Tuesday, November 1, 2016

DProject 03: Drawing and Blending Techniques





In this video we are going take a look at different types of drawing and shading techniques with the traditional tools we discussed in the last video.
We are not going to use digital tools like Photoshop because for the basics we want to be able to use standard drawing tools.

You can see me here preparing about 6 different circles with my compass tool and we make balls out of them with different shading techniques.

Schading 1
There are different types of tonal shading and I will show you a few now with the tools I have.
One old school method that is used is hatching. There is hatching which means creating the shadow with lines going all into the same direction and there is cross hatching with lines crossing each other. Leonardo DaVinci did a nice job with cross hatching. The lines do not need to be placed the way I did it all tidy and stuff. Some artists do it on a more chaotic way but Da Vinci did it very well and it looks better like this to me.
Then there is smudging which means applying multiple layers of pigment and then smudge it with your finger to create a nice gradient.
Next is a shading method with copic markers and here you apply 3 different grey tones like 30, 50 and 70 % gray. Firs foll th circle with 30% then add the darkest color at the bottom and flick the color by pressing hard drag a line up and release pressure. Then add the medium color in the same way. And then blend everything together with the lightest color. For me this method did not work as well as in the video I found probably because of the paper I use but I have another technique that works better.
Next is a new tool. The brush tip pen or pitt brush pen. It’s like painting with a brush but it’s not a brush. It has a brush tip. And you can create a gradient by applying color from dark to light and you can blend the together by smudging with the next lighter color so to speak…


Then the last one on this page is called stippling or pointillism and all you do is adding many many dots. Stupid way of shading I find. Takes forever….
Shading 2
Alright and here on this sheet I tried it again with copic and this time I dried following the shape with my marker, imagining the shadows flow and going from dark to light. There is an extra marker without color that helps you to push the color a bit. Using this method worked better for me.
Second I gave the brush pens another try and I think I can create fine gradients with it but you can destroy the paper with it relatively quickly as you can see….
Last technique is called swirling by which you create shadow by making circular motions and fill the form until it looks the way you want.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Client Update: Rogério Perdiz - Resillience Satelle




This is a production painting for a 3d Animation movie from Portugal. More on that in the future.


Monday, October 10, 2016

DProject 02: Drawing Tools




This video is about Drawing Tools and Techniques. I will show you some tools traditional and digital like copic markers, brush pitt pens, graphite pencil, charcoal and polychromos.
I am not necessarily promote any of the tools but instead I will try to give you some pros and cons for each.


Drawing: what is it actually? Drawing is a form of visual art in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or another two-dimensional medium with graphite, ink or charcoal and so on. A drawing instrument releases small amount of material onto a surface, leaving a visible mark….
Drawing is not painting. Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium[1] to a solid surface (support base). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but aA common example of mixing both might be drawing outlines and adding the color later on.

Tools
There is a wide range of tools for us available like pencils, pens, charcoal, brush pens, ink and markers. Other tools will be erasers and different types of papers, cartboard and other surfaces to draw on which can make a significant difference.

More tools that I use can be lineal, circle templates, a compass, triangle and a mirror to check your drawing.

The first tool we are gonna look at is the pencil
One of the major differences in the applied material is contrast. So what you can see here is with graphite it is hard to create black. Therefore we can erase it. Pencils usually are available in different widths and  different  values for darkness and softness. There is graphite grading scales actually two for the graphite inside the pencil. I recommend you go to your local art supplier and try different pencils before you buy one.

Next tool is the copic marker which is presented here in cool gray and as you can see You can create black with it. You can only work from light to dark with them and creating gradients can be a little bit tricky. However with some practice it will work. This is what I started using after using pencil only… When you use them a lot you they will go empty quickly but you can refill them.

Next slide shows you what you can do with charcoal and polychromos pencils in comparison with copic and graphite pencil. Polychromos pencils have some colored pigment and some oil in it. You can use a copic blender to smudge around with them… Polychromos and charcoal can achieve darker values than graphite. I like charcoal but that is just personal preference. There are different types of charcoal pencils as well. You can try them out at you well sorted art supply store. I will provide links to what tools I have on my website….

