Digital Painting Workshop

Been using my time in the digital painting workshops to experiment with some further concept designs.

With the second thumbnail on the left page, this piece follows a part of the novel where our adventurers use a canoe to traverse the Amazonian river, where the narrative conjures imagery of being watched and a sense of claustrophobia with the overbearing canopy of trees where only few rays of sunlight penetrate. Its a rough piece of work, where I feel the composition still needs adjusting.

This piece following the thumbnail also on the top left page, features the entrance of the plateau where the prehistoric animals dwell, where our heroes figure to use a tree as a bridge. I believe the more dynamic composition works much better in this piece, with a distinct layering of a foreground element. From some constructive criticism from Phil, I also started to begin to enlarge one side tree bridge to give the illusion that it fell at an angle for a more intriguing composition. Still a work in progress, I may come back to this at a later point.

From my thumbnails and initial concept paintings, I'm beginning to gather an idea of what I aim to achieve in respect to my subject material. Based in a specific natural environment with prehistoric dinosaurs, it seems unfit to change this entirely through a different genre such as a sci-fi setting. Instead, my initial plan of action is to really push this concept of a natural world seemingly untouched by modern man, and see where it will take me. Thus this way, I feel more confident in respect to the source material, although I wonder if this is a big enough step in producing unique concepts. I guess time will tell, with some more sketches and experimentations.


Chris G said...

I really like the way you've actually managed to create a convincing looking atmosphere about the pictures. I think it's the way you've used the mist to blur out objects in the distance on the first picture and the second one where you've used that lighting technique that Phil was showing us to create a warm looking atmoshpere. Cool stuff.
Btw on a side note, one photoshop lesson you were left logged on and I didn't realize I was saving my work to it until I logged off so if you find my work on your area it's named as "Chris's work" lol i'll need to get it off there at some point but i'm just letting you know ;)

tutorphil said...

Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

Hi Leo,

Great blog - your classmates would do well to take example from its sophistication and elegant presentation; in some respects, The Lost World is a restrictive text, because it is so real world - but you are absolutely right - the trick is to push its 'prelapsarian' quality (look it up!) - that lush, opulent paradise, where growth is unchecked - an uber-rainforest - exotic, congested and mysterious. For this reason, I'd like to see you push the lighting effects; sun filtering through thick canopies; translucent leaves etc - I think you can introduce some more 'other-worldly' elements in this sense; I also think you can add some theatricality to the scale of your flora too - check out the following for 'real world' stuff that looks anything but!

Anyway - you see my point - the scale of these plants are larger than life - but not an exaggeration; I don't yet see on your blog any mood boards or reference images, and I think to move your images on, you need to start dealing with the shapes, colours and translucencies that are already 'out there' - currently, your images are still a bit generic - though compositionally very promising. I think you can have more fun - and take some artistic liberties; take some real world logic and just give it a nudge into film logic - the audience will go with you!

Please see second comment for general advice re. the written assignment

tutorphil said...

Written Assignment stuff…

Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

“Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
Read more:

You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief prĂ©cis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!


The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

Good Luck! ☺

Leo Tsang said...

Doh, no worries just poke me on comps next time and I give you the files. Thanks for comments too, yes the sort of fading mist towards the background really helps in creating an illusion of depth and space in a piece. And lighting and bring that extra wow factor in a a piece.

Thanks for the feedback Phil, greatly appreciated. I feel more confident now knowing what I need to engage in next. A prelapsarian world sounds very intriguing and will definitely will be looking into it. I was a little concerned in being a little generic, but I'm sure I can overcome this as you say with some real world logic and some magic.

Thanks a lot for posting advice on the essay too, seems much more clearer now.

matt hyland said...

hey I really like looking at the way you've created your scenes so far :D

I'm still getting used to the graphics tablet at the moment but still creating the scenes as best I can, I think I need to display from start to finish of how I'm creating my scenes like the way you have done. but your work is really cool dude, and is looking good :)

Leo Tsang said...

Thanks Matt, the more you use a graphics tablet the more you will naturally get better. Like your experimental concepts too, keep them up :) Yup if you can save your work in increments it can help illustrate your progression, just remind yourself to save a jpg image of your progress every so often while working with your psd file - Good habit to have :)

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