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What do you use to create works?

Discussion in 'Creative Discussion' started by Teapot, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. Teapot

    Teapot Virtual Duck Enthusiast
    Staff Member Administrator

    Just a quick question to get the creative discussion forum rolling :)

    When you sit down to make a creative work, what do you use? What's most important to you, and what's the most interesting medium you've used?
  2. Aaronimations

    Aaronimations Formerly Aaron the Fright

    i go to http://pldh.net/ and get all the original pokemon sprites from there then a use paint to make them into my own sprites
    Takinas likes this.
  3. For me it depends on what type of creative work I intend to create. If it is a written piece, I will usually open Microsoft OneNote or simply the Untitled Notepad and write until I have a few paragraphs, then revise. Though with shorter works, I just 'wing it'.

    Being more of an artist than a writer, I prefer to draw things by hand. All my drawings are done on 110.lb white cardstock to ensure less bleed through when I ink and color. I start with detailed pencil sketches, then ink the lines with a copic multi-liner (usually 0.3 or 0.1 for thicker lines, and 0.03 or 0.05 for smaller details). Once a drawing is done, I determine if I desire to color it. If I decide 'yes', then I dig up either my markers or my colored pencils. Sometimes both.

    I will admit, even at my age, I believe crayons have their place. If I feel like doing a 'cutesy' drawing, I break down and pull out some good ol' Crayolas^-^
    Teapot likes this.
  4. For me, it all depends on the type of project I'm doing.

    For my trainer cards, occasional flash challenge entries, and franken splices. I tend to stick with using Adobe Photoshop, more specifically CS4 because I'm too cheap to buy the newest version. I also have a drawing tablet that I got this past summer, which really comes in handy at times.

    For my Nega-Megas and my projects outside of anything pokémon related, I tend to try a variety of different mediums, mostly because I'm still trying to find the one that works best for me. So far I've worked in the following mediums:
    • Watercolor on hot press paper
    • Gouache on hot press paper
    • Oil on canvas
    • Acrylic on hot press paper & illustration board
    • Sculpture
    • Pen & Ink on paper and illustration board

    I also occasionally do quick doodle notes (like my Hoenn Doodle dump) on regular computer paper, though you can imagine that they pile up & clutter up my room very quickly
    Shiny Lyni likes this.
  5. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    For my writing process all I need is an idea and a large window of time, usually about 3-4 hours without interruption. The time is for me to focus my idea and see what evolves from it. If the idea doesn't work I either play with it until it does, scrap it, or save it for later. If I can make something out of it then the idea grows into something greater be it a single chapter, a story arc, or a full on fic/short story. For anything greater than a chapter I need several days (or years) to let it flourish. Sometimes the idea gets so fleshed out that it becomes way longer than I ever intended it to be.

    My ideas come from many sources. Usually it's just a whim that I decide to act on. Other times something happens around me either in real life, in a game, or in Anime/Manga and it's something I want to try for myself. On rarer occasions I hear a song or have a dream that sparks some creativity.

    For characters I pick personalities that I think would go good with them or personalities I just plain want and let them develop themselves.

    Most of this takes place in my head or on MS Word (even RP posts), but I keep a few notebooks around if I'm planning for future events that I know I won't remember when the time comes.
  6. Well, mostly my drawings come at random. I sit down, open whichever program I feel like I need more, take my tablet and start scribbling random lines. If it's a chibi, I just draw a pose I like, then choose a character and in few hours it is done.
    When I decide to draw a full character, then I choose a pose and start the suffering. First problem - hair. Every time I get stuck on it. Even bigger problem are clothes. I have to look through loads of images on google and tumblr before I find something that suits the character. And matching colors in an outfit is a pain too, as usually I have to go through several color palettes.
    And in off chance I decide to draw a proper background then I find some photo as a reference and try to analyse how dark and light colors are.
    As for my tools:
    *PaintTool SAI
    *Photoshop CS6
    *Wacom Tablet
    *and the interwebs :D
  7. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Plans within plans, contrivances within contrivances, and then - when the stars are right - I bring my creations to life using a combination of ancient rituals gleaned from forgotten tomes and dusty parchments, supported by advanced biomechanical technology with a crystalline power source to monitor the process and attain maximum efficiency, only to loose them upon the world at large...

    ... And slightly less dramatically, I think of what seems like a good idea at the time (it's usually a creature of some sort) and attempt to produce a decent pencil sketch of it on paper. This may take several test doodles. Once I'm more or less satisfied with what I have I scan it and proceed to digitally lineart/color it using (usually) Photoshop CS4, then I toss it on the internet.

    Oh, and the crystalline power source? 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine. That is to say, coffee. Apply sucrose for extra effect.

