14 Nov 2009

The Submarine Forest

I'll be honest: when I saw this unit I was dreading it. I'm not a concept artist or any good it but it's something I have to do so I have tried my best and created my first image of three:

The atmosphere has spread forward and faded out while I changed the lighting so it was visible but not overwhelming. The scale image is of a character resting (which happened in the chapter) adds... well, the scale. Fine details were added to make it look 'concepty'.

I have honestly tried my best to create an image and I know it's not as good as my classmates. But I tried right? But I have two more to do...


tutorphil said...

Hey Earl,

Not a big fan of the fatalistic defeatism thing going on here; really don't like the use of the term 'concepty' - pretty dismissive! It's perfectly okay to be apprehensive when a unit represents a blindspot or weakness, but I've got to enquire as to what steps you've taken to 'self-medicate' - i.e., if your drawing and perspective skills are poor, what have you actively done to improve them? Firstly, your 'submarine forest' resembles a woodland scene, which is a bit odd, considering the context; it rather suggests that you've rather missed the point - or swerved it. The challenges associated with the 'submarine forest' are all about the undersea atmosphere/lighting etc. that a person would expect.

Can I first applaud you then on 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway' and then suggest that you haven't finished 'the submarine forest' at all, but rather produced an interesting study that has enabled you to get more experience with a graphics tablet and with digital painting. Concept art - and its role in prepping for Maya - is going to be part of your projects from this point on - and an assessable part too - so you've simply got to get better at it and stop being afraid of drawing. I want you to go and find some help on perspective drawing and other techniques (there are many in the UCA library and probably a number of online resources). I also want you to pay a visit to Ruben and Leo's blog and just take a moment to see just how many thumbnail drawings and prelim sketches they're producing in order to understand their scenes in visual terms.

The bad news is this really isn't over for you and I do expect you to invest in your own improvement; the good news is, if you take this opportunity to get better at something, you'll be less afraid from this point on.

Now - go back to the excerpt, do visual research, look at Kelp forests, look at underwater scenes, give yourself a chance to get it right - and don't be intimidated by the successes of your classmates; they had to start somewhere too, right?

Good luck and word hard.

Ruben Alexandre said...

If you have the chance have a look at some "blue planet" episodes they are really helpful to get lighting and atmosphere underwater...

also you will find some interesting things there...

Bluejetdude said...

ok thanks ruben, I'll look into it.

Simon (calamity) Holland said...

Hi Earl,
I'm just going to add to what phil has already said, the line work is (with a little work) passable (however I can't open it up as a larger image so its hard to tell.

Heres some reference to get you started:

check out the lighting and structures, the tonality, colours and atmosphere....

this was lesss than 30 secs on google. A lot of concept art is derived from observation and re-application.

Technically it looks like you are getting to a certain point and then choking and throwing colour at the scene.... do some research on colour theory.

tutorphil said...

... about the perception essay; as I haven't been involved, I can't necessarily appease all your (and others) confusion. However, I do have some very basic advice for you;

Go back to the brief: below the essay question itself you will find the 'assessment criteria' - unfortunately, I couldn't get hold of an actual copy of the brief - otherwise I would copy/paste the exact requirements, but my point is simply this; use the 'assessment criteria' as cited in the brief to guide and formulate your response.

So, if memory serves, the first criteria asks you to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the principles of perception; therefore, to begin your essay, you should reflect your understanding of the key ideas as covered in the lecture series - Gestalt theory, semiotics etc - a general statement regarding how our relationship to the world and meanings has been discussed in theoretical terms.

The next criteria is all about APPLYING that understanding; so, what I therefore suggest is, out of the various theories/principles, you select one/some to develop further and apply them to something; if you were to select semiotics, before you could apply it, you would first have to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject itself - whose idea was it, where did it come from, and what does it 'do' - then, once you've defined Semiotics, apply it - my advice would be to apply it to something 'simple' first - because when you apply it to something simple, what is 'complex' about how our perceptions of it are formed is made very obvious; the example I've used is the traffic light - green = go/ red = stop. Of course, red and green don't equal anything - their significance is entirely cultural and created. Then, once you've applied it to something simple, you are in a position to move onto something more complex.

The way to succeed in this essay is for you to define the limits of your own enquiry - don't let the whole weight of perceptual theory lead your essay, make the essay lead perceptual theory.

The other assessment criteria is about 'academic style' in the writing of the essay itself, which is something we've all talked about before - that is, finding a formal 'voice' with which to express yourself and observing the Harvard Method for quotes and citations,

I know what the essay question says (or doesn't say!), but basically you are being asked to use your knowledge of perceptual theory to 'unlock' an existing image, object or sign. If you're doing that, you're doing okay.

Golden Rule - when in doubt, use the assessment criteria as your guide!

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