There’s always space for yet another armor tutorial, right? (ﾉ´ヮ´)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Note that the armor I drew would be worn around 15th century, the more into the future the less and less components knight’s armor had (i. e. in early 14th century instead of greaves a knight would wear long boots only; in 12th century knights didn’t wear plate breastplates and instead a chain mail only). Also the design of armor pattern changed by year and was different in every country (i.e. in eastern Europe armors, while still looking European, were heavily influenced by Turkey). so just make sure you always do research whenever drawing an armor. And one more thing to keep in mind is that armors were expensive, knights wearing a full plate armor weren’t an often sight.
Some links that may be useful:
- Armour Archive (I strongly suggest to browse its forum, there is no country or period of which armor wouldn’t be discussed)
- Therion Arms (armorer’s page; each accessory is photographed in big resolution and several time so it’s a nice page to use as reference for drawing)
- Revival Clothing (another store, but both with medieval clothing and armors; I suggest to read the articles, they’re often supported with pictures)
- Basic Armouring:A Practical Introduction to Armour Making (pdf)
- Educational Charts (pdf, shows how armors and weapons changed over the years)
- Medieval & Renaissance Material Culture (actual medieval resources, mostly paintings. And my favourite subpage - women in armor)
- Dressing in Steel (youtube; a demonstration how to dress in armor)
- How shall a man be armed? (youtube; another demonstration but with 4 different knights from different periods)
Because attempting to animate in the purgatory that is a midway between Sai and Photoshop is akin to sawing off your dick with a nail file, I got around to this last week.
The goal is to allow for viewing of wip animations being made in Sai without having to load the project into Photoshop, Flash, or whatever your external timeline of choice is. Essentially, you export each frame as a .png into a folder and then just overwrite them in the same way when you want to update a frame.
On load it defaults to whatever directory it’s sitting in, but if you want to keep it somewhere else you can select the folder source post-load.
Images are loaded alphabetically, so all of these are valid:
- a.png, b.png, c.png
- 1.png, 2.png, 3.png
- Frame1.png, Frame2.png, Frame3.png.
It runs off .png files because I don’t see why you’d use any other format in 2014. If anyone desperately wants .jpeg support or something I can add a toggle though.
Image locations are loaded fresh upon each iteration and held within the program so you can add, update and remove frames without stopping it if you want to. This means you can leave it open on a second monitor and have a looping preview without leaving Sai.
Shit runs on .net 4.5 since C# is cakewalk for stuff like this.
So I’m not sure what to call this
But I figured I’d at least try to impart my knowledge of (hank hill voice) weapons and weapon accessories.
If you like this, tell me, and I might do another tutorial some time!
A wicked fuck-ton of feline anatomy references.
[From various sources]
So my historical costuming resources list from 2011 was less than a page long- I’m not saying that I’ve learned a lot in the past three years, but this list is now sitting pretty at a solid nine pages. Whew. And people wonder why I want to redo this damn series.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one- it’s a list of (primarily western) historical fashion resources, both online and offline, that is limited to what I know, own, or use! It’s a work in progress, and I’m definitely hoping to expand on it as my knowledge base grows. First things first, how about a little:
ADVICE FOR RESEARCHING HISTORICAL FASHION
- Read, and read about more than just costuming. Allowing yourself to understand the cultural and historical context surrounding the clothing of a particular region/period can be invaluable in sussing out good costume design. Looking at pictures is all well and good, but reading about societal pressures, about construction techniques, daily routines, local symbolism, whatever else will really help you understand the rhyme and reason behind costuming from any given context.
- Expand your costume vocabulary. When you’re delving into a new topic, costuming or otherwise, picking up new terminology is essential to proper understanding and furthering your research. Write down or take note of terms as you come across them- google them, look up synonyms, and use those words as a jumping off point for more research. What’s a wire rebato? How does it differ from a supportasse? Inquiring minds want to know.
- Double-check your sources. Especially on the internet, and double especially on tumblr. I love it, but it’s ground zero for rapidly spreading misinformation. Books are usually your safest bet, but also take into account their date of publication, who’s writing them- an author’s biases can severely mangle their original source material.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do everything you can to find out information on your own, but feel free to reach out to people with more specialized areas of knowledge for help! Be considerate about it- the people you’re asking are busy as well- but a specific line of questioning that proves you’re passionate and that you respect their subject matter expertise can work wonders.
Okay, onto the links!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of getting off the internet and looking into books! God bless the internet, but books are (generally, this isn’t a rule) better-researched and better-sourced. Bibliographies also mean each individual books can be a jumping off point for further research, which is always a fantastic thing.
Remember- owning books is awesome and you should absolutely assemble your own library of resources, but LIBRARIES. Libraries. You’ll be surprised to find what books are available to you at your local library.
