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 Post subject: Computer Generated Art
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:50 pm 
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[Note: This thread was split off from the thread about Prim's novel when the topic turned to illustrators and their techniques - VtF]

Image

Prim:

Here's Liv Tyler, as painted by me a few minutes ago. Every stroke was applied by hand, so it's not a photo with a special effect applied. Yet is isn't quite a painting, either. It's something for which no proper term (as far as I know) has yet been devised.

This is what your picture is, I think, at least to a large degree. Again, that's not to diminish it! It's art married to technology, which seems somehow appropriate for science fiction.

And there IS much artistry involved (at least in your book cover) as well. But it's artistry of a different kind, invested with powers that traditional artists could not have imagined.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm 
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That's an amazing image, Whistler. I would love to know how it's done.

I think I've mentioned before that my 17-year-old son is learning digital art because he has an odd disability of coordination that does not allow him to write or draw by hand any better than a six-year-old could. The computer has freed him from that. He can even draw reasonably well with an electronic pen and pad, and none of us have any idea why that would be the case.

They are wonderful tools, and I have no problem with artists using them. I know very well that they are not "short cuts" that would allow a non-artist to produce an image like that cover or your picture of Liv.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:27 pm 
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I love that, Whistler. You can really see that each stroke is applied by hand, and it really makes a difference.

I would love to see more of your work. (Hint, hint, hint.)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:54 pm 
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:scratch:

I am an artistic nitwit.


In both senses.

:scratch:

Kewl but I don't understand. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:25 pm 
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Whistler... :bow: thats awesome.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:10 am 
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I hope I'm not hijacking the the thread, which needs to remain on the topic of Prim and her magnificent achievement...

...but I thought you might be interested in seeing a couple of somewhat more finished samples. Here are two pretentious self-portraits that I created in gentle mockery of yours truly. I'm planning another, a full-figure life-sized pose. I'll be wearing a tuxedo and holding a cigar and a snifter of brandy.

And wearing one brown shoe.

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:02 am 
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not something I would recommend
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:scratch: Both those look like photographs to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:05 am 
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yovargas wrote:
:scratch: Both those look like photographs to me.


Wow. They don't look like photographs to me, though.

What are they?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:13 am 
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Yov, you can see the brushstrokes more clearly in this detail.

Image

Vision, it's hard to explain. I begin with a photo, then I create a clone of the photo. Then I delete the clone, leaving an empty document. Then I choose from a wide variety of brushes and paint with colorless digital pigment that becomes colorized only as each stroke is applied. Each stroke has the pigmentation of the pixels on the corresponding image.

I hope I've made that perfectly clear.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:47 am 
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Whistler, please do go on! This is fascinating and I think I'm beginning to understand how it's done. And I'm willing to bet it was how at least some of my book cover was done.

"Magnificent achievement" . . . you know, I'm proud that I sold some books; I worked hard (and had some excellent luck) to get there; but the point of this thread is not to say that again, but to talk about "getting published"—about a novice writer going through the process—for those who might be interested.

Cover art is definitely part of the process, and Whistler, you know far more about art and how it is created than I do. And you explain it well, and your demonstration images are amazing. So . . . you are welcome to take the floor any time! I'm delighted that you're here.

Edit: I wanted to add that there is something about how the light hits the impressive gentleman's face in the images above that says "photo" to me—they're clearly illuminated by a small, bright light source—and I see a hint of that on the faces on my book cover, too.

I hope you will share the tuxedo portrait with us, Whistler. It's certainly how I've always thought of you.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:15 am 
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Wonderful, Whistler! Your description of that technique fascinates me.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:31 am 
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Well, I think this is how the people were done. The word "Shuttle" on the uniform makes no sense, and no painter would have had reason to put it there. So I think it's safe to say that the artist began with a photo of models in rented costumes. The fact that the word was not removed suggests that the photo was somehow used directly and not merely as inspiration.

The background structures are hazy for a reason. I imagine that we're really looking at something like an oil refinery or factory; but it has been rendered indistinctly to hide its true origins. There is also a chance that this is a 3D structure, built and rendered with appropriate lighting. Or it may be anything: auto parts, kitchen utensils, somebody's cufflinks. Wth proper skills, you can make anything look like anything.

The application of atmosphere (sky, fog, sun or moonlight, etc.) ties the whole thing together and allows the artist to hide elements that could give away the trickery.

I have made a few samples of the sort of 3D imagery that is sometimes utilized for jobs like this. These are unexceptional samples created in a very low-end program, but they're enough to give you an idea.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:00 am 
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That's really interesting, Whistler. I've noticed "artifactual" details in other book covers and other commercial art—details that don't fit and which, as you say, it would make no sense for the artist to go to the trouble of adding. Now I understand where they must have come from.

I assumed the background was probably digital, done in a program like Vue, just because it reminds me of this:

Image

which my son did in Vue. (He did these by creating and lighting landscapes, finding an angle that gave him the composition he liked, and then adding textures—photography in principle, really, but in an imaginary place.)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:18 pm 
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Whistler, those are amazing. I want to write a book now just so I can request your cover art. :) I particularly like the fourth one. Hmmmmm...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:21 pm 
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Yes, that's a much better program than the one I use.

He's very good with it, too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:28 pm 
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Whistler, would it be possible for you to show us a photo, its clone, clone removed etc... like a step-by-step thing. Unless its your unique style, and you don't want it mimicked.

And you look very GRAND. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:50 pm 
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I don't think I still have those photos, Mahima. But a step-by-step would be possible later, yes. Give me some time on that.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:57 pm 
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Seemd like this should be in another thread, but the title matches, so I'll post here.

Even good old MS Paint can be used to achieve cool results!

http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/698 ... t_God.html

*Warning some links on the page may not be family friendly*

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:46 pm 
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Thanks, Whistler.

Thats pretty cool Alatar. Especially the way the video has been made.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Wow. :shock: This is inexpressibly cool. 8)

I feel like my head might explode. :shock:

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