WIP - Survivor

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Old 06 June 2013   #1
WIP - Survivor - Looking for Critiques!!!

He's a post apocalyptic zombie survivor. I'm going for realistic, but I'm just not reaching it. Any help would be appreciated. I would like some help on achieving a level of realism. Lighting/details/value structure should be hit on and anything else that comes to mind. He's in a standard T-pose, since he will be modeled. Thanks in advance.

Main Character

Last edited by rrogerscg : 06 June 2013 at 03:14 AM. Reason: Added critiques request.
Old 06 June 2013   #2


Updated the detail, tried to make things read more clearly. I still feel like things could be pushed though. Help is still wanted! Thanks.
Old 06 June 2013   #3
If your going for realistic, you're going to have to study anatomy. You have basic proportion problems and there is no real structure to the body. Draw the body first, then put the cloths on.

Take some time to learn how cloths hang on the body as well. When you get the anatomy right you will be able to see better how the clothing interacts with the structures under it.

Also your colors are too bright. Bringing down the saturation will help up the realism. As a survivor of a terrible event, particularly one that spans a length of time, you would expect the clothing to be dirty, worn and even faded.
Old 06 June 2013   #4
Thank you!

Thank you for the words tibbi. My issue is that I have been studying anatomy for about a week and I did draw it underneath first. I've also taken a figure drawing class a couple of years ago. I've even been going as far as to gesture draw, but maybe I'm not cut out for this?? I can't see the mistakes like you can. I wasn't even a character artist until about 2 weeks ago when I found out that that's all employers are wanting out of me.

Again, thanks for the critique! I'm not giving up though, so maybe you can critique me on my anatomy of the earlier concept...

Also, PLease ignore the lower half of the body, since I didn't even try on that, I was mainly worried about the torso and up. Thanks!
Old 06 June 2013   #5
Are you trying to create a character sheet?

The current pose is a little awkward looking. I would first find a pose that fits your character well not only physically but their personality too. Use a reference too. It's hard to create anything realistic looking when it's posed unrealistically in my opinion.
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Old 06 June 2013   #6
It's a model sheet.

Quote: Are you trying to create a character sheet?

Yes as you can see in my initial post, he's purposely in a T-Pose.

Quote: He's in a standard T-pose, since he will be modeled.

For modeling purposes he's in a T-Pose. It's best to take this route if he is to be modeled and animated, since it's easier to rig the character and achieve good edge-flow. However, one of the specification of this piece is aiming for a realistic character in sense of well... everything. Thanks for the comment though!
Old 06 June 2013   #7
Originally Posted by rrogerscg:
For modeling purposes he's in a T-Pose. It's best to take this route if he is to be modeled and animated, since it's easier to rig the character and achieve good edge-flow. However, one of the specification of this piece is aiming for a realistic character in sense of well... everything. Thanks for the comment though!

Ok I totally missed the "modeling" thing. That makes sense. All the character sheets I've seen are more for animation not modeling.

From what I can see about the anatomy here is that the shoulders look odd to me. I found this reference photo (not perfect but helps a little) if you go to the underlying structure that you posted I'd say that the pectoral muscles are a little square and aren't pulling up at the shoulder giving them more of that "u" shape. The Pectorals I see if your b/w version look as if his arms are down. Now I dont know if this is another modeling thing though.

Another thing that looks slightly off to me is the deltoids are a little flat.

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Last edited by sweetjeannie : 06 June 2013 at 11:37 PM.
Old 06 June 2013   #8
Awesome critique

Nice observations and nice find on the reference footage. I can see how the deltoids could use some work, giving it some more muscle. I noticed in my work that I was exaggerating the muscular structure too much, which I've been trying to back away from. However, my character could still use some more meat in there.

As for the pectorals, I can't believe I didn't notice that. They are so square! Will fix asap.

And then there is the U you were talking about that I've noticed since you've pointed it out to me.

Thanks for the all the help. I'll get back with an update asap.(Probably 2 days max. I just picked up more indie game work)
Old 06 June 2013   #9
No problem! Can't wait to see the update!
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Old 06 June 2013   #10
For anatomy,I suggest you to study body parts separately from medical illustrations and from photo references first to understand the muscle topology, then study body postures as whole again from photo references or better from a model to understand the proportions of body parts and the muscle deformations. It will take time to progress you have to be patient.

For this project of yours, i see you are lost in subtle details like the textures of the forehand and missed your goal on the whole image. For example for a realistic human illustration, the feet are too big and too flat. According to shadows the joints look too deep as if they were squashed. The head seems too slow according to the shoulder width.

For the base anatomy illustration, I suggest you to use line drawing instead of shade painting so that you can figure out where the shades will be on the final image.

For the clothing,textures and colors I totally agree with tibbi.

For the T-pose, it is generally a good idea to draw the position of the arms as the forehands look towards the ground so that the animator's job could be easier.

Overall, you need to observe carefully the nature of forms from real life and from accurate photographic references to understand the topology of things (human body, clothing, etc.)
and the interactions between them.

Last edited by sinolacra : 06 June 2013 at 04:15 AM.
Old 06 June 2013   #11
Much appreciated.

Thank you for your feedback Sinolacra. It's very insightful of what I need to do and I'll be using it as a guide to get better.

The update is still coming, after I do some more studies and get the proportions down etc.

Also, here is the line sketch I started from, then developed into shade. The feet need a ton of work as pointed out. they are like duck feet. But then again, the entire thing needs rework. Again, thanks for all the helpful information!

Old 06 June 2013   #12
hmmm...I was under the impression that palms faced downwards when you model in 3D.

Your proportions are alright, although the muscles are too idealized for me.

And to me it seems like you're abusing the photoshop blending tools (colorburn, overlay, multiply, screen, etc) to shade and highlight your colors.

anyways, study this: http://androidarts.com/art_tut.htm
Old 06 June 2013   #13
It is totally unrealistic to expect that you'll be able to paint realistic looking images without having spent years working very hard on becoming a good painter working in the realist style. Spending the little amount of time you did on studying anatomy/figure is minuscule in the context of how much studying/practicing is required of a proficient realist artist. Without having spent at least a few years of working very hard at it, you're just not going to be able to produce the kind of work you are aiming for.

To be able to depict realistic looking characters as a 2D artist isn't just about anatomy/figure, but also about your understanding and insights related to values and lighting and how they create the illusion of forms, a sense of volume, and mass. It's also about your understanding of the intricacies of colors and how light is directly related to colors in terms of advanced concepts like radiosity, ambient bounced light, light source color cast, etc. You also need to learn about surface properties like specularity of different materials, subsurface scattering, natural color shifts on local colors (such as discoloration, skin tone variants depending on if it's a fatty/bony area or area with lots of micro-blood vessels), as well as various texture types and how to depict them convincingly.

So if you are serious about this goal, then you simply have to pay your dues. Study/practice a lot, all the time, consistently, and in a few years (three to five years if you don't give up and remain disciplined, spending a lot of your free time on this quest), you will likely be able to reach that goal. But even then, working with proper photo references is crucial for realism, since reality simply has too many subtleties that we cannot fully memorize no matter how amazing of an artist we might be. All artists working in realistic styles need photo references for help--it is simply fact for the needs of that style.
Old 06 June 2013   #14
Again, thanks for the responses.

Deebster, that is an amazing source to read from. Thank you so much! It really puts the material into something I can easily understand.

Lunatique, thank you for laying it out for me. This is what I've been looking for... somebody to lay down the facts about how hard this is going to be, with no sugar coating it.

Being here and posting fuels my motivation to get better, so I want to thank everybody for helping me understand my goals better. There is a lot of helpful information in this thread thanks to you guys.
Old 07 July 2013   #15
The square pectorial muscles you had earlier weren't bad if the arms were down at the sides. The shoulders themselves look wrong because they've become disjointed.from the main body. Try thinking about where the bone is on those reference pics, and look for ones that show what the shoulders do when you view them from the back, and the arms are outstretched.. Then compare that to your image.

Your proportions are a bit out of whack. The height of a human adult male is approximately 7.5 heads tall, or 8 if you want them to seem noble or graceful, or 8.5 if you want heroic.

Starting from the top, the next head height is inline with his nipples. The next is roughly his belly button (and inside of elbows), unless he's heroic (typically drawn with a taller chest area). The next is his groin, and the rest of the space is divided in half to locate the bottom of his knees.

Of course, you'll need to look at head proportions too, because an improper size there can dictate the rest of the figure. Google will certainly help you there.
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