It's time once again for another Open Critique Day!
If you have a HeroMachine illustration or another piece of artwork you've done that you'd like some help with, post a link to it in comments along with your thoughts on it -- what you think is working, what you're struggling with, etc. I will post my critique of the piece, hopefully giving some tips on how to improve it.
Of course everyone is welcome to post their critiques as well, keeping in mind the following rules:
- Make sure your criticism is constructive. Just saying "This sucks" is both rude and unhelpful without giving specific reasons why you think it sucks and, ideally, some advice on how to make it better.
- Each person should only post one illustration for critique to make sure everyone who wants feedback has a chance.
- I will not critique characters entered in any currently running contest, as that doesn't seem fair to the other entrants. You can still post it if you like for the other visitors to critique, but I will not do so.
That's it! Hopefully we can get some good interaction going here and help everyone (me included!) learn a little bit today.
This is the teenage hero known as Flow.
I’m mainly wondering if the pose works. I was trying to make it look like she was leaning on the wall. I’m also wondering if the outfit is a little dull. Though she’s from a setting that’s more than a little harsh so…I dunno.
Anarchangel (1): She looks good! I don’t think the outfit is too dull, although I do wonder if maybe the boots wouldn’t benefit from some sort of splash of purple to help tie it in to the tunic, and separate out from the asphalt a bit.
The pose is pretty good. You might try tilting the upper body at the waist a few degrees to the viewer’s left, and/or moving the figure’s right leg a few degrees to the viewer’s right. It seems to be hovering a bit off the floor.
But in general the pose works and I like the outfit.
Happy friday everyone!
I think the pose works perfectly… for the upper body! I’m not so convinced about the legs. Leaning against a wall on one side, you find that the left thigh (the leg closest to the wall) drops alomst vertically down, and that the knee is bent. Something like this:
However, that pose would require some major rework of legs and footwear. I’m not sure how good it would look in the end.
About the outfit, I think it looks just fine. An idea is to skip the black/grey on the belt and skirt, and instead go with black/purple, to mirror colors of the shoulderpads. I suppose there’s also room for accessories, but I have no good suggestions as to what. Maybe a gun or knife stuck in the belt? I guess it could emphasize the harsh environment, but maybe she wouldn’t need them.
Was up lastnight and felt like creating some. Hope now that the glaze is off my eyes and I get a second look and you guys take a peek too that it still looks as good as I wanted it too LOL. As usual, I stuck to the character and a few outside items but not too much background or other stuff so as to see the character better. I go all out scenes for contest though.
Tool (4) Pretty nifty. There is a pretty serious creepy/scary vibe comming from this guy.
There are a couple small changes I would suggest. First, the drops of blood between the skull and the innards at the scarecrows feet don’t work; I would consider removing them. Alternately possibly making it a pool instead.
Also, It seems the two weapons are a little redundant to wield together; especially with the scythe being as large as it is. I would get rid of the little sickle or store it in a belt etc.
Just a character in a limit of bad super costume :
But, he is a billard themed characters. The bulb like helmet remind the red ball and the logo is the legendary 8 ball. Green and brown are recall of the colors of billiard table.
Clove is a forest ranger type.
Any suggestions on what to do with this Dream Catcher?
How ironic. His name is ‘Scarecrow’, yet a crow is his pet. Anyway!
Most everything here looks really good, but a few things bugged me a bit; I’m talking mostly about the sickle. All the blood here is really well done, except that the blade of the sickle is completely red. It doesn’t fit very well with the rest of the picture. Also, holding the sickle like that can’t be very practical. I suggest you either flip the sickle to the other side or change the hand.
This is pretty silly, but I also noticed the noose around his neck. It feel a little out of place considering the scarecrow theme. But keep it anyway, it looks good.
And one last thing, rather minor. Is that handle on the scythe long enough to reach through the fist if you move it in? If so, that might make for a better looking grip.
Captain Kicktar (7) there is a neet scar under HEAD > ZOMBIES that you might want to try for his face. Also while graphically it looks good, I have trouble reconciling sandals being worn by a woodsman. Like I said, it looks fine, just seems impractical.
Thanks MMI I will try that.
Like before, I hope for advise to make the illustration better. Have always received good advise before, which is much appreciated. However, will only be able to implement the advise on Sunday.
Panner, I figured the crow would go, and he looks more like he’s looking to peck at the flesh under his mask, or at least that was what I wanted, a bother on the shoulder not neccisarily a pet. I guess it could go either way. I will get rid of the small sickle when i have a chance. The noose i figured could go as if he was tied to a post and got himself down when he came to life. I will see what I can do about the handle and hand situation. Thanks.
