later today.

04 April 2002, 10:56 PM
Ok, here's a revised and more finished layout sketch (well, the creatures are more finished anyway). Went for a tighter crop on them, and changed the sreature further from us. I think this pose is a little more interesting, as well as showing off the creatures mechanics and answering the question raised by skello as to why all five limbs end in points.

Will start colour work asap.
In the meantime, all comments welcome.

04 April 2002, 10:59 PM
The perspective on the creature furthest from us' middle arm is off. :annoyed:
Will fix!!

04 April 2002, 06:35 AM
AAh! yeah...i see your reason for the pointed limbs now:) :thumbsup:...I think the perspective is fine:shrug: ......So paint it already!!!!:annoyed:

04 April 2002, 09:13 PM
Hey!! who took away my fifth star??!!! :(

04 April 2002, 09:21 PM
Do not is a 5 from me!;)

04 April 2002, 11:07 PM
Cgkoko: Thanks!! What a mean thing to do, give a very low vote anonomously and not actually post any critisisms. :shrug:

04 April 2002, 11:37 PM
how big are you working in PS? Originals and final comp?

04 April 2002, 12:05 AM
rendermonkey23: These are drawn entirely from scratch in photoshop, and the files are about a metre square at 300dpi.
Enormous, I know, but it helps me get lots of detail and I like the optical blending that occurs when they are shrunk.

04 April 2002, 12:32 AM
A metre? 3 feet? I'm american brotha :D :bounce: :D

How big pixel wise?

04 April 2002, 12:47 AM
This is probably one of the most unique scenes I've seen. I like the swamp and the positioning of the characters. Looking really good. How long until we see some color?



04 April 2002, 04:59 AM
rendermonkey23: Sorry!!:rolleyes:
About 10,000 pixels square, give or take.

DigitalSkorpyon: Soon, gotta work more than usual this week. asap!

04 April 2002, 05:05 PM
excellent ,great character,you did a great job ,wow !!!:thumbsup:

04 April 2002, 01:48 AM
Gabe: Thanks, I'm a big fan of your entry!!

Now that I'll (finally) soon be adding colour to this, lets hear some suggestions as to the colours of the creatures, plants and lighting.

Be interested to hear what you guys think.

PS: look! a whole smilie band, complete with groupies!-
:buttrock: :drumrock: :airguitar :twisted: :xtreme: :bowdown:

04 April 2002, 02:09 PM
how about some variations on the usual dull green/brown colour palette usually seen for swamp images.

are the creatures carnivores or herbivores? do they operate via stealth (if so then colours must match environment)

do they have any bright colours for attracting mating partners?

ummm.... yeah.... :buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

04 April 2002, 04:54 PM
Hey looking good man! Intresting creatures. Keep it up!

04 April 2002, 11:31 PM
Krugar: questions, questions...
Yeah, I'm gonna steer clear (well, not totally clear) of standard colours. Various plants and growths will introduce a splash of colour to the swamp.
As regards the creatures themselves, yes, they are carniverous. I'm thinking of making them an off-white, with markings in a darker colour.

04 April 2002, 03:37 AM
sweet, that sounds dopalicious :airguitar

(am i the only one that thinks that "airguitar" looks like a booty slap?)

04 April 2002, 10:53 AM
congrats puddlefish, these are looking really impressive. these babies could be the next big hit in the movies :) who knows??

bye from henry

04 April 2002, 08:52 PM
henry: funny you should say that, because yesterday I was looking through a (really cool) book of the concept work for Star Wars Episode II, and there is a creature that's quite similar in design, but it has six legs ending in spikes, and has no middle shoulder leg. The head is also quite different.

Remember, you saw it here first!!

04 April 2002, 12:02 AM
LOL, ok puddlefish! lips sealed!! don't worry! :twisted:

(Dialing Lucas Film inc. Please Wait):thumbsup:

04 April 2002, 05:25 AM
lol...hey what is the name of that book.

04 April 2002, 01:33 PM
em... the concept design of Star Wars Episode II, I think.
Big book, hardback, silverish cover. Expensive.

But nice...

04 April 2002, 10:07 PM
cool, I just ordered it from amazon...doesn't ship until tomorrow. Can't wait.

04 April 2002, 11:24 PM
oooooooh I hate you! u got a credit card!! :annoyed: :cool:

bye from henry:wavey:

04 April 2002, 11:35 PM
:D :buttrock: (got to use it wisely though)

04 April 2002, 11:40 PM
oh don't worry i'll use it wisely :twisted: just tell me the number!

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
h e n r y


04 April 2002, 12:12 AM
lol .... ok got a's........:scream: ....what's all this porn on my bill ???? whats this...a new car? where is all this stuff coming from. :D

04 April 2002, 01:42 AM
Here's a quick start on the painting. Very very very rough so far.

04 April 2002, 01:43 AM
nuts!! wrong one. :rolleyes:

05 May 2002, 06:14 PM
Dang, don't think I'm going to have time to finish this before the deadline. Pretty busy at the moment. Will definitely finish it asap.

05 May 2002, 02:04 PM
Hmmm... maybe I will get some time this weekend. What's the deadline for this challenge?

05 May 2002, 11:10 PM
wow, it looks awesome so far, the creatures are really original. I'm pretty sure you have till the 15th, less then two weeks. I would love to see it finished, just pase yourself.

05 May 2002, 06:53 AM
C' least paint one of the creatures it does not have to be the whole can do it!!!:wip: :wip:

05 May 2002, 03:45 AM
thanks for the encouragement guys. I'll do my best, but I can't make any promises! Will post some updates tomorrow.

05 May 2002, 06:04 PM
Ok, here's a little more work on the environment. Kind of rushing through it given the tight deadline. It's by no means finished, after all of the elements are in place I'll start to create some form of balance and overall union to it. Crits welcome as always.

05 May 2002, 05:23 AM
hey glad to see you decided to stay on the challenge:applause: so far it's looking nice.
hope to see more updates!!!:thumbsup:

05 May 2002, 11:20 AM
Gorgeous detail on the creatures. Is there any chance of seeing a couple of full-resolution sample areas?

05 May 2002, 11:23 AM
Sorry, guys, but I'm going to have to bow out of this one. Way too busy at the moment.
I will finish the painting though, so keep an eye on the WIP section.
Thanks for all the comments and goodluck to those who enter!

05 May 2002, 05:29 PM
----------------* snif *:sad:


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