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05 March 2013 @ 09:55 am
Progress and movie review  
I just made a dream post to owen_marsh. I have been trying for a very long time now to dream about Ophidius. I finally did it last night. I don't know why I didn't dream of him sooner. Unfortunately it wasn't the most exciting dream. But if you've not read that journal, my previous entries are very interesting. Check it out.

Like I did on that one I'm still cleaning out my icons here. I like having extra space to spare. I hated to do it but I got rid of some of my older art icons like my first drawing of Solan. I did use him a lot and those posts will now get my default icon, but I needed the room and I can draw so much better now than I could like six years ago. I'm reluctant to let go of some but I probably will. Like the "Fruit Leaves Fall" which is for Fall and has a cute gourd. But I just don't use it as much as my "Fall is here" icon. Or the White Peep and Rainbow icon. It's cute but I don't use it like I use the Peep Heart and Peeps in a Basket ones. Still part of me doesn't want to get rid of them. I have a few more expressions I will make into icons so I want to make sure I have extra room. I think I'm down to 179 of 215. I don't remember the exact numbers.

So I haven't been on much because I have been working so much on art. I'm about half way done coloring Quetzalcoatl and he's turning out awesome! But some shading is giving me a hard time still. His viper head looks really cool. I finally chose to color him as an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Of all the rattlesnakes they are my faves because they are the biggest (can reach 8'), have the most well defined patterns, have dark faces and they are locals. Though that's good and bad. I've never seen one in the wild. That too is probably for the better.

So I tried something new since this head would be so complex. I laid down the base flat colors like usual. Then I made a layer for the pattern. On this I drew the diamonds and face pattern. So now because there is this complex pattern shading has suddenly become harder. You can't just pick a darker color and put it on the layer above because it would cover up the pattern and look terrible. Can't put it under because the pattern covers the shading. So I've been using a gradient shading which I'm not so good at. I had to go back to an old technique that I didn't want to actually of shading with an overlay layer. This is how I used to shade everything from early on like back in 1998. It's an easy cheat but the disadvantage is you can't pick exactly what the shade will look like other than making it lighter or darker. So the lights look terrible. I want this pic to rock and not have little strips on the edges of light. I'm not sure what to do other than change colors every time the patter changes. That means at least five different shades and five different lights. I'm open to suggestions. I wish I had more artist friends on here that can help me out. Artists that are better and know more than I do. Another weird thing is when I ask for help since it doesn't come soon enough I keep trying and many times I figure something out on my own before a response comes. But sometimes I feel like I won't figure it out.

The other thing that I went and made this hard on myself was I know vipers have keeled scales vs, snakes like pythons that have smooth scales. That means I have to draw in the little ridge in the middle which is more work. You can see an example of smooth vs keeled scales HERE. I will start to shade the cobra head today. I have no idea what to do with that one. I have the opposite problem on him that he has no detail so not sure how to shade him. The central head is my favorite and he's so colorful and beautiful. he will be fun though I know some shading will be hard on him too. It always is.

So I was looking up references yesterday. I went on DA and typed in "rattlesnake" in the search to see how others had done it. Well I didn't find an example, I didn't even get past the first page because I was floored by what I saw. A cowboy rattle snake. He was gorgeous and I wanted to know more. So I clicked on one and found out he was from a movie called Rango. I had seen the cover for that at Walmart and tought it was pretty stupid. It was just an ugly, skinny, disproportionate green lizard holding a toy fish. I'm like, "Why would I waste my time with that?" See this is why cover art is so important since you may not appeal to your whole audience. So I watched two trailers on youtube to find out more. The snake was the bad guy (of course! something I knew nothing about and he'd be the bad guy. I'm just drawn to them.) and his name was Rattlesnake Jake. Wonder if that' a reference to the wrestler? There was a beautiful red tailed hawk (also a bad guy) that totally impressed me. They got the wings right on him. I'm extremely critical of wings and feet on birds. In fact I was rather blown away by the accurate wing movements on him, even the way the feathers moved when the tumbled, rolled and even ran along the ground. And this was just the trailer.