Oh yeah by the way Anarchangel, I like the piece, it was that gothic punk or like manga anime kinda feel to me. Looks like a girl I may of dated back in school :/ it was fun but glad that phase passed LOL. About the only thing I would say I guess is it looks like she’s missing some facial piercing, nothing too crazy. A nose stud or eyebrow ring, just to top of the emo feel. Other than that I like!
Man, you can theme superheroes around anything, can’t you?
If I’d like to say anything, it’s that a billiard table is mostly green. Very much mostly. I would probably make the boots and gloves shorter, to allow for more green.
Also, it’s a very good opportunity to give him a cue as a weapon, wouldn’t you agree?
Captain Kicktar (7):
What jumped out at me when I open the picture was the shoes. Those are no shoes for someone who wants to spend time in the forest! I can’t stress enough the importance of good footwear when in the wilderness.
The rest looks fine. The color theme is pretty much perfect, the scar works well.
If you want to add more goodies, I’d suggest a knife. For the same reason as the shoes, really.
I know I’m being a handful here, but I believe dreamcatchers usually don’t have circular patterns. I have one here right in front of me, and it’s full of triangles and diamond shapes, mostly.
And personally I’d remove the flowers from the lower part. I guess I think they make the picture too… solid. Or something. I would just add more feathers.
Extremely solid as usual, but I have a few things to comment on.
First of all the eagle. With all the shading going on, it really blends in. Sharper line color might help.
There’s one shade I don’t like. It’s the one below his belt, under the pouch and over the knife blade. It’s very straight and horizontal, which looks a bit artificial. Also, I think the lowest 1-2 pixels are darker than the rest. Runaway linecolor?
Lastly, and this is nitpicking, with everything shaded and patterned, that sword strap in the middle of the picture looks very flat, and stands out a bit. Try giving it a pattern or gradient and see how it turns out.
Oh absolutely, the connection between the crow and the ruined face (what you can see of it) is quite clear! It works out very well. And when you put it like that, the noose makes good sense. Or well, that kind of knot would hardly be required just to secure a scarecrow… Eh, whatever, it looks good anyway!
Here is my piece for the evening.
I was going for a barbarian shaman that aquired some decent pieces of armor before going monster hunting. The problem is that the character is too top heavy. I added the cloak and kneepads to counteract, but I don’t really like any of them. Any ideas?
Here is SLASH.
I’m working on a Canadian Supergroup and had to have some kind of Hockey-styled hero on it. So, he is an ex-NHLer who suffered a deadly car accident where his amputated left arm was replaced with cybernetics. Yes, the goalie mask is heavily influenced by Casey Jones from TMNT, but I like how it turned out. I’d say the most trouble I had was with the robot arm, but again pleased with its final look. What do you guys think? Cheers!
Helps if you post the image….
ams (20), wow!.. Hockeist-superhero – this is originaly.
My attempt at creating a casual pose. She’s supposed to be sitting on the gargoyle but I think it looks more like a lean.
@Sutter_Kaine(23) I agree that it looks more like a leaning pose, but it is a great leaning pose. You need to add that to the forums under the pose threads. You could also very easy get it to a sitting pose by bending the right leg up similar to the left. Love it!
First of all, let me say that I love the rolled-up sleeves. I can never get them right, but yours are spot on.
The problem point here is the gun. Keeping it behind the back like that looks quite unnatural or at least not comfortable. My suggestion is that you switch it to either the same grip but in front of the chest, or casually slung over the shoulder. I can’t help you on the second one, it’s tricky.
Other than that, I think it delivers ‘mutant soldier’ quite well. If you want more soldiery stuff, there’s plenty of space on his chest for commendations and the like.
Well, it’s quite a piece you have here. The concept is great and that mask is just… Well, there is still one thing that’s bugging me a bit. You see where the belt meets the leg plates? The belt is layered above the plates, which effectively separates it from the body. But when I thought about it, I’m not sure it would be better if the belt was layered below. My suggestion is to raise the belt a pixel or so, and rotate the leg plates down one or two degrees, to avoid the problem entirely.
One more thing, it’s a shame that his greaves cover up the boots, those boots are heavy duty and give a strong impression. You could try cutting the lowest part of those greaves off, preferably right by the lowest belt.
