Character Contest 50 Winners!

Wow, we had a phenomenal number of absolutely outstanding entries for Character Contest 50: Lord Random III! This may be a record number of Finalists, I'm not sure, but regardless everyone should be very proud of themselves this week. I really appreciate all the hard work and creativity on display.

Without further ado, therefore, your Finalists! As a reminder, the challenge was to put together a concept using names randomly generated from the Seventh Sanctum site.

AcidMan322's "Dark Thought" was a nice composition in general. The idea of these ... well, dark thoughts actually emanating from his mind is done convincingly and the eyes in the background are neat.

Airia did a great job with "Illusion Beam". I like the background elements a lot and the pose works great.

AJW's "Bronze Bane" is a great example of a self-assembled robot, using some unconventional pieces and a cohesive color scheme to inject a lot of character.

Asder used subtle line coloring to achieve a great look for his "Fly Wolf".

Atomic Punk only had one entry this week, but I think he nailed it. "Seer Hack" isn't an easy random name to get your hands around, but I thought the image was both funny and cool.

Blue Blazer's "Mecharapier" is a wonderful example of keeping it simple. I'd swear I've seen this one before, but maybe it was just while browsing the UGO Forums. Regardless, the black unitard with the metallic arm and shoulder garb is just perfect.

Brambles got a little lucky because the random name "Ghost Shaman" is awesome, but he kicked butt on the execution. I love the ghostly flames and headless faces. Plus the character design is very strong and I love his expression.

Cliff's poster-like "Serpent Burn" is great. I love the composition and the background elements, particularly the transparent flame effects on the snake.

Danny Beaty has done a number of spider-related characters in the past (in fact, I think those spidery eyes are his contest prize from a while ago), but I think this one is the strongest in a long while. The background elements all make sense and fit, both in selection and color choice. The costume design and colors also go well together, and I love the spider web pattern in the brownish parts. The red elements accent the design rather than detract from it as well. An all around excellent effort!

If DiCicatriz isn't careful, I'm going to have to name the contest award after him. Once again he brings it this week, with ten -- TEN! -- high quality entries. I selected three for highlighting as a cut above the rest, but honestly, they're all very good. Do yourself a favor and check them out in the original contest thread, you won't be sorry.

First up for him is "Cloud Hunter". Everything about this is made of Win, from the costume design to the pose to the way he really looks like he's running on the clouds. Simply spectacular.

Next is his "Hot Gale", which I love equally for the outstanding design to the backstory. What sold this for me was the combination of the expression, the body positioning, and the way the patterning on that wind/wave effect completely looks like sandy wind. Great special effects.

Finally is his "Typhoon Construct". If the Red Tornado looked like this instead of that yellow-arrow-adorned monstrosity, I'd start reading Justice League again!

Felipe S Card turned in a very solid and convincing fantasy type character with "Killer Jackal". I like the colors, the pose, the weapons, and the general look of the guy. Well done!

I'm not a big horror fan as you may know by now, but I love what Fishsticks did with "Omnislash". The poster speaks for itself, and I bet there's a Hollywood film deal in the works after seeing it.

If Joel doesn't start using the proper URL for his ImageShack images, I might jump through the computer screen and strangle him. But I thought his "Seduce Morph" was a nice "progression" style image.

Another horror-style fantasy character, Kingslaughter's "Murder Slicer" has a funky vibe to it that I like a lot.

Knitesoul's "Mage Tornado" has some of the same feel as DiCicatriz' "Hot Gale", and also does a fantastic job making it look like the character is standing in a swirling maelstrom. I particularly like the tornado wrist guards, I thought that was a nice touch. Fading out the lines of the skirt and boots also helps make it look like she's standing behind a wind eddy. Nice job! The details definitely matter.

Me, Myself, and I did a nice job with "Snow Sapphire", with nothing incredibly fancy or outlandish. Just a solid, convincing, pleasing, effective design.

I admit, Myro's "Auto Shamaness" made me laugh. Finally, a super-hero with a power I can USE!

Oquies' "Blood Sorceress" has a great design, colors, and face, but what I loved the most was the skull-lined hourglass lantern thingie she's holding. That's cool!

Rancid's "Royal Raven" does everything right, from the background elements and smoke to the feathered tail turned skirt.

And now for something a little different, in the form of RhinoMan's sad, poignant, and disturbing "Mischild". The tilted head and the leg-held teddy bear in particular are quite effective at setting the somber mood.

Sandcat's "Lightning Slice" works not only for the expected electrical arcs around the blades, but for that totally nifty effect on her hips. I don't quite know what that is or how it was done but it looks awesome as clothing detail.

SpellCheckingQuill drwe "Aerial Plague" as their name, and nailed it. I love the colors, the facial expression on the figure (particularly that one eyebrow ridge being all distended), and the layering of the different-sized bees. I think this is a wonderful example of how composition -- the arrangement of the various main elements -- can make or break an image.

Finally, Watson Bradshaw's "Cobalt Talon" uses the "falling into the street" composition we've seen before, but it's very well done here.

As you can see, judging this week was tough! Tons of great entries that didn't even make it to Finalists, and then to have to choose one of the 25 above, it's a difficult assignment. But after going through them all several times, I have to say I keep coming back to one in particular, for excellence in overall composition, in fundamental character design, and in success at conveying a mood.

