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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:43 am 
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astarael7 wrote:
Sure, if you insist.

We all know that "they kept the outline and changed the details"* is what actually happened, but it's simply not what Kelly's actual words are saying.
No. That is exactly what Kelly's actual words are saying. That is what that phrase means. You are twisting it into meaning that they kept every nuance, shade, and detail when it does not mean that. Stop.


One side has lines drawn in pencil, and the other side has lines drawn in inch-thick marker and denies that lines drawn in pencil are lines at all.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:17 am 
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Blitzer wrote:
One side has lines drawn in pencil, and the other side has lines drawn in inch-thick marker and denies that lines drawn in pencil are lines at all.
I think this is an excellent way to sum up the argument. There are probably a couple more things to be said about the aspect that Barinellos already mentioned - filling the space within those 'lines' up with new details vs. outright changing established details - but I'd say let's just leave it at that.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Quote:
itmecary asked:
What is one message you'd like to give story fans as we head towards Dominaria?

dougbeyermtg said:
That we’re always looking for ways to make for a better and better story experience that’s accessible to more and more audiences, and that I’m so, so proud of how Magic Story has grown.

Bit of recent history of how Magic’s story has been told. Back in 2011, we shifted away from the novel lines, and Innistrad sadly went without story support. For the next couple of years, for Return to Ravnica and Theros, we tried releasing e-books only, attempting to widen the audience while lowering costs. They were cost-effective but the work was unsustainable. Beginning in 2014 we floated a new test balloon, a handful of arced stories released free on the web that told the story of the Tarkir block. Their success propelled us into 2015′s more ambitious Magic Origins and Battle for Zendikar, and readership jumped. With more accessible stories and with links from the cards to mtgstory.com, we found that more people than ever before were engaging with the story. That pattern continued through Shadows over Innistrad, Kaladesh, Amonkhet, and now Ixalan. That engagement led to art books, D&D crossover adventures, and a larger role of the story in marketing campaigns. Story fans are now an acknowledged, reliable, dependable foundation of Magic’s community, when only a handful of years ago I had to argue for y’all’s existence.

And now, today, the importance of Magic’s story is still spreading its wings. We’re working closely with accomplished author Martha Wells to bring you Dominaria’s story, expanding the model of free stories on the web with a professional wordcrafter. We’re working with partners to bring more expressions of Magic to other media. And there’s more goodies being cooked up as we speak. Every thing we try for Magic’s story is an attempt to hit that goal of a better and better story experienced by more and more people. ALL of these efforts are thanks in large part to (1) the authors and creatives who’ve kept the story rolling over the years, whose dedication and passion and WORK forged the path, and (2) you, the players, readers, and fans, whose enthusiasm, fanart, podcasts, videos, and spirited discussion threads showed us that path was the right one. I’ve never meant this more: thank you for reading!

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You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Having read the ending of the Ixalan story-line, I have a basic idea of what is going on here, but I'm a little sad this isn't translated.

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:51 am 
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Quote:
dougbeyermtg said:
Toplining: Brainstorming visual ideas for Magic card art

HEY DOUG HOW DOES A PIECE OF MAGIC ART GET BORN?

The super-short answer is: someone on the creative team writes an art description, and an artist creates the illustration based on that art description. Boom.

But there are a lot more steps than that. Today I’m going to talk about one of the earliest steps in the process of developing Magic art – a step we call toplining – and then we’re going to try our hand at toplining right here on tumblr.

The art of a Magic card is handcrafted especially for that card. The gameplay mechanics of the card come first, and the art is built around that card to bring it to life. The art becomes a visual expression of that particular game piece in the flavor of the Magic multiverse.

The bridge between the card’s art and its mechanical identity is a flavorful idea that we call the concept. The concept is very closely related to the art description, which is a set of instructions for the artist that gets across the concept in visual language. The act of coming up with concepts for new Magic cards and turning them into art descriptions is a process we call concepting, and the person who writes the concepts is the conceptor.

(Yep, it’s “concept” as a verb. Not “conceptualizing.” Nobody got time for that. “Concepting.”)

An example of a concept might be:

A spell that summons a fountain of lava out of the ground.