Now, I’m not really a mech person, so don’t read too much into this, but I’m not sure about the angle of the blades here. I’d like them to be parallel to some of the lines on that arm, I think that might give a stronger impression.
When it comes to the human, it took me a few moments to grasp the force shield. Maybe try removing the gradient and adding something that very clearly covers up the person and that part of the background?
Overall nice design on the mech. I like them better when you can see the person controlling, but maybe that’s just me!
17 panner, Im not really liking the head of the spear, it doesn’t look like it connects right and I like the skulls around the neck but Im not digging the pink glow lol. I would suggest googling pictures of druids, in my mind i think thats what you were trying to go for then come back and revamp what you want to.
Tool (4): Gruesome!
I’ll echo what the others have said. The blood is not working for me. The drops should be the same color as the blood on the blade from which they drip, otherwise it looks like he’s pooping blood. And the pooled stuff would look better as either an actual puddle, or at least scale the existing blob item down the x axis at least 50%.
I’d also flip the crow so it stays on the same shoulder but facing outward. Right now you lose his beak in the hat/face of the character. Unless they’re kissing,which would be a whole ‘nother level of creepy.
Scythes are, I think, way too heavy to be holding one-handed. I think it might help if the head were resting on the ground.
All of that stuff aside, it’s an effectively scary and creepy creation that fundamentally is sound.
Panner (25), It not absolutely the soldier, it is faster the security guard.
And the weapon закинуто back, is simple it very strong and can hold so not only pistols, but also such bazookas.
Fabien (6): Oh my! I’d say you definitely nailed the “Bad Super Hero Costume” vibe!
I think to make it even more egregious you should make the whole helmet a ball, instead of coming down like cloth on his face. Just a big ol’ ball with eye holes and a face portion cut out of it.
Also, I think he needs a pool cue to complete the cliche. And his secret identity should be Bad Bad Leroy Brown.
I like the green and brown color scheme, definitely reminiscent of a pool table. I’m not sure red is the right color for the helmet, though — black for the Eight Ball and white for the cue ball would seem more iconic.
Good job on being bad!
Thanks Jeff, yeah I’m going to try and work on it more later, I dunno it just came to me. Saw a jeepers creepers type character and that scarecrow from that supernatural episode in my head and decided to make my own scarecrow. I am going to take all ideas into consideration and see what I can do, I am still learning how to do some stuff. Yeah though, pooping blood not a cool super power lol, and I had a time trying to get the blood item, shape, color…ect all just right. I know it still came off kinda well off but I hoped people would know what I meant or knew a better way. I will try adding a floor and rest the main sythe. Catch you guys later I got to rest before I go to work but I will work on it and re-add here to show you guys progress. Good work to everyone else, keep it up! I love meeting new and experienced artist and sharing.
Captain Kicktar (7): I like the brown and green color scheme (very rangerly). Sometimes people go for a bright Kelley green, but I like this darker forest shade a lot better. I’m also glad you ran the bow string behind the forearm, it really bugs me when people do it the other way.
I can’t think of a diplomatic way to ask this so I am just going to say flat out that I can’t tell for sure if this is a male or a female character. The width of the hips and the flaring of the lower body cloth kind of look female to me.
Finally, I’ll agree that sandals don’t seem like super practical forest wear.
It might not sound like it from all that but I think it’s a really nice design!
Tool, I don’t think you need to introduce a whole floor, just lowering the head of the scythe so it’s just below the level of his feet would do it. Just so it doesn’t look suspended over where the ground would be.
I agree, my first impression was that she was leaning back on the gargoyle. I kind of like it, it looks casual and relaxed, which admittedly might not be the most fitting attitude for a roof-stalker.
If you want an easy switch to something closer resembling sitting, I’d start by mirroring her torso and rotating it clockwise. That should make her appear more slumped forward. The next step would be her right leg, the goal could be to let the leg follow the gargoyle’s nose and fall down in front of its mouth. This is what I came up with:
Hmm, you’re right about the spear, I’ll have to do something about that. And what, you’re not man enough for pink?! Nah, seriously though, I just wanted a color different from the other ones on the armor. I guess I could’ve gone with blue, but that’s not an evil color!
I guess that much is true, he must have extreme upper body strength considering his fists are about as big as his thighs!
ams(24) – Thanks. I’ll try that with the pose. I am very jealous of Slash. Cool costume and great pose. The only thing I would comment on are the leg plates and the belt, but someone else already mentioned that. Fair warning, I will be stealing ideas from it.
