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Author Topic: Ports p&c  (Read 1103 times)

Offline Lovedoll

Ports p&c
«: February 20, 2009, 09:01:05 AM»
Okaayy, I've been on a roll the past couple of days and taking a short break before I continue on my list. I started actual serious portmaking the day after V-day and I learned a thing or two in a very short time. Now that I really put a lot of effort into multiple ports I would like to see where else I need to put my focus. Tips on how to improve my ports etc.

Right now I use the dithering technique and like how it makes my ports look soft. I'm not very keen on the idea of using a different technique for shading (with how well this works out for me) so tips on how to improve with this technique would be great.

I learn best from friendly crits, concrete examples and simple wording. Start with small steps and don't throw me into the deep please. #SQ Important to note: some ports are only shaded by me. Please keep that in mind, I did NOT make the lineart on all of them!

And please lemme know how much you'd price these! Right now I charge 10GDs for a full port, 5GDs for lines and 5GDs for shading. :3

Lines & Shading by me:

ONLY Shading by me:

GO! :3
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 12:02:45 PM by Lovedoll »


Offline clockwork

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #1: February 20, 2009, 09:13:32 AM»
first off, i think smidgen's port is your best work on here. the hair shading is very fluid and soft. i'm not sure if it was intentional or not, though, but the torso seems very genderless. no implications of muscle mass or pectorals or breasts or anything. but, that's not really the focus of the port, and it could possibly detract if it were there. so that's really a personal thing.

the crit i'd give on the music faries is in the hair- you use black lines 'deep' in the hair, when at that point a dark portion of the remap colour would be best. i always get sharp and flat mixed up, but you can see this the most with the purplehaired one's bits on the right side. that one line which runs all the way up to above the forehead into the hair is really obvious and a little odd looking.

shading on their clothing, though, is great. in the case of the fairies i know they're supposed to be androgynous, so no complaints about that. maybe some slight implication of stitching or collars to their shirts? but again, that's a personal artistic choice, not an obligation.

the other thing with the fairies i find kind of odd is the lack of implication of collarbones or general neck shape detailing. if you look at the neck area on babydoll's port, you can sort of see what i mean. it just helps add some depth and detail to necks. sometimes it doesn't look so good though, and it mayyy not be what you're looking for in your ports.

as far as shading i'd say your use of shadow and colour depth is awesome, especially considering they remap, and colours like black are murderously obnoxious to remap. but things like the shading on sharp and flat's faces showing darkness where they're closer to one another = awesome. that kind of stuff is so dope.

you're excellent at hair, too. you make it look very soft and flowing, but at the same time add a different sense of fullness to the hair of each character. for example, babydoll's is very obviously much straighter and er...not thin, i guess, but not fluffy. as opposed to smidge's, which is positively featherdustery or the fairies which are just a kind of full, soft middle-ground.

i also love how you do eyes
i mean i love how you do eyes :O

unfortunately i'm not a good enough port maker to give tips on how to make them look soft, all i can point out is what i see. ILU, DOLLI :>!

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #2: February 20, 2009, 09:28:49 AM»
Thank you Clooocckk #SO That was helpful.

For Smidgen's port, she doesn't look very 'feminine' per default I guess. I kinda tried to keep focus on the face and stay a little within the style that they draw their own chars in. I can see what you mean about the lack of gender indications though. :3 I didn't really notice it before!

Asss for Flat & Sharp's hair, I did try that. It turns out that the darkest shade I used in the shading stays the same for 2 or 3 darker tones when remapped. The purple hair on the right side of his face looked like one solid piece of dark tone, hence why I kept the lines black. x: I do try to use the darkest shade of remap for hair where possible, as with Babydoll's port.

With the collarbone, I didn't even think of that. O: I kinda figured the shirt would be too high up to see anything. In the other ports, due to the way the shoulders are pushed forward it makes sense to define the collarbone on low-cut shirts or nudity more than usual.

I still struggle a little with the hair here and there. x3; It kinda depends on the lineart how well it turns out I noticed.

#SO I appreciate you taking your time to give some crits.

