Friday, September 24, 2010

The forest of nephrons

...or "forest of pee" as some like to call it. For pathology class, we were asked to draw a tissue landscape. I chose to draw kidney tissue and quickly realized I'd be tackling an environment packed with squiggly tubes. After my (genius) classmate made a comment about how the nephron and collecting duct system looks like a tree, I started imagining what it'd be like to look up in a forest of nephrons.

nephron forest
graphite on paper, 11x14"

Process: I am a ridiculously messy artist when I first start. The scribbles in the bottom left were actually my first conceptions of this "forest":

Even when I'm trying to be clean, it still turns out horribly messy. After completing the sketch with blue Col-erase pencil and graphite, I had to scan it and take out the blue channel. I then printed it and traced over it. I need to learn to work more cleanly the first time around (and thus, more efficiently)!

Truthfully, I'm not very happy with the overall result. It seemed like a good idea at the time?! In hindsight, I think it would have been more effective if I showed more depth or used fish-eye/wide-angle distortion to make you feel like you're standing in the middle of the forest, not looking from the outside. I also had some paper issues during rendering and just couldn't get enough contrast in it (I used super smooth paper for graphite rendering, yes I should know better. :P). The lighting was also a challenge - I think I'll make some simple cylinders in Maya or C4D to test out more dramatic lighting. I did scan the lines before shading so perhaps I will try a Photoshop version if I ever have time!


PizawL said...

Isn't there a benefit tho of scanning super-smooth paper in that it doesn't have much tooth and hence, the scan doesn't have as much texture to clean up?

PizawL said...

Still ill tho! That's some impressive rendering on the squiggles.

Andreea said...

i think it's lovely. it looks like a rainforest and it definitely is immersive, even though you might have doubts about it.

Joyce said...

@ Pizawl: I would say it's a good choice if you plan on presenting the final digitally or if you're scanning in lineart. But I found it frustrating to use when the goal was a traditional piece. I even broke out the 4B pencil! haha
And thanks! The rendering became hellish around 4-5

@ Andreea: Thanks for your kind words (I feel like you're being MY mentor lol!). I guess the final just didn't line up with what I had in mind!

Geoffrey L Cheung said...

It's so good I'm crying! (In my head at least...) I like the extra nephrons and glomeruli you put in behind the front layer! :D

Joyce said...

LOL!! Thanks Geoff. :D
Those extra bits - yeah, they're your fault. :P