A space scene based off old 50s b-movies and the 30s Flash Gordon serials. I made a grainy version as well, but I decided one was clearer to see if there were any problems.
I think there’s something wrong with it, though. Some of the strings seem to make it look a bit crowded at the top. Suggestions?
MMI (8): I really like the bottom part (the dangly bits). I like the idea of the middle, but it seems like most dream catchers have symmetrical inner parts, whereas this web is not. Also it seems like it needs more color or patterning there, something to give it oomph that matches the neat stuff going on below.
It’s a cool idea, very innovative!
Haha, oh man, that is awesome in so many ways. I see what you mean by crowded though, there are threads all over the place. The first thing I’d try is masking gradients to all the threads, so that they become more transparent the higher they go. That should leave the top with threads only from items near the top.
I’m not sure it’ll give the same impression, but it’s all I can think of right now.
Pesky (12): Overall, very good as usual. An unusual pose that I think basically works, and great coloring. I appreciate your attention to detail with all the drop shadows, that’s very nice (except that one line as Panner pointed out).
It’s definitely a striking image. As soon as I opened it I got a reaction, which is great. I didn’t understand the white patches on the skin, though. Is that bone showing through? Are they supposed to be highlights? It confuses me.
Similarly, I like the idea of the tattoos (assuming those are tattoos) but it seems odd to have one that’s mostly just an outline. Aren’t they usually colored in?
But, a nifty illustration, good job on it over all.
Panner (17): First of all, thanks for all the great feedback you’re giving everyone else, I really appreciate it. You’re spot on in your takes as far as I am concerned as well. I know how much effort it is to do this kind of commentary and sincerely thank you for it.
Now, on to your image!
There are definitely some good elements (the glowing skull eyes, the strap motif, etc.), but in general it doesn’t work as well for me as most of your other creations. I think the background gray and the big bold shield element sort of overwhelm the character himself. I’m of the school in general that if the background isn’t serving a specific purpose, leave it blank white and let the character illustration stand on its own.
Like Tool, I’m not a huge fan of the way the spear head attaches to the shaft with the blades behind the wood. It needs a band or cap or bolts or something to make it immediately visually apparent that they’re a single item.
The facial decoration is a great idea, but I can’t tell if it’s a mask or makeup or a tattoo or what. The lines of it are so straight that they don’t follow the contours of the face, and it’s one solid color, so it’s hard to make out what it’s doing.
The last thing I think that needs some work is the cape. The flame pattern is consistent and regular, but it’s overlaying a shape that is fluid and variable. When the pattern on it doesn’t change in relation to the direction the folds of the cloth are going, it flattens it out badly so it ends up looking like a plank. I’d lose the flames completely, make the interior a darker shade of brown, and maybe mask the vertical gradient to it so it looks like it’s darker just under his torso, lightening as it goes down.
I like the pose and the concept, but I think those other elements are keeping them from shining. Hope that helps …
Rozenstal (18): I like the first impression it makes, very menacing! When I get a grin on my face immediately upon opening the image, that’s a very good sign, and I definitely did on this one.
I like the simplicity of the design and the subtle change in pose. I love that you made his arms and hands bigger, that’s a great touch.
The only part that isn’t working for me is the gun. Shouldn’t the stock be in front of his chest, behind his forearm, resting in the crook of the elbow? I can’t imagine how you could hold a gun and have it go behind your back like that. If you’re going for the idea that it’s held on a strap behind his back and he’s reaching back to get it, then you should put the thumb behind the back as well. You’ve got to clarify the spatial relationship between the pieces, so it’s immediately obvious what’s behind what.
Good job though!
ams (19 & 20): Ha! I love it on first impression, very aggressive and powerful looking. Very cool. I love the mask, the cobbled-together and wicked hockey stick, and the cyborg-ish chest piece with the maple leaf in it. Interesting use of lightning as veins in his arm, too.
I agree with Panner that the belt needs to be behind the greaves. Minor point, but distracting.
My major area of concern is his left arm. It doesn’t quite work, and I think it’s in the wrist area that it breaks down. It’s so fat that it ends up throwing off the relationship between the lower forearm and the hand itself — it all looks blobby and like it’s not part of the upper arm.
Also, I’d go with just a very dark gray instead of black for the power circles in the knuckles.
Otherwise, great job!
MMI (10) Eh, I like the scar, and the other scars don’t work as well.
Panner (15) Good idea for the knife, but I changed it: Her bow now has sharp tips for tip slashing.
