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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 02 October 2020 at 7:47pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Working with computers for a few decades now, I have come to the realization that many people—even artists—don’t understand the process. “The computer is not a tool, it is a cheat. It does the work.”

I first encountered this thinking when I started using 3D models. The distinct impression seemed to be that to create a 1960s Batmobile I simply typed “1960s Batmobile” and went off to have lunch while the computer created the model.

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Rod Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 674
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 5:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I think that some people forget that you have to build the model in order to use it.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 7:42am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

It's one of the reasons I have long said the G in CGI (for "generated") should be replaced with R, for "rendered".

Anyway, this particular issue has three examples of model use, three computer and one toy. Spot them if you can!

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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Looking back over the earlier "issues" this morning, and feeling very George Lucas-y. Argh! Sucks to be me!
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Eric Ladd
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 August 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 4066
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 8:38am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The three computer models could be the ship on page 1, the X-car on page 13 and the Blackbird on page 14. The toy has to be the car on page 18. I suppose the Professor's wheel chair could also be a model, but it is impossible to figure out what JB draws from memory and what he draws from example simple because it all looks good. =)
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Not the X-Flyer.
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Steven Queen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 February 2020
Location: United States
Posts: 239
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Please folks, don't misunderstand me:

1) I am not talking about Photoshop at all. That's digital painting. A whole other kettle of fish.

2) I appreciate how hard it is to build a good 3D model. At work, we struggle with it all the time for computer simulations.

3) Drawing from a photo-reference (or using a computer-generated image as a reference) is also not what I'm talking about. I think that's a MUST for illustrators. I am totally impressed that JB builds his own software/CAD models to help in illustrations.

4) To the original point: While there is considerable art and skill involved in taking a 3D model of a girl, posing the joints of it's arms and legs in CAD, placing lights in a scene, choosing materials, and pressing "go" for the ray-tracer to render a scene (e.g. what Pixar does for it's movies), I think it is as different from the type of illustration that Mr. Byrne does on paper with a pencil (or digitally with a mouse in Photoshop), as is sculpting something and then taking picture of it with a camera.    And while you might compliment a photographer for his or her "eye", you don't compliment his/her drawing skill or how accurate the scene he just photographed looks...because the camera/software did that.

It's just different, that's all---and when critically assessing its merits, I'd just like to know which medium I'm in.

That said, to my eye, it looks like Artgerm renders the "almost final" image entirely with software/ray-tracing for a 3D scene (a la Pixar) and then touches it up a bit in Photoshop...but I may be wrong. BUT, if he does in fact paint it "manually" entirely in Photoshop, with or without a model-reference (a la Alex Ross), then I am far more impressed with his skill.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 9:29am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

For clarity, I don’t use CAD and I have only rarely used figure models. Rarely, because they never quite seem satisfactory.
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 2186
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 11:46am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Whatever Artgerm uses he seems to be very good at what he does and has a following for it. I wouldn't mind a couple of his paintings as posters because I like the feeling of them, they radiate a positive feeling... you know, as opposed to the hunched over hulk-muscled dudes with straining at stool expression number two or five, or evil blood spattered gentleman with very long teeth leering. I like to see super people (and pets, bonus) enjoying themselves sometimes! :^)

There is that Japanese Akemi Takada/Tsukasa Hojo/Yoshikazu Yasuhiko influence, but as sick as I can get of a lot Japanese Anime cliches, those three artists (look them up) don't wear them too heavily.

I think for someone who has developed their art muscles it just comes down to what is the way to get what they want to see down and across to others. If it takes a toothbrush and a stick to hit it against, or a top quality computer program, we will still see stars. George Herriman's Krazy Kat created a unique world of imagination of the same magnitude as Windsor McKay's Little Nemo, or Alex Toth and Joe Kubert are in my mind as important as Frank Frazetta and Neal Adams... Finding Nemo was as enjoyable as Lilo & Stitch.

Well, anyway, I can't want for the next 'issue' of this comic! I even have the Hollandaise sauce on standby...

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 03 October 2020 at 11:48am
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Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 15569
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 2:24pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

JB: "...Looking back over the earlier "issues" this morning, and feeling very George Lucas-y. Argh! Sucks to be me!..."


At times such as this, for me, I recall the quote: "Art is never finished only abandoned."


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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122052
Posted: 03 October 2020 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

And I have a new mantra!
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