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Old 08-11-2012, 11:40 PM   #1
THROBBS
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Techniques and tools

I am not a big fan of simply using digital tools as slick tricks.

For example programs like Poser, which "out of the box" allows for creating digital bodies. Without and "eye" or training, the results tend look "slick", but tend to be stiff and mechanical.

Photoshop has many filters which can provide amazing effects to photos, but to me, unless they are your own photos or bring you own "touch" or "vision" to the image, it is no better than plagiarism.

Nearly as offensive to me is the practice of rendering a photo by hand in pencil (or any other medium). Why? What is the point of that? A photo does a better job and unless the rendering "tells the story" better...... meh.

Photos make great reference. Digital applications are powerful tools. Poser can give a "head start".



Anyone have other views and comments?
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
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"WOW! It looks just like a photo!" (typically said by someone who "can't even draw stick figures")

So why not take a photo?
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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Any tool when used effectively can deliver good results even if the tool is as simple as a pencil or a complex one as a 3D graphics rendering software. In a nut-shell there is no escape from hard work if someone wants to deliver good artwork.

In my humble opinion Poser/Daz Studio can be used for reference as well (think of it as a digital mannequin) which definitely is under-use of such powerful software, but .. still it helps me to practice drawing typical human figures ..

And I agree with Throbbs .. using filters on images which are not your own and claiming them as your original artwork IS plagiarism!
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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At least we all agree.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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"To make a cake from scratch, one must invent the universe."

Tools are just that: tools. Aids. Help. You have to do the work, no matter which medium you choose to use.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:36 AM   #6
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Tools To Go, Techniques Aplenty...Choose your Weapon, Kid

Quote:
Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
I am not a big fan of simply using digital tools as slick tricks.
Hi, Throbbs...
You're sentiments are quite true because that is the main problem with Freshmen going into the Fine Arts: They asked, on the very first day of meeting--"When will we use Photoshop?"--in a Freehand Drawing Class! Nice and easy tricks, smooth and slick, but without the backbone of the basics. Digital tools showed would be artist, secretaries for example, that they too, can do "art" and are proud of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
For example programs like Poser, which "out of the box" allows for creating digital bodies. Without and "eye" or training, the results tend look "slick", but tend to be stiff and mechanical.
Correct. For how can one make a realistic rendering of the figure, even with excellent tools, if one does not have a knowledge of basic anatomy by hand?

Figure Drawing and Anatomy are difficult to master, i.e., draw the human poses as accurately as possible from memory. And yet, the simple understanding and knowledge of the subjects are important for any artist who called themselves as such, ARTIST, and proud of being introduce as such: "He's/She's an artist!" to the admiration of friends, acquaintances, and co-employees.

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Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
Photoshop has many filters which can provide amazing effects to photos, but to me, unless they are your own photos or bring you own "touch" or "vision" to the image, it is no better than plagiarism.
Quite true, but since it had been the practice even in school, the idea became acceptable to many. A student was once so proud to submit a digital work in "Illustration 1" Class, and when asked who took the enhanced photo: "Downloaded, sir." All of which, can be seen done by amateurs and artists with low skills in an art site that became popular in the early 2000 and now accepts even facebook pics, cosplay pics, doodles and caboodles of insulting quality. Thus, the site is a mecca for social interactions of artists, most blinded to the true idea of concept, creativity, and quality in art.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
Nearly as offensive to me is the practice of rendering a photo by hand in pencil (or any other medium). Why? What is the point of that? A photo does a better job and unless the rendering "tells the story" better...... meh.
Now this one is rather necessary for the beginner: Copying is encourage in the early stages of learning art, especially those majoring in ILLUSTRATION. And to use photos as a starting point hones the skill, enriches the creative memory to remember the shape of an eye, etc. BUT--as one progresses, either leave the copying habit or continue the "commercial" appeal of copied pics. Yet, portraiture MUST copy from either life or photos, especially for dead family members, and those who excel hone their skills copying pics. In a way, a lucrative discipline if one has the skills.

Bottom line: The modern generation of artists frowns upon the old classical practices of learning art or simply, Drawing, eager and in a rush to be part of art circles and social art scenes.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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so.
Learn to see.
Learn to draw.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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so.
Learn to see.
Learn to draw.
This is perhaps the most important thing a new artist can gain perspective on. I have seen many artist, looking at objects, figures and scenery only to render it in their heads then trying to draw what their minds have produced. This give way to distorted dimensions and untrue values... Opening your eyes, staring at your subject, while disarming your minds preconceived notion of what your doing is only reveling the truth beneath it all, the glory of creation.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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I suppose I'm antiquated. If you see it, draw it. If you can touch it, shape it. Old world tools only. The photography that I do, is never manipulated. I figure one must work and be artistically creative to achieve true art.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn2721 View Post
This is perhaps the most important thing a new artist can gain perspective on. I have seen many artist, looking at objects, figures and scenery only to render it in their heads then trying to draw what their minds have produced. This give way to distorted dimensions and untrue values... Opening your eyes, staring at your subject, while disarming your minds preconceived notion of what your doing is only reveling the truth beneath it all, the glory of creation.
Sounds like an old sage quoting Buddha from some 80's kung fu movie .. he he!
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim_vegas View Post
Sounds like an old sage quoting Buddha from some 80's kung fu movie .. he he!
Thank you.. my passion is with the arts, so.. thank you very much.
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:52 PM   #13
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I use photoshop almost every day, for work.

