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Storn

Storn's Art & Characters thread.

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Since I'm running Mutants and Masterminds, but in a predominant Champions universe, I thought I would share some of my doodles as I get them done for my game. I'll post stuff here occasionally.

 

this particular beastie is being written up in MM, but was already featured as a Champions critter. Neil has the file on this one (as do I, but it is so buried in my mac, and it is a creation workshop file and won't be read by my mac) I'm hoping y'all can convince him to post it here.

 

Anyways the art is below. Have fun.

 

{If you are curious about the MM stats, here is the thread to that...page 7}

 

http://www.greenronin.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1570

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103 viewings, 126 downloads (not sure how that happened) and I get two comments!?!?!?!?!

 

One from my player.

 

Geez folks, tell me it sucks or you like it or something. After all the complaining I heard about not enough colored art, I give y'all some for free... and I get the chirping of crickets. Sheesh.

 

 

and Neil, any chance you could throw the stats up for a friendly dreyogg?

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Originally posted by Storn

103 viewings, 126 downloads (not sure how that happened) and I get two comments!?!?!?!?!

 

One from my player.

 

Geez folks, tell me it sucks or you like it or something. After all the complaining I heard about not enough colored art, I give y'all some for free... and I get the chirping of crickets. Sheesh.

 

My interpretation is if it's been downloaded 126 times, it probably doesn't suck... ;)

 

Personally, I think I'd like to avoid meeting up with one of htese things. The image is vicious enough -- I can't imagine the stats make it any more cuddly.

 

Very good work at drawing a very nasty-looking thing. Please don't do it again. My children get annoyed at me when I tell them I've had a bad dream and ask if I can "sleep in their room tonight..."

 

Charlie

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Hey, give those of us who have to work a chance! We can't spend all day commenting, you know ;).

 

Image looks great - and very nasty. Sort of reminds me of the boomers from Bubblegum Crisis - with extra added spikey bits!

 

Looking forward to seeing the Champions stats, and many thanks for the free illos.

 

Michael

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Sorry, Storn.

 

The good:

I like the pants. Usually, I find your cloth folds a little chunky, but I liked these. I also like the pose and the work/design of the face is excellent. You give a very good sense of motion in this piece.

 

The fire spitball effect is well done. I think the color could have been a little more intense/less pastel looking but I think I only feel this way because of the white background.

 

The bad (hopefully constructive):

I felt his right hand lacked detail especially in the palm. The other hand could use a little something on the fingers/talons. Compared to the rest of the piece (with shading and hash work), it looks like the line work was painted over or something.

 

The color seemed a little bland to me. I admit to not being a big fan of the watercolor look, so I'm biased. I would have liked to see more highlights & shading on the cables. They are pretty plain. Overall it looks to me the color is a little washed out looking (again, I'm biased).

 

Overall:

Nice job. I was looking through some older Hero books recently and it's really impressive just how much you've improved over the years. There's a great sense of motion here (no motion lines or blurs needed) and a good sense, with the pose, of a kind of creepy style of movement.

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Okay, I'll comment.

 

I love them! Your generosity is most appreciated.

 

I've always enjoyed Storn's work. I think the Dreyyog, Marie, and Scallion(?. The faceless guy) are going to have to appear in some form in my campaign.

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Originally posted by Acroyear

Sorry, Stor

The bad (hopefully constructive):

I felt his right hand lacked detail especially in the palm. The other hand could use a little something on the fingers/talons. Compared to the rest of the piece (with shading and hash work), it looks like the line work was painted over or something.

 

The color seemed a little bland to me. I admit to not being a big fan of the watercolor look, so I'm biased. I would have liked to see more highlights & shading on the cables. They are pretty plain. Overall it looks to me the color is a little washed out looking (again, I'm biased).

 

Overall:

Nice job. I was looking through some older Hero books recently and it's really impressive just how much you've improved over the years. There's a great sense of motion here (no motion lines or blurs needed) and a good sense, with the pose, of a kind of creepy style of movement.

