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Playing with polygons, Grant Wood American Gothic 1930


VectorVonDoom
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It's nothing clever and the polygon fad might have passed but it was fun to do.  Most use a very low polygon count and just something like a face but I like to make it more complicated for myself, not necessarily better though. I had already done a version but wasn't happy with it so this is my new attempt.

 

A tip is to duplicate the layer(s) and perhaps add a tiny bit of blur to the background copy. That fills in the minute gaps between the shapes and the output's much nicer.

 

Click on it then click "full size" and it's not so blurry.

 

Grant Wood, American Gothic 1930.jpg

 

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Not all paintings work, you need fairly defined edges for a start. Quite a few of the old masters work well though for example Vermeer and probably the favourite one I've done is by Caravaggio. Once you do a whole painting or scene it's not a quick hour or two play though but I like it that way.

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I'd say the Caravaggio is technically somewhat better. Grant Wood's work tends to be very simplified, and regular, while Caracaggio uses very dramatic coloration, and the forms are not simplified at all.

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The Grant Wood's one was quite a bit of work because of the background but the people themselves weren't too bad. Deciding how to simplify the dress and dungarees were probably the trickiest bit of those.  I started by thinking I'd simplify the Caravaggio but couldn't too much.

Anyway it's a fun thing that anyone can do even if it's on a smaller scale or properly low poly. But now I've done a handful that's enough for me.

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There are quite a few on youtube, search for low poly or low polygon tutorial. They'll be aimed at illustrator but work for AD too as long as they don't use live paint (as there's no such thing in AD). Do something simple first, like a face. Pick a decent sized photo and one that's sharp and a bit contrasty.

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  • 2 months later...

But for "noobs" like me, trodding along in your footsteps, this was a valuable tidbit of information.  I also bought the Designer workbook, and am looking forward to reaching the projects (perhaps specifically the panther) where a sketch is used to guide the finished drawing.  I'm very much into steam locomotives, and already gathered a couple of (don't laugh) "simple-ish" looking drawings that I hope to eventually use as the basis for an engine rendering.

 

Engine Drawing.jpg

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Not thought about doing trains but I think that sort of thing, perhaps finding old plans if they exist, redrawing and coloring them would look good. Either going realistic or as more of a poster (or a realistic poster!). I do like the look of the early American trains and some of the art deco looking ones are neat too.

One thing I've been thinking about is turning a  photo taken locally or combination of a few photos from 1800's in to a photorealistic drawing, like going back in time with a modern camera.

You might like this one, nice big photo. The General, Union Station, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1907. The General is a type 4-4-0 steam locomotive that was the subject of the Great Locomotive Chase of the American Civil War.

hHM2SRM.jpg

 

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5 minutes ago, retrograde said:

So out of curiosity, how do you do these low poly looking illustrations. I always thought they were generated by a plugin or filter from a placed image...? 

 

I always thought they were generated by painstakingly dragging out the vertices of thousands of triangles and getting a modest amount of help from the snapping features in the program!

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There are a few apps out there that are meant to be able to do it or at least help. But I tried one a time back and, unless I was missing something, it was rubbish. So yes, draw a lot of triangles and fill them in (some use quadrilaterals or a mixture and some gradient fill rather than flat fill) . Like I said there are plenty of tutorials out there, not all work with AD for example ones that use Illustrator's live paint feature, but many do. And remember the tip about duplicating it to remove micro-gaps.

Most people do fairly simple things like a face and that can be a fun way to spend an hour or two.  If you fancy a bigger project have a look through artwork and find something of a decent size with fairly well defined edges, being contrasty makes things easier too, some of the Caravaggio isn't very contrasty, partly down to age, and was a pain. These 3 took between 2-4 weeks each, not full time of course.

Oh, forgot, probably obvious but when using the colour picker set it to sample 5x5, or more if need be, when you can rather than single pixel sampling. Especially if you're doing a painting.

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Hi Ros,

Picking a 5x5 sample with the Colour Picker allows you you get an average of a larger area of colours thus representing better the overall colour/balance of that particular area which you will then use to fill the triangle that covers it rather than picking colour from a single pixel which may be way off of the average colour of the area.

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