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Author Topic: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark  (Read 622 times)

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Offline NoBark

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Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« on: January 12, 2017, 12:06:40 AM »
Ladies and gentlemen.

Ask away.

Over time, if my answers to your questions involve references to materials found in the public domain, I'll put links on this post to make an easy to access reference sheet for all types of stuff. That would be super handy, wouldn't you think?

3D Modeling:
Spoiler
Rendering:
Spoiler
Ambient Occlusion:
Spoiler
Ambient occlusion, a post-processing effect, works by measuring how many rays, when placed on a certain point on a model, reach open space or how many bounce off another object. The rays that reach open space translate to more light on that particular point, and the rays that touch another object translate to less light on that particular point. These points are placed all over the model that is being rendered. You can identify ambient occlusion by the grainy texture found on models using it.



Self-Study References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambient_occlusion#Method_of_implementation
http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/23/what-is-ambient-occlusion
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 06:30:41 AM by NoBark »

Offline Misyne

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 04:53:11 AM »
Okay, here :D :

How can I paint (digitally) using ambient occlusion, or is it just another name for shading?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 04:55:14 AM by Misyne »

Offline NoBark

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 05:37:45 AM »
Awesome question.

In short, ambient occlusion isn't used for digital painting at all.

Ambient occlusion is used in 3D modeling, and is used to add more depth to objects.

If you're a video gamer, you'll find ambient occlusion as the SSAO function, or Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, and can really make a game pack an extra punch in the graphics department.

The way it works is by measuring how many rays, when placed on a certain point on a model, reach open space or how many bounce off another object. The rays that reach open space translate to more light on that particular point, and the rays that touch another object translate to less light on that particular point. These points are placed all over the model that is being rendered.

I found this image to illustrate the point excellently (minus the super creepy third photo, "Extracted ambient...":



In the photo you'll notice that the original model without ambient occlusion has a layer of shading already applied, and for all intents and purposes, is completely accurate.

However, it feels like it's just a "surface shading". With ambient occlusion, it takes the shading process deeper by applying points all over the skins surface. If you look closely, you can see that the model looks more grainy with ambient occlusion; these are the points of measurement.

The biggest difference you'll notice is the old man's wrinkles become darker. If a point was placed inside one of his wrinkles, many of the rays shooting outward into space will run into more skin. Since many these rays from the point inside the wrinkle are hitting an object, the wrinkle will appear darker.

Likewise, you can notice how this also accounts for subtleties in shadow. With the picture, it's more easily noticed from the eyebrow down into the eye socket. More rays find an object (skin) inside the eye socket, and thus it becomes darker. Yet, as the rays are measured from farther and farther back toward the eyebrow, less of them hit objects and instead "hit" open space, so the shadows get lighter.



If you wanted to paint with ambient occlusion, you'd first have to make 3D models everything you want in your painting, paint the models (like you would a model figurine, a model aircraft, or a model Gundam), and finally apply the ambient occlusion to the models. That uses entirely different software than Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, Corel Painter, MyPaint, or other painting software.

I hope this helps.

Offline Misyne

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 05:55:49 AM »
Thanks.

I realize that in a basic sense, but I found a lot of stuff on Google that talks about ambient occlusion with specifically 2D painting and it looks like it was applied on a 2D work to begin with. I was wondering what kind of tools are used in that case. In other words, if it's just shading being called ambient occlusion, or if it's a completely different method altogether, or if it's a specific tool they use. Or maybe it is a 3D model after all and I'm just clueless :D

Like this:

http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Viking-Tutorial-Step-by-Step-464848015

Offline NoBark

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 06:22:53 AM »
Ah, so I see.

With The Viking, the artist is attempting (quite successfully!) to replicate a 3D model in his 2D medium. Utilizing the grayscale (in a beige tone), he gives his character as much volume as he can accurately depict using common principles of shading on basic shapes and fabrics.

It's common shading, but he's borrowed the fancy words of "ambient occlusion". He's wrong for using the words, but it can certainly help visualizing what a 3D rendering of your 2D character might look like using the idea of ambient occlusion, and then painting that.

So don't let his words fool you! It isn't true ambient occlusion! If it were, he would be a god in figuring out how to perform a complex calculation (many, many times over by hand) in a space that requires the X, Y, and Z coordinates but only has X and Y.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 06:24:55 AM by NoBark »

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 07:04:47 AM »
That's some pretty advanced stuff. My mind is blown over here, since I just learned something I didn't even know existed. Thanks for sharing and opening up the thread. I can already tell that this is going to be a hit.
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
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Offline Misyne

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 07:08:40 AM »
Ah, so I see.

