Seven Rain Drawin' Thangs! (2016 EDITION!)

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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (John Woo Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 9th, 2013, 9:25 pm

Only birds count.

The feathers are really hard to see on my screen. A lot of the darker parts of your other images are not discernible, actually. I have a slightly darker than average screen, but most dark images show up fine. Try to have more value contrast in your darker pieces. Suggest darkness using colour and shadow, not just the values of your colours. That way, you can make things that look dark but are still quite easy to see.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (John Woo Edition)

Postby Seven Rain » August 9th, 2013, 10:46 pm

Hmm... That's something I've always been a little afraid of. If it's not too much trouble, care to point out some of the worst offenders?
Spoiler! :
I'm assuming the latest page, the two darkly-lit-scene panels some posts before it, and Larona's armor will be among what you're talking about.


Either way I'll look into the stuff you mentioned, thanks!
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Snail's Pace...)

Postby ApaFox » August 10th, 2013, 3:03 am

Seven Rain wrote:
And you could always try an older one. RPG Maker 2003 is a fun one, since it uses a battle system similar to the classic FF games. ;D


Huh... might be interestin'. Where would I find such things?
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Snail's Pace...)

Postby Seven Rain » August 10th, 2013, 5:20 am

ApaFox wrote:Where would I find such things?

They're not too hard to find. Just Google RPG Maker 2003 and the first result should be fine. Dunno if it'd be okay for me to post a link to it here.
Spoiler! :
Just avoid the big ad near the bottom. Grab it from the yellow-ish underlined Download button underneath the ad.


The only downside to older ones is that they don't allow the use of .png files like VX Ace does. If you're content using the built-in stuff 2K3 is a blast, though.
RPGM in general is gonna take some learning and getting used to if you've never used 'em though, haha.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (John Woo Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 10th, 2013, 7:38 am

Seven Rain wrote:Hmm... That's something I've always been a little afraid of. If it's not too much trouble, care to point out some of the worst offenders?
Spoiler! :
I'm assuming the latest page, the two darkly-lit-scene panels some posts before it, and Larona's armor will be among what you're talking about.


Either way I'll look into the stuff you mentioned, thanks!

Yep, those. Also some of your darker designs like this one, I can the different greys apart, but the detail is lost and it's a bit uncomfortable because I can tell that there's linework there but it's hard to see what it is without really staring at it.

Designing characters dressed in all black is difficult, you pretty much have to use textures and speculars to separate the different materials, which is a luxury you don't have in a style that relies on flat colours. Since your style is rather graphic and not rendered (lit/shaded), I think you can get away with using solid blacks for some of your designs, so you don't get that uncomfortable faint contrast between a very dark grey and linework. You can probably also lighten some sections, if super-duper dark isn't necessary in a specific design. Remember, you can suggest a "dark" character through silhouette and hue, not just through making them wear all black.
More generally, you can also add some accent colours to certain characters. For example, if a character uses their hands a lot, you could make those contrast so they always stand out. You could also add some accents to indicate entire movements, for example if you add a line going down a sleeve, it would always make it clear where the arm is, and you could even use it in smears/swooshes to make it clear that it's the arm being swooshed.

As for night scenes: Try adding some blue! With a little bit of blue, your scenes will feel more night-like (even if they're indoors and it's just meant to be dark rather than night sky-lit, you can often get away with a bit of a blue cast because humans are so used to the blue light of the sky), and they'll look more visually interesting since they won't just be grey. As a general rule, never just change the value when you want to darken or lighten a colour, always shift its hue and saturation too. That way, you can get more interesting- and natural-looking colours.
I'm not sure how that translates to Flash, but if you're using a colour layer over your base colours to produce the darker ones, make it a dark blue instead of black. If you can use Blending Modes, try playing with some colours on an Overlay layer.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby Seven Rain » August 10th, 2013, 5:33 pm

Thanks for elaborating. Using a different hue for night/dark scenes as opposed to darkening the entire pic sounds helpful, and I use Gimp for touch-ups and effects after the base image is drawn in Flash, so stuff like isn't a problem. So far I've simply been making the night sky itself blue, but that hasn't seemed to work as well as I thought, I suppose...

