Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

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Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:38 pm

Hi all,

I'd like to submit my final exam sketch for critique. Before you get concerned--the professor is allowing us a week to get critique and make a second version.

Our requirements are: 5-6 object groups (I have five--six if you count the window and table). At least one should be cloth with folds and the rest a variation of dark/light values, textures, and materials. In this image I have clear glass with refraction, anisotropic shading, plastics, cloth, and brushed metal. The lamp and cast highlights will represent my light values, and the window and shadows my dark values. The balance of the objects will be equalized by the fact the ball and film roll are closer (I'll have to draw them larger and with a firmer pencil touch). The balance of the image overall will be cut into two triangles diagonally--the upper-right will be dark and the lower-left with be light.

This is a quick (for me) sketch (about 90 minutes):
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Please let me know what I can do to improve the image. Things like foreshortening and atmospheric falloff will be accomplished in a more refined sketch.

Thanks!
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:13 pm

Just to show we are getting peer-reviewed critiques and I'm not trying to cheat, here's a screenshot of the assignment window:
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Yodaman921 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:15 pm

Looks pretty nifty. There's not much I can say. The only thing that really stands out to me that seems off is just how the base of the lamp interacts with the cloth. It seems like the lamp is sitting on an uneven cloth, just gives it a strange appearance. Also, It seems like the jar/bottles on the left are sitting at a different angle compared to all the items on the right (since you can see an oval for the lamp base, film canister, etc), but the top of the jar is a flat line. Not sure if this is how things should be, but those are just the items that my mind is flagging as 'off' at the moment.
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Unhurdof on Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:54 am

BnBGobo99 wrote:Please let me know what I can do to improve the image.

Heya Mike. Excellent draft so far. I want to offer some crits, but before I do, here is a disclaimer :

I always hate offering crits to friends outside of a professional or scholarly setting, because sometimes people take things personally. I truly believe, art is subjective, personal tastes vary, and there is no right or wrong when it comes to self expression, but I'm also remotely aware of what the professionals might expect to see. When I was in college for graphic design, we often had to give peer reviews. After a few times of having one's ego bruised, one's skin tends to get thicker, fast, lol. One learns not to take advice or criticisms personally, but rather appreciate the opportunity as a chance to improve one's skills. It gets to a point, where one can predict what one's professionally trained peers might say before one even presents the subject...and either self correct issues before presenting, or avoid them while creating. The point of a peer review was and is never really about 'opinion', or about 'tearing down the artist,' the point should always be about helping the artist improve. All that being said, when I look at your piece, above all else, what I see is the time it took you to create it. And as a fellow artist, above all else, I appreciate that as well as the fact that you're sharing it here. Enough beating around the bush, lol, here are some bits of advice I might offer about your draft.


Try placing more emphasis on values, lighting, or hues and less emphasis on contour lines. Try to keep your lines as light as possible, and think of them as guides only for yourself to see. Focusing more on rendering the lighting around the subject, or the difference in texture between objects rather than the lines will automatically make it look more realistic. Line art is awesome for cartoons and comic books, but in real life, there are no defined lines. It's similar to the way that with 3d if you make a cube, it should always have a beveled edge, because in reality nothing has perfectly straight edges. Imagine how your scene would look in Blender rendered only with ambient occlusion ( without textures even ), and try to aim for that in the earlier stages of your draft instead of clearly defined lines.

