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[Ludum Dare 32] Let me tell you a story

By Pix3M
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Let me tell you a story behind this tree, which may be useful if you're learning how to draw trees.

Back when I was a more fledgling artist, I've had several attempts at trees. I will detail in one clump of leaf, and be satisfied. Then, I move on to detail another leaf clump and something looks 'wrong'. Something about the new leaf clump I detail in looks like it belongs on a completely different plant for reasons I could not figure out.

Ever since I moved out of my parent's house, I was able to go outside and learn about the world outside, artistically and otherwise. There was a Japanese garden nearby that after two months, I still had not yet visited this garden. The day before, I sat in a pub with people I was getting acquainted with, and we were mostly artists. We were drawing our own thing, and there's a bit of awkwardness when you're a pixel artist without a strong foundation with pencil. I looked out the window and tried to draw a tree on the other side of the street.

I looked at that tree, I stopped looking at the tree as a "ball". People will generally draw a tree like it is a ball of leaves on a stick, because that is how the mind simplifies the tree. I began to think of trees not as a ball of leaves whose shading I had yet to demystify, but I began to more easily see this tree as a bunch of leafy sticks. Focus your mind on just a branch, the leaves are huddled around those branches, they don't form a 'ball'

The next day, me and a couple of friends were hanging out and I had quite a bit of marijuana on that day. We decided to go walk over to the local Japanese garden because it happens to be a nice place and some of us had never seen it.

Just as I looked at the plants while I was in an altered state of mind, I began to notice. "This twig looks EXACTLY the same as this other twig."

That was exactly why my leaf clumps looked stupid when I try drawing trees, because I was working under a fallacy that it is good to have variation among leaf clumps. No, this is not how trees work. Plants are basically nature's massively lazy copy-paste fractal job.

And such, the next tree I drew commited a heinous crime of copy and paste. I want to credit my 'altered state of mind' that had me pay more attention to repeating patterns on that day, but maybe I could have figured this out sober as well. Maybe I knew it all along and it took an altered state of mind to appreciate the sheer magnitude of nature's copy and paste. Who knows? =)
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anonymous's avatar
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kheftel's avatar
What a great realization!
Agetian's avatar
Very beautiful! :heart:
Eloylie's avatar
I figured out the same a few years ago when I just started drawing :)

Are you studiying Game desgin or are you just doing all those pixel things in your free time?
Pix3M's avatar
This is stuff from my free time. There are an ocasional paid sprite jobs, but they're generally not posted here
Eloylie's avatar
So you actually need this kind of ability for your work?
Pix3M's avatar
I sort of do need spriting skills to do them by commission, yes :p
Eloylie's avatar
Ok :) Thanks for the Info! I am just always curious about what the artist works for :)
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