Spoiler! :
It's a bit of a bummer though, because on my end I really love the way the shots turn out by simply darkening the colors all around. Changing that up would make me miss the way they look now.
That's honestly why I've always avoided criticism, not because I'm thin-skinned but because deep down I'm always afraid of being told that something I personally prefer the look of is bad on a technical level or doesn't look right on other monitors or something. Other than getting a better handle on anatomy I've tended to let improvement just come over time so that it's more comfortable.
I know it's shameful. orz

So how does this one look?
Spoiler! :
Image

Is this along the lines of what you were talking about?

As for the characters, lightning some of the darker greys could be a possibility, but going all-black tends to be tough to make things look like less of a blob of nothingness, hence the dark, almost-black greys just to make the lines more distinct, and trying to use lines brighter than the black of the color inside always turns out looking awkward to me.

What I really wish is that I could somehow know how dark these things look on your monitor... Or simply how bright mine are compared to the average... I mean some of this makes me wonder how bright my own Monitor is, because a lot of it is incredibly easy to tell the dark grey from the black for me.

For the sake of a bit more clarity, how discernible are the colors/outlines in these without the faux darkness over them?
Spoiler! :
Image
Image

It'd be helpful to know if most of my character designs themselves are too dark or of it's just Larona's armor and the darkened scenes.
And how big of a difference does this make on her armor?
Spoiler! :
Image

Spoiler! :
Whether the hair shine on the characters shows up for you is another question I had, so I brightened it up on the new one just in case.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 10th, 2013, 7:01 pm

I often worry about whether my own preferences look bad to others too.

Seven Rain wrote:So how does this one look?
Spoiler! :
Image

Is this along the lines of what you were talking about?

I can see the feathers better, but the weird haze doesn't look right to me. I think it'd look better if the whole sky was light rather than the one part (it doesn't have to be as light as the top section in that image, though).

As for the characters, lightning some of the darker greys could be a possibility, but going all-black tends to be tough to make things look like less of a blob of nothingness, hence the dark, almost-black greys just to make the lines more distinct, and trying to use lines brighter than the black of the color inside always turns out looking awkward to me.

Solid black is hard to work with in colour art, so that's understandable. And I agree, having lighter lines looks weird most of the time. I'm really not sure what to suggest that would fit well with your artwork, I am sorry D: Personally, I think all-dark designs should be avoided unless you're working in B&W that would look nice with "blobs" of black OR in a fully rendered style where you can suggest dark colours without painting them, precisely because of this issue.

What I really wish is that I could somehow know how dark these things look on your monitor... Or simply how bright mine are compared to the average... I mean some of this makes me wonder how bright my own Monitor is, because a lot of it is incredibly easy to tell the dark grey from the black for me.

The best thing to do is not worry about it. People's monitors are all over the place. No matter what you do, it'll look bad to some people and good to others. Contrast is really the only way to ensure readability for everybody, but that doesn't seem to be an option for some of your designs.
I pointed it out not because I expect your artwork to look good on my particular monitor, but because I think important elements like those feathers should have high enough contrast to look good on most monitors. In other words, it's not the specific colours that matter in this case, but the low contrast. In comics, you need instant readability, which is achieved through strong silhouettes and contrast. Good contrast is good contrast even on weird monitors. A work being merely readable is fine for illustrations and such where the viewer will be looking at it for a while, but you don't have that luxury in comics.

For the sake of a bit more clarity, how discernible are the colors/outlines in these without the faux darkness over them?
Spoiler! :
Image
Image

They look much clearer without the faux darkness to me. The wings and sky are still rather close in value, but they're much easier to tell apart nonetheless.
The second one is oversaturated I think, but I suspect that's just to make up for the lowered saturation of the faux darkness.

It'd be helpful to know if most of my character designs themselves are too dark or of it's just Larona's armor and the darkened scenes.
And how big of a difference does this make on her armor?
Spoiler! :
Image

Spoiler! :
Whether the hair shine on the characters shows up for you is another question I had, so I brightened it up on the new one just in case.

The undarkened design is a much clearer! I guess it really is just the darkness effect that makes it so hard to see. I think it could use something to make her hands stand out (unless they're not important), but the actual details on the design are easy enough to see, especially when on a darker background than these forums.
I hadn't even realised there were hair highlights. I can see them clearly in the brightened version, but I didn't see the darkened ones until I looked for them.