And an art desciption based on that idea might be:

SETTING: Ixalan
LOCATION: A clearing in the jungle
ACTION: Show tendrils of lava gushing up out of cracks in the ground, twisting into crazy red-hot spirals. In the background, we see the Sun Empire shaman who’s casting this spell, maybe guiding the spell with artful arm gestures.
FOCUS: The lava tendrils should be the main focus here.
MOOD: A showy spectacle of heat and magic

Officially the “concept” is the idea and the “art description” is the expression of the idea, but we often use those terms interchangeably. (“Are you done writing all the concepts for the winter set?” “Almost, just gotta think up two more art descriptions!” Etc.)

Concepting is an extremely exacting skill. It requires a fertile visual imagination, excellent writing and wordcrafting skills, deep knowledge of the worldbuilding and lore of Magic’s settings, and a thorough understanding of Magic gameplay. It requires thinking about what the card does, what visuals from the world guide might match the mechanics, how big or small the power and toughness are, all the visuals you’ve already used in the set or in previous sets, what kinds of motifs or themes or symbols you want to communicate in the setting, what’s possible to illustrate by an artist, how this card relates (or doesn’t) to the story, whether this thing flies, and more.

Concepting a card is weird and fun and deeply hard. And let me tell you, concepting an entire Magic set is VERY weird and VERY fun and VERY DEEPLY HARD. It’s hard enough to come up with a few ideas for an artist to illustrate – the conceptor must come up with up to 250 of them at a time, multiple times per year.

That’s where toplining comes in. Toplining is the process of brainstorming and recording lots of possible visual concepts for each card. Before the set’s conceptor sits down to start writing all the art descriptions, they meet with a team to come up with a list of potential visual ideas for each card, so that the conceptor will be armed with many ideas once they start writing art descriptions for realsies.

That toplining team is different for every set, but it usually consists of (1) the lead conceptor, the person who’ll write all the art descriptions for the set, who is often also the creative lead for that world; (2) the lead art director for the set, who will be in charge of commissioning out the art when the art descriptions are finalized, and who provides useful feedback about the kinds of visual ideas they want to see in the set and on kinds of ideas that will or won’t work; and (3) the lead set designer for the set, who provides useful information about how the card is likely to be used or what audiences it’s meant for.

That toplining team goes through the set card by card. Everybody calls out ideas or looks up possible visuals in the world guide, and the conceptor records the best ideas for future use. Ultimately it’s the conceptor’s responsibility to write excellent art descriptions for all those cards, so it’s on the conceptor to decide what ideas are exciting useful to them and which are just “ehh.”
When I’m the conceptor, I often ask the team questions to help spur ideas. “Okay, this is a common 2/2 flyer in blue. Does this world have drakes? If it’s a drake, what’s special about this one? Is there a way this critter could be tribally relevant in the set, or is this a weirdo one-off? Would this be better as a flying humanoid of some kind, and if so, how are they flying? What’s the weirdest place we could see it flying through? What kind of mage summons this thing, and for what purpose?”

And so on. I try to roll past the first two or three ideas to get into more uncharted territory, even if the quick answer feels like the right one. The room answers my questions, often with ideas building on each other, letting us draw out the hottest ideas.

Here’s a pretend transcript for toplining a card:

“Okay, this one is… a green ramp spell. What could this be?”
“Hm. Maybe it’s like a wave made out of land?”
“Isn’t that just Rampant Growth?”
“Or… an elf reaches down and touches the ground.”
“Or she’s touching a tree. And the branches light up with magic.”
“*typing* Okay. But this lets you get any basic land. How does it represent getting multiple colors?”
“The branches create lots of different kinds of fruit?”
“Yeah, and each one’s a different color.”
“*typing* Let’s try another direction. What if this were a natural phenomenon, what would it look like?”
“Maybe it’s a rainstorm, that creates new growth.”
“A rainbow!”
“A rainbow, and where it touches the ground, new life sprouts up.”
“*typing* Cool. Anything else?”
“I keep thinking of how spells like this go in decks that want to cast big creatures.”
“Yeah?”
“So maybe like, it’s whatever happens before big monsters show up. The deep rumble in the ground.”
“What’s the visual form of a deep rumble?”
“Those ominous ripples in the water. But in a green way. Ripples in the earth!”
“*typing* Ooh, that’s cool. Okay, I think we’ve got enough for this card. On to the next one.”

