Open Help Thread – Critique Day!

I've been too busy drawing and re-drawing armor to come up with something clever for today's Help Topic, so consider this an open thread to talk about whatever you like. Or ask a question about HeroMachine or drawing stuff too, of course, but in general this space is now Open To The Public.

Edited To Add: On second thought, you can also use this to post a character you have, or have been working on, and would like a (friendly!) critique about. I'll be happy to give an opinion on what I think works, what doesn't work, things you might do, etc., as would the other commenters, I am sure.

31 Responses to Open Help Thread – Critique Day!

  1. Danny Beaty says:

    Hi gang! I call this one “Baseball Kid”.

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for sharing those Berserker!

    Overall I like the upper body quite a bit. The color scheme is consistent and the items there fit well together.

    The main problem area for me is the lower body. I feel like those boots are too big for the rest of the figure, making him appear a bit bottom-heavy. If you’re going for a big bruiser, major tank type of look, I’d recommend beefing up the torso area, maybe with some really big gloves and hands.

    Alternatively, and this is my personal preference, you could choose smaller boots (or scale those down to like 60-70%, you might have to choose the base body with no legs to make them look right) so he looks more aerodynamic. You’d probably get a better impact with a different set of wings as well (or none at all) — their delta shape, heavy end on the bottom, reinforces that feeling that his lower half is outweighing the upper half.

    I think it’s a neat idea and a good execution, but going for a sleeker lower half with more aerodynamic items would make it even stronger.

    Some of the same comments apply here, specifically the boots. I actually think I like the darker gray better here than the lighter version on the Elite warriors. I think all this guy needs to finish him off would be some medium-weight shoulder pads (not as big as the Elite ones) to help offset the boots and you’re there.

    Good job on those, thanks again for sharing!

  3. Jake says:

    This is a cool idea, Jeff. I love a good critique.

    Here is one that I made today. I’m not so sure about the color choices, and I didn’t put much time into the background, but I’d love to here some criticism about it.

  4. Danny Beaty says:

    Hi Jeff! Here is my villain Mankylosaurus.

    Critique away!

  5. deadeas says:

    Here’s Commander, a request a friend made for “Captain America fused with Deadpool, but British.”

  6. Patrick says:

    Any comments on this guy, he is supposed to be your typical nazi mad scientist supervillian

  7. vampyrist says:

    Can I have your opinions on my electric hero Shock.

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    Just to clarify, ANYONE should feel free to offer a critique, so long as it’s constructive — no “It sucks”, that doesn’t help anyone. Say what you like and why, then what you don’t like or that you think could be improved and why.

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Jake (#4):

    This will sound like a weird thing to start with, but I like the way the shield and the club go outside the frame borders, but the feet do not. It adds a sense of dimensionality to the illustration that I like. You used patterning to good effect as well, in the chest piece and the leggings behind the thigh guards, that’s a really nice touch.

    I’d suggest rethinking the skull knee pad/dagger blade calf pieces combination; obscuring the skulls looks a little disconcerting. I am not a huge fan of the white on the uniform either, I usually think of orcs as being dirty and messy, wallowing around in dark filthy places, and white just doesn’t fit for me.

    Nice job overall though!

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Danny (#6): First of all, LOVE the name! Mankylosaurus is classic, really funny. I like the general look of the guy as well, with the broad chest and the spikes showing around the head and torso, I think you get the concept across really well. I like the foot choice also, strangely I am working on the SOD for tomorrow and have the same basic concept on the feet. The environment also fits.

    I am not as big a fan of the hands, when I see those used there I can’t help but wonder how the character would feed himself, or do much of anything. Them opposable thumb things is handy! Also, the colors seem off to me. That shade of green doesn’t really seem natural, especially with the brown that fits so well with an actual animal. Layering the bright, warm yellow and red on top of it is also jarring. I think you’d get a better color palette by going with a warmer color than that green — you could even stay in the green family, just choose a warmer shade of it, that’s not so electric. Ditto for the name color, tone that down a couple of notches.

    I got a kick out of the guy, definitely!

  11. Jeff Hebert says:

    @deadeas (#7): This is a very tight, well executed character sketch, you did a really nice job! All the details are just right, from the dual pistols and holsters to the dual broadswords, the Union Jack masking onto the upper body, and even the domino mask. He definitely looks like a real character and someone who I’d be interesting to know more about. The skin shading is good too, and I love the black tights leading up to the chest piece.

    I don’t have too much to say in terms of ways it could be better, I think you nailed it. I don’t see too much Deadpool in him other than the weapons, but then, I don’t know all that much about Deadpool so maybe I’m just missing it.

    I’d definitely give this one an “A”, nice job!

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Patrick (#8): Patrick, I love it! I am still laughing, that thing just rocks. I love me Nazi gorillas with cyborg heads controlled by massive brains. I mean, who doesn’t, right?! I really appreciate the details in the helmet/head, particularly those creepy disembodied eyes. Ditto for the Nazi arm band, you handled that quite deftly, especially masking off the symbol so it looks like it’s off on the side.