So I looked it up on netflix and watched it for my break from art.
The movie had a slow start. Very slow start and the funny hick accents were hard to understand at first. And even though most of the characters were ugly, I liked that. There is a certain type of ugly that I find attractive (ask Ophidius. It's because of this that I probably love monsters.) Though Rango the lizard was not that type of ugly. He was just butt ugly and hard to look at. I didn't like him at all. The rest of the characters were an amusing and interesting ugly. The mayor, a turtle I thought was rather nice (bad guy too. GAH, do I know how to pick them or what?) But anyway, back to the cute fluffy GIANT hawk. The sense of scale in this movie was extremely well done. The hawk was huge, bigger than most of the building in the town. He was like a T-rex and there were several JP references with him. More points in this movie's favor for that. The scenery was gorgeous! The American desert is one of my favorite habitats. I could just stare at all the lovely scrub, cactuses and red rocks. I loved that the roadrunners were used as horses. And also that there were darker more colorful males and drab females. They were accurate. The animation was impressive too for the fire and water effects, both of which are difficult to make. I'm critical of how fire looks in movies just like I am of bird wings. Some parts looked real and I even wondered if they were rendered or if they cheated and used real footage. The plant creatures were wicked. I loved them. The few humans that were in it looked great, despite again some ugly ones. It was the realism that made it cool. I liked the Spirit of the West. It was John Wayne basically. Handsome rugged individual. The burrowing owl mariachi band was great. They were so cute and bored all the time. And of course Jake was my favorite. It's too bad he didn't appear until the very end. I watched this just for him. He reminded me of Ophidius and one of my favorite lines was when the girl told him "Go to Hell!" and he yells back, "Where do you think I come from?" I was trilled he was so accurately rendered. I was very impressed they got his teeth right. Not just the retractable fangs but the backwards curving teeth inside the mouth I'd been talking about recently. He had a mustache like Ophidius and a machine gun for his rattle. He just rocked. And he was enormous compared to everyone else. A giant like the hawk.

So yes, I really liked it and want this on DVD now. I'd like to see the special features and making of because clearly they did their research on their animals. Some of the characters reminded me of others I'd seen befroe. Rango reminded me of Z from Ants only more extroverted He kind of looked like him too. The horned toad character reminded me of Mole the creepy French guy from Atlantis. And the Mayor reminded me of B.P. Richfield from Dinosaurs. The armadillo reminded me of someone too but I can't figure out who yet. Oh wait I do have one complaint about the hawk. His face was too dark. Redtails have white fleck on the cheeks or chin. Sometimes a faint white beard. So this one was too dark and that bugged me when I looked at him. His beak seemed a bit too long for a hawk too. It was more like an eagle's. But other than that he was spot on and awesome.
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: Riktus Crazysilvolf on March 6th, 2013 08:30 am (UTC)
I saw Rango online back when it came out and I liked Jake too. I love how his rattle was a gun barrel, that was cool. I didn't like the female lizard at all but the other characters were ok. She was just too weird looking. Haha I never made the connection of Jake and Ophidius until you pointed it out.
As for the markings being on a different layer and shading being hard, in Photoshop, I lock the transparency on the markings layer, well all the layers actually when I shade so it doesn't go over the part with the colour. It makes it really easy.
Des: Cottonmouththagirion on March 6th, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC)
I tend to find out about things late. Rarely do I get into something from the start. Jake rocks, he's quickly become one of my favorite characters. I wish the movie had been just about him. Would be cool to see a story of him holding up towns and robbing stuff. I didn't like her either. She was ugly too and didn't even look like a lizard. She looked like a bug and she had breasts. I hate that if it's not a mammal!
YES! Haha, Jake made so many Hell references he really reminded me of Ophidius. Only he was more reserved. And I just enjoyed it because Qutez's viper head I made with almost the same colors. He's based on an Eastern rattler which is darker, while Jake is based on a Wester rattler. Both have very similar markings.

