Find the Clear, Simple, Statement

Assignment 2 in Nathan Fowkes Environment Design course! 
Really interesting, educational assignment: do 12 studies using only 3 values and hard edges. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. For a minute, I even thought it was to simple. Then, I attempted it. Sure, the actual painting it out is simple, but getting the simple statement just right was a brain teaser. First off, it is great, because it makes you take a step back before you even get started. I had to try to decipher where exactly the different values would go and why, decide why they were important, and when to simplify shapes. One of the goals was to paint the studies so that you were able to understand what was going on, what the point of the scene was without having to reference the original. So, even though, you might see a highlight here or a dark shadow there, if it broke apart the images in such a way that you lost the context, it wasn't working. My study is on the right or bottom. Since some folks wanted to see my last studies closer, I've included the individual studies. Keep in mind though that these are thumbnails, and are meant to give you the scene information on a quick glance at a small scale.
I'm getting so much out of the class. The pace is great, working my edge without feeling lost or like it's too easy. Now, I get to attempt to make my own landscapes! :o
Wish me luck!

Shadow of the Collosus Concept Art - This was the first one I attempted, and let me tell you, my first go round, I painted in his whole face with mid-values, and in the end took them out because it just took away from the scene. The important thing here is the scale, the eye, not knowing if we are seen or not. The silhouette communicates "large monster face" enough without all of the (though awesome) interior detail.

Shadow of the Collosus Concept Art - This was the first one I attempted, and let me tell you, my first go round, I painted in his whole face with mid-values, and in the end took them out because it just took away from the scene. The important thing here is the scale, the eye, not knowing if we are seen or not. The silhouette communicates "large monster face" enough without all of the (though awesome) interior detail.

Life of Pi - I thought I was done with this, until I put the bubbles and the motion lines, they really were necessary to communicate the scene. The scene could read as very scary really quickly, but the soft silhouette of the whale and the light bubbles keep it magical.

Life of Pi - I thought I was done with this, until I put the bubbles and the motion lines, they really were necessary to communicate the scene. The scene could read as very scary really quickly, but the soft silhouette of the whale and the light bubbles keep it magical.

Tomb Raider Concept Art - It was hard to know exactly where to stop the highlight on the waterfall. This is probably one of the busier studies I did, but it seemed the tree silhouettes were necessary to define the space. I'm also learning that rim lighting is THE trick to defining a thing and bringing attention. Without that bit of rim light, we wouldn't know about the crashed plane!

Tomb Raider Concept Art - It was hard to know exactly where to stop the highlight on the waterfall. This is probably one of the busier studies I did, but it seemed the tree silhouettes were necessary to define the space. I'm also learning that rim lighting is THE trick to defining a thing and bringing attention. Without that bit of rim light, we wouldn't know about the crashed plane!

Philippe Gaulier - Snow White Concept Art Though it's simple, this is probably one of my favorite setups for a scene "tunnel w singular light source." Gets me every time.

Philippe Gaulier - Snow White Concept Art Though it's simple, this is probably one of my favorite setups for a scene "tunnel w singular light source." Gets me every time.

Shadow of the Colossus Concept Art - More Shadow of the Colossus! I REALLY wanted a 4th value to light the face of the monster with, but in the end, the primary story action here is our hero on his horse, so therefor has the most contrast and detail. Gotta love those rim lights too!

Shadow of the Colossus Concept Art - More Shadow of the Colossus! I REALLY wanted a 4th value to light the face of the monster with, but in the end, the primary story action here is our hero on his horse, so therefor has the most contrast and detail. Gotta love those rim lights too!

Bladerunner - Nothing shows how to design shadow like film noir.

Bladerunner - Nothing shows how to design shadow like film noir.

Scene from Sleeping Beauty - Reflections are a big part of communicating water it seems. Also, one shifted angle and it looks like they are fighting instead of dancing. I hope I got the dancing communicated!

Scene from Sleeping Beauty - Reflections are a big part of communicating water it seems. Also, one shifted angle and it looks like they are fighting instead of dancing. I hope I got the dancing communicated!

Atey Ghailan - Wow, this was tricky. What I loved discovering in doing this study, was how the artist neatly placed clumps of people in dark clothing on either side, and light colored clothing in the middle to help make the silhouette of the main character really stand out. It was also fun to discover that the crosswalk lines are absolutely necessary. I was struggling with how abstract the blurred but blocky lighting was, and how it was hard to tell the "Where" of this image, the crosswalk lines fix that, and immediately communicate street, even with all the weird abstract blocks of light.

Atey Ghailan - Wow, this was tricky. What I loved discovering in doing this study, was how the artist neatly placed clumps of people in dark clothing on either side, and light colored clothing in the middle to help make the silhouette of the main character really stand out. It was also fun to discover that the crosswalk lines are absolutely necessary. I was struggling with how abstract the blurred but blocky lighting was, and how it was hard to tell the "Where" of this image, the crosswalk lines fix that, and immediately communicate street, even with all the weird abstract blocks of light.

Gerhard Mozsi - I'm still not sure if I have this one correct. The shafts of light are tricky with the hard edges. I really wanted one more value. In the end I think it does communicate "man in a large cavern with light streaming in."

Gerhard Mozsi - I'm still not sure if I have this one correct. The shafts of light are tricky with the hard edges. I really wanted one more value.
In the end I think it does communicate "man in a large cavern with light streaming in."

Inception - I always liked the epic scale of this first shot of the workshop. I really simplified this one. Every time I started adding detail, it took away from "man entering epic warehouse" and became "look at all the stuff and try to figure out what it is" I'm now also learning about the whys and moods for using tilted horizons, and this adds to the feeling of potential action. Something big is going to happen here.

Inception - I always liked the epic scale of this first shot of the workshop. I really simplified this one. Every time I started adding detail, it took away from "man entering epic warehouse" and became "look at all the stuff and try to figure out what it is"
I'm now also learning about the whys and moods for using tilted horizons, and this adds to the feeling of potential action. Something big is going to happen here.

Akira - This famous scene was pretty tricky with 3 values. WHat I liked noticing was that you cannot see the sky, but get a full sense of city scape and perspective from the breakup of values, and the layers of silhouetted and highlighted buildings.  It was hard to decide if the lights should go in or not (version without in the comments.) In the end I put them in because I think the motorcycle silhouettes are strong enough to register and the lights make these awesome arrows literally pointing at the action.

Akira - This famous scene was pretty tricky with 3 values. WHat I liked noticing was that you cannot see the sky, but get a full sense of city scape and perspective from the breakup of values, and the layers of silhouetted and highlighted buildings. 
It was hard to decide if the lights should go in or not (version without in the comments.) In the end I put them in because I think the motorcycle silhouettes are strong enough to register and the lights make these awesome arrows literally pointing at the action.

The Last Guardian - I was so tempted to put more marks for the background, but it really is almost all middle value. In the end, the scene is about their communication, and any time I tried to put more information in, it took away from the central story. It also made me realize that in this mostly grey toned game, without that atmosphere the player and Trico might be lost. The attention to lighting makes this...am so in love with this game right now.

The Last Guardian - I was so tempted to put more marks for the background, but it really is almost all middle value. In the end, the scene is about their communication, and any time I tried to put more information in, it took away from the central story. It also made me realize that in this mostly grey toned game, without that atmosphere the player and Trico might be lost. The attention to lighting makes this...am so in love with this game right now.