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Author Topic: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)  (Read 137753 times)

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Online Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1545 on: August 30, 2020, 10:56:06 AM »
@SlamJam thanks (^_^)

here's my end of month report. I'm posting a day early because 3 times a year I do a major art sort and so I'll probably be posting comments on how the last 4 months have gone separately.

I had a lot to say but I've kinda forgotten it all, probably for the best I guess haha

anyways
I did over 1100 sketches this month, which was a ridiculous amount, and thanks to that I have already drawn more individual sketches than 2019. 2500 this year, only 2000 last year.
Most sketches have been what I call "concept" level, so really raw but plenty of varied ideas.
Here's a generic dump of just the concept sketches I've done this month. The blue pages are my new method project which I mentioned last update.

Spoiler






























I also did a batch of resolved sketches at my "new" level, although I'm still rehashing my new workflow for getting lots of nice details now. pretty happy with the quality but always room for plenty of improvement.



Part of another new concept page I was trialling was a Masterpiece only sketch page, inspired from previous sketches. Basically "what if the original piece was actually drawn better"
This is basically comfort sketches, but really trying to make them good, rather than generic. 90% or more turned out acceptable which is great.



I'm working on generating more concepts for next month, as well as resolving sketches with arger amounts of detail and quality than what I'm used to, trying to add some greebles here and there too, more on that later if it works :P

so probably I'll post again tomorrow.
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1546 on: August 31, 2020, 08:09:50 AM »
Holy heck dude that level of productivity and that level of sketches? Dammit I might have to throw out my model sketching method out the window, anything to get that level of output and clarity haha. Serious props man! I need to look at your process videos again.

They're way too many to choose from but I see a nekomimi and she is my arbitrary favourite.

Serious respect suuper. Wish I could draw like this haha!

Online Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1547 on: August 31, 2020, 06:56:27 PM »
@Lego haha thanks :P I'm a big fan of loli nekos so they invariably turn up when I'm in my comfort zone :D

interestingly this month has gone like super bad for me, so it's beyond a miracle that I got anything done at all. I suppose working at the lowest level has it's advantages in that even when I'm not at my best I can just scribble ideas and stuff and figure it out later.

I might do a couple of videos showing my processes for each stage of my drawing, if anything it would help me to focus on my methods and I might be able to refine them even more.

Well I mean you've done a 1000 character regime that was the same sort of thing so I definitely think you've easily got it in you to do this level of sketching. Combined with prompts to get hints in different directions, the possibilities are endless.



4 monthly rambling.

Normally I do a WIP cleanout but lately I have so many quality control layers in my processing now, even super bad sketches can be processed into good ones, and I've even recovered WIPs that I dropped originally and put them back into the flow thanks to my improved methods. I'm not sure if I should be putting so much effort into improving bad ideas, but I get the feeling that I shouldn't just draw 100 sketches and hope that some turn out good, I really do need a 95% successful way of fixing bad sketches even at the idea level.

How I managed within one week, to go from my absolute highest productivity, to my absolute lowest recent level, is a bizarre mystery. It certainly doesn't feel like burnout because I'm still dishing out sketches, but at the same time I can't seem to hit that top level of 4+ hours a day anymore. I think stressing about going back to working at a school (because of Corona) is probably the cause of some of the issue, as well as general art stress about where I think I should be. The moral of the story is that you can't be focused if you're worrying about stuff. Pretty obvious really but try "not worrying" and it's not as easy as it sounds. The best I can get to that consistently is just distracting myself with my favourite music, and just trying to copy some random manga or photos, and then I sort of get in the zone just because I'm distracting myself form my worries, with my art. It's not always successful, but I feel that I'm moving a bit more forward.

I also think that I might have hit a mental limit on how much I could actually learn timewise. I tend to sleep a lot when I am learning new things (especially when I start new jobs), and so I think that I wasn't adjusting my sleep schedule to allow myself to sleep longer while I am processing new skills. Just a random thought, but it seems relevant perhaps, as I seem to need more sleep these days.

Probably the main feat over the last 4 months has been my maximum quality sketches. For at least several years, if not ever, I had no idea what my maximum skill level was. tbh even these weren't my maximum (I could have done a better pose, added props etc), but they are the closest yet, and it really gave me a boost to see that all my effort so far has actually been worth it.


My WIPs have always been a big focus of my time, especially while I am learning, as I can focus on different levels of concept generation and resolving etc, at different times, and so be able to pin point areas in which to improve.

As it stands, my current WIP count is at 9637.
That's because of adding new types of WIPs (about 5000), such as my "Alter WIP" pages in blue, which are actually doubling up on the WIPs created. Each finished sketch goes into 4 folders, 3 of which generate fresh different concepts all over again, so I've certainly got my work cut out.
 