Jeff (31) Wow, I think this is the first time the colors haven’t been a problem. I kinda’ like the not knowing her gender, gives her some more depth.
All (10, 15, 31) So, apparently sandals aren’t good footwear for a ranger, so I grabbed some default shoes and masked sandals over them so it’s not dull.
Malfar (22): I’m not a big “mech” guy either, so take all this with a grain of salt. But to me, it looks like there’s not enough room for the human to actually control the thing. His arms would pretty much be jammed right up to the edges of the neck, and it doesn’t look like his legs would have anywhere to go unless he’s standing up. Which is fine, he could be I suppose. But then where are his lower arms going to manipulate the controls?
I’ll agree also that it took me a while to see that the human was surrounded by an energy field. I didn’t know what that was till I read it, honestly.
I also feel like there should be some tonal variation in the colors of the mech. Currently it’s the same gold and blue everywhere, but it seems like various bits are behind others and would be darker, or made of a different material and so would be slightly different, that sort of thing.
Sutter_Kaine (23): I get a combination of sitting and leaning from it. I think Panner’s right that putting the other leg up on the gargoyle might help.
For what it’s worth I think it looks pretty neat. It’s not necessarily the fully seated look you were going for, but it’s a good effect as it is.
I submitted this one a few weeks ago as well, but in my attempt to set the right mood I made the image too dark to see properly. Here it is again without the global shading, just so the image itself can be judged. Once again: Forgotten Prisoner.
Trekkie (35): Neat idea! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this attempted before with HM and you did a nice job on it. I like the layout a lot, all the spatial relationships are clear and pleasing.
I agree that the threads are probably the thing that’s bugging you (and me). There do seem to be too many of them, to the point that at first I thought you were going for an old-style TV screen with the scrolling lines on it. My immediate thought was that the planets each only need one string going to them (one would assume the rings are held on by rods going from the ring into the planet directly rather than being suspended from above). That alone might help. Otherwise, a medium gray instead of white might help them remain present without being distracting.
Good job on a fun and original concept!
Vaadren (45): Love it! Very cool. It all works really well, although I do think you need to do something with the bulkhead behind him — make it darker, or add some “tech” lines, or something else to give it some visual interest.
The whole central column with the figure is awesome though, great job on it.
My Attempt at a new pose. He’s supposed to be in mid jump/lunge.
Panner (33) – I like your suggestion and will try it. Regarding your character, you said he was a barbarian who acquired some decent pieces of armor. What if you incorporated the barbarian background into it so his outfit ends up being a sort of contrast that represents both where he started and how far he’s come. You could use the “furry” pants and/or boots. That would build up the lower part of the outfit. You might even switch to one of the fur capes. The only other thing I would suggest is mixing up the pouches on the belt. That way it looks more like an adventurer’s belt as opposed to a superhero utility belt.
headlessgeneral (48): I think it works pretty well. The shield covers up all sorts of mess, doesn’t it 🙂
You make very good points. The face paint was one of the first things I added, and I just haven’t questioned or evaluated it since. Just goes to show you the benefit of additional pairs of eyes.
I’ll keep working on it, I’ll make it awesome even if it takes a full rework.
Captain Kicktar (42):
I think both those changes (sharp tips and shoe+sandal combo) sound really nice. Good idea with the tips, that’s a lot more creative than a simple knife.
Ah yes, this picture. I like it a whole bunch, it’s something of a whole story in a single picture.
The only thing that brings it down somewhat is the bright band right in the middle. It’s pretty obvious and it’s hard to look past it.
So this is a Pic I got pretty Creative with, a Futuristic Samurai and His Kunoichi Cohorts. Originally I intended to enter this in the Legion Contest, but It might be my Best work to date, so i kind of just want to tweak the snuff out of it and get it perfect,and save it for something else. I’m torn, help deciding if it is worth entering would probably be even more helpful than tips on the Image.
Does this even look like a superhero? the “Future+Samurai=EPIC” thing kind of ran away with me. So I’m not sure if he is even Legion Material anymore.
Grr, being indecisive is frustrating, I want to post somehting that is Definitely NOT for a contest, but… most of what I have been working on recently is…
The only other thing is basically a Lingerie Model, and the pose might be too suggestive for this forum… but, Help with her Freckles would be nice though…
As far as this guy, I need to recolour the central figure to break up the bloody mess of blurring homogeneity. Maybe a Pink rug… different shades of black, and more burgundy’s or such? The Ninjette on the Left needs to drop down ~ 20 or so lines.