I hope this advice is helpful and not offensive. Feel free to disregard any of it. I know it's tricky sometimes to even want to make an effort to improve with class deadlines and such, so I commend you for that already. I'm sure you'll do fine no matter what, because art is subjective, and you've clearly got some foundational skills. Good luck with your assignment, Mike. Above all, have fun! and Cheers bud!  Cool
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:39 pm

Geepers, between what you said David and what X-Ray said, I'm wondering if I've said something in the past to give the impression I'm easily hurt by critiques.  Sure, I don't like BlenderArtists's "You suck//who taught you to draw?//Go jump off a shallow bridge!" or CGSociety's "Rrrreaaly, only trrrue artists are allowed to post here"... but I think I can take an honest critique. Smile

My class doesn't have a lot in the way of constructive feedback... I think everybody is cautious to hurt each other's feelings, so there is a lot of "looks great!" or "I like this and that" (but not much of "I think this could be better", etc).  On a related note--my graphics professor does good critiques.  In his feedback to me he has said along the lines of "it's obvious you know the software really well, so let me give you advanced critiques to take your work to the next level" which I think is awesome for a Graphics 101 teacher--he's helping me advance beyond what the class is designed to do.

Scott:  You are right, the objects are off kilter from each other.  In the setup photograph below you'll see they are on a cloth, but I think I'll exaggerate the tilt of them to avoid the confusion--so thanks for raising that concern.
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David:
Imagine how your scene would look in Blender rendered only with ambient occlusion ( without textures even ), and try to aim for that in the earlier stages of your draft instead of clearly defined lines.
That's really good advice, I never thought of it that way!
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:22 pm

So---change of plans. I got feedback from my Professor and he wants me to pursue a second idea I submitted. We were asked to provide two ideas for the final sketch, but I didn't share with y'all because it was so "out there" that I didn't think it would get the green light, so I started to push forward on the one I shared above.

Here's my second idea:
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Here is what I wrote to the class:
V1 Specifics:
Before I took this class I didn’t really draw very much, but I did a lot of 3D work (see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for some samples)--so I like to create something that doesn’t exist. “v1.jpg” is something from my mind that I thought might be neat to try.

1. Cloth: I’ll have flowing curtains behind the figurines with folds at the bottom and deep “pockets” at the top between the rungs.
2. Depth: I’ll have to figure out a way to incorporate this, but I was thinking I could use the wood shavings and maybe some tools fading off into the back.
3. Texture: I’ll try to make the figurines the same as Willow Tree’s “Promise” statue. I’ll do that by making shading to simulate the grooves caused by the tools. They will be partially carved out of a wood block that will have some wood grain texture. The lighting will be softened on the unpainted wood and sharper on the painted wood by altering the highlight width. The tool boxes off to the side will be iOS-type glass icons. There will be sharp highlights around the edges and the tops will be lighter than the bottoms.

So, I think I'll do a quick rig and cloth simulation so I can draw the curtains. I have the statue, so I'll mimic the real-world lighting shining on the statue onto the cloth using a reflection ball (everybody should have one just in case! $3.99 at Hobby Lobby). For the shavings, I'll take a look at sample photographs and just draw those and scatter them around. I have a collection of texture drawing tutorials on Pinterest that will help me get the effects I'm looking for.

I welcome any advice or tips you can provide!
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Radialronnie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:39 pm

BnBGobo99 wrote:I welcome any advice or tips you can provide!
What are you...thinking that I'm even in the same league as you?  Wink  All I can offer is encouragement. I very much enjoy seeing what you're putting out, and I wish you all the luck for your final!

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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Unhurdof on Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:21 am

Oh, nice Mike! I like the concept of this next idea alot. It seems more personal than the previous exercise.The sketch you submitted for the next idea is really cool so far too. Sounds like you've got a workflow all mapped out too, which is good. Should be fun. Can't wait to see the results on this one. Good luck and have fun, and Cheers!  Cool 
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Xraygunner on Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:30 pm

Yeah, sorry about the "stepping lightly" thing. I've been crucified a time or two in that regard and tend to be overly cautious. That being said, I'd agree with everything that's been stated already and add that it's ok to use a grid. I know it can sound like cheating in a way, but really it's a good tool to make you mindful of proportions and alignments. It doesn't have to be a crutch though. Eventually those things come naturally, depending on how much practice you put into it. One other thing... practice those ellipses! I know they are difficult, but they make a huge difference when properly done.

