Creating compositions | Gabriel Ortolan | Skillshare
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9 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Intro - what this class is about

    • 2. Knowing what to draw and creating a story

    • 3. Size and aspect ratio

    • 4. Rule of the third

    • 5. Overlap and mess

    • 6. Value scale

    • 7. Details and atmosphere

    • 8. Final tips

    • 9. Summing it up

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About This Class

This class is about how to create compositions. First, I will give you a step by step of how to start a composition, like the rule of the third for both the position for the objects and for the value scale, the overlap and the mess. Then, I will try to give more generic tips of how to construct them, like the basic foreground, midground and background division, and the flip horizontaly technique.  So, ready to begin?

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabriel Ortolan

Illustrator & Animator


I graduated in Technology in Graphic Arts (almost the same as Graphic Design) by the Federal Technological University of Paraná (Brazil) and also completed a Post Graduate on Comics and a Post Graduate on Game Design. Right now I'm trying to improve my drawing skills. It's not only something I believe I'm good at, but also my passion, although still have a lot to learn. And by doing that I discovered another thing I love: animation. Well, in fact, tradicional animation. Check out my Youtube channel for more videos.

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1. Intro - what this class is about: do you? Hi, everybody. How are you doing? My name is Gabriel and owns Project. We're going to learn how to grate compositions. Their objective here is to give you chips as much as I can give you help. You created these classes for artists, mainly concept art artists that want to improve their skews when you need to create compositions. So show began. 2. Knowing what to draw and creating a story: First of all, the objective off this class again is to give you tips about how to create compositions, nothing more. And it all begins on the concept. This may sound silly and obvious, but if you don't know what to draw, don't even start. The worst thing is being stuck in a project that, you know you have to start over, at least for us designers. So know what you are about to draw. It can be a normal landscape. Ah, futuristic landscape. Oh, a spaceship. The inside of a spaceship. Ah, feudal landscape in Japan landscape From millions off years ago when dinosaurs east you existed desert forest or a big city It doesn't matter. What matters is that you are sure off what your art or your concept is going to be. Basically, you're telling a story through it. It doesn't need to be a full story, but the more you think about it, the better your composition will become. Because they story. Your story will serve as inspiration and effect old arrest 3. Size and aspect ratio: it comes, Depart where you said to this ice and the aspect ratio off your composition. Now they are different concepts that somehow work together. The size is measured, for example, in pixels in points in scent emitters in millimeters or the unit that you had previously set. The aspect ratio, however, is the proportion that you set in the size. There are no rules, said it and begin to draw. But in the aspect ratio, although there are no rules, either, there seems to be a consensus between the artists that work with concept arts, that consensus off the aspect ratio. It's set between the numbers off one point 85 to 1, that core response Judy smaller rectangle and to 2.35 to 1 that corresponds to do these gray rectangle over here. If you, by any chance, don't know how to work with proportions, don't worry. It's easier than you think. For example, you choose the aspect ratio off true to one. If you have ah, height off 1000 Peaks house that with this is going to be off, true 1000 picks us. Now let's say that should choose 1.93 True one if you have ah, high off 1000 pixels there with With is going to be off 1930 pixels. If you have a high off 300 pixels in the same aspect, the racial there with with is going to be off 579 Beak seus. Don't be afraid of truth to the math or even get a calculator. Then again, it's easier when you work with a round numbers. Now let's go back to the examples. That number can be, for example, off 1.95 to 1 or even 2 to 1, but it cannot be lower than 1.85 neither higher, then 2.35 to 1. So the aspect ratios off 1.7 to 1 and 2.4 to 1 are not acceptable, according to disk uncensored. But again, it's your choice to decide which aspect aeration. You're going to juice 4. Rule of the third: next comes the time it recreated the composition itself. Usually, the artists choose to follow the rule off the third, which consists in dividing the high and do we this into three equal parts. So the next depart is to get the intersection off this lines, like we can see, owns picture. Over here, those intersections create what we call focal points. There is the possibility off repeating the process and creating a second focal point. And we can go even further and regenerate 1/3 focal point. This sparked off a bigger process, which is the Beth Off vision indicated by this arrow over here. In other words, these three points generate tree focal points which end up creating the path off vision. This bath off vision directs the view off the viewer. It begins over here past true, the second focal point and ended up over here. No, it can be also the other way around finding different focal points. Great. A different path off vision begins over here. Press through the second focal point. And here, like, uh, a circular movements. The important thing to know is that there are not right nor wrong. Sometimes one or two focal points aren't enough on their times. It's convenient to create even more gentry focal points. But be careful, not great through many. So at the same time that there are no rose in creating true many focal points, you need the viewer to concentrate in true many points, for in the exception off, the exceptions are enough. 