Week 5 goes through demonstrations of painting quick thumbnails. An emphasis is put on using the fundamentals of combining warm versus cold/hue, value variations and saturation variations to create abstracts of emotional beats.
Focus on principles over tools and techniques. Tools quickly become outdated but the principles will stay the same. Create your own process for working quickly. Photoshop tool presets and actions can speed up your workflow.
Nathan Fowkes process
Fowkes knows that he’ll have cool light filtering in so he starts with a warm background.
A neutral on a warm feels very cool.
Paint abstractions with the feel of real light and an interesting color palette.
Everything is kept very neutral apart from some select areas of contrast.
Nathan Fowkes thumbnail painting.
Pay attention to the flow of lines in your painting.
Nathan Fowkes thumbnail painting.
Look at your scenes in relation to each other. Your painting might not be as bright and vibrant as you thought it was. Use adjustments to correct contrast and vibrancy and to create more variety in the context of the color script.
Nathan Fowkes thumbnails after adjustments.
Week 05 Homework
Create a finished painting to this level:
Start by roughing out an idea in simple values.
Think of the relationships between cool and warm. Where are your light sources? Paint with lost and found edges.
Gamut Masking (2011) James Gurney
I haven’t fully understood the use of a gamut mask before beyond simply choosing a palette. The same color scheme, as perceived by our eyes, can be cast into warm or cool light depending on the gamut mask which is chosen. The gamut mask will shift the colors within the frame towards less/more saturated depending on how warm/cold they are. E.g. an intensely saturated yellow will become quite grey under colder/bluer light.
I have potentially a lot of illustrations to paint over the coming weeks so this basic concept will be helpful.
I went through the following tutorial on Puralsight to learn the basics of using XGen. I then experimented with this to try and create a soft fleecy body for the Octaves. Learning a new system and trying to apply it in time for a deadline was quite challenging. University projects were good preparation for this but I found that there was an extra level of stress involved in the workplace.
Creating Dynamic Fur with XGen in Maya
An important note that wasn’t explained in the tutorial is about file paths. XGen likes to create folders for each modification that is applied to the groom. If any of the file paths to these folders are wrong then the groom will disappear. I found that XGen would sometimes make errors and save folders to the wrong collection directory. It’s therefore important to check that the initial folder creation is where you want it to be. I also found it helpful when working across multiple computers to make sure that all the file paths are relative. Instead of having the full path directory, start the file path with “$DESC/” so that the ‘description’ folder will be searched from whatever collection the XGen is set to.
XGen also seemed to have a bug for me. Whenever I imported a collection into a scene, two ‘description’ folders would be created within the ‘collection’ folder. One of these folders would contain all the information needed but would be ignored by XGen while the other folder would be read by XGen but contained an empty setup. This was fixed by a simple cut and paste. Maybe there was a reason for this?
My notes from the tutorial: