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> Character Design 101: Rogue Class Audited
Merekat
Posted: Jul 10 2006, 03:09 AM
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I am so very proud of this class. In many ways, more than the official class. Because here you guys were, doing what the whole class was intended to inspire: taking the initiative to learn a new process to improve your work. And you guys did, without any official guidance or critique. With FLYING colors.

In fact, it was VERY difficult for me to resist the urge to come in here and comment on all the great designs. You guys really took the lessons to heart, tried your best, supported each other and produced beautiful designs that would be a gem in any portfolio.

Due to some disruptive behavior in the original Rogue Class thread, I've decided to lock that one and open a new one, with a bit of an added bonus... I will be now posting here to some extent. And so will FJ, his still being the deputy teacher and overall guy in charge. I will not be issuing grades, I will not be critiquing everything that is posted here. I will not be applying deadlines as there is in the main official class. What I will do, is if you have any particular questions that need answering that you think will benefit everyone, I will answer. If I see a posted drawing that could use a quick comment, I will do so. If I see great work posted, I will reaffirm it. If I see something that needs effort, we'll see how much time I have.

I am still fully and utterly committed to completing the eight-week main class. So you will only get whatever leftover attention and energy I have, but you will finally be getting it. You guys have been far too creative, far too attentive and shown far too much initiative to let one person stop all this learning. Well done and keep posting!

Original Rogue Thread: Here

emot-eng101.gif Step One of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

emot-eng101.gif Step Two of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

emot-eng101.gif Step Three of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

emot-eng101.gif Step Four of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

emot-eng101.gif Step Five of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

emot-eng101.gif The Final of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

emot-eng101.gif The Final Grades of Merekat's Character Design school can be found here.

This post has been edited by Merekat on Mar 3 2008, 07:39 PM
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 10 2006, 05:36 AM
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Thanks for the new thread, Mere. happy.gif

It think I've raced ahead with detail, but I can't bring myself to kill any of it. sleep.gif

user posted imageuser posted image
The red stripe was a last minute kind of idea, but I think it works really well. I almost went for the classic red and blue... but I don't think it would have worked with the saturation I wanted for the main section of the armor. Pink or super light blue? Nah.
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Cauthon
Posted: Jul 10 2006, 10:51 AM
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Iím sorry I did not pay more attention to the Rogue Thread. Right after its creation I found out that I would have a lot less spare time this summer than I had at first anticipated, which in turn resulted in me having to put this whole project on ice. This is also why I havenít uploaded anything else to the site lately.

So what will happen to the old thread now then? Will it just drop back into obscurity?
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Merekat
Posted: Jul 10 2006, 11:46 AM
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aye. I've linked it in the first post here, but aside from going in and individually nipping problem areas, I thought this would be the best solution. It was a clean, fresh start and it gets its own place in sticky form. I thought it a quick and clean alternative than dealiing with a thread that had so much arguement in it. If there were any new or casual readers, I was afraid it would scare them off.

the old thread is fully accessible from the link at the top of this thread. I'm not deleting it. I'm not altering it. But to be a very visual message to those who might have been pushed away from the thread, I created this new one to encourage posting again.

This post has been edited by Merekat on Jul 10 2006, 11:49 AM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 10 2006, 05:31 PM
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Yay! I'm running a bit behind, *coughsteptwocough* but now I'm less busy and should be able to catch up quickly. I'll be posting my step two right away, and as soon as I get some crits on that I'll move up to step 3 ^_-;
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Merekat
Posted: Jul 11 2006, 11:38 PM
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chaos nice character. :} that codpiece looks evil, though... like a reverse weggie. any way to meat that puppy up a bit? as for the details, I like what you're doing for some of it. particularly the stripes on the shoulder garb are a nice touch, as are the tones on the thighpiece. I have NO clue what that crossed thing on her upper clavical is... best guess: a grenade? I dunno, the cross latch seems a little... low tech for her character designn. otherwise, you're doing well. oh... what's up with the handpuppet eyes on the glove? :}

as for your color version, excellent choices. I LOVE the cream against the chocolate and latte and the dull red pulls that altogether completely. the gloves, being another variation compliments it well too. the only issue is the pack on the hip seems VERY out of place, it being the only version of gray on the entire outfit. maybe match the gloves? great job overall. very nice work and I'm crazy about that color pallet.

rogues
alright, drama's over. :} don't be shy. you guys had a lot of great designs I saw there. c'mon in! the water's fine!

promise I won't bite.

much. ;}
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 12 2006, 05:46 AM
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New hipbag color. If grey was bad for it, you should have seen the awful pink color which went on to being with. That didn't stay for long. sleep.gif
The shoulder harness is for a knife. You're right about the lack of it being modern looking, and I don't feel my changes made much of a difference. Maybe if the scabbard is actually incorporated into the armor...
Reverse wedgie removed. Once again groin armor beats me. "Looks OK" "Is practical" "does what it's supposed to" are all phrases that usually don't make it into the same sentance when talking about groin armor. ;_;
Removed those nasty clips... she was meant to have old-looking gloves, but it really wasn't working, which is how they went missing in the color.


Where is everyone else? I'm all alone... sad.gif

Edit: My hosting seems to be iffy at the moment. If the image doesn't appear just refresh. >_>

This post has been edited by General Chaos on Jul 12 2006, 05:49 AM
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spoonifur
Posted: Jul 12 2006, 08:35 PM
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Oh general chaos, you're all alone. ):
Way weird, everybody dissapeard.

About your design, I really love it, you've done an excellent job.

One nitpick: The bottom of her boots, the inside of the red area, the light brown? The dark colors around it are making it look really white, and it's standing out too much. I'm suggesting to grab the color of the gloves and bag and putting it there. Or at least trying it to see if it works.

(Erk. I gave up on the rouge class along time ago....Step 1 I belive. It's way out there for me, I just really couldn't do it. I love watching the others work, and I like adding little critques. Which is kind of hypocritical... Bleh. I can think, I just can't apply. )

I'm awaiting the return of well...Everyone else. :}

Edit: heh. 700th post. happy.gif

This post has been edited by spoonifur on Jul 12 2006, 08:39 PM
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craft user
Posted: Jul 12 2006, 09:15 PM
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i wont be posting untill i get ahold of PS because theres no way in hell im doing anything but hitting the fill button for this last part

luckly my friend has PS and i have my final B&W sloh done.
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Bumboy
Posted: Jul 12 2006, 10:43 PM
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eek. been really busy with work n schtuff

I'm still on step 3, but I'll try n catch up with the real class.
user posted image
got carried away with 2 of the bandana thingys

I'm having a hard time designing clothes due to the silhouette itself. This silhouette almost implies that shes wearing a rolled up shirt and someway baggy pants. I can't seem to image it any other way. Suggestions are always welcome.

edit: I'll prolly have a few more designs later.

This post has been edited by Bumboy on Jul 12 2006, 10:45 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 12 2006, 10:59 PM
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Bumboy: I Love the top right design, but its a bit run of the mill, I think it would look cooler with the plaid bandana from your first design, to spice it up, and maybe the name tag from the first too.
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 12 2006, 11:18 PM
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Bumboy: Same. Top right design is the best basis, though a little plain.
I'd say add the goggles from bottom left, and a belt or two. But whatever. Just choose your favorite bits and combine them in to one super silhouette.
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Merekat
Posted: Jul 13 2006, 01:02 AM
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general aye, groin is better, still a little sharp at the bottom there... bit of a labial split. ;} if you're going to protect it, has to encompass the pelvic bone a bit better. colors are still good. fastener on knife... weird. I dunno. maybe redesign that section? perhaps it slips into an indent groove in the red shape rather than is a strapped on compartment? and I seem to want a belt buckle, but that just might be me and old habits. more of a preference, really. try it or no.

bumboy aye, I like the two on the right as well. but the top right is very cliche. perhaps see what you can do with both of them to spice them up? of the two, I prefer the bottom right for uniqueness, but the top right for impact. I think it's the contrast.

and if you're set on doing some different designs, perhaps the rolls on the pants are the clasps and folds of boots and the pants are tucked inside. or the rolled sleeves are actually elbow guards and the sleeve actually is full length into the glove. hell, the roll of the glove can be bracelets or something and they're actually cutoff biker gloves. there's ways around it. :} just have to open to the possibilities.

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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 13 2006, 04:27 AM
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user posted image

"Metal wedge!" shouts her shipmate, performing one of the meanest manuevers, then running off giggling.
"Aw frak. That's not coming out all day. ;_;"

Darkened the insides of the hard part of her boots... put detail on the buckle of her main belt so it actually looks like a belt buckle... Put her knife into the shoulder area... gave her some lights... thickened her groin guard just a little more. And smoothed it.
Then I notice what's wrong with the lengthening straps on the hangy belt - They're not perspectived when they should be. Bah.
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craft user
Posted: Jul 14 2006, 08:14 PM
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finaly got over to my friends so i colored my stuff

user posted image

its ok, i realy didnt know what color i wanted itso if there are any better color ideas i would love to have them.

EDIT: ok so.... iv seem to miss a step here the dart where i detail and its a part iv wanted to do for awile so now that i have these colors i think it will be easier to go back over in Oc. hopefully have it up soon.

This post has been edited by craft user on Jul 14 2006, 08:33 PM
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Merekat
Posted: Jul 15 2006, 12:33 PM
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general chaos works for me. my only crit is though I like the lights, I think the color isn't as complimentary as it could be. the golds are making the green look sickly. I'd suggest a blue, purple or yellow. otherwise, good to go ;}

craft user oh very unique. I like it. the one issue to me is the taupe... though I like that cream color, it seems a little weak for the delicacy of the other colors. what about putting a gradient of that peach onto it from the lower left to the upper right or so? I like the idea of the taupe, but it's just not holding it's own right now. it's not playing nice, I think. trying to be a polka beat at a bluegrass festival. :}

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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 15 2006, 02:26 PM
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Okay, Here is my step 2 >_>
Very sorry to submit it so far behind everyone! I'm finding the design a bit simple at the moment, but overall I like it.
The one thing thats bugging me is that she looks like she's hunching up her shoulders, not sure how to resolve that without changing the sleeve shape.
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Bumboy
Posted: Jul 15 2006, 02:56 PM
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if you give her a longer neck, it should solve that problem
or have the shoulder pads(?) slope down rather than up like u have them now

eek saturday already
work sucksssss
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 17 2006, 07:40 AM
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user posted image
I wish I could keep going, but I'm so tired I'd just make mistakes. More tomorrow.


Chibimuse: Her head looks like it needs to be higher, and her shoulders are very broad for a female. Tail also looks like it comes from off-centre.
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 17 2006, 12:28 PM
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Fixed her qaurterback shoulders and put the tail in its place, in my above post. I'm going to move on to step 3 in the interest of catching up, but if I get anymore crits I'll try to change it.
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craft user
Posted: Jul 18 2006, 01:08 PM
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user posted image
well i did this part but how in the hell am i going to get the textures on there useing Open Canvas! I can resize anything in it, i cant change anything to a gryscale so it dosent mess with the colors so ill probably have to go to my friends again to use his PS dry.gif

man i must have checked this site 10 times yesterday wacko.gif
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 18 2006, 05:06 PM
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Quick crits!

Craft User: I loooove the colours of yours! Alot of peoples designs are more agressive and geared towards battle, but yours is so delicate and feminine without being a frilly design. I especially love the boots (socks?). I can't remember your description, or else I would give some further crits.

General Chaos: Wow, the shading makes a big difference on yours, now I can tell which pieces stand forward and the dimensions of everything really well.
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 18 2006, 10:48 PM
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OMG. Took so long to get this far. ^^;;

Craft User:
More contrast! Your lights are light enough, but your shadows need to be darker - up to about 90% grey.
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Merekat
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 01:25 AM
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general well, you've certainly been having fun. ;} I'm impressed. beautiful lighting on the armor parts. I especially enjoy your shadows. other than I don't think the folds wrinkle across knees like that, I have nothing to add. :} did you enjoy this?

craft user don't worry about the textures so much. if you want to play with textured brushes, that's one thing. but the point of the lesson is research into the materials (image gathering) and having fun fleshing out your character in lighting and such. if you just want to hand paint it all, that's fine. but the thought into the materials is the important part.

as for your character so far, it looks good. :} I would push the shadows aspect tho, she's still a little flat and I know you have more in you. ;}

chibi cat girl is great! I don't have any suggestions. start working on the value passes. :} can't wait to see!

This post has been edited by Merekat on Jul 19 2006, 01:26 AM
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 05:58 AM
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I had a bit of trouble with the knees. because I knew I wanted both above and below would be solid, or at least stiff. That and I should have used a ref. >_>

But yeah. Tons of fun. I'm considering starting another one. :3


Edit:
I couldn't stand leaving her face and hair un-done.
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This post has been edited by General Chaos on Jul 19 2006, 07:48 AM
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stew_9320
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 08:51 AM
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i dont know if i am alowed to post hre, but general. which part of her is suposed to be the neopreen, if it is the under suit, (knees, elbows) neopreen has very few large folds, not many medium ones
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 10:18 AM
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Yeah, you can post here. It's the rogue thread, not the official, as long as it's relevant.

The undersuit is semi-neoprene. When I was coloring I decided I wanted more of the texture, rather than the foldings, so I mixed and matched. :3
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 05:36 PM
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Step 3! I could try a million different things with this step, but I tried to keep it down and just made these 3. Tell me what you think! smile.gif
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slipknot
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 08:32 PM
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Hi there. Are newcomers to the Rogue Class permitted? smile.gif
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 19 2006, 09:20 PM
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Sure! I don't see why not, at least we'd have more people that way (since many disapeared >_> )
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Cauthon
Posted: Jul 20 2006, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE (slipknot @ Jul 19 2006, 08:32 PM)
Hi there. Are newcomers to the Rogue Class permitted? smile.gif

The Rogue Thread is designed so that anyone who wants to join is able to at any time. All of the steps are linked to in the first post in order to make things easy for everyone. So yeah - go ahead and check out the first assignment and show us what you can come up with!
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Graymalkin
Posted: Jul 20 2006, 03:06 AM
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Muse, that third one is great (yea, I'm a sucker for girly clothes), but I think her top is a bit bare. Her shirt has a really soft contrast that is barely noticeable with the immediately attention-grabbing hair and pants being immediately adjacent. I would'nt go for something too gloriously contrasting, since there's something to be said about subtlety, but a shirt with a bit more interest to it might be something to expiriment with smile.gif?

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Bumboy
Posted: Jul 20 2006, 11:14 PM
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old set:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/bumboy/milanti3a.jpg

user posted image

I made two more - (the second is pretty much a rehash of the last one on the previous set with elements of the second one)

I really need to hop hop or I'll be far behind the main class.
I'd like some crits/comments and some help on picking a design so I can quickly move on to the next step.

edit: posted the old set linky for easy viewing

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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 21 2006, 01:58 AM
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Ooh~ the left one is quite good, Bum Boy. Just throw a darker wrench on the lighter version, and I think you'll have a winner. :3
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 22 2006, 02:01 PM
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Graymalkin: Thanks! Girly clothes rock! I tried to weasel a little gothic lolita influence into that design.
Thats exactly why I liked the far left design better, the shirt has more interest without being overwhelming like the middle one.

Bumboy: I like the left design B best, but I think the arms should be bare as in the righthand one, and the wrench should be dark. The darker coveralls just seem to make more sense in the context of the character, since coveralls get really dirty.
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 24 2006, 05:03 AM
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Final class. We start again, with a new and opposite character for the same setting. :3

user posted image

I could just keep going with the sketch silhouettes... but I have to call it there. Now it's time for sleep.


Edit: Step 2.
Edit: Step 3.

I also got started on another pic just before I noticed this thread. Link

This post has been edited by General Chaos on Jul 24 2006, 08:40 AM
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slipknot
Posted: Jul 24 2006, 07:13 PM
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Er... would I be overthinking the exercise in consulting references for the initial silhouettes?
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Posted: Jul 24 2006, 08:38 PM
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user posted image
as you notice theres no key for the cloth used because after an hour of fiddling with OC and having it look like crap i decided to show the more refined step 5 with out keys.

now step 6..................... is makeing me cry.

oh and dont mide the right hand, i know how it looks.
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dionisyus
Posted: Jul 25 2006, 12:11 AM
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Something of a hack effort; for step 3 I guess.
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spoonifur
Posted: Jul 25 2006, 07:38 PM
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dionisyus: It's looking okay, if you had read through some of the other posts you could see that you're not really su[posed to use lines, its more of blocks of color.
Also we tried to stay away from pure black and white. Only grays.

Also the character was supposed to be straight on. Like so: http://forums.megatokyo.com/index.php?showtopic=1714913

Try some diffrent variations of clothes.

Also try drawing it again without the lines. Like merkat. http://forums.megatokyo.com/index.php?showtopic=1714913

Also read through that thread as Merekat drops a lot of instructions while she's crituqing people.
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 26 2006, 02:33 AM
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Craft User: Looking very good.
You seem to be under the impression OC can't do the kind of stuff you want... but that's really not true. Except for the silly number of layers I used on mine, it would have been possible to draw entirely in OC. Waterbrush for shading, then solid brush for details.

Slipnot:
You can, and should, reference every step. But keep in mind for step 1 - you shouldn't spend more than 10 minutes on drawing each one. They should be really fast to go though, as you'll be throwing away upwards of 80% of them.
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craft user
Posted: Jul 26 2006, 09:47 AM
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GC:i like the new character you made i keep thinking of what other person i shoud make for my protagonist but this made me think about other coises like some sort of demon monster. and yah your probably right, im not giving OC enough credit up until you said something i forgot it had a water color option all together dry.gif but i did draw it all in OC you see.
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 27 2006, 10:13 PM
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I did that Valkyrie picture a couple of weeks back entirely in OC, on two layers - one for the lineart (which I eventually removed) and the color all on the other. It's all about technique and patience.

Going slow on this.
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I just noticed that Mere requested 3 color passes. o.o Dunno if I want to do that.....
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Graymalkin
Posted: Jul 28 2006, 04:12 PM
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Silly GC, of course you do. You already started the final week before the official class, so don't you quit on making us look bad now smile.gif !

It took me a while to realize what on earth that thing was. After the steps 1-3 you posted above I thought i was supposed to be some overly pointy flying drone. Got a better idea of it now though... much better ^^; Great move with taking a non-humanoid character.

It's legs bug me, it seems like it would have a hard time maneuvering with single jointed legs, especially with the body set so low. I also think you could have done more with it's refined value, it does'nt look like much was changed at all =o The pistons and machine parts would be great for detail.

Colorwise looks good, I like the yellow trim. I really wish he was more complicated though. Was that a design choice? I ask because you really seemed to lavish attention on to your base character's detail.

Bumboy:

I think Chaos had a great suggestion--- I agree with the darker wrench for the left one =3 I might give his lower arms a skin tone though, if it does'nt brighten him up too much.
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Posted: Jul 28 2006, 07:42 PM
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just a note to say to GC: your F8 looks like it would be stelty at times or not whanting to draw attention to itself so useing cross colors for it makes it stand out (and look way to..... peppy?)
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Merekat
Posted: Jul 28 2006, 08:32 PM
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General: the legs I get, but what's up with that body? NO clue what's going on there. does this thing walk on those legs like a spider?
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General Chaos
Posted: Jul 28 2006, 09:41 PM
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I guess it's not obvious (at all) but it's supposed to fly. (Or hover, take your pick)

I switched away from humanoid designs because I wanted a real 'terror' design, fitting for the evil AI stuff. So I went with a arachnid design... though all 8 limbs are weapons - 4 massive tearing ones (it inserts the claws, the pulls apart with powerful hydraulics), with the blades on the outside, meant more for destroying vehicles and hulls, 2 smallers ones, perfect for fleshy meatbags and a couple of guns for when it's too far to employ the claws.

I didn't actually notice how much I missed on my refined tone pass... weird. All kinds of joints and stuff were missed... Back to work. rolleyes.gif

Edit
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Hopefully that clears it up a bit.

This post has been edited by General Chaos on Jul 29 2006, 02:41 AM
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Graymalkin
Posted: Jul 29 2006, 01:35 PM
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A real tricky character you've got going ^^; I thought it was a flyer from the silhouette, since the legs/arms looked like wings; then a walker after the pistons and joints, now we're back to flying ^^. It's getting better, I have a couple of nitpicks though:

- The arms still bug me, single jointed arms with one plane of movement don't look like they'd be very useful. The entire robot would have to swing around in rather awkward fashion to take a swipe at something, and even then it's range and practicality would probably be limited. Unfortuneatly that's a base part of the silhouette, so much changing would have to be done if you wanted to rework the arms. Still, I really think it would result in a stronger design though...

- The main thing I think causes the flyer vs walker problem it has is it's lack of anything that makes it look like a flying object. Boosters/propellors/wings/ramjets/flapping arms... again, It would entail going back a step or two, but I think if it had obvious cues that said 'this thing flies' it would become immediately apparent it's role and the function of the arm-swords. Right now, the only reason I'd think it flies is because you're telling us =x and even then it just does'nt seem quite right hanging there.

Good luck man, I do give you kudos for going in such a radical direction.
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Aug 2 2006, 06:36 PM
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I agree with Graymalkin, I only came to the conclusion that it was a flyer because it didn't look like it could possibly walk or go underwater.
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Merekat
Posted: Aug 3 2006, 12:41 AM
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general actually I still think it's just a walker. I don't see any propulsion on that guy at all.. and the legs are far too functional and positioned like legs to be anything but legs. without the obvious direction of an engine or exhaust or any technology, it's very confusion.

it also frankly looks like some voltron-like character blasting full on at the viewer with a top-down point of view. that is completely at odds with the placement of the legs, particularly the far back (below) ones.

sorry, but I really don't understand any of him except the four top legs.

bumboy I'm actually at an impasse with the designs: I could go with either A or C. I think A looks a bit more industrial and functional, which lends credibility to the character, but C (with the dot on the chest) has some interesting personality and uniqueness that puts some nice quirk to the character. I think it's a matter of preference at this point ;}

chibi I agree with Graymalkin, these are nice and clean designs but a bit too simplistic and unexplored. of the three I think I like the little sundress of the far right the best. the first looks a little too little orphan annie and the second seems like she's trying to be high-fashion new york on a cupie doll. it's a little incongruent. also, toy with the legs a bit? :} surely there's more to life than tie-up boots and knee-highs. ;}

This post has been edited by Merekat on Aug 3 2006, 12:48 AM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Aug 3 2006, 09:42 PM
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I don't know what a cupie doll looks like, but I get your drift wink.gif
I only had time to work out one new design tonight, but I figured I'd try and get some feeback on this one and work on some more tommorow. On the left is the new design, on the right is the original favourite. I couldn't think of anything else to try with the boots, so I'll try more on the next ones.

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Graymalkin
Posted: Aug 4 2006, 08:49 AM
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The initial impression is a lot more balanced, it no longer has that extreme contrast, great smile.gif. Something bout the shirt is reminding me of the 50s though (or am I thinking about the 30s? My past-decades fashion is a bit rusty), I think it's all the pin striping and along with the white lines. It makes the character feel like she comes from an older time--- this isn't necessarily a bad thing though.

That necklace is kind of a point for me though, It's a nice design, but I'm not sure it fits. In a more frills and lace or victorian design I think you'd have no problem, but the design seems awfully Christie's for this style of little girl clothes.

Btw-- something just clicked for me about the tuft on the end of her tail. Considering she's a cat girl, it got me thinking since... well, cats don't have tufts ^__^; Well, lions do, but I think it's just the male lion if I rememer correctly.

It looks like your into the detailed value pass now, do you plan on doing anything with the boots and pants smile.gif ?
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Aug 4 2006, 09:16 PM
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More 30s gangsta pinstriping than 50s I think wink.gif
I agree about the vintagey feel, I want her to feel more modern so I think I'll try to avoid the pinstripes next time.
I'm missing referances! Christie's? Agreed, once again I'm going to aim for something more modern.

You are correct! Cats and female lions do not have tufts. However! The precise breed of feline she is has no effect on the story, so I went at the tail purely from a design perspective. Since it didn't bother anyone initally, I don't think its really a problem.

Yes! I want to do something with her boots and SKIRT, but I am drawing up blanks as to what to add.
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General Chaos
Posted: Aug 4 2006, 11:59 PM
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Going real slow 'cause I've been mostly working on other stuffs...
Tried to throw in some jet engines despite that I wanted it to be more of an antigrav flavor. Think the machines in the Matrix.

Stuff. sleep.gif
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Graymalkin
Posted: Aug 6 2006, 11:52 PM
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Well you did'nt necessarily have to go with turbines, it was just the lack of anything that looked like propulsion =x though to be sure, I'm not sure how or where one would put an anti-grav matrix of sorts on the design fron this angle, especially having it be obvious what it is, it's not like many of us have seen anti gravity engines biggrin.gif.

Anyway, putting the jets where they are was a pretty clever trick. I still have problems with it (weird arms, no stabilizers or other visual vues of flight, etc), but I think you're a step closer to solving the problem now. Maybe if you had a coupling or some other detail on those engines they'd look a bit meatier, they do seem a bit shoved in there at the moment.

Chibi: it seems you have a good idea of what you want, I'm looking forward to the next installment wink.gif
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: Aug 9 2006, 02:49 AM
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i missed the deadline for the final, so i'm putting my final project in the rogue school thread.

Character Description:
The character is a male warrior in his late 30s. He wears a suit of heavy armor. Through a series of adventurous events, he has become the counterpart and unlikely traveling companion to the ex-mercenary woman. He is unpredictable in combat, as opposed to the ex-mercenary woman's cold precision in swordwork.

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craft user
Posted: Aug 11 2006, 01:24 PM
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Ch3353N1nj4: like the color, and the outfit. atleast you got yours done

as for me, i think i'll START the final project soon... soon as in maby next week... gwad, distraction is a bee with an ich. but i HAVE been working on a pinup rolleyes.gif but its been takeing forever!(yet again, distraction)
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Aug 17 2006, 01:40 PM
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user posted image

whoo, long time between updates sorry V_V
Here's two more designs for step 3! The left is much more bohemian, while the right one is classier. I think they're a step in the right direction for sure.

Ch3353N1nj4: Great job for finishing despite missing the deadline! I LOVE your knight design, not a thing I would change about it.
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Aug 29 2006, 10:24 PM
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Okay, looks like nobody is here anymore >_>
Since there doesn't seem to be anymore action here I think i will post my own thread with all my steps so I can get crits on the current step and keep on with the progress. But it would be nice if people would continue on here!
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Merekat
Posted: Aug 30 2006, 11:39 AM
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well then post in here, chibi :} I'm sorry I didn't get to your critting... been busy as heck trying to ship IRL.

personally I like the left one because of the delicate butterflies. The right is a good design, but a bit too businesslike and streamlined for a cute little catgirl. it makes her look a smidge uptight :} it is a great design, but I'm not sure how closely it compliments her character.

but the details on the left with the sparkle skirt and butterflies and necklace... it all compliments her design so well. that's my two cents.

lets see some color!
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craft user
Posted: Aug 30 2006, 09:08 PM
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Chibi Muse: butterflys are cute wub.gif ... did i just say cute... anywho, i cant wait to see your finished pice.

i know i said i would also do the last step AKA all the steps again but im not that focused. that said i was enough to do a pinup...

user posted image
the first is with my character doing nothing in a detailed background
user posted image
the second, posing but still doing notheing

realy i was just trying out styles for my assassin (its to bad i wasnt in the killing feeling)

This post has been edited by craft user on Aug 30 2006, 09:09 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Aug 30 2006, 10:06 PM
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I just feel weird bumping a sticky is all, so I was reluctant to XD
Colour it is for the design on the left, I shall jump on it immediately!

Craft: happy.gif butterflies aren't just cute, they're ADORABLE! Thanks!

Great job on the background in the first picture! The perspective looks spot on, and the general mood is nice.

Personally I prefer the first picture to the second, the character looks more like 'herself' and less like a japanese pop princess who happens to be wearing your characters clothes.
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craft user
Posted: Aug 30 2006, 11:21 PM
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blink.gif Chibi... get out.... of my... F%#@ MIND! laugh.gif cus that was my ref for the second pic, i dont like the eyes (i think thats the big problem, well when i was drawing it, it was) ill try and occupy some of this sticky space if it to big fo you sleep.gif i need to stard drawing more anyway
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Sep 2 2006, 01:17 PM
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V_V while struggling with the colour step, i realized I had missed a rather crucial element of this character design.

In the story she was originally in, the main premise focused on these magical necklaces which basically functioned as long range handcuffs (lame and a bit weak, but ah well >_>) one of which she would obviously wear. They were irremovable, so obviously it would have to be a part of her design... but the other main character would also have to wear one, so it would have to complement her design as well!

I'm rather annoyed at myself for not remembering until this late in the game >_< I didn't look at the old story very much before attempting this re-design, and went by what I remembered. Now I'm stuck as to whether I need to bother changing anything, because I may not even do anything with the story.

Struggling away with colour in the meantime, it is not my strong suit!

edit:

user posted image

Well, Thats what I have so far. Her original skin/fur colour was grey, but I like the idea of using reddish purples at a low saturation instead. I'm most happy with her skin/fur, I'm really not satisfied with the clothing colours at the moment.

This post has been edited by Chibi Muse on Sep 2 2006, 01:17 PM
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danae
Posted: Sep 5 2006, 12:12 AM
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Oh, I'm way behind and just beginning--I'm so sad that I was internetless during the actual beast! But I'm excited to follow belatedly. Tonight and fiddled with steps 1 and 2.
user posted image
user posted image
user posted image
Didn't really add very much in terms of features to the cleanup....is that bad?
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Sep 6 2006, 06:12 PM
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Danae: we could use a character description, I personaly find it hard to crit the silhouette if I don't know what you're going for! Overall they look clean and well thought out. I think you could have experimented more with the hair, but I like what you've come up with.
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danae
Posted: Sep 6 2006, 11:04 PM
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Woops! I skipped that part, didn't I?
She's a strong minded girl who takes care of herself--sometimes she makes her money by mercenary work, and sometimes she resorts to outright theft. She is lithe and strong and wirey, but she also tends to use her cute looks as a tool to her advantage in fights or other situations.
In the end, I actually chose the desing with the skirt more because it's not something I do very often than for any other reason; I'm experimenting. But it definately adds to her cute charm, which I think is probably her strongest weapon...
A Basic Value pass.
user posted image
And some variations on the refined value pass.
user posted image
I'm going to go with the first one, but it was fun to see what else could fill up that space. I just don't think the other two succeeded very well.

This post has been edited by danae on Sep 6 2006, 11:06 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Sep 14 2006, 06:12 PM
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I definitely agree that the first one is the best. Maybe you could have tried some designs that were less matchy-matchy? In all of these you have exactly the same decoration on every element of the outfit, its not very believable. I think it would be better to mix up the decoration or only use it on some elements.

(Can anyone give me some crits on my above colours? I can't seem to find anything more satisfactory, its very frustrating.)
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spoonifur
Posted: Sep 14 2006, 08:57 PM
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The colors and tones seem to all go pretty good together. Maybe mix and match? Some blue clips for the purple shirt and dress, etc.

Simple is always nice, but try to mix it up a bit. :} Maybe the trim should be light, and the other parts dark?

I like what you have, and I'm glad you're keeping this thread alive, the both of you. :}
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Sep 14 2006, 10:25 PM
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^_~ we will keep it alive! Even if it takes a full life support system.

Mix and match, that sounds like a good idea. Not sure which trim you mean, like the lighter parts of the shirt and skirt? I'm a bit wary of that, because it would defy my value pass. Thanks for the crits!
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Merekat
Posted: Sep 14 2006, 10:59 PM
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Chibi: I'm actually partial to the green and teal one on the left more than the pink on the right. With your skintone and warm fur tones, the warm colors seem overpowering on the right with not real balance of tone. with the green and teal on the left, this plays with the taupe and warm colors of the skin. I like the contrast there. I would say play up the bohemian look a bit with a hair more warm color like a gold brown or deep rich chocolate in places like the boots or the boot sole or the background of skirt or the hair or so forth. the only other thing I might do for flavor is mix up the pattern on the shirt with some varied greens. or maybe the dots on the skirt have a bit more oil slick rainbow color diversity on them. just lightly, predominately teal. I dont' know if I'm explaining myself on that well. either way, the greens and blues and somewhat purple go great with the warms of the cat. I would say add a warm chocolate some where and vary the green and you're good to go ;}

danae: excellent first run. they're clean and they're easily read. well done. I would say a bit more diversity, really. your skirt one is really the only different one there. a leg cuff or something are the most notable change. I don't mind the other silhouettes, but you really only have two here: the pants and the skirt one. anyway, good choice on the skirt. it's a clean silhouette. just push the variety more next time, you might find something you like better. I would also clean up her lower legs and feet. the anatomy is bubbling there and there aren't very clean shapes. the lower calf is particularly wide and the feet look like socks. I'd nail down what they are there more.

for your value pass, I don't really think it shows a clear direction of what the forms are. for what she is, a little sundress wouldn't be the choice of protection for a sword weilding warrior. check zack_RIs pre-final archer (his final was some guy). his value passes had great lines and functional design for the outfit, really showing how things went together. for yours, I'm not seeing the ballerina shoes or the sun dress or the shapes of your belts. those belts hold nothing on and would be very uncomfortable, particularly that torso strapping over the chest. again, check zack's... he has a shoulder garb system that is functional over a woman's chest. your warrior, by choice of items, look more like a girl playing dressup than a utilitarian design. you really have to think about what your character will be doing as well as the personality to solidly show form and design. I'd do the value pass over. but the silhouette is great. I really like that....once you fix the legs ;}

keep up the great work!
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Sep 23 2006, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for the crits Mere! That helps alot! Unfortunately training for my new job has eaten my life for this and next week, but I will do my best to punch out a new color scheme with the changes you suggested in the next while.
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Marichan
Posted: Sep 24 2006, 11:31 PM
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I have been watching this thread like a hawk since the beginning. I wanted to do it for so long, but I never had the time needed to do it. I can't resist any longer though! I know I am late, and I am entirely to blame for that (that and my professors, and the audubon institute), but regardless, here is my step one:

This character is somewhat of a piromaniac (thus the flame-throwers). She is tough, easy to tease her friends, but is still a sucker for a pretty dress on sale.
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Marichan
Posted: Sep 25 2006, 09:10 PM
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my appologies for the double post.

I forgot to mention: her profession is ah.... a... trouble-making highschool student I guess you could say. Her build is strong, and she is taller than averege.

here is step two
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and the beginning of step three:
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Merekat
Posted: Sep 25 2006, 11:51 PM
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marichan: excellent! good to see your posts.

for your first 8 silhouettes: I'm LOVING your variety and exploration with weapon silhouettes in contrast to the character as well as your experimentation with the arms and torso. I'm not seeing a lot of variety with the lower part of the body, save for the cargo pants and the skirt, but overall these have some interesting ideas and some very visual ideas. personally, I'm loving #7. I really like the cape/frock design for the top, coupled with the mechanicals of the arms and the seemingly electrofied hair. very interesting proportions and shapes you have there. very eye-catching. I also enjoy #8 and #2 for the same reasons. #8 especially because of the large solid shapes of the kimono and the pattern of the visual brace on the gun. nice contrast with that in particular. great balance.

for your refined silhouette and value pass: I know you went with #4 and I do like the gun on her. personally I think if she were in the cargo pants of #5, her features would be a bit more balanced. She feels very topheavy and uneasy on those spindily legs. personally, I'd like to see repetition of shape with the gun into the legs, and the cargo pants would take care of it, having a similar width to create a visual rhythm in contrast to the fine details of the gun and the thin arms. my two cents. :}

for your value pass: I definitely like your start with the strap idea of the torso and holster for the gun, but as is they feel rather weak and nearly painful, as if they'd cut into her chest in a very nasty way. for such a heavy gun, I would suggest not only to beef up how those arm and waist straps go, but also take a look at how the chest strap would fall across a female's chest. Right now, you've put it straight across as would work on a boy, but unless she's very petite in that area, it would actually curve upward somewhat as well as sit up higher to accommodate the breasts.

again the legs seem a little lightweight and the face she's leaning a smidge doesn't help in her case against being top-heavy. the legs also seem a bit short and the arms a bit long. if she straightened out her arms, they'd reach her knees, whereas the fingertips are usually just a bit short of halfway down the thigh and the elbows are usually between half and a fist distance up from the natural waist.

either way, excellent development of this character. I like her so far, particularly the white shirt, the gray shirt and the darker straps. I'd like to see more of the dark in the pants if you agree, once they're more cargo for I think with the darkness of the hair, they might compliment each other well. with the boots being the dark part I keep wanting to look at them because they're such a big but not too big area of that value tone. if there were more of it, it would be contrasting up against the white shirt and my eyes would raise up further. in fact, you may want to lighten the bandana to contrast against her dark hair to get attention up near her face. either way, play with the values a bit. see what you can come up with. my suggestions are just experiments for you to try out to see if you enjoy them ;}

great job so far! keep it up!

This post has been edited by Merekat on Sep 25 2006, 11:51 PM
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Marichan
Posted: Sep 26 2006, 10:15 PM
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It was hard for me to pick one of the figures. I really wanted to do the geisha because it would be so funny to see her with a flame thrower, but I also kind of wanted to stick with my initial plan of a trouble-making, flame-throwing highschool student. (I'll have to return to the flame hair girl as well)

As for the straps, I see your point. I think that recently, I was using my own body as a reference for many of my character designs ...maybe I made her a little too scrawny because of that... but darn it, I want better for my character! This is my second try at step three:

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Hellrose
Posted: Oct 16 2006, 03:09 PM
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A question on the application of this technique:

Say I have this character. Nice character, personality all planned out. But the way the story is set up, she doesn't really wear the same thing twice in a row. I still want her to be very distinct, but without any trademark accessory. What should I focus on, then, to make her identifiable? (Hair, face, body shape, etc.)

ETA: The beginnings of a completely unrelated character:
user posted image

This post has been edited by Hellrose on Oct 16 2006, 03:37 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Oct 16 2006, 05:46 PM
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I'll leave that question for the Mere, but I think you could still figure out a general silhouette and use the more detailed steps to develop a various wardrobe all with a similair silhouette, thus unfiying them.

Your silhouette is too posed for me to tell much about the design, you need to put her in a nuetral , straight on position where her arm isn't going to hide half the design! Also the hair flowing is kind of a cheat, unless her hair is going to do that even when she is standing still with no wind. Could you maybe show some more potential silhouettes?
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Graymalkin
Posted: Oct 19 2006, 12:19 AM
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Hey guys, been gone for a long time. Still working on portostuff, and hope to have the pic up soon that I've been working on. In the meantime, I've embarked on another piece for said porto, under Mere's suggestion that I might think about another character to toss in to off 1337 design skills.

Going for something a lot more ambitious this time, to challenge myself smile.gif. Pushing envelopes moves more mail (<-- found this in a fortune cookie).

Character concept:

Sheol the Calamity.

Sheol is an ancient being awakened from inside the earth by an paleontological dig. Although she in part looks like a human female, she does not speak. This is not because she is lacking in intelligence, but she simply does not register humans. They are to her just like any other animal running around, their hugest cities simply another termite colony or tree full of monkeys. Sheol is called the calamity because during her active periods, which are thankfully not frequent, she spreads disaster, illness, death, and bar fortunes simply by virtue of being concious.

She does'nt have an agenda to take amass endless treasures, usurp the throne, and what not, because she simply isn't concerned with such trivial matters. She simply wanders around from lair to lair between her decades-long hibernations and eats, as if she was nothing more than an animal-- unfortuneatly for humankind, her menu includes the souls and sanity of surrounding cities.

I envision her having 'young', but rather than direct kids, they're a race of creatures under her control. She makes them like a human makes a test tube baby, rather than a human giving birth. Sheol herself normally remains sedentary and has these minions-- brutal, primal creatures called the Sil-- drag unfortunate victims to her and find her new nesting grounds.

My idea for this is a Lovecraftian demi-god of sorts. She's immensely powerful, bizzare, and has though patterns that seem intelligent but not unrecognizable to humans. To reflect that, she of course has to have bizzare shape as well o/ I did'nt want to have the insect or reptile look because it's been done to death for 'swarm' collectives happy.gif; So I checked out the ocean for weird biology. Which is kind of why she looks like a monster jelly fish on some of them-- I did remove fins and flippers here and there though, because I didnt want her to look aquatic, just weird.

I also don't want her to look completely meet and flesh though, I'm going to try and integrate textures and shapes into her that look artificial, but ornate; and then dump all sorts of decoration on her... almost like she's half living cathedral. The idea is to the impression that she's not just a freaky looking monster, but hints at some higher state of being. Not just a rubber monster with a girl's face/torso on it.

user posted image

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This post has been edited by Graymalkin on Oct 19 2006, 12:20 AM
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Merekat
Posted: Oct 19 2006, 01:15 AM
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hellrose good question. for that, I would say you should break up your design ideas into two parts: one, the defining of the character in basic underwear (IE, little to nothing). Just because she's not wearing an outfit doesn't mean her body type will not have signature shapes and forms. This will define her height, her skeletal frame thickness, her musculature, her proportions, her presence. And unless she's wearing a lot of wigs, there will be a basic hair signature as well.

All these features can be just as important to identify the character as a traditional outfit. For example, boney wrists and elbows, slim waist but curvy hips, maybe a smaller bust... the combinations of features as well as flaws is what defines the personality. That can be designed without an outfit, they do it in games all the time. Particularly when the outfits are interchangeable. You might want to take a look at that: how games make the different characters vary (IE classes or personalities) yet still work with various outfits and how they differ with the rest of the game characters.

For the second part, then just because she will change outfits a lot doesn't disregard the fact that one person is still wearing them. And this one character has a particular taste and style and physical ability to carry it. You wouldn't put a huge mecha type tank outfit on a spry little girl and expect her to personally carry it. But perhaps she's a bit of a tomboy. So then your goal would be to design a line of outfits for a girl that is rougher and more utilitarian like a boy. Bottom line is, you can have variety in her wear, but every thing you put her in must still look like it belongs to her character and in her closet. That's your main goal.

A nice trick of this is to design a lot of looks at once and then put them side by side in a line. Then you can see what outfits work with her character and maybe what one or two stands out as not belonging. Much harder to see it individuality, but all together, you can see what fits.

I like where you're going so far. Keep it up.

graymalkin VERY well thought out. I love that you looked to aquatic life for the alien features. and I love that you are thinking of outfits as effigies to a higher intelligence that add to the history of her character rather than just decoration for the sake of decoration.

for designs, I'm going to just go down the list:
1: I just want to pop the zit, I don't know why, I just do. too quasimodo.
2: I do like it, particularly the long neck... very freaky. but the twin eyes, I don't know. she looks like a stringy pair of scissors.
3: too separated. she's an angel on a rose. not integrated at all
4: not bad. I like the movement, but she's still very human. I think the arms make her too relatable, not alien enough.
5: oh I love the movement. very nice. very alien. very flowing. reminds me of a throne and a stingray at the same time.
6: very alien and I like the little lower stems... they remind me of rudders of sorts. but I'm not sure about the googily eyelashes in the center.
7: not bad, but a little stocky. the middle pinch is very fragile and I'm not sure about her movement at all
8: hm. I like the side view, but the front doesn't convince me. see what you might do with it.
9: oh no. too fraggle rock.
10: may west hips? ...odd and imbalanced
11: makes no sense. no idea of direction or proportional flow.
12: um. ew.
13: hm. potential there. not so much with the human form, but the whole profile swoopy thing going on there. remove the human arms and legs and figure out what to keep in there for the general size and I like the side view a lot. front has potential with that bottom fin, but needs help with the side thingies and make sure the top mass isn't a mirror image of the bottom. they'll be competing for attention then.
14: enh. a poor man's #13.
15: oh no.
16: not sure what to make of it. no sense of intelligence or presence. looks like a blob of cells or some plant.
17: dome nice idea. form is lifeless and far too straight for something so organic.
18: too busy and not integrated. what are you doing with this human arm thing? stop it.
19: potential. I actually like the front more than the side. nice flow and direction, but it's not quite there.
20: if you plant it, it'll blossom next spring.

these are just my gut reactions, but overall I'm fond of 13, 8 and 5. mostly for proportion and movement. #8 is in my opinion the best of show. excellent thought process. brilliant amount of variety. keep it up. ;}

This post has been edited by Merekat on Oct 19 2006, 01:19 AM
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lilbunni
Posted: Oct 28 2006, 01:49 PM
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Hi! I am not really sure how to put my pictures in here... so I put them on my website (link is below)

http://www.geocities.com/j_bunny2001/index.html

Let me know what you think smile.gif
~Bunni
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Graymalkin
Posted: Oct 31 2006, 04:51 AM
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Hey all. End of the Muslim holy month has meant no internet for me for the last two weeks because all the LANshops are closed for vacation, but here I am again now \o/ !!

Thanks for the rundown, Mere. It helped me refine the look I wanted in my head. Spent a while breaking down what I liked and did'nt like about the various looks, and came up with these:

user posted image

user posted image

It's not hard to tell that some are mix and matches of previous designs, or rather, fitting on features from different silhouettes onto a basic look. It does'nt have the variety of the earlier sheets, but that's not really the point for me at this part. It's a sort of "step 1.5" for me--- after the first few sheets to find a basic look and feel, I re-silhouette based on my favorites. I'm not sure what the rest of you think (feel free to comment though wink.gif), but I'm finding it's giving me a clearer foundation for directing the character as I go on.

Bar any great protest, I'll probably go with one of these smile.gif

EDIT: btw, Mere, would you mind if I linked people on an outside sight to your Character Design class? Some people have been asking about it since they saw the pile of silhouettes in my sketchbook at a meet-up. I told 'em to just come over to MT, but being ESLers no one wanted to =|

This post has been edited by Graymalkin on Oct 31 2006, 04:54 AM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Nov 4 2006, 11:11 AM
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Lilbunny: I like the fourth one, on the right hand side of the first row. The poncho design is nice, but seems a bit too dowdy for a college senior.
Including a winter outfit seems a bit weird, unless she lives somewhere where it is continualy cold, and if she did I don't think she'd be wearing a mini-skirt!

WOW Graymalkin! Those are all amazing.
I had a much harder time deciding which one of these I liked better than I do with human silhouettes, especially since each had two views!

I LOVE 24 from the front, but the side view doesn't really impress me.
28 is more balanced, but I don't particularly feel the elegant, alien motion like the front view of 24.
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Merekat
Posted: Nov 4 2006, 01:12 PM
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Oy! Sorry for the delay, guys, mucho things came at me the last few weeks.

Lilbunni: She constantly changes her look, eh? Then I would say someone with that much love of clothing would have a very runway style, even when she's dressing down. For that, of the eight silhouettes you've produced, numbers four and eight look like they are gals focused on fashion and pay great attention to their clothing. I also like the poncho idea of the first one, but that isn't as direct her personality as the others, however it would best describe her fear of public speaking as she can hide in that tent rather well. :} Great job!

Graymalkin: I love the details you're using for this new batch, but all in all you've kinda lost the rhythm and personality of the original #8. The old #8 was attention-grabbing, and I see a faint echo of it in 23. But now she's so upright and frail she's more like a wimpy jellyfish that is powerless to hold itself upright... True, the folds and petals of the old #8 was great because it too was jellyfish-like, but they were the business end... more like a manowar. Something that looked dangerous and strong and powerful rather than something you want to make a suspended glass paperweight out of. You also lost her momentum by making her so thin and vertical. The bulk of her is gone.

However, detail-wise I like 24 and 28. but that's largely because my gut reaction is I'm no longer interested in the old #8 direction as you've taken it. The spider sack looks silly now and just sticking there rather than part of a flowing living organisim.

My personal preference would be for you to go back to 8 and refine her. clean her up, see what the details can be. But that's my take. ;} It's your project now, for your portfolio.

This post has been edited by Merekat on Nov 4 2006, 01:13 PM
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Han1977
Posted: Nov 8 2006, 10:18 PM
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I was pulling my hair when I saw the character design class. I haven't study any form of art before. Most I have done so far, is drawing on my book and notes during some class when I was still a student. So when I do my current webcomic I just do it.

I wish I saw this character design class before I start the webcomic, obviously I might start it better if I do. Anyway I decide to learn about it. I'm not sure whether I have done it right or not. I'm not yet collect 8 silhouette but would like to know if so far I'm still in the right track.

user posted image

First and second silhouette is for the main character of my webcomic. A young knight, with withdrawn personality and I guess the thing that drive most of his action is fear, fear or rejection, fear of death and such.

The third is another charater, a girl who can handle everything by herself with a friendly personality, always willing to help the other but hid her own emotion for herself. Well something like that.
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Graymalkin
Posted: Nov 24 2006, 06:57 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, Mere and Chibi smile.gif

I actually did go back to the silhouettes again, but I can't find the damn sheet where I have the base sil on u_u; I'll look around and see if I can find it.

In the meantime, I've gone on to the next step and here's what I have so far:

Front:
user posted image

Side:

(note that this one is lacking arms and the 'wing' thingies, I figured to take them off so they would'nt cover the body, as it seemed to me that would kind of defeat the point of the side view tongue.gif)

user posted image

I'll have to go through them again and clean up, there's a bit of inconsistent shapes and smudges but right now I'm pretty happy with the general look and ornatey-ness of it smile.gif

Man, silhouettes are evil, I just can'st stop making them ^__^; I really see know what some artists mean when they say you have to stop designing at one point or you never actually make a picture.

@ Han:

I think you're not doing the process right. Rather than grab 8 silhouettes of a character that may or may not be the same person, the idea is to create one character from concept to finish.

For the first step, carve out shapes of a human (or whatever form your character is) that have a nice form to them-- shape, balance, flow-- without too much attention to detail. Get a strong base and the rest of the steps come a lot easier smile.gif
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Merekat
Posted: Nov 28 2006, 01:54 PM
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Geez o peas, I've got to get on the ball with these comments. My apologies for the delay, particularly to you, Han1977.

Han1977 You're somewhat on the right track, they're clean and they're readable. But yes, it is best to focus on just one character for each application of this process. By that definition, your last silhouette would qualify as a version of the first character and I would encourage that level of variety.

Doing a fighter is hard, yes. I myself am writing a concept design process tutorial book to be published and for the character design section I chose a female fighter. This means I had to go through and create many many different ideas for the same character and I tried not to restrict myself to any one genre. The fighter, though I knew I wanted her to be rather roguish and tough, had a huge variety describing this from everything of a chinese kimono-clad geisha to a cowgirl to a knight to a mercenary style of garb. And it wasn't until after 50 or so tries that I came up with the 8 versions I liked. And within those 8 versions there's a ton of variety, my favorite having not been found until the last of those 50 or so experiments.

My point is, even though you might think you know where you want to take the character, try playing with that idea and experiment way outside what you initially think applicable. I can assure you you'll come up with something you didn't predict for the character and it will be something exciting that will make the character all the stronger and more interesting. Keep trying!

Graymalkin Aye, excellent. I can see you're having fun with details. Very ornate and nicely rendered. For flow and weight, I would suggest making the bottom part (the 'legs' if you will) a bit more flared out and tapery like your original sketch. They're still skinny and if you're going to create a solid form that works with the bulbous shape there, I think the underneath needs some more bulk. That and if you flared them out like a skirt with layers like a jellyfish, the shapes would echo the roundness of the top forms. If you want, I can do a quick sketch later to show what I mean.

Otherwise the details look great. But if you are going for the petal-like ruffles of a jellyfish for the bottom, I would also pull those out and make them more readable as shapes. They're a little too furry right now and are a bit weak in presence.

Think about the lines of this character. As a five-second experiment, translate this into abstract lines and look at it as you would some chinese caligraphy. I think you can really bring out the flow of this better, but the ideas and the shapes aren't bad. That neck and ball is so much fun. ;}
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Graymalkin
Posted: Nov 29 2006, 01:23 AM
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Thanks for the crits as always, Mere smile.gif I'll go do some more jelly hunting for those dress suggestions.

QUOTE

Think about the lines of this character. As a five-second experiment, translate this into abstract lines and look at it as you would some chinese caligraphy. I think you can really bring out the flow of this better, but the ideas and the shapes aren't bad. That neck and ball is so much fun. ;}


Sure is happy.gif

But i'm... not quite sure I get what you mean here. Do you mean do gestures based on the silhouette?
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Keric
Posted: Nov 30 2006, 12:04 PM
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This is probably the wrong spot for this, but here goes:

I recently started messing around with drawing, and realize that I'm not quite ready to participate in one of your classes. However, after I practice a bit I would definitely want to give it a try. I was wondering if you intend to start another class in the future? It seems like an excellent chance to improve, and I'm really impressed that it's offered for free over the MT forums...

-Keric

This post has been edited by Keric on Nov 30 2006, 12:04 PM
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Graymalkin
Posted: Dec 2 2006, 05:07 AM
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QUOTE
and I'm really impressed that it's offered for free over the MT forums...


Well, if anyone needs convincing that Mere's there for your best interests... tongue.gif. Anyway, even if the class is over or there isn't another one in the future you can always rogue-it with us in this topic smile.gif (reading through the steps should give you a good idea of what you're doing). Bar the timetable, it essentially works the same.

So, Mere, I re-silhouetted the silhouette:

user posted image

user posted image

I did a few simple sketches to try and rework the flow, but... not sure if I did it right. Postures changed a bit; mostly the front view, I wanted to see if angling the 'wings' (they're actually fins u_u) would help the look. tell me how it went?

I also tried to tie more of the detail together. As they say in the automotive industry, "like things should alike". I think the look is definately stronger, but I'm still undecided about some of the shapes. I might change some of the details especially on the fins to look more artificialish. That jellyfish-skirt is also still bugging me, it's still coming off too 'tree-trunk' for me. If it ain't too much trouble, could I hit you for that sketch you mentioned? I'm not quite getting the flow and bulbs idea you talked about.

Thanks smile.gif.
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Merekat
Posted: Dec 2 2006, 08:20 PM
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keric maybe some day I'll host another class. but right now it takes up an extreme amount of my personal time and I just don't have the energy. and I'm trying to write a book on concept design process. so until that's done, I don't think there'll be another class. However, I am aiming for it to be done in the next 6 months. ;}

graymalkin heya. no problemo.

I think the issue is you're getting a little carried away with high detail. There's all these ruffles and furs and flanges and no calm form. and the detail you do add is all the same size and relative consistancy, so there's not hierarchy.

now this is just a rough pass on the side view, but I tried to add in some of the detail without too much to take away from the underlying form. specifically with the 'skirt area'. I was thinking your original thumbnail looked very much like the spiral ruffles of a jellyfish tendril. much like this:
http://www.newpaltz.edu/biology/BiologyDep...4_bg_122802.jpg
http://www.toddm.net/photos/My_trip_to_Mon..._Aquarium_2.jpg

Mixing it with your original thumbnail, I pictured a coil of ruffles like the jellyfish. If this is much off what you pictures, then lemme know, this is just my impression of the image.

In creating this, even though jellyfish can be incredibly compact with detail, they also can be more graceful and flowy. I think what happened with your sketch above is you added too many layers and levels of the ruffles, thus losing the form of the skirt.

also notice I put it a bit more on an angle to mirror the slope of the crest. Because of the size of those shapes above her, I have no theories that the leg area is actually trying to be load-bearing. In which case, add some grace into the picture and flow with the lines.

By lines I mean the most basic flows of the design. When I look at a piece, I try to simplify it to something nearly like caligraphy. See the linework on the top right of my post below here... See how the lines flow with each other as if it becomes its own symbol? I know it's a bit corney, but if you can get your characters to flow like caligraphy, there will always be a grace and movement to them. And this is what you must keep true to the piece, no matter how much detail you add.

Below on the right is a bit more full view of how I see your design. Specifically where the color lines are. I'm looking for those lines when I look at your picture. See how they mirror and flow with one another? See the form relationships?

Again, notice I'm not paying attention to the details. That's just white noise as far as I'm concerned and you should approach details as final icing, not as a main ingredient. The design needs to have the music on its own, it's not a matter of how much hair or dangles or protrusions are there. Worry about the basic flow and form. Worry about the movement. And I would get rid of at least 40% of your details and try to simplify. ;}

Again, my two cents.

user posted image

This post has been edited by Merekat on Dec 2 2006, 08:30 PM
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Quickning
Posted: Dec 7 2006, 01:24 AM
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I'm trying to redesign or rather re-costume a character thatís in a comic strip I'm drawing. She's got a silhouette that's unique in the context of the comic but not in the wider world. Her most defining feature is the oversized forearms, thus her name GorillaMitz. I originally intended her to be a kunoich (gal ninja), but just all around fighter is what I'm shooting for now. How do you think I should go about designing a costume around those huge forearms. I've thought about weapons to her look but if you've got arms like that who needs them. How else can I define a fighter.

Here's my start on the silhouettes more to come.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
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Merekat
Posted: Dec 9 2006, 02:35 PM
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I agree that with her large hands etc as a fighting feature, such a character probably wouldn't weild a weapon. In fact, I doubley think that would be so because hands that large would rarely have fine motor control for the quick and precise movements that more sexy ninja weapons would require. It just wouldn't be a naturale thing to learn and pick up, given her assets.

Along these lines then, I would suggest really paying attention to her personality and how she would use these hands in fighting. Is she self conscious of their abnormal size? Is she aggressive and tends to start punching without thinking? Is she very intuitive with her hands or even rather particular about them because they are her unique feature?

The reason why I would ask is because I would design around those characteristics first and not worry about how to put armor on a huge forearm. For example, if she's aggressive and punches on a whim, she probably doesn't think much for her hands and is just using them as bludgeoning weapons. So if they're nothing but a mallet to her, then I would think she might wrap them in tape or some leather strips and be done with it. The whole boxer-bloody knuckle thing.

If in turn, she's very particular about her hands and uses them to their utmost effectiveness, not just clumbsy and sweeping, then someone who pays attention to precision strikes would protect her tools more than someone who went for sheer quantity. In this case, I would think she might have some light yet strong, streamlined finger and hand armor. Much like a high tech breathable glove with plating and such. Perhaps some durable decorative thick swashes of leather around the wrists for stability, so the hands could be used as pinpoint bullets and the wrapping of the wrist would strengthen the impact and allow for such actions while allowing some movement because it's leather and not armor per se.

These ideas of what the character is also impacts the rest of the outfit. If she Hulk Smashed her way into things, either the rest of her would barely be there and she's be ripped up most of the time or whatever heavy leather or armor or layers of clothing would be rather beaten and worn from uber amounts of impact. If she was the precision fighter, then the outfit would be more strategic based on covering her weaknesses and protecting the areas that typically would get more exposure.

This is what I think of when I design characters. It seems like a lot of information, but really, if you can nail down what precisely your character is, it clears away a lot of the mental debris and gets rid of tons of less appropriate options. By knowing what WON'T work, you have an easier (hopefully) time of knowing what will.

Good luck and I fully expect you to post updates ;} *wink*
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Quickning
Posted: Dec 13 2006, 12:39 AM
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It's been really quiet. Private lessons from The Sarge hmm? Works for me!
Since I'm working with a character I've established already, I've got a good idea of who she is. After thinking about the character's personality I realize that it wouldn't be a bad thing to return to the ninja theme. GorillaMitz worked hard to have fine control of her massive hands, she's a warrior and she can be a lady if she so chooses. She's thoughtful, and clever and subtle when she needs to be. She can be manipulative but for fun she likes fight with her two hands.

I still needed four more silhouettes so here are the last. I think the top two of the four posted here are the best of the lot and go best with her personality.
Think i'm ready for the refinement stage?

user posted image
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Graymalkin
Posted: Dec 16 2006, 04:47 AM
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I think the first of the second four, for the balance. I like the heavier bottom with the stripped-down top. The one next to it isn't bad, but I think you could go more places with the 3rd one in the first batch it the body wasn't so bare. The long scarf and shoulders a great start, but the rest of the body seems ignored.

Whatever happens, I'd say definately abandon the weapons unless you supersize them too. Even if GorillaMitz trained day and night, it would still look silly (and implausible) to swing around eledang and tiny weaponry in those huge fists.

Mere - Well, here I go again wink.gif

I tried to take what you said to heart and reworked a *lot* of this step while trying to stick to the step 1 silhouette... although I admit I had to do a bit of bactrackking because the caligraphy-lines and flow you talked about was hard to apply because of what a basic structure matter it is: a basic rule that all other details are subsevient to. Thanks a lot for that bit, too, I feel like I've brought my design up a level just by having realized that.

Hopefully this is proof biggrin.gif --

user posted image

user posted image

I'm MUCH happier with these, really. Especially the shoulder/big fin configuration seems a lot more natural. I hesitated with chopping detail, since... well, I've never really gotten the 'detail cap', since when I look around the world I romp in, even the simplest objects have an astounding amount of detail... although I agree that certain things can be over the top or out of place.

Anyway, hopefully these will do. I'm worried I'm spending too long on this step. Shipping ready ^__^; ?
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Merekat
Posted: Dec 23 2006, 07:16 PM
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oy, I really have to get a handle on these time frames. I keep having to apologize for how long I go between posts here! my bad, guys.

quickning your reasoning is good. :} excellent thought process, particularly since you took the time to really explore your understanding of her in creating the piece. I like the silhouettes so far, any of them will do, though my only comment is the single pointy tail of the back tunic piece of the bottom two reminds me more of a pelt and loincloth which kinda makes her a bit more of the primitive side. the one with split tails is nice coat and that will keep her from looking too lowbrow, for a lack of a better term. if you want to capitalize on the gorilla primitive side, that's your choice and it can still work. personally I enjoy the contrast between her primal nature and her more somewhat sophisticated clothing (IE the split tails or the ninja thing).

as for the refinement stage, I'm actually nixing that in the book I'm writing and placing it more in the back of the steps with the final stages. you can add more if you want to, but I'm not going to hold you to the specifics of a refinement stage. particularly when a belt loop or whatnot can be added with final details easy enough. up to you ;} the important bit is dont' get too crazy with details.

graymalkin aye. looking good. the caligraphic lines are more of a way of looking at something and a good attempt at keeping flow and movement in your design. don't take that suggestion too literally. it's just something to keep aware of that easily helps a design along. and yes, the whole basic that other details are subservient to is exactly the point. VERY well done to realize that. ;}

your side view looks exceptional to me. I love it. ;} I hope you do too.

the front view is a little complex. I'm not sure what you're trying to do with those top ball things. sure, they do work with the middle ball well, but I'm not sure how much of that is needed if you have the flow of the top jellyfish section (that whole man'o war shape) to relate to the curves. with the arms, you're really making this rather complex and I'm not sure what the theme is as well as the side view. those wings, for example, seem to be of a different design rule set than the other details you've been adding. personally I'd nix the top ball structures entirely so you can have a sweeping bell shape to the rest. if that happens, I dont' think the double sets of fin wings are too off target. the weird wings on the middle ball seem... weird. I'd nix those too, but again this is my personal take on them. if you have specific reasons for them to be there, then by all means keep them. I'm just using my gut reaction from the visual direction you've provided.

as a side exercise, take a closer look at my red green and blue lines over that simplified side version a few posts back. see if you can do the same to the front version.

otherwise, yes. ;} ship it. I've made you linger on this step enough. I hope you have learned a lot from it and that it wasn't too painful for ya. ;} well done. this is really starting to have some flavor.

This post has been edited by Merekat on Dec 23 2006, 07:18 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jan 2 2007, 10:51 PM
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user posted image

Left one is the old design, Right is the new one.
FINALLY! Gahrg, I was so behind on this but I finaly managed to update my colour scheme, and with Mere's approval I will skip on to the next step.


This post has been edited by Chibi Muse on Jan 2 2007, 10:52 PM
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Merekat
Posted: Jan 2 2007, 11:11 PM
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right is good. ;} I like the combo of warm and cool colors. I also like the combo of hues in the dress, though I only noticed the butterflies at first, the skirt was very subtle. subtle is good, but if you wanted it a feature, I'd push it a hair. speaking of hair, mind your tail. skintone is fine, but wouldn't the tuft be the same as the head? unless no.

she's really cute, chibi. very very chic ;}

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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jan 2 2007, 11:32 PM
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Tweaked the skirt a tiny bit, and yes thank you for pointing out the tail! I updated the file above.

smile.gif Thanks! I'm onto step 5 then, and lucky me I only really have to find 3 major swatches!
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Quickning
Posted: Jan 5 2007, 12:54 AM
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Hope everyone had a good holiday. But now its back to work, fun work.
I'm glad I could skip the refinement stage. To be honest since I'm going for a more cartoony style it was going to be hard to refine in silhouette. So I did some refining with the gray scale study.

Here's my silhouette with the grayscale details.

user posted image

I think there's something to number 1. It's more swat team than ninja but maybe with a few suggestions I could pull it off. I think number 2 is the best. It's clearly ninjaesque. To be honest I'm almost ashamed of number 3. Itís the traditional girl ninja leotard. Oh well sometimes the best way to get rid of a bad idea is to work through it. It so bad that it's sort of funny. I'm sure Electra and Psylocke would be proud. When I originally created the character she was going to be wearing a new costume every story line, but then realized hour hard costume design could be. Besides I'm not sure I could get real far on fashion humor.

What do yall think.
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Marichan
Posted: Jan 12 2007, 11:35 PM
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sorry to be slacking. I had many things going on. Here are my step fours. I was thinking of a rather primary color scheme... Not very creative is it? Maybe I should try a more green and red complimentary scheme?

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Merekat
Posted: Jan 13 2007, 01:03 AM
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sometimes direct can be the best idea. I like what you have here, but it would be nice to see some other examples ase well.. push yourself. you might find a color scheme you didn't think of before that works better.

if you're struggling for ideas, try looking at a favorite photo or interior design scheme or such. and use the colors in that reference. it's amazing what you can find when you look to unusual places for your sources.

try at least another 3. ;} you can do it.
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wannabe_comic_man
Posted: Jan 13 2007, 03:07 AM
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hi, I now I'm supossed to post something usefyl, but Iwant to know how can I enter the cless to create a character. Or is it too late?

Is it cool if I post here even if I don't belong to the class?

okay bye
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Zaxser
Posted: Jan 13 2007, 03:35 AM
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*raises hand*

I realize I haven't participated so far (I'll join when the pen for my tablet comes in, I promise!) but aren't there a limited number of color choices available with the value scheme already in place? I remember alot of people had radically different set ups moving between these steps.
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flbbd2fl
Posted: Jan 13 2007, 09:11 AM
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Hello there

I found out a link to merekat's charadesign 101 and, since this seems to be a 'rogue class' thread i just innocently assume any kind of newb might try and work on this.

Hope i didn t do anything wrong/stupid already unsure.gif

Anyway, here's step 1:
Description: Male psyker in a dark-futuristic cyberpunkish universe. gaunt figure with oversized bald head and long fingers. crazy/arrogant and detached from reality.

silhouettes thumbnails:
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Marichan
Posted: Jan 13 2007, 01:08 PM
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gotcha. Here are some variations:
user posted image
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and the original:
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Merekat
Posted: Jan 13 2007, 01:40 PM
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wannabe_comic_man aye, anyone can join. once the class had ended (and even for folks who didn't sign up in time for the class when it was held), this audited class is for anyone who wants to take the lessons and learn from them. post your work, you'll still get crits from others as well as myself. there's just no grades this time. you get out of it what you put into it ;}

zaxser well, in some cases it's true: if you have a dark coat, it will be difficult to get a bright yellow out of that. however, you will be able to have a dark bronze or golden color. the value passes will somewhat curb what colors may go where, but that is only in the scope of the depth of the color. You can still use a yellow, it just technically won't be a bright yellow if used in a dark tone, for example. however, to get rid of this guideline and open it up to anything completely negates any design or work done in the previous step. having good values is essential. I would even go so far to say if you don't have a good value pass, colors are insignificant. even if you have a brilliant color palette, a bad value pass will lessen the character's design significantly. and yes, they should be posting more versions of colors. ;}

flbbd2fl yes, anyone can join. that's why it's here ;}

for your silhouettes, you have done a good job of getting some variety in there, though I would argue that your first, second and fifth are the same character, no real difference. don't get caught up in the trap that a new bump makes a new version. ;} we're looking for the difference between those and what you did for the rest, even though arguably those have a few similiarities. we're looking for the difference between your last two to be the minimum of change. yes, they're similar in the fact that it's a long robe, but the other details make it a largely different outfit.

the main concern I have isn't so much the drawings as the direction. your description says he's crazy and arrogant and detached from reality. but your silhouettes show someone pretty down to earth and understated. the clothing is well-fitting and utilitarian, useful and practical. that designates a mind for the now and thinking of things in a realistic way. if you really want to portray the personality, I'd look into delving into what types of clothes would really suggest that. like an actor, the outfit itself describes a role.

so maybe loose-fitting? haphazzard and mismatched? dangles? things strapped on in a rushed way? if he's arrogant, then they can be nice things, but still how he puts them on may be more eclectic... all about the show, little about whether it actually goes together, but just that he has this item and you do not...

get into the head of your character. suss him out. once you know precisely what he's about, then question what someone like that would wear or even be concerned with. after that, take another run at a series of 8 silhouettes. keep them diverse, keep them in tune with your character. keep them appropriate. ;}

good start! keep at it!
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wannabe_comic_man
Posted: Jan 14 2007, 02:03 AM
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Hi °..well there's step one. Whad'ya think?.
I saw that everyone was doing really extravagant characters. But I wanted to do a really normal guy. because I want a normal guy to experiment an amazing adventure. so here it goes. (notes how there's no "..." ^^ I'm really proud)



Sixteen year old musician male student. With a really pleasant appearance. He is not very muscular, but not skinny, he's in between. He wears light dark clothes and really light shoes. And he's taekwondo black belt.


user posted image


Is there any character material there? What do you think?
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Gatling
Posted: Jan 14 2007, 07:53 PM
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[Hey, everyone, pleased to meet y'all. flb showed me this thread, so blame him for any lasting damage.]

Mine's a hacker/decker in a cyberpunkish setting. He's 15 and amazingly talented; as a consequence he's fairly arrogant and cocky with all the social skills of a badger. Short, pimply, somewhat heavyset with some baby fat, barely any dress sense but he tries to duplicate the styles he likes. Accessorizes with implants, wires, tools, decks...
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wannabe_comic_man
Posted: Jan 17 2007, 10:12 PM
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hey. So this the second part. Jejejejeej. I just realize that it was eight drawings, not four. Well then, here are the other four. The idea is the same.







user posted image








I'm sorry for taking two spaces. but I don't know how to edit my posts
okay, bye
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millou
Posted: Jan 18 2007, 07:06 AM
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hey guys!
may I join u?
okay, it's my first one, please be indulgent...
it's a girl, about 20/25. She's bad tempered, straightforward and impulsive. Doesn't care about what other persons think of her or her appearence.
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jimthegreat1012
Posted: Jan 19 2007, 03:15 PM
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I'm just stopping in to say good job to everyone...especially Gray; you're designs are kicking ass. I'll probably join this thread a bit later... :3
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craft user
Posted: Jan 19 2007, 03:41 PM
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hello, and lets get right into it. in my independent art studie class i have decided to do a multiple costume design for 6 different cultures. the time i send on this will mostly take place at school. the cultures are typical and stereotyped. my gole is not to copy races but to create interesting and identifiable clothing that could be used in a sort of video game or show.
i will most likly do no more the the 6 silos that i have done for each culture but if there are things that i should add please note them and i will add them during the second step.
i will add one culture now and start the second step next week, then i will add the 2nd cultureand so on.


please and thankyou so much in advace for your help.

first culture live in the snow, mountain regoin, with blizzerds and ice storms. they have no religous infuence, very self cented. they are light skined and get there clothing from animal hide. they dont like outsiders and get most of there food scoure from livestock.
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Merekat, if this wil not work in this thred please tell me to move it or do it yourself if you must. and i thankyou again for such a greate class i could be in.
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jan 19 2007, 09:16 PM
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Craft user: I assume you don't live somewhere cold? I say this because coming from somewhere near the mountains with a lot of snow, your designs don't look very warm.

Usually the warmer an item of clothing is, the thicker or bulkier it is. The other key to warmth is layering items, which also makes the body look bulkier.
People in winter clothing often look like the michelin tire man, puffy, without an easily distinquishable silhouette of arms and legs. The torso is usually especially bulky, and the boots as well. Your designs look slightly furry, but not like they would last in an ice storm.
In a blizzard exposed skin is a definite no-no. I recomend you give those people some nice warm mittens.
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Merekat
Posted: Jan 20 2007, 02:37 AM
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aight. there's a big surge of new submissions here! bravo!

wannabe though I can appreciate the idea of an average joe, what you have here with the four silhouettes is essentially the same person. even in average, there are plenty of options to try to piece together. say a loose jacket with some cargo pants. or what about safari shorts (the cool kind) with a tight shirt, sleeves rolled? some long workpants in a vest and dress shirt? all these options play with the height and mass of the silhouette. and what you have right now are eight guys seemingly wearing the same thing. I know that you have some sleeve varieties, but really, they're so very close, particularly with your presentation and especially the last four. and it would be nice to see some toying wth the pants combination as well as shirt. coats, sash belt? boots? sandals? all of these things can have a big diversity. in addition to this, what you have for the shirts, try to exaggerate a bit more. they're truly blending in a lot. sharpen the edges. even in an average outfit, there's big room for design.

what you have is nice for a start, particularly because I can see you're trying with the shirts. just push the envelope. you might find a new direction you didn't consider before.

gatling I really like how you're playing with texture in your silhouette. the coils and gears are very graphic and noticeable, good variety. with the playing with boots, pants, coats and various headgear (nice variety), I would say the main step is to really focus on what says the character's personality the most. the cowboy hat with a gear is a nice flavor, but does the slightly... flamboyant and cliche?... look really speak for the personality more than the spiked hair or crop cut? is the long coat the best take?

oddly, for once this is an opportunity for me to ask about the accuracy of the silhouette for the character setup, rather than ask for more variety. you have a lot of personality showing in each. I would say pick the one you think speaks the most about arrogance and social idiocy and then we'll take that silhouette and refine from there. good job. they need some work, but we need to figure out direction first. you have some nice stuff.

millou okay, first off, welcome ;} secondly, please redraw your submissions in the straightforward nopose stance you're seeing with other submissions. by doing the 3/4 and the legs together, it's really hard to get a handle on the weight of some of the items, the proportions of others (like the leg width to the torso, etc) and just the whole design in general. I would also suggest, at least from the lookthrough here, that you can push some of the envelope with tops and combinations of tops with bottoms en masse... as in, what if you had a large coat? or a small crop top and cape? or whatnot. have a go at reworking the silhouettes in the required position and then explore some of those other shapes. :} again, welcome to the thread. ;}

craft user I don't mind if you use this thread to sort it out, so long as you adhere to the lessons. sounds like that won't be a problem, given your class assignment.

as for your silhouettes, I'm not sure the whole cold-region thing is coming across. I can see somewhat that there are possibly pelts, but the fact the clothing look so lightweight lends me to believe those fringes are more tropical based... like grasses and feathers or leaves bunched up places. If you're wanting to express the snow regions, I would really research how some cultures live in the snow and what those outfits do to their silhouettes. the bulk and mass the layers add to the body form. you have some okay variety with the forms, but right now they're pretty similar and do not express the region, imho.

*reads* ah yes, what chibi said. hehe that's what I get for going linear on post replies...
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craft user
Posted: Jan 22 2007, 03:31 PM
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heh, i was about to ask if you read Chibis post or not Mere.
yes, now I'm feeling stupid and I'm working on some more slios for the first culture, but now i will post my second culture and vwala.

this culture is primitive and lives on an island, vary tropical and humid. feels as though their god enables all this such a destruction, famine, and good food. they are sacrificial to there god and get their food by fishing and natural vegetation. clothing is mostly natural vegetation.
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i cant wait for more crits.... its gana hurt like hell.
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craft user
Posted: Jan 23 2007, 03:30 PM
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because time is not on my side, i have done and finished the second step of my first culture.
the middrift is not acurate because im showing the folds in the clothing, layers.
user posted image
i will continue on the 3ed step until i get crits on my second culture.
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Merekat
Posted: Jan 24 2007, 12:50 AM
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hehe sorry about the reply time. ;} I've forgotten what it's like working on college deadlines.

for your #2 culture, I would say these are much more in tune with what a warmer climate culture would wear. I love the graphic visual texture gained by the thatching and weaving. I can really feel the island from your shapes and textures. I even understand the difference between your use of leaf fronds and grasses. They're very intuitive and simple.

Knowing you've already moved on with these, I suppose it might not matter as much, but I love the idea of the first three and in particular, 2 and 3. 1 is fine, but it's very cliche and I immediately see hawaiian luau. that's not necessarily a bad thing, but you can do more. ;} I like the innovation of the materials use of 2 and 3, 2 being my absolute favorite. so which did you choose and where did you take these?

for your first culture, these are doing well. I'm seeing bundled up, definitely. the only thing I would really keep under control are your balances between noise and sleek lines. I see that you have the fur tufts on the pants and the hat and at the joints, mainly, but I would really suggest cleaning the sleeker parts up. in order to really show off the fluff, it's important to show the contrast and the layering of the more leather forms.

I'm seeing those in the arms, in the waist, in the boots. If the fur tufts are mainly the head, the shoulders (in the seems there, I like it), the cuffs and the whole pants, it's good stuff. But really look into calming the silhouette of the rest, the layered leathers.

Also, his basic form is a little strange. as with your other culture, I'm noticing abnormally wide shoulders and chests. go get some body reference of folks in parkas. yes, normally it's not as much a big a deal and we don't worry about anatomy until the end, but since you're design is really influenced in these cultures by the shapes, I think it's important. he's a little too straight from the chest down, and then overly bulky in the arms. I think the outfit can be pretty cool, but he needs a little less bigfoot proportions there. ;}

these are fun, keep it up.

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craft user
Posted: Jan 24 2007, 03:12 PM
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i will move on with my second cilture to day so your oppinon was needed and thanked. i will probably use #2 but seeing as im probably havig 3 figures for each culture (woman, man, child) i might switch to the leaf skirt in #3 for the man of woman.
heres a little change in my step 2 i think you where trying to get at.
user posted image

running along now!
my 3ed culture!
this culture lives in dry canyon areas, hot days and cold nights. there religous life is one of a hatered tward 1 god who is the blame for any death good or bad. they wear light clothing and have darker skin. they creat butiful pottery and are knowlageble about chemistry.
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This post has been edited by craft user on Jan 24 2007, 03:39 PM
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craft user
Posted: Jan 26 2007, 02:57 PM
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my step 2 for my second culture is now finished... until merekat say its not.
user posted image


Oh! and thanks for the homework Merekat but.... i dont know where you live but there im form, its friken winter! yes i did go to my nearby park but no, there wasnt anyone there. ill try again later.
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tehlegend
Posted: Feb 1 2007, 03:46 PM
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hello guys. i've been reading here for a bit but i only just registered. i got 6 designs here to flaunt. hope you dont mind. wink.gif


user posted image

the first one is the original design i had come up with. i decided to try a restyle and see if there were any more appealing options i could go with. the finer details later will try and incorporate a blend of both european and asian designs.

whadda ya think?
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Merekat
Posted: Feb 1 2007, 08:06 PM
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craft user somewhat better on the iceman there, but he's still a bit wobbily. I'll do a quick paintover tonight to explain what I mean a bit better, but it'll have to be tonight, I've no way to upload it to post right now.

For your third culture, I particularly like #2 with the poncho thing. And largely, I think this might be a good direction for the climate. The thing about hot dry areas is that they usually get a ton of direct sun. For these areas, it's good to cover up from the sun, but not so much that you overheat. So what you have going on starting with #2 is a logical direction and I would see what you might do with more, very light and loosefitting clothing that will help shade the skin somewhat. The layers will also help at night when it cools down significantly. #1 and #4 seem to be in good directions as well, but I think #6 doesn't take into account the temperature variation nor the constant amount of blistering sun. Dark skin or no, they do need to shade.

For your hot tropical culture with the thatching, I like the texture but you're loosing part of the design. He's looking like he's in a giant tube and quite boxy rather than the original impression of a tapered top with a heading-towards leaf shape back. In his case, I think a more pointed back cape shape to the skirt might be nice and will mesh well with the flared top. ...this is a woman, right?

tehlegend nice start and welcome!
I do like the original idea of the first one, even though it is somewhat cliche. You have a nice relation of triangle shapes, with the hat mirrored in the hips and a nice reverse triangle of the shoulders to the waist. #2 works well with the assymetry, but I think you could push the exaggeration a hair with the shapes of the shoulder pad on the non-cloaked arm, the waist and overlapping shirt on the hips and the forearms. They are starting to develop well in contrast to the cloak and pants, but they area little muddy right now and could use some crisping up.

of the rest, 5 and 6 stand out as nice alternatives. 5 because it's ouchy looking and has some interesting horn shape relations. but I do think it is overly designed and pretty busy.

6 is nice and probably my favorite. the assymetry looks solid and distinct. the character looks balanced and strong. I like the fur or whatnot diagonally sticking out of the shoulder and waist. even if the item that creates that is not diagonal, it has a nice visual silhouette. in fact, I might suggest not connecting the lines and seeing what you can do with that.

so of all of them, 6 has a nice direction that doesn't look too cliche or dated, imo. Good work all around and welcome again to the forums. ;}
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KT Samurai
Posted: Feb 20 2007, 02:03 AM
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I'd love to try this out!

Description bit (written to myself): I want an intelligent, laid-back tomboy of a woman who uses her brain much more often (and much more efficiently) than her physicality to assist in the arrest of murderers at large in a cyber punk kind of setting. Is deathly afraid of wearing overly "girly" clothing (dresses, skirts, etc). Is scarily adept at logic, has an eye for detail, and very well, though often not softly, spoken.

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Merekat
Posted: Feb 24 2007, 03:21 PM
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KT Aaaah welcome! ;} I love the character description. She's a gal after my own heart. ;}

The fact she avoids girly clothing makes it very interesting. For unless we're going for strictly an ambiguous gal that even in looking at her face people would question if she's male or female, I would say part of the presentation of the character would dramatically be the effect of a girl trying to be taken seriously in men's clothing. If this is the case, then she still probably has curves, though through stance and clothing type this would be downplayed. In which case, I would think the whole smartly androgenous outfit might spice it up more.... just because they're masculine clothing doesn't mean they're not stylish.

Your silhouettes are good and have some variety, but they don't have much of a particular presence. And if this is going to be your shining star, simple or no, she needs to look like the important person. I like the idea of the long coats you have. This can very much play up to the male and female sides at the same time. How about some more play with the sleeves, boots and collars? I don't see much experimentation with them.

You might want to research waistcoats or uniforms or a lot of the layers men wear with their clothing, such as scarves or sleeve lengths, multiple sleeves, collars, coat collars, hats, belts, chaps, boots, shoes. Right now she looks like she's wearing slippers or socks. Tighten up your forms and say what you mean. ;} Sometimes some research will greatly help. I recommend modern european, colonial, renaissance, and maybe a good dose of theater to mix with your cyber punk setting.

Have fun experimenting and welcome to the forums. ;}
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Mar 20 2007, 02:38 PM
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Whoo, I was so busy getting my portfolio in, I totaly neglected this. (But YAY I was accepted into Emily Carr Institute to study fine arts!)

Here is my step 5!
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Holly Jolly
Posted: Mar 28 2007, 06:23 PM
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Nice character chibi muse! I like how you can almost see the face.

The skirt is my favorite part, the texture is cool, but I especially like how you gathered it on the bottom. Usually I see that done only to long skirts. Cool change.
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Zaxser
Posted: May 3 2007, 04:27 AM
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Step 1 is finally complete! Yay!

BEHOLD!
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millou
Posted: May 3 2007, 09:46 AM
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Great job Chibi Muse! I really love what you did, especially the top, so cute ^^

Zaxser I love the last one, but it seems more "japanese" than aztec/maya to me. wow yes, you said "eastern clothing"! I would also chose the fourth (but how can she walk with that string between the legs?) but the fifth is nice too.

My new ones are coming soon.
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: May 18 2007, 12:14 AM
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Merekat,

i was thinking about this while i was in midst of designing an alien race and thinking of silhouettes (as lesson 1 was pretty well beaten into my head):

in the lesson, you told us not to do anything the posture and to keep the pose very basic.
however, (pardon the limitation/restriction of game choice) as i am playing WoW, i notice that many characters are racially identifiable by their posture (in conjunction with the bulky or thin silhouettes). similarly, the silhouettes you gave us as examples to identify at the intro of lesson 1 also have that an identifiable pose that gives away their identity.

would you say that having finalized the silhouette from the detailed silhouette pass we would be able to apply posture to the character accordingly? does it depend on how comfortable we are with the character design process as a whole? or both?
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Zaxser
Posted: May 18 2007, 02:05 AM
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**Not Mere Approved**

I think it depends. I mean it's impossible to draw a figure in no pose. The point of what Merekat said was to not hide or confuse anything. If you want to express that a character's a cowboy, or example, drawing him with his hands on his hips and his legs spread out should be fine, as long as he's not at some loopy angle or he has crazy sleeves that hide the size and length of his arms/ sleeves. Things that would foreshorten/ hide things, like crossed arms, should also be avoided.

**Not Mere Approved**

Have you done this before? If you haven't, you might want to try a normal process so you can understand all the steps better before you try something more complicated, like an alien race. Even I want to apply this to a class system, but I want to have a total understanding of the process before I try to stretch it's possiblities as far as possible.

Also, I've been done with the sillohuette for a week, I just had to get a friend to help me scan in something that huge and the file's being stubborn moving from the school's computer. I promise, I haven't given up.
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: May 18 2007, 09:43 AM
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I was actually was one of the attendees of mere's class, haha; i missed the final deadline on the final exam and i posted my final project in the rogue thread instead of the class thread. you can find it on page 3 of this thread;

This post has been edited by Ch3353N1nj4 on May 18 2007, 09:45 AM
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Merekat
Posted: May 18 2007, 11:18 AM
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righto.

There are a lot of nuances to the answer to your question, but lemme sum it up first and explain from there: it is of my opinion that designing a character in a pose at the beginning is a cheat.

I'm not speaking of standing pose 'at ease', or a natural stance, though I would consider even these pushing the limits. I'm speaking of 'flashy' poses that a lot of games and artists use to be crowd pleasers when they release art to get people excited about the project. WoW would be a good example of this: the character art they release in 3/4 pose with slouching or acting put on top of the design, this simple *DOES* influence the perception of the character presented.

Go take a look at some of the Guild Wars character designs I've done in my website. Largely for player character designs, we employ (though I did do this before I came to the company) the no pose theory. This serves many purposes. Firstly, these designs are intended as visual instructions for those who may be modeling and texturing them. Because of some nice tools available, the artist can project some information directly onto the model they've created (this isn't a perfect science, there is still significant cleanup, but it's a nice rough draft that saves some time if you can do it.). And because the basic body models themselves are in no pose, this makes for an easier transfer than trying to rotate and exaggerate a model into the 3/4 concept and 'posed' position. Secondly, when getting the concepts approved, designing in a no pose like this cuts out any ambiance or cheating that may be done that might bite us in the bum later on. After all, you don't want a model eeked into production based on influence from the pose only to have it tweaked/reworked or completely redone once seen in the game itself.

So for practical purposes, yes, it is very desirable professionally speaking to design characters as directly as possible, and I would strongly suggest you instill this habit into your work.

However, there is a flip side of the coin. You're not seeing our no pose designs in the magazines and as PR or advertisements, are you? In fact, you're not seeing them in the art books either. This because what needs to be made for concept directions and for production is completely different that what needs to be done for PR for the company and game.

No pose is not flashy. It doesn't get attention by Joe Shmo audience. It doesn't get passed around by fans or linked by forums. But it is what gets the work done and part of what you as the audience doesn't see.

What you do see is the more rock star part of the business. You see the posed figures and the interesting stances, the "badass designs" and eye-catching graphics. These concepts are created meaning to get public attention and be talked about by those who might not know anything about art or design. This is purposefully done when designing the concept, and most of the time the concept is merely designed to promote an atmosphere: once you get to actual production of the character in the concept, the artist will usually do a cleaner, more direct no pose-ish version to build from. You just don't see that on the civilian side. But then again, you're not meant to.

Most of what you will see with that sort of presentation are the action and glamor shots, simply to get attention and excitement from the viewership. However at this point I would like to point out something important you mentioned: the idea that pose will describe a character.

Yes, this is also true. But this is a different point than strictly character design. The design must come first (and I'm talking silhouettes, value pass AND color pass first), but afterwards, one may consider pose characteristics to add to the atmosphere of the character. This would be an added layer, a final touch so to speak and it is important concerning differentiation. Essentially you are putting the ambiance of the initial character sketch back into the design after figuring out the specifics.

But to do this without a clean, fair and honest look at the design concerning silhouette and value and color, etc, would be to cheat the full development of the design. It is a step, to be sure, but a final step on top of a no pose design. This is why I had you do the no poses in the class. Until you are at a level where you can look at any design and discern the merits of the design with disregard to the pose and presentation, designing in a pose is a cheat and will harm your artistic development in my opinion.

This all looks like a very long-winded read confirming your post's point that after the design, you can put pose on it. The short answer is yes. But the real answer is I would greatly caution against it in your developing design habits until much later. In other words, it may do you well to design the look of a handful of characters first, and then after all are designed, then allocate their pose nuances as a group. This way, you'll have faithfully kept to the honesty of the character design as well as be able to compare it on pose and no pose merits together as a whole. This last bit is very important, for more than likely, you'll have to design a character as part of an established world and they will have to work together visually and behaviorally.

The long and short of it is simple: I'm trying to teach you actual practical techniques that will be applicable in the workforce should you practice enough to aim for the concept biz. It's not always glamorous, but it is solid theory that gets the job done and helps you learn some good foundations that can help you when you want to get fancy with a pose after. ;} Play from there.

Okay, I suppose that's my three cents. Does this clear things up for you? Any questions?

This post has been edited by Merekat on May 18 2007, 11:45 PM
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: May 18 2007, 11:55 PM
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thank you for that response Merekat. i found it very helpful.
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millou
Posted: Sep 16 2007, 09:23 AM
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okay so this is my second submission forthe first step...
hope you can see it
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Merekat
Posted: Sep 20 2007, 11:26 PM
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Ahhh excellent! I like these a lot! They're MUCH better than your previous submission. These show some different variety, they're clear and they show some really neat personality. Well done.

I would say a lot of these could work, depending on what you want to do with her personality. My personal favorites would be the bottom three, actually, probably focusing on the middle or left. I like these more than the top because they have interesting shapes, but in very specific locations. What I mean by this is you've localized the details to key areas and are not overwhelming the whole character by having too much.

For example, I like the first one a lot for the creativity, but there are so many things going on with it, I'm not sure where to look first. Perhaps the sleeves and pant panels would work well (I do like the dangles), but coupled with the head panels, there's just overwhelming detail.

Your middle top one is cute, but a little disgruntled... there seems to be a lot of unrelated shapes. Take a look at the triangles in her hair, the gumdrops in her dress (sleeves and skirt) and the squares at the knees with a bulbous shoe. It doesn't have anything tying everything in to all of the design direction, so it's a bit confusing. And the top right design just doesn't seem to show much personality.

However the bottom three show a LOT of personality as well as a lot of taste and balance. I love the frills of the left: the skirt frills match the silhouette shapes of the hair, subtly mirroring the shape.

Middle bottom is just way cute. I like the play of the boot details flapping down while there seems to be flapping up of leaves in the hair. All of that is settled down with sleek, simple shapes on the main outfit, so you have details in key areas and not everywhere.

Right bottom is great because of the flowing of shapes. They start from the head and gracefully wiggle down to the ankles. And I love the peekaboo sandals, there.

So which of those shows the personality of your character best? Aside from that I'd just suggest you stop hiding your hands. I know hands are hard to draw, but to omit them entirely? :} For the next steps of value pass, I'd say try to get those hands in there.

Otherwise looking good! Keep it up!
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millou
Posted: Sep 21 2007, 02:56 PM
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Whaou thank you merekat for your detailed post! I promess next time I'll stop being lazy and try to draw hands wink.gif
Well I'm a little disappointed because the middle top one is my favorite, except that I don't like the hair. Actually, the "squares on the knees" are for top boots, like pirate ones. And I don't see what you mean by "gumdrops"...

Can someone help me to fix this one? What can I add (or remove) to make her more coherent? If nothing, I think I'll go on with the middle bottom one, or the last one.
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Merekat
Posted: Sep 21 2007, 03:23 PM
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Lemme sketch up an overpainting tonight. I'll try to show the shapes. I do realize what the squares are technically, I was just describing how they read abstractly. This whole mixing of unrelated shapes is actually going to be a pretty big part of a book I'm writing, so I don't have the explanation online easily, but I'll try to get the gist of it tonight after work.
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meristele
Posted: Sep 22 2007, 12:58 AM
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Heh. I've been wanting to try this for a while- mind if I shadow the class? I'll be the mouse in the corner picking up hints...

My character is not nearly so dramatic. 10 year old girl, whacked fashion sense. Not quite there on the teen scene, out grown polly pocket- trying to find herself socially and achieving lots of faux pas. Likes lizards.

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Merekat
Posted: Sep 22 2007, 03:39 PM
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Millou here's the paintover I promised you. When you look at your silhouettes, picture and study what kind of shapes you're trying to mesh together. Each shape has a bit of a visual language associated with it, which is up to you to suss out and make work. However, if you get too many shapes in one place ---especially if they're unrelated--- then the languages start fighting each other and you don't know what's up.

When I look at your silhouettes, this is the first thing I do visually: break them down into their most basic forms and see if that is attractive. If you can get them working together at this level, then more details have a great chance of working with the system.

user posted image

If you have any questions, let me know. But as you can see, every level of this particular design of yours is trying to say something unique. And there's so much difference, finding a common thread of relationships is difficult. This is why I liked your bottom row best: it was visually eloquent. ;}

meristele Welcome to the class :} This isn't formal like the original was, this one works at your own speed. For what you've submitted, I see you have a great start. You're playing with a wide variety of outfit types and all seem to work well with the overall character presentation. I'm not sure I'm reading 'whacked' here, but they're nice designs.

They're well-thought out and I don't have much to critique except for the bottom one second from the left: might want to mind her shoulders... they're getting a bit robust and she looks like she's in football padding gear. ;}

Of all of them, I think perhaps the bottom three from the left are perhaps the most potentially 'whacked' for designs... for the details can really work that out. However, if you want to study the direction of your character and see if you do want to describe 'whacked' visually, then I might suggest another pass at her silhouettes.

If these work for that definition and it's just a matter of color and details (though the silhouette can always be the most important indicator of personality), then go ahead and pick your favorite. Just be sure in developing her value pass that you really consider her personality and what can be implemented to present that.

Good job both of you! Keep up the great work.
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meristele
Posted: Sep 23 2007, 12:41 AM
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Thank you for critiquing! I confess that I was thinking mostly of color and pattern fashion-wise. I'm now in the process of making off with magazines from friends' coffee tables. (Fashion mags being in short supply 'round my place.)

I'm working up another official 8, but here's a place holder to show where I'm exploring.

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This post has been edited by meristele on Sep 23 2007, 12:46 AM
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millou
Posted: Sep 29 2007, 11:31 AM
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Here is my step two.
I think there's no much to add so I'll try to post step three this week-end. Of course if someone sees any problem, or has any suggestion, just tell me wink.gif

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Merekat
Posted: Sep 29 2007, 02:15 PM
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meristele hehe, yeah mags are great. but I'd also suggest you look up other avenues for fashion as well... perhaps some haute couture if your character warrants it? if you do a search for runway fashion sites, they sometimes have free sections to peruse through. they might not be the most bleeding edge of releases (being free) but they all have some good ideas that makes it a bit more to the source than fashion mags. Personally though I do like them for accessories, most fashion mags are too biased for my taste... I think they push a certain aesthetic agenda and I like more variety in my options. ;} If you're interested in such things, PM me and let me know...

As for the pictures, I must say in a way I'm really drawn to the butterfly. I'm tickled pink that you've made the bottom coat into butterfly wings and I love that innovation. However, depending on your character would that fit? She's 'whacked' in her fashion sense, but this version looks more ostentatious than merely unusual.

The first and second versions I can't get a clear look at what you're trying to do with them. They seem a bit unfocused as if you don't know what these shapes could be. The triple pony tails on the one I LOVE, but though the bunny slippers are smile-inducing, I really don't know what's going on with the rest of her. It doesn't seem to describe anything of her personality in terms of direction, either.

The middle one... again, like the pigtails, but would that be a grass skirt? feathers? It looks like you're trying *too* hard to be weird that you might not be focusing particularly on the character at hand. What materials would she gravitate to? How would you have her display those materials and styles? If she labeled them with some kind of importance, how would she want them to be seen?

Like the first critique, I think this one is a matter of knowing the basis of your character well... get in her head and suss her out. Find out her motivations and her inspirations and then see what would be important to her. It might be easier to design once you do that. ;}

Great work on trying weird things, though! Very cool that you're experimenting (and I still love those wings!)

millou yeah, the second step in the tutorial was mainly introduced to help give those in the class who needed time, more time. In my book, I'll be omitting the step and just focusing on breaking down silhouettes in complexity. In other words, so far so good. :} She look great.

Oh, in the future, could you please rotate your designs so they are vertical before you post them? It would make critiquing easier as I wouldn't have to open photoshop. ;} lol

Great job! She's looking good.

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feitian
Posted: Sep 29 2007, 07:00 PM
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Just sort of an old character that I pull up. To fill a void, I suppose.
This is a pair of old character that I did a while back, around 2004. Its sad that I haven't actually progressed much.
user posted image

I am starting the process of redesigning the character on the right, her name is "Atlanta". You can probably all guess who these to were base upon. I wanted to integrate her into the stuff that I am working on right now. Although I already have a character that have blond hair and wears long stocking. I am overhauling her design through a specific process that focuses much on the silhouette that the character creates.


Atlanta is a girl with high endurance and that runs long range. In the story, I want to make it, so that her legs and her kick attacks would be part of her primary features. However, I already have a group of character with thunder thighs, so I want to try a different method this time.

user posted image



I started with a set of thumbnail like silhouette outlining the largest features on the character. In the old design she wears a long stocking and very short shorts. I have made several design concepts in which her legs are being highlighted. I finally settling on having her silhouette obscuring most of her upper body features and leave her long and muscular legs.

user posted image

One of the old parts from the original design was one of her pigtails. Her hair clips function as a cell phone/PDA/media player in the new concept, we don't have CD players in that time frame anymore...

user posted image
At first I have my mind set on the design A, although I am beginning to like some parts of the "b" and "c" a lot. That's about it for now.


Also here is something that I think is pretty relevant, its a little video about Team Fortress 2 with its character design and rendering methods, and it talks a little bit about the way in which they design the character in use. Its interesting how what we learn here being applied directly.
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/23520.html
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mitosiskain
Posted: Oct 1 2007, 08:08 PM
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I've wanted to start on this since the original thread was posted.
I'm going for a medieval mystic knight. The sword will be retractable. Maybe I should do silhouette work on it as well. I'm not planing on getting to complicated with the blade.
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mitosiskain
Posted: Oct 7 2007, 10:20 PM
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Mmm, thats bad, image not showing up. I have two more. Linkies this time.

first six

next two

I think I will go with #8.

Edit: didn't realize how much some of those first six looked like they came from Guild Wars. I guess it's getting hard to be original in this world. Not that Guild Wars had bad concepts it's just that I want to have something of my own.

Double Edit: Don't be scared to give your c&c.

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Zaxser
Posted: Oct 9 2007, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE (mitosiskain @ Oct 8 2007, 04:20 AM)
Edit: didn't realize how much some of those first six looked like they came from Guild Wars.  I guess it's getting hard to be original in this world.  Not that Guild Wars had bad concepts it's just that I want to have something of my own.

*cough*DoNotTemptTheMods*cough*

The second, third and fourth ones kind of look the same to me. The sixth ones probably my favorite. It has cool detail around the shoulder and head. It'd be helpful if you told us what direction you were going with these characters.

Anyway, I still haven't got past step one with my character. I think it's been nearly a year. God I suck.

EDIT:Half a year. I still suck.

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meristele
Posted: Oct 10 2007, 10:54 PM
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I had to think about this second set quite a bit. I didn't want to have things that a 10 year old couldn't manage mostly by herself, with the help of thrift store stuff and mom's craft cart. I think I may have to rely mostly on color and pattern after all. tongue.gif

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Merekat
Posted: Oct 11 2007, 12:17 AM
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Good golly miss molly, where does the time go...?

feitian! welcome back, buddy ;} I'm really happy to see you're doing some cool new projects! *ahem* onto the crit... at first I wasn't too keen on making her rather top heavy on her outfit, but the more I think of it, the more it would streamline her a bit if she did have some sort of covering there. so for that reason, sure, let's go with the silhouette you've chosen. that and the top left were my faves anyway.

for your value passes, I like the thoughts behind the tones, but I'm a little unsure as to the shapes... particularly with "A". Of them all sure, it might be the most streamlined, but it's rather unflattering to such an athlete. I think to the point where it makes her shape seem comical. I think it would be rather restrictive to movement as well. For these reasons I like B and C much better. Overall I'm partial to the presentation of C because it defines her well, but i like the idea of B for something a bit more covered up, and a smidge user friendly.

The trouble is, and to be honest, I'm just not crazy about any of them. I think there's a lot more you might be able to do with those shapes to bring across the fighter and the athlete more than how you've broken her up here. If she is going to be such a character, I would think about the feasibility of movement in your value design and try to approach some new shape experiments from there.

It's really good to see you doing such things though. I always enjoy seeing your character work.

mitosiskain lol, I don't think they particularly look very guild wars to me, but sure, here and there is a detail or two. in looking at these designs, my big take is they're rather... light. if you're going for medieval and knight, the proportions should be a lot bulkier. those folks had to pile on the metal to keep protected, things weren't very slimming or form-fitting in designs. right now these designs look more elvish or even ranger in presentation because they look like they're free to move however they choose.

I think for your designs it might be a good exercise for you to have a good think about just what kind of fighting knight you want to do. is this knight more of a mage? or are they swinging a sword and shield? because of HOW they will function, this will help determine what kind of features you may want on your armor.

For example, if they have a sword arm, usually there is a bit of a shielding system put into place on the sword side armor for protection, as the other arm would carry a shield of its own. Perhaps they are more of a mage, so they do not have heavy armor but have choice areas. If this is the case, you may want to include more draping fabrics (not necessarily robes) that will help obscure the castor's movements and aid in their casting spells.

Function oftentimes leads to form, so be certain you are clear in your mind the scope of what you want your character wants to be and this may help you with your chosen silhouettes.

Excellent first pass, I'd like to mention. These are clean and clear and good reads. You did well to the point where I could debate concepts with you instead of construction. Good to see the post. Keep up the great work!

meristele excellent! see, now you know that for certain and that's a very important realization concerning your character development. well done!

as for the new silhouettes... oh I do like them. These definitely seem very off-beat and fit her age range. of the lot I think I am drawn to numbers 1, 2 and 5, with 5 being my fave. 7 is very pretty and a nice design, but I'm not sure it fits the character description. 1 seems aloof, but there could be some fun things with that. 2 is way out there and she nearly seems very luna of harry potter with that direction. I think it fits the description, but I believe of all the designs, 5 fits both description and presentation.

I like the cadence of forms from the layers of sleeves to the double shirt and the offset pangs with the one legwarmer. very much showing personality and some flavor, yet it's a clean design that isn't too fussed over. I think 2 might be a little fussy, and it certainly isn't practical as an outfit.

5's hair is a favorite and I think that shows oodles of personality as well. I think I'm just smitten with it. Not that I'm really trying to lead you with this comment, but which one is your favorite? :} And bring on the value pass!

This post has been edited by Merekat on Oct 11 2007, 12:24 AM
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meristele
Posted: Oct 16 2007, 10:31 PM
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I've been thinking about the value pass for too long. I'm making it harder than it really is. tongue.gif

For some reason I thought I had to make three in lightish, darkish, and mixed. Then I looked at the class again and realized that I hadn't done any detailed stuff. Then I spent some time bonking my head against the wall to put off starting over again.

So! I am posting my did-not-read-the-instructions step, and will do it with detail and without angst this week. happy.gif

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mitosiskain
Posted: Oct 27 2007, 11:21 AM
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Arg... This is the first free weekend I've had in some time.
9 10
10 was made by taking the things I liked from several of the others and putting those pieces together. I will be applying the rest of the steps to 10. Hopefully I will finish step three before the end of the weekend.

Edit: A little character description.
Maybe medieval knight was a bad term to use. The character is only weighed down by the most essential pieces of metal. Geared more to run at an opponent, deliver a cut and continue though him to the next foe. I'm still not sure on the shield. I'm thinking of a large wooden one to block arrows.

This post has been edited by mitosiskain on Oct 27 2007, 11:30 AM
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dazephyr
Posted: Nov 13 2007, 03:03 PM
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Ok, my first post in the forums. Been following MT for some time, but just discovered this forum when I decided I finally wanted to get down to developing my stuff for my webcomic. And then I saw this thread. It looks quite quiet for some time now, but just gonna try my luck.

I'm not much of an artist, really. Just got bored of waiting for my friend to find time to illustrate for me, so might as well try my hands on doing this. I figured silhouttes would be the easiest starting point, since they don't require much detail to draw. This is like the first time I've properly sat down to draw, and first time in Photoshop too. Happen to have a tablet lying around which I use for photo-editing.

I admit, I cheated for the staffhead designs in 1,2,3, kinda just took a pix off the web and blacked it out. Too intricate for noob me. But the rest were slowly drawn through trial and error and tons of reference. Proportions are kinda off, but I figure I'll fix them in step 2 or 3, if I get that far.

A lil character description:
She's a 17 years old spirit shaman in training. Naive and idealistic in the sense that she believes strongly in justice, good and evil, but has seen a lot of deaths and wars in her life so far. She is simple, but determined, preferring a straightforward and driven way of settling things.

user posted image

I stuck with simple designs for most part to keep in character, so there are no complicated tops or fancy boots, coz I figured she'd be in a simple no frills dress and sandals or at most low boots. That kinda made it real hard for me to think of variations, actually. But I had tons of fun designing the different staffs, and some of them were pretty random. No. 8 was really when I ran out of ideas and I thought I would try something off the bat. Don't think she'll actually carry that kind of a staff. But who knows, maybe if she turns evil or something down the road.

Any comments will greatly be appreciated!! Thanks!!
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millou
Posted: Nov 14 2007, 12:56 PM
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I'm a bit ashamed to submit that, even if it is my first attempt to work on a computer...
I think I'll try something else for next step ^^"

user posted image

Appart from the fact that my work is absolutely awful, it was funny to see that with one simple shape I could bring out personnalities so different.
I like all of them, but my favorite one is the first, and I think number 4 don't really match with what I want my character to be...
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Merekat
Posted: Dec 20 2007, 08:46 PM
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I've no excuse for being a month off of crit for some of you. Well, actually I have plenty of damn good reason, but this isn't a blog, eh? Suffice to say, it's been 6 months of stress and struggle, and Randy's death was the last straw of all of it.

Anyway, moving on to crits...

meristele these are very cute designs and I think the first two work the best, being the most clear. I think these are nice designs, but technically they're not pushing any envelopes. if you want to develop this character as a bit of a lesson, I'd suggest pushing the boundaries of what the value pass could actually be within the silhouette. Just because you think the shape says it's a vest doesn't mean that's all it can be.

However, if you like this direction and this is what you envision for the character, then you're doing fine. It's cute. ;} Good work!

mitosiskain not a bad first start, but I am not seeing much experimentation with shapes of the silhouette. Take a look through the class step again and see how far you might be able to push things. Also, try to keep the shapes as clean as possible... your #10 seems to be more of a jagged version of 9 rather than a new idea. The silhouette exercise is meant to expand beyond the shapes you would normally think of. Try to get past trying to do something you've seen and just see what you can do that's new. ;} Keep it up!

dazephyr I like your shaman idea, and your concepts are clean, which really is a good habit, so keep it up. ;} but though I'm seeing some experimentation with the cloak and sleeves and sashes (I particularly lik #6), most of these have a bit of similar vibe. and largely, I would say they're all what one would expect from a concept of a shaman.

while I commend you for making something recognizable and iconic, at the same time I've always believed concepts should push the boundaries of expectations. the questions I would ask of the concept would be what could you add of shapes in the silhouette that could convey personality? how about something completely unusual that would be different but a refreshing new look at what a shaman could be? even in simple shapes, you can experiment with silhouette. try pushing the envelope a bit and see if you can get something unexpected. you may surprise yourself and add a whole new dimension to the character. ;}

millou actually I think these are pretty refreshing! I like all your experimentation with materials (the fishnet ... though that is skipping ahead a bit. ;}). however the one thing I'm seeing is a very similar interpretation in a few items. your belt, skirt/shorts and the fact she has leggings and legwarmers. I know at first glance, this may seem like the only thing to have with the silhouette, but I think you can experiment further and stretch what those shapes can do. you have some radical differences in shirt designs... the same sculpting of shapes can be achieved with the rest of the body. what if she's wearing bell bottoms? a pleated skirt? a long vest with pockets on the hips (where the shorts are)? there are so many things that can be done. ;} try at least experimenting a bit for practice's sake. see where you can push yourself and your philosophies about what makes this character.

great work so far, though. very clean and clear and a nice balance of tones. let's just work on shapes. ;}

This post has been edited by Merekat on Dec 21 2007, 02:18 AM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Dec 30 2007, 07:53 PM
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I'm so happy for the holidays, I've finally found time to take a break from my schoolwork and tackle some unfinished personal projects!

I decided to take a bash at the final step, creating a villain to oppose the character I created before. So far I've got step number one, here are ten of the better silhouettes, as well as a link to the rest.

These characters were created when I was 13, so thats my defence for their rather un-inventive stories (star wars much?), but that's exactly what re-inventing them will help with so there I go.

This guy is a dimension hopping bounty hunter, opposing the cute little cat girl who is my main character. He's supposed to be quick, very tall and lithe, but still strong. Maybe 30 years old. He has one lower arm/hand that is robotic, and originally wore one shoulder guard, a cape and simple straight pants.

user posted image
silhouettes


My favourite is 6 because he looks tall and skinny but still strong and imposing ,it kind of looks like a villian from astro boy. 5 is my next best. I had trouble making his asymetrical bulky hand look good, so the ones with both arms identical looked better to me.
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BlakKohm
Posted: Feb 7 2008, 08:55 PM
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hi, i want to do one of these if it's still an option,
just so i'm sure, would i just draw the character then trace the outline on my comp and fill with black, or do i do the whole silhouette by drawing in black lines repeatedly
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Feb 9 2008, 04:25 PM
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Hi BlakKohm!
It's certainly still an option, although there's no guarantee when Mere will have a chance to look at your work or whether very many people will offer crits.

DO NOT just draw the character and then fill them in black afterwards! The idea here is for you to think about the shapes of the character and the way they work together, not about drawing a detailed person.

You want to do the whole silhouette in black at once, for example I did this by working very small and using a thick sharpie, so that there is very little need to 'colour in' afterwards.

Try looking at the original step one and the crits that mere gave there as a start.

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BlakKohm
Posted: Feb 9 2008, 07:08 PM
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okay, gotcha...

any particular paper to use, because, wouldn't a thick sharpie eat through notebook paper

edit:
are the 8 silhouettes all of the same char, or separate ideas

This post has been edited by BlakKohm on Feb 9 2008, 07:12 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Feb 10 2008, 07:59 PM
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I just use sketchbook paper, it doesn't matter. *shrug* I just put something underneath so the sharpie doesn't get on the table, and they're so tiny that you're not going to be going over them enough to wear away the paper.

We started with a general idea of the character you want to design, and then tried to come up with a variety of designs that might work for them, so all 8 are the same character
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danae
Posted: Feb 16 2008, 01:45 AM
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Wow, so, er, like a year ago Merekat gave me some homework, and then I disappeared off the face of the planet. Life gets kinda crazy, right? In any case, now that things have settled down for the next...er...until my baby comes in a couple months, maybe I'll actually have time to pursue this. So I went back and tried to do my homework.
Here's a slightly modified silhouette with some repair work on the legs and feet:

user posted image

And a reworked version of the original value pass...I'm thinking I need a third really light area to balance things out, but can't quite decide where or how.

user posted image

o.O And I only just noticed how sloppy that coloring job was! Will clean it up before adding details...
EDIT:: Here is a link to the way back original silhouette since I think I broke all my earlier links by cleaning up my server space a while back, so there's nothing left to compare it to!

This post has been edited by danae on Feb 16 2008, 01:50 AM
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CybaSumo
Posted: Jul 1 2008, 07:21 AM
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Nice! im glad how the way you made those paint artworks into 3D, isn't that hard to do!? i mean... is it possible if i can do that in adobe photoshop too!?
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AddaLoT
Posted: Jul 7 2008, 02:48 PM
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Always wanted to try this.

10 shots at a beastmaster (not dominator).
A character living in nature, trusting more in animals than humans, with friendship, respect and loyalty being keywords in their relationship. Nasty melee fighter, not playing by the rules of civilization. Clothing homemade by scraps, trophies, leather or bits from the adventurer who took 3rd watch that one dreadfull night.

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I hope this is still sorta open - Don't expect anything from a project this old though.

This post has been edited by AddaLoT on Jul 7 2008, 04:56 PM
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Chibi Muse
Posted: Jul 7 2008, 06:33 PM
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Addalot: I think these are too focused on the small details for your first step. You should be focusing only on the really basic silhouette, and I think these are all pretty similar. Try putting bulk in different places, like heavier boots, or bigger sleeves, or big hair. I think D and F are the ones that are the most different from all the others. Ignore all the little bits and accessories for now, just focus on simple shapes.
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5c0u7s
Posted: Sep 22 2008, 05:33 PM
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General Chaos; earlier you mentioned that you wanted to chang3 t3h high7 of t3h h34d, 4nd t3h prop0rti0ns of the shoulders. I'm very glad you didn't, because yes, the shoulders did look big, but that was the armor stickin out. also, how long did it take you total to do this? it's amazing!!
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WretchedMoose
Posted: Jul 23 2009, 11:57 PM
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Disregard this unnecessary comment and focus your direction downward.

This post has been edited by WretchedMoose on Jul 24 2009, 12:01 AM
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WretchedMoose
Posted: Jul 23 2009, 11:59 PM
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So I'm basically set on getting into video game concept art. Video Games have been a passion for me for years, and a few years ago I realized that designing video games is exactly what I want to be doing with my life. So, along with posting some art, I'd like to ask some questions about getting into concept art.

Questions::

1) I've noticed that on every "Job Applications" section of video game companies, there is a requirement for having a few years of experience in the field. Now, my question is, is this experience supposed to be in Conceptual Art for other companies, or in illustration in general? If the former, how can I acquire said experience, aside from internships in college?

2) What would you suggest I major in if I want to become a concept artist? I'm under the assumption that the main focus is Illustration, but I was curious if there was anything else that was necessary?

3) What's it like working for Valve? Or, more specifically, what is the working environment like for Concept Artists?


And now, Art


user posted image

^This one is some conceptual art for God knows what.


user posted image

^Aaaaand here's a finished work. Kind of unhappy with it, but what can you do?

So, critique would be lovely, especially if you could give me a sort of estimate of where I am in terms of skill and ability?

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Xmuffin
Posted: Aug 12 2009, 08:58 PM
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Heres my try of a peasant.

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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: Jan 29 2010, 12:02 AM
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wow. this thread seems like it's been derelict for a while.

i figured i'd stop by this thread and pay my respects. how time has passed.
i'll never forget this character design 101 course. invaluable process and learning experience.

i was digging up some drawings and illustrations i had done for a presentation about myself for one of my game design classes (to show the class what i can bring to the table) and i remembered the character sheets i had made for the char design 101 class...

good times.
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: Mar 24 2011, 12:39 AM
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and another year gone by...
i've come to put some flowers on the gravestone of this dead thread.

it is senior year at university for me, and in my figure painting class i've chosen to do some character concept art/design for my final paintings---

my first reaction was thinking about are stuff that i first learned here:
language of shapes/silhouette and how that communicates the character
materials research for accurate representation of material textures...
the value pass...

these things i've applied to vehicle design too!
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Miss Wiggle
Posted: Dec 1 2012, 08:59 PM
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Thread may be dead, but I still use it. I'm art lead for a video game and have used this process as a model for their character development. I have a team of talented artists, but they haven't worked on games. It's helped immensely. Thanks for putting this up mere; it may be old, it may be dead, but it's still useful. I've actually used the same process for logo development at my graphic design job. :3
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: Dec 3 2012, 10:13 PM
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thank you MT:A&D
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QUOTE
it may be old, it may be dead, but it's still useful.


Amen to that
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Ch3353N1nj4
Posted: May 13 2013, 01:40 PM
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thank you MT:A&D
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well, Merekat re-did her website and now all the image links in the original tutorial are broken sad.gif
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