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Sijmen

When a programmer starts drawing

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After majoring in game technology, I decided to take the game design minor at school (I'm doing a CS-like course). Last friday my jaw dropped to the second floor when I heard we actually had to draw. And not just something, but an actual human model. It seems my fears were misplaced, as it was actually pretty fun. Today was the first lesson. We had to bring charcoal and (big) paper sheets, and there we went. It was pretty relaxing to do, and I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with. This is one of my drawings (the first): Charcoal drawing Comments are welcome of course but remember that this is my first drawing since.. uh.. ever I guess. Never used charcoal either. Thanks for reading :) edit: One little question: at the bottom, the image gets a bit darker. How to correct this with image editing software? (I use Pixelmator mostly, but also have the Gimp)

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It looks very nice, how hard is it to use charcoal? How big is the actual art?

I have no idea how to keep it from getting darker.

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Judging from the charcoal stick there, the sheet's probably about 24" tall. Charcoal's really messy to use, but it gets you fantastic contrast, and the messiness encourages you to not worry too much about mistakes. The drawing class I took in college was all about just getting us to draw, instead of making a line, erasing it, making it again slightly differently, erasing it again...that said, I'm a big fan of graphite sticks; not nearly as much contrast, but much cleaner.

The drawing looks reasonable, but it looks to me like you basically just tried to freehand the perimeter of the model. Try to see the structure of the model and draw that as best you can. People are generally made of tubes and spheres. You don't have to actually draw these shapes, but it can help; they'll guide the overall shape of the model.

Dunno what to tell you about the paper darkening toward the bottom, except to try to make certain that your scanner's well blocked-off from other sources of light when you scan. If you're trying to take a photo of your art, that's very difficult.

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I thought this thread was going to read: When a programmer starts drawing... a kitten dies.

That looks good for a complete art newbie though, it even looks to be in proportion (which is hard)!

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Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate them.

Quote:
It looks very nice, how hard is it to use charcoal? How big is the actual art?


I quite liked it. It gets a bit messy , but that's fine, and you can make nice smudges for shadows. I guess it's about 50 or 60 centimers on the long side. Looks pretty big IRL.

Quote:
The drawing looks reasonable, but it looks to me like you basically just tried to freehand the perimeter of the model. Try to see the structure of the model and draw that as best you can. People are generally made of tubes and spheres. You don't have to actually draw these shapes, but it can help; they'll guide the overall shape of the model.


Well I was thinking about that and I'm not sure. On several places I've read it's good to draw exactly what you see, not the mental picture you have (the tubes and spheres). I went to go for the first option, but you make a very good point.

Quote:
Dunno what to tell you about the paper darkening toward the bottom, except to try to make certain that your scanner's well blocked-off from other sources of light when you scan. If you're trying to take a photo of your art, that's very difficult.


It's a picture. I hoped it would be possible to add some kind of 'lighten'' gradient, but I'm not sure how. I tried a lighten layer in Pixelmator but that didn't really work, was getting unexpected strange results.

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Quote:
Original post by Sijmen
One little question: at the bottom, the image gets a bit darker. How to correct this with image editing software? (I use Pixelmator mostly, but also have the Gimp)


You could do this by first creating a layer on top of the image, then using a gradient and adjusting that gradient with a soft brush for any other areas of the image that you might want to lighten or darken. Then after you have it created, just change the blending mode and opacity for that layer to correct the lighting. If after you do this with one layer, most of the image looks right but there are still a few spots you want to lighten/darken, simply create a new layer and use a soft brush and paint over them, then adjust the blending mode/opacity for that layer as well.

Here are the results in Photoshop (which is what I use, but if you know how to do this kind of thing in the programs that you use it should still work):




I hope that helps =).

-Ryan

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Here's one I just did for my 2d Action/RPG java game. I have to get a lot better at doing this kind of stuff since I can't find an artist who will work for free. I'll clean this image up in photoshop I think and then redraw the lines, color it and make it shiny shiny! After that I'll resize it and hopefully I can do pixel art with it. Never tried that before.

Anyway I call him Grakai and I think it came out pretty well considering I never had any class's in art or anything.

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