I played around with the images in PS, and I think I found a little magic number for you: 18% brightness. If you want your black lines to stand out clearly from the dark colours around them, the colours should have at least 18% brightness. In the un-darkened Larona image, the blue-grey bits have 20% brightness, so they're quite clear.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby Seven Rain » August 10th, 2013, 8:00 pm

eishiya wrote:I can see the feathers better, but the weird haze doesn't look right to me. I think it'd look better if the whole sky was light rather than the one part (it doesn't have to be as light as the top section in that image, though).

Well the lighter part are supposed to be stormy clouds rolling in, haha. Is that what you mean by haze or the color over the entire image?

eishiya wrote:
As for the characters, lightning some of the darker greys could be a possibility, but going all-black tends to be tough to make things look like less of a blob of nothingness, hence the dark, almost-black greys just to make the lines more distinct, and trying to use lines brighter than the black of the color inside always turns out looking awkward to me.

Solid black is hard to work with in colour art, so that's understandable. And I agree, having lighter lines looks weird most of the time. I'm really not sure what to suggest that would fit well with your artwork, I am sorry D: Personally, I think all-dark designs should be avoided unless you're working in B&W that would look nice with "blobs" of black OR in a fully rendered style where you can suggest dark colours without painting them, precisely because of this issue.

I do want to use brighter designs in general, Ethereans themselves are just culturally driven to dark aesthetics, and WOE being more centered around them than my other comics leads to a lot of 2edy5me dark designs. I don't want to go around overhauling the characters but I'll at least keep this more in mind. Ixis' later outfit will probably look better on a dark monitor as it is anyway.

eishiya wrote:
What I really wish is that I could somehow know how dark these things look on your monitor... Or simply how bright mine are compared to the average... I mean some of this makes me wonder how bright my own Monitor is, because a lot of it is incredibly easy to tell the dark grey from the black for me.

The best thing to do is not worry about it. People's monitors are all over the place. No matter what you do, it'll look bad to some people and good to others. Contrast is really the only way to ensure readability for everybody, but that doesn't seem to be an option for some of your designs.
I pointed it out not because I expect your artwork to look good on my particular monitor, but because I think important elements like those feathers should have high enough contrast to look good on most monitors. In other words, it's not the specific colours that matter in this case, but the low contrast. In comics, you need instant readability, which is achieved through strong silhouettes and contrast. Good contrast is good contrast even on weird monitors. A work being merely readable is fine for illustrations and such where the viewer will be looking at it for a while, but you don't have that luxury in comics.

Duly noted. It's definitely an obstacle in choosing to have a race of black-winged people, so I'll try to keep the dark feathers and wings in mind in the future.

eishiya wrote:The second one is oversaturated I think, but I suspect that's just to make up for the lowered saturation of the faux darkness.

The second one as in the picture of the woman, or the new version of the "feathers" pic posted above?
If you mean the former that's simply the way these look straight out of Flash, haha. The brightly colored portions of Reina's design are just that; bright. It's nothing done in touch-up if that's what you meant.

eishiya wrote:
It'd be helpful to know if most of my character designs themselves are too dark or of it's just Larona's armor and the darkened scenes.
And how big of a difference does this make on her armor?
Spoiler! :
Image

Spoiler! :
Whether the hair shine on the characters shows up for you is another question I had, so I brightened it up on the new one just in case.

The undarkened design is a much clearer! I guess it really is just the darkness effect that makes it so hard to see. I think it could use something to make her hands stand out (unless they're not important), but the actual details on the design are easy enough to see, especially when on a darker background than these forums.
I hadn't even realised there were hair highlights. I can see them clearly in the brightened version, but I didn't see the darkened ones until I looked for them.

Well that's good to know, and technically the hands aren't super important since this was basically made for the menu/dialogue portrait in-game, but I'd still like to know things that could use work on it, so thanks for pointing out the hands and highlights/shine. (The latter of which is something I'll keep in mind for the future but I don't think it's important enough to go through changing what's already been done. I'll just brighten it up sometime later and be sure to keep it brighter on new characters.)

eishiya wrote:I played around with the images in PS, and I think I found a little magic number for you: 18% brightness. If you want your black lines to stand out clearly from the dark colours around them, the colours should have at least 18% brightness. In the un-darkened Larona image, the blue-grey bits have 20% brightness, so they're quite clear.