Linearts and Colouring have probably improved the least, as I have done very little coloured works or linearts during the last 4 months. On the other hand, I've definitely improved my range of sketches that I can generate, partly thanks to my prompt generator, but also due to me dropping the quality of my sketches to focus on simply expressing the concept, the core of my idea, and nothing else. So it's helped me to sketch more freely, which has led to a higher range of mostly better ideas.

Adding quality control and details iterations in both my finalize concept and my resolve sketch projects has been a super help in fixing mistakes and adding more details such as props and backgrounds

Even though I have been working on the low quality end of my sketches, I still feel that my overall quality has improved, and my latest batch of resolved sketches seem to support this. The quality is higher and there are more details everywhere. I am convinced that so many art skills are related, even in ways that I don't even realise yet. So I'm thinking that  will probably keep my focus on the sketchy side for quite a while. My line quality has certainly improved, and definitely my confidence with expressing new ideas has jumped. I think general experience has helped in that I have drawn so much now, I can better imagine how I want my ideas to look before I even put pen to paper.

Another major project has been my random manga pages. Although I have not got to the production level page quality yet, I have applied my illustration WIP stages to the manga pages and so far I have an excellent concept stage and finished concept stage, and a consistent quality that I can work at to produce them. When I get past resolved and inked stage, I'll have a general purpose perfect method for churning pages out continuously at a consistent level. It wont be my final method for sure, but it will really help with my pending main project of producing a book (or two) sized short story manga.

It's amazing how much I have drawn at a very consistent level, and yet every day I sit at my PC and think "what if I can't draw as well today?". My lack of confidence has not stopped me from drawing but it certainly has been an annoying aspect of my personality to keep me company this last year. If I could ever get rid of it that would make my life so much easier.

Overall my targets for the final part of the year are:
-get rid of older WIPs from 2019 at all the levels
-improve the range of concepts I can produce with and without prompts
-get a resolved and inked quality set up for manga pages
-practice colouring at a sketch level.
-get some more digital "painting" practice in, both copies and sketches.
-do another set of maximum quality pieces and compare to the previous set.
-resume 3+ hours a day of drawing, then try for 4+ and see what the limit is that I hit previously.

Some long term targets that I would like to reach possibly:
-get a consistent flow of high level coloured illustrations that I can upload to different websites such as DA
-do a daily sketch at a good quality, even very good, like an hour long piece. Would be great for productivity.
-start a short manga story as practice, and actually upload to manga sites, to get used to that.

I don't know when I am supposed to start back at work, but even when I do, it's only 2 days a week, so I think I can still dream big for the foreseeable future while the Corona is messing with getting out and about as normal. I'm playing it on the safe side mostly for my parents.

So for now, it's just trying to draw a lot and crunch my WIPs down as always. I seem to be gaining skill doing that so I'm going to keep it up.



I also wanted to mention some of my thinking that I have been doing towards the "ultimate" art skill that I always envision for myself. It's not quite a tip or tutorial, but it's also not really anything that relates to my current art so I'm just gonna dump it here and if it helps someone then that's great.

Speed
There is an ultimate truth: No matter how fast you draw you can never draw 2 lines as fast as a single one. It is an unavoidable truth.
But, there are still ways to improve speed of drawing regardless:
-Draw faster. While you can never draw 2 lines in the space of one, if you improve your overall speed then you will be drawing lines faster nontheless. You will hit a limit, but certainly if you are drawing too slowly then this might be something to work on
-Draw less lines. If your art style is really detailed, it will take more time. If it is a super scratchy style then there's a lot of lines. If you draw less lines overall, then your drawings will be faster. You might like your style to have a lot of detail, I certainly do, but you can still focus on making each line count, drawing one longer line instead of 2 shorter ones, for example.
-A specific way of drawing less lines is to draw fewer/simpler undersketches/guidelines. I have done a lot of iterations in my artwork and I have found that a lot of what I draw gets redrawn again, exactly as it was. That is an utter waste of time, and so making sure that you use the bare minimum when sketching your guidelines and undersketches will vastly improve your sketch time.
-Spend less time "not drawing". If you daydream or have long pauses between each line you draw, it all adds up. In fact I'm sure that 75% of your time or more is spent not touching pen to paper at all. Generally working quickly will help to keep the pace up. You don't want to rush so that you lose quality of course, but not wasting time on unnecessary thinking or pausing will help to improve your sketch time.
-Think faster. This is a bit of a vague one since it applies in quite a few ways, but being indecisive can waste time if you draw something and then change your mind, erase it and draw something else. Like changing a pose etc. So knowing what you want to draw and going straight into it can really help speed up your sketch.

Mistakes
Reducing the amount of mistakes in your artwork is similar to raising the quality, but I found it easier to look at the different types of mistakes that you can make, as large generalisations:
-Concept Mistake - Changing your idea halfway through your drawing. Ideally you want to have quite a solid idea of what you want to draw, as near the beginning of the sketch as possible. There's nothing wrong with improving an idea, but if you keep making changes or being indecisive, then that's probably something to work on.
-Knowledge Mistake - Not knowing how to draw what you want. let's say you want to draw a dog in your scene, but you have no idea how to draw a dog. You dont even know what type of dog you want. You dont have enough knowledge to complete your piece properly, and without reference you will waste of lot of time with trial and error. Using references is a good idea, as well as practice drawing a wide range of things to increase your general knowledge can help with this. Proportions are a similar thing, really anything that you draw, and then have to erase because it looks bad, is probably suffering from a knowledge issue.
-Accuracy Mistake - Not being able to draw the line you want. This probably is easy to understand if you try and draw a circle, everyone knows what it's meant to look like (they have the knowledge), but drawing it requires quite a bit of skill, and often requires a few undos to get the shape you want. So this mistake is to do with hand/eye coordination and muscle memory, amongst other things. Drawing more will help to gain experience and better coordination and control.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 07:10:24 PM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Manimal

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1548 on: September 05, 2020, 09:20:30 AM »
That's quite an insightful post, lots of good bits and tips in there. Your output and dedication to this is insane, and the sheer amount of sketches you keep doing is really incredible. That coloured piece is so well done, the detail and shading is crazy. You do clothes super, ahem, suuper well. Always nice to see how things are coming along here.

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1549 on: September 15, 2020, 02:00:35 AM »
@Manimal thanks!
I always attribute my insane efforts to my high ambitions haha


2 week update.

I'm blaming stress from returning to work as the main culprit for my current slump. I've basically drawn nothing in terms of volume, although I've drawn a fair bit of sketches and stuff. Also so far this has been the worst month on record this year, as well as having several days of not drawing at all, which is also incredibly rare for the last 12 months. Maybe half my days this month I haven't drawn.

Probably the only thing I have done since my last update is to almost perfect some entry level traditional and "non-digital" methods that I think will be handy to use.

Mostly 3 things:
-Use of traditional in a similar way to my digital WIPs, separating my concepts and "final" pieces
-Using minimal guidelines when drawing, especially in pen
-Working with my own prompts/coming up with varied ideas

I'll break those down:

1) A traditional art WIP processing method

The idea has been nagging at me for a while but since stopping work I basically haven't drawn on paper much at all, simply because I've been on my tablet permanently. So returning to work has given me my commute back which I intend to try and use to the best of my ability. Basically I use the back of my sketchbook to draw a page of concepts in a particular theme or prompt, and then pick one, improve it in my head and then sketch the final piece at top quality in the front of my sketch book.

Here is an example of a concept page:
The middle right piece (with a tick on the head) was chosen for the final piece.
The tick is my mark to know I have used a concept in a final piece, otherwise I might later take that rough sketch and try to finish it again, and I have enough concept WIPs already haha.


And the final piece:
(Also handy to know something else that I was worried about low key- that if I draw less my skill will drop. At least short term, it seems that I've managed to keep on top of that and my core ability isn't affected by my slump)


This method is good for the same reason doing it digitally was, which are:
-It separates the idea from the execution, meaning I can focus on an interesting idea without worrying in the slightest about proportions or details or anything.
-I can pick the best idea out of a handful so the concept is more likely to be a nicer one, and also more likely to be a wider range of concepts than my normal comfort zone.
-When I draw the final piece, I can improve the concept even more and make quite a lot of changes (pose/expression/props etc), because nothing has been sketched for real yet. So I can improve the idea more than I would normally just sketching.

So I will definitely keep this up I think, and when my book is full I will take all the other concepts and put them in my digital queue for processing, so nothing gets wasted :P

2) using minimal guidelines when drawing

This is part of my overall goal to use zero guidelines in my sketch, but really for an idea I am comfortable with, I can get away with very few guidelines at a medium level sketch. Typically a rough figure and a few clothing/prop lines are all I need to rough it out these days.

As an example, here is the breakdown of one of my daily sketches:

Concept: literally whatever. It's sort of roughly in the right place but goodness knows the proportions are utterly whack.


"Guidelines": I sometimes call this a large thumbnail sketch because of how it feels to draw. Typically the full figure and, especially in traditional, major clothing guidelines like the edge of a dress. The quality and accuracy isnt great at all, but it's a huge improvement from the previous concept.


