Ho ho ho! Christmas is coming and Santa Jack brings you some gifts. For, as the saying goes, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
I’ve put a “few” new items in the ‘machine, but since my usual preview picture would probably go beyond the constraints of the blog, I’ve posted it after the jump … 😉
I originally wasn’t planning to do a COTW this week, I figured most people would be too busy with festive pursuits to have time to spare, especially considering its Friday. However, it would seem Vampyrist has other ideas. I nip on to the forums for a quick look, to see if anything has been posted whilst I was having my dinner and this is what I was greeted with.
Vampyrist is one of those classic ‘machiners (not a term I tend to throw around lightly) who have a style that is truly their own, much like AMS or dblade, you can try and copy it as much as you like, but you’ll never get it exactly right, it will never look as good as what he does. And this is as fine an example of the breed as I have ever seen.
If we just set the obvious aside for the moment, we’ll kick off with something that has always impressed me about Vampyrist’s work. He always seems to do very minimal shading at first glance, you notice a few sports of highlighting on the pants, the glow from the flames that is reflected off the leg, and you don’t really think too much more of it. Then you look again and you notice the very subtle shadowing on the left foot, then the chin and the stomach and then the arm and chest. His subtlety with shading on his characters always gets me. It shows you don’t have to use masses upon masses of light and shadow to get the result.
And now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to the obvious. Masking the skeleton onto the flame effect (*wheels out COTW slogan board*)- simple but so effective. Now this is where you use masses and masses of light and shadow to get the result. I’m not even going to bother trying to count the layers of colour here, it would be pointless, but you have to give Vamp massive props for how good this looks. The fire looks so real and alive, you can feel the heat, and the black, almost charcoal look, of the bones in the flames contrasts so wonderfully against the vivid colour engulfing them. Best examples, just look at the right hand. And that right eye looks positively evil (as I’m sure was the intent). If people are still umping and erring over what to nominate for the Hall Of Fame (nominations are still open btw), you could do a lot worse than to nominate this.
Note: Obviously there won’t be a COTW next week, I doubt much will be popping up on the forums next week and anyway, I’ll be too busy to write it. Though you can of course expect a review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special on Thursday.
Sorry that the audio and video aren’t synched properly on this one guys. I think I might have cropped the audio clip a bit much, but it doesn’t make a huge difference, I’m still talking about all the right things in all the right places.
As I say in the video, next week is shading and it will also be the last video of the series. If you have any suggestions for future projects, if you want to see other video tutorials on stuff I haven’t covered in these videos, or if you want to see something different, leave you ideas down in the comments below.
This weeks COTW was a hard one to decide. There were a few that at different points of the week I was planning to write this post about. In the end I had to go back and go through them all and basically see which one I would have the most to say about. And this wonderful piece of surrealism came out on top.
Now, obviously the most striking thing about this piece, is the fact that his head and shoulders have been reduced to bubbles. If you just look at the lowest bubbles, you can see where Rob has masked the hands and arms to the energy. Plus the fact that some of the bubbles are skin coloured, you really do get the impression that this person is actually dissolving.
And then, once again, Rob is being sneaky and testing me on my skills in try to explain how he does these effects. I am of course talking about the white shine he has created on the chest and legs. And I’m kinda at a loss. I at least figured out that the abs come from the really muscular Male-Alternate body and the glow effect on them is the shading circle set to colour 1 as the skin colour and colour 2 as white, but I actually have no idea how he did the chest. Rob, once again I must ask you to explain your methods.
Now, I have literally now just spotted one thing that needs to be changed on this piece before I could truly say its perfect. The feet. They aren’t the same colour as the rest of the skin. It’s not that noticeable when you first look, what with everything else going on in this picture, but now that I’ve noticed it, it’s really nagging me. But otherwise, I would have to say that this picture is sublime (if you’ll excuse the pun).
As promised, here a few more new items for the ‘machine. Enjoy! (That’s an order!) 😉
They are online now, but you might have to clear your cache to see them …
Hey guys, sorry this is late. As I explained in the last post, I just haven’t had much time this week. At least I got it done. As requested, this week I’m tackling anime style faces and hair, along with Japanese honourifics and the custom colours. I apologise for the horrible loud sound right at the beginning, I got carried away and clapped during the intro, completely forgetting I wasn’t on camera.
Also, if you want a step-by-step guide for how to do anime style faces amongst other stuff, you can find one here- http://www.heromachine.com/forums/topic/manga-style-tutorial/
So, after a longer hiatus I finally managed to put a few new items in the ‘machine. More to follow soon …
Hope you like them! 😉
It’s funny, I always try to feature different people for CotW, just so I’m not repeating myself. However, I’m spectacularly bad at it, as I’m sure those of you who remember the original run will know. But it seems there is one person who I just can’t stop featuring, as this will be their 3rd or 4th time getting CotW.
Ok, I will say straight off, this isn’t as good as the last of Candruths works we featured on CotW, but that one was a masterpiece. But I have to feature it, simply for the same exact reason I always feature Candruths art, the flipping’ attention to detail on the shading and highlighting. If I could just draw your attention to the wrinkles around the nose and the mouth. Look at that lighting, really properly look. You have the base purple skin colour, then you have a slightly lighter violet colour, then that cream colour for highlights. Add the black shadow shading and then you have another purple to accentuate the contrast in colour (though this could be a mixture of the lighter purple and the black, but it looks to me like another colour). Most people just have base colour, highlight colour, shade colour, done. But obviously not Candruth. And then you have those eyes. Not only are they superbly creepy, but they also seem to have at least 5 different colours in there for shading and highlighting (green, cream, pink, very light purple, white and a darker purple) added onto the base colours. Honestly, Candruth does more shading on her characters eyes than I do on my whole characters. And that’s saying something. And just when I think I can stop going on about the shading, I see the neck. And the shadows on the hood, making it melt seamlessly into the background. God, so good.
Oh, and does anyone else think Star Wars when they see this picture, or is it just me?
As I say in the video, I will probably be going back to the costume and having a mess around with it, because I’m not entirely happy with it and the video would be an hour long if I recorded until I was happy with it. If I have any interesting ideas that I think could make good content for a video, I’ll include them at the start of next weeks video. Also, remember to say which you’d like me to do a tutorial of next week, anime style face and hair or normal face and hair.
Ok, I’ll admit I was a tad mean with this weeks CDC curveball, but it’s not fun to be predictable. But the fact that he couldn’t enter it into the contest didn’t stop AMS from carrying on his redesigns of his character The Ankh, whom he entered into the HM1 contest and then recreated for the HM2.5 Contest.
So, it’s an AMS picture, y’all know what to expect. Fantastically simple costumes that still manage to knock your socks off (see the top, which is a nice combination of two tops and some shoulder items, masked so they all fit together like they were a single item), peerless shading (do I need to give examples here?), posing and expression (look how fierce the expression is) and that finishing touch that just takes his work that extra little way (in this case the background, which appears to be a combination of three different background techniques. The first being the stars, which are masked to a background square. Then you have a gradient circle, which is also masked to a background square, to give the black corners. Then finally, over the top of the previous two elements, there is the gradient square, which is set to Colour 2 as White and Colour 1 is set to 0% alpha, then flipped upside down, so it looks like the background is fading into the white base. Well, that’s how I’d do it anyway). So yeah, your standard AMS work. That is to say, it’s freakin’ sublime.