Topic: Art Tips Thread II  (Read 59332 times)

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Maple

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #300 on: September 08, 2015, 04:13:21 pm »
The other day i noticed that although i'm good at shading with graphite pencils, i don't know how to use colored pencils, it's either too faint or too harsh and scratched, talking about textures. I once commented that i could do better color using only black pencils. I was going to post yesterday and i also noticed that a lot of links in the OP are dead.
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Mеа

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #301 on: September 16, 2015, 12:04:27 am »
That Figure Drawing book just arrive today. Only been through a few pages, but I'm really enjoying it. The presentation is colourful and appealing. Having a book feels so good, unlike the crampiness of pdfs onscreen. I hope to get through a couple pages a day. Not sure what I was expecting, more like a crappy anatomy compendium I guess, but this is really nice. Figure drawing, I suppose. Not how to draw anatomy tuts. Anatomy seems pretty far in later.
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Hannibal_Kills

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #302 on: May 09, 2016, 03:03:20 pm »
If you're just looking for a place to start then I actually recommend copying other things you see, whether it be other paintings (even then it can be anything from a photograph, to a old master painting to a random image on Danbooru that you like) or objects from life.  Drawing from another 2D image will be easier because then you can just focus on the shapes rather than try to figure out exactly how to translate a 3D object to a 2D surface.  Also, to clarify, I  mean copy, not trace.  Tracing will not help you, but copying is much more useful than it sounds, and I'm surprised it doesn't get recommended more often. 

For me, the first hurdle with painting was training my eyes to see what's actually there rather than what my brain thinks is there.  In order to avoid overwhelming us with information, our brains developed a very effective auto-correct system and simplification system that we as artists have to learn to look past in order to accurately portray what we see.  By copying something, you're learning to look at what's actually there rather than what you think is there.  It's important to take it really slow so that you make sure you're really paying attention to everything there.  Besides helping you learn to train your eyes, if you're copying photographs or other works that you consider 'good' or 'high quality' you're giving yourself a baseline for your own work.  You'll just start understanding whether or not something is 'correct' because you've been looking at it and emulating it for so long.  This will help you spot mistakes in your own work so that you can go correct them.

For techniques, there's one that I think carries over regardless of what you want to draw, the medium you want to use, or any other techniques you find you like: an iterative approach.  What I mean by that, is that you don't want to jump into details right away, rather you want to start with the simpler shapes and then fill in the details so that you can see the whole image first and make sure your composition's good, your proportions are correct etc.  This post shows it better than I explain it.  See how the artist blocks out the simple shapes first and then starts adding details?

For medium, most of what you learn from one medium will carry over to others just fine; you'll have to learn the quirks of whatever particular medium you want to use.  So, if you know you want to do digital I don't think there's anything wrong with picking up a tablet and diving right into it.  If you're not sure you'll like the hobby, or just can't afford a tablet right now, then starting out with a pencil and paper won't slow you down any if you decide to switch to digital later.  Don't worry about it too much, the important part is just drawing.

With all that said, in my opinion, the most important thing you can do to learn how to draw is draw what you like.  Learning how to draw can be frustrating, so it's important to keep it fun.  Besides, no one becomes an artist 'to get better,' they do it because there's stuff they want to draw.  So, be sure to do whatever's fun for you.
I always re-draw my game screenshots instead of using my imagination to create one picture. Never knew it's a really good tip.

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Z_A

  • Neophyte
Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #303 on: June 17, 2017, 01:29:38 pm »
I wonder if someone ever visits this thread these days, huh... Starting my own thread would be a bad idea as well, since I am not posting any of my work. Yet.

Anyway, what I wanted to ask for advice on was... no, that requires a bit of introduction. I made several Touhou arrangements using a midi editor. That's the reason I wouldn't post those: it seems, most people here just hate the default Windows midi soundfont (taken from some Roland synth, as far as I know). Well, it doesn't sound very good, but it's free, it's recognizable and really widespread, since Windows is so popular, and some other platforms don't have a default way of playing midi at all. Good or bad, however, it doesn't matter; what matter is that a midi file isn't actually real music. I feel like i'm kind of stuck at this point. I'd like to share my works, have them evaluated, criticized etc. But to do that, I need to convert them from midi to something else. And probably use a different soundfont, too. In this forum, I've learned about something that is called a DAW. So, in order to do that, I need one of those, then? Right? Or am I missing something? There was a lot discussed about art here, but much less about music, so please, could you guide me anyhow?

