Crankshaft's SB

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Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:52 pm

Hey guys! I have a SB on CA.org but I'm finding the community not active enough so I thought I'll give this place a try.

I'm 24 years old and I'm a full time automotive mechanic. I have a strong understanding and visual library of anything technical or mechanical, ie cars, industrial design, automotive engineering, mechs, architecture etc. However I fail at the exact opposite, anything organic, anatomy, animals since they are not within my interest. My goal is to become a concept artist in about 5 years and I mainly grind the fundamentals.

Ok enough talking, time to get to work! Critique at will!

Very old car drawing I did for my uncle. Nothing impressive, I just copied from photos.

big car collage.jpeg
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Finished design/personal work. A factory vault.

door update 5.jpg
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Current personal wip/design work. The perspective in this was god awful and really pushed me to the max. There is a bit of distortion.

eng rm upd 5.jpg
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eng upd 9.jpg
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Same thing but without the lens flares.

eng upd 9.1.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:59 pm

I designed each "part" fully before putting them together. The whole piece is almost like a small world.

new spindle.jpg
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turbine wheel.jpg
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side spindle 3 grey.jpg
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Some old work (teenage years, 18-19 yo). I stopped drawing around that time then resumed around 22-23 yo. These are not impressive as they are just copies but they show you my love of detail and machines.

ferrari.jpg
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scn.jpg
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The Star of Vista. This was done out of my imagination and the perspective is isometric.

DSC03181.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Imbalantus » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:48 pm

Seeing your freehand sketches of mechanical designs and architecture on CA I'd say your dexterity, linework and understanding of form is definitely advanced enough to produce way better figure drawings. I would guess that it's some kind of brain thingy where you feel comfortable when you draw anorganic stuff but when you get to figures your brain switches into a mode where it translates form into symbols too much.

My advice would be to take what you know about drawing mechanical stuff and apply it to figure drawing. Approach figure drawing with the same mindset how you approach drawing stuff like in this picture (i.e. draw a figure like you would draw a robot):
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/attach ... 1437239033

You don't necessarily have to force yourself into doing the gesture thing, maybe for you it's better to approach the figure from the construction aspect first and then ease yourself into the gesture aspect. I say this because you have a strong understanding of drawing mechanical stuff, but you can also draw mechanical stuff in a more relaxed way. So you've already walked that path successfully, maybe try to walk the same path with figure drawing.

I'm looking forward to seeing your development! I've really enjoyed looking at your work.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Inkem » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:57 pm

^ Ayyy a helpful reply already!

Welcome crank! Hopefully you'll get more replies on this site as most people are reciprocal with sketchbook comments, its a smaller group of artists. Although it is summer so some peeps might be out doing their own stuff.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:56 am

@Imbalantus Thanks! I haven't had such a insightful critique in so long. Thanks for taking the time to go thru my SB and write that! I'll try and approach figures in the same way as my machines. It's just a very different experience since I grew only drawing machines.

@Inkem Good to see you! Yea the community looks great!

Studies! Overhead rendering of a cylinder.

render cyl.jpg
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Perspective of mirrored planes in different directions.

slanted faces.jpg
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Notes on how ellipses sharpen away from the horizon.

per ellipses sharper.jpg
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Locating coordinates for new planes via diags and multiplication.

getting coord planes.jpg
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Previous gesture practice. I'm a bit embarrassed to post these but I need to scrutinize my weaknesses.

gest 11.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Skold » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:42 am

Hey man! About the organic stuff and gestures, if you're not really interested in drawing things like that then why do it at all? Your mechanical stuff looks great already so why not put your focus on becoming really awesome at that first? Of course if it's something you want to do then go ahead! Just a thought :)
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:11 am

@Skold Thanks for dropping by! I am focusing hard on my interests, particularly perspective. However if my goal is to become a concept artist then anatomy is a must.

Studies! I have over 300 pages of these on my other SBs.

Understanding shadows of slanted planes.

slant shad.jpg
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slant shad analy.jpg
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Gesture studies. I might go back to something slower and more constructive.

gest 12.jpg
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Understanding curves in 1 point looking down.

1 pt curve.jpg
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Looking down in 1 point.