There are always more and more powerful tools within that tool.
The brushes, for example, when used with a stylus and tablet can do amazing things... more so if one understands materials, gravity, light & shadow.

I don't get to draw/paint, illustrate with it as much as I'd like.
Generally, simply working with product shots.
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:01 PM   #14
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A fun technique which blends (literally) traditional techniques and digital...
Create a drawing/painting, scan, working with digital tools to adjust, paint, draw...
print and then work into the print.

I like printing on bristol or watercolor paper sometimes, and because my inkjet has water soluble inks, I can muck about with water on a brush...

Sometimes using channels or levels to reduce/remove black can help keep the colors from getting too muddy at this stage...

I can find an example or two...
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #15
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:54 PM   #16
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I think it always comes down to a simple concept: use the tools that provide you with the means of expressing yourself. I use my camera most of the time with minimal manipulation of my photos. However I also readily use Photoshop and Daz Studio if the final image I have in mind requires those tools.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:40 AM   #17
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One of my main gripes with digital programs like poser, is that clothing looks like it's floating on the figure it's on. Also, figures tend to be twisted into positions that seem to defy human limitations. In other words, things that anybody that studies beyond the digital realm would recognize and seek to rectify.

I am saddened that a photographer, whose art I really like, said that ALL photography nowadays is digitally enhanced. In other words, it seems that nobody tries to use a camera to the best of it's abilities and then just leave well enough alone.

I'm not a technophobe. I like digital work, but much like music, there comes a time to go "unplugged" and let the music be appreciated for itself. People have even started to gravitate towards unplugged music, because they like the natural music with all of it's imperfections.

In the exact opposite direction, some artists have taken "simple" too far. I knew this one artist, of some globally recognized status, that used to do marvelous work, but he used crayons to color in his drawings. I mentioned this to him as being one of his flaws. I tried not to make it sound too harsh, but at the same time plead with him to try digitally coloring in his work if he didn't want to use colored pencils.

He took the critique to heart, and stopped using crayons, but he also stopped using (I think he used to use a magic marker) to outline his work. Overnight it seemed, his artwork changed from quite charmingly drawn figures, to quite uninteresting figures, but much better colored in...


Artists should learn to use each medium to the best of their ability, and although artists should strive to explore and not be afraid of trying new mediums, it also doesn't mean that those new mediums should be the only form an artist uses.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:39 PM   #18
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Learn to see.

Learn to use the tools to visualize what you have seen.

create something new.

Identify the work honestly:
A photograph.
A digitally enhanced photograph (your own photo that you enhanced)
A hand drawn image, from imagination, copied from photographic reference, drawn over/traced, either physically (tracing paper) or digitally.
Painting.
Digital painting...
CGI image... from a "library", from a "library" then "enhanced"...


In the end...I suppose, to some extent, the resulting image is what "counts".


kinda.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:46 PM   #19
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Mechanical art is void of emotion - it doesn't communicate very well

but at least its deliciously tacky..and the bonus is its ok to laugh at...because nobody gets hurt, well maybe the programmers.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Mechanical art is void of emotion - it doesn't communicate very well

but at least its deliciously tacky..and the bonus is its ok to laugh at...because nobody gets hurt, well maybe the programmers.
When you say "mechanical art", are you referring to digital art, like CGI or illustrations produced using a tablet and monitor rather than with a brush and canvas?
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Mechanical art is void of emotion - it doesn't communicate very well

but at least its deliciously tacky..and the bonus is its ok to laugh at...because nobody gets hurt, well maybe the programmers.


The programmers are real artists! Amazing.

Those who use the programs... varies wildly.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:41 PM   #22
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Im not sure why Im bothering to respond but here goes
I was thinking how synthetic and cheap most CGI looks.. - straight out of the 'box'
As you or somebody said, you have to own it - make it specific to yourself for that you need to cultivate a sensibility. But the medium is evolving
Check out what ZBrush artists are doing..
and weep, game art too
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Im not sure why Im bothering to respond but here goes
I was thinking how synthetic and cheap most CGI looks.. - straight out of the 'box'
As you or somebody said, you have to own it - make it specific to yourself for that you need to cultivate a sensibility. But the medium is evolving
Check out what ZBrush artists are doing..
and weep, game art too
You respond because it is something you are passionate about?

I agree with your assessment.

Too often soulless mannequins in sterile environments are what we get.
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Old Yesterday, 08:43 AM   #24
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Most people who attempt to write stories write poorly. The invention of the typewriter, the word processor and the home computer have enabled more and more of them to prove this to a wider audience. The same process is underway with visual art. People want to express themselves, and most of them aren't good at it, for any number of reasons that have little or nothing to do with their tools. This is fine, on one level- I like authentically 'amateur' photo porn, for instance, just because it's, well, authentic. On the other hand, people with undeveloped skills and taste, and access to computers, have undercut the market in visual arts, and helped to destroy the traditional cycle of education that used to polish commercial artists. Now the polished ones tend to be pretty narrow- products of art schools operated for the benefit of big animation studios, for the most part, and very much constrained by whatever the current Disney or Marvel look is.
Short answer: It's not the tools.
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Old Yesterday, 09:00 AM   #25
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I agree, DrD.

I am glad there are new tools.

I was disappointed in my teaching stint at the local community college that the digital media department had NO overlap with the fine art department. Most of the students had no visual foundational training.
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