The Enemy Closes WIP

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Old 01 January 2011   #1
The Enemy Closes WIP

Gah, I feel weird for not postin here for a while, since I've been busy first semester with USC IMD.

So, I need some C&C for this piece and I'll try to implement what I can with the hands God gave me. (I still feel like a newbie to all of this :( )

The main issues that I am observantly concerned about, besides rendering w/e else, include how to express surprise or wincing pain with eyes that are in that facial structure of a Protoss', and to give a better sense of a scene of panic.

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Old 01 January 2011   #2
I think it'll be hard, but therefore all the more worthwhile!

If you look at how people's faces change when they're surpised and compare it with how they illustrate surprise in cartoons then I think you'll have some guidelines to work with. Biggest problem would be that the Protoss don't really seem to have irises, but maybe you can make use of the glowing spot instead. Key here is to have the 'iris' fully visible and small in comparison to their normal size.

Of course, since we're not dealing with an animation here it's hard to show the transition. You also have to be careful not to make it look like cartoons, that have small pupils naturally, so you'll need to show the muscle structure changes associated with the wide opening of eyes during a surprised look. Best to use clear references. A side by side comparison between a neutral look and a surprised look would be really beneficial too. You can compare to clearly see the changes and then apply them to your Protoss. For Aiur!
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Old 01 January 2011   #3
Any helpful techniques that'll help me render this a lot better?
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Old 01 January 2011   #4
I'd go with masking techniques + bigger brush tactics. There are several masking techniques at your disposal, like quick selections, masking tool, shapes + clipping masks, painting + clipping masks, locking transparancy.

It depends on your preferences and some will be better depending on the purpose. Like, for really solid, basic shapes with hard edges it might be easiest to just use the shape tool, Especially if you want to match it with perspective helper lines (or have them function as perspective guides). For more organic shapes painting them might be faster. And for something with a mix between soft and hard edges you might go for a quick mask / masking tool. The mask tool is also the best solution if you just want to mask off an area of a layer and don't want to paint on a seperate layer because you're mixing on the same layer. My advice is to try them all and see what they do.

For soft edges and transitions there's smudging, painting over with a big brush on lower opacity, blending by painting etc. There are different techniques each with their own result. Best to read a few tutorial for that. There are some excellent tips in this Martha Dahlig feature that they dug up for the front page again, for instance.

Once your base shapes / values are right you can go for more details and render away.
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Old 01 January 2011   #5
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