    The only minor things I’d suggest are to clean up the way the head collar sits on the body, the raised edges like that make it look almost detached. I don’t know how exactly you’d do that, to be honest, since that’s the way the item’s drawn, but it’s a little jarring. The same is true for that one strap on the character’s left shoulder, it doesn’t actually hit the edge of the shoulder and so looks distracting.

    Great job on it, though, I really like it a lot. A very fun concept.

  13. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Vampyrist (#9): I like the basic design of the black and yellow costume, that’s a good combination. The environment around him is well done, you’ve managed to create an effective and convincing skyline from the somewhat unwieldy pieces I’d included thus far, which I know isn’t easy. The glow effect on his left hand is cool, I really like the dark yellow line color there, and the way you’ve got the interior of the hand white so it looks like it’s really crackling with energy inside.

    I don’t think the coronas (is that the plural of corona?) look around the hands work as well as that one effect, though. The left is better than the right, which looks too controlled and orderly to be a real lightning aura. Having his hand, which is yellow, over the yellow cutout in the belly makes them kind of blend together, too, you end up struggling a bit visually to make out that a hand is there. I think it would probably be better if the hand were away from the body, even if it’s just down like the other one.

    In general, I feel like the costume needs some work. I have trouble visualizing how the yellow cutout would really work, besides the unfortunately juvenile jokes that occur whenever I really take in its placement. Ahem. It just seems to lack oomph. The helmet and face area confuses me as well, I’m not sure if he doesn’t have lips, or if that’s a mask, or a shield coming down from the helmet, or what exactly is going on there.

    I don’t mean that to come off as negative as it sounds, I think the character has potential and some of the surrounding elements are good, but I do think it needs some more work on the conceptual level. You know I love the stuff you do in general, too, so I’m sure this one will get there too.

  14. Danny Beaty says:

    @Jeff: Thanks for the comments. I’ll try them out. I hope when you add more hands to HM3 you will include some big, bulky dinosaur hands to go with the dinosaur feet.

  15. Nick Hentschel says:

    Here’s an idea, how do you add images/components to the program? Can we send stuff in? Or can we add it to our home-owned copies of 2.5 ourselves? A lot of my few, remaining problems would be solved if I could add or modify existing stuff…..

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    Hi Nick, you can’t add items directly to the program, unfortunately, as you have to have the source code and a copy of Flash (plus the knowledge of how to use it). UGO owns the source code and has no plans to release it. The best you can do is to send me a drawing in vector format that I could adapt.

  17. Patrick says:

    Thanks Jeff, I appreciate the input.

  18. D says:

    I thought I’d create a female Kato to go with your Green Hornette:

    What do you think?

  19. Kaldath says:

    Here’s one I’d like to get people opinions on:

  20. vampyrist says:

    @Kaldath I like her design a lot and the scarf is really great.

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Mr.Vampire (#20): I’d say my criticism is worth every penny you pay for it πŸ™‚

  22. Jeff Hebert says:

    @D (#21): I like the idea of a female Kato! And given the limitations of HM2 I think you’ve done a nice job with her. The green and black color scheme is a classic and always looks nice. I also dig that open coat look.

  23. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Kaldath (#22): I love the way the sleeves on the dress work, that’s a really nice construct. Her hair, with the purple highlights is also cool, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    I love the idea of the head scarves, especially the transparent bits, but for some reason it comes off a little like a beard? I don’t know what it is, maybe that dark neck piece behind it, but the detail bits on the mouth scarf end up translating as stubble when I glance at it.

    A minor suggestion, though, overall very cool!

  24. Fyzza says:

    @Mr. Vampire: Critiscism (i can’t spell) is what this thread is for. if you don’t care about it, make your own fread on the ugo forums.

  25. Nick Hentschel says:

    Jeff Wrote:

    “The best you can do is to send me a drawing in vector format that I could adapt.”

    That’s good enough, and about what I expected. I’ll get to work…..

  26. Idiosyncracy says:

    Whatcha think of this wizard/druid here?

  27. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Idiosyncracy (#29): I like her overall look, the stretched out head and body make her look different from a “standard” figure and it’s very appropriate. The patterning of leaves ont eh skirt looks cool too, as do the leafy pseudo-sandals. Flipping the ground so it’s above her like a cavern was also very clever and effective!

    In terms of things that might be improved, the only thing that really jumps out at me is the helmet, which seems too tall to fit, at least with the horns on top of it. If the horns were rotated out a bit it might help, or if they were lower down on the peaked hat, maybe.

  28. Jeff Hebert says:

    And with that, as a full day has gone by, I’m going to close out this session. Thanks so much for sharing your creations everyone, I hope you found the commentary helpful.