5. Overlap and mess: The next step is great what we call overlap. So let's create a composition over here. And ah, my only concern is ah created it, uh, said over that if I happened to put something above the focal points, it will be an accident. It will not be on purpose. So let's do it first. Let's stretch agreed there for his own line over here, um for do for groaned. - It's trade. True it. So we have more space toward with No , that's sarees it something like that. That's good, Dio, I think so. This is, Ah, Rocky, who over that if the landscape is a forest, the overlap is going to be off trees. If it is desert, the overlap is going to be off dooms. And if it is a big city, the overlap is going to be off buildings. And so one. It is important to understand that the elements do not appear as a whole. If they do, it cannot be called overlap. And another important thing on that somehow relates to the overlap. Is that off a messy background? The messier this, the more believable it will appear. It's very hard to believe in a place that everything is in what they are supposed to be. Something out of place. I staying on the wall, some spewed drink or even something broken sometimes is enough to make ah background more believable. They're off course is for when you're talking about the side off establishment like house or an apartment in the landscape like this. On the other hand, it's already unbelievable. They way it is built in this example that I made. It's supposed to be an addict. It's supposed to look like this. It's supposed to be messing like this because we kept here in this headache thinks that are no longer usable things that we have no longer used for. Um, for example, these little shelf off here have both books that can stand on its own because off the thickness and some are included, the this hat over here that is on top off a briefcase that is on top off another briefcase . This telephone, these typewriter that is on top off a chair. The radio, it's you know it and they're not its original place. Ah, broken mirror on this drawer over here, that is. Some drawers are closed, but others are open and ah, we've not the same level off opening. So to sum it up a background you not look a perfect old time at least for the inside off establishments It has to be something out off place. Uh, something broken And ah, so wine for us. True. Believe more in it. The more mess hear the background is, the more believable it will appear. 6. Value scale: the next step didn't going to talk about is the value or brightness scale every artist that I met so far used statement technique. The divide. The value is scare you into 10 equal parts from 100% white chu, 100% black. Then they don't use in their compositions Part one, which corresponds true, 100% white. Neither part then, which corresponds to 100% black. They tend to stay between departs, true through nine. The excuse that give is that there's not absolute brightness nor absolute darkness in nature itself, and they are correct. They are not absolute brightness nor darkness in nature. Indeed, I only disagree in a special occasion. The glow in people's ice depending on the lighting, it's easier to see that theories 100% white like we can see on these examples. It may prove more difficult again, according to the lighting. See that blue? That is, in fact, a reflection off the person's site like we can see here. Sometimes that glow can be reduced to a tiny dot, and all their times they are not visible at all again. It depends from where the light is coming from and how much light the picture or image is exposed to. But as the thing is, creating compositions and not drawing realistic people, you can kind off ignore it for now and to keep the rule off. Third going. There's also this kind off proportion when calculating the balance between light and dark. It's better to pick 1/3 off light and 2/3 off dark like we can see in this picture, or do the opposite with 2/3 off light and 1/3 off dark like we can see in this another example. You don't want 50% off the image light and the other 50% off it dark because it doesn't create tension because it's true, perfect, and the human eye does not want it to be so perfect. It needs this kind off balance. It claims for this kind off tension. Now let's put in practice these theory in our example. Let's see to know, for example, this mountain over here. I'm going to paint it a little more light, then the other, but that so I plan to do the rest off, um, the background composition lighter. Let's year looking for pain. The sky in the other mountains far away, just a little bit darker. - It's two very yeah, that's better. This effect true, much dark. I'm going to light and to beat just like that, it's good Next it's going to be I think the floor, um with the corner kind off, um, lighter, then this one. So pick this one and going through light and need Pete's scoot. It's perfect. - And for lest I'm going to que, um, atone for this last mountain or rock, Um, probably I'm going to start from here And I see you. Oh, if that fits family of eat You got true many home. I believe it's got true there. I'm