Alright this does not belong to drawing but there are still artists out there in the field of concept art that use Gouache. I did not really work with it just tried it out at my sisters for one afternoon. But from what I know it is like a mix of oil paint and aquarelle and combines the benfits of those too.


Next is digital tools.
First tool ist the Cintiq. I have an older one 21 UX and I bought that instead of a 22HD after getting seing it being recommended on the conceptart.org forums by almost anyone and here is why.
Pros of the old one
Brighter.
No weird anti glare coat which makes it not look so pixelated well only if it is actual pixels.
More colors.
Different format (which I think is better).

Cons
Les resolution
I assume the distance between surface and actual screen is longer so you need to take recalibrate mor often or sit always in the same position…

There are others bigger and smaller this is just 2 examples.



The Intuos in this case 3 is a good old friend of mine and I have the old version which I just dug out for this photo and people who have a tablet can see that this is not the original plastic sheet on where I draw on. After mine got broken because I painted it to death I saw that the good Wacom does not sell the sheets anymore. So what I did now was I went to some hardware store and got me some plastic sheet and glue it onto my tablet… and it feels much better than the original. All it does is it does not hold for 6 years but 6 months and then you have to apply a new one which costs 1 euro instead of 50. So I am fairly happy with it. It’s called poly bi carbonate or something…

I also have an Intuos pro here which I never opened because I don’t need it. I did use one at work and I know it uses the pen tips up very quickly so there you need to rebuy that more often….
Also for the Cintiq you need to pay attention to the tips to not create scratches on the display too quickly.

Then there are the tablets and Convertables like my Surface Pro 3. I got me the SP3 Pro cause Youtube told me it is cool to work with in Photoshop but actually it isn’t . The technology behind the pen is not Wacom and not as good I say. Also the performance is not as good as expected. For doing some design sketches and giving presentations on the go it works perfectly fine but for the actual production work it does not have the perdormance by far that I was hoping for. There seem to be a number of people saying they use it for work and stopped using anything else but for my High quality multilayered PSD files I cannot recommend it.
Then there are a bunch of problems with support from Microsoft and Windows 10… but I don’t wann  go more into detail. There are other tools like the Wacom companion or the iPad Pro which you can use with a stylus.

The next video is about techniques.
If you want links to the tools go to my educational resources page.
http://danielthiele.blogspot.de/p/resources.html

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DProject 01: The Fundamentals of Digital Art - Practical Intro

This is based on what I teach at the SAE but more in depth and with my own examples


For the links to videos and stuff go look into the description.


VIDEOTRANSCRIPT

This is the first video of a series based on what I learned over the past 12 years since I first started using Photoshop, including my experience as web designer, from bachelors study in media systems, from my experience as level designer, M.A. in Games, concept designer, 2d artist and from my experience as educator.

I thought a lot about how to begin this series and I already prepared a few videos but even I learn more and more new stuff the digger I dive into a topic. When you look at other videos they talk about graphic tablets and painting softwares because that is what a "digital" artist needs for a basic. I don't think so. I think at first we need to learn the fundamentals and it is best to do that by working traditional with our brains and eyes and hands with a pencil on a piece of paper.

This video is a practical approach to the basic drawing skills for the first timers (I get that as well) and it will show you that even the more advanced artist practice and improve their skills because most of the job ads still in the games and industry will still ask you to be able to draw on paper.

We will then go more and more into the fundamentals of digital and real art and design with each video.

But the first thing that I think is great to learn is that anyone can draw even if you think you can't. Yes you can. And I want you to take out pencil and paper or any tools you like and draw with me.

I will show you and you follow along. The lessons you can see are videos I use for my lectures in order to talk about it to my students.

The first thing we are going to do is drawing characters.
Follow along...

LINES
We are going to do is relax and completely focus on drawing lines by combining 2 dots.


The goal is to hit the dots instead of drawing through them. You will improve your motor skills a lot if you try to be as good as possible.

Let it be known that this a warmup that even Professionals do. As a student you will practice this for a long time.

Some people say draw the lines slow and controlled others say draw fast and determined. Try for yourself and see what works best for you.

Practice with ghosting. Ghosting means you move your pencil or tool of choice from start point to finishing point without drawing the line.

Focus and imagine drawing the line before you actually draw it. Do not think you are not makeing a mistake instead visualize drawing the line correctly.

Draw the dots and look in between them. Practice peripheral vision and then draw the line. I find it a good approach because I know where the line is supposed to go. The closer you get to the finishing point the more you can focus on it.

Make sure you have enough room in order to move your entire arm and do not draw from the wrist.

Also not to move your body while drawing the line. Instead move you arm only.

Practice not just drawing from side to side but also from top to bottom and all the other directions.

Have a flat surface so that you don't get interefered by things stopping you from drawing your line. Get some artists glove if you tend to get sweaty hands or draw on a touch display.

If you practice this 20 minutes for 20 days and you will see improvements...

After practicing straight lines it is time to start drawing curves. try drawing 3 points and combine them with a line.Don't draw from point to point.Practzice drawing one line that goes through all of them.

If you ike you can also increase the number of points.

Use your tablet or paper or whatever you want to practice. You will notice huge differenceswhen working on a tablet.

Also instead of erazing you simply want to make it better with the next try.

CIRCLES

With the same basic principles we can now draw ellipses and circles. Try to look into the center of the circle and practice your peripheral vision. At this point using a tablet may make it especially challenging. At least for me it does.

The next idea is draw a line and make this the minor axis of you ellipse. The minor axis is the shorter one.

Another practice is drawing a cone and aligning the circles inside.

When you think you are ready you can start  thinking in 3d.

You can try to create a cone with lines and align ellipses inside of them and imagine them in perspective.

 The following ideas comes from a concept artist i found on Youtube. His Youtube Channel is Marks Drawing Tutorials..

The most interesting thing from Marks Tutorials is draw  an ellipse and try to align circles of equal size around is. This is meant to help you think in 3d and get basic shapes down without many lines.


And now what you can do is Create some basic squiggly lines and make a 3d shape out of it as if it was made out of polygons

This concludes the Basic Training practices which and now here are a few things that I like to practice drawing at the moment.
One thing that I do is drawing cars. Cars have some specific design formulas and this what we might lean in a different lecture.

Another thing that I like to practice is drawing humans and especially anatomy because there is so much to remember that I tend to forget if I don't practice regularly.

Even if I have jobs as a character concept artist I tend to use 3d or other tools instead of forcing me to draw the muscles all the time. Usually the character I have to design is wearing clothes anyway. So practicing it is a good habit.

The way I draw the characters is based on the Drawing course by riven phoenix. His new remastered course has a so called mannequin system. So based on the initial landmarks I draw a mannequin and add in some muscles.

I like to draw them in different poses each day and from my mind. Later I look up what I forgot or how the muscles tend to behave according to that pose....

And the last thing I do is Speedpainting. Go to the Daily Spitpaint Group for new topics every day and draw for 30 minutes...

Let me know what you think and the next video will be about techniques and tools used in the industry and what I started with.

Cheers

Friday, July 15, 2016

New Effects - Edge Adversaries

Many of my clients (long term) who are in the gaming field ask me for effects. So here are some handcrafted effects for you.

The game these are made for is called Edge Adversaries and it is a Beat Em Up with antropomorphoids fighting each other in a somewhat futuristic world I believe.. The style is Anime like and I think the Developer is still working on that. We have several artists and they all have their own style and when I started I got no direction to make it look like anime but like something different. I am responsible for the UI ...and effects.

He is currently investing a ton of money into polishing the effects. We were going to set up a more simplistic prototype but after receiving some feedback we are polishing things up quite a bit. I spent several days into creating the effects now and I hope that it works out for him.

The hardest part was that he wanted only 4 frames for some animations and blend them together in his engine later.

 Wow, you have no idea how hard it is to get these image set up in one row. Basically not at all! So I keep it like that. :)