GENERAL / SURVEYS
- British Costume from Earliest Times to 1820
Fine book with lots of first hand sources, but be wary of the photography in the book- reproduction costumes and thus somewhat less reliable. Though hilarious.
- Corsets and Crinolines
Norah Waugh’s invaluable survey of corsetry and corset patterns- used the world ‘round by modern corsetieres.
- Costume in Detail: Women’s Dress 1730-1930
Elaborate line drawings/diagrams of extant period garments! A fantastic survey.
- Cut of Men’s Clothes
PDF available online! Patterns for men’s period garments.
- Cut of Women’s Clothes
Patterns for women’s period garments.
- Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History
This is a library find, unless you have a pretty three hundred bucks lying around- a great, general resource.
- A History of Costume
A lot of good text and info, to be taken with a grain of salt. Be wary of any reconstructions and or “supposed” patterns that aren’t directly based on extant garments or firsthand accounts.
- Fashion (Taschen 25th Anniversary)
A survey of the Kyoto Costume Institute’s fashion collection- broad but beautiful. On every fashion student’s bookcase.
- Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style
Great overview of fashion history from the Smithsonian and DK publishing.
- The History of Costume: From the Ancient Mesopotamians Through the Twentieth Century
Broad costume survey, second edition.
- What People Wore: 1,800 Illustrations from Ancient Times to the Early Twentieth Century
this is one of those “I am putting this here because I used it a ton when I was younger” but man, mixed bag. Really cool survey to browse through, but also work that is a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy in most instances and thus not necessarily trustworthy as a resource.
- What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society
A collection of Racinet and Hottentoth’s costume plates from the 19th century. A beautiful survey but, since these are later illustrations, to be taken with a grain of salt.
Patterns fo Fashion books
Detailed, hand-drawn diagrams of historical fashion, inside and out. Pretty amazing stuff.
- Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620
- Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1660-1860
- Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1860-1940
- Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660
Fashion in Detail books
Not what you want if you’re looking for photos of entire costumes- note the “in detail” bit up there. Just a beautiful series, and great reference for all the little things you might miss otherwise. The V&A has an amazing fashion collection, and it’s great to see them share it with the world.
- Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail
- Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail
- Underwear: Fashion in Detail
- World Dress: Fashion in Detail
The one non-western entry in the series.
- Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 - 1915
LACMA’s response to the V&A’s series mentioned above, also an invaluable resource for historical fashion detail.
Sword Photography - Rise of the Knights
Source: Copyright 2014 © Foto Forge
Another Halloween themed post.
GHOSTS AND SPIRITS
- Iron and Ghosts
- The Early Ghost
- Guide to Ghosts
- Gravestone Symbolism
- 10 Little Known Mysterious Ghost Types
- Ghost Types
- The Different Types of Ghosts
- Haunted Places
- Cemetery Folklore
- Writing a Ghost Story
- Tips for Writing Ghost Stories
- Ghost Cliches
- Horror Cliches
- The Science of Zombies
- Zombie Biology
- Zombie Sociology
- Zombie Myths
- Stage II and Stage III Zombies (pictures)
- Vampires vs Zombies
- Undead Creatures
- Guide on Zombies
SHAPE SHIFTERS AND HOMINIDS
- Werewolves and other were-beasts
- The Shape Shifting Process
- Shape Shifters
- Hominids of the World
- Werewolf Myths
- Science of Werewolves
- Werewolf Behavior
- Werewolves vs Vampires vs Zombies
- Werewolf Anatomy
- Wolf Body Language
- Werewolf Myths and Truths
- History of the Werewolf Legend
- The Mermaid
- Sea Creatures
- Books About Mermaids and Sea Folklore
- Sea Creatures: Books
- YA Mermaid Novels
- Best Mermaid Books
- Awesome Mermaid Books
- Mermaid Anatomy
- A Dissection of Mermaid Anatomy
- African Vampires
- Writing the A-Typical Vampire
- So You Want to Write a Vampire Novel
- Avoiding Vampire Cliches
- Vampire Cliches
- Vampire Burial
- Vampire Mythology
- Vampire Biology
- Vampire Virology
- Vampire Sociology
- Vampires in Folklore and Literature
FAIRIES AND FAE
- Types of Faeries A-Z
- A Guide to Fairies
- Writing Fairy Characters
- Other Names for Fairies
- Books About Faery
- Best YA Fairy Books
- Best YA Fantasy Series About the Fae
ANGELS AND DEMONS
- Creating Creepy Creatures
- Mythology Meme
- Master Post of World Mythology, Creatures, and Folklore
- Figures of Norse Mythology
- Those Who Haunt the Earth
- Writing Horror, Paranormal, and Supernatural
- Genre: YA Supernatural
- List of Mythical Creatures
- Mythological Creature Picture Spam
- How to Make Your Supernatural Characters Unique
- Supernatural Theme Story
- Myths and Urban Legends Masterpost
- Original Gods, Goddesses, and Myths
- World Building Basics: Myths and Legends
- Mythical Creatures and Beings
- Symbols by Word
- Mythology Meme
- Writing Paranormal Characters into the Real World
First off, I gotta start off with the typical Disclaimer.
