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ARTWORK: Say Cheese! - The Birth, Rebirth, Yet Another Rebirth And Possibly Death of a Group Picture


FlameStream
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FlameStream

If you visited this part of the board about one year ago, you might have stumbled upon a topic named "Say Cheese!".

Basically, it was a project I decided to tackle alone, since group project weren't very successful (at least mine - probably because they demanded some kind of artistic skill ^^;).

The project was about a group picture featuring members of the SSMB at that time. At least, those who ventured into the Sonic Showcase. Members were added on a first come first served basis. And since the topic is now lost (even the time machine didn't help sadly), I can't continue adding the missing characters, so might as well talk about the process of its creation (and destruction) and show you what has been done before a possible scrap. I recall a certain member asked for that too, I haven't forgotten about you (aside from who you are.. XP;)

The Creation Process

Unless you plan to not draw any background, it's a good idea to start off with the environment the characters will be in. You're not obligated to draw it with a lot of details. In fact, it's better if you don't spend a lot of time on it at first since you may want to modify it to accommodate to certain characters or actions. In the case of my project, I did start with a simple background.

Eh, I lost the original with layers so I can't show you a picture with only the background drawn

Then you follow by adding characters. Now, every good group pictures have a little story behind it. That is, there should be some kind of interaction, if not between them, with the camera. It's important to have a few interacting with each other, especially in big group pictures. Else, you'd have a boring still. Not necessarily a bad thing if it's the case. But it would be better with.

Anyway, back to the picture, the story was a visit to the Big's new home in the mystic ruins. (Yes, I figured he was lacking love, so.. XP) I started adding characters. One key interaction I wanted to add in is a lover couple. I thought I had to search for one, but I was lucky enough to have one request to me next to someone else, as they were lovers. XP

SSMBv1rs.png

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SSMBv1s.png

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Added character following the arrow, then from right to left. Anyway, I tried to add in as much character interaction as I could. I put some placeholders here and there for extra new ones I was going to add later.

.. But I drew everyone already XP. So I requested the people that noticed the thread to invite their friends in the picture. This is where things started to get ugly. 8D

SSMBv1-1s.png

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Yeah near the end I was tired and created action poses I'll most likely not use, ahah, But anyway, I then noticed something I didn't quite like. Because I didn't plan the picture properly, the first few people that wanted to get in the picture got positioned way back in the picture (Violet and co). I didn't find that very fair. After I wasn't too busy with school, I started over again in April with a similar story...

SSMBv2s.png

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And we get to see Big a bit closer now X3. And Vector, the clumsy but very helpful guy he is. At this point I also wanted to add official characters in the mix, starting with the forgotten ones (Hey, Mighty!). More people started to want to get in and I couldn't refuse. That, plus restarting all over again started the downfall of the group picture XP;

On top of that, I noticed yet another thing wrong in the picture (aside from the weird perspective, which I planned to fix): due to the way the background was positioned, it would still feel a bit empty since, due to the way the background was made, characters would have to be a bit spaced out to not appear overly crowded due to the top view (looking at the wide empty area to the right). I noticed it was the same problem in the first version. I noticed too late that every good pictures make use of every little space. You really must cram in people. Else you'll get something similar to the failures up there. XP

So I started over in summer. ._.; For this second reincarnation, you'll get to see the process.

Alright, I learnt from all my mistakes so I was ready to try this again. First the theme. Something which would allow many people to be crammed into the canvas. For that to happen, it would be nice to have levels. So I opted for Mystic Ruins. I thought I could use ruins, trees and cliffs to position characters at different levels.

SSMVv3bgs.png

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Happy with the background, I started adding characters. I made sure Roarey and the rest were in the front this time. XP

SSMBv3s.png

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Then I followed with the rest, extending the background. I already had in mind what and who I'd put in the next part.

SSMBv3-1s.png

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Yes, I started to hunt down shy admins and important people. XP You'll notice I started to do revisions of some the characters. This was done recently, since I couldn't add any more characters. I didn't know who was left and even if I did, I have no idea where to search for reference. If you don't see yourself in the picture, please notify me so I can add you back XP;

This is where the picture stands at. I don't really know if I will, or even can finish it since it's been a year since I started this. That's why I finally decided to share with you what has become of it. It's definitively not something I can continue alone with my schedule. XP; But I'm currently still willing to try.

The Key Points of a Good Group Picture

In a nutshell, this is what has been learnt from making all of this...

Do

  1. Think of a story, theme
  2. Start with a rough background
  3. Make characters interact with each other
  4. Cram them in there!~

Don't

  1. Space them too much from each other
  2. Be concerned about drawing the full body - Only the head is okay!
  3. Try this until you have a lot of time D:
Edited by FlameStream
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FlameStream

My Last (Failed) Attempts

I don't know why, but I love group pictures. It's something I've tried to do lately, rather than single characters posing. I can't say I've been successful. Some of these are posted on my gallery why other remain in the WIP folder. The problem is that as I draw as time goes by, I notice a lot of things wrong and suspend working on it. I wish I was as naive as before. I'd have more than a picture a year to show. XP The following are notable failed attempts.

Scrapped%20-%20Sonic%2015th_s.jpg snowfight_s.png

Good group pictures (my inspirations)

My main sources of inspiration. Many of them are crafted by Darkspeeds. And I was thinking of thanking him by putting him in the project. Alas, it's far from done for now.. XP;

The following are example of good group pictures. There is a lot more examples I wanted to post but the other site is under maintenance. Check back later!