Yes, I always lock my layers once I am done with them.
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: Zorak hit Space Ghostsilvolf on March 6th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
Omg the breasts thing. I hate that too. Like when people draw anthro dragons and give them breasts to make them look "sexy" erghhh they forget it's a mammal thing.
Des: Owen Painedthagirion on March 6th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
Haha, it's sad that they do that because most people just can't relate to gender without those parts. I think if you have to have something just give them slightly thicker eyelashes. That's not overly obvious without straying from the species so much. And the only mammals other than humans that have breasts are elephants and apes.
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: Rhesus 2silvolf on March 6th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
I did the eyelash thing with Slasha, she has no breasts since she's a bug. Breasts are overrated.
kabuldur: Asterkabuldur on March 6th, 2013 09:43 am (UTC)
I did notice you didn't post yesterday and missed you but it is cool you were working on art. It sounds very challenging, but I know you will persevere until the end.

I am in agreement with you about accuracy. It would annoy me, too, to see inaccurate snakes, birds etc. Although I don't have the knowlege that you do.
Des: Thanatos Agreesthagirion on March 6th, 2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
Aw, sorry I didn't post. I just didn't have anything interesting to say. I did work on art all day and that would have made for a very short and boring post. But thanks for missing me. This has been rather challenging, but I think I will be done today. I hope so. Then I'll definitely have something to post about tonight. Plus Chris has the day off so we should do fun things I can talk about.

Yeah, when I go see movies and cartoons I get bugged all the time with things are wrong. They always give either a Red Tailed Hawk, or a Blue Jay call to all birds no matter where in the world they are. "That's not his voice!" I'll say. Yep, I always notice when snakes, birds, plants etc are wrong. So I give high praise when they do things right.
kabuldur: Asterkabuldur on March 7th, 2013 11:38 am (UTC)
Don't be sorry! I often don't post because I have nothing to say...or an too tired or busy. I just wanted you to know that I missed you.

Yeah, I hate that about bird calls. When I heard that they use the kookaburra call for all jungle cartoons and sometimes even movies, I now recognise it. But it is only PART of a kookaburra call - so as to make it almost unrecognisable. That makes me so mad!
Desthagirion on March 7th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah if there isn't anything interesting to say best not to post and waste space. That's what I hate about twitter. It's a place that encourages posting short stuff about nothing.
Calzephyrcalzephyr77 on March 7th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
We really enjoyed Rango - I liked that it borrowed from a few of my favourite movies, like Chinatown.
Des: Cottonmouththagirion on March 7th, 2013 01:10 pm (UTC)
I caught some of the references in that. But I probably haven't seen some of the movies it parodied.
suzidragonlady: I draw!!!suzidragonlady on March 7th, 2013 07:44 am (UTC)
As long as your computer can handle them I would not suggest to be sparing with layers. ;) The more stuff you have separate the easier you can change stuff, colors, temperature, chroma, contrast etc. earlier and later.
I don't make a difference between characters with patterns and simple colored ones when it comes to shading. I mostly use 2 up to 4 layers for shading and around 2 for light (depends on the situation). One of the shading layers will always be on top of all the color layer and put to "Multiply". Then I use a color to fit the scenes' shadow (if there is a blue sky the color will be blue, if it is sunset the color will be red or orange, if it is in a dark room the colour will be the one from the room's walls and etc. because the colour will be reflected on the object also in it's shadows) and this works great with a Multiply layer on all colors. It might turn out a bit darker on some colors but it is natural, because not all colors have the same temperature. And in my opinion a higher contrast and darker shadows are never wrong. I mostly use more than just one Multiply Shadow layer to have darker areas where there is no light at all on a character for example. You can also mix colors by doing this if you have a scene with mixed background colors and light situations.

This tutorial has Multiply layers and also clipping masks inlcuded:

I hope this helps and does not come too late. ;)
Des: Owen Christmas Partythagirion on March 7th, 2013 01:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have a very powerful computer. I had so many layers I had to make groups because it took too much scrolling to get to my lines layer that I use a lot.

