View Full Version : UIR 12/12/2003
12-12-2003, 11:05 AM
General Observations on DCG Artworks
Obviously, the things I state here will not apply to every piece of art posted in the DCG. Nevertheless, as part of my moving from retirement as a digital artist into semi-retirement as a digital artist, I feel compelled to scratch out a few words of advice. This is the sort of advice that I wish a veteran artist would've given me at the start.
Come to think of it, the veteran artists probably did give me most of this advice, likely all of it. So I'll restate and say that this is the advice that, looking back over my body of works, I now wish I had always followed.
1) Use what you have, and know its limitations. If you're using MSPaint, go for cartoony images. It's far better suited for that. Only use photomanipulation programs to manipulate photos.
2) Practice. A lot. Learn all the tools. Visit photoshop or PSPro tutorials, or tutorials for whatever program you use. If you don't know where any tutorials are, ask. Or go to www.google.com (http://www.google.com) and search for <your program name> tutorial. You'll likely find something. Also... visit the "art school" section of the DCG. There are many tips there to help you, from turning a character metallic to laying out a scene, even smoothing out pixellated images.
3) Don't post everything you do. One thing that frustrated me (and many others) as an artist was waiting through multiple updates for my art to be posted, only to see multiple images post from another artist, all of which were very similar to each other, only differing in minor ways. Sometimes, these pictures looked as if they had taken minimal effort or time to do. I'm all for watching an artist improve (just look at my DCG career, and you'll see how much I've improved: http://www.comics2film.com/DCG/index.php?f_start=1&f_ssn=&f_order=1&f_dir=2&f_artists=221 I'm still not a Welshcat, Marcelo Gomes, DJZMoran, or Serayala, but I'm getting better.) I simply don't want to see every single piece of someone's 3-day-long 10-minute manip spree in the gallery. Post only the stuff you're really proud of, or that you want seious criticism on. I wish I had... Many of my pics make me shudder.
4) Sort of a post script to the last comment: take your time. Some people can turn out quality work in a relatively short time. I'd suggest you spend _at least_ a couple of hours on _anything_ you post. Even then, you may be short-changing yourself. Yep... It takes effort to do better fan art. But the effort and practice pays off.
5) Keep track of what you did in an image. If you are just "fooling around" it's hard to repeat an effect that worked particularly well, and easy to repeat effects that didn't. Many of the frustrations of doing a prolonged work stem from stumbling around blindly. Keep track of what you're doing. Write it down, or save the work often with many versions. It's easier to track what you did, that way. It's a pain in the butt, but it _will_ improve your art. Put it in your art notes. If you're seeking advice from more experienced artists, they'll be able to see what you did and make more specific suggestions for improvement.
6) Only take advice (specific advice on technique) from people whose art you wish to emulate. You waste your time by trying to tailor your work to the expectations of people whose work you don't care for.
7) Participate in the UIR's. I know this is the most hypocritical advice I can give, seeing as how I haven't UIR'ed since, well... uh... But then again, when I seek advice, I generally ask someone in particular whose work I wish to emulate. For example, if I want advice on a scene, I'll try to approach Welshcat. But FIRST I'll read his tutorial on laying out a scene. That's what it's there for. It's been a long, long time. And when you give criticism: be honest but kind. Everyone wants feedback on their work.
I'm sure more will come to me, but I'm drying up right now. Hope this general UIR helps...
[This message has been edited by squedge (edited 12-12-2003).]
Hear, hear. I'll try to do a UIR of today's update later, time permitting.
First though, what I'd like to add to the above (and you sort of cover it in the other thread) is don't give up. If you get a lot of criticism then don't take it personally and try to use it to improve, like Squedge says. And don't become discouraged through comparing your work to anybody else's. We can't all be Welshcats or Marrows. We can just be the best artists we can be. If you don't post art because you're worried about the reaction or cause you don't feel its up to the standards of the best artists in the gallery, you'll never get anything posted and you'll never improve.
Why do I say this? Because I procrastinated forever about submitting my first piece to the gallery--that's why I have art going back to 2001 but only started posting this year. I compared my work to some of what was here already and felt it didn't match up. So, I was basically scared to post anything...
...which is sad considering the kind of reviews I've ended up getting. (And the number of Front Pages I've gotten, natch.) I've been kicking myself ever since cause if I'd started posting here when I first started doing manips, I'd have a larger oeuvre and be a far better artist than I currently am. Instead, I have to play catch up.