Final Sketch: I can improve on any mistakes in the guidelines as I go. The more confident I am, the less precise my guidelines need to be, such as on the face - I dont use any extra guidelines to sketch that in. Obviously the quality is lower than if I were to use more error checking and quality control, but the idea is to practice this minimal guidelines approach to get used to it. Especially traditional with a ballpoint, I cant afford to sketch that many guidelines as they will be visible in the final piece


This is an application of a general rule of mine - if you can draw something right first time, you dont need guidelines for it. "Guidelines are only to help you if you are stuck". If it's difficult to draw, if you need more quality control, if you need to check for more errors, and so on. So for a sketch level piece, I know that I can draw the face correct first time (to the appropriate quality) without any extra guidelines. For a high quality inked piece - I need more guidelines to get that sharp accurate quality. But with a low quality or sketchy piece, the guidelines can also be low quality.

3) Thinking of my own prompts without a prompt generator/word list

Lately I have found that with prompts I can vastly improve the range of ideas that I produce. In fact, it's super annoying how I didn't notice it sooner, but there you go.
However, I dont want to be tied to a random prompt generator for 2 reasons, well 3:
-The random prompts are only as random as I make them, if a list is not complete (i.e. expressions/location), then it will never appear as a hint, and so I will never think to draw it.
-If I am drawing traditionally/ away from my computer/ in a casual setting, I wont have my prompt generator with me. I don't want my concepts to suffer from not having access to a good prompt
-Using a prompt generator, even one of my own creation, feels like I am limiting my ability to come up with prompts on my own. It's an unnecessary dependency in my opinion, and I would simply rather not need it.

Coming up with random prompts is quite difficult, as certain words tend to come to mind first, every time (quite possibly one of the reasons behind a comfort zone?). But I have found that when trying to think of a list of things, once I exhaust all the "obvious" options, then I start to properly explore the category and think of interesting words. I first noticed this with my 1000 poses - I felt that I wouldn't be able to think of that many poses, but once I started thinking within certain categories and forcing myself to come up with unique poses, I was able to find new ideas that were certainly not top-of-the-mind ideas. And the same is true with words in a list, be it expressions, locations, patterns, anything. Once you exhaust the "default" options you start to lean out of your comfort zone and into new and interesting ideas.
I try and come up with an emotion, a location, and a prop, for my default "mental prompt" so far. It's not great because it require a bit of focus which I'm not used to, but so far I've used it on my commute when sketching concepts. Often after drawing a few I think of an improvement to the prompt which leads to the last half of the page being even more interesting concepts.

Another way is by coming up with a random word, and then using it as an abstract prompt. The best method I have to come up with a "true" random word, is to play a word game with myself, such as:
-The license plate game - Finding the nearest car license plate and making a word with it. Works on car journeys only obviously :P This is kinda a fake method because it relies on an external source for a prompt all the same.
-Shiritori (No idea the english name lol) - Pick a starting word and then think of a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. A couple of words down the line and you have a fairly random word
-Shiritori but with just the concept (Does this even have a name?) - You start with a word and then say a related word, like, Money > Gold > Bars > Drinks. Making use of homonyms can vary the direction pretty quickly and you end up with a random word pretty quick.

Once you have your word you can break it down into "interpretations", like "drinks" > "thirsty", "wet", "glass", "drinking", "shop", "bar". At this point you can even be abstract if you want, you just want to have a sense of what the word entails. And then you draw your concepts related to those words.

It sounds incredibly convoluted, and certainly something only I would ever even think of doing I'm sure, but every little helps when aiming at that top level of skill. I did consider printing out a list of prompts, having some on my phone etc, but the appeal of being able to create my own unlimited prompts on the fly was just too strong :P
The issue is that I'm attracted to any form of skill if I believe it is useful, even if it fundamentally isn't useful :P

With practice I'm hoping it can become second nature.

I'm hoping that I'm emotionally recovering now that I'm back at work. Really I'm just worrying about my parents catching Corona off me, who might catch it at school/commuting, so my parents were basically like stop worrying you can't change anything and I think that helped me to see things a bit more balanced. The second half of the month will be the telling factor.

It's seriously useful having these 2 weekly evaluations, it really keeps me on track to be productive all the time and I can pick up on issues very quickly rather than letting them run on for months without even noticing them. And it's not frequent enough to be a drain on my productivity.

See you all in 2 weeks! I'll try and comment on everyone's stuff while I'm on my commute.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 02:03:23 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline MK

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1550 on: September 16, 2020, 11:43:42 AM »
Don't worry, I also took a bit of a break in August too

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1551 on: September 22, 2020, 03:53:13 PM »
Quote
I'm blaming stress from returning to work as the main culprit for my current slump. I've basically drawn nothing in terms of volume, although I've drawn a fair bit of sketches and stuff. Also so far this has been the worst month on record this year, as well as having several days of not drawing at all, which is also incredibly rare for the last 12 months. Maybe half my days this month I haven't drawn.
- You hit a roadblock for sure when you took on a new responsibility but in general dude this year (and I say this knowing you are as regular as heck in general) you've not only been a regular poster, drawer and artist you've actually up'ed your game. Serious props, but also be patient with adjustments especially when they concern knew developments and stuff.
Quote
Probably the only thing I have done since my last update is to almost perfect some entry level traditional and "non-digital" methods that I think will be handy to use.

