VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

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jezebelthenun
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VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#1 Post by jezebelthenun » Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:30 pm

Hey everyone! I've got a LOT of stuff going on in prep for my first VN, and I could really use some feedback on my art styles. I love constructive criticism, so the more, the better.

First, I'd really like feedback on expressions/sprites. These are the 3 main characters in the story. Thanks in advance!

Elena:
Image

Jaimie:
Image

Amber:
Image

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#2 Post by kisa » Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:34 pm

You stay within the lines with your coloring very well.
May I suggest working on proportions?
A good base goes a long way in art.
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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#3 Post by jezebelthenun » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:30 pm

Proportion is definitely something I'm always trying to work on. Thanks!

I'm not much of an artist, and my tools are pretty limited, so any advice on specifically what you think I should try would great. :)

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#4 Post by SundownKid » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:58 pm

Probably pose drawing practice would be a good place to start. It's a typical thing for beginning artists to draw all of their poses in the same forward facing, perfectly symmetrical way. It's better to add some depth, that is, head slightly turned, body slightly turned, arms raised, et cetera. You did do that a bit on the Jamie sprite, but I like it when each emotion has its own pose. It keeps characters from feeling like statues.

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#5 Post by Desu_Cake » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:20 pm

They're really flat-looking.
You gotta think in threeee deee maaaaan~

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#6 Post by jezebelthenun » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:25 pm

SundownKid wrote:Probably pose drawing practice would be a good place to start. It's a typical thing for beginning artists to draw all of their poses in the same forward facing, perfectly symmetrical way. It's better to add some depth, that is, head slightly turned, body slightly turned, arms raised, et cetera. You did do that a bit on the Jamie sprite, but I like it when each emotion has its own pose. It keeps characters from feeling like statues.
I'm working on this right now, actually. To be honest, the reason they're all cut off at the middle, and only shoulders are showing is that I'm just the WORST at drawing hands. I'm practicing things like that as often as I can. Thanks for the advice!

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#7 Post by jezebelthenun » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:27 pm

Desu_Cake wrote:They're really flat-looking.
You gotta think in threeee deee maaaaan~
I'm not sure if you're being silly or serious. :)

I want them to have a 2D anime/manga feel, but I also want them to be dynamic. Can you give me some ideas as to what you're talking about? Like, do you just like to see more highlight/shadow? Do you prefer painted looks? I really want them to be clean.
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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#8 Post by Ivach » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:00 am

You already know about practicing poses and proportion, so I'll just comment directly on what I see above and how you could improve it.

The line art is extremely consistent. Having thicker/thinner lines that vary across your line art will help to bring out or accentuate certain details on the character, or to illustrate the feel of a material, such as clothing.

Try to think of hair like a flow. It starts off from the top of your head (at a specific point but I forgot what that's called) and branches out from there. This can help when you're trying to fill in the line details inside of your hair.
I'm not sure if you're being silly or serious. :)

I want them to have a 2D anime/manga feel, but I also want them to be dynamic. Can you give me some ideas as to what you're talking about? Like, do you just like to see more highlight/shadow? Do you prefer painted looks? I really want them to be clean.
It does look flat to me as well. You can definitely have a clean shading and still have it look more 3D. More shadows and highlights will definitely help there. Don't be afraid to try for more contrast in color of your shadows. Especially in Amber, where the shadow is very close to the original color of the skin.

Think of the body and arms like a curved object. For the arms, it's a cylinder shape, which means that there will definitely be a shadow on one side of it most of the time. In Elena's case, she would still have some slight shadows on either sides of her body.

From what I'm observing (I may be wrong here), but it seems like your shadows are just a darker shade of the original color. Adding different colors can often produce very interesting results to your shadows. For instance for Jaimie, you can try adding a bit more orange to her clothes shadow.

Here's a character I've been working for my visual novel which I think has the style you're describing of. The shadows might be a bit off but it covers the other points that I've been talking about.

Image

Anyways I hope that helped. Good luck with your visual novel! (What a coincidence I happened to have a character named Elena in my visual novel as well lol)

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#9 Post by Desu_Cake » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:59 pm

jezebelthenun wrote:I'm not sure if you're being silly or serious. :)

I want them to have a 2D anime/manga feel, but I also want them to be dynamic. Can you give me some ideas as to what you're talking about? Like, do you just like to see more highlight/shadow? Do you prefer painted looks? I really want them to be clean.
I was being serious in a silly way.

It's not about colors or shadows, it's about drawing forms, rather than shapes.
Look at this picture for example
Image
Extremely simple two-tone shading, but the artist is able to use it to accurately depict 3d forms on a 2d plane.

Even here:
Image
This has practically no shading whatsoever, yet the artist can still convey form.

The point I'm getting at is that before stylizing, you need to understand the fundamentals of how to construct the objects you're drawing. (In this case, people) Don't think of the eyes as ovals, think of them as partially occluded spheres, don't think of an open mouth as a circle, think of it as the space between the lips, etc, etc.

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#10 Post by YonYonYon » Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:08 pm

jezebelthenun wrote: I want them to have a 2D anime/manga feel, but I also want them to be dynamic. Can you give me some ideas as to what you're talking about? Like, do you just like to see more highlight/shadow? Do you prefer painted looks? I really want them to be clean.
No no no!

It's not like this kind of 3D http://www.3dtotal.com/index.php . It's more about an illusion of 3D in 2D space. You know, an illusion of life in 2 dimensions? Life has 3 dimensions - width, height and depth. And usually artists try to portray their art in 3D space. Even in animes.

Like... Open any "How to draw..." books and find a chapter about perspective.

Take this picture for an example:
Image
from this article http://floobynooby.blogspot.ru/2011/01/ ... carol.html really useful information about dynamic poses.

Right now your pictures look like pictures. And you need them to look like real life human persons even if they're stylized as heck and rendered in cell shading.

I'm bad with words, so I made this little chart:
Image

Also, sorry if I crossed the line, but I redrew your sprites to show what I think is wrong with them:
Image
Image
ImageImage

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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#11 Post by jezebelthenun » Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:47 pm

Thanks to everyone who has responded! I'm definitely taking everything to heart. It just really shows that I need a lot of practice to get good at something I'm not naturally inclined to do.

I think I might also need to use some different references, as I've only used one drawing book. The proportions I use came from that book, and granted, I screw them all up. :lol:

I'll keep working and reworking these sprites for now, and keep trying to develop a better sense of proportion and form.

YonYonYon, it's so funny you mention the eyes on Elena. She's my Uma Thurman, and she needs and eye wrangler! (This is what my husband said)

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate the feedback. I'll do my best to make you guys and gals proud!
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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#12 Post by jezebelthenun » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:07 pm

Decided to take some time today to practice posing. I didn't focus too much on making it "pretty", but I wanted to play with shading just a little.
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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#13 Post by kisa » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:10 pm

Aside from the hands (I know you said things about them) The most recent compared to the previous is a glorious improvement. Just-
Whoa.

Although, the arms seem quite skinny...
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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#14 Post by jezebelthenun » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:18 pm

Thank you!

Maybe I should think about going in a different direction than the anime style? I found this much easier, though I did use a 3D model as reference this time. (Is that cheating?)
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Re: VN Novice in Need of Feedback!

#15 Post by kisa » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:25 pm

jezebelthenun wrote:I did use a 3D model as reference this time. (Is that cheating?)
A little bit. But, if it works...
Your art is the way you do it. If you want to base it off of 3D models, who are we to stop you?

I think you'll find a lot of tutorials on DA that will help.
one or two hours (dispersed however is convenient) should produce some good things.
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