Lastly, I know that these are sketches and the final will be much more refined, but do keep in mind that at some point this "sketch" will become the framework for the final draft... so I'd keep those lines light so that you can draw with light. As you know it's easy to go dark, but a bit more difficult to go light unless you are in the frame of mind to use white.

BTW, I really love all the thought that goes into your work. Planning really pays off in the end.
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:51 pm

Thanks for bringing up the grid---I came up with a technique that I was meaning to show you all.  Here is what I wrote for my class when I shared it with them:

I wanted to share how I make my angle measurements.  In the previous discussion I said I used a compass thingy, but I neglected to say I use it in conjunction with my viewfinder.  My viewfinder is a bit different than what the book shows.

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It's a 99-cent 4x6 picture frame I bought at Walmart that you would use on a refrigerator.  I pealed the magnet off and drew a 4x4 grid.  I make a 4x4 grid on my paper by lightly-lightly drawing lines with an equal aspect ratio (which is easy, because our newsprint and drawing paper is in the same aspect ratio--just ~16 times as large).

I then slide the compass inside and align the compass up with an angle on my still life (in the above image I'm aligning with my drawing--but let's pretend that's my still life, lol).  Keep the viewfinder/picture-frame facing you without any vertical or horizontal tilt--make it like it was your iPhone and you are looking directly at the screen, if that makes any sense.  If you tilt it, the whole thing will be off.

Then go to your paper and place the viewfinder+compass flat against the paper.  Put a ruler along the compass angle and slide the viewfinder+compass out of the way so you can run your graphite/charcoal along the ruler's edge.

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Use your viewfinder's gridlines as placement guides for your drawing.  Look for areas where an object crosses a gridline and mark that same area on your paper.  Then all you have to worry about is connecting the arc or line from gridline to gridline.

Make sure you line up your viewfinder the same each time.  You can do this easily by making note of where a few items are in relation to the viewfinder's outer edges. (In my case it was the tripod was in the 3rd row/1st column's edge and the table crossed over the 4th row/2nd & 3rd column border.)

Based on what I've noticed in my routine, doing it this way makes drawing so much easier and accurate, but it does take a lot more time.


Last edited by BnBGobo99 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Because if spelling were a national sport, I would be the waterboy.)
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:08 pm

Here be my render to begin sketching from:
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The icons on the right were hand-made, but the pictures inside were taken from Mudbox and rearranged into these iOS-type squares.  The windows bar at the top was lifted from 3ds Max.  The statue is from a photograph I took this morning, and the cloth/stage/sticks are my models.

I'm going to start drawing this one shortly--let me know if you see any glaring errors, I'll have another opportunity to submit a corrected version, but I want to start sketching something in the intermediate period.

Thanks! Smile
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:11 pm

Here's the day's progress.  I hear ya about keeping those lines light so I can go back and erase them... you are right!  I'm a bit worried about some of those icons being drawing in a bit too dark (along with the wood crafting tools).  This image has some contrast enhancements, so they appear darker in the picture than they are in real life, though.  I got myself an electric eraser not too long ago---the best $10 I've spent this semester.
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Xraygunner on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:22 pm

Very nice start! Looks like you've thought of just about everything!  cheers 
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:08 pm

Hi all,

I finished the drawing, hopefully the professor will like it. Smile

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ARTT100 Final Exam by BnBGobo99, on Flickr


Thanks for all your support and critiques!
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Radialronnie on Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:59 pm

Man is that fantastic work! Color me jealous!
Not that the rest of it isn't stunning, but I love the little shadows under the shavings and tools!

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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:46 pm

Very nice indeed, and great attention to detail. Uuuuggghhh!!... now I have to go draw!
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Re: Final Exam: Critique Welcome!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:10 pm

Thanks guys  Very Happy  Now that I'm done with the class, I'm going to go burn my drawing supplies and never draw ever again.  Twisted Evil
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