Offline clockwork

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #3: February 20, 2009, 09:38:39 AM»
well there's also the implication of neck tendons (and if you're really game for some manliness, adams apples) which could be done. now i have caught flack from some people for drawing neck tendons in, but the fact is that on some people they are quite visable.

lemme be a complete nerd here for a minute and link to a picture of comic book characters so you can see (in exaggerated detail) what i mean: durp durp durp

although the style is extremely different from your own, both dudes and dames have visable neck tendons. now, if you opt not to use them in your style, that's a personal choice.

and yes that's from a star wars comic
shhhh i'm a huge nerd

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #4: February 20, 2009, 09:43:39 AM»
Baww you dirty nerd gtfo #SC

J/k rofl. Yeeaaah, that makes more sense. I dunno how well that works out with my little pixels. I notice a lot that some people who define the throats/necks like that really overkill the piece with harsh lines. I might give it a go at doing that with the twin ports, see how it looks (but if Emma kills me for yet another edit I blame you >:V) and definitely going to try that in new ports. I've a premade up with the works with Anevay that could be a perfect candidate >:3

Offline clockwork

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #5: February 20, 2009, 09:50:47 AM»
i think if you just *imply* the tendons a little bit using shading, not actually outlining them, it should be sufficent. honestly i think when people imply things like collarbones or cleavage with shading rather than black-lining and outlining, it tends to look much better. but that's my personal opinion.

an example of what i mean for implication (curtosy of 10 seconds on devart) would be something like this, although her lines are very jagged and harsh. but you can see what i mean about implying it via shading.

Offline ReiYukihana

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #6: February 20, 2009, 05:31:37 PM»
Apparently 'cuz I don't check the forums daily I miss all the fun. o_o

You're doing good!  Clockwork addressed some points, so I'll try and pick up what pieces I can.

You do a good job of outlining your pieces for the most part, but I do feel like it would help if you could do less with the black lines.  (I don't make ports often, but I do know how much of a pain the color choice is. XP)  It seems like in places like the second port's hands and the music faeries hair, the use of line creates some pretty confined and uncomfortable-to-look-at areas.  I know Clock talked about this a bit, but I just kinda thought it could be said again.  In particular in the purple haired fairy; the bang that frames the right side of hair face that Clock mentioned.  I'm actually a bit bugged by the smaller line that divides that bit of hair and ends at the bottom of her eye.  It seems like it chokes the area a little much and the area would do better with a remapped color line, even if it were really light.

I also kind of have to poke at your rendering in some places.  Teh fairy shirts, dunno, they look too pillowy and soft to me.  Not pillow-shading, mind you, just too rounded or smooth.  I can tell your light direction seems to make sense for the most part, but when looking at the picture at a glance the shirts really look very much like flat colors to me.  I think it'd be fix'd by making the level transitions in them thar shadows a taaaaaad more sudden or sharp.  Of course, you want to render clothes to look soft, but I just feel like in that example it's a little too far in that direction and makes the shapes lose their sense of volume.

Last but opposite of least, there seem to be some structural issues going on here and there.  You're doing good, so they're not really glaring or anything, but you'll want to work on them in order to get a big, juicy LVL UP. <333  The biggest thing I'm noticing in this department are your hands.  The general sizes or proportions of them seem to mostly make sense (though I'm confused on the purple haired faeiris-screw-that-word hand, as the fingers crooking over that shoulder seem odd and too long, would probably help on that one to have the knuckle at the shoulder line,) but the shape of them, largely your fingers, seem to be really variable and not make much sense.  A particular example is the wolf's hand; the fingers look inconsistent and unbelievable.  I'm also a bit iffy on her snout; it's not a glaring error, but it doesn't seem to have much in the way of real structure.  The thickness/size of it and the way it leads into rest of the face makes it look a bit tacked on.  My prescription therein is my usual one: delicious, delicious studies.  Spend some time drawing from real examples of these things for practice.  Hand studies in particular are actually really really fun when you get into them, as they can be so expressive.

And above all, keep making art.  Some study/critique combined with lots of practice is the #1 quickest way to that aforementioned LVL UPing.  Omnomnom.

