Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Artifact - 3D Anaglyph?!

Alright, now this is just crazy.

Since I'm painting my characters and background elements on separate layers, I had an idea that it would be fun to process this painting as a 3D anaglyph image. This test image is very crude; the characters are all in their own flat two-dimensional plane so they look like cardboard cutouts. I think to make this possible and realistic I would have to use the Puppet Warp Tool in Photoshop. This way I could adjust the perspective angle of, say, the barbarian's sword and the archer's bow.

The basic technique is to have two sets of layers, one for each "eye." Each set will contain a Levels adjustment layer. The red set, viewable only to the left eye, will be positioned slightly to the right. The blue set, viewable only to the right eye, will be shifted to the left. The amount of distance between the two is proportional to how far the object is from the camera.

I already managed to make the ground plane appear as though it's receding into the distance. This was accomplished by applying a skew transformation to the ground layer. Again, it's very crude and will be more difficult to achieve as I add detail, but so far not a bad start with 30 minutes of layer adjustment.

Oh, and you'll need a set of red-blue 3D glasses to see it properly.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Artifact, Stage 3

I worked mostly on the center character, refining his torso anatomy and trying to match it to the environment lighting. I also tried a rougher approach to shading, using textured, sharper brushes to not make it so "blendy." I don't want it to have an airbrushed look. I prefer more energy and texture in paintings and I'm trying to develop that approach.

I also changed the sword. I feel like this character, being a "barbarian" type, should have a more organic overall design. The previous sword, although a nice inside joke, just didn't fit. Plus I really like this sword much better. It seems to have real weight to it. It's a nice combination of an Arabian scimitar and Japanese katana. A scimitana.

I also started in on the archer's shading. She needs a lot of work. The whole painting does. I'm enjoying it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Artifact, Stage 2

After a lot of screwing around with the line art, it was time to lay in some color. I started with some broad patches of diffuse color and refined it with shading. It took a while to figure out the different skin tones on a cloudy day, but so far it seems to be working well. I still need to rough in the cave entrance. I'll probably bring it closer to the thief character (left) to make his situation look even more hopeless. I plan on constructing it as the roots of a large tree.

I used compound brushes for the background and horizon. My cloud brushes are working well. The tree line needs a lot of work.

I added the two-handed great sword more or less as a joke (see previous postings), but on second thought it doesn't seem to match the character wielding it. I think he might carry more of a curved, organic-shaped blade, or even sword/axe hybrid. Perhaps I'll address that.

Overall I like how the lighting is coming together. These characters are starting to feel more "real" to me. Although now that I look at it again the big guy's head seems too big. I'll fix that for next time.