- Perfecting methods frees up space for the difficult stuff. Seriously, even in 2070 mangaka will still be as good as they themselves are + the assistants they manage to have. So every little hangup or challenge you manage to learn yourself is a boon to your future progress as an artist for a major project, wether individually or in a group (this sentence definitely made no sense lol)

Quote
Mostly 3 things:
-Use of traditional in a similar way to my digital WIPs, separating my concepts and "final" pieces
: I saw a collaboration between Chainsaw Mans' Tatsuki Fujimoto and Yuji Kaku's Hells' paradise and the video that Fujimoto-san posted really showed me that no matter how digital the final image is, pencil and paper is super important to the WIP progress, yes.

Quote
-Using minimal guidelines when drawing, especially in pen
NanFe, a person I follow from DeviantArt, Facebook and Twitter has almost super simple guidelines for the stuff she makes. The comparision is encouraging. Yes she makes awesome stuff after the fact but it's just so damn cool haha.

Quote
-Working with my own prompts/coming up with varied ideas
: This is your Butter and Bread basically. I unfortunately don't have much luck using your prompts as I'd like, but you're super good at using your prompts to suit the style of drawings and ideas that you execute. Seriously if you sit down and program and plan a manga project you're going to be able to make something 100%

And I mean that in terms of the reliability that you've developed. Suuper, I think seriously you will soon be reliable enough to make a fun comic every month or so. And if you want to really sit on it and do something epic? I swear if you plan something for a year you'll have a complete, fully coloured illustrated one-shot comic at the end of 2022, 2023 that will not only sell like hotcakes, it will be something fun and informational for people like me that do manga like a hobby hehe.

No pressure dude but methinks you are one of the Raiders that'll really preak out there

----
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Re: Traditional Art WIP Processing Method
Noice. Commutes have always been a boon to my live drawing hobby haha. Props that you do it.


Quote
Re: Final Piece
Quote
Also handy to know something else that I was worried about low key- that if I draw less my skill will drop. At least short term, it seems that I've managed to keep on top of that and my core ability isn't affected by my slump

- Yesssssssssssss. I'll encourage myself with that also haha
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when my book is full I will take all the other concepts and put them in my digital queue for processing, so nothing gets wasted :P
- I'm looking forward to processing my past regimens into finished works but I'm so disorganized I don't think I'll do it haha

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Re: "Guidelines are only to help you if you are stuck".
- This almost summarizes an almost 1:1 thought process that I've had to the process between devloping an idea and having it finally there BAM. I just wish it was a three step process instead of the overthinking 50-Step consideration that I usually go for haha.

- The quality-quantity control thing is seriously inspired though.


Quote
Re: Prompts
Lately I have found that with prompts I can vastly improve the range of ideas that I produce. In fact, it's super annoying how I didn't notice it sooner, but there you go.
- I'm still struggling with prompts unfortunately. I think I need scenarios more than prompts to be effective, but yeah it's sad how we think we always need to start from zero to do art without some sort of impulse. Your prompt program was defo helpful with my stories at the start

Quote

However, I dont want to be tied to a random prompt generator for 2 reasons, well 3:

-The random prompts are only as random as I make them, if a list is not complete (i.e. expressions/location), then it will never appear as a hint, and so I will never think to draw it.

-If I am drawing traditionally/ away from my computer/ in a casual setting, I wont have my prompt generator with me. I don't want my concepts to suffer from not having access to a good prompt

-Using a prompt generator, even one of my own creation, feels like I am limiting my ability to come up with prompts on my own. It's an unnecessary dependency in my opinion, and I would simply rather not need it.
- EXACTLY

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Coming up with random prompts is quite difficult, as certain words tend to come to mind first, every time (quite possibly one of the reasons behind a comfort zone?).

- I think there are literal sciences that study the actual possibility of randomness? Like if it's possible to be truly random. Music streaming apps definitely need or leave the concept (Either they want to give you songs that are so random you learn something new, or you have a random song that you hate forever)

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Re: The license plate game
- I will use this

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Re: Shiritori
- Seen it in countless manga, definitely want to learn Japanese well enough to play it haha
- Also you know it so well, I've definitely got to ask: How good EXACTLY is your Japanese haha

Quote
I'm hoping that I'm emotionally recovering now that I'm back at work. Really I'm just worrying about my parents catching Corona off me, who might catch it at school/commuting, so my parents were basically like stop worrying you can't change anything and I think that helped me to see things a bit more balanced. The second half of the month will be the telling factor.