Thank you for the advice. This is exactly what I needed. Multiply is probably what I should have used instead of over lay. I will experiment with it and have to remember it for next time. The problem was that a solid shade was covering up the pattern so it was a problem. I went through and selected each section and colored each one individually. I know that was the hard way, but I didn't know any other way. BTW, I posted the pic with the trees and leaves that were giving me a hard time on DA. You helped me a lot with that one. Thanks again.

BTW, still curious why Owen is your fave. He's such a bad guy, I'm surprised you picked him. I know you like good guys. But yeah I know nearly all my guys are bad. But Owen is one of the worst.
suzidragonlady: Suzi by Vogeldrachesuzidragonlady on March 10th, 2013 09:02 am (UTC)
I shade everything with Multiply Layers, it is easy and fast done. ;) Overlay is a "light" effect that will work best with a bright tone above darker ones.
The effects-family "Darken - Linear Burn" are best used for darker tones above bright ones. But you will always have to try it out, there are tones where none of these look really well, a bright red is such a tone, none of the light effects work on that at all mostly.

Oh I took Owen mostly because I like that he can have that "Fire Hair" and because he is the most familiar one to me of your characters. ;) (plus: I drew him already)
Des: Owen dressed up and sexythagirion on March 10th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
I almost missed this. I will have to experiment with multiply layers then. With Overlay I would pick a light grey for the light and a dark almost black grey for the shadows. Works most of the time but not always. I had to use that because on Quetzalcoatl, the viper (the one on the right) had all those diamond patterns that were hard to shade. I hope he will be easier next time around. I will be drawing a rattlesnake soon and it will be a lot of browns so, ugh yeah I need to have an easy time shading him.

Aw, thanks. Yeah, that's because I talk about him too much. Haha, yeah since you drew him now you feel more familiar with him too. I love his fire hair too even if he doesn't. Thanks for letting me know. Right now Ophidius is my fave and he as pushed Owen to #2.
Marianne E. B. Markham: Excited Charlie B. Barkinphspopular2002 on March 7th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
All the best on making Quetz's true form! The scale shading sounds very complicated.

I'm glad you enjoyed Rango. Mom and I first saw that about a year ago and loved it. Yes, that mariachi band of owls were adorable. It's in our family DVD collection. :D

Yes Jake and the hawk did look impressive! Dang it's been a while since I last watched it. I ought to put that on my mental list of movies I'd want to watch again.

Antz. Another movie I hadn't seen in a while. Don't have that on DVD yet but it's On Demand.

But one movie I really, really ought to make the time to watch... I hadn't seen this one in a really long time and it's part of my own movie collection now. Gremlins. (Oh, Gizmo. I have a stuffed toy of you. XD)
Des: Ophidius wingsthagirion on March 7th, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC)
Well, he's done finally. Go check him out. I think you'll like him.

I didn't think I'd like that movie but it's definitely grown on me. Jake makes it all worth it.
I love Antz. It was so cleaver and had so much psychology.

I used to be obsessed with Gremlins. It's a great movie. I prefer the Gremlins to the mogwais though.
Marianne E. B. Markham: Damn flying monkeys XDphspopular2002 on March 11th, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
Have you ever seen Hotel Trannsylvania or Igor? They're both comedy animated films about monsters. Hotel Trannsylvannia's more recent, and Mom and I just loved it. The previews weren't as appealing but the movie was just hilarious and adorable. Mom and I both intend to own that DVD, sometime soon.

Igor also is a comedy with the classic monster movies like Frankenstein and Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. The two living inventions sorta steal the show. Brain, the talking contraption of a brain in a jar on wheels, I love him! ("Hey where you going?! BRING ME BACK A TOY!")

Maybe I'll watch Antz again tonight. It's on HBO On Demand. \o/

Still haven't gotten around to watching Gremlins yet, but hopefully soon! I like both the Gremlins and mogwais.