Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Photographing in RAW!

Rightyo, long time since I last updated. Soon, I hope to be able to bring all my art from school back home, and then ill hopefully have more traditional art stuff to show you guys. What i thought to show you today, though, is a bunch of photographs I took this morning for an art project. We actually found this nice abandoned house just downtown, which just looked like an awesome place to take some photographs, and it was. Dark, no lights, just windows. Pools of water on the floor, scraps and heaps of crap everywhere, just this very tangible sense of abandonment and dread hung over the place. First 2 photos are from there, and the third is just some random railroad I photographed earlier.

Shot with a Canon 450D camera, and edited in CameraRaw (A plugin for Photoshop.). The RAW format, which I just recently found out about, is fucking great, quite frankly. Instead of saving a value and color for every pixel, it records how much light that hit the sensors in the camera. JPEG will only save 255 shades of grey, and that leaves you with very little editing room, as 255 shades is also just how much your monitor will display, if im not mistaken. On the contrary, imagine a format that would record every wave/particle of light that hits the camera. Thats basically what the RAW format does.

Well, not really. Prepare for some tough reading now... A color camera basically works so, that one pixel is made up of 3 (or 4, but thats irrelevant) light sensors. One for red, one for green, and one for blue. They block out all the light which is the wrong frequency (colour.) and only let only one, say green, in. Then the energy absorbed by the plate behind the lens is measured. The pixels other 2 sensors take care of the other 2 colours. Of course, you guys know that any color can be fabricated using RBG, right? 255 Green, 255 Red, 255 Blue will make 255 White. 255 for each channel makes 255^3, which is about 16.7 million colours. That might sound like it gives you alot of editing headroom, but in comparison to the spectrum RAW offers you, 16.7 million isnt all that much. Ill demonstrate this in a future blog entry.

Notice that your screen will still only display 16.7 million colours even though the image has higher depth.

Now, we now exactly how much Green light hit the sensor. Same goes for red and blue. Then it saves this data in a temporary format, which is raw. Simply put, RAW is data for how much energy was transmitted into every sensor individually. Normally, the camera then by itself interprets the RAW, and then saves it in a jolly nice small JPEG, and scraps the RAW. Modern cameras give you the option to save in RAW instead, and do the interpretation by yourself, and then save it in JPEG. This makes all the difference. Cameras suck at interpreting photographic data, ironically enough.

EDIT: Another explanation of how camera sensors work can be found here, if you didnt get it http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-sensors.htm

AND SO, to conclude why JPEG sucks in comparison to RAW, for those who havent figured it out yet, JPEG will be saved in a depth of 255 shades grey, while RAW will be saved with a practically infinte amount of color depth, and all the original data. This means you can change things like exposure, white balance, value curves etc afterwards, without losing ANY quality AT ALL.

Also note that there are many different RAW formats. They all serve the same purpose, and work the same way. Support by software might wary, though. My camera saves in .CR2.

I feel my description is lacking with my shoddy explanation completely void of pictures, and so ill make a for-dummies comparison for my next update :D The advantage is best seen using pictures for examples, anyway.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Idrawgirls is one of the big channels/artists on youtube that i look up to. I always watch his videos, and I love his style of painting. Everyone should go check his channel out, if you havent done so already.

After seeing one of his videos, I redrew what he had drawn. Said video is deleted now, but can be bought as one of his Premium Tutorial packs, and its about drawing fabrics and stuff. 
Basically, one of the showcased paintings had a motif with a man, wearing a brownish beige jacket, and i wanted to take a shot at this painting. I do this quite often, because its great practice, seeing how other people draw stuff can give you ideas on how to improve your own workflow. 
I did not not copy the painting alltogether, but only the motif. I only had one cursory look at it before i began drawing.

Im quite satisfied. Couldnt nail the tone of the face, but the piece alltogether was about the clothes, so im not bothered.

Idrawgirls, or TheArtClasses, is a blog and youtube channel run by a great artist, Xia Taptara. You can either check his youtube channel out, or go directly to his blog. Hes got over 300 free tutorials on there now, and I definitely recommend checking him out. He also sells premium tutorials for like 5 bucks for about 2 hrs of commentary and painting. Just dont forget about my little blog when you check his blog out :P

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My birthday + a sketch.

Its my birthday. I would be more excited, but unfortunately still in the middle of test week. Having a test every morning 6 days straight doesnt leave much space for birthday-parties (Not the kind I had in mind, anyway.), or for blogging, for that matter. Since its a special day, and Ive some spare time, I thought id update the blog for once in a while.

The piece ive got here today is maybe a couple months old at most, drawn in the same go as the Genesis piece. I got a weird but cool idea for a drawing when I was listening to music the other day (Music can be very inspiring!), about this dude... Didnt turn out exactly as I had in mind, but it turned out pretty cool anyway. I wasnt able to actually convey the interesting part of the concept though, which would have been some grandiose lighting effects and some flare. It looked weird when I drew it, though, so I scrapped it.

Here it is!

Blocked in general shape and value, as I usually do.

 Refined the shapes, drew the body, scrapped that spiral thing (Missed a spot :C )
And theres the final result! Added hair, further refined shape and value etc.. Pretty quick sketch, I like how it turned out. Drawing noses from a low perspective is one of my weaknesses, its hard to tell how things are supposed to look. No reference was used, that could have helped greatly. What i think makes this one and the genesis piece good, is the large blocky striking contrasts. The face looks kinda retarded in both drawings, but somehow I think its ok, it still works.