My goal is to make 3D backgrounds that feel 2D. I think I should make them by using distinctly 2d textures and overlay them on 3D models. But before that I think I have to cheat a little bit. So I tried to copy the paralax effect.
I made the following sketch and added values. Just to see some more depth.
Next I made a sort of roadmap. I’m not very good at organizing my work after I started. So good preperations are always important.
In the pictures you can see the different layers. 1 is near to the viewer, and 7 far away. After that I just started to draw the entire piece, keeping the different layers in mind. I tried to mimmick Moesbius’s ‘ shapelanguage’ . But in the end I want my work to resemble Kazuo Oga’s coloruse/lighting.
The next step was to tweak the colors and values to make a bigger distinction between the different layers.
After that I decided to change the color of the moon and ad shadows. I just added an extra layer to all the existing layers, setting the transparancy to 30 and painted the shadows in black.
Below you can see the different layers.
And finally a short animation in Blender. But somehow I could not get the ratio of the camera to change. I wanted to get a more vertical composition. Just like my drawings above. But I didn’t succeed in doing so. If you know how to alter the framesize…please let me know.
You can see this is made with the pre-shaded layers.
After a long break I decided to draw something again. But I wanted to try a new thing. So I made ‘textures’. The goal was to make a background which is easy to modify. Below are my textures used in the scene.
These are some of the drawings for a slum like neighborhood. Similar to Kowloon. I drew these in GIMP. So they are ease to manipulate. Next step was to make it 3D. Or more 2,5D. I wrote down the dimensions made cubes…and started sticking the textures on sketchup models.
Above are two buildings made from 3 cubes. The 2 for the buildings and one extra for the ‘150’ sign. The 150 has no particular relevance.
And below one with a character. Please don’t mind her face. Like I said, I haven’t been drawing for a long time. Also I put in some silhouettes of buildings in the far background. But it still wasn’t coming togheter.
Some of my test scenes. In the second one I put in an extra layer, white. I got the feeling the buildings where compeding with the character. Even though S8i (character’s name) was in color. The scenes are okay, but not exactly what I wanted. They are still too much like painted boxes.
Especially if you compare these to my earlier work on a (very unprofessional) storyboard. Even when I spiced up the scene with multiple buildings and a different viewpoint the scene wasn’t what I wanted. I think I doesn’t look bad though…just not good enough.
So next time when I’m going to make a background, I will probably make a model in Blender. With more parts sticking out of the box. Clothing drying in the sun, round waterdrains and airconditionings hanging from the side.
Hope you enjoy, and I’m open for suggestions or questions.
Here my progress in drawing a background. I really love setdesigns, and wish to get better at it. But I have to make use of cheap trickery to make my work look like anything at all.
My initial sketch. A road through a landscape…in case you can’t read my sketch.
Then the actual line-art. I just fleshed out my sketch. Adding detail, changing horizons. Playing god in my own little make believe world.
Then the colorflats. Well, I put some degree of color variation in them. Some speckles and the occasional shadow. And then the cheap tricks start.
I put a lightsource in the scene itself. The sun. Next to that a gradient, red. From top to bottom.
And then I put in two dark parts at the top and bottom, just to fake some sort of panoramic view.
My work isn’t as good as other backgroundartists….hell. I’m just an amateur. I want to make the backgrounds to be more cinematic. No blackoutlines for example. I’ll put up more.
So as said: more updates in 2016. Above is a new version of Cat. A friend of S8i. A girl who hangs around a lot with this guy. Same girl by the way. A couple of weeks ago I looked at Thomas Romain’s work in Oban Star Racers. And decided to add the braces as an homage, just like Molly. As I am doing currently with S8i; I should also make some sort of modelsheet for this character. I don’t really have a lot of background information on Cat yet. And I think that’s a good thing. The less I know, the more she can remain a bit of a mistery. I don’t know where she comes from, who her parents are or what her goal is. I only know she’s been in ‘jail’.
Designing a character is in my case a very slow process. It evolves during the entire time I work on the project.
I make a first doodle, and keep changing it bit by bit untill I like the final product. Except I’m almost never completely satisfied with the final design…and thus am never finished.
Finding the character is very important for designing an outfit or wardrobe. Would my protagonist wear shorts? Does she wear an amulet she recovered in an ancient temple. Does he have a tattoo of a deceased loved one? Would this character ever wear green clothes?
Not all my designs are approved. The upper one is just silly! Why would she run around in large boots, have inward feet and no pants!? Okay, it just looks kinda sexy (?). But it’s not really efficient.
