View Full Version : Background Art

02-05-2007, 09:15 AM
Hi. I've been aware of ArtRage for some time and finally bit the not-to-painful $20 bullet and got it yesterday. I am an animation student and have just begun work on an animated short. We only have a few weeks to do it, so not sure how good it'll be, but I wanted to try to make the backgrounds somewhat painterly. I have limited painting experience and since I'm also new to ArtRage I decided to paint objects -like rocks and so on- in ArtRage and assemble layers in Photoshop. I'll eventually bring these into Flash and -hopefully- then have my characters swimming around them.

Anyhow here is a character test - just marker and colored in Photoshop. I may paint the carpace and skins in ArtRage eventually to have more texture but not sure.

http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/aoc_monster2th.jpg (http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/aoc_monster2.jpg)

These background tests are composited in Photoshop from 4 different rocks and one branch I made in ArtRage.

http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/artrage_back_1th.jpg (http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/artrage_back_1.jpg)

http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/artrage_back_2th.jpg (http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/artrage_back_2.jpg)

Feedback appreciated.

02-05-2007, 11:38 AM
Oooh, fantastic work. I hope you'll share the completed animation with us when you're done.

02-05-2007, 11:53 AM
What is that thing - like a soldier ant or something? Your work looks great so far.

02-05-2007, 03:50 PM
Thanks. Will do. :)

It's a crayfish that got the worse of a fight with a fishy villan when he was young.

02-12-2007, 11:38 AM
Was home sick today so went a bit farther with my ArtRage playing. I created a few more stones and some branches in ArtRage and then composited in Photoshop.

http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/aoc_branches14th.jpg (http://www.stormvisions.com/myspace/aoc_branches14.jpg)

Feedback appreciated especially on lighting, but on any and all areas as I really need to step up my skills.

Also do you thing a piece like this is strong enough for a portfolio? I will be graduating in less than two months and don't have enough work to show. I'd like to work on 5 or 6 good pieces that might at least get me in the door.

D Akey
02-12-2007, 03:41 PM
The backgrounds are really well painted.

How practical your paintings are depends on how you want to stage your shots. Unless your story is calling for murky or grim, I tend to favor a slightly brighter appearance, pulling your actor away from the background. And even at that, you can pick brighter colors, just in the 'spooky' range of bright colors. But I would add some orange to the red of the lobster/crawdad guy and pull up the value some. That red recedes and gets lost. Even though it's logical that under water the colors would get cool and light would be less, you have to cheat it to make it work for humans.

Even in Anime they tend to use contrast, even though their palettes are less intense and more natural in color. But in looking at those movies, you will see how their values work to allow the actors to be seen well.

Your story should be what we're watching, and you want to make sure we can follow it easily.

A no-brainer way to pick colors, is to find a movie you like, and screen grab the shots that have the feel you like and use the shot as a palette. No reason to re-invent the wheel. Pretty soon you'll have developed your own choices that you know will work based on experience.

Don't be timid. Show off a little more and it'll be perfect.

02-12-2007, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the excellent feedback. I noticed that the color from Photoshop was a little lighter than how it saved. I changed some of the color settings and now I see how dark it really is.

Your suggestions are right on target. Think I'll look for some reference from a movie as you suggested. :)

D Akey
02-12-2007, 08:14 PM
It's a rotten quirk that you have to save a special way it won't look the same outside the program as it did inside.

How could they not have seen that before they released it. . . or how could they have released it that way.

It's such a common complaint that they have it under FAQs with a recommended work around.

Very frustrating.

02-23-2007, 10:06 PM
Well, rather than clutter the forum with all my experimenting figured I'd drop some more in here. Here is another crack at a background - trying for a canyon road type thing. Didn't give it enough depth as I was thinking of having a car drive up it and it is too narrow.

Still trying to get use to all the blending stuff - don't suppose there is a secret way to 'lock' the pallete knife it into one position?


Another random piece -doesn't make much sense visually but I came home for a quick lunch and had those colors stuck in my head sp took a quick ArtRage break. :)


D Akey
02-24-2007, 02:12 AM
Lovely artsy feel. If these are for the same animation you may want to settle on a single style.

It's an indulgence of a single person working solo on a piece that allows for many styles within a work. If you have to hand it off to production people there will be no end to your frustration because they won't be able to shift styles that quickly, if they ever get it at all.

These are all pretty cool though.

02-24-2007, 06:14 AM
Actually the canyon and the underwater are for two different pieces - jumping around a bit. :) Have you worked in the animtion industry? It sounds like you know what you're talking about. :)