 

Acroyear, its a sketch. Like someone commenting about day job, well, I have one too. It just "happens" to be related. So a bit of detail lacking in the hand was intentional. The watercolor look is intentional. lack of detail in the cables is simply called "lazy". I didn't want to spend a ton of time on it, because its not meant for publication. Since i'm not lazy at all (I can say with all confidence) in my work, if I let some hobby sketches slide a bit...well... this is just a doodle and just fun. I'm not going to put the same pressure on myself that I do for a pro job.

 

also, Neil has stated many times that he likes the flow, the sketchiness of my pencil work. I was trying to keep that, yet present something that was in color and was indicative of the character it was meant to display. Experimental? You betchya.

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excuses

 

I hate to see you making excuses for the quality of your work be it for hobby or for work. Its all good and appreciated. With Hero moving more to greyscale artwork the books are less useful since they are harder to scan and color. I appreciate any color artwork that I stumble on. Good stuff.

 

pete

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Oh, I figured it wasn't a polished piece but you were asking for comments. Rather than just say "pretty good" - I apologized for not commenting and I figured I'd point out what I liked and didn't like. You have said in the past you prefer constructive comments to help yourself improve. You have requested in the past that people just not say "that sucks" or "cool" but to comment on what sucks or is cool and why the person thinks so. :)

 

As stated "hopefully constructive" and pointed out the changes *I* would have preferred (sharper color, a little more detail in a couple places to match the rest, and I stated my bias about the watercolor look, which I know you like...but I don't. So as a viewer...I don't care for it which influences my opinion). I like this piece more than some of your pro jobs, actually. I like the pencil-ly look to this one.

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"kewl"

 

Right, so you wanted comments...

 

You've managed to convey that the figure is in motion extremely well.

 

Even though you were "lazy" with the cables, they seem to interact with the figure properly and don't look unnatural - or, at least, as natural as cables sticking out of a body can be.

 

The head seems a tad too small for the body, but the rest of the proportions seem right. The twisting of the torso, and the foreshortening that entails seems correct.

 

I realy like the right arm. Specifically the twisting of the wrist and forearm.

 

Was this computer colored? In many ways I'm not a huge fan of computer coloring, but I think most of what you've done here works well (giving the critters flesh a necrotic feel). However, and this is the reason I asked the lead in question, I'm not crazy about the "breath weapon"... It has a very different feel from the rest, kinda sterile and lacking "personality".

 

On the whole, though, I really like the piece. Which, considering I'm an "unofficial" Stornite (Stornian?), isn't at all surprising to me.

 

Just my two cents (which, if you saw my "art", prob'ly wouldn't be worth even that).

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Re: excuses

 

Originally posted by pruttm

I hate to see you making excuses for the quality of your work be it for hobby or for work. Its all good and appreciated. With Hero moving more to greyscale artwork the books are less useful since they are harder to scan and color. I appreciate any color artwork that I stumble on. Good stuff.

 

pete

 

ah Pruttm, you reminded me of something I wanted to say.

 

Coloring over pencils is the exact same process of coloring over grayscale. Exactly. So if I can do it, computer newbie I am, anyone can color any illo that is grayscale. In fact, it is no different in theory, than an underpainting that is the basis of thousand years of art.

 

You do need Photoshop though. And a wacom tablet goes a long way to making it easier.

 

1) scan in your art (or get an electronic version of grayscale art)

2) Under "Image" is "Adjust". Under Adjust is "levels" and "Brightness/Contrast". Both which can be used to lower or raise the blackness quotient of the picture. I actually make my pencils darker. But for grayscale, you might want to play with Bright/Contrast to darken the dark lines, but minimize the gradients.

3) Under "Image" is "Mode". Under "Mode" change Grayscale to RGB Color. Now you can slap some color around.

4) Under "Window" is "Show Layers" (if it isn't already out). There is a little arrow to the right on the "Layers" box. Click on it. Select "Duplicate Layer".

5) Now you have two layers, select the one on top, now in the box is a pull-down menu that should say Normal at the moment. Change it to Multiply. Now, all that gray will stay while you can apply color over the gray.

6) Paint away in the colors you want on the Multiply layer. I tend to use "Wet Edges" on the paint tool... but you don't have to.

7) If you want highlights, build "New Layer" and do your highlights on that, do not set it to Multiply. I tend to do my Highlights at 85% because I do like a bit of texture to come through...there is a slide scale when you select a brush tool to allow this. But if you don't, set to 100%

8) When done, "Flatten Layers" and you can save as a tifff, jpeg...what have you.

