The most interesting thread I've come across in my time on CA - seriously impressive works and a great explanation and tutorial on how you came about the finished product! DEFINITELY going to give someof these techniques a try
One of the most inspirational artist and thread here, yay Sparth!
Firstly! Awesome work Sparth, its really inspiring to see someone like you come back and post up your tips and ideas like this. Im sure loads of people are gonna find this amazing.
Im finding it amazing that its still possible people are finding these new 'break throughs' in techniques. Im guessing its come about from the latest versions of photoshop (what version do you use? CS5?)
But I have a question. Its a little about the technique and a little about the image making.
How well does this work for you when you have a really specific image in your head, or if you have a thumbnail/comp study that you need to work from? Are you going to have to waste a lot of time just building each custom shape for something you know you need? Or do you find you can build it out of the large library you probably already have.
Ive been experimenting recently with using the lasso tool, masks and selections etc recently. Introducing more hard edges into my work. But I find when I have a very specific goal in mind for the picture, it can be quite laborious creating all the shapes and selections you need.
Sorry for all the questions! Time to experiment!
Keep up the great work.
Very inspiring ^^ I am trying this out and finding it to be alot of fun....starting to make myself alot of custom shapes from anything I can find. I am really enjoying this thread. Thank you for sharing...
Edit: Also I have a question if I may...How do you get the shapes to draw diagonally? Like custom brushes would if using the 'Direction jitter'? I hope I am clear and that you know what I mean...Sorry if I have missed anything..Thank you.
Last edited by doodles-inc; November 29th, 2010 at 04:35 PM.
I heart you like crazy Sparth. YUM!!!!!!!!
You make me want to make more art. Workin on it workin on it!!!
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jockemon: "I dont really know how to explain it but, it just sparks your imagination and all that stuff". i think you described it well. it is not only a way to build an image, but also a way to get a fast inspirational result, if i may call it like that.
z01ks: i'll try to post more tutorial stuff later on. but i don't think you should be scared by hard edges. edges can be refined afterwards, and toned down in many ways. the way i would soft edges wound be by toning down colors and have "similar" tones outside and inside each selection.
also, once again hard edges are here at the very beginning while blocking the image, exactly like when you take a black and white sketch and give it a painted color pass.
another way is to add several passes of atmosphere layers that will unify everything and play a strong part for the image as a whole.
jama: you ROCK!
toastage: i should try that indeed!
PHATandy: that's the beauty of photoshop! concerning your question, i think you can for example, have a very "surface" approach to custom shapes. or even divide your custom shapes into TWO distinct groups: shapes (mountains, buildings, etc) will help you block the image. then you can render each surface by applying shapes where needed, within each selection. it's an easy way to simplify your task and get more effective.
example: if i wanted to pain a mountain i would firstly have the outline done and placed, and secondly i would go back inside and find a way to apply rocks and textures. you rotate each shapes whenever needed, especially when it comes to describing hard surface, buildings, or anything tech.
for now i'm always going back to my custom shapes library, but i'm slowly adding some more, when i feel the need for it.
oh, and i agree with you: i neglected toe lasso tool far too long. it's now part of my process, entirely. it's an extremely powerful tool. i wish i had it on the ipad, on one of these apps.
halogen: there are tricks when it comes to diagonals. if you have a strong digonal line or group of line to apply, create a 45degrees shape and give it a try. you'll be surprised by the possibilities. often i manage to apply the shape the way i want to, and it dead on concerning the perspective.
it's all about tweaking and messing with the tools. slowly you'll be able to incorporate many more tricks into your workflow.
J: hehe! i'm having FUN!
i probably missed some questions here and there but will come back.
and here's a one hour sketch speedie lunchtime thing.
halogen: just another word. you cannot give any direction to custom shapes. i know it's a bummer, but it's just not implemented. however once applied you can rotate and tweak each shape all you want.
the great thing about custom shapes is that you can apply them way easier on a canvas, playing with height and thickness in so many ways. then, if needed, you can add another pass of rotate or warp.
also, i was saying this earlier in the thread, but you should have a key binded for horizontal flip of the canvas when using that custom shapes technique. this way you will benefit from having both sides available for each shape, and it's a biiiig plus too!
wow your draws are very nice, i like "level7"
Thanks for breaking down the process, and giving us a peak at some of your results. I've been experimenting the last couple of weeks with the custom shape tool since you posted on your blog.......it was such a great moment when I found I could make paths from a selection! So many possibilities.
Curious on how useful you are finding the tool in terms of vehicle creation for your images?
Looking forward to see what someone does with it in terms of character/creature design as well!
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I love your book and look through it often, BTW - yes, very inspiring!
I tried out the custom shape tip of post #4 of you and it's quite useful.
But on one hand it speeds up my workflow but on the other hand it slows it down when I use shapes. I'm used to right-mouse-click and press fill when I'm working with shapes (like pen-tool selections). But when I need to be really quick can always use the 'fill pixels'-mode.
But I have to admit working with shapes gives you a lot of freedom
Here's a real (crappy) quickie, as you can see it worked for my mountains in the background and the foreground-floor. Only the cloud-selection became quite ugly.
Cheers and thanks again
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I love this thread.
@Sparth, not sure if I'm missing something. Are you simply laying down shapes and transforming them at random inside of selections you make? Is this like a custom brush, but using a stamp instead of a stroke? Finally, the horizontal flip seems significant, but I feel like I must be missing something. This is edit->transform->flip horizontal, yes?
Amazing staff! Love it!
This is really wonderful advice.
and thanks to the other members who are posting their trials with the technique
Dosnt matter how you continue on, lecturing and showing people tips and tricks- But when it comes down to it... An artist must learn to express and continue on.. in the course of realizing realistic boundaries within there paintings. Do you honestly think in order to grow as an artist to get better is to educate himself in art? Open a book and learn to draw and paint? Get lectured? Just to be- the great ones ?
Am I wrong?
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I think this is a great artistic tecniuque that resume the concept of visual perception and the fascination of shape and elements repetitions.
In this case, the tecnique, requires proficiency in the management of weight and balance of the image...and you are a master in that!
The risult it's simply stunning.
Thanks for share, I think I'll try soon!
Thanks for sharing Sparth, I'm such a huge fan. You made me want to get into digital art in the first place. I look forward to a tutorial if you get a chance. In the mean time I will experiment myself. Cheers!
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