Unfortunately none of the programs I use have any sort of percentage on the brightness of the colors. What would be an example of 18% darkness in one of these pics? (Or just in general if you care to provide a pic or two of some colors.)

And thanks for all these tips. Being one to avoid crits and unfamiliar with technicalities in art I hope I'm not hard to deal with or anything, haha.
I'll do my best to keep what you've mentioned in mind.

*EDIT*
Another thing I was thinking about trying was keeping the sky the same brightness but still darkening the characters/foreground;
Spoiler! :
Image

*EDIT*
'Course then it's right back to the problem of the characters themselves being hard to make out, haha.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 10th, 2013, 10:09 pm

Seven Rain wrote:
eishiya wrote:I can see the feathers better, but the weird haze doesn't look right to me. I think it'd look better if the whole sky was light rather than the one part (it doesn't have to be as light as the top section in that image, though).

Well the lighter part are supposed to be stormy clouds rolling in, haha. Is that what you mean by haze or the color over the entire image?

Yes, that's what I mean, sorry! It's a rather vague shape. Storm clouds are often quite well-defined and look almost solid, so those didn't read like storm clouds to me despite the colour. I think if you just suggest some form with a bit of shadow, or more distinct cloud shapes, they'd look more stormy. Fortunately, there's plenty of ref around since storm clouds are awesome and make for great photos.

eishiya wrote:The second one is oversaturated I think, but I suspect that's just to make up for the lowered saturation of the faux darkness.

The second one as in the picture of the woman, or the new version of the "feathers" pic posted above?
If you mean the former that's simply the way these look straight out of Flash, haha. The brightly colored portions of Reina's design are just that; bright. It's nothing done in touch-up if that's what you meant.

I meant this one.
Spoiler! :
Image

My apologies for being unclear. Gawd Seven, learn to read my mind already.


eishiya wrote:I played around with the images in PS, and I think I found a little magic number for you: 18% brightness. If you want your black lines to stand out clearly from the dark colours around them, the colours should have at least 18% brightness. In the un-darkened Larona image, the blue-grey bits have 20% brightness, so they're quite clear.

Unfortunately none of the programs I use have any sort of percentage on the brightness of the colors. What would be an example of 18% darkness in one of these pics? (Or just in general if you care to provide a pic or two of some colors.)

In your Color window in Flash, you can make it show HSV values instead of RGB by clicking the properties button and selecting "HSV". The "V" ("value") is brightness as a percentage. I recommend working in HSV over RGB in general, as it has more to do with the properties of the colour than RGB does (RGB has more to do with the light composition). Switching to HSV doesn't change the colour picker itself, so it should be easy to get used to. Since it represents saturation (S) and value (V) as numbers, it should make it easier for you to think about your colours. You'll be able to easily know if your saturation and brightness are too high/low just by looking at the numbers.
If you can't get HSV to work in Flash, you can use this converter to check the HSV values based on your RGB values. I don't think you'd need to though, I'm pretty sure Flash has had HSV for a long time.


And thanks for all these tips. Being one to avoid crits and unfamiliar with technicalities in art I hope I'm not hard to deal with or anything, haha.
I'll do my best to keep what you've mentioned in mind.

You've been great! I'm sorry for being so wordy and picky! Also, don't feel like you have to listen to everything I say. It's just opinions, and they're not worth more than any other person's.

*EDIT*
Another thing I was thinking about trying was keeping the sky the same brightness but still darkening the characters/foreground;
Spoiler! :
Image

I think this looks better than any of the other versions, I'd go with this one.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby Seven Rain » August 10th, 2013, 10:54 pm

eishiya wrote:
Seven Rain wrote:
eishiya wrote:I can see the feathers better, but the weird haze doesn't look right to me. I think it'd look better if the whole sky was light rather than the one part (it doesn't have to be as light as the top section in that image, though).

Well the lighter part are supposed to be stormy clouds rolling in, haha. Is that what you mean by haze or the color over the entire image?

Yes, that's what I mean, sorry! It's a rather vague shape. Storm clouds are often quite well-defined and look almost solid, so those didn't read like storm clouds to me despite the colour. I think if you just suggest some form with a bit of shadow, or more distinct cloud shapes, they'd look more stormy. Fortunately, there's plenty of ref around since storm clouds are awesome and make for great photos.