- Wishing you the best of luck in that cheese. It is really, super frustrating dude. But  I suspect you'll be OK


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Re: 2 weeky evaluations

- I am 100% stealing this idea for my life because you seriously bring a lot of useful well-thought-out content and in the age of instant messaging where 'K' is a proper answer to serious questions it's so nice to see long-form thought out messages and stuff.

Just my two cents




PS: What is your next regimen!?

Online Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1552 on: September 30, 2020, 03:28:57 PM »
@MK thanks!

@Lego
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but also be patient with adjustments
Yeah I can be quite impatient sometimes but I think that keeps me from becoming complacent or accepting of changes and I keep trying to resume the level of activity I am used to.

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Perfecting methods frees up space for the difficult stuff.
100%
In fact this is one of the fundamental cornerstones of my masterplan, pushing as many skills as possible into habit to increase efficiency, speed, and reduce effort etc.

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no matter how digital the final image is, pencil and paper is super important to the WIP progress, yes.
Although I do mix my traditional and digital, I think my ideal end result would be to be able to work on either side, from a blank page to a final illustration without switching mediums. It does require doubling up on digital and traditional versions of the same skill but I think it's worth it.

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NanFe, a person I follow from DeviantArt, Facebook and Twitter has almost super simple guidelines for the stuff she makes.
That's a cool image, and yes definitely shows how you can progress an idea from very simple beginnings.
However I was referring not to an initial sketch, which is just the raw idea, but the guidelines that I use for the final sketch. There's a slight difference, in that an initial sketch can have errors in proportions and conveys the concept, the guidelines are the construction lines for your final sketch, and need to be much more accurate.

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I unfortunately don't have much luck using your prompts as I'd like
Sorry :'(
Well that's because my programs are perfectly aligned to my mentality, so they are created for me specific needs.

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methinks you are one of the Raiders that'll really preak out there
AWWWWWWW
:D

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I'm looking forward to processing my past regimens into finished works but I'm so disorganized I don't think I'll do it haha
Yeah it does require quite a bit of organisation. I've mentioned my organisation before, but basically I have one main folder setup that is an archive of ALL my work, dated. Second to that, I have extra sorting folders, for different projects and WIPs.
When I finish a page, I copy it to each folder in turn. And then I delete it if it isnt relevant to that folder. So each folder often has a queue of files to be sorted further, which I can do at any time.
So when I have an idea for a new project, I can copy my entire archive into that folder to sort through and find sketches that are suited to it. I usually dont use too old sketches though.

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I just wish it was a three step process instead of the overthinking 50-Step consideration that I usually go for haha
Haha funny you should mention that, but because of my iteration workflow I probably actually have that many steps before a piece gets finished, from an intial idea. Actually I wonder how many it is.
Rambling
[Blank Page Begins]
-Fragment
[Finalise Concept Begins]
-Initial Sketch
[Finalise Sketch Begins]
-Finalise
-Figure Thumbnail
-Main Sketch
-Details
[Resolve Sketch Begins]
-Finalise
-Figure Thumbnail
-Figure Sketch
-Sketch Guidelines
-Main Sketch
-Details
[Ink Sketch Begins]
-Finalise
-Main Sketch
-Details
[Colour Lineart Begins]
-Flat Base
-Flat Colour
-Patterns
-Shade 1
-Shade 2
-Eyes
-Highlights
[Finished Illustration!]
So 22 steps haha
A lot of those steps are quality control, so it ensures, at the cost of time, a more even quality sketch. And that's just my standard quality WIPs, my Masterpiece WIPs have double the iterations for quality control and concept enhancement.

In my opinion, having a lot of steps is not an issue as long as they work. Yes, having less would be fantastic, but compared to not having any method, I'll take 50 steps any day :P

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I think I need scenarios more than prompts to be effective
I've been trying to add that sort of thing as well, but they are often a lot more specific and one-use, like "riding a bus" or something. So I dont have a good method yet for coming up with a large range. The best I can do when given a prompt like "running", is to think "why are they running?", "what are they running from?", "are they running from their responsibilities?" So I try and look at prompts in an abstract way to get more ideas.

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I think there are literal sciences that study the actual possibility of randomness? Like if it's possible to be truly random.
Oh it's definitely impossible for a human to be anything at all near random haha, that's why it's so hard to come up with ideas, we just keep recycling the same default thoughts each time.

RE:Shiritori
You can play the game in English of course, just say a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. That's what I meant, I dont do it in Japanese lol.
My Japanese is alright, I can converse on most subjects probably, and given a long enough warm up I can sometimes sound fluent XD

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I suspect you'll be OK
Thanks, I have indeed probably recovered now. I'll probably talk about it in my report.