This is a tutorial based off of MY knowledge and MY experience. My advice is just that, advice, and is not is anyway, shape or form, absolute. I am still learning and do not consider myself a professional or expert. Look at other sources, look at other materials, expand your inspiration, don’t just look at this tutorial and call it good. And most importantly have fun~
Alright, with that out of the way, before I can get to the actual expressions, we need to discuss an important concept known as “Squash and Stretch.” You’ve probably heard of it before. Squash and Stretch was a method that was invented (I use this term a bit loosely) by Freddie Moore, a Disney animator from the 1930s to 1940s. He was the animator for the Dwarves in Snow White and he gave these characters a spongy flexibility that made them feel more real and gave pliability to the face that made them come more alive.
Even outside the world of animation, Squash and Stretch is essential and you’re going to squeeze much more life out of your characters if you understand and are willing to push the weight and flexibility of their faces. This also doesn’t only apply to cartoons, look in the mirror and make funny faces and strange expressions and you’ll notice how squishy your face is.
The next concept to be aware of is the Acting Elements of the Face. This is a concept I never really thought about until I read Tom Bancroft’s Character Mentor, a book I have recommended many times. The Acting Elements are the basics of character expression and focuses on breaking down the elements of the face in order of importance to properly communicate an expression to the audience. These are not set in stone and a lot of times their order can be switched around depending on the expression. This is the default order Bancroft uses in his book:
1) The eyes
2) The eyebrows
3) The mouth
4) The neck
5) The nose
I’m not going to go into much detail about this; otherwise this tutorial will run on forever, so DEFINITELY give Character Mentor a look for a better understanding.
Here are some expressions I whipped up, notice the different ways each of the above elements contributes to the overall expression. Try to identify which element is strongest in each one. Also notice how some elements repeat (such as the use of the eyebrows in the bottom two) but they’re still different expressions.
I personally find that I always build from the eyes out when building an expression. Ever heard the phrase “The eyes are the windows to the soul?” well guess what? THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS TO THE SOUL! This is why people look away when their embarrassed, why their gaze shifts when they’re lying, why their eyes grow wide in awe. It’s what makes a hero seem cold when they hold their gaze at the display of heartless behavior or gives a villain a moment of redemption when they turn away from a cruelty.
Part of the reason why Glen Keane’s characters are so incredible is the way he expresses a character through their eyes. He says “If you’re going to make a mistake, don’t make it in the eyes. Because everybody’s looking at the eyes.” He creates these characters that are filled with passion and before that passion translates into body language or into an expression, if bursts out through the eyes.
Remember when I brought up that the order of the Acting Elements is flexible? As I said, I tend to start with the eyes when expressing and character but sometimes that just doesn’t “work” with the character. Take a look a Max, from Cats Don’t Dance (if you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it, even if just for the animation). His face is almost ALWAYS in the same position, with the same expression, completely stiff. The only thing that moves is his mouth and it’s animated in a way that is both comical and intimidating! This is a common theme with his character, fluid motion against unmoving bulk. It contrasts and guess what? Contrast creates interest! <——Remember this phrase, because it applies to everything!
Next, pushing your expressions. Don’t be afraid to add that extra “umph” to a characters expression. Unless you’re animating, you don’t have the luxury of constant motion and steady frames, so make the most of a scene, make it clear to your audience what your character is feeling. Check out some of these simple examples below.
Now some of you probably thought the first expression was better than the second. And you know, you may be right! Sometimes a subtler expression speaks volumes more than a more obvious one. It’s important, however, to understand to how to make the most use of your character’s face. But in the end it all boils down to the character. Which leads me to my final segment of this tutorial…
A character should express themselves through their emotions. Just like costumes, colors, body language, etc. expressions are ultimately a tool used describe a character, to visually tell a story about them. When dealing with different characters, try to avoid “recycling” expressions, ESPECIALLY in the same scene/picture/moment. A good exercise is to draw two or three different characters with the same emotion but give them different expressions.
Or better yet, draw them reacting to the same situation.
Your goal should be to make each expression true to the character. Their expressions should tell the audience something about them. The same way you might bold a word or phrase to emphasize its meaning, a character should express themselves in ways that emphasize who they are.