And so on, card by card, for the whole batch of cards. Note that the team doesn’t dwell on the full art descriptions during toplining. There’s no discussion of detailed locations, or compositions, “mood lines” – that’s for later. Toplining is about breadth of ideas rather than depth.

Also note that there’s lots of riffing. It’s a dynamic process, about branching from one idea to another, bouncing around till we find a good fit for the card.

The most usable topline ideas are:

(1) Relevant. The idea should be relevant to, or at least should not contradict, the card mechanic or its color. We always want amazing art, but the idea should make sense with the values of the color(s) of mana in its cost and with how the card is played. Help the conceptor find ideas that will actually match the card.

(2) Visual. The idea should be inherently visual, or lead to a visual. The whole point of these ideas is for an artist to eventually illustrate them. An abstract or narrative concept can be cool, but isn’t super helpful unless it can be expressed visually. What’s your idea LOOK like?

(3) Simple. The idea should be able to be expressed simply, with few visual elements. Massive crowd scenes with tons of figures often look muddy at card size. The best bet is a strong single subject for the artist to focus on, so help the conceptor find ideas that can lead to a strong, tight visual.

Okay, let’s try it! We’re gonna do some toplining right now. I’ll give you a bare-bones card mechanic (note: this is not a real card), and you throw out visual concepts for that card in the comments below. For extra fun, riff on others’ ideas, or ask each other probing questions, like we do in actual toplining meetings. Ready?

4R
Sorcery
CARDNAME deals 4 damage to target creature and 1 damage to another target creature.

What’s this spell about? What’s it look like? Who’s casting it, or who’s its victim? Is it an actual spell someone’s casting, or more of a natural phenomenon, or an effect of some creature? What plane is this happening on? Where might be an unusual spot for this to take place? And again what does this effect LOOK like?

I don’t want full art descriptions – just quick toplines! Go!
#art#concepting#toplining#just let your imagination riff a bit#take inspiration from a world or a creature or another similar spell#and change and rearrange the ideas until you've got something clever or dynamic or fun

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:52 am 
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Quote:
prima-prime asked:
So is Nissa still one of the main characters, despite quitting the Gatewatch?

markrosewater said:
We’ll be seeing less of her than if she was in the Gatewatch.

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:53 am 
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Huzzah!

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:35 pm 
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And there was much rejoicing.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:23 pm 
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A lot of the comments on that Tumblr post seem to be displeased about Nissa's departure.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Blitzer wrote:
A lot of the comments on that Tumblr post seem to be displeased about Nissa's departure.
Wait, really? That place is in a worse state than I thought...

Shut up, Tumblr!

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Blitzer wrote:
A lot of the comments on that Tumblr post seem to be displeased about Nissa's departure.

A lot of similar comments seem to come from people not relating the story but just caring if Nissa cards get printed.
Similarly, several commenters seem largely ignorant of her past actions, such as freeing the Eldrazi.

Given, I'm interacting with the crowd primarily on YouTube, but nonetheless.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:10 pm 
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To be fair, Nissa has a real and decently sized fan-base, especially among various "pillars" of the MTG online community. There are people who like Nissa as a character from their entry points of Origins, Kaladesh, and/or Amonkhet. They do not have older preconceptions about where Nissa started in Magic video games before she was thrust front and center to replace Garruk.

With the new reveal of Vivien, it looks like Wizards is still not great at developing Green 'Walkers and is looking to try out something new for a while and see where it goes.

Story-wise, I would like to see Nissa and Nahiri cross paths back on Zendikar and let that meeting go where it will. Another fun option would be if Nissa and Vivien ran into each other (again on Zendikar) while Vivien was ARK-ing some of the surviving fauna and Nissa sort of passes her the torch, telling her where to find other apocalypse junkies who travel from one devastated world to another....thus getting her involved with the Gatewatch.

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:25 pm 
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I just want Garruk back, damn it! :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Quote:
nigeltastic asked:
Will we ever see Garruk again outside of "Sparks"?

markrosewater said:
I think there’s a better chance we see him again than we don’t.

