TWCL Forum Index TWCL
Forums for The Webcomic List
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Draw Becky card contest: Dissecting the entries

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> Webcomic Gubbins
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proportions matter more than any of the other stuff, except possibly size.

The two winners had really appealing proportions and nice flowing lines. Their shading, especially of hair, actually followed the flow of the hair rather than being a messy hodgepodge of airbrushing. The winner didn't have all *that* simple shading, but because it was actually good and fit with the picture it didn't look complicated or overly detailed. Some of the other people went nuts with the burn and dodge but it didn't do shit for them because they didn't know how to make it look like hair.

If you can't analyze the design elements and understand what looks appealing and what doesn't, you're going assign undue importance to things like shading. "This person has complicated shading but didn't do well! That must mean that people prefer simple shading!" Unfortunately, if the person in question shades like a monkey and has an unappealing design to boot, what conclusion can you really draw other than "people who know what they're doing are going to win"?

As for positioning, that's just basic composition. I assume the template had the beacon on the right. That means the character goes on the left. Having them face into the picture feels a lot more natural than having them face out. 3/4 pose is more dynamic than straight-on. So the majority of people would have taken that route anyway.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Traitorfish
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 1942
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canetoonist wrote:
3) Shading did diddly-squat

All but one or two people used some form of shading (8 and 1). #8 ended up getting tied for third. More complicated/realistic art tended to actually do worse than cartoony, simple art.

Questionable. Simply because the inclusion of shading did not, in itself, have a clearly evident effect on results doesn't mean that it was irrelevant; the two winners handled their shading in a far more competent manner than some others, giving the character a sense of volume and life that was lacking elsewhere. I don't think it's any coincidence that #8, which simply skipped shading altogether, was more succesful than those entries with far more basic, inappropriate or poorly implemented attempts.
Shading's a tool, after all, not a feature. It's just as easy to detract from an image through misuse as it is to add to it.

Canetoonist wrote:
Thing is, none of the entries are poorly shaded (I think?). It's just different styles, yet for the most part the styles that were more intricate did worse.

There's more to the quality of an image than technical competence; many of the entires, regardless of the quality of work in itself, used a style which was unsuitable, and so far less successful. The task called for a strong, iconic image, so a style such as that attempted in #9 was simply inappropriate, regardless of how well it was undertaken. If one is asked to design a twenty-storey office block, to use a nerdishly architecural analogy, one does not adopt an extravagantly baroque aesthetic, because, regardless of whether you are a world-class master or dribbling incompetent, the style is simpy not efficient, appropriate or visually engaging when applied to that particular brief.

(For the record, I actually prefer the shading on #10 more than #4. It's more solid and confident; the clash of bold block colour and gradient shading on #4 just serves to flatten a bit the image for me.)
_________________
Traitorfish.deviantART
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canetoonist wrote:

Thing is, none of the entries are poorly shaded (I think?). It's just different styles, yet for the most part the styles that were more intricate did worse.


Contrary to popular belief, discovery of the airbrush, smudge, dodge & burn tools does not normally lead to good shading.

Canetoonist wrote:

Yes...but the top entries were those that either could overcome that inclination or, in the case of entry 4, disguise it. Entry 7 and 3 do somewhat poorly despite breaking the format, but that's likely due to being too small and not very dynamic.


The top entries were those that were of good size and design. I'm betting the composition had far less to do with the voting than you suspect. For example, if composition was that important, why didn't Entry 07 do better than Entry 02?

Canetoonist wrote:

(Really, though, all of this is sounding like common sense in retrospect.)


Oh yes, the rules of art are ridiculously easy to learn, and insanely difficult to apply. In hindsight it's always "yes OF COURSE my thing wasn't dynamic enough and had terrible values, I see that now" and yet the next time you think you're following all the "rules", everything comes out just as bad as before, and then someone who seems to be operating on an entirely different set of rules comes and flattens you.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canetoonist wrote:
Entry 1 is particularly glaring, though. It's "bigger" than entries 3 and 9, well drawn, in a good pose, yet it is low on the totem pole. Maybe the style is too realistic?


Entry 1's values aren't very good, so it comes across as flat and bland. And Dungeon Legacy guy is notorious for stiff figures. He actually did a decent job on this one.

Canetoonist wrote:

That is a slightly depressing thought. I'm assuming the cycle will end, since someone did do the flattening?


Really? I find it fascinating. Art is like this enormous, endlessly entertaining puzzle. Every time you think you have it figured out, it surprises you.

I don't know if the cycle ends, but one's knowledge of the rules becomes refined over time. And eventually, flatteners are exciting rather than depressing because they give you a bunch of new stuff to think about.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TWCL Forum Index -> Webcomic Gubbins All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Hosted by Fluent
The Webcomics List is operated and owned by Ash Young. Syndicate the comic updates.