Friday, May 4, 2012

Rise of the Fungi

I've decided to try to make my own standees. I've been really impressed by what people have made over on the cardboard warriors forum, but there are things I'd like to see made that I can't expect will just magically appear. So, as time permits, I'm doodling out my own ideas and learning how to turn them into standees.

I had already sketched out a couple skeleton figures, using some other human standees as templates for sizing things. This made me realize that I don't really know about bone structure, muscles and all sorts of things that would be useful to learn. Moreover, I have only rudimentary skills when playing with perspective and drawing things like hands and faces. There's a lot to practice! But, standees aren't always about faithfully reproducing reality, so I'm going to charge ahead anyway.

Yesterday at work, I printed out a template that gives some guidelines about sketching 30mm figures. This helps make sure that they're the right height relative to other standees. I began by trying to draw bugs - wasps, beetles... that sort of thing. I pulled off a couple (I'll post pictures) but got sidetracked onto another idea. Mushrooms.

I thought it'd be fun to make some scenery standees - things that would help fill in a real fantasy environment. Mushrooms turn out to be very easy to draw, come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and I think would fit in well with certain fantasy environments. I quickly sketched up several different mushrooms ranging from 6" to 6' tall, and I can imagine that by giving them some color and basic texture, they'll look OK. Of course, I might want to make some that standees can actually STAND on, but I'm not ready to tackle geometry like that. I might just make an X with two standees slotted together...

Anyway, that led me down the path of Mushroom Men. It wasn't terribly hard to add arms and legs to the mushrooms to make them into little warriors, shamans, wizards, brutes etc. So, I decided I'm going to start here with my simple mushrooms - inanimate and animated - and make some actual standees.

Last night, I scanned in my sketches and pulled one simple mushroom off of the sheet to try to ink and color. Clearly I need to spend more time on this... Using the mouse to trace is kind of hard for me, and the results were... meh. Tonight I'll try to ink the figure on paper and see if I can scan that in and use the lines as-is. For coloring, my skills with textures is non-existent. I need to keep practicing on adding details and shading. But, I won't let this get me down - I'll keep the sketches around, and make a "version 1" of the standees just to know that I got it done. I'll take what I learn and build from it.

I read a tutorial that is quite involved. The basic process was to sketch at 100%, scan, resize to 200%, print, trace and ink, trace the reverse, sketch the back, ink, rescan, clean up, color, resize... It's quite a process, but I'm sure people arrived at it by hard earned experience. So, I'll try to incorporate some of that in my process.