Making the Kabuto (Helmet) was a Blast. And thanks to Sean David Ross & ams for the Poses!
On 2nd (More like 200th) thought… I don’t think I will enter this in the Legion contest, it lacks that Cheezy 50’s penache… so Jeff, feel free to enlighten me with your Insight and thanks for all the Hard work & Critiques!
Well, that’s certainly an interesting pose, and I think it looks natural and dynamic. I am a bit worried about the feet though, it look dangerously much like he’s standing on his toes. Maybe you can put a simple gradient beneath him, for a shadow. That might drive home the point that he’s in mid-air.
Also, the first thing that struck me was that… thing… on his back. It looks like a hole! You could move it a little to let more green show through.
One more thing, it looks a little weird when he’s attacking with a shield but with no weapon. Yeah, I know, Cpt America and everything, but I can’t help but look for some kind of weapon in that other hand.
More chaos and less symmerty, eh? Well, I’m all for that. Shoes are pretty hard though since his feet are so close together. But I’ll see what I can do.
I chose to not give him pants since I recently created a couple of female characters the showed a bit of leg, and I thought it would be fun to make a male character in that same way. However, good looks take precedence, and I will reevaluate that decision. Thanks, that’s a whole pile of helpful.
This picture is pretty much complete, the atmosphere and details are stunning. There are a few things I’d like to mention about his clothes though.
The two colors you use on his jacket are really high contrast, and it contributes to making the jacked look very wrinkled and steal focus. Considering the details on and around his head, you’ll want to direct as much attention as possible to the face.
Second, the jacket looks quite baggy and spacious, but the pants are, of course, skin tight. Now I’ve never tried this, but it might be possible to add a sleeve opening to his leg to give the appearance of actual pants that aren’t painted on.
Okay, here is the update with the corrections that were suggested. Also added a shadow underneath character. (a technique used by SDR on his poses)
In addition Panner’s always illuminating Comments, I would suggest 1 Important detail. BOOTS! Solomon is such a total B@dd@$$! int that Pic, but the black leotards/footsie PJ’s are killing his Mojo. Try playing with those new biker boots, stretching and masking their pieces to some insignia. I would offer similar advice for the trousers. I have had success with taking a pair of trousers and masking half of them to a rectangle, then seeing what happens after. The sleeves idea is also good. That’s about it, the face, the tats, the background and sword are all gritty and impressive.
ams (55): I am so Digging your Canadian Supers. And Casey…err…Slash is earning every minute in the box. The 1st thing that hit me was the black bar (is it a belt?) over his right shoulder. I suggest stretching it slightly, and perhaps using a lighter black, maybe masking something wavy or rippling to it so it seems less like someone is censoring his armpit.Seriously, Brutal Mask, and digging the cybernetics. And thanks for all the great poses too!
I can understand why you consider this great work, because it’s pretty amazing. The setting is great, and the characters are very well done – poses, expressions and placement.
The one recurring thing I’m not entirely sold on is colors. For instance, I would strongly recommend that you make the leftmost ninja’s shoes black. White is just not ninja-like, and it also blends in REALLY bad with the wall.
The samurai has the same problem, his red and black are the exact same as the carpet, which makes him into something of a chameleon. Even if you change the color of the carpet, there is a lot of blending going on where his arm covers his leg and lower torso. I’d probably suggest using a slightly brighter shade of red for that arm, even if you need to make a custom color to make it look right.
One last thing would be the belt on the right ninja. You might want to rotate it a bit more to make it cover less of the leg, it looks a bit broken right now. I know, there won’t be room for the throwing star. Maybe use a thinner belt if you want, I think there’s a good one.
@Panner and Yurasagi:Thank you for the great comments and suggestions.About the boots and pants I tried stretching and masking them but couldn’t make them fit properly I didn’t like the way they came out so I left the standart piece.I rather use the standart piece than leave something I don’t think fits.
Here is a character I made for my DnD game that I’m running.
Jeff (47) & Panner (51):
Thanks for the feedback (Panner even twice now, if I’m not mistaken!). I certainly see where it can be improved. The back wall is indeed a bit bland, but none of the patterns make it feel right. It’s been tough to figure out how to solve it. Same goes for the bright band Panner mentioned. It’s not perfect (in fact, it keeps staring me in the face as well) but as of yet I haven’t found a better way to depict the cylindrical shape of the “cell”. It seems rather flat without it.
So, I was a huge fan of the original version last time.