I'd like to give more help, but I want to stop typing before I hit old age. ;-;  Other notes:  Your backgrounds seem a bit too noisy and don't seem to contribute to the rest of the picture well.  I'd say experiment with other ways of doing things.  Also, the ports you've just shaded or colored or whatever, they look really good.  You seem to be doing good at making use of what you've got. 

ALSO:  Clock is totally on about the neck tendons.  They can help a lot sometimes.  Biggest thing about that and details like that is to not be afraid to try them in a piece!  You can always just scrub them away if they look just plain wrong.

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #7: February 20, 2009, 06:47:19 PM»
Trust me, the black bugs me a lot too. ;-; But like I said before, changing the outline to the darkest remap color is the same shade as the darkest shading I did - which is about 2-3 levels lighter than the darkest. It will make the hair look like one big clump in that area which is why I left it as black.

I'm not really sure what you mean with the shirts though. xD; They don't look flat colored to me at all, though that might be because of my monitor and/or the colors they remap to. I'll see what experiments with a bit less dithering in areas does though.

For the hands, god yes you're right. Since I did maybe 4-5 ports in my entire life before the ones I posted in this thread, I've had a lot of trouble mostly getting hands to look right in such tiny pixels. It's probably because the resizing of an original sketch makes it hard to pixel them properly and then shade them right. >.< Though I've seen a lot of the 'great' port artists get away with a lot in terms of hands, I've to admit I may not make a too big a deal out of it depending on what kind of poses people are after.

Backgrounds are not my strong thing. I always give my commissioners a Fox file with an extra shape where there is no background; if they don't like it or want something else that's an easy fix. x3; Gradient backgrounds may be an option. I'll look into that some myself, though I find a lot of backgrounds with actual objects tend to make a port unnecessarily busy. So I tend to opt for swirls that can easily blend when the remaps change.

THank you for your help :3 I'll definitely try to work on most of the things you mentioned, step by step. :O

Offline ReiYukihana

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #8: February 20, 2009, 07:17:40 PM»
I'm just happy to help.  XD

I know the remapping colors are a pain in the rear, so like I said, it'd be nice, but, I don't blame you if there's not much you can do.  Hopefully the 24-bit update thing will tie up those problems.  In the meantime, have tried maybe 'cheating' and finagling in some of the lightest color and putting it next to/around those dark lines?  Might make them actually look comparatively dark enough to define the area.  Not that it'll actually work, as the remapping colors are still pretty messed up. XD

The shirt on the right looks well enough defined, I was mostly referring to the one on the left.  It doesn't look shaded hard enough to me, but it could be my monitor as well.  Sometimes details in my own work just don't look right.

Hm...  That's a pretty good policy on backgrounds. XD;;  I actually think the background being remap might be working against them fading into the back of the picture from what I see in your wolf port.  When colors that appear in the work also occur in the background, it'll sort of pull that background up into the same visual level as the figure, I think.  Which can sometimes be desired for various reasons, but.  Oh, but yeah, I'm not saying you should make BIGGER MORE AWESOME realistic backgrounds. ;3  In such a small space, having an actual background scene can be overrated and really detract unless the artist balances it very purposefully with the character.

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #9: February 20, 2009, 07:44:39 PM»
Yeah! O: I tried that, but it looked really messy and awkward on those particular ports.

The shirts look fine on both to me. :x They are shaded with the exact same tones (going to darkest I believe), so it could be that it's just the color they remap to? xD I don't know.

Backgrounds just suck period ;.; Lmao

Any price suggestions?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 07:48:04 PM by Lovedoll »

Offline ReiYukihana

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #10: February 20, 2009, 07:59:30 PM»
The more I know the more I think remappable colors just suck. XD

I'm not huge into the scene, but from what I do know $10 does seem to be about right.  :O 

Offline Sync

Re: Ports p&c
«Reply #11: February 20, 2009, 10:08:42 PM»
i'll say more later buttt
for now since my brain is fried.

uhm, i think the hands on the sharpflat ports look very weird, just because there's not lining on the fingers. i mean, even if it looks like it's going to take away from the shading, i'd really put black lines in between the fingers, like on the smidgen port. or just do soft lines around everything. they don't work well together.