Mеа

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #304 on: June 19, 2017, 06:43:16 am »
Maybe people do hate the sound of the default windows midi instruments, maybe others don't care, but my gripe with it is that midi doesn't feel like a very responsible or considerate form to submit your work in. For starters, it's not very nice to have to ask the audience to download the file, load up a midi player, load the file, select the instruments, and then finally after all this to play the file. People don't have long attention spans and I certainly feel less inclined to go listen to something when I need to go through all these steps to listen to it. One link. I appreciate it when all I have to do is click on one link to listen to the music.

And second, as a creator, you have no control over how the listener experiences your work. Which is why you should select your own instruments and create the final music file yourself. Retain artistic integrity and control and all that.

DAWs are a good way of doing that. There are plenty of free ones out there which you can find on the google machine. There are also lots of free vsts that you can download, virtual instruments, among which you can pick out the one that you would like your notes to be played by. I'm not super well-versed with the usage of these because I don't use these much, but simple experimentation with them works well most of the time.
So: go pick out a free DAW, go pick out some free vsts, go make some noise.
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GenericArrangements

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #305 on: June 19, 2017, 09:34:52 am »
Yeah, I'd suggest using a DAW, preferably a free one until you know what you're doing. LMMS is what I used to use, and it's very user-friendly for newcomers to the digital music scene, although I don't like its reverberators very much (which are super important for mixing). Really it's the only place to go after MIDIs. DAWs take a long time to get used to - particularly in terms of mixing - but with good enough plugins you should be fine. Just keep making stuff until it sounds up to your standards. Good luck!

it's not very nice to have to ask the audience to download the file, load up a midi player, load the file, select the instruments, and then finally after all this to play the file. People don't have long attention spans and I certainly feel less inclined to go listen to something when I need to go through all these steps to listen to it.
That's probably an issue on your end. In my experience all a MIDI requires is Windows Media Player unless you're trying to play it at higher quality than necessary (which is rather pointless for such simple files).
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Z_A

  • Neophyte
Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #306 on: June 19, 2017, 10:51:50 am »
Thanks for help guys! I just had a couple more questions.

@Mea: sure thing, I understood that already ^^ I did read the forum a bit and what you said:
Quote
midi doesn't feel like a very responsible or considerate form to submit your work in
strikes me as true (with all the rest of it in mind, of course). That's why I'm trying to do something about it. It doesn't have anything to deal with attention spans of people though :P

Quote
DAWs are a good way of doing that. There are plenty of free ones out there which you can find on the google machine. There are also lots of free vsts that you can download, virtual instruments, among which you can pick out the one that you would like your notes to be played by. I'm not super well-versed with the usage of these because I don't use these much, but simple experimentation with them works well most of the time.
Thanks! That's exactly what I wanted to know! I also did a bit of research myself, but I don't understand all of this yet. Isn't a VST basically a software synthesizer, and do I need one for each of the instruments, or can one be used as more than one instrument, if I use different settings? Because I really use a lot of them already. Also, could you (or someone else around here) recommend some of those that sound prettiest? And do those plugins also emulate drums? I think, if I got that correctly, that there are also such things as samples and soundfonts, that can also be used to make music, not just synthesized sound. Should I use those as well?

@GenericArrangements: as soon as I posted that, I tried LMMS. Sure is harder to use that my midi editor, but it just feels more right. I also tried using several other soundfonts to play my midis, rather than the default one, and some of those indeed have better sound. That might be worth trying as well, especially since LMMS has a soundfont player tool. What worries me is that some of the more complex formatting that I used in my midis didn't import into LMMS correctly; it probably doesn't support all of the so-called flags or events.

Quote
In my experience all a MIDI requires is Windows Media Player
That's not entirely true: some platforms don't have a way of playing midi at all (like my former Windows Phone), and some others play it not the intended way (like my new Android device). What Mea said is correct. As I send a file to my friend, who I know has Windows, I can be relatively sure that he hears the same sound that I do, but that's not the case, when I upload it for a broader audience.

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #307 on: June 19, 2017, 01:14:56 pm »
VST is a software interface, with both synthesizer and effect plugins produced. As such, a lot depends on the actual plugin itself.