And that one is DiCicatriz' "Cloud Hunter"! I just love everything about this illustration, it stands out as exceptional even in a collection of truly excellent entries like these. Very well done, sir! Let me know what you'd like for your prize, it's certainly very well earned.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and congratulations in particular to both DiCicatriz and all the Finalists for a very entertaining set of designs!

22 Responses to Character Contest 50 Winners!

  1. Asder says:

    I knew this one was gonna win, all in it is awesome. Good jod DiCicatriz

  2. Brambles says:

    Thanks for the honorable mention Jeff!

  3. The Imp says:

    Good job, DiCi. I’m very glad that one won; it’s the one I would’ve voted for!

  4. Me, Myself & I says:

    Geez, I think I need to go back to the little leages. To much competition here. πŸ™‚

  5. Airia says:

    Congrats to all finalists and especially to DiCicatriz! Seriously if you didn’t win you would definitely be a finalist! All ten of your entries were great! And you’re making Cliff look like he’s slacking off.

    And thanks to Jeff for naming me a finalist. I never dream that Illusion Beam would be counted as one of the best!

  6. Oquies says:

    This contest was a lot of fun. I actually hadn’t even made anything on the hero machine for about a month but, this was great. If had to pick a winner here I think I would have chosen “Lightning Slice”.

    Congratulation every one!

  7. Nick Hentschel says:

    Great stuff, as we all knew it would be. (I came up with “Fight Bomb,” myself, but couldn’t find the time.)

    “Auto Shamaness” reminds me of a great picture-joke I once saw in a magazine… which I have NO hope of finding or posting here….

  8. Fishsticks says:

    Great job DiCicatriz and to the finalists!
    Thanks Jeff for choosing one of my characters as a finalist. This was my first contest and I couldn’t believe I would be so lucky to have my name here.

  9. Gero says:

    Awesome jobs, everyone! And cogratulations do DiCicatriz for the amazing win!

  10. Krimzon says:

    Great job everyone! Congrats to DiCicatriz, incredible job on that. He looks very angelic. I wish I could create stuff like that.

    I also have to say I love Blood Sorceress. So dark and evil looking.

  11. DiCicatriz says:

    Wow! Thanks everybody for the kind words πŸ™‚ I was particularly excited about sharing these designs when I was through with them. I’ve always been fond of the random name contests, since I usually name my characters when they’re finished. It’s nice to change up the creative process now and then.

    Congrats to all the finalists as well, there were some great illustrations this week!

    I’ll have to think a bit about my request… I’m drawing a blank right now.

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    If you can’t get inspiration, you’re welcome to just say “take the next item off the replacement prize list” or to choose one of them. The items that didn’t make the cut at in decreasing order of votes are:

    1. Bandage hands
    2. Legs in a crouching pose
    3. Mass Effect style recon hood
    4. Facial wrinkles
    5. Creepy graveyard background
    6. Tail with a taper
    7. Big long wild beard
    8. Phantom of the Opera style half mask
    9. Robot head
    10. Kimono
    11. Leather zipper pants
    12. Modern bulletproof vest
    13. Nova’s helmet
    14. Gi
  13. Danny Beaty says:

    Congrats DiCicatriz!

    @Jeff: Thanks for the honorable mention!

  14. Myro says:

    Nice one, DiCicatriz. You did a great job with all 10 of your entries, so one of them was bound to win. I’m just happy with the mention.
    I kinda like the random generator contest. I didn’t think I would even enter this week, and then I came up with 4 of them.

  15. Sandcat says:

    Thank you so much for choosing me as a finalist! I couldn’t be happier. There where so many amazing entries I really didn’t think I had a chance. @ Oquies I’m glad you like her <3. And Congrats DiCiatriz your characters are amazing!

  16. @DiCicatriz: Congrats, I had a feeling that Cloud Hunter would win.

    @All: Bar was set really high this time around!

    My personal favorite is Oquies’ Blood Sorceress: color, tone, the face, and especially the hour glass design.

    I could write a story around Blood Sorceress and Cloud Hunter’s epic battles.

    @Jeff: Thanks for the honorable mention. Kind of softens the $50 rip-off ride. ;P

  17. Knew DCTZ would win. Good job man.
    Also no energiocide or shark gut? lol.
    Congrats fellers.

  18. Gene says:

    Good job all! πŸ™‚ I didn’t have the time to enter, but I’m glad I didn’t , I’d have been slaughtered. Good stuff, and lots of good ideas in there.

  19. ajw says:

    I thought DiCicatriz would win congrtulations and thanks for the mention

  20. Knitesoul says:

    @Jeff: Thank you, thank you for the mention.

    DiCicatriz, wow. The first image I saw of yours was “Cloud Hunter”, and then knew this contest was won.

    To everyone else, nice job on your creations.

  21. Brad says:

    @MMI (#4) You ain’t kiddin’! I feel like overdone toast after seeing all this. Congrats, DC!

  22. OH, DCTZ! I got some things if you can’t decide!
    Lots, and Jeff would only need a week(or two :))!

    (I bet, it takes me, with MS paint, 20 minutes to make “doll” pieces. :p)