Back from the abyss!

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Back from the abyss!

Postby CrazyLola » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:06 pm

Hola Glam!!! I am getting back into dolling after a 2.5+ year break! :shock: I caught a love of quilting- that and adulting caused me to stop dolling, but recently I got the bug again! I figured a good place to start would be an entry for NTD! I wanted to get some C/C as I'm rusty and I've been looking at this too long!
Update:
ImageOld:Image
Base: DHF (https://grotesque-lestrange.deviantart.com/)

Updated with all the advice I have received! :) Looking a lot better!! Anything I should work more?
Last edited by CrazyLola on Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back from the abyss!

Postby Artzygrrl » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:50 am

Let me just say first, YAY! I'm so happy you're going to enter!!!!

Second of all, you're rusty? :| That is a lot less rusty than my rusty. HA!

I think maybe the torso areas of the jacket look a little pillow-shaded. You might want to try and light-source it a little more dramatically to help you figure out the shadows.

Love the color of those shoes (I need them :|), but I think you might want to pay a little more attention to the shape of the shoes (it doesn't just follow the shape of the foot exactly, there's some structure that should be there). The heel on the shoe that we can see is maybe a bit "pointy," as well. I think if you reshape the shoes a little more realistically you'll be able to get a heel that looks like you want. :)

What would take those fantastic leopard pants to the absolute next level would be some folds. Folds on patterned objects require a bit of re-drawing some pattern usually (to make it look like it creeps around the fold) but make a HUGE impact visually. This doll (the center one) isn't the best doll I ever made, but you can see that the folds and the slight shifting of the pattern that goes underneath them (or over top of them) really makes the pattern look like it's there. :P
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Re: Back from the abyss!

Postby Artzygrrl » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:51 am

PS - NTD has a WIPs and inspiration chat on Discord (where dollchat is now), it's a good place to post WIPs and get feedback!
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Re: Back from the abyss!

Postby Parker » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:44 pm

I think you're doing great with this doll. I can see the differences in textures and the colours are spot on, especially the pastel pinks you used for her jacket. Her trousers do stick out, but mostly because they don't really have a shape and the contrast in them is too high, but there's no transition from dark to light, which makes her legs look like plain cylinders. What you have done already is a good base, but it needs some extra work to make it big.

1) Knowing what to look for

This round's challenge implies replicating garments from pictures, which means that you must know what you're looking at and what information you need to look for to guide you in your doll. I used to spend hours simply copying existing clothes from fashion magazines or clothes shops online. This gave me enough information to know what to look for when analysing a garment. So how do we do this? Take your reference image and look at it from up close: what do you see? Drop the opacity down and scribble, trace or simply sketch on top of it.

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I simply traced the shapes I could see in the image. Those trousers seem to have a straight cut, which means they are close to the body, but not skin-tight. Because human bodies are not one monolithic shape, the fabric won't fit the same way in all areas. The fabric will be tighter in the thigh area since they're more voluminous, knees will have more room to move freely, and the fabric will pretty much float around the ankles. In fact, the only way it can touch the ankles is by resting on top of them which, as we'll see later, will happen in your doll. But the key aspects here are the following: the fabric is not skin-tight, which means it will hang and flow around your doll; and this also means that you will have folds.

NOTE: No matter the pose, folds will always occur. They may be scarce and small, but folds will always appear in any article of clothing. Don't be afraid of adding them.

2) Replicating what you see

2.1 Sketching

We can't make an exact copy of our reference here since we've picked a different pose to work with. That's a good thing; it will make us think harder and learn even more from this experience. Now that we have a basic understanding of what we want to doll, and we have a pose to work with, it's time to get our hands dirty. Metaphorically.

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Use a brush to sketch over your base and focus on the shape of your garment. If you are using MSPaint and don't have a brush proper, simply use the pencil tool to get a basic idea down. Study the pose and think of how it will interact with the fabric. She's resting most of her weight on her left (our right) leg, and her left hip sticks out, hence fabric will be pulled from her left side. She's bending her right knee and that pushes the fabric forward and downwards. We'll see this in more detail in a couple of seconds when I cover folds, but this is a thought process that you must keep throughout the whole rendering of the trousers. Identifying these phenomena from the very beginning and working with them instead of against them; or simply neglecting them, will help you in the long run.

