Bartek Gawel, CDPR’s art director, shares some insight on the importance of head construction for successful character design.
The secret to a good character concept is its head. Not to brag about the eyes as the mirrors of the soul or the number of emotions a human face can express let’s just get on with it. Because it’s all in the head – believe me.
Any to-be concept artist will have to learn sooner or later how to draw a good face. I decided to take my time and start this little tutorial and share the knowledge, that was gathered by artists and human body experts (scientists to be precise) throughout the ages.
In this episode I’ll write a little bit about the first principal which defines the look and character of the head you are designing. Today I will write about the facial angle.
The most important element you will need while constructing the head is the middle of the ear. This is represented by the red dot on the illustration above.
A line crossing this point and perpendicular to the horizon helps us find the beginning of the neck i.e. the place where the neck meets the chest (point A). Traditional sculptors use a special pendulum to find the correct line. It’s good if you have an aprentice of any kind to hold it for you, while you’re busy with your work.
The models character is determined by the so called facial angle. This concept was used for the first time in the 18th Century by Petrus Camper, a Dutch anthropologist, scientist and sculptor. He introduced a constant head position based upon a line drawn from the middle of the ear (red dot) to the septum (the red line). The second line needed to create the face angle is drawn from the forehead surface with the jaw (yellow line). This angle can have different rays and be even right.
Determining the facial angle allows you to have a base for further head construction and influences the look of the model on an early stage, before you start outlining other elements (e.g. a nose).
A little behind the scenes look of the early stages of Green Lantern the Animated Series.
My eternal gratitude to everyone who helped prove the doubters wrong.
Focusing on making a partnership work is more profitable than focusing on making money.
Love your employees more than you love your clients.
The best new business is your current business.
Price projects by asking yourself what the client’s lawyer would charge.
It’s better to be hired for your work than for your price.
When it comes to getting paid, the first of the month is better than the thirtieth.
Making money off mechanicals, printing and computers turns your business into a commodity.
The books in your library are more important than the numbers on your balance sheet.
In order to love your work, take vacations.
Power, in business, comes from sharing money and valuing love.”
– What Bill Drenttel Knew (via kenyatta)
favorite mech not created by Go Nagai? Also, what's a good way to kick yourself into drawing?
I really like all the Patlabor mechs, also is it too boring to say the rx78 gundam? OH also black ox! And am I even allowed to say atom and mont blanc and epsilon??? I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of them right now.
To kickstart drawing…I don’t have a sure fire method but personally I try to listen to any voice inside me that wants to draw something, no matter how small or dumb, just so I keep making something. Often for me that’s fanart so maybe I’ll play a game or read a manga I know I like drawing. Usually not wanting to draw is a temporary thing but getting out of the habit of drawing every day is bad so long as you make something it’s good.
I worked my week, got to the end of it, and had nothing to show. The next week there would be more emails and more tickets, exactly like the week before. The week after that would be more of the same. And absolutely nothing about my life would change. I’d end the week with nothing.
Don’t end the week with nothing. Prefer to work on things you can show. Prefer to work where people can see you. Prefer to work on things you can own.
Why? Because when your work is in public, you can show it to people. That’s often the best way to demonstrate that you’re capable of doing work like it.
Telling people you can do great work is easy: any idiot can do it, and many idiots do. Having people tell people you do great work is an improvement. It suffers because measuring individual productivity on a team effort is famously difficult, and people often have no particular reason to trust the representations of the people doing the endorsements.
(Quick: if you had credible evidence that a mid-level engineering manager at a company you’ve never heard of in Nagoya thought I was a really effective employee, would that make you markedly more likely to hire me? Right, without the context of knowing him, that recommendation is almost useless.)
Work you can show off, though, is prima facie evidence of your skills. After your portfolio includes it, your ability to sell your skills gets markedly better. Given that most people’s net worth is almost 100% invested in their personal capital (i.e. if you’re a young engineer the net present value of all future salary absolutely swamps everything in your bank account), this is a fairly radical improvement in your present situation for not a very radical change in how you go about things.
He’s writing for programmers, but most of this applies to artists too.
im not even an artist and these prices are hurting my feelings
This is what I have to dig through every time I look for new jobs to apply for.
For non-artists, let’s give you a little perspective.
For me, an illustration takes a bare minimum of 6 hours. Mind you, that’s JUST the drawing part. Not the research, or the communications, or gathering information. Just drawing.
That’s if it’s a simple illustration.
My art deco or more detailed stuff can take 20+ hours each.
Even simple, cartoony things still take at least 3 hours.
Let’s go with the second one. 2 illustrations for $25. Figuring 6 hours each. 12 hours total, for JUST the drawings. That’s approximately $2.08/hour.
Asking these prices is an insult. But what’s even more hurtful is there are people out there that will take these jobs. Which only encourages rates like this to be acceptable. And there are people who will try to say these are just what you have to do to get started.
I believed that. So my first coloring gigs were just $10/page. The day someone offered me $25/page for just flatting work, I realized just how wrong I’d been. I’m still not making the rates I’d like, but now I refuse anything below $25/page. Because there is value in my time.
In any standardized industry, even ones that pay piece rate over hourly, these numbers are criminal.
Do your fellow artists a favor. Never accept jobs like these. There are others that pay legitimate rates. Or at least closer to legitimate.
Reblogging again for the important added commentary!
What’s especially galling is that rates for artists (and writers) have been slipping downards since the 70s, even before accounting for inflation. I’m glad there’s more pushback happening now, though I realize it’s not easy – freelance artists aren’t usually negotiating from a position of financial security, especially now. It needs to become socially unacceptable to put creative people in this position.
Cosmic owls are not what they seem.
2013 was the year I finally got around to watching Twin Peaks and Adventure Time. After watching them back to back with mentalguyart and yutrzenika, we couldn’t help but start drawing parallels between the two. mentalguyart and I have decided to do a series of occasional AT/TP mash-up images.
Last year, katewillaert, yutrzenika, and I marathoned Twin Peaks and Adventure Time back-to-back. It was hard for us not to notice some rather interesting parallels, which ultimately inspired a series of mashups…
Natural Bridge, 2000
I have the original somewhere, but this old scan will have to do for now. I should have some legit new work to post soon.