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:33 pm 
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AzureShade wrote:
To be fair, Nissa has a real and decently sized fan-base, especially among various "pillars" of the MTG online community. There are people who like Nissa as a character from their entry points of Origins, Kaladesh, and/or Amonkhet. They do not have older preconceptions about where Nissa started in Magic video games before she was thrust front and center to replace Garruk.

Dude, even people that like her admit BfZ was garbage.
But yes, there are people that like her. She's just the least liked among the many central characters and it's clear WOTC saw the disparity between her popularity and unpopularity. I think it's very significant that one of the very first things they did in Dominaria was put her on a bus considering the amount of feedback they had and that Hour of Devastation was the first set they could implement any changes due to feedback. Ixalan was telling a different story, but as soon as they had access to Nissa once more, she was GONE.

Quote:
With the new reveal of Vivien, it looks like Wizards is still not great at developing Green 'Walkers and is looking to try out something new for a while and see where it goes.

Poor poor green, and to a lesser extent black.

Quote:
Story-wise, I would like to see Nissa and Nahiri cross paths back on Zendikar and let that meeting go where it will.

Throw Kiora in. I'd really love to see those three get into a full on brawl over whose 'vision' of fixing Zendikar is right because none of them are particularly good at compromising.


EDIT: There's actually something else I felt I should say about Nissa's fans reacting this way. A LOT of them are just now learning about it, a week after the story in which it happened. That tells me that a goodly portion of those lamenting her departure don't actually READ the stories and that whatever reason they like her might not have anything to do with experiencing her.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:27 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
AzureShade wrote:
To be fair, Nissa has a real and decently sized fan-base, especially among various "pillars" of the MTG online community. There are people who like Nissa as a character from their entry points of Origins, Kaladesh, and/or Amonkhet. They do not have older preconceptions about where Nissa started in Magic video games before she was thrust front and center to replace Garruk.

Dude, even people that like her admit BfZ was garbage.
But yes, there are people that like her. She's just the least liked among the many central characters and it's clear WOTC saw the disparity between her popularity and unpopularity. I think it's very significant that one of the very first things they did in Dominaria was put her on a bus considering the amount of feedback they had and that Hour of Devastation was the first set they could implement any changes due to feedback. Ixalan was telling a different story, but as soon as they had access to Nissa once more, she was GONE.

Quote:
With the new reveal of Vivien, it looks like Wizards is still not great at developing Green 'Walkers and is looking to try out something new for a while and see where it goes.

Poor poor green, and to a lesser extent black.

EDIT: There's actually something else I felt I should say about Nissa's fans reacting this way. A LOT of them are just now learning about it, a week after the story in which it happened. That tells me that a goodly portion of those lamenting her departure don't actually READ the stories and that whatever reason they like her might not have anything to do with experiencing her.


Nissa fans mostly care about what she is, not who she is.

The easiest green archetype would be either the "Eastern Warrior" or the "Southern Outdoorsman," since both put a big emphasis on tradition and have some sense of the balance of nature. I don't really trust WotC to handle either well. Especially after they showed that they had no idea how to handle Garruk or Nissa


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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:48 am 
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Excuse the self-whoring (Additional coins won't hurt my expenses okay... :V )

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:54 am 
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Like... all they need to do is create a character that uses green magic... They don't need an archetypal example of green walkers. They just need a good character that uses green based magic.

I think the problem is that "green philosophy" is so much more CONSTRAINING than the other colors, and the philosophy doesn't mesh well in a group environment.

Answer the question "Why would a stereotypical green mage work as a group?" And then you have to struggle a bit just to IMAGINE a "stereotypical green mage" beyond "hunter/outdoorsman" or "sage."

They need to create an engaging character, and then apply the whole "green magic" thing to them.

Honestly, Ajani is good.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:20 pm 
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Very ironic, considering is the second "community color".

I do hope they get around to making another villain one of these days. Maybe I can hope Vivien will be an antagonist or something.

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 Post subject: Re: A tumblr thing.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:05 pm 
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I hope to see an Eumidean planeswalker who wants to find the best environment to make a new hive. Spark trigger: getting disconnected from her original hivemind


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