Thoughts Solicited on SM Captain - Page 3
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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demihuman View Post
    We might be starting to be getting into a semantic argument. Saying you don't like contrast might be more like saying you don't like volume than a one band or another. On the other hand, the ratings are pretty bogus, i feel your pain.
    For me, one of my fellow players seeing a mini that they relate to is worth a lot more than anonymous praise on the 'net. On the other other hand I really want an 8.

    I suppose some people paint for the camera instead of real life but I am probably not talented enough to discern a difference.

    Furthermore, you are a good painter. If you want a Golden Demon some day, keep painting and try to figure out what the judges want to see that year.

    What do you think of:

    http://www.coolminiornot.com/319212?browseid=6124050

    Ultra-realistic right? I mean it gives me chills. Also ultra-contrast, it's basically a black and white checker board. look at how white the highlights are on all that black. It's INSANE!

    It is hard to convey emotion on the on the forums, so consider this a big creepy internet mini painting hug. Now, when are you going to paint some hassle free ladies? that should get you up to a 7
    I won't ever be good enough to win a prize for painting. I paint slowly enough already; trying to add the level of detail necessary to win a tournament would be beyond me.

    I think it's a lovely Thulsa Doom. What scale is it? You're right that it's both high contrast and still realistic, but on a larger figure, you do have room to blend your lighting effect more subtly. When I paint, I really don't like 'forcing' a light angle generally speaking, because when I turn the miniature around, every other angle looks wrong. I can sometimes get away with doing top-down lighting, but I still have to keep it fairly subtle.

  2. #42

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    I think your comment about not wanting to force a lighting angle is an interesting one, and lies at the crux of the misunderstandings here. When we paint minis, we can choose to do one of two things.

    1) We can colour the model we have in front of us. The end result of this will be a colored model. Skin will be a monochrome peachy colour, blood will be a monochrome red colour, metal will be a monochrome silver colour. Any perceived difference in brightness will come from the actual shadows cast by the 3D surface of the model itself. As you turn the model, those shadows will, naturally, follow the light source. If you, hypothetically, shone a bright white light directly at the front of the model, in theory all surfaces facing forward would have the same level of brightness. It would, in fact, be flat (in terms of relative brightness.) As I understand it, this is what you are proposing.

    2) We can choose an imaginary lighting angle and paint the model such that darker, less saturated colors are applied where shadows would fall, and brighter, more saturated colors are used where the light would fall. The standard position of the light source is above the model, since that's where lights/the sun usually are. If we do this, the model will look light if viewed from the top, and dark if viewed from the bottom. However, the technique assumes the viewer will be looking at the model from the front/side/back. You will notice that while you often get front, back and side views of a model in the galleries, you almost never get top and bottom views.

    It should probably be pointed out that almost all the pictures of all the highly rated models in the galleries are lit from the front, not the top. While this is not a 100% immutable rule, by lighting a model uniformly from the direction of the camera, an artist can control the colour and placement of shadows and highlights on his/her piece, and thereby control the mood. This control of perception is one of the main reasons artists favour painting in shadows and highlights. You could, in theory, achieve the same result by monochrome painting and a variety of very carefully positioned light sources of different colors, but that would be highly impractical.

    I think perhaps the principle difference of opinion here lies in whether you are painting a representation of something, using the miniature as a canvas, or painting the miniature itself.

    The latter is perhaps what you are aiming for, but the former will score higher in the galleries
    Last edited by me_in_japan; 07-22-2013 at 03:36 AM.
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  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by candidgamera View Post
    No, it's more like I'm saying "Who do you think the greatest rock band was, other than the Beatles?" and everybody keeps saying 'The Beatles'.
    no.
    contrast is everything to a mini. all good minis on this site and any other will have more than one layer of paint. beyond this, they will also use colour theory to create contrast. that goes for eavy metal minis aswell. everyone will agree on this. stop being so stubborn and asking people to be nice, when you cant use simple forum manners.

    you asked for tips or views on how your minis could look better. they wont without contrast. as i said earlier, please link a mini that you like, and we can show you how to achieve those effects. but you wont without contrast. i wont be posting here any more unless the tone is changed a bit as this hole discussion is just making me upset.

    sorry. but damn.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by candidgamera View Post
    No, it's more like I'm saying "Who do you think the greatest rock band was, other than the Beatles?" and everybody keeps saying 'The Beatles'.
    What you are doing is asking a mechanic to come over and look at your car... your car that is on fire with flames and smoke and the whole works. The mechanic says to you "your car is on fire, there is the problem" and you say, "no, I like it on fire, give me advice about what stereo to fit.". The bottom line is that whatever stereo you do fit, your car will still be a burned out shell unless you put the fire out.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by me_in_japan View Post
    I think your comment about not wanting to force a lighting angle is an interesting one, and lies at the crux of the misunderstandings here. When we paint minis, we can choose to do one of two things.

