Monday, April 29, 2013

Project Three: final post to this project... for now!

Well, I'm going to go with this although I'm not very happy with the shading. 
Shading is something I'm still learning about.  There are, I guess, different theories about shading (as if I would know anything about it) but I notice when I copied this poster...
...(I would copy them so I could figure out how they did 'em) the technique appeared to be a "matte cut."  That is, you pull your arranged figures into Photoshop, set a mask, insert a black layer over your character layer and pull your mask up to it, and then "cut the mask" by painting over it and only permitting the black shadow to show where you want it.  Then you adjust the opacity of the black layer to suit your taste.

This is a very good technique for crisp, definitive shadows and it gives you a very clean composition.  The goofy soft brush technique I used in Project Three can give you a wild variance of results depending on a lot of things: how "artistic" you feel, the surrounding lighting, how tired your eyes are.  Generally I'm not satisfied with the result.  Not like the Scooby Doo picture above which was truly a pleasure to... ummm... copy.  Because that's what I did.

But ask yourself: would a matte cut make sense in the El Kabong picture?  I'm leaning toward no.  Too much of a good thing.

The nice thing about copying projects is you're pretty dang sure what the result will be.  The bad thing about copying projects is no client is going to want exact copies... that's what a Xerox machine is for... although you should expect to be told to arrange established characters into some sort of composition. 

All in all, copying projects is a good way to learn some techniques but a bad way to build a portfolio.  So please keep that in mind when I ask you to participate in these projects: they're learning experiences but hopefully we'll all move on beyond this point.  Something like that.

Anyway, we're the Academy of Cartoon Design, so for the next project I want to study a little cartoon design... as in how characters are designed.

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