With The Viking, the artist is attempting (quite successfully!) to replicate a 3D model in his 2D medium. Utilizing the grayscale (in a beige tone), he gives his character as much volume as he can accurately depict using common principles of shading on basic shapes and fabrics.

It's common shading, but he's borrowed the fancy words of "ambient occlusion". He's wrong for using the words, but it can certainly help visualizing what a 3D rendering of your 2D character might look like using the idea of ambient occlusion, and then painting that.

So don't let his words fool you! It isn't true ambient occlusion! If it were, he would be a god in figuring out how to perform a complex calculation (many, many times over by hand) in a space that requires the X, Y, and Z coordinates but only has X and Y.

I see, I thought so! I actually saw some online courses for this, but if it's going to just be shading I'd better spend my time on something that calls things for what they are...

Anyway, thank you for thoroughly answering my question! :D Sure looks like you won't get stumped easily...

Offline NoBark

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 04:04:08 PM »


My sincerest pleasure.

Who's next?

Offline Misyne

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 05:52:46 PM »


Oh, my amazing Edgey Poo~!

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 06:34:20 PM »


When did this turn into a Pheonix Sprite thread?
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
"A loss of innocence / one hand to wash the other / be a perfectionist / you're nothing if you're just another"--TBM, "Goodnight"
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Offline Robin Ryuu

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 06:57:36 PM »
@Mahlua

When people started replying with them.


@NoBark

Happen to have any good tutorials/rules/tips laying around for placing shadows? I can do light sourcing with still-lifes fairly well, but when it come to making it up I'm a bit lost.
Interested in commissioning artwork or storyboards?
https://robinryuu.wixsite.com/dragonscale-studios

Offline NoBark

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 11:37:28 PM »
When did this turn into a Pheonix Sprite thread?

If only I could figure out how to get Phoenix Wright music to play along with the sprites...

@NoBark

Happen to have any good tutorials/rules/tips laying around for placing shadows? I can do light sourcing with still-lifes fairly well, but when it come to making it up I'm a bit lost.

Light and shadow can be considered a big subject due to how important it is, what factors influence it, and how much it changes the way we view and recreate our world, so I'll keep my answer as close to your question as possible.

In particular: How can one place more accurate shadows in drawings from imagination? Correct me if I've missed the mark.

First, always have a consistent light source (or sources, when you want to get fancy).

Second, always consider using a reference or two. Your drawing will come out more accurate and you'll sharpen your skills by taking information from reality. Now, suppose you don't have a reference on hand, there's nothing to be used, or you simply don't want to use one...

In such a case, fall back on basic shapes. The sphere, cylinder, cone and cube are your best friends. If you can shade a basic shape, you can assemble them in all kinds of ways to create more and more complex objects. St. John's Cathedral is child's play with basic shapes.

When you find your basic shapes aren't providing the most accurate or detailed information for your shading extravaganza, try planes. For example, the human head can be broken down into an elongated cube and a sphere. Some even say it looks like an egg. If you use an egg for reference when shading the human face, you're going to get One Punch Man, and maybe you don't want One Punch Man.



So you use planes. You can place these suckers anywhere, and it'll give you some surfaces to accurately place shadows of different values down. Some different perspectives of a planar head with the light approaching from the top-front:



The imagination is a powerful tool, and some people are blessed with the ability to remember and synthesize images perfectly. I am not one of those individuals, and I've learned a vast majority of people also are not. So utilizing basic shapes and planes on objects you're making up, be it a new face, a creature that doesn't exist, a new piece of technology, a space ship, or a structure will take practice to get the feeling of how they should be constructed. It takes a bit of draftsmanship. Once perfected though, everything is in your reach. Getting the boxy shape out of a planar image just takes a little bit of rounding and smudging, like so:



This was a helpful watch on shading in general, and how he constructed the face from the imagination. His knowledge of the anatomical structures of the face certainly gives him an edge, and such things go for anything you happen to desire to draw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY6Bml1F33s

If there's anything else you want to know or would like to me cover anything specific about light and shadow, just let me know.


EDIT --- One thing I feel I've forgotten to mention which is important enough to warrant its own little sub-section (but I feel the need to mention it briefly!), is direction of light, how bright it is, and whether it's diffused or directed.

While these factors are definitely important for complex images or those you want to appear photorealistic, how light "bends" around objects is effected by all of these factors. This is what I really wanted to illustrate with planes.

The greater the angle away from the light source, the darker the shadow will become.