Its nice that one can make out all the details with crisp clarity this time around, but the Creepy darkness really helped set the mood. If you can find a compromise between the 2, I’d say go for it. If not, I liked the Darker one. Master Jeff is absolutely right about the bulkhead needing some character; cracks,dents, spots graffiti, pin-up models? ANYTHING. Also mentioned previously, the central line marring your otherwise smashing stasis tube. May I suggest using the Background gradient, rotating it 180/90, then stretching it to fit the space masking if necessary.Colour it up to act as the shade, and that should kill the line. Unfortunately the shadow will be at the top or bottom rather than dispersing from the middle.If that is desired, you can try masking two gradients to rectangles and butting them together, that might give you a different line where they meet if they don;t want to flow into each other. If that is no good, a circular gradient might be the best compromise. Personally, i always avoid using the patterns in the main tab. I prefer finding some gradients in the objects window and masking them to taste.
Regardless, the figure and the emotional evocation are truly impressive. I’d like to see more like that. Very Metalocalypse!
I’ve made my first attempt at trying to colour/light a figure by masking gradient backgrounds to the various body parts. For this image, I’m interested in comments on how to improve colouring and sense of lighting. I think it looks pretty good, but I think I’m losing a bit in the middle ground colours (the highlights and shadows are overtaking them).
ams(55):L.O.V.E ,just love it ,its awesome.The only thing I would change is the background (I’m partial to dark ,gloomy gotham-like cities haha)
For comparison, here is a non-gradient coloured version (also, obviously, the character’s costuming has changed a bit, but it’s enough to get the idea):
@ SDR (63)- AWESOME!! The mask is epic! The only thing I would tinker with is the left arm. Not so much light back there, so I suggest more shadow! You just raised the bar on your work!
Yeah, I know, it’s real tricky to make everything fit sometimes. I think it’s better to do what you did, and stick with what works. But hey, the picture isn’t going anywhere, and one of these days someone will post up a great way to fit pants on those legs. Good art is never finished, at least that’s what George Lucas says, so it must be right!
This works great for a character portrait, but I must say I’m getting mixed signals. His purple vest, blue collar and gloves suggests an upper class, maybe even noble. The jacked is more something you’d find on a traveler or city living commoner. Lastly, he’s wearing armored boots.
Now, I know how things sometimes end up in DnD, when you’re wearing whatever you can come across at the moment, so this isn’t necessarily a problem. It’s just the first thing that struck me about the character.
I’m not sure you should add too much stuff to the wall, that’s just steal attention from the tube, which is the important part. Maybe some small cobwebs and dust? You know, things that emphasize the desolation and abandonment.
From the recent Taurus contest, I did Heracles defeating the Cretan Bull.
Alex (52): Nice! Love love love the background, really stellar (no pun intended). Everything about it looks great, you put together a wonderful illustration here. I love the skull t-shirt you put together, it’s a cool effect.
I disagree with Panner on the face not having focus. Framing it with the fur fringe sets it off nicely. I like the higher contrast on the jacket, that makes it read as leather.
I can see the case for boots or something, but honestly if they didn’t look right (which is likely given the weird leg pose) then I think you’re much better off leaving them out.
Yurasagi (53): As you know from the comment I left on the forums, I love the setting and backdrop on this one. And by the way folks, you can get the text string for that to load in your own illustrations from the UGO forums! Really nice to see it in use here.
This is obviously a very stylized kind of piece, which is neat. I like the mood you’ve set and the way you’ve laid it out.
My main problem area is with the figure to our left, specifically the legs. The white on the visible lower leg is really hard to make out against the white check background — it ends up looking like he has no leg there at all.
The other leg ends so abruptly and sharply where it goes behind the central figure that again, it looks almost chopped off. To compound the visual confusion there, the red character’s forearm aligns perfectly with where that lower leg would be, so it takes a fair bit of staring to sort out what’s happening.
I think that contributes to the other problem, namely that it’s hard to tell where the three figures are in relation to the others. I think the central figure is supposed to be in front, bolstered by the fact that the lower leg of the left-hand character is behind him. And yet the central figure seems to be staring forward a bit at the left-hand guy.
Also, if the central figure were in front, he would be larger a bit in relation to the other two, and yet it appears to be the opposite.
So in a nutshell, I think you have a really nice setting with cool, stylized figures, that’s a bit muddled in terms of the various figure relationships. Clear up that visual confusion and I think it’d be even better than it already is.
not sure if it went thru, computer is acting up, if did, ignore
Jake (60): Nice! I get a good sense of personality from him. I like the colors and the face a lot.