1 pt analy.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Raskolnikov » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:57 am

Hello, I see pretty good stuff you are doing in here @Crankshaft. I love your car drawings, they are remarkable.
And since you want to improve your figures, I must advise you to do a lot of gesture drawings as well as building the figure from simple forms.
I wish you the best of luck on becoming a concept artist, the only key to get better is to work harder.
P.S: Come and visit my sketchbook and throw me your opinion.
Cheers mate.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Sypheck » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:39 am

I think a big problem you're suffering from is the fact that machines for the most part are inanimate and rigid, you can get away with being stiff with them but this presents a huge problem with any living or animate being. It appears to be mostly a mindset issue, while I'm not saying your approach to gestures is incorrect, I do however feel like you're not approaching them in a way that suits your particular area of knowledge. I think it would be much easier for you to simply build up forms through primitives such as boxes and cylinders and slowly translate them into organic shapes. Doing poses is hard enough and gesture exercises is something you have to devote a lot of time to before you really see (or feel) any improvement so you don't get that immediate gratification.

I don't mean to say you should stop doing gestures, however I am of the opinion that you need to focus on a more structured approach to figure drawing. You've obviously got a great understanding of shape, form, and structure but your gestures reveal a complete lack of thinking in forms. Even though gesture is all about movement you're putting a lot of emphasis on the contours, which for a beginner would be pretty normal but in your case I think you're simply having trouble bridging the gap with the knowledge you've already acquired. Figures should be treated similarly as it is, in my opinion, far more important that your figures look 3-Dimentional than for them to look organic.

If you're really want to focus on anatomy I highly suggest you look into Design and Invention by Michael Hampton, I feel like that entire book is exactly what you need and you would probably have a much easier time following that resource than anything else as it is far more schematic. His anatomical breakdown uses primitive shapes which I feel would make it a lot easier for you to understand as you'd be able to borrow from your understanding of drawing machinery so it doesn't feel so alien to you. From that point on once you actually gain a good understanding of breaking down complex organic forms into their simplier primitives you should have a much easier time with figures and anything organic as you'll be able to think in the mindset of primitives and simply translating that knowledge to create more organic looking forms. If I were you I'd look into Hampton and Vilppu, as well as looking into the planes of the face (google an Asaro Head) as I think this will help de-mystify organic shapes for you. I think drawing heads would be great practice for you as I find it much easier to break down much of the structure into primitives compared to the figure and all of its muscles. I'm pretty sure Hampton covers that in his book as well.

Anyway your sketchbook shows a lot of promise and I look forward to your future updates. I apologize for the long reply but I just somehow felt compelled to offer critique because it's not often I see such a huge disparity between one subject to another. It's very obvious that the knoledge is there, you just don't know how to apply it to figures yet.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:52 pm

@Sypheck Thanks so much for the insightful reply! I learned a lot there and you hit the nail on the head! It's like you got inside my head and read my mind! I see things very easily in 3D space when drawing machines, vehicles etc. I feel pretty connected and in control but when I switch to anatomy its like learning how to breathe, it feels so disconnected. I looked up the book you recommended and I'm loving it! I've already learned so much! It feels right at home and I love the sense of order/build of the book. Thanks!
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:04 pm

Exciting studies! Learned so much! Not very fun to look at but important to learn! How to place ellipses on sloped surfaces.

slope ellipse.jpg
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Spine studies. Finally an approach that feels right! Thanks to Sypheck!

spine study.jpg
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Value rendering/placement of values based on angle of light.

value rendering 123.jpg
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How to transfer proportions perpendicularly.

shapes in mid hl.jpg
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Quick intro study of 3 point perspective.

cathedral.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:18 pm

Anatomy of the back and some last gesture. Probably won't be doing these for a while.

gest and bk.jpg
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Study on the COV and convergence.

cov and convergence.jpg
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Here I learned that certain rules actually get broken when using 1 or 2 point perspective. However everything is a trade off.

how per is shrthand.jpg
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How to rotate planes while maintaining proportions.

rotating fan ell.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:23 pm

Study on dark value objects.

dark value study.jpg
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Study on degree of ellipses and angle of view.

angle lk ellipse.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:26 pm

Ellipses and how they get altered in either 1,2,3 point perspective.

per cheat and curv per.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Inkem » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:12 pm

Sypheks reply was on point! Your torsos are actually in porportion now. Also keep in mind some concept artists are specilized e.g. they only do mechs and interiors and on the other hand some people in smaller companies are generalists.

