Chapter 4 - Break Away

The illustrated novel by Sandi and Jennifer

Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby Tychomonger » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:11 am

Chapter 4 - Break Away

I rather like that Tala was basically forced back into poverty. It makes her much more human than if she were some super-ideological martyr living of the streets because having a place in civilized society is eebil!

Things are beginning to pick up! Hmm, if Jennifer's previous works are any sign, nothing we have seen so far is what it seems. Therefore something completely unexpected caused the Ishtar Project to fail.
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Aealacreatrananda wrote:When I envision a far far future.... I don't fuck around.

People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:22 am

Any feelings on the spot illustrations? I am trying something new - I am using the technique that both Norman Rockwell and the Hildebrandt Brothers used/use. Which is to say, like them, I am working from photographs, which are then repainted into new characters and images.

Lacking a photography studio annex to my house with which to photograph friends and family in poses with dramatic lighting from which to work, I instead search the intertubes for photographs and then cut and paste individual items together to make a collage'. This then becomes the base from which I paint new characters and backgrounds and details into, using the photographic elements for reference, lighting, composition, shape and form.

For example, in today's chapter 4, the police sergeant with the VR glasses was painted over an image of Sigourny Weaver in Ghostbusters 2, which took a bit of work. Her face is very blocky, her shoulders huge, and her jaw massive, her hair... very big (at least in that photo). I, as you can see, used her basic body position as a base to create an entirely original person, with a different face, jaw, eyes, hair, shoulders, and outfit, and placed her in a completely original scene, and, of course, added a hat and VR glasses.

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The benefit, though, is that I can get the lighting and the proportion very much more realistic than I could with my severe astigmatism and other faults, such as a massive lack of skill or talent. I was able to use the lighting on the photographic face to paint realistic looking lighting on the sergeant's face, and of course, get the proportions of nose to eye to mouth correct (for a change). I can see why the Hildebrandt Brothers, and Rockwell use/used this technique. It really helps out. It's kind of like having a photographic line sketch to work from, instead of just a line sketch.

The same was done for all the other images so far, with varying results. I can simulate the fur on Chet, for example, using a tool which reasonably mimics the look of fur on the original reference photograph I used. Unfortunately, the breed was different, so I had to compensate for both color and breed of dog, but I think the result is reasonably convincing. The tool I use for fur 'drags' the digital paint out in a tapering line. Done a LOT, the result looks sorta like fur. Don't you think?

One thing I did do entirely from scratch was Chet's tongue, nose and eyes. Those, I think, turned out very well.

So, what do you think? Interesting new technique (well, new for me, old for other artists like those mentioned)?
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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby strange_person » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:37 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:a massive lack of skill or talent.

???

Excessively low self-esteem, that bizzare determination to be disappointed by Spore...

That you can create such strange, beautiful things, and have so many people from all over the world love you so much, and yet be such a downer sometimes...

Phüüüü. *whistles in disbelief*
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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby OtakuMan » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:37 am

I wonder how much it would cost if I wanted to send you a picture and have you "Jenni-size" me?

That would be awesome!

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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby Tychomonger » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:47 am

Chances are you are already roughly Jenny sized.

But yeah, this is not a completely new technique for you, Jennifer. Some previous examples.

I think they usually come out to be some of your best work! You have such a strong vision, and it really comes through the most when you are painting alien landscapes, but when you include some particularly realistic looking people in the scene, it comes alive even more.
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Aealacreatrananda wrote:When I envision a far far future.... I don't fuck around.

People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby OtakuMan » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:01 am

Tychomonger wrote:Chances are you are already roughly Jenny sized.


Who? ME?!

I wish!

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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:16 am

Tychomonger wrote:
But yeah, this is not a completely new technique for you, Jennifer. Some previous examples.


Hee! I'd forgotten about those! #_@
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Re: Chapter 4 - Break Away

Postby Mitsukara » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:26 am

I'm rather badly behind on the Ishtar Crisis due to my horrible tendancy to be slow and my lame, unbalanced ability to read at maybe a tenth of the speed I can write out paragraphs organized from the rambly, aimless mass of my brain, so I cannot comment on the goings-on yet...

However, I have to say that's some very striking-looking work. The realism really comes through very crisply... the eyes bear a bright, cartoonish quality in their coloring in a few pictures (not the ones of Tala... mostly Chet, actually), but that's not really a bad thing and seems more stylistic and bright-looking (besides, glassy real eyes are hard as hell to do, I'm sure :dead: I've never really even attempted...). It's kinda cute in the sense that he has bright blue puppy dog eyes :)

I wouldn't write off your cute anime-ish artwork and awesome little eyestrips, but I like this style, so if you enjoy doing it, I really think it looks good and would enjoy seeing more of it in this story (or others where appropriate).

Something odd I noticed, though, when you mentioned your source... I could see it in the picture afterwards. Looking at the picture the first time I didn't draw the connection, but afterwards I can totally see Sigourny Weaver's nose and mouth in there somehow. Strange.

There is one problem with the art style I notice, though: using different source photos as bases for the same character results in a person who looks, well, like a different person somewhat. Kinda tricky considering the methodology you have to use to get appropriate base pictures, but... maybe for main characters (mostly Tala probably) you could find one source to use continuously, that you can find different photos of, so as to avoid the problem. That, or experiment with warping facial features more to keep a more continuous appearance, perhaps? I dunno, I feel bad making any criticisms, especially since you have such a bad case of artist's curse to begin with... so don't put too much weight in my suggestions, especially given how much less experience I've had :sweatbead:
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Really, the only big feature setting these two off I think is the brow ridge and eye setting (that, and it could be the lighting, but the skin tone seems a bit different... the left is a bit more gold where the second is more pale pink)... but like I said, that's just an opinion :oops:

Also, I'll try to refrain from looking at too many future pictures prior to catching up on reading in case they contain spoilers :oops:
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