Saturday, September 7, 2013

Jungle Matoran and Tree housing

  This jungle Matoran image dates back to around 2008 or early 2009. It started off as a pencil sketch which was then copied and colored over with Prismacolor pencils. I used a mix of metallic pencils, regular pencils, and a hint of jell pen.This illustration was made as play, and there really is no set significance to the piece; but I may be using it eventually as a snip scene for the Life of Lewa series. It would apply quite well to the series, being that this Matoran's mask is heavily inspired off Lewa Phantoka's mask design. The figure actually reminds me of a fancier version of Lewa's little boy whom he named Phantoka. So, this image may be used at a later time for something like that. I think my original intent for this picture was to display a Le-Matoran in his natural habitat, and judging by the expression, he's quite fascinated by the camera and strange being holding it. It's a fun concept to look at that way, but I also feel this scene could apply to a mischievous Phantoka, letting his curiosity get the best of him.

 To make this image better, I went and outlined it in Photoshop, also tweaked the levels. To the left is the original image before it was outlined; notice the difference of how much dimension and clarity it gets with some black lines added to it? I went through several outline choices before settling on the fully outlined image of both the character and the plants (final image choice displayed at top of post). Also, being that colored pencil has a rather scratchy feel to it, I decided to experiment with the smudge tool in Photoshop and see if I could smooth out the colors and make them blend; this resulted in the right image above. I like the way it melded the colors, but it also seemed to diminish some of the details and crispness to the image, so I chose to stay with the original scratchiness of pencil.

 Since I spoke about the quirky little Le-Matoran, possibly child, I also wish to include the image above which pertains the the jungle region as well. This image dates back to around the same time as the jungle Matoran image, and again was a pencil sketch that I scanned then colored over with Prismacolor pencils. I made this picture as I day dreamed of what Le Koro homes looked like (this was before I knew as much about the Bionicle universe); and I drew up this cute little tree home which has two huts, a stairway that curves up around the tree, and a tree home elevator. Who lives in this two part home is unknown, but I playfully like to imagine that perhaps the little Matoran shown before does, or perhaps Lewa himself actually lives here now and then. It's never mentioned that Lewa lives in any home; but if I were to apply this image to the Life of Lewa series (which I just might) I would say that this tree home is indeed Lewa's living quarters, he just rarely stays in it, preferring to sleep in the trees underneath the stars.This may connect onto the reason why his home is always a mess since he just drops stuff in it, and occasionally eats there. Any other time though, he may actually have a Matoran neighbor who takes care of the place, could be why there's a second little hut... that or in a joking respect, the smaller hut is Lewa's outhouse or shed.  One other thing I enjoy about this image is that the way I colored it makes it look like someone took a picture of Lewa's home while they were vine swinging past it.

These are the two raw images as pencil sketches before color. Left is jungle Matoran, and right is the tree home. Funny how far a little color will carry a picture.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gali Mistika, Modified Model

 In last post I displayed what was labeled as the Gali Mistika revamp panel. Soon after displaying it on DA I got feed back, and to my surprise, a few critiques and pointers. Shorjok advised that I not use the term revamp, being that this model is more like a simple modified figure, and also that I should display fewer images on one canvas, for a character which doesn't contain tons of detail.  His exact words were- "I understand that this is just for fun and more of a modification than anything - so why call it a revamp? Not criticizing you for lack of parts, of course, just your choice of words. A revamp is pretty much a complete overhaul - rebuilding a canon bionicle from scratch.Given the simplicity of the build, I also wouldn't recommend trying to fit so many images onto one canvas - they're unnecessary since there isn't much detail to show. Just show what needs to be shown; the poses are nice but they don't add much to the artwork in general. For example, these mocs and are both highly detailed yet the guys who made them have only used 3 or 4 pictures - because that's all it needs.So yeah, I hope this helped." 
       Soon after Shorjok's comment, I was told by MataNui2001 that the Nuva chest plate needed to be higher. In reality I knew about this problem, only it's not the chest plate which needed tweaking, it was the lower body. Both these critiques encouraged me to embrace the advise with an open mind, and a day later after receiving this advise, I found a way to tweak both Gali, and Hahli into figures with appealing build that have left me more satisfied than I was with them before; and I've playfully started calling this process (the Hahli, Gali project). I took Shorjok's advise, and now know of a proper label for figures like these, which is why I now call it a modified model, not a revamp. I also considered his advise about using fewer images to show off detail on a simple figure. This resulted in the above panel of my new modified Mistika model, which embraces minimalism, but displays detail from more than one angle, something I disregarded slightly before when creating my first panel.

 The listed images above are a few selected images I like most from the panel. The image on left side displays the simple front view of Gali with her new extended body. I'll admit I like the way she looks even more than before when she looked rather short and stocky.. To fix the issue of a wiggling body, but still keeping the Nuva chest plate, I simply placed an extra peg beneath the belly part of the chest plate, and that fixed the wobbling. The left image is a very nice angle to show off the rest of Gali, being that it displays her build from behind, and shows more detail of her heeled boots. An extra thing I also added to this improved model is a blue hand piece to the back part of her body, to fill in the gap between her body and her Matoran backpack (as I call it). This hand piece also makes her a little bit meatier, not so skeleton like. For more base images of the different angles to this improved build, you can find them in this Flickr set which contains images from previous panel project as well.

One other thing I decided to do alongside the main panel of this improved model, is make a sticker sheet to go alongside with the previous Gali panel (displayed below on the right) from previous post. This fun concept of making sticker sheets out of the images I clean for panel display clicked in my mind after I left a response to Shorjok's critique. My words to his comment (listed at the beginning of this post)- "I get what you mean. Honestly the only reason I labeled it as a revamp is because I didn't know what else to call it...and I'm not the most experienced in labels for this sort of thing. As for the tip on using fewer images, the only reason why I crammed all the images of the character onto one canvas is because I hate deciding which ones to use for a poster, that and if you're like me, I look at the panel as something that can easily be turned into a scrapbook supply, which in this case would be a sheet of stickers. So, that's why I put all fifteen images in; but, thanks for the advise, good tips."

After I responded, I thought to myself, what a fun idea to continue. So, I took Shorjok's advise with making smaller panels with less pictures to serve as main deviations, but I also decided to make panels of large listings for the sake of special edition packages which could be turned into personal Bionicle themed stickers, or used later for scrapbook products. I stayed true this fun concept, and made a second large panel of all eight images from the new photo collection, just to display the improved version of Gali as a sticker sheet containing one of each picture taken. New version is listed (left) alongside previous version (right) just below.