going to light enough a little bit far, and there you go something like that. 7. Details and atmosphere: now details and atmosphere. First, let's talk about atmosphere in the background as well as in the foreground. It's a good idea to keep lose edges because the fewer can't define very well the shapes that you placed there. The eye is attracted by details, details that you can put in the mid ground. You can do it by applying a color contrast or by Edin details to the object itself and keep its value. Now I'm going to show you two pictures that I made that were colorful at first, but I end up the saturated so you can notice how I chose to do their value with scale. In the first, I tried to create true filosa raptors. One can only be seen by the projector shadow over here, and there are other can be seen bigger in the foreground with more detail use. Now let's take a closer look at the shadow, try to keep it with loose edges, so it didn't go much attention. But in my opinion, it called much attention because it was the only part off this picture that I put color on . So the shadow itself has lose address. But even on this picture De saturated it has true much value contrast. It kind of backfired to sum it up and only Velociraptor over here. I tried to apply more details, as we can see in the close and even owned this kin. So it was not a great example. But there it is. No. Ah, Much better example is this in this picture, I tried to carefully to apply all the composition tapes that I gave you so far. The rule off the third for the position off the Viking for the value scare you, the over there, the path off decision. And so But I tried to use this as an example. Trudeau lose edges, details and atmosphere. First of all, I didn't want the viewer reputation on the scenery. It's there. It's fulfilling its job, but nothing more. So I used from some loose edges here on the throat ground and especially on the background behind the Viking, especially on these trees. And the smoke, if you will, that is in front off the travel alone engulf in it because I wanted the bath off vision to be a straight line beginning on the dragon and ending on the Viking. It's cool. It's a straight line. At the same time, I tried to wet more details to the Viking as we can see better through the cracks on the shoot, his arm work and on his beard. As for the atmosphere, I believe I achieved that through the loose edges, many on the mountains that we can't really define. Where one ends and another begins. And on, uh, the sorest over here as we can see that a blizzard is slowly in golf, in some off the trees. 8. Final tips: sum it up. What we have alerted off important so far. We have the for a ground that is supposed to be darker, then the rest off composition. We have this mountains over here as many other layers between the foreground and the mid ground that you can see that these mounting over here, he's supposed to be part of it. The meat ground where the action takes place and deserves much more. They use much more tighter. Etch requires more definition. That's put it that way. That corresponds should maybe these mounting over here and groaned as much on early years between the mid ground and the background as you want. That corresponds, Trudy's mounting over here and for last, the background eat south that's supposed to be lighter, then the rest off composition and have lose edges to help create an atmosphere just like the foreground. We could say that the mountains over there being part off the background. As for final tips when flipping an image or resulted Lee, it must few natural. It has to fuel normal cause. If he doesn't, it's because there is something wrong with your composition. Maybe it's a line or a form that you have to fix too few comfortable with all the artists that I know sooner or later utilized this technique. Some use this only in the end, where the art he's almost ready while you're others use it so much that you can't tell if the artists reflected or not. God doesn't create in the straight lines. So if you want or need to give the few that this or that object was created buying man, I just use a straight lines in it like these obelisk over here. And finally, if you free to break the rules, if you think that following this or that rule wouldn't fit well in your composition, don't use it. If you need true position. One. Keep object outside. The focal points do it, but only if you feel comfortable in doing so. I, for example, I don't even know what the aspect ratio off this picture is. But the way that I had imagined in my mind I was able to put in screen everything. He's where it was supposed to be, and I mean everything. The position waas more important than the Value Escape, for example, the position off the shadow project in the world just enough to review at their ease. Another dinosaur on the scene, the position off the arms and foot illuminated by hiss light that comes from over here, develops Raptor's neck, turning to decide like this just enough again to leave the thriller in the air and not showing its head. As I said, everything is where it was supposed to be, and I didn't even intend for things to be placed. Hold the for complaints like we can see here. See, my intention was only place everything exactly as I had imagined. So this is the result, sometimes is needed to break the rules. 9. Summing it up: so just some apathy tips that we have seen owns project about creating compositions. There were You're telling a story through your composition, size and aspect ratio. Threw off the third over. Let in mess values k u Did they use and atmosphere and final tips, So that's it.