Alrighty then, those will be much easier to work on since they're just simple brushing and smearing in Gimp and whatnot. Nothing I've put a lot of time and effort into, haha.

eishiya wrote:I meant this one.
Spoiler! :
Image

My apologies for being unclear. Gawd Seven, learn to read my mind already.

Ahaha, it's fine, it should've been obvious you meant that one, it just seemed strange to hear that it looked oversaturated. Hope it's not too much of an eye-sore because I've really grown fond of Reina's colors. D:

eishiya wrote:In your Color window in Flash, you can make it show HSV values instead of RGB by clicking the properties button and selecting "HSV". The "V" ("value") is brightness as a percentage. I recommend working in HSV over RGB in general, as it has more to do with the properties of the colour than RGB does (RGB has more to do with the light composition). Switching to HSV doesn't change the colour picker itself, so it should be easy to get used to. Since it represents saturation (S) and value (V) as numbers, it should make it easier for you to think about your colours. You'll be able to easily know if your saturation and brightness are too high/low just by looking at the numbers.

Ah, I did indeed find it! Flash 8 apparently calls it "HSB." That's actually going to be really helpful, I never used the RGB numbers anyway, so I can just keep it on HSB permanently.

eishiya wrote:You've been great! I'm sorry for being so wordy and picky! Also, don't feel like you have to listen to everything I say. It's just opinions, and they're not worth more than any other person's.

Ahaha, well thanks. I shy away from actively looking for crits but when I get them I try my best not to brush them off.

eishiya wrote:
*EDIT*
Another thing I was thinking about trying was keeping the sky the same brightness but still darkening the characters/foreground;
Spoiler! :
Image

I think this looks better than any of the other versions, I'd go with this one.

Wow, that's actually good to hear, because I like the look of that more than the others myself. It'll mean going back through and changing several panels but that won't be too terrible.

Thanks again for all the tips!
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 10th, 2013, 11:07 pm

I'm glad I didn't derp and waste your time!

I like Reina's colours too, but I think you could make the colours on her clothes slightly less saturated without loosing the essence of the design. Just a teensy bit. (Take all of my feedback regarding saturation with a large grain of salt though, as I'm rather sensitive to oversaturation, more so than most other people.)
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby Seven Rain » August 10th, 2013, 11:35 pm

Hmm... If nothing else I'd just rather not have yet another thing to go back and edit in hundreds of pages, but I'll definitely remember it going forward.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 11th, 2013, 6:25 am

Seven Rain wrote:Hmm... If nothing else I'd just rather not have yet another thing to go back and edit in hundreds of pages, but I'll definitely remember it going forward.

I think you're taking this consistency thing too far. Way, way too far.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby Seven Rain » August 11th, 2013, 6:44 am

eishiya wrote:
Seven Rain wrote:Hmm... If nothing else I'd just rather not have yet another thing to go back and edit in hundreds of pages, but I'll definitely remember it going forward.

I think you're taking this consistency thing too far. Way, way too far.

;___;
Sorry. I didn't know my obsessions looked that bad in the eyes of others. It's true though, I do obsess over it more than someone should... I just can't help it.
Spoiler! :
For what it's worth though that was just rambling. I wouldn't actually do a ton of editing for consistency's sake unless it were significantly easy fix, like when I brought back the hair shine in my characters and went through adding it to pages I already had done. The hardcore remaking business I'm doing now is a one-time deal.
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Re: EthereaVerse Nonsense (Ansem Edition)

Postby eishiya » August 11th, 2013, 7:06 am

Seven Rain wrote:
eishiya wrote:
Seven Rain wrote:Hmm... If nothing else I'd just rather not have yet another thing to go back and edit in hundreds of pages, but I'll definitely remember it going forward.

I think you're taking this consistency thing too far. Way, way too far.

;___;
Sorry. I didn't know my obsessions looked that bad in the eyes of others. It's true though, I do obsess over it more than someone should... I just can't help it.

It's not that they necessarily look bad, it's just that... a slight change like that isn't even likely to be noticed. It also doesn't even matter if people do notice it. People expect artwork to change and evolve over time! In fact, I'd say it's better to not change older pages except for really major, plot-relevant changes, because if they're all consistent, it makes you look like you're not getting better.
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