I don’t really think I’m that good at anatomy (or females) but this is quite a popular request so… I’m making a tutorial, and this is the part to show you what NOT to do with your fellow humans. More coming… eventually.
I suck at breast variations, but I try; see this page for awesome references: x
pretty damn funny. :) Snapped spines are pretty disturbing and all over the place.
Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
Relating this to game/character design, I’ve seen policing like this and it’s not cool. Well drawn female character =/= what she wears/doesn’t wear. It’s if she’s been given a character and her wardrobe reflects that character. The whole damn pie SHOULD be available to draw from when designing. A female character shouldn’t have to fulfill your wardrobe expectation to be valid. The character just needs to be thoughtfully constructed.
Jack from Mass Effect 2 is a great example. She doesn’t have a shirt and it’s completely appropriate given her backstory and who she has become. She was horribly abused for the greater part of her life and covers herself in tattoos. She rewrites her history on her skin and by not wearing a shirt, it’s a giant fuck you to the universe. It’s her way of taking command over her own identity. She’s not hiding from anyone, at least not physically. On an emotional level, her actions and appearance are deliberate in keeping people distant because she can’t stand to be hurt anymore. She’s got very understandable trust issues. She uses her appearance/behavior to shock and alienate.
All this, and yet I see people bitching about how her appearance is for fan service alone. I see people so eager to police the designs of females like Jack it’s kind of creepy and certainly reactionary. I get it. We’re sick of lady characters being nothing more than vapid jack off material. We want validation within our own medium. That’s fine. Let’s claim the whole pie and not some alternate narrowly cut slice.
I once heard about a wedding photographer (who charged average prices) that wanted to work less. So, she figured that if she just began raising her prices there would simply be less interest from clients. First she bumped up to $3,000 a weekend, then $4,000, then $5,000. To her astonishment, she actually began receiving more requests from clients. The clients figured that if she was charging such a high sum, she must be really good. Truth being told, she hadn’t gotten any better, she’d always been a good photographer – but the higher price led her potential clients to believe this and, in the end, they were never disappointed. Finally this photographer raised her prices to $20,000 per weekend, essentially pricing herself above what almost anyone could afford. Her potential clients then began offering to fly her to remote locations around the world just for the chance to have her shoot their exotic weddings.
I think you get my point. The old economic adage that higher price correlates to lower demand doesn’t always hold true, and this is especially true of luxury goods. Design is a premium service. A luxury good. It is certainly not necessary to run a business (just take a look at all the used car dealers of the world for confirmation), but results in a definite advantage to the businesses who value good design. Don’t be surprised to find that design and the pricing of design follows a slightly paradoxical pricing relationship.
This little story also illustrates how important market positioning is to luxury goods. You’d be a fool to try and compete on price with sites like 99designs, so don’t try. Compete on completeness, your creative vision and your customer service.
Some interesting thoughts about pricing design jobs and how charging hourly is somewhat antithetical to the creative process. I like the idea of setting up base costs and using estimations of difficulty as multipliers. This is for graphic/web design, but I think it applies to creative work generally.
I don’t know how many of you who follow me are freelancers or are thinking about it, but I’ll throw out a word of caution that I’ve found to be true over the last few years of my own freelance work:
The people who pay the least are the worst to work with. In every regard. They are more indecisive, more demanding, and strangely enough, more entitled. I don’t fully understand it, but my best guess as to why this tends to happen is that people who are willing to pay more have confidence in themselves, their product, and you as a designer. They’re committed to a concept and are willing to back it up with money. If they’ve hired you, they’re confident enough in your work to pay you for it. You aren’t cheating someone by charging more. You’re respecting yourself and weeding out a lot of undesirable clients. Cheap clients will cause you more stress and the work won’t be portfolio material. Also, they have a tendency to make the creative process a bit miserable. Also, you’ll be hungry.
That’s all based on my experience, of course. Feel free to add your own perspectives to the subject if you want, I’d love to hear what others think about their own experiences with setting prices to their work.
Texture concept work from the last couple days. These guys are side characters but also access points to enter different game zones, so we have to plan for different states to indicate game progress and such. I’m handing them off to another artist on the team to do the texture work for the 3d models.
Next game, I want to try texturing. I think I’d be good at it. :)
ALSO, names of these robots aren’t set in stone. the ones I did the base design for (karstbot and turtlemonkey) have decent names, but I think we can do better than Stonebot and Butlerbot. Any name ideas?
Ivan Aivazovsky (July 29, 1817 – May 5, 1900), “[…] most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings. Aivazovsky is widely considered as one of the greatest seascape painters of all time.”
wow, i tried not to reblog but oh my goddddd! <3
(Source: admiralfitzroy, via pizzaboxgranteyrac)
This is the same man.
This works quite nicely at debunking the “beefcake guys in comics are objectified for women just like women in comics are for men!”, imo. On the left: a magazine tailored for a male audience, showing him in full beefcake-type mode with headlines about how you, too, can look like this. On the right: a magazine tailored for a female audience, which has a headline about romance and shows him looking more or less like a normal dude.
Tell me again how comic book guys are designed for female sexual enjoyment, completely equivalent to anatomically-improbable spines and giant tits with their own individual centers of gravity, and totes aren’t just male power fantasies.
This is very important. Look at the difference there - LOOK. Every time some comic-reading shitlord comes to me when I complain about how women are treated in comic art, I want them to LOOK AT THIS and then come back to me and say that shit with a straight face. Cause I’m telling you - Ripped McBullBody isn’t for us. It never, ever was.
