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May 2016 3rd Thursday - Fortune Cookie


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#1 NancyGormezano

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:27 AM

This months assignment was to illustrate the text found in a fortune cookie of your choice. My fortune cookie said "The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do".

 

So I rendered out a version in A:M and then hand "painted" the image in photoshop, to get a more scribbly, spontaneous feel. Here's both versions before and after PS.

 

(EDIT: adjusted levels on hand rendered to bring out the highlights, tad more contrast)

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#2 robcat2075

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 11:32 AM

Perilous and lovely!


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#3 itsjustme

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 07:19 PM

Great stuff, Nancy!


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#4 serg2

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:00 PM

Very cute, Nancy!


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#5 Rodney

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:26 AM

Nice!  

 

I've toyed with overpaintings of 3D proxies but you've very obviously mastered it.

 

And as always with these pieces you pull me in to where I want to discover more of the story.

 

 

Added (because you know I cannot resist making at least one suggestion):  The one change I might make would be in the wording of the fortune cookie phrase.  Personally, I'd drop that last word 'do' so that it read, "The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot."  An alternative would be to change 'great' to 'greatest' so it read, "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot."  although I lean toward the former I'd have to ponder upon that.  That reads more like a short phrase cracked open from a cookie.  

 

Aside:  I always tell folks who are with me right before cracking open my fortune cookie that I always... always... get the same fortune... every time.  Then I open it cautiously and wince painfully saying, "Not again!."  Then I reveal that my fortune is... yet again... 'Whatever you do, don't look behind you."  If following my own advice I might have to drop that second 'you'.   ;)  The intent is several-fold in that it's a stale old joke with my family that I continuously try to refine but also a suggestion to look to the future and not the past.  Of course folks are free to interpret the prediction as meaning that some dastardly villain is standing at that very moment right behind me.

 


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#6 NancyGormezano

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 08:09 AM

Added (because you know I cannot resist making at least one suggestion):  The one change I might make would be in the wording of the fortune cookie phrase.  Personally, I'd drop that last word 'do' so that it read, "The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot."  An alternative would be to change 'great' to 'greatest' so it read, "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot."  although I lean toward the former I'd have to ponder upon that.  That reads more like a short phrase cracked open from a cookie. 

 

 


 

Yeah - I didn't like the phrasing either - however, those are the EXACT words that were written on the fortune. I actually was looking for a fortune that was even more awkwardly phrased, in a style typical of bad translation that many times comes with the cookie. One that makes one go: "huh?". No such luck.

 

Sad fact: My husband has been collecting  fortune cookie papers FOREVER. He has a jar stuffed full, that must contain, and I do not exaggerate, a zillion, at the very least. It took me a couple of hours to settle on one. There were many other candidates. And I didn't go through them all.

 

And I like your story. And I can also picture your family members rolling their eyes once again when it comes time to open the cookies. :facepalm:. I can't tell you how many times I've dreaded opening fortune cookies because I know my husband collects them. OK...ok, already... This ONE time it paid off. But I'm not telling him that.



#7 Rodney

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 07:22 PM

Yeah - I didn't like the phrasing either - however, those are the EXACT words that were written on the fortune.

 

Ah!  I didn't catch that part.  I was thinking you just made it up.  

As I was.  As I was.  :)

 

That's funny (okay... and maybe a bit sad) about your husband collecting fortunes.  I will guess that by now he (and you too) have racked up some serious good luck.  

And best news of alll... I can now honestly say I know someone that collects those things.  hehe.  ;)


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#8 NancyGormezano

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 08:31 PM

Ah!  I didn't catch that part.  I was thinking you just made it up.

 

 

Rodney: As I thought about what you suggested with respect to the wording, I'm now thinking that it probably would have been better to change the phrasing so that the piece could stand on it's own. As it is, it's not obvious that the words came from a fortune cookie. If I wanted that to be obvious, I should have probably added imagery to show that (like maybe a piece of typical fortune cookie paper, placed differently on the image, with perhaps maybe even the remnants of the cookie...or something like that).

