22 April 2008

Solving the Parrot

There's a certain amount of ambiguity here, since we're dealing with a non-rectilinear form, in the parrot. In particular, the plan of the parrot (on the floor in light blue) is approximate. But there is no doubt that the shadow of the bird's head ends up on the wall.

(Note that the bird's right shoulder casts its shadow into the head shadow, while the left shoulder's shadow is cast to the floor!)

As you can see, the other landmarks on the bird that I used to plot his shadow are the top of his head and the end of his tail. The shoulders were useful in establishing the width of the shadow.

Both the floor part and the wall part of the shadow basically follow, and lengthen along, their respective d-lines (magenta and orange).


17 April 2008

Time to hit the barricades?

As, you know, my boss Chuck sent around a copy of an article today urging advocacy against a bill on "Orphan Works."

Well, like nearly everything else in the world, this issue appears to get more complex the closer you get to it. Which in my case is not very. But still I learned some things:

There are some legitimately good reasons for the Congress to act on this issue and indications are that they will act this year. The Copyright Office explains why works with unknown copyright holders matter:
"Concerns have been raised that the uncertainty surrounding ownership of such works might needlessly discourage subsequent creators and users from incorporating such works in new creative efforts, or from making such works available to the public."

I checked the Congressional Record online, and the bill is still in committee and a hearing was held last month. So there is no bill yet.

The question is, will the bill be written in such a way that big corporations can easily get away with using your work without paying you if they make some perfunctory pseudo-attempt at finding you?

It's already the case that it usually costs more to fight a copyright battle than you're likely to receive in settlement. That's presumably true whether you're suing Time-Warner or a t-shirt vendor. It's a sad, angering feature of our legal system, not this bill. Will the bill now being written make this situation worse or create new problems? We can't know now.

Nothing I've read leads me to believe that the Copyright Office is going to absent itself from the registration business (what government bureaucracy happily gives up its reason for being, come to think of it?), counter to the suggestions in the Mark Simon column.

The Graphic Artists Guild was concerned that a failed earlier incarnation of the bill 1n 2006 didn't require the Copyright Office to oversee the question of what constituted "due diligence" in terms of trying to find the copyright owner, implying that this would allow Disney, say, to set their own standards as to how much diligence was enough. This is mistaken reaction to a non-issue, I think. Due diligence is a matter that would be settled in court cases, following legal precedent, not in some new Wild-West, Darwin-on-steroids nightmare future legalscape.

Here's the latest from the "Advocacy" page of the Graphic Artists Guild website--no shrinking violets when it comes to standing up for artists. Note that it says a bill was anticipated last year:

Orphan Works - Current Status

We expect Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy to reintroduce a new version of the Orphan Works Bill in 2007. We continue to work closely with both House and Senate Judiciary Committees on this legislation. Please do not write letters until a draft bill is introduced, and we know what the specific terms are. We will keep you informed as soon as we have news.


Going beyond what's in Module 11/Chapter 7

Click on thumbnail to view short animation.
In the online and on-site versions of this course, I mentioned that I thought there were some problems with the material on reflections. In short, the method given is correct but, in practice, imprecise.

Here I offer a new drawing of what I think is the ultimate answer: Using the same admittedly rough method to draw the object's reflection (that part is skipped here, for clarity), then letting that result suggest VPs for the reflected object, then drafting in accordance with those! THE KEY is using projection lines from the object to its own VPs. Logically, those lines absolutely have to meet with (cross) their own reflections at the foot of the mirror! Follow those projection lines back through the edges of the reflected object, to the horizon to establish VPs that apply just to the reflections. The real world and the reflected world have the same horizon, given a truly vertical mirror surface. With those VPs established you could, for instance, add a tile floor to infinity if you wanted. Or anything else, just using the method for establishing landmarks.

(If you have a station point established so that you can make those two new VPs 90 degrees apart, so much the better. Finding one VP would give you the other. But several projection lines hitting the foot of the mirror -- or where the mirror would be if it continued out to the sides-- would also work, obviating the finding of a second VP, which might lie well off the page)

The above illo should make this clearer.


09 April 2008

The Assignment Described

Wave Fight, by Craig Mullins

Hi, y'all:
A day later than I promised (sorry), here's the assignment as originally written by Stephen Player:

Continue with your line drawing from last week by putting your characters into a convincing environment that fits both thematically and perceptively.

Use the methods discussed in class to ensure that all elements stay in proportion and in perspective with each other. Be sure the horizon coincides with that used to draw your characters.

Remember than receding planes should appear shorter than those that face you.

Make your environment realistic, interesting, and detailed. Observe the finer points of doors, windows, furniture - whatever you choose to include in our piece. If you are unsure of the exactly design of an object feel free to gain reference and use it, however it is not permitted to copy/trace an environment exactly.

Consider introducing elements that overlap your fighting characters to involve them more in their environment. Include organic and geometric shapes, which will add variety and hopefully avoid the 'perspective drawing' look. Use more than one form or perspective (one point & two point for example). This will make your environment appear less deliberate.

Your drawing should be neat, clean and accurate. A single line should indicate edges; straight edges should be straight and organic shapes clear and effective. Ensure that this drawing is as professional and precise as you are capable of producing.