This is so spot on. :D
This is a great way to illustrate the idea that male power fantasies are NOT crafted with women in mind. They’re just not. I hear the comparison between objectified female characters and male power fantasies drawn all the time. They say that skimpy chicks who are nothing but vapid one dimensional love interests are made to appeal to men while the tough guy with anger issues are made to appeal to women. Nope. Not even a little. This is a false equivalence. Both are made with a male audience in mind. The fact that this happens isn’t the problem, it’s the fact that very little ELSE seems to happen, that’s the problem. It gets really old.
If anyone wonders why I latch onto well developed female characters with such devotion it’s because they are SO uncommon. Women are treated as subhuman plot devices so often and so easily we often don’t stop to think about what that actually says about women and girls. The fact that this mentality is such a persistent cultural norm is pretty fucking terrible.
Just to link it once again, the development of Thane from Mass Effect went through an interesting development process. The developers drew, to their best estimation, what they thought women wanted. Then they showed their designs to women around their office. Hilarity ensued.
They had constructed a character that was essentially a power fantasy for themselves. Only after they got feedback from women did they actually get a really good design down that appealed to women. On their own, these really talented people weren’t just a little wrong. They were totally wrong. And it’s not really their fault, it’s a larger societal problem that goes far beyond video game development or visual storytelling. It’s important to be aware of these tendencies and the way we approach stories and characters so that rather than unwittingly falling into tropes, we can use those tropes as tools to accomplish more sophisticated designs. If you’re lazy or apathetic about such things, you may unwittingly be part of the problem.
Makin things pretty. :b These are the latest screenshots from our efforts on Magnetic by Nature.
Game dev kind of feels like caving. The longest I’ve ever worked on a game is a year and a half. The longest I’ve been in a cave is about 14 hours. I’m feeling a combination of exhaustion/accomplishment that is familiar to both.
Both condition you to push yourself to the point where uncertainty becomes your playground. You lose all sense of time, it’s immersive, exciting, and often very uncomfortable. You’re faced with challenges that require you to contort yourself in ways you didn’t expect, climb places that would make most sane people shudder, and while you have an idea of where you’re going, you can only really see a few feet in front of you. There are moments when the world presses in on you enough that you can’t even do a full pushup. There are moments when you do things you don’t want to do (like wade through ice cold water up to your bellybutton). There may even be times when you feel totally lost and disoriented and the members of the group lose themselves to a few moments of panic.
All the discomfort and uncertainty is overshadowed by the joy of climbing around like a crazy monkey and exploring the unknown with a small group of capable friends. It requires a high degree of trust with the people you’re with and by the time you’re close to the end, you come to fully realize how much you needed each other to get through it. Looking back, you realize you did a LOT of stuff you never thought you could simply because it needed to be done and you rose to meet the challenge.
I’ve stemmed over black chasms, repelled ice waterfalls, crawled through mud, ice, and water. I’ve climbed on walls, ceiling, and up/down waterfalls. I’ve found rare formations. I’ve been hypothermic. I’ve had all my lights go out at once to find myself alone in the dark. I’ve also turned off my lights and created my own laser shows in the cave with my friends. At the end, I find myself tired, covered in mud/sweat, clothes tattered, muscles feeling like overcooked noodles, and it’s the happiest feeling in the world.
Right now Magnetic By Nature feels a lot like that. The project will be done soon and I’m already waxing nostalgic about it all. That and I have spring fever.
(someone go caving with me)
Hey guys! I just discovered Drawcrowd. If you’re still using Devart or want a place to have a portfolio that looks great and is really easy to set up, take a look. I set my page up in 5 minutes.
The interface is what sells it, honestly. It’s not doing anything new that other sites haven’t. You can subscribe to people, favorite their stuff, you have your own gallery page, and the site sponsors prominent work. It just looks so damn good compared to other sites I’ve seen. It’s a LOT more simple than cghub and a million times better looking than devart (which people still use?).
There are some talented people on there already, so go ahead and sign up if you need to throw a portfolio online or just want exposure.
In light of Ken Levine firing just about everybody at irrational games so he can start a new studio at Take-Two Interactive to makes for the “Core Gamer”, I have a few quick thoughts. Now while I know people who have worked at Irrational games in the past, I am not familiar with the particular studio structure there. That being said, I am familiar generally with the way most video game developers are organized and I will hazard this hypothesis: Ken Levine is the only human being that was really central to the creative process at Irrational Games, while the rest are only servants of the computers that guide and direct their work.
This seems like an insult to the hundreds who worked on these games, but it’s not. It’s not that these workers didn’t create value, it’s more that even though they were making creative decisions over a variety of problems all the time, their actual profession has been rationalized, streamlined, and scientifically managed to the point that their particular creative skills are replaceable and interchangeable. The only person who wasn’t disposable, according to Take-Two, is the creative lead.
Levine’s intent with the first BioShock was to skewer the Randian hero whose supposed individual success was actually built on the backs of the worker, yet he has lived that exact Hero’s life. Under cognitive capitalism the goal for any good manager is to undermine autonomy and unpredictability as much as possible, and keep the actual creative work in the heads of a tiny select few who rule by fiat. That Levine isn’t looking for a job while the rest of the assembly line workers are says a lot about how empty the promise of skilled professionals sharing in the success and wealth of high tech capitalism is.
Irrational Games (creators of Bioshock) basically just closed down and Ken Levine has only kept about 15 or so people to presumably create a smaller studio. I thought the commentary here was worthwhile. It echoes patterns in management structure that I’ve seen in the industry thus far. This mindset creates a toxic environment in which workers are disposable and systematically exploited. Overworked, underpaid, severely limited in influence/input, and just as easily let go. Food for thought.