 

This method does take slightly more time than blasting in color into a line drawing. And how many times has there been a "little space" and your fill tool as painted 65% of the pic and you gotta go find that little space to fill it? But not much more. And you will have the rounding of the form because the shadows and the highlights are already there in greyscale. You won't have to supply as much. And you will get something that is much more "real" looking that the filled-in look of say, heromachine.

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Actually, if you set your tools right, you don't get that little white space on a fill. I don't fill, though, I multiply paint.

 

When the grayscale isn't stinky, Storn's given very good advice there... (I'm hoping I have a poor printing and the art isn't just stinky. Utility in my CKC is a silhouette....that image is useless). But yeah, it can be done. You just have to put out a little more effort and are restrained to the original artist's light source and shading styles which for many of us isn't a bad thing ;)

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Hey Storn. I commented a bit on it on the other thread, but I really dig this picture. And the style used to make it. I know it's a sketch, but that's largely part of the charm. The textured pencil strokes on the pant legs and near the fit are my favorite. Just gives it a lot of character.

 

As far as the character and the overall feel for the drawing, it honestly reminds me of Silvestri's X-Men run and those baddies the Reavers.

 

I appreciate the color schem myself. It shows some excellent restraint, which is a sign of a seasoned artist in my opinion. Great art is all about firm decision making and you've chosen your palette wisely.

 

OH, a question for you. I know you like to do your work in color most of the time, even if it's published in black and white. I was computer coloring in just grey before - but then I said "what's the point." I may as well use color. It doesn't take much more time, and it's just as easy to monitor contrast and value. My question is, do you tweak it for black and white publication after you finish the coloring? This is what I've been doing lately. I'll color it completely, but using more layers than I normally would. Then I convert it to greyscale. The separate layers make it much more convenient for me to alter the contrast between to shapes. Just wondering if this is perhaps a similar approach to what you use.

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing with us. Always a blast to see artwork someone uses in their game.

 

-Nato

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P.S. - I really enjoyed following your boot camp thread on RPGnet. You have a great talent for teaching and critiquing. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll have time to get involved in the next one just for kicks.

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Nato, thanks for your comments... Loved your Foxbat tank illo in UVA!

 

>>My question is, do you tweak it for black and white publication after you finish the coloring?<<<

 

About 60% of the time, I tweak after I've converted to Grayscale. I'm getting better at knowing what colors will do what when converting. It used to be about 90% of the time. I play just a tad with Brightness/Contrast... and usually a tad is all it takes. I feel that my stuff has been printing ok compared to Chris's. Chris's line work is phenominal, but the grayscale seems to get a bit washed across the board. Chris and I have talked about this. I really try to staying towards the light end of the spectrum... I suggested to him the same thing. This is where working in color helps me. A light yellow, next to a light blue will give me a nice range of Light grays when converted. They will be awfully close, but not identical.

 

I try to make sure that in the color version there is some white left, it seems to ground the color into a range that will work in gray. I also go from 0-70% Value and then skip to a 100% Value (black). I try to stay away from the 75%-99% Value range...it will all read as a black mass when printed, as opposed to 75%-99% Gray.

 

I did 5 illos for Millennium City (a low amount due to time constraints on my end) 4 of them where color. I was going to color the 5th, but I scanned in the grayscale work and I was happy with it. So that last one, I did some minor tweaking of Gray application. For what it is worth.

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Well, I wasn't going to finish this doodle. But I wanted to experiment with liquid acrylics on top of clear gesso for an underpainting. Usually I do gesso acrylic seal over pencils before oil paint...but the gesso, while clear, is kinda milky and dilutes the darkest darks. Something that is very useful to have when doing the overpainting.

 

So, this was to be a character drawing, but as I was building the character, it changed on me considerably... so I ditched this drawing, not overly enamored with it.

 

but it served as the perfect vehicle to test out my *new* underpainting technique. So I'm posting it here in case anyone finds a use for it. Because the pencil is sealed in, there is lots of little stray lines. While this was just a test, in a true painting, the whole surface would be covered and you would never see stray pencil lines.

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