Notice how stretching and pulling is only affecting the wider areas of her body (her hips, her thighs, her knees); as her legs get thinner (her calves, her ankles), so do our problems. The bottom of the trousers simply hangs around her left ankle, and it touches and rests upon her right one.

2.2 Folds: What they are and why they are so freaking hard to get right

Folds are wonderful creatures that make clothes look alive and full of movement even when we don't move; and they're hard because we don't get them. And we don't get them because we take them for granted. So folds get sad and decide not to cooperate, because we don't love them enough. But I'm going to show you how to love them and adore them and they will become your best friends.

We don't wear huge stretches of fabric wrapped around our bodies. Centuries ago some genius discovered sewing and tailoring, and we've been dressing more or less smartly since then. Hence, clothes do have a structure of their own. I call this (clothing) anatomy. I'm not going to cover much here, but basically, fabric is cut, sewn and tailored to fit a human body, which means that it is designed to allow us to move without getting in the way. When we move, we exercise some degree of force, which affects fabric, that must stretch and twist to accomodate our bodies while we move. Fashion mishaps exemplify what happens when body-clothes coordination doesn't match up 100%.

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Whenever we move, no matter how slightly, we balance our weight on our legs. In this case, she's moving most of it on top of her left leg, causing her left hip to stick out. The whole leg seems to move slightly inward, but that's mostly because of the hip protruding. In women, this creates a very obvious curve because of the wider hips and delicate legs. This means that her left side (our right) will look overall rounder than her right. All tilts, bends and twists of our articulations will cause the fabric encasing them to twist, bend and fold ALWAYS. Keep this in mind because it can save your dolls.

There's a universal force that is always with you. No, it's not the one from Star Wars; it's gravity. It attracts bodies to the ground and clothes are also bodies, so they are too affected by it. Like I wrote up there in the image, gravity affects loose fabric that is not suffering any other direct force on them. If you pull your shirt up, all the fabric subjected to your pulling motion will go up, whereas gravity will only be visible in the areas past your hand, not affected by pulling.

3 Shading

Up to here, we've seen how to draw folds, but we're not submitting drawings. Dolls are shaded, and we must know how to show volume through our colours. These images, I think, are pretty self-explanatory, so I'm going to post the thumbnails and make a couple of comments. I've rambled enough already.

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I made a tiny mistake on the first image, it should say: "I used blue to balance", not balanced. Anyway, colour is basically how our eyes perceive and interact with light, which means that the very basic feature of colour is value, i. e. the range between black (absence of light) and white (pure light). Lighter values (shades closer to white) make elements move forward. Her bent knee will look closer to us than her ankle. Dark values (closer to black) make elements recede. That's why I used my darkest colour on her inner thighs (to make them look rounder) and under her bent knee (to show the movement). Hanging folds are exactly that: hanging. They are born near an articulation that either through bending or tilting creates a gap in the natural position of the body. If I bend my knee forward, the calf and ankle will move backwards. My trousers will rest on my thigh, reach my knee where extra fabric will create folds and said folds will hang down due to gravity. Loose trousers like these will hang slightly forward and rest on top of the back of the ankle. Bear that interaction in mind.

I'm going to stop here since this is already fairly long, but if something's not clear and you want me to clarify, please let me know, either here or on NTD's chat. I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I really like where this is going and want to help you in every way I can ;)
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Re: Back from the abyss!

Postby CrazyLola » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:00 pm

Thank you Parker!!! That advice as super helpful!! I appreciate all the work you put into it!! I updated the post with the latest WIP with this advice in it!
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Re: Back from the abyss!

Postby Blu » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:31 pm

The images don't work for me! :c I don't think it's my internet...
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we're all here


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