    That is my typical creative process when drawing is concerned - although I haven't been doing that much drawing lately (Really need to fix that). Occasionally I doodle things fully digitally (although not often) or do various tests on paper and not scan them. Sometimes it can be immensely frustrating when I get a concept that looks incredibly awesome in my head but I can't seem to get it right on paper - or alternately when my mental image is too vague to get itself properly 'caught' - as a number of people who have witnessed me ramble about my works-in-progress can probably attest to.

    That said I've been taking art classes in the past few months - and after a number of sessions focusing on charcoal and a bit of chalk as a medium, I've moved on to oil painting on canvas and I'm having quite a bit of fun with it - so yeah, I'm trying to branch out and expand my knowledge on various techniques that I might later translate into my digital works, as well. I do want to take this sort of thing more professionally after all.

    Aside from drawing, I also dabble in spriting (mostly using Photoshop CS4, again, as my tool of choice - layers are exceptionally helpful in this sort of thing), writing (usually sci-fi/fantasy with a humorous twist - I have heavy influences from the likes of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman - mostly using Notepad and Microsoft Word), music (not extensively, but I play piano and guitar moderately well) and had polymer clays not been stupidly expensive here, I'd have probably fscked around with sculpting more as well.
    Shiny Lyni likes this.
  8. Shiny Lyni

    Shiny Lyni 2016 Singles Football

    Hooo boy, since I dabble in various different kinds of arts, I'm going to have to split this into parts...


    My sprites have always been done on Microsoft Paint. I tried to move over to photoshop at one point but I never got used to it <<

    Anyways, for sprites, I always start off by figuring out the general description of the subject, including hair color/style, clothing, and personality. From there, I try to find a suitable base, almost always thinking of the character's personality first and how easy said base is to edit into the character second. I tend to copy the base over into a new canvas twice, once so I can edit it and another so I can see what changes I've made. If I feel like frankenspriting (taking two different bases to turn it into one sprite), I also do that in this step. Oh, and the canvas background color is always a color I know I'll never use on the sprite (if the sprite in question has blue hair and wearing brown, green, and reds, the background will be a purplish color, as an example).

    From there I start making the actual sprite. Almost always I start on the hair first, simply because I find it the funnest to do but also the most frustrating. Sometimes I basically turn the base sprite bald and scratch sprite an entirely new hair style, other times I work off the original hair to get what I want. Occasionally I'll also change the expression on the sprite if I feel like it'll reflect the character better.

    After that, I work downwards on the clothes. I usually first strip the sprite of all clothes, or make its current outfit as plain as possible, then go from there. Oftentimes I have to look back and forth between a ref and the sprite itself so I know I'm not messing up on anything or messing up on anatomy/clothing styles/etc. Legs and pants are the hardest for me to sprite; I usually have next to no idea what I'm doing and just hope something works. If I end up scratch-spriting completely new things (which I almost always do), I would have each component outlined a different color. For example, the main outline of the outfit might be blue, the vest could be red, collar would be green, etc.

    When I'm generally pleased with all that, I do the color filling and stuff. This part of the sprite is actually the easiest and least time-consuming for me now. If I'm lazy, I pick and already-existing color and its shades from sprites I've made in the past or other Pokemon bases. Otherwise, I just use the color picker on paint and slide around until I find something I think fits.

    After that, I finally save the sprite and re-open the finished product in Photoshop. I'm currently using CS6, but it really doesn't make a difference, as the only reason why I do that is to make the background transparent. And then voila! I'm done~

    Written Works

    All written works start out in my notebook or drafts on Word before I post them here. Usually I start them off in my journal before typing them up in word and copy/pasting them in the corner. I have so many character bios saved on my laptop that I never use, and even more are spread out in all the notebooks I have. ^^;

    As almost my most recent works are one-shots, I don't spend too much time plotting or pre-writing, though I do have a bit of a thinking period where I'm trying to figure out what direction I want to take a story. I usually write my first draft, or part of a draft, in my notebook, then re-write it on word on my laptop. While re-writing I take this time to edit the crap out of it, and the second draft is usually rather different from the first one. I might go through a third time to correct any grammar mistakes and fix any holes I might have, but usually I just post the work as it is, and edit it throughout the week whenever I find something I don't particularly like. Small edits, really.

    I do, however, have many, MANY unpublished works sitting in my laptop. Almost all of them aren't even past the planning stages; I have characters planned out, the very beginnings of a plot, and etc. Worldbuilding, however, always gets to me, and that's why I don't have longer works. I really suck at worldbuilding :/


    As for musics (and when I say music, I usually mean "Vocaloid song covers"), these actually take a while for me to do. Like, a LONG while, usually days or even weeks (as opposed to two to three hours on sprites, and maybe six hours for a one-shot). I practice a song as much as I can whenever I can, be it humming to myself while I walk or mouthing the lyrics as I listen to it. It's also best for me to memorize the lyrics to the best of my ability, since I found that just reading the lyrics off a screen tends to get rid of quite a bit of emotion from the song. This prep time might take me weeks or months depending on the difficulty of the song and how much time I have.