    1) We can colour the model we have in front of us. The end result of this will be a colored model. Skin will be a monochrome peachy colour, blood will be a monochrome red colour, metal will be a monochrome silver colour. Any perceived difference in brightness will come from the actual shadows cast by the 3D surface of the model itself. As you turn the model, those shadows will, naturally, follow the light source. If you, hypothetically, shone a bright white light directly at the front of the model, in theory all surfaces facing forward would have the same level of brightness. It would, in fact, be flat (in terms of relative brightness.) As I understand it, this is what you are proposing.

    2) We can choose an imaginary lighting angle and paint the model such that darker, less saturated colors are applied where shadows would fall, and brighter, more saturated colors are used where the light would fall. The standard position of the light source is above the model, since that's where lights/the sun usually are. If we do this, the model will look light if viewed from the top, and dark if viewed from the bottom. However, the technique assumes the viewer will be looking at the model from the front/side/back. You will notice that while you often get front, back and side views of a model in the galleries, you almost never get top and bottom views.

    It should probably be pointed out that almost all the pictures of all the highly rated models in the galleries are lit from the front, not the top. While this is not a 100% immutable rule, by lighting a model uniformly from the direction of the camera, an artist can control the colour and placement of shadows and highlights on his/her piece, and thereby control the mood. This control of perception is one of the main reasons artists favour painting in shadows and highlights. You could, in theory, achieve the same result by monochrome painting and a variety of very carefully positioned light sources of different colors, but that would be highly impractical.

    I think perhaps the principle difference of opinion here lies in whether you are painting a representation of something, using the miniature as a canvas, or painting the miniature itself.

    The latter is perhaps what you are aiming for, but the former will score higher in the galleries
    You're close, but not quite there. I do employ shading and contrast with a light touch. Dark washes in recesses, highlights on edges and contours. The idea being to "light" the miniature in such a way that it doesn't conflict with natural lighting/viewing from any angle. That means it looks pretty good no matter how I turn it in my hand, rather than looking great from a limited selection of viewing angles. That way the figure looks more like a real, tiny soldier than a painted representation of a tiny soldier. It's not flat in an absolute sense, but I grant you that it looks flatter than the highly rated miniatures on this site.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by ischa View Post
    no.
    contrast is everything to a mini. all good minis on this site and any other will have more than one layer of paint. beyond this, they will also use colour theory to create contrast. that goes for eavy metal minis aswell. everyone will agree on this. stop being so stubborn and asking people to be nice, when you cant use simple forum manners.

    you asked for tips or views on how your minis could look better. they wont without contrast. as i said earlier, please link a mini that you like, and we can show you how to achieve those effects. but you wont without contrast. i wont be posting here any more unless the tone is changed a bit as this hole discussion is just making me upset.

    sorry. but damn.
    I'm sorry you think my refusal to bend to your demands is impolite. I've tried to be as civil and patient about it as I can be. I agree that the tone of this discussion needs to be changed; I have achieved that for my own viewing by selective use of the ignore functionality to pare out the people who are being rude.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by candidgamera View Post
    I'm sorry you think my refusal to bend to your demands is impolite. I've tried to be as civil and patient about it as I can be. I agree that the tone of this discussion needs to be changed; I have achieved that for my own viewing by selective use of the ignore functionality to pare out the people who are being rude.
    DESPITE THE FACT I SAID I WAS NOT INTENDING TO COMMENT ANY FURTHER ON THIS THREAD I'M HAVING TO PUT MY MODERATOR HEAD ON HERE.

    NO ONE REPLYING TO THIS THREAD HAS BEEN RUDE.
    You on the other hand have been somewhat tactless and dismissive of people attempting to be helpful and providing suggestions.
    You might want to work on that, OK.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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  8. #48

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    @CandidGamera - normally at this point I would just walk away (metaphorically speaking) but your last post is one of the most offensive things I have read in a long time. Your arrogance would seem to know no bounds. Take a look at this thread and you will see page after page of helpful, constructive advice from people who are experts in their field. Despite your initial dismissive responses people nonetheless tried to guide you and respond to your original request. They took time out of their day to help you. You have repeatedly treated their advice with contempt, and despite being in a minority of one you claim that we are all wrong and you are right. To then claim that the people who made the effort to help you are being rude is arrogance of the highest level. You started this thread looking for advice, and there is only one piece I can give you that will do you any good: Learn to be wrong sometimes.

    *edit* sorry DR - you ninja'd me.
    "Facts are the impregnable bulwark that stands between us and the insidious evil of bullsh*t." - Pikey, over on Nagoyahammer

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    DESPITE THE FACT I SAID I WAS NOT INTENDING TO COMMENT ANY FURTHER ON THIS THREAD I'M HAVING TO PUT MY MODERATOR HEAD ON HERE.