To create a rudimentary ASCII example:

 |    <---    Light   // Light hitting a surface dead on is going to be the brightest. Obviously.
/     <---    Light  // Light hitting a surface which is at an angle will bounce some of those light rays away. Light is "captured" by surfaces, remember. So if those light rays bounce away, the surface is inherently darker.

The greater the angle, the greater the bounce. If light approaches a surface that is ninety degrees or more away from the light source, that surface is likely to be the darkest part of the image.

To get a little more in-depth, keep in mind that because light bounces and reflects off of surfaces in the environment and background, some light will come back to the primary object from the rear (though greatly diffused). This is called "reflected light", and serves as a natural back-light to ensure the object is distinguished from the background. Lighter surfaces (whites, yellows) reflect more light, whilst darker surfaces (blacks, violets) capture more light and reflect less.

As such, you'll notice that while the rear of an object shouldn't be capturing any light at all, it somehow manages to end up lighter than surfaces directly perpendicular to the light source.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 12:07:49 AM by NoBark »

Offline BobbyJoeXForgotenSB

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 12:53:38 AM »
how would i go as to draw water?

Offline NoBark

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Re: Artistic Inquiries to NoBark
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 04:32:57 PM »
A splendid question!

How to draw water?

You will need a reference for accurate depictions of water.

Water is weird.

If you take the time to study water and all the amazing things it can do, it will blow you away. As one of the most abundant compounds on our Earth, it has an equally abundant number of qualities that are incredible, yet they never teach them in school.

As artists, water can be tricky to draw due to some of its more well-known qualities.

Water is both translucent and reflective. It gives a form of distortion (refraction) for objects in or under it. Water can be highly mobile or perfectly still. It fits the form of anything that contains it, and can occupy three states of matter, plasma being the exception.

Water is super complex, so I can only give you so much advice about drawing water without writing a book about it. Speaking of, the references at the bottom are from Jack Hamm's, Drawing Scenery: Landscapes and Seascapes if you want to pick the book up for yourself. It's mainly focused on drawings in pencil, but can help any artist in any medium.



Now, when we sit down to draw water, we must consider three basic things: Is it moving? How much is there? What is our view of it?

We'll take it from the top.

Is it moving?

A turbulent river gives a far different look than a still body of water, like a windless lake. The turbulence of a river will push a lot of oxygen into the water, giving it that white appearance. It'll also push around a lot of sentiment, especially if it's a newly formed river, giving it a brown appearance.

A windless lake on the other hand is going to be highly reflective. If the day is perfectly still, it'll act like a perfect mirror, reflecting whatever is opposite of the viewer. More specifically, if the lake is a certain distance away from the horizon, the lake will reflect whatever is equally distant from the horizon line on the other side.

A lake with wind on it, or any other force acting on it, will give waves and ripples in the lake. This will give the appearance of many little mirrors across the lake, usually in a diamond shape (that diamond shape really simplifies drawing!).

Water organizes itself extremely well, and will often choose several options to get itself back to a still equilibrium. Keep in mind that water rarely breaks away from itself unless the force acting on it is violent or it is unable to displace that force. For example, a strong earthquake can trigger a tsunami; an extremely large, fast moving wave. The power of an earthquake can be massive, and yet the ocean's water will remain together when an earthquake's force acts upon it. Take a half-full bottle of water and shake it. Water will do its absolute best to stay together although it's being forced to the walls of the container, but droplets of water will break from the majority. They will fall back into the mix with some extra oxygen, giving it that white appearance once more.

How much is there?

A drop of water looks a lot different than an ocean. Larger bodies of water will show off their qualities of reflection more, while smaller bodies of water will show off their qualities of translucence and refraction more. Both are capable of the same qualities, but it's quite rare to see a cup of water reflecting the moon, yet alone the sun.

What is our view of it?

Viewing a large body of water from a distance will certainly show off its qualities of reflection, but looking down into it will show its qualities of translucence and refraction. Light also penetrates into water, but only so far. Depending on how many suspended particles are in the water heavily affects this. You can't see very far down in a murky lake than you can the ocean or a clear river stream.

And finally, to brass tax:

When you draw water, keep it simple. Think of water a whole, and try to keep it as one.

If water happens to break apart, it will assume the form of a sphere. When acted upon by gravity, that sphere changes into the familiar teardrop or pear shape.

That diamond shape is great to stretch across the surface of water to assist in depicting how light and shadow dance across the surface. Ripples often look like a super smooth pyramid without a cap. When ripples flow away from a center point, it is always in the shape of a circle and will extend outward for as long as the force can sustain itself.

Here are some reference pages with extra tips (and illustrations!) to assist in your own drawings of water: