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Posted: 12 September 2012 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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evilproducer - 12 September 2012 08:37 PM

  I’m saying that you think these rules you refer to are hard and fast. I say that they are important, but malleable…

I know exactly what you’re saying. And yes, you’re right. Rules are made to be broken. How’s that?

Now that we have that out of the way, my point is that rules are not made to be broken by someone who doesn’t know them and their purpose in the first place. And if anything is true in this forum, it’s that the vast majority of people don’t know the rules in the first place. You and I both know that’s true, and it’s not an attack, it’s a fact. The vast majority of people here have no clue, for example, what color temperature means or how it affects their work. So saying it’s important but not hard and fast doesn’t help, because they really need to learn it in the first place and decide later when and if they’re going to ignore or modify it. 

And I can give you a list a mile long of rules that are, the vast majority of the time, hard and fast, and if you decide to break them you’d better know what you’re doing or your image isn’t going to serve the purpose you had for it.

Here’s a few random, off the top rules:

1. Don’t light your subject from underneath (like in the image) if you want to project a soft, light, happy feeling. Because it won’t do that. We all learned that as kids. It’s pretty much a fact. Not sure how you’d modify it, but I’m sure you’ll find a way.  smile

2. If you’re making an advertising image to sell precious gems, you’d better learn to light the subject with a very specialized lighting scheme that highlights the gem’s qualities. Otherwise nobody will buy the gem. For example, a single spot ain’t gonna do it. Same applies to almost any type of advertising image for any product.

3. If you want your audience to believe the scene is being lit by a certain type of light source, you should have its color temperature match pretty closely that of a real light source (which we already showed with the bonfire).

4. If you want your audience to believe your scene is outside on a clear sunny day at noon, you should have a blue light source to simulate skylight.

5. If you want your audience to believe your scene is realistic, stuff in your scene should cast shadows that correspond to the light sources.

I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. I’m sure you can come up with reasons to bypass any one of these, but what’s important is learning and understanding them, and their reasons, in the first place. 

 

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Posted: 12 September 2012 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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Okay, lunch over, so I’ll go on and on….  smile

There is a huge list of rules that are based upon how we perceive images. And those are pretty much fact because they’re based on how most people respond to images. It’s just how we are.

And if you want to get the viewer’s attention and interest, you need to take advantage of these “habits”. Or at least consider them.

For example:

1. Our eyes naturally jump to the brightest area of an image.

2. We generally like simple, not “busy” or “cluttered” images, with a clear subject and focus.

3. We tend to like images with a broad range of brightness levels (ie, “interest)

4. There is a whole list of things that most people find “aesthetically pleasing” in images, the kind of stuff you learn about in training about image Composition.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Now, as EvilProducer stated before, there are also rules based on how people perceive different colors. Here’s some of the rules he outlined:

“Black and white are good neutral colors that have a nice dynamic effect on an image. Grey is neutral as well of course, but it lacks any drama. The same with beige.”

The basic point is that most people associate certain feelings with certain colors. And that’s partly based on how and where we normally see those colors in real life.

Blue, which we generally associate with skylight, makes things “pop” and have a crisp, clear appearance. Which is why things on a bright sunny clear day look so vibrant and alive, while the same sun, while setting in the evening, gives a much warmer and yellow/orange glow as it bounces thru the atmosphere. We associate that with relaxing and warmth.

You guys can fill in the blanks on the other colors, but it’s pretty much factual that most of us are affected in the same way by various colors. In fact, if I give you a color, I’m sure you can explain to me what it means to you…

For example, PINK…..

Most of us can describe a lot about stuff associated with pink. Some of us could write an essay on all of the stuff associated with just that one color.

Same goes for contrasts. Pure black and pure white in an image is the highest contrast, and is the opposite of calm and relaxing.

And patterns. And textures. We all associate stuff with what we see. And some of those associations are pretty much universal.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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And none of these “rules” are going to cramp your artistic style, or limit your creativity. Think of them more as a language, and the rules associated with a language. It’s how you speak to people’s interests and emotions. If you want to speak English to someone, everyone needs to know the rules.

Likewise, if you want someone to look at your image and cry, you need to know what makes him or her cry. You need to speak their emotional language.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 12:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Hold on…

Wait a minute…I think I’ve found another rule when rendering images of scary monsters…

Don’t use…well, I’m sure you get the idea.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 12:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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And that opens up a whole new world of rules associated with posture, poses, and facial expressions.

You ain’t gonna scare anyone with an image of a monster, no matter how scary he is, if he’s posed like a 16 year old girl with a crush….  smile

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Posted: 13 September 2012 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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Uh oh, I’d better stop…

Evil’s gonna be pissed when he wakes up. I’m gettin’ outta here ....  smile

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Posted: 13 September 2012 01:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Oh, and one more analogy that might help…

It’s like music. You need to know some rules first before you play music. Why? Because if you throw some notes together randomly, most of us on the planet think it sounds nasty. So there are rules established about certain chords that sound pleasing to our ears, and evoke certain emotions. For example, a 9th chord on a guitar gives a “jazzy” sound that most of us really like. Other chords sound anticipatory, and others sound final.

And so much music is based on a standard blues progression. Why? Because we love the way it sounds. A zillion songs all have that same basis, but they’re all different enough that we still love it.

There are tons of rules surrounding music, as any musician will tell you. Do they stifle creativity? Hell no, they enhance it. It gives you a way to say what you want to say, make people dance when you want them to, make them sad when you want them to, make them reminiscent. But if you didn’t follow the rules, everyone would get up and walk out.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 12 September 2012 04:40 PM

By the way, amateurs/hobbyists LOVE to cite the “there are no hard and fast rules” position. Which is absolutely true IF you’re making images just for yourself. But there ARE hard and fast rules if you’re making images for others to enjoy. There are many, many hard and fast rules.

I’ve subscribed to both 3D World and 3D Artist for years, and while I realize that doesn’t make me a professional, it does allow me an insight into the lives, thought processes and workflow of MANY 3D professionals. The one thing I’ve learned is that there are NO hard and fast rules for creating art. Several years of artist interviews show that every artist approaches his/her craft differently. Sure some things just ARE like lights light things, and color colors things but the art is in how you use those ‘hard and fast’ rules.

And being able to use those ‘hard and fast’ rules in any way you choose to create your art sort of makes those ‘hard and fast’ rules not so ‘hard and fast’. It turns them into, at the most, strong suggestions.

And as far as Evil’s image, the white background simply works for that image. I’m told all the time that an image should have a focus, something that captures the viewers eye. Well, Evil’s image does just that. That white background forces the viewer in no uncertain terms to look at that girl, to focus on that girl! Makes sense to me, but then I guess I’m just a *gasp* hobbiest.

Here’s an image I did not too long ago (in Poser, sorry) that uses an all white background. I did this on purpose. My purpose was to show Jenny’s innocence with the white dress and white background as well as the washed out, over bright lighting/postwork. I wanted the over the top white to give the red shrug (signifying Jenny’s wilder side) a very sharp contrast. Yes, Jenny is innocence but in this case appearances are deceiving.

http://cgandme.com/2012/09/10/the-jenny-wren-project-6/

While some people will disagree, white is generally considered a color. If color in an image is important, then white is just as valid a choice as red or yellow or anything else.

Now, I’ll climb down from my high horse and go play with my virtual dolls.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 13 September 2012 01:35 AM

Oh, and one more analogy that might help…

It’s like music. You need to know some rules first before you play music. Why? Because if you throw some notes together randomly, most of us on the planet think it sounds nasty. So there are rules established about certain chords that sound pleasing to our ears, and evoke certain emotions. For example, a 9th chord on a guitar gives a “jazzy” sound that most of us really like. Other chords sound anticipatory, and others sound final.

And so much music is based on a standard blues progression. Why? Because we love the way it sounds. A zillion songs all have that same basis, but they’re all different enough that we still love it.

There are tons of rules surrounding music, as any musician will tell you. Do they stifle creativity? Hell no, they enhance it. It gives you a way to say what you want to say, make people dance when you want them to, make them sad when you want them to, make them reminiscent. But if you didn’t follow the rules, everyone would get up and walk out.

Just as an aside, what about savants. There are records of savants who just started creating amazing artwork or music with no prior instruction and in some cases no prior experience at all. This would imply that we already have these ‘rules’ one needs to know to create art or music already in our brains. We don’t have to learn them, we have to be retaught. Some who say they ‘just know what’s right’ with their art are probably accessing the knowledge that is already wired into their brain.

While I have some knowledge of color theory and a smattering of knowledge about lighting (I have actually read the Jeremy Birn book that most of us supposedly don’t read…several times) most of the creative decisions I make when creating my images are instinctive or based on how a certain color or composition ‘feels’. Many artist work this way, even ‘professional’ artists.

You don’t have to know the ‘rules’ to be a good or even great artist. The same goes for music. I won’t deny that knowledge is power and the more you know the better you can become as an artist, but knowledge of the ‘rules’ is not a prerequisite to being an artist of any sort.

 

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Posted: 13 September 2012 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Just in general - be wary of projecting a Euro-American centricity to all things artistic.  There are many, many other cultures in the world that view colour and symbols very differently to Euro-America.  In some countries white is the colour of mourning.  In Africa and South-Central America art is vibrant and can be seen as over-saturated to Euro-American eyes.  In English-centric countries, an owl is seen as representing wisdom: in Africa it is the harbinger of death.  And so on - just don’t get comfortable and assume that what you are used to, what your culture perceives as this or that, what emotions it evokes applies equally to all cultures.

On a much lighter note (pun?) I’ve just spent the day replacing all the light fittings in my house - a fashion/culture statement by my wife?

It occurred to me that it may be time for you guys to break out the Tipex and update your reference books on lighting - we’ve succumbed to the Greenies and can no longer buy incandescent light bulbs.  it’s all long-life, energy-saving CFL’s, so from now onwards in my house indoor light renders will no longer be yellow, but blue-white.

If you dare do a yellow-lighted indoor render you will be judged harshly as a recidivistic, politically incorrect, energy hog.

Cheers

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Posted: 13 September 2012 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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Roygee - 13 September 2012 10:03 AM

If you dare do a yellow-lighted indoor render you will be judged harshly as a recidivistic, politically incorrect, energy hog.

Cheers

That’s me! LOL

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Posted: 13 September 2012 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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Roygee - 13 September 2012 10:03 AM

It occurred to me that it may be time for you guys to break out the Tipex and update your reference books on lighting - we’ve succumbed to the Greenies and can no longer buy incandescent light bulbs.  it’s all long-life, energy-saving CFL’s, so from now onwards in my house indoor light renders will no longer be yellow, but blue-white.

If you dare do a yellow-lighted indoor render you will be judged harshly as a recidivistic, politically incorrect, energy hog.

Cheers

The GE Reveal CFL’s are very close to the color of old incandescent bulbs. I find them much easier on the eyes than the blue-white bulbs.
Home Depot and Lowes also have CFL’s in a variety of colors. That’ll all confuse folks. smile

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Posted: 13 September 2012 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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This has been a very informative thread.

The blue and the orange coloration scheme is a big thing I see cropping up too much now a days and I can’t even watch certain movies & TV shows because of it

http://theabyssgazes.blogspot.com/2010/03/teal-and-orange-hollywood-please-stop.html

http://www.slashfilm.com/orangeblue-contrast-in-movie-posters/

http://www.cracked.com/article_18664_5-annoying-trends-that-make-every-movie-look-same.html

Additionally light collation can affect brainwaves, certain colors.  Certain color make it easier to induce the production of certain types of brainwaves based on how the are presented to a viewer as do the use of certain camera angles and cuts in a scene.  I’ll have to dig out my biofeedback books if anyone wants specifics on this.

I got to ask at a biofeedback training conference a few years ago if the use of certain colored lights in the use of photic driving had the same impact if it was used on people from different cultures and the answer was that flickering a light at a certain rate with a certain color produces the same responses regardless of what the color represents in that culture.

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Posted: 13 September 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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When I went to get mine, there were a staggering number of choices available - I settled for soft white - we seldom use the ceiling lights, anyway.

So, we may as well tear out the page about yellow indoor lighting?

Another one we can tear out is the one that espouses the conventional wisdom that uplighting the face engenders emotions of fear, horror, et al.  Sure, “Westerners” are brought up in houses with ceiling lighting and are used to seeing folk lit from above - the horror of seeing someone lit from below is re-enforced by Hollywood.  What about the millions, possibly a majority of people on Earth, living in rural areas and squalid shacks in urban areas, whose only source of night light is a fire in the center of a mud hut or a candle on a table? 

They have grown up seeing their siblings, parents, grandparents faces uplit - why on earth would the sight of an uplit face cause them any angs?

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