GenericArrangements

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #308 on: June 20, 2017, 06:49:58 am »
I think, if I got that correctly, that there are also such things as samples and soundfonts, that can also be used to make music, not just synthesized sound. Should I use those as well?
If you want certain sounds, it might be better to get soundfonts. I haven't yet stumbled into the world of VSTs, but I am aware that they are very different. Best idea is to just get both and mess around with both until you find what you like. It's all about experimenting.

What worries me is that some of the more complex formatting that I used in my midis didn't import into LMMS correctly; it probably doesn't support all of the so-called flags or events.
Yeah, that's normal. I tried importing a pitch-bend, and it literally crashed. I suggest you only put the notes in, and edit all other effects in the DAW itself. It's easier in the long run, and gives more freedom.

Windows Media Player
I thought this was clear enough. My fault for not elaborating more on MIDIs. I just thought it wasn't really necessary, considering you're moving away from them (as individual sound files). MIDIs are just a series of notes and simple techniques, and so use the sounds of what's actually playing them, which is why your Android phone made it sound different. Also Macs are not capable of playing them at all without external software, mainly because of the file-type (possibly because of a lack of pre-installed sounds too, but I don't actually know about that). Either way, MIDIs are still not good forms to release content as, when they're the main feature.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 06:53:19 am by GenericArrangements »
Please read my posts as if I'm not taking them too seriously.
1cc Normal: EoSD, PCB, IN, PoFV, MoF, SA, UFO, TD, DDC, LoLK (P.D.), HSiFS (demo)
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1cc Lunatic: MoF
Ex: EoSD, PCB (inc. Phantasm), IN, MoF, SA, UFO, TD, DDC

Z_A

  • Neophyte
Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #309 on: June 21, 2017, 05:19:24 pm »
Quote
considering you're moving away from them (as individual sound files)
No, really, I think I'll still be using midi a lot, at least to input most of the unaltered notes. Piano roll is just too inconvenient for the task.

Quote
MIDIs are just a series of notes and simple techniques, and so use the sounds of what's actually playing them, which is why your Android phone made it sound different.
I know that ^^ I've actually been using this format for years already, but I started trying to arrange Touhou stuff only a little more than a year ago. One of the best things about midi, even to this day, is that it's pretty much universal. Most of the software that has something to do with music also has a means to interpret midi, making it almost as portable as such things get.

With all your help, I might finally be ready to post one of my arrangements soon. Because, well, I really need some feedback. While I don't think they are utterly awful, there is always room for improvement, right? I'm still not sure where to upload it. Would you recommend something?

GenericArrangements

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #310 on: June 22, 2017, 06:29:15 am »
No, really, I think I'll still be using midi a lot, at least to input most of the unaltered notes. Piano roll is just too inconvenient for the task.
I completely agree, to be honest. I use MuseScore and export/import MIDIs to external software, because I prefer the manuscript interface. I just meant the use of them as the actual content.

I know that ^^ I've actually been using this format for years already, but I started trying to arrange Touhou stuff only a little more than a year ago. One of the best things about midi, even to this day, is that it's pretty much universal. Most of the software that has something to do with music also has a means to interpret midi, making it almost as portable as such things get.
MP3s and WAVs are also very universal, and manage to keep playback consistent, although the good thing about MIDIs is how easy they are to make, as well as their small size.

With all your help, I might finally be ready to post one of my arrangements soon. Because, well, I really need some feedback. While I don't think they are utterly awful, there is always room for improvement, right? I'm still not sure where to upload it. Would you recommend something?
I use SoundCloud, but after you upload a certain amount of music it becomes a paid service. It lasts quite a bit though. If you can make some kind of a thumbnail, YouTube is another option, although I'd wait until you're confident for that one (it doesn't really matter, just my personal opinion).
Please read my posts as if I'm not taking them too seriously.
1cc Normal: EoSD, PCB, IN, PoFV, MoF, SA, UFO, TD, DDC, LoLK (P.D.), HSiFS (demo)
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1cc Lunatic: MoF
Ex: EoSD, PCB (inc. Phantasm), IN, MoF, SA, UFO, TD, DDC

Z_A

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Re: Art Tips Thread II
« Reply #311 on: June 22, 2017, 07:27:27 am »
Quote
YouTube is another option
Yeah... er, no. I mean, Youtube is full of trolls, I'm not ready for THAT kind of public attention. SoundCloud should probably be fine, thank you!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 07:57:07 am by Z_A »
 

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