 

So thanks for the suggestion.  It takes me a while to catch on to how valuable perception, feedback, critiquing from others is. It's more important in illustration for image to be clear, as opposed to fine art (which I've typically done), which can be interpretive, illusive, abstract, subjective.



#9 Rodney

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:43 AM

So thanks for the suggestion.  It takes me a while to catch on to how valuable perception, feedback, critiquing from others is. It's more important in illustration for image to be clear, as opposed to fine art (which I've typically done), which can be interpretive, illusive, abstract, subjective.

 

Definitely keep those elements of fine art flowing into your work.  That's what makes your work so rich and deep.

 

After typing the following (vvv down there vvv) I looked again at your work and marvel in the strengths of your approach.

You not only illustrate the story point in question but hint at the depth of character and how they live in a larger world... one we want to explore.

And you don't stop at one level of illustrating this narrative but layer in and echo the theme.

And here is where I see some opportunity too... directly relating to clarity.

What if that mouse had his/her own page directly proceeding this page?

What if that pilot and plane had a page proceeding that one?

We can only sample this single page from an imaginary book so we will never know beyond what we see on this page.

 

There are many of aspects of your current work that are intriguing to me and it'd take a lot of words to explore those.

I'm mainly concentrating on your words to frame my response so please forgive where that seems to state the obvious.

You say:

 

It's more important in illustration for image to be clear, as opposed to fine art (which I've typically done), which can be interpretive, illusive, abstract, subjective.

 

 

While awesome in its own way, I think the current 3rd Thursday approach that limits you to a single illustrated page can be more than a little deceptive.  The interesting thing being that while your illustration does have to stand on it's own the page doesn't quite take into account what is to be revealed when the next page is turned nor what has come before.  Many aspects of the current (isolated) illustration can gain additional clarity relative to those.  In the 3rd Thursday entries that aspect still needs to be accounted for.  Whether revealed or not (and I assume they never will be) there are no other pages of this story.  Those pages exist only in an imaginary world where this page is taken from a real book.  This is an important thing to consider because, in a way, you have to consider what will happen next and what has led the story to this point.  It's that richness of missing detail that we can't see in the current narrative that is by its very nature interpretive, illusive, abstract and subjective.  We simply don't know.  That information doesn't exist.  So we in the audience MUST create the rest of the story.  We have no choice. 

 

This leads us to the element of clarity in what is placed before us.

The artist, writer, illustrator, whoever only has so many lines to connect to tell their story.

Children's books are fascinating to me because they, perhaps more than any other medium, marry words and imagery together where they are often more than just complementary, they are often indistinguishable.

So in similar fashion to what we (attempt to) illustrate in words we layer in additional detail to point the audience to key points of our narrative and to further clarify our story.

 

This is why I love animation so much.

Keyframes.  Golden poses.  Breakdowns.  Inbetweens.

Silhouette.  Staging.  Ease in.  Ease out.  Primary and Secondary Actions.

Clarity... and the ever elusive Solid Drawing*. 

Everything is important and works together to deliver the performance but all the while recognizing that not all things are held constantly in focus.

 

The animator has an advantage in Illustration because what they know can strengthen the work, especially in a single page illustration where many disparate things must work together and (in story-time) share their narrative purpose.

 

.

*While Solid Drawing principally speaks to skill and draftsmanship and recreating real worlds in imaginary spaces it goes well beyond that.  The concept of 'drawing' is not well understood in this or any other context until one considers well the word itself and it's pulling power of influence.  Forms and shapes.  Flows and forces. Thicknesses and thinness.  The illumination (illustration) of things otherwise forever lost in the darkness...  


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#10 NancyGormezano

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 01:31 PM

Nicely expressed Rodney.