Definitely keep going with the hampton, basically the whole body can be simplified into forms. The eye level and correct perspective also plays a good part in how figures look too (I'm still getting used to including a plane for the feet and shoulders) so you've got a good foundation.

Note, if you ever want to go more indepth with the anatomy forms in the future here is Kevin Chen's blog: http://analyticalfiguresp08.blogspot.ca
He has a similar construction style to Hampton although more advanced.

Your advice needed:
Since you said you've glossed over some parts, would you think it would be ok for me to go strait to "how to draw planes in perspective" to apply some of the principles I've learned already (e.g done up to page 60 or 80), even though I'll still finish the whole book. I feel like it would be beneficial to actually start using my perspective knowledge but I don't know how yet. Should i just wait until I finish all the exercises? Everything seems so relevant :S.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:53 am

Hey Inkem! To answer your question I would definitely say no. I've looked at the book, pg 80 is where things get very important (and hard) but they are crucial to understand because multiplying/mirroring volume is a main point of perspective. Planes have wings that need to mirrored to the other side and sometimes the dihedral angle is different (the vertical upwards tilt of the wings). If you don't understand mirroring doing those wings can be very hard. Also, pg 80 teaches you to get use to all the construction lines so that eventually you'll build the speed to see thru the mess of cluttered lines. I've made a study show you what I mean. Hope this helps.

plane wing.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Inkem » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:57 pm

Thanks a lot!

The rectangle method you showed is really helpful. Reminds me of a post on CA and benedikt mentioned you can just use the duplicating rectangle method on the rotated planes as an alternative to doing all the Vs.

I took a go at it, I think I got it but I could definitely be wrong. It was kind of hard to tell but yours almost looks orthographic. Btw whats written under the "can use the V method"? (Don't worry I have just as bad writing lol.)

A question about the top flaps, I assume you can pick the angle of the flaps as long as they are open and follow the dihedral design. What I did was pick an open angle, extended the line down to intersect the mirror line, and then used the rectancle method to find the other point.

Sorry about the crappy photo quality, scanner is out of commision right now *_*.

I'll definitely go through it chronologically now, I want to make sure I do everything correctly. Good thing you're a mech expert! haha
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thankscrank.JPG
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:08 pm

Hey Inkem! To make things easier I simply did a po on your old one. Also I sort of repeated the same mistake of going outside the COV to keep mine close to yours so you can see where you went wrong. Tell me what you think.

Critique going CCW:

- Space your vps as far as possible. Once you get experience you can place them closer for dramatic effect (make an object feel like it's coming at you) but realize this can lead to distortion and hard to believe forms. Also it can be a nightmare to get things like ellipses in perspective.
-Always stay in the COV. Only place important/focal stuff there. Put filler outside the COV for depth. This is true for studies as well because you can do a study correct and it can feel off because of distortion which then leads to confusion.
-Is this 2 or 3 point? In 2 point verticals never converge, they stay vertical always.
-Keep where the converging lines meet roughly centered instead of offset to avoid that nasty big half of the box and the squashed second half. This can be a nightmare for ellipses.
-I don't know how you got that centerline but it's way wrong.
-Always keep the HL level unless you want the view tilted (not good for beginners)

wing po.jpg
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wing gif tut.gif
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:14 pm

Studies! Been working hard on my engine room, will need critique soon.

Rotating planes study.

rotate thin planes.jpg
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Spine study.

spine 2.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:13 am

More spine studies. Will release some design sketches and engine room soon.

spine 3.jpg
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spine 4.jpg
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spine 5.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:34 pm

Big updates! My engine room. Tell me what you think. Some things I'm aware of: It's getting very busy in the center, the back could be pushed back more. Also is there a filter in PS that allows a slight blur over a complete area?

engine rm 10.jpg
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eng 10 gif.gif
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:43 pm

spine 6.jpg
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Design sketches.

des 1.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Sagittarius-A-star » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:02 pm

Hey, cool SB crankshaft! I like your mechanical stuff. That engine-room is progressing nicely. I think there might be a filter in PS for blur, but I don't use filters much so I don't know how to access one, sorry!

You mechanical stuff looks pretty good, you seem pretty comfortable with that. But your figures are a bit stiff. I suggest you focus on figure drawing and loose gesture for a bit. You can move back and forth between precise drawing and loose, gestural stuff so make sure you are strong in both!
"To learn to draw is to draw and draw and draw."- Andrew Loomis

Sketchbook!- I love advice and crit!!
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:51 am

Studies! Going to take a break from my engine room and mainly focus on rendering/value studies.