With S8i I started out with a doodle. A woman thief for hire. So her profession indicates she wears a suit in which it’s easy to sneak into places. Running shoes to get away. Those are the overall elements. But what about the details? In my opinion it’s those details which make the character come to life. A bracelet. Different color shoelaces. Some homemade adjustments? Well to be honest. Those elements come when thinking of the stories…I can think of a couple of these attributes. But they seem a little bit forced.The character model itself is another point of interest. In which pose should I put her. Is it form over function? Or the other way around? Does she have a strong stance? Or a strong body?I chose a strong stance and a lean athletic body…but not strong. I hoped to achieve a feel in which S8i is known for her wit. And not brute force. She would lose in almost any physical fight.
Her first line-up. These are the first general outfits. As you can see there is not much of an overall look yet. Not a defining color or design element which returns in every outfit. I decided to redo this line-up simply because I thought it’s too sketchy. Sketchy is good. Don’t get me wrong. But this one is just sloppy. I wanted a little more clarity.Next stop is her body. Like I said, I didn’t want her to look strong.
So I changed her shoulders. I noticed them only after I drew the standard outfit. She looked too strong.
After tweaking I still was unsatisfied with the result. So I looked at it from a different angle: copy image and flip horizontally. Only keeping the outer lines and started drawing her back. Immediately some of the flaws became apparent.Here my first version of her back, next to it for comparison, a tweaked version.
I will probably tweak it and tweak overan over again. And then decide to fully redo the drawing. This is the way I learn how to draw, and hopefully increase my skills.Next step is to take one of these designs and make 3 or five different versions of it. That way I can see which one really works best.
To be continued
Decided to make a fan-art-piece. I’m stepping somewhat out of my comfortzone by drawing a character designed by somebody else. But this is somewhat of an experiment. First of all I kinda like the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. Secondly I’m trying to generate some more traffic to my website.
Made this one with Gimp, version 2.8. You can get the colored line effect by duplicating the line-art layer and colorizing it (top menu, color, colorize). You will see that all the line turn into a single color. In my case green for the hair. Then use the eraser tool to erase all the green parts, where you want to see black. Repeat the process for all the different colors.
I never read the Guardians comics. But the artwork looks outstanding! A very clear and fluid style. It looks like a combination of the ‘clear line’ and traditinal comicbookwork. I know I didn’t really emulate this technique, I dare not to wander outside of my comfortzone.
You can find the book I read here, but it’s in Dutch.
Maybe I’ll make some other stuff based on other’s work. Any suggestions?
So here’s another design I did for Emiel’s game groundforce. As I said last time (here) I really like the designs to decided too incorporate them into my own storyline. And why not. His game is really cool, the setting fits with S8i’s story….So I thought go for it.
You can see more of Emiel’s work over here. Last time I checked he was working on some add-ons (DLC?) for the old Ghosthouse game.
This one I drew a couple of weeks ago. And to my surprise my wife actually liked it. Don’t have that much to say about it though…so here ya go.
Above you can see my first sketch. Had some difficulty drawing the leg furthest away from the viewer. Every time it just looked too small.
Colors are rather basic. No fancy light effects here. Maybe I should revisit this one some day in the future and do the coloring anew. But for now: Enjoy.
One of the first drawings I did with S8i was this one. I sketched it out rather quickly in my booklet. It’s a small book I carry around with me all the time; you never know when a ‘good’ idea pops up. I’ll make a post on my booklet some other time.
And below is a colored version. I have a lot of different versions.
Then one day I learned of an exposition of Brandon Graham’s work in Amsterdam. I read a comic of his: KingCity. And that was actually the inspiration for making my own story. His comic was drawn in a clear and not overly complicated way (but simplicity within comics is tricksy and much harder then it looks! Just think of Herge’s work, or other ‘Klare Lijn’ stuff). I thought…maybe I could do what he did. Of course I failed epic. I just emulated his style in the beginning; and that always reads as a knock off. Anyway…He was so kind to make his own version of my dragon riding S8i:
I cleaned the line art…which in GIMP means: erased all the stuff you don’t want to show.
And I added color. Hopefully in a way Brandon Graham does in his comics.
You can see his work here: Royalboiler.
This one is inspired by the idea of becoming a father. So I started sketching as usual.
I changed the proportions a little bit to make her look a bit more realistic…not too much. I mostly made her pelvis smaller. Her legs where just too far apart. It looked really weird, especially when fully rendered. That happens rather often to me; I make something. It looks alright. I leave it for a couple of days. Look at it again, and it’s Hideous!! So I change it
And then add color. Oh..it’s the same person as this one.
Hope you enjoy.