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Lets Talk About NMM


Gargs
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1 hour ago, Cyradis said:

I found that learning NMM brush-work vastly improved my skill in other areas of painting. Why? It is an exercise in extremely smooth blending with extremely high contrast between the start and the finish (near black up to white). Even if you prefer TMM (and totally okay if you do!), I'd recommend trying NMM a bit just to practice the blending. It does have a much longer "ugly phase" than TMM. You keep brushing and going "does it look good yet? this is a blob. this isn't metal." and then you brush some more and go "okay, this is kinda cruddy metal". And finally with the highlights go "ooooohhhh shiny". 

 

Thanks, this is actually really key for me. I'm not afraid, per se, to try new techniques. I mean, ultimately I want to be a decent painter (no illusions that I'll ever be great) and a big part of that is simply painting! And trying new things! But this part here is really helpful for me because I do know that one of my biggest weaknesses is that I don't blend very well. I've been trying 2BB and have had, at best, mixed results. I seem to do ok with the shades, but struggle with the highlights. Knowing that this is yet another way to help with that gives me a lot to consider. (Alternatively, I try to go with layering to achieve the desired results but that's a lot more difficult on small areas obviously.

 

@Corporea thanks as well for those awesome examples, and both are stunning examples of what can be done by skilled painters. While I'm not really concerned about competitions, etc., just the idea of learning new techniques and improving on ones I already use makes me want to try it.

 

As for the "combined" method, I also think that is really similar to what I do with TMM. I'll base with a metallic, shade with a wash/non-metallic, then highlight usually with more metallic(s).

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it blew my mind. between the classes with Kiril and Michael, and Rex's color choices, my idea of how to paint metal has warped into madness. That and Aaron's weathering class... I swear, if I get the motivation to sit down and actually apply this stuff on a tank... heaven help me! I might stop painting trees!

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8 minutes ago, Corporea said:

it blew my mind. between the classes with Kiril and Michael, and Rex's color choices, my idea of how to paint metal has warped into madness. That and Aaron's weathering class... I swear, if I get the motivation to sit down and actually apply this stuff on a tank... heaven help me! I might stop painting trees!

 

Compromise. Paint a metal tree!  :)

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11 minutes ago, Corporea said:

it blew my mind. between the classes with Kiril and Michael, and Rex's color choices, my idea of how to paint metal has warped into madness. That and Aaron's weathering class... I swear, if I get the motivation to sit down and actually apply this stuff on a tank... heaven help me! I might stop painting trees!

 

You really can't help yourself, considering you're taking a very classical art style bust and turning her into Mother Nature (which is totally awesome and beautiful)! 

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1 hour ago, Kangaroorex said:

the idea around mixed metallics is that the darkened areas will have less glint or shine to them so you can use dark grays or blacks to control the depth of shadow and then use the brighter metallics to give off the shine or light.  It seems to solve the biggest problem I have with NMM:  the look is good only from a few angles.  because you are painting the highlights onto the NMM they can look a little weird in table top conditions where you might be looking at the side or back quarter of the mini.  using metallic highlights and non metallic recesses it allows the eye a more relaxed view of where the light source is.

 

True NMM should be like a canvas:  no gloss, no mica, no iridescence, just using black white and color to show highlights across a shiny surface.  it can look cool but it can also look strange if you see it from an angle not intended by the artist 

 

That said, I am still new at NMM and not particularly good at it and lately a lot of my stuff has been to only tabletop level.  Maybe I will feel differently if I get better, but even among minis whos NMM is absolutely stunning, when you change the angle of view or the actual light source, the view goes from stunning  to weird in my eyes.

 I absolutely take your point about NMM only looking good from a small range of angles. And I think this is because we are using what is essentially a 2 dimensional "trick of the eye" on a 3 dimensional object. When the method is used we are creating a set of visual signals that make it look like light is being reflected in a certain direction. If you rotate the object through 90 degrees those signals do not work the same way.

 

 I find that this problem is even worse when I try to paint OSL (Object source lighting). The figure "makes sense" when you look at it in one direction, but from another angle it just looks odd.