    NO ONE REPLYING TO THIS THREAD HAS BEEN RUDE.
    You on the other hand have been somewhat tactless and dismissive of people attempting to be helpful and providing suggestions.
    You might want to work on that, OK.
    I am, as always, happy to agree to disagree. I certainly wasn't suggesting that you should have moderated them. I am absolutely baffled as to how you could perceive my posts as in any way tactless. Dismissive, perhaps, but only in response to those who were dismissive of my own concerns.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by me_in_japan View Post
    ... despite being in a minority of one you claim that we are all wrong and you are right.
    Absolutely not. I claim only that tastes vary. I can't believe that would be controversial.

  11. #51

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    I want to add something here : I absolutely do not understand why people seem to be so irritated by this. I'm not saying you paint wrong. I just want to do it differently. It's not an attack on you or your technique. I recognize that you're all very experienced and most of you are better than me at painting. Probably better than I will ever be. I am just trying to get advice on other ideas for the miniatures, and some of you have given me that - bases, weathering, et cetera. Suggestions that have been gratefully accepted and that will get worked on.

    But on the matter of lighting/contrast, I feel like some of you have gotten really defensive and have become really aggressive as a result. I got tired of repeating myself, so I tried to shut down that side discussion once and for all, to no avail. I tried to do it as politely as possible, but it seems like some of you still think I'm telling you that you're "wrong". That's not what I'm saying.

    Perhaps it would be best to close this thread.

  12. #52

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    Same as DR.

    I´ll be nice and show how I view this. Please take it to your heart even if you disagree.

    1. You ask for help.
    2. Pretty much everyone says the same thing, there are other little things that can change, but most people agreed about contrast and or depth.
    3. You ignore the comments about that one big thing.

    I dont get this kind of behavior. But maybe thats just me.

    As I see it, you´re being dismissive to a bunch of people who want to help you by showing what they think is your minis biggest flaw, which you don't seem to agree is a flaw (nothing wrong with this, but it´s like talking to a wall when you don't even consider it).

    What were saying is not that you accuse anyone else of painting things the wrong way, nor that you´re a bad painter. However, I think you may have misunderstood what we mean by contrast; what goes into a making even a flatter surface like a piece of armor or metal look good, and how you can create subtle realisms in different ways. This without huge contrasts, going from black to white, but rather changes in tone or adding "zenethial lightning", as others mentioned.

    Therefore I asked you earlier if you could show us a mini that you really like and that had a style of painting you liked. If you would've done so, I could have told you what kind of contrasts and effects are in that mini and how to create them. But you ignored this attempt and focused on the negative. That´s why this thread has been so irritating to me.

    This is a very nice forum, people help each other out and we´re like a family. We also appreciate and consider the critique we get(mostly). If we disagree we discuss it. Don't just turn your back to people trying to help.

    Again, I hope this thread will turn around so you can get into the friendly environment that is the CMON forums. But PLEASE treat the people trying to help you better than ignoring or dismissing them. I can only speak for myself, and I think everyone has the right to paint however they like, even if they use green wall paint to paint their swords. But when someone who´s really good at painting gives you a tip or tell you a way to improve, don't dismiss it straight off!

    I understand if you want to close this thread. But I would love to help you out and make you feel welcome here. And I´m absolutely certain others will as well.
    I am also sorry that i got aggressive earlier in this thread. In case you want tips about techniques, ambience or anything like that, don't hesitate to PM.

    Good further luck.

  13. #53

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    Ok, I'm going to use another word that might more subtly get the point across, definition. Your mini here lacks definition which make it difficult to read and not very "alive". You might be very subtle when defining things though. I think a good way to continue this discussion is how to add definition in a subtle manner. Many realistic painters are very subtle and might seem to flat for some tastes but still they are well defined.

    Try as someone earlier suggested to find some good examples that you like. My style was regarded as very subtle and not very contrasted a period before I started working more on contrast, maybe you'll find something you like in my gallery from some years back which naturally would make it easier for me to help.

  14. #54

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    This thread has been driving me crackers, seeing I couldn't comment with my old account. My god man all these people are are great painters and are trying to help you on YOUR request. Its not a case of is blue better that red or is NMM better than TMM its about the fundamental basics of miniature painting -
    CONTRAST, CONTRAST, CONTRAST be it realistic painting or cartoon style (which of love) its still about contrast, without it the mini will always look flat.
    Saying you just happy at a 6 begs the question why are you asking for help?
    1. 'Painting is a companion with whom one may hope to walk a great part of life's journey.' W. Churchill
    Thank you for asking but I don't do commissions.

  15. #55

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    Interesting thread (misunderstandings and miscommunications aside). Clearly art is subjective and we are all entitled to our own opinions as to what makes a good mini. I would, however, be interested in seeing an example of a "low contrast" mini that Candidgamera likes as an example of something they aspire to achieve. It seems to me that the minis that routinely score 8+ on CMON are not necessarily doing what Candidgamera wishes to do. And I make no criticism of him / her for this. What I do not fully understand from what I have read is precisely what Candidgamera is trying to achieve and an example would help clarify matters.

    We all aspire to improve our painting. This forum is a great place for criticism and feedback and has some really talented people. I suspect that the likes of Ischa, Averlorn and Ten Ball will all be able to comment on how the mini that Candidgamera has posted differs from another example and suggest ways in which the effect of the other example can be achieved.

  16. #56

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    As far as posting an example of a miniature with contrast levels that I like.. I mean, my dreadnought and my SM captain are really good examples of the contrast level I like. If I happen to run across another figure on the forums that also illustrates it, I can post it, but..

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avelorn View Post
    Ok, I'm going to use another word that might more subtly get the point across, definition. Your mini here lacks definition which make it difficult to read and not very "alive". You might be very subtle when defining things though. I think a good way to continue this discussion is how to add definition in a subtle manner. Many realistic painters are very subtle and might seem to flat for some tastes but still they are well defined.

    Try as someone earlier suggested to find some good examples that you like. My style was regarded as very subtle and not very contrasted a period before I started working more on contrast, maybe you'll find something you like in my gallery from some years back which naturally would make it easier for me to help.
    I zipped through your gallery checking some things at random.

    http://www.coolminiornot.com/173067?browseid=6142520
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/79578?browseid=6142520

    These two stood out.

  18. #58

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    Oh, I´m sorry. I perhaps wasn't clear enough. I didn't mean i wanted you to post a mini with the contrast levels you like, just a mini you think is really cool=) Referring to your own minis wont help us help you paint better

    Check the top 50 artists for example, and see if someone has a style that suits what you want to do.

    I also have to ask another question. You said you think contrast make minis look cartoony. In the vocabulary of minipainters, cartoony and realistic are opposite extremes. Therefore I´m a bit surprised you picked those minis by Avelorn, as they are the most cartoony in his gallery, as I see it. Do you like realism?

    How about strong and clear colors? Is monochrome (just using one colour type, like this: http://www.coolminiornot.com/160264?browseid=6142722 ) your kind of thing? Or do you prefer vibrant stuff like this? http://www.coolminiornot.com/332099?browseid=6142746 Both minis have some or high contrast, but I´m just trying to figure out what you like and what to aim for. =)

  19. #59
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    Part of the difficulty is maybe understanding contrast. Lovely article in Portal #30 about 7 different ways to get contrast. Download for free from here: http://www.wampforum.com/VB4/downloads.php?do=cat&id=1

    Check out more of my wife's photography at: http://thereasagwinn.com


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    ‘They are desperate, and as savage as beasts.’
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  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by ischa View Post
    Oh, I´m sorry. I perhaps wasn't clear enough. I didn't mean i wanted you to post a mini with the contrast levels you like, just a mini you think is really cool=) Referring to your own minis wont help us help you paint better
    I was responding to Avelorn's request that I pick things from his gallery with contrast levels I like.

    I also have to ask another question. You said you think contrast make minis look cartoony. In the vocabulary of minipainters, cartoony and realistic are opposite extremes. Therefore I´m a bit surprised you picked those minis by Avelorn, as they are the most cartoony in his gallery, as I see it. Do you like realism?
    I love realism. But you and I seem to define it, and cartoonish, differently. When I say a miniature looks cartoonish, I mean it has colors that are exaggerated, extreme, or garish. Such as when an ostensibly uniform surface is painted in a range of colors from near-black to near-white to simulate light reflecting off that surface. While such techniques take loads of skill and can look fantastic from the right angles, I don't ever want to paint that way, personally.

    I know it's done to create the illusion of depth, but to my eye, all it does is call attention to the fact that it's just an illusion. Painting with less contrast - i.e., 'flatter' - makes the miniature look more real to me.

    How about strong and clear colors? Is monochrome (just using one colour type, like this: http://www.coolminiornot.com/160264?browseid=6142722 ) your kind of thing? Or do you prefer vibrant stuff like this? http://www.coolminiornot.com/332099?browseid=6142746 Both minis have some or high contrast, but I´m just trying to figure out what you like and what to aim for. =)
    I'm sorry, I don't understand why this question is being asked. I would paint something like a statue in a relatively monochrome palette, because it's all supposed to be one color, relatively speaking. I try to paint everything in some variation of the color it should be. I'd rate both of those miniatures at 10 in terms of the skill on display, but don't think I favor either of them over the other - the Swordsman might work as a ghost; I could see myself painting something like that, in theory. The Final Charge is just beautiful, but is way too pastel for my tastes. Both figures seem to be within acceptable levels of 'contrast/forced light' for me, though perhaps at the upper end.

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