True story. I dunno if there's anyone else in my position out there (I hope not, honestly), but if so, then, again, don't give up.
(That said, take not of Squedge's point number 3 above. Don't post something unless you think its up to a certain standard.)
12-12-2003, 01:52 PM
I think there are a lot of good points here that need to be discussed and that I personally would like to discuss, HOWEVER, I can easily see this thread growing into something not about today's UIR at all. Perhaps it'd be best to either a) start a new thread on this topic and move the discussion there, or b) rename this very thread and then re-start a UIR thread. Either way, I think it's a particularly good time to discuss the topic Squedge brought up.
"That which does not kill us...makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild, Aeon Flux
12-12-2003, 02:00 PM
Sorry bout the rambling, Essex.
There were a few posts in the gallery today that I thought this specifically applied to, so I put it here. Please feel free to move it, Zac. I have to go teach a class, but I'll be back in a little while and give specific critiques of a few of the pieces.
Thanks to any who paid attention to my rambling, and if you need or want specific help, please feel free to email me at the_mikey@NOSPAMhotmail.com
12-12-2003, 02:32 PM
No need to apologize, Squedge. You made valid points; I just don't want the thread to get out of hand later on.
"That which does not kill us...makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild, Aeon Flux
12-12-2003, 03:24 PM
what's your favorite color: nice compilation of images. supes right forearm seems a little thin.
batman intimidation game: for what your doing here flash is not required. this is easily accomplished in any gif editor. your timing is much better on this one, still is too fast, but i understand size restraints.
thor: love to see more detail, instead of a "threw together" piece of work.
bishop: would like to see more work added, maybe a costume. your effects work is good, but the one thing your work is lacking is costuming.
wonder woman: welcome to the dcg. maybe a larger base image would be better to see your work better.
sephiroth: to avoid the airbrushed look your going to have to work with multiple layers crisp edges and it also depends on the app your using. try strangefish's tutorial for starters http://www.comics2film.com/StoryFrame.php?f_id=372&f_sec=11
flash: bevels and shadows are killing your work.
torn: nice work. i like the whole montage look to it. cnn had a great article on ross the other day. kudos for great art notes and explaination of why this was done like it was.
matt bomer: what's different from this one and the other one you did?
escape from latveria: really nice piece. is that supposed to be smoke coming from santa's sleigh, if so it needs some color. i love your subtle coloring...really beautifule stuff...wonder woman is brilliant. doom is very well done. i like how this piece has that old b movie poster feel to it.
wasp: interesting background....would have never thought of that. nice wings, maybe some slight translucency to them. costuming is dead on, i think your costuming skills are one of the best around here (would love to see a .psd version of this just to see how you handle your costuming).
batman: welcome to the dcg, interesting style.
dr oc: illustrator, damn! been looking to get involved with illustrator, this makes me want to do it. nice work...tentacles are well done.
supes teaser: great first manip.
jean grey: tied for favorite pic of the day. my favorite part is the pants and the face. first the pants, just look at the lighting and detail folks, great work. the lighting gives great shape to the legs. the face, just gorgeous. look underneath the left eye, theres some light that gives some great detail to the cheekbones. hair is great as well. the top is wel done, just not a fan of their new look. my only complaint, is the figure looks as if she is slightly floating off the image, more noticeable at the feet. superb work!
ultimate captain: tied for favorite pic of the day. very good job on achieving a photo realistic look, i think your there. the lighting is gorgeous, as is the muscalature. i like the more realistic look to the bottom half of the suit, the football like pants and the boots really sell it well. the top is well done, i'm not a big fan of the textured top in the comics, but you handled it well here. one thing, the background seems a little plain, maybe an american flag or something. great work, good to see you back.
12-13-2003, 12:58 AM
Oh, Squeegee, regarding point 3:
How could you improve on this?
I will always get a giggle from "needs changed", LOL!
My full UIR later,
(It's pronounced Anonomiss...X!)
"Those who love us, may God bless them. Those who don't, may God turn their hearts. Those whose hearts won't turn, may God turn their ankles, so we may know them from their limping."
Fat people are harder to kidnap :)~
12-13-2003, 09:50 PM
remember squedge's point 7. it's not a good example when so many people give advice on how to uir, but in return don't uir.
i'm not taking pot shots at any one person, it's just an observation, don't get upset...not my intentions, my intention are to light a fire under some people so we get one or two more uirs for friday's great work.
Well, I did say I'd try to get in a UIR, time permitting, so here we go...
(Incidentally, It would be nice to get more people doing them though, like Dan says...)
What's Your Favorite Color: Green Or Blue? by siddhartha
Good cut-n-paste. Superman's proportions are a bit off (especially the arm, like Dan said), and that smoke looks a bit weird.
Batman: Intimidation Game by joker21
Pretty good. Nothing to add to what Dan said, really.
Thor by bhandwerk
Quite nice. His arms seem to short, though, and the legs are really weird--the thigh on the near one's too thin, while the far one looks too thick. A better scan would be cool.
Bishop by show_u_who_i_am
Yeah, it could use a bit more work. A costume would be nice. The effects are well done, though their glow should probably be reflected on his body.
Wonder Woman by sagacomics
Welcome to the DCG. Seems quite good (especially the metal effects) but way too small.
Sephiroth - One Winged Angel by tenchichan
Not bad. I quite like the wing and the costuming. The hair is, unfortunately, very blurry indeed. Can't really help you with the airbrushed look (which I've always intentionally aimed for) but it might help if we knew which application you're working with.
Today's Gq Flash by bcat75
Uh... What Dan said, really. Those bevels don't look very good and this definitely needs more shadows and highlights. Particularly, the yellow parts are completely missing any realistic texture.
Torn by Spiderman620815
Great work. The layout's really good, and the pencils themselves are great. My only real complaint is the size, which makes it hard to discern some of the details, especially in the flashback section.
Matthew Bomer As The Man Of Steel by Zhabha
This is exactly the same as your first piece... Good cut-n-paste. The hair looks a bit blocky.
Escape From Latveria by Skulboy
This is really good! I love the pencil-crayon colouring. The layout is wonderful, very pulp action movieish. The smoke could indeed use a bit of detail. Also, WW's left leg should be farther back--I'm not sure anyone could kneel for any period of time in the kind of position its in. (And why's she topless anyway?)
Af: Wasp by kev_incal
Very very nice. The wings, costuming, and background are awesome. But... something about the physiques just off. It's something in the shoulder/chest area... I think her head and shoulders are in the wrong alignment with respect to her torso, as though they're facing in two different directions... The head and shoulders are nearly in profile, while the chest is in more of a three-quarter view. It just looks off...
Batman by spi
Welcome, welcome. Nice drawing, interesting style. Only problem I see is that your colours tend to go outside the lines way too much.
Dr. Octopus by atomicdeathray
Very good debut. Everything's quite good. I really like the texture of the tenticles. The colouring's a bit plain, but make no mistake, this is really good. I'd quite like to get Illustrator myself but, really, like I could afford it...
Supes Teaser by Race XE
Great debut! The metal textures are very well done.
Jean Grey (new X-men) by daekazu
Favourite pic of the day, really really awesome. I think Dan says everything that needs to be said above. The colouring is completely amazing. (I'm just in awe of people who can colour art this well.) She does look sort of like she's floating... I think it's cause of the lack of detail in the ground, and cause of the rather weird shadow she throws. Still, really awesome work.
Ultimate Captain America by squedge
Wow. Really great. Welcome back, Squedge. (Though if you're Minister of Propaganda, should I call you Herr Squedge? http://www.comics2film.com/UBB/wink.gif) The costuming and seams and wrinkles and, well, everything else looks great. The chain mail's nice--the fact that it actually follows the lines of his body adds a lot. If you wanted a photorealistic look, I think you've managed it. The only critique I can offer is incredibly minor and nitpicky: the shield should be curved rather than flat (though it is very well done) and the belt buckle could use more detail. Oh, and I'm pretty sure the pants should be blue... they're only grey in one panel, after all.
12-15-2003, 12:24 AM
Thank you so much for the positive feedback...and I hate to do this to myself, but I have to, it's bothering me. If you look at my doc ock picture, you'll see below his arm there are black shapes underneath his armpit. Those weren't intentional. The error has since been fixed. I find that I'm always forgetting to blank some of my fill and stroke colors. The picture will be on my website soon. I will post the url when it is ready.
Thank you all for the positve feedback. I've been a fan of the galleries for well over a year or so now, and I just joined up with some of my art.
I'm really digging the "Escape From Latveria" by Skullboy. Also, on an aforementioned post about the Jean Grey and Captain America pics...both are very nicely rendered. The way Cap is posed with his hand on his hip seems a little unnatural, as if his elbow and shoulder are extending out more. Like, on second look it appears as though his hand isn't even touching his hip. I can understand that, though. To make room for the utility belt. Regardless, it's nicely done. I happen to like the scale mail texture. It has alot of emphasis. Nice to see you back, btw.
...spider-man 2 trailer.............WOW
No time for a full review of this. I just wanted to mention a couple or so that caught my attention.
Captain America by Squedge - Welcome back to the DCG Squedge, and an excellent piece to mark your return. I really like how the figure has been mostly purged of any Poser-ish elements - it does look pretty genuine and almost non-poser like, except for perhaps his right arm and shoulder - it's probably a good thing to use a simple pose like that anyway. I like the costuming and seams particularly. I'd agree that the shield looks a bit flat, and maybe more like a big round sticker on a dance floor, but apart from that it still looks great even as it is. Nice use of perspective too. I hope to see many more from you in the future.
Wasp by Kev Incal - this background is cool and really suits the picture without making it look simply like a nature shot. I like Wasp's costuming and the wings, although I also think it could've been more translucent and gossamer like in material. I'm not sure what she's meant to be doing with her left hand, and the pose seems a little stiff, but otherwise great work.
Jean Grey - great drawing and colouring - i like the way she is walking on that beach front (well that's what it looks like) and the overcast mood of the picture. The style of art is probably a little too Japanese-looking for my personal tastes, but it's a nice piece nevertheless.
Meoww! Send in the clowns!
12-16-2003, 12:39 AM
First let me say thanks to Squeege for saying what a number of people are thinking.
Also "B" you are not alone. I could kick myself for the number of times I should have submitted but didn't.
That said as a poster I should also UIR so here goes.
Favorite Color: I agree that its a nice compliation and I think to me it looks like Superman is just a bit too close to camera for the perspective of the pic, which would account for the arm and the little legs.
Batman: Intimidation Game: I also agree with the previous posters and the only other thing I would have suggested is having the thumbnail images the same size so they and the type face don't jump around.
Thor: Near foot seems way to small and at an awkward angle. The musculature on the arm is well done though
Bishop: Not sure what if anything was done to the actor but as the others have said the effects are well done.
Wonder Woman: The size of this makes it hard to judge in any realistic fashion but from what I can see its a nice first attempt. Welcome.
Sephiroth: Nice job adding the wing and the flames. On the airbrush front depending on your program I would also suggest frankensteining, maybe taking the head shot of Orlando (as Legolas if you can find him with the hair down) a shoulder piece from armor and a sleeve from a jacket and mixing them together.
Flash: The edging you added actually hurt the image and you made no attempt to disguise the base image. The original bikini line, his nipples and even his eyebrows are still clearly visible.
Torn: Sweet work. And the art notes make it all the more enjoyable. My only request would be a bigger image so I could see more of the great details.
Matt Bomer as the man of steel: I am assuming this was a cut the head and paste it on job if so nice job matching skin tones. As for the choice of actor I don't see it but in my mind Christopher Reeves will always be "The Man" (And with that comment I am showing my age lines again http://www.comics2film.com/UBB/wink.gif )
Escape from Latveria: Very cool pic. I am in awe of the detail in Doom's mask.
AF: Wasp: Great, great great manip. I love the wings. Do you draw them yourself? And terminally cool idea for the background. I would have never guessed it was cherry blossoms without the notes.
Batman: Interesting style but I would suggest darkening the original sketch lines, with the color added the original detail is almost lost.
Doc Ock: Sweet work. As previously stated the work and texture of the tenticles is wonderful. Look forward to seeing more.
Supes Teaser: Very nice work for a first manip. I especially like how the symbol stands out from the pic yet is still a part of it.
Jean Grey: Very cool style and I would take this style over the mashed potato look that X-men was sporting when these uniforms debuted any day of the week. Tied for my fave pic of the day
Ulimate Captain America: This is gorgeous. And the amount of work you must have put in boggles the mind. Tied for my fave pic of the day.
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