 

 Or maybe it's just that I'm not much good at OSL::(: 

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I have done very little NMM...personally, I'm not as pleased by the way it looks in the hand, mostly for the reasons already mentioned: it reads well from one direction, and less well from any other direction. A skilled painter can minimize the difference, and good NMM is an excellent skill, but to me it's not the be all end all.

 

Shaded Metallics, TMM, whatever you want to call it, I like much more. The big thing is that you're essentially painting the same way as you would with non metallic paints, but your midtone and highlights are sparkly (and your underpainting has a tremendous effect). Be careful not to assume that a wash alone will do much other than define shapes; the real magic is in using nearly transparent glazes of nonmetallic paint to  build up opaque shadows where no light bounces off the metal.

 

Which is all my way of saying, "what they said," for many of the posters above me in this thread.

 

You mentioned OSL...I personally think OSL shouldn't "break" from different angles, because you have a defined, constant light source on the mini. You should be able to determine where that light will fall, and because the source remains constant in relation to the mini as you physically turn the mini, the light cast from the source should also remain constant. Much like NMM, it requires plotting out where your light lands before you start slapping paint, but once you've done the planning it should pay off.

Edited by Sanael
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It sort of works like that for me, Sanael. When I do OSL sometimes I will look at the figure and say: "Yes, that person is holding a torch that is casting light." Other time I look at the same figure and just think:" So why is there yellow paint all over his sleeve and face?"

 

When other people do OSL I see inspiration:

 

5a723d305fca8_FireyAngel.thumb.jpg.5902cb4c14b815ff6d63d504134d1f26.jpg

 

...When I try it I just see technique.

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I haven't tried to do MMM, mostly because I really like metallic paint and have lots of fun with it. I use the standard find the light source and shade/highlight technique with the metal paint. I also have used regular paint to shade, highlight, and change the color of metallic paint. One of my favourite minis that I painted was a Klocke elf in green and gold armor.

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That's fair. Part of it might be because you are looking at your work from the perspective of the worker: you see your technique because you worked through the whole process, and when you look at other people's work, you only see the magic of the finished product. It may be exacerbated by the environment of the mini when you look at it.

 

The piece you show as reference (one of my favorites, too!) is against a black background, which shows the OSL to best advantage. If you saw the same piece in person under the flourescent light of a convention center, you would likely appreciate the skill required to paint it, but wouldn't necessarily have the same WOW! reaction.

 

When I paint osl, I keep a dark mat handy so I can look at the piece in working on with a dark background as I go, for this very reason.

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1 hour ago, Sanael said:

That's fair. Part of it might be because you are looking at your work from the perspective of the worker: you see your technique because you worked through the whole process, and when you look at other people's work, you only see the magic of the finished product. It may be exacerbated by the environment of the mini when you look at it.

 

The piece you show as reference (one of my favorites, too!) is against a black background, which shows the OSL to best advantage. If you saw the same piece in person under the flourescent light of a convention center, you would likely appreciate the skill required to paint it, but wouldn't necessarily have the same WOW! reaction.

 

When I paint osl, I keep a dark mat handy so I can look at the piece in working on with a dark background as I go, for this very reason.

 I'd never heard of using a dark mat before! That is a good idea. Thanks very much Sanael, you've made me pretty keen to have another bash at this style. Promote yourself to a higher rank of enablement.

Edited by paintybeard
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59 minutes ago, Clearman said:

Using a black background may require you to fiddle with your camera settings as it can mess with the auto white balance. 

 

He says this as though it has any actual meaning to a camera-phone-using-photography-noob like myself. ;P

 

@paintybeard Never be afraid to show your work. My "skills" are exceptionally meh, but I've definitely received quite a bit of help from the great minds of this forum, and it has absolutely made me better. Or at least more agreeable with my results. :)

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45 minutes ago, Gargs said:

He says this as though it has any actual meaning to a camera-phone-using-photography-noob like myself.

 

This made me laugh.  Mostly because I've never turned off auto white balance either.  I know it's a thing because I used to use a bIack background, and my camera always overcompensated.  But I never tried to tweak the settings.

 

Now I just use a neutral brown background that has a sight pattern.  This allows my camera's auto-everything settings to do their job and give fairly decent pics.

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