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What is your next regimen!?
I have started another face regime, but proper coloured headshots. I hoped to have finished a set to post but I was caught up with other WIPs. The idea is to fix my slant with faces as well as figuring out how to draw really nice hair and eyes.



End of month report

Well I have finally managed to claw my way back into productivity. My sleep has finally stablised and I've been waking up great at 5am the last 3 days, which is better than the last month or so. I think it was definitely my brain trying to deal with all the new stuff going on at work and stuff.

In fact my productivity graph shows a magnificently linear slump over the last 2 months. I'm hoping that tiny blue spike on the last day is my big comeback.
Spoiler

So while I feel I am rocketing upwards, I have nothing much to show for it because it's only the last few days that it's happened.

But all the same have a sketch. Took maybe 20 minutes. My new quality for resolved sketches doubles the time to make them but adds so much details and quality so it's definitely worth it. I'm still struggling with massive skew on some of my pieces, but I think that's partly related to recent bad posture and how I'm facing my screen. We'll see.


All the while I wasn't drawing though, I did do a lot of thinking and processing of my workflows and trying to find gaps in the system that could be optimised. Also trying to analyse my thoughts and internal processes to see what could be improved there. I ended up with 3 A3 pages of rambling.

I ended up creating quite a bit of personal terminology to solidify my issues and methods.







To summarise some of the main discoveries:
  • It can be hard to improve a sketch if you try and keep too much of the original "bad" idea. So you have to change decisions you have previously made, such as pose, clothing etc. It can feel like a step backwards to go back on decisions you have made, which is a possible wall you may hit when trying to improve an idea.
  • Fundamentally there are an infinite number of possible ideas and improvements that you can make to a piece, and that can lead to decision paralysis not knowing which is the best way to go. The solution to this is not to evaluate ideas against each other, but to evaluate each idea against a threshold criteria. If the idea is above the threshold, then go with that one. You could spend forever finding better ideas to do, but wasting time not doing any of them. To quote Sir Robert Alexander Watson Watt, "Give them the third-best to go on with; the second-best comes too late, [and] the best never comes"
  • The Catch 22 of improving an idea - You want to avoid adding details (i.e. wasting your time) until you are sure of your idea, but often only by adding details do you think of what idea you want and then have to change it. In that regard, expressing ideas in the simplest form possible is the best way around this, so you explore an idea without committing much time to actual details.
  • Quality control and evaluation are important all the way along the drawing, from evaluating the concept to checking the line quality is the level you are aiming at. But for effective evaluation you need to have specific criteria that you are aiming at, such as an artist's style you are copying etc.

I had a few more points, but they are personal to my own style and probably utterly confusing if I try to explain them anyway :P

Something that affected me a few years ago, and I had completely forgotten, was that I find it very hard to have programming as a side at the same time as art. Maybe because programming is very problem solving heavy, it takes up brain space even when I'm not doing it, and so it makes it hard to focus on my art. I think that is a secondary reason for my recent slump as I have been doing a few coding projects. I also found myself distracted with finding more artist references, something that probably plagues all us artists. I haven't done that for ages so if it only happens once a year then that's fine. I'm trying to use more photo reference as well for practice, so I can create my own style based on my observations rather than copy other artists without understanding the fundamentals.

I went through my favourite artists work to create a folder of 1000 of the absolute best pieces that will guide me towards the epic level that I am aiming at. I'm hoping to work through Inktober trying for my new quality to see what happens.

Don't forget Inktober starts tomorrow! We could always use some more company!
http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,19863.0/topicseen.html

Well due to my lack of activity that's all I have to talk about this time, I'll be more active during Inktober so I'll see you all real soon.
Art: Manga / Fanart / Requests (closed) / Other | Manga Stories: Overdrive / Endlessness
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Offline Notívago

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1553 on: October 05, 2020, 10:00:29 PM »
Wow! such commitment and organization for progress, i wish i was more like that  :hmm:

Online Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1554 on: Today at 09:11:07 AM »
@Notivago haha well it's not always smooth running for me there's always something which throws me off my tracks XD
tbh commitment and organisation are not things that I have natrually, they are skills that I have gained over time just like my art skill, so don't worry if you're not like that, just looks for small areas at a time that you can improve in.


End of month report

yes it's a day early but I feel like talking now

Overall this entire month was dedicated to Inktober. I had big plans but they fell flat for a couple of reasons.
1) My targets were indeed too high, with a very large amount of time needed for each piece, which was basically unattainable at my current level of focus and activity. I had plenty of good days, but plenty of bad ones too.
2) I was a week+ out of comission with a wrist injury. You can't help when injuries happen and even when being careful you can't avoid them sometimes but this is still a factor which affects productivity
3) I was off-site for another week on holiday. This was not in my original schedule and so that threw off my plans by quite a bit.