A big lesson I learned from my engine room is to group value ranges together rather than isolate them throughout the image.

value study.jpg
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Study of reflected light and how local value affects it.

ana and refl light.jpg
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Anatomy study and the use of lines in gesture.

ana and lines.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:54 am

Value relationship study. The goal is to group your values rather than sprinkle them throughout your piece, resulting in a very broken up piece.

relationship of values.jpg
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Quick design sketches to build my speed and efficiency in getting ideas from my head to paper. I have too many ideas, they just pour out of my head like water.

des 2.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:04 pm

Thanks Sagitt! Sadly I the engine room is far from perfect and I'll be stepping away from it for time being. In the meanwhile I'll be doing rendering studies.

Since my (only) strength is on man made objects I'm going to share tips here and then as I feel there is a definite void in this area. Be sure to get them while you can! :P

-Most made objects are symmetrical so learning how to mirror objects becomes super important.

-Most man made items are designed to be more functional/practical then visually pleasing. Don't put useless details unless they are related to the function of the object. This is true in real life, engineers wouldn't put stuff that costs money for no reason.

-To do articulating/moving parts think of the purpose of the object. It doesn't have to be an epic mech. Eg Think of a microwave, it has a moving turntable to better transfer heat to your food.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby Inkem » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:50 pm

Thanks for the paint over! I still have a long way to go, I'm gonna practice more of my mirroring before moving on.

I'll take the tips! I'm designing a tower right now for the challenge so I could use any architecture/porporton/design tips ya got :P. At least i know I didn't totally screw up, I scrapped the extra ornate and unsymmetrical designs early.

For your engine room/values:
For rendering values specifically: The good news is that the study with the shadow shapes reads a whole lot better! But I notice your values seem to be really close together which makes everything look like its made out of the same material. You also need to think of different parts of the shadow/light and how they apply to different materials. I notice you're often missing a lot of the occulsion shadows and reflected light. It also helps to gather reference and take note of how everything interacts.

For the engine room: If this is for concept art it would help if you did thumbnails that just focus on the design before adding in all the technical stuff (at first I thought it was like an engineers blueprint lol). That way you can simplify the lighting and composition before doing a huge scene with perspective. Doing that engine room lighting seems like it would be a huge task for even the most experienced concept artist unless they did it in 3-D. I think your own principles apply here: if it doesn't help the message/mood/design you want, don't put any focus on it :p. Kinda like you said in my illustration how the rock crevices were distracting.

You have a good eye for this stuff in other peoples work so I'm sure you'll be able to render values very nicely in the future.
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Guptill_Wash_Drawing.smdet.jpg
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Form.Direct.Light.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:43 pm

Thanks Inkem! Here are more tips! I've been doing a lot of rendering studies lately and realized all the problems with the engine room. Because I love detail and the fact that it's an engine room were a really bad combination. I learned leaving things out is as important as choosing what to leave in.

More tech tips: everything gets flatten near the horizon which makes it very hard to get perspective accurate for complex objects. Everything becomes a flat vertical or horizontal line. Be careful about placing anything that may require mirroring, measuring etc.

-Stay within the COV when placing ellipses or else they get impossible to plot.
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby crankshaft » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:48 pm

Design sketches and one quick mech.

des 3.jpg
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Learning to keep values consistent to ensure readability.

kp val consis.jpg
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How different values affect cast shadows. Study of the halfway to black rule.

overlap shad.jpg
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Avoid contrast creep.

value study.jpg
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Re: Crankshaft's SB

Postby caseylarae » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:28 pm

Cool stuff so far! Just going to throw in my two cents here, you don't have to know both organic and hard surface design to be a concept artist, especially if you are willing to freelance for awhile. Do what you're good at and cut the rest and you will get jobs faster, and they will be jobs you actually enjoy. There is no point getting jobs doing things you don't enjoy just to get into the industry; usually what happens with freelance is that once you do a job and put it in your portfolio, other people will see the work and hire you to do similar projects. So if you end up doing a project that involves a lot of human figures, hating it, and somebody else ends up seeing it and those are the kinds of jobs you start to get, is that really what you want? If figures aren't your thing, there's nothing wrong with that, stick to what you like and your passion will show!
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