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perspective and education paradox

Okay, so yesterday I was trying my hand at
again. I wanted to add a background and couldn't help but notice that in the story books and the cartoon show the artist loads the enviroment / background with a hell of a lot of stuff! It's usually furnature or toys or whatever would makes sense for a rabbit to own. The details on these backgrounds always use outlines and are pretty detailed. Things like rabbit ears and faces or carrots find their way into bunk bed frames, chairs, stair rails, wagons, arch ways, you name it!

There I was in SAI trying my damnedest to draw a detailed bunk bed in perspective with everything just right.....ye gods...it just about shorted a fuse in my brain! The fun of drawing spontainiously quickly got gobbled up by technical concerns of perspective. That's not to say that perspective isn't or can't be fun. My problem is that I haven't devoted enough qaulity time in my brain for it :P I'm sure if I hammered away at it day after day it would become second nature  and there'd be no need to sweat bullets over it. But all the same, I suspect it would still be time consuming compared to drawing the characters.

I noticed in the screen caps of Bellflower Bunnies that I had handy that the artist does this "ad-hoc" kind of perspective. At least it looks that way to me. What I mean by this is that he likely doesn't draw out a ton of vanishing points and perspective lines. Instead, he probably starts with one object, kind of winging the perspective then draws out the other objects around it, using them as reference points. I've seen this done in the past and I even do it some times myself. But when I see all those little details in Bellflower Bunnies...my brain just goes "uh..you want me to do what!! Yeah..no...we gotta do this percise.."  And my time gets gobbled up my doing tedius detail work lol.

So, does anybody else do the "ad-hoc" method of perspective? To me it seems like it would get kinda wonky and off after a while....but maybe not.

There seem to be two schools of artistic "modes" I think. The super academic kind, where you learn all the Latin terms for anatomy, recite tons of history about art, can describe exactly how or why this or that technique is used. Then there's the intuitive kind, where the artist "just does it" and doesn't talk or care much about the terms or getting all scientific about techniques and anatomy.  I guess it depends on what's really important to you in the first place that determines which one is the best approach for you. It's not about being "right" but just what gets your work done.

I got a helping of schooling, yes indeedy. And it really did help me a lot! Especially with drawing. I remember reading something somewhere about when you master something you should "forget" about it. I took this to mean "let it become unconscious". So, it's as if you go through the laborious academic way just to get to a point where you don't have to consciously think about it....aka "the intuitive mode".  LOL....so, sometimes I question the value of doing things by the book. If doing things automatically is so awesome, why not just learn that way and build on it instead of enduring testing, grading, homework, schedules, tuition, and a structed  classroom enviroment?

But yeah...my main question...Wing it or Work it, which one works for you with perspective?  :P
Viewed: 68 times
Added: 7 years, 4 months ago
7 years, 4 months ago
Wing it, don't worry about exact technical detail for objects.  Make them look fun, don't worry about accurate :)  That's my take anyway.  Make it look like a table without worrying about the exact dimensions or depth.  It's three to four rods and a flat surface.  a dresser?  That's a box with some crap no the front that kind of looks like drawers.  I do hate drawing backgrounds... So much stuff to fill up extra space with.
7 years, 4 months ago
Hah! Yeah, backgrounds can be a real pain in the ass. But you know, lately with all the nature scenes I've been doing, I've noticed that it's a heck of a lot more free and fun then drawing square stuff in perspective. You can truly wing it with plants, especially grass and trees. Heheh, I like the way you describe tables and dressers. General to specific, that's how it ought to go. Oh! Maybe that's my problem with it....I get too specific too fast maybe? My art teacher talked about "not naming" anything when you draw it,  just letting it be a shape. I think this was because people use words as shortcuts in meaning SOOOO often than suppressing that tendency makes you really see things in front of you better (different part of da brain being used).

I remember when I drew that Tails pic with him in a diaper with all the clutter around him, it didn't seem like a hassle really. I just worked on a few peices at a time and thought about what would be fun to have in my own room ^^ The only fussy part in the whole thing was the computer monitor and mouse. But even then, I was inventing more than "trying to make it look exactly like that thing". Maybe that's the difference. Kinda like the difference between studying from a book and actually being there.  Instead of being forced to focus all your energy on rote copying something, you're using a different box of tools  to create or discover.
7 years, 4 months ago
You seem to worry about all the details in a single cartoon frame. I thought there's at least 10 different people instead of one, each working on different things. There must be at least three: One for the character (sketching and inking), one to color the character, and one to do the BGs. I even heard there's one animator each for every character. There's funny stuff in documentaries or making-ofs, where you see an animator drawing a few frames of a moving character while looking in the mirror, and you realize how much that character actually looks and moves like their animator. Though with Feivel, they obviously went with his voice actor, Phillip Glasser.

Anyways, wing it or work it...I can't help but feel reminded of the age-old antagonism/polarity of platonism and aristotelism somehow again.
7 years, 4 months ago
Now you're talking about jobs in one field of art. Animation is always a lotta work 0_0
For me though, I just need to do more background uh winging :D

I've seen the mirror thing urged on a lot of animators. It's really the quickest way to get a facial model of what an expression looks like.
7 years, 4 months ago
I do a lot of winging it, mainly because the sequential, logical part of the brain is bad at deciding what looks right.  The unfortunate thing is that the intuitive spacial regions of the brain can be extremely lazy.   So I have to double check myself more and more frequently the further I develop a concept.  The best thing I can figure is to be as spontaneous and uninhibited as possible when starting out, you can always sweat the details later.  

Perspective tends to be an issue for me, because sometimes drawing things accurately makes them boring.   I minimize use of perspective unless it is important for the composition.  To give an example, imagine you're looking at something 3 feet in front of you.  Perspective is going to be a major issue when trying to accurately portray something at this distance.  When you want to make perspective less of a problem, imagine that same object 15 feet from you.  The dilation of light is less pronounced, and the anatomy appears relatively closer to actual size.   These images tend to appear somewhat flatter than perspective drawings, but they can still be visually appealing.

There is a little trick developed amongst several older cultures.  In Chinese art they would often use layering instead of true perspective. Where depth would be implied by the appearance of an object in between the layers of other objects.  The implied mass of the filler object will force the brain to assume there is distance between foreground and background.  The trick is to keep the perspective consistent, regardless of what it is.  If you use implied distance, use it consistently.  However, it is generally acceptable to use more and more abbreviated forms of perspective the further into the background an object appears.  Objects in the foreground should appear to have more depth.   Those in the background can sometimes be completely flat and not call attention to themselves.  Now, there is a trick, some artists have very detailed or perspectively pronounced backgrounds, and flat foreground characters.  I'll admit this can look pretty good when done right.  But if people focus on the background at all, they are going to notice.

I don't use a lot of backgrounds myself, because they are very time consuming, and if done wrong, can draw attention from the art, either by being too detailed, or by being inaccurate.  I believe artistic skill is made up of three primary components:  Technique, Observation, and Experience.   Sometimes I won't notice something unless it's pointed out to me by someone else, but after I'm aware of it, I can incorporate it into my art a lot more easily.  I find formal artistic education is useful as a means for first establishing a foundation for technique, and then for supplying observations I might miss on my own.  

Most of the time, I can learn to draw something simply by practicing it a few times.  But occasionally I'll need someone to mention a detail that was either so subtle or so obvious it escaped my notice.  Artistic skill is like being simultaneously a genius and an madman.  The things I can accomplish are amazing, but the mistakes I can make are just as mind boggling.  Therefore, I must reach a state of ultimate confidence in my abilities, while aware that mistakes are natural, inevitable, and forgivable.
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