I'm committed to finishing my first 4 illustrations at maximum level, but I won't go any further. As always with my ambitious projects I've learnt a lot that I can use going forward. I'll try and summarize my thoughts so far

  • Concept/Idea generation - thanks to the last couple of months spent loosening up and using prompts I found it much easier to come up with a range of ideas for each prompt of the days I was working on. I really can put this down to not worrying about proportions when sketching an idea and just throwing it down on the canvas. So letting myself worry about fixing it up later gives me freedom of thought.
  • Concept development - taking time to take each concept I created and take it a stage further really gave the pieces more life and allowed me to adjust and improve the ideas that were weaker and take the better ones and make them even better, but still working at a low quality. Especially because I was trying to keep the prompt word as a focus, I was thinking really hard "how can I show XYZ more?" "what does XYZ really mean?" "what abstract ways can XYZ apply?", and so this led to leaning outside my comfort zone a lot more
  • Resolving and Guidelines - I found this stage harder than normal because of working with full backgrounds for the first time, and basically I shot myself in the foot for the lineart. Half I was on track and did it right but in other areas I fell short, so a lack of experience I think was the issue.
  • Inking and Details - I found that my inking style was quite stable but I struggled knowing where to add details and what details to add in the different scenes. I also found that doe to a lack of proper guidelines in the resolving stage I found it hard to know exactly what lines I should be drawing and made a lot more mistakes and had to erase and undo wayyy more than I do normally. So that's more of a resolving issue. I sometimes just stared at the picture for minutes at a time just looking for the next line to draw because I wasn't sure which objects were in front of others, so my inking time went through the roof.
  • Quality - These pieces have probably been the highest quality pieces I have produced, but in that respect it's also made me very aware of how much I don't know in terms of my visual library. Plants/Buildlings/Clothes/Props, I've entered a new level of detail recognition and it feels like I'm back at square 1 again and I have to relearn it all again.
  • Focus - partly the issue with my scheduling was assuming that I could spend my entire art time on the project. Doe to days of just not feeling like it, I had a lot of project down time where I just did studies and random sketching instead. But more often than not, after an hour or so of sketching unproductively, I got into a productive mood and could get on with my project again. So the mantra "anything is better than nothing" is certainly applicable here. Better to do something art related even if it's not what you wanted to do, it'll al help in the end
  • Mindset - related to the above, it's been interesting how "quickly" my attitude can switch from "I dont want to do my project" to "I should really be doing my project" to "let's do some work on the project!", while I am doing other art related stuff. This is related to my big analysis of "the zone" and how to get into it more consistently. Basically it's hard to focus on what you want if your mind is preoccupied with other things, but by being engaged in activity (even something non project related), gradually all the background thoughts get quieter as you become more and more focused until you have the brain space available to commit to the project you want to do. The annoying thing is that sometimes it can take minutes, sometimes hours to reach that state
  • Stamina - something interesting I noticed is that even when working on my project, after about an hour I felt like I needed a rest from it, and would return to other sketching for a while, and then back to my project. Mental stamina is a funny sort of thing and I don't know if it can be trained just by doing more of it, but it's meant that I'm about 50% or less active in the projects I want because of not feeling up to it.

So far I'm happy with the Inkober projects, minus the fact that I wont finish it like I planned. It's certainly been a growth period and I've got a lot of stuff to take away from it.

But I've noticed that I really need to go back again and work on the basics - figures, faces, hands and so on. So there might be some 1000 regimes to be had there to pick myself up again.

I haven't properly solidly worked on my WIPs for quite a few months now and that's getting annoying, but also I have projects and studies that I want to be doing as well, so it's just a huge time bottle neck at the moment. I'm trying to be more time efficient but I just find myself being really lazy lately. If I could even just spend the time I have available on my art it would be amazing.

Also not to be ignored is the fact that I'm a jack-of-all-trades and programming and craft projects keep creeping up on me.
I've played around with paper pulp and making paper (not quite there but I've nearly got all the stuff for it), I've been coding AI and neural nets which is just so fun but HUGELY time wasting as I don't have a use for the AI, I just want to make it as a challenge.
I've also got a craft project that's a secret at the moment (actually, two), so they are using up time as they both have a sort of deadline.
So that's been the extra issue that I've been facing.
So a lack of specialisation basically.

Coming up to the end of the year it's been another year of drawing and I'm still hopelessly far from my goals. But I think I'm definitely moving in the right direction now and filling up holes in my knowledge and also doing larger projects.
Art: Manga / Fanart / Requests (closed) / Other | Manga Stories: Overdrive / Endlessness
Other: Tutorials / Craft | Feedback & Critique Welcome!!