A_Merry_Christmas_Festivity_by_darkspeeds.jpg NO_2_THANK_YOU_GROUP_PIC_2004_.jpg Sonic_15th_Anniversary_by_darkspeeds.png Halloween_2004_by_manaita.jpg Sonic___Teams_against_Eggman_by_Tigerfog.jpg Sonic___Christmas_2007_by_Tigerfog.jpg Sega_Sonic_Zombies_by_Tigerfog.jpg

Chiyori's Sonic Girls

Kinuku's Mikuzei

(Many more at pixiv I wanted to show ... but it's under maintenance XP;)

And Finally...

Whew, it's late and I spent more time than I thought posting this.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and learnt a lot from my mistakes. XP

By the way.. can you guess them all so far? I tried to not reveal the names just for this purpose. Enjoy!

...I'll fix my typos in the morning as I'm sure it's filled with them. >.>

Edited by FlameStream
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*first off to Moderators, double post approved*

I believe I was the one that requested WIP stuff and all that jazz.

But honestly man, the time a love is pretty much pouring out of the picture, group pictures are difficult to do, possibly one of the most difficult things to do. As a one man band, it's impressive and a rather oustanding achivement to have got where you are already.

Maybe give us a shout in about may time if you still want some help and I'll see what I can do.

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Awesome effort bro. Seriously, I'm impressed. Really like the theme/how you managed to fit so many characters in... really cool. It takes alot of effort to do these, and it's admirable that you got sso far.

I like how you drew my character. (unless someone else has a character that looks like the guy sitting next to Violet :) ) Almost tempted to jack it and use it as an avatar!!!

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FlameStream

No mistake there, that's my interpretation of you. XP

You're free to do so but only when it'll be coloured. D: Haha.

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Saint Nathan

Wow, this is really nice. I THINK I see my charecter in one of 'em, but I have no idea. XD

Great work man, keep it up.

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Greg the Fancat

Hey man! Sorry to say this, but I requested my character, Greg the Cat, but you never checked apparently. (That or you're drawing him in a completely different and contrasting style.

My deviantart for your convenience.

My character is there in some much older pics in the gallery.

P.S. -_- Argh. Did the system of the SSMB really have to fail on us? Dang.... Bloody annoying. I hope we don't have to re-re-register after this occurence.

Edited by GREG THE CAT
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Well, the works that you did do are awesome dude, =D. I like that I'm looking like a badass in the middle on the ledge with my guitar, 8D! I completely understand if you can't finish this dude, it happens to the best of us, ^^". I'm glad you shared what you did though, =3.

-Blur

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Hey man! Sorry to say this, but I requested my character, Greg the Cat, but you never checked apparently. (That or you're drawing him in a completely different and contrasting style.

My deviantart for your convenience.

My character is there in some much older pics in the gallery.

P.S. -_- Argh. Did the system of the SSMB really have to fail on us? Dang.... Bloody annoying. I hope we don't have to re-re-register after this occurence.

First of all the picture isn't finished, so you may not be in it because Flamestream hasn't got round to you yet. You also posted very late in the topic so it's easy you missed whatever deadline was set.

Secondly it's Flamestream's picture, don't make demands as it is his choice on if you get in or not.

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FlameStream

>t3haxle

For the first version I used Adobe Photoshop first and moved over Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

The second version was entirely Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

The third one is currently being done with Painttool SAI. I'm currently in love with that software.

>GREG THE CAT

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid Urtheart is right. I did say that I'd at least include the first ones on the list and that I'd eventually stop since it would be overwhelming. If I really feel like spending more time, I'd include you. But if I had all the time in the world I'd draw every single fan in the world to show how huge the community is. Alas, it's a dream I can't possibly achieve alone. XP; Anyway, better luck next time ^^;

Edited by FlameStream
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Hey Flame. Ain't spoken to ya in a while, oh well. This is good stuff. You've done great work in explaining the creation process of it all, and the sketches themselves are outstanding, especially the rough background sketches. I can't wait to see how all this turns out in the end. Keep up the good work mate!

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It's nice to see what you did get up to in the end, you had some really interesting ideas :).

Maybe it could be a bit more achievable that instead of doing one HUEG background, you could piece things together like a collage or mosaic.

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The Stiv™

Haha, Stiv's getting annoyed at Knuckles. Ahh he could take him =P.

Shame you couldn't finish this, it looks great in sketch.

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Greg the Fancat

>t3haxle

For the first version I used Adobe Photoshop first and moved over Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

The second version was entirely Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

The third one is currently being done with Painttool SAI. I'm currently in love with that software.

>GREG THE CAT

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid Urtheart is right. I did say that I'd at least include the first ones on the list and that I'd eventually stop since it would be overwhelming. If I really feel like spending more time, I'd include you. But if I had all the time in the world I'd draw every single fan in the world to show how huge the community is. Alas, it's a dream I can't possibly achieve alone. XP; Anyway, better luck next time ^^;

Eh, it's alright man. Better luck next time, indeed. I should of noticed the deadline...

Your work looks good so far! I'm rooting for ya!

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Your group pictures are awesome! I especially love the ones you did with the regular Sonic characters, my fave being the Zombie one. XP

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It's nice to see what you did get up to in the end, you had some really interesting ideas :).

Maybe it could be a bit more achievable that instead of doing one HUEG background, you could piece things together like a collage or mosaic.

Oh, that's a cool idea, maybe have each person in a little uniquely shaped comic panel, and some would be reaching over into others, sitting on their panel like a windowsill, etc.

(thanks for those links, they look interesting)

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