 

 I think the current 3rd Thursday approach that limits you to a single illustrated page can be more than a little deceptive.  The interesting thing being that while your illustration does have to stand on it's own the page doesn't quite take into account what is to be revealed when the next page is turned nor what has come before.  Many aspects of the current (isolated) illustration can gain additional clarity relative to those.  In the 3rd Thursday entries that aspect still needs to be accounted for.  Whether revealed or not (and I assume they never will be) there are no other pages of this story.  Those pages exist only in an imaginary world where this page is taken from a real book.  This is an important thing to consider because, in a way, you have to consider what will happen next and what has led the story to this point.  It's that richness of missing detail that we can't see in the current narrative that is by its very nature interpretive, illusive, abstract and subjective.  We simply don't know.  That information doesn't exist.  So we in the audience MUST create the rest of the story.  We have no choice.

 

 

These monthly challenges are usually flexible in letting the artist decide what format they'd like to do - as the purpose for mostly everyone (except for perhaps me) is to develop content for their portfolio's. And of course, to aim their imagery at the  market they are after. Some people even do a comic strip panel. Besides children's books (seems like majority), others are after young adult market, others: editorial illustration, others: etc. But the emphasis seems to always be about concept and story.

 

For me, this month, I was thinking this is more of a standalone poster (rather than a page out of a book). Other times, when I think of it as a page in a book, I am conflicted as to how much is necessary to reveal in the one image, and I usually assume (based on the text of course) that some stuff has been revealed in previous pages, and some stuff is still to be revealed. I particularly admire some of the illustrations done by others where they actually cut off parts of characters as if they are transitioning to the next page - very startling and provocative!

 

I think there is a close connection with children's book illustration and animation, along with storyboarding and comic strips.

 

I think animation is harder to pull off, because of the added element of timing, and having to limit the change in motion. The viewer has to absorb it in a flash, whereas with illustration, the reader sets the timing. They can explore the added details at their leisure, and get caught up in the imagery/story at their own pace.

 

That could be why I enjoy doing animation as an activity, but I haven't really enjoyed viewing many animations. I always want to stop the motion to examine the details (as well as add more and more detail, usually too many, for comfortable viewing)

 



#11 pixelplucker

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 11:24 AM

Those look awesome.

Ever see Akvis airbrush? Wonder how it would look if applied to an animation?

http://akvis.com/en/airbrush/index.php



#12 NancyGormezano

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 01:51 PM

Those look awesome.

Ever see Akvis airbrush? Wonder how it would look if applied to an animation?

http://akvis.com/en/airbrush/index.php

Thanks - Interesting find

 

I wasn't aware of Akvis - but it looks like it possibly could be used with animation as it has a batch processing mode on a sequence of images - so could potentially bring the modified images into AfterEffects or any other video editor - great!
 

The software offer Batch Processing feature that lets you automatically process a series of images. It is useful when dealing with a lot of photos or when creating a video (to process all frames automatically).

 

AKVIS AirBrush is available as a standalone application and as a plugin filter. The plugin version is compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Corel PaintShop Pro, and other photo editors. Consult the AKVIS plugins compatibility page.

The functionality of the product depends on the license type. During the trial period you can try all options and choose the license you like.

 

I have AE cs4, PS cs4 and Painter 13 - none of which, seems to be compatible - BUT it does have a stand alone mode - so no problemo!

 

However, problem with filters (any filter, procedural processing) is that it is usually very obvious that a filter has been used, so it's up to user to cook up some combo of filters to disguise the fact and make resultant image look unique, hand worked.

 

I am finding that most illustrators, publishers, art directors turn up their nose at filters, because it is instantly recognizable.

 

Worth a look anyway. Thanks



#13 pixelplucker

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 04:14 PM

I was thinking more of a low frame rate effect, not every frame at 24fps because I would think the effect would look odd and lose it's painted look effect. It might not though if the algorithms are consistent.

 

I wish Debabalizer was still around, it used to be good for this sort of stuff and handled ps plugins. I only used AE version 1 but had very little use, at the time I used EIAS and did the compositing on the fly, was just faster and less work.

 

I got the link to Arkvis from Serif, it looked interesting and thought it might be useful in conjunction with an auto tracer for t shirt art but I do very little design work (thank god) so I buggered out. Figured it might end up collecting digital dust on my HD.






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