    When I finally feel comfortable enough with the song, I finally go home and start recording. Except... that's not the first thing I do. I do a lot of prep work, from warming up to drinking lots of water and making sure I have enough water in the room so I don't dehydrate myself, to setting up the recording equipment. Actually, let's talk about what I use to record~

    Microphone: AT4040 Condenser Microphone
    Recording Software: Cool Edit Pro 2.1 (some people use Audacity, which is also good and free without the need of pirating)
    Editing Software: Adobe Audition CS6 (condensing, tuning, equalizing, filtering, etc.) and Cool Edit Pro 2.1 (volume adjustment and timing)
    Mixing Headphones: Broke my good ones, currently using some $30 cheap Sony ones I got a few years back.
    Other Items/Software:
    -Pop Filter (if I don't have one on me, a sock works)
    -Towels (for further noise/echo reduction)
    -Music Stand (to hold my lyrics up, which is usually on my laptop)
    -Sony Vegas Pro (good for editing videos)
    -Nicofox (FireFox add-on, for getting the videos on NicoNico which I then use for my own covers)
    -NicoNico Audio Extractor (Chrome extension, to rip decent-quality music from NicoNico)
    -Antares Autotune (for those songs I feel need a slightly more robotic feel since Vocaloid songs have a lot of these)

    Yeah, music editing is by far the most extensive thing I do. Anyways, so I go to my room, close all the doors, and load up Cool Edit Pro. I drag all necessary files into the multitrack, time everything accordingly, then I start recording. And recording. And re-recording. Honestly, I've had to repeat a line 20-30 times, and that's not even a rare thing to do. I record, listen, re-record, etc. I typically start with the verses and then go on to the choruses, because you know what? Chorus sections are HARD. They're either higher, or louder, or more passionate, or faster, or a combination of any of these. Oh, and then I go on to the harmonies, if I could find any for the song/if I could extract the harmonies from the original song. If I couldn't do either of those, well, no harmonies then. 8D

    With the recording FINALLY done (and mind you, that can take several days to do if I get discouraged at any point or if my voice starts dying on me), I move on to editing. The first thing I'll ever do is noise reduction, including hiss and pop reduction. I then combine all the files into larger, longer files (main vocals in one file, harmonies into one or more depending on if I have multiple harmonies, etc). After that, I open the files in Adobe Audition and tinker with them.

    Precise order of what I do (note I have to do this for each file I have):
    • Vocal Condensing (so the singing is generally more even, volume-wise)
    • De-essing (makes the harsher sounds softer, like T's, K's, and S's. Also helps make breaths sound less obnoxious)
    • Equalizing/Mastering Vocals (this is the REALLY hard part, and is really hit and miss for me. It's too complicated to explain, but basically it's to make the vocals sound better and more suited for the song).
    • Tuning (pitch correction, autotuning, etc.)
    • Filtering (some songs require interesting filters in some parts for a desired effect)
    • Reverb/Echo (so the vocals sound less dry; this is also very hit-or-miss for me)
    After all THAT, I bring the things back over to Cool Edit Pro and do the final touches, namely timing and volume adjustment and panning and stuff. This is my favorite part of mixing, since it's much more objective than all of the bulleted stuff above is.

    And then I export everything! That only took like, the whole day or something. Oh, and I used to do chorus mixes; the process is exactly the same, but since I have to deal with anywhere between 4-10 other people's vocals, and each person's vocals and microphone requires different kinds of equalizing and that's like that many more files I need to time and volume adjust... :/

    Yeah, music is hard to do, guys.
  9. AzureEdge

    AzureEdge ✧luzrov rulay✧

    I mostly use word for writing, and copy/paste from there. As for spriting, I use MS paint, and mess around with it. I also use Paint.net for transparency.
    I give my works effort, and like to look back at them from time to time, I usually revamp if my writing is horrendous, which I shudder looking back, at the past couple of years. Although I give my writing tons of effort, I mainly write for the sake of improving.
    I have a lot of works that I have to call my favorites, but my TOV X OC insert has to be my favorite. It's been a year since I first came up with the idea, and it's about 42 chapters and going. I keep it in one whole word document, as I do with all of my series. As the story goes,It's one of the only ones in it's genre, and probably the first one to be completed. I just need a bit of effort, from myself.My best sprite work, has to be a Rapidash recolor, as it was my interpretation of a Unicorn. It's beautiful~.
  10. All this depends on the style of artwork that I am going to do. If I work on landscape paintings then the selection of colours is more important, if it is an Aboriginal Art painting then selection of good symbols is my priority.

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