I do wonder why he’s got high-tech armored boots on, while sporting sort of lower-tech clothing, but maybe that’s just his character.
Personally, I’d lose the floor and the background, maybe going with just a simple circle or some other shape (or glow) as a design element. Once you start adding in an environment, you kind of have to nail it or the viewer starts wondering why this person is standing in a completely empty room, instead of just intuitively understanding it’s a character drawing.
I’ve been messing around with importing text into HM3 and editing it. How is this?:
Is anyone else having trouble getting to the UGO Forums?
Jeff (74): Big time
Vaadren (61): I wouldn’t necessarily do a pattern (at least nothing too obnoxious, maybe the dirt one but not otherwise), just something to make it not look totally blank. Just a few lines or two suggesting a bulkhead, nothing fancy.
Personally I kind of like the clear bar down the center of the gradient. Like you, I think it says “Shiny glass tube”. A less delineated effect wouldn’t be as powerful, I don’t think.
Jeff (74): Both me and http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/forums.ugo.com confirm.
Unfortunately the UGO Forums seem to be missing at the moment so I can’t comment on any of those. I’ve got a call in to UGO for them to check into it since it’s on their hardware, so we’ll see. Hopefully it won’t be down too long, my apologies.
I blame SeanDavidRoss, his awesomeness probably made it keel over.
Panner, that’s neat! Thanks for sharing the link, I’d not heard of that.
I tried the sneakers and it’s the best I could come up with.What do you guys think ,does it work?
Well, I’m not sure what to say here, so I’ll just repeat some things you already know. In real life highlighting and shading is all about angles and curvature and reflectivity. In art, ignore that and just highlight in ways that look good. Highlight things you want to stand out, not things that happen to be in the right place.
Actually, there is one thing I could say. Don’t be afraid to remove color2 if it doesn’t help show any specific lines. For instance, the head/thigh in your picture has some shading from color2, but now that shading is provided by gradients, that might not be necessary anymore.
Not the most helpful, I know.
Excellent picture, the facial expressions (both of them) are very telling and the setting is fittingly simple.
One thing I’d change if it were me, swing his right arm around a few degrees. Right now the arm intersects the belt in such a way that if you follow the left side of the character up, there is some confusion as to what starts above the belt – arm or torso.
Oh, oh, a teeny little extra detail. It’d be awesome if you used some of the new eyes to make him look at the bull instead of at me.
I’m afraid the link takes me to a gallery.
But on that note, I specifically like ‘Drow Sorceress’, that hair is crazy all over the place!
Myro(68): I quite like the bull. I don’t think I’d change anything about that. For Heracles, I think the face is pretty good. The body is okay but I think it could be improved. It seems short through the mid-section. One thing you might consider doing, to help with posing the limbs, is to use the waist/midriff image from Body>Male Military. By attaching that to the torso before you place the legs, it can help put the legs into more natural positions. Speaking of legs: I think the figure’s left leg (closest to the bull) needs to be longer. I’d say you want it to stop about 1/4 inch above the bottom edge of the image.
The right forearm might look better if it was replaced by the forearm in the third page of Body>Male Standard (Top Row, Second from the right). You might also reconsider the hand that’s being used, but I’d have to see it attached to the new forearm before deciding….
I’m wondering if you might be able to get a better result on the skirt, if you repurposed some of the cape images….
For now, I’d consider just dropping the background. The background isn’t conveying the sense of depth you’d need to pull off those mountains (If Heracles walked back to them, they might come up to just under his chest). You’d need to introduce middle ground elements, shift the mountains higher, make them smaller, and adjust your colouring to get that working. Easier to just add some drop shadows and a nice gradient background….
You might also consider adding some gradient patterns to the figures, to give them a sense of depth (though they still look fine flat, as they are)…
Hope that helps.
Myro (68): Good work all the way around in the item selection, colors, design, etc. For me, the main problem is that they look more like they’re engaged in a friendly “Who’s the Best Hugger” match rather than struggle to the death. Partly that’s the expression on Hercules and on the bull, but mostly I think it’s a limitation of the program — it’s just not built to do interactive scenes like this very well, so by necessity they’re going to come out looking a little awkward.
But it’s probably about as well done as is possible given the limitations of the software. I really like Hercules’ face, it’s very distinctive.
Alex (80): Love it! I do think that’s stronger. I stand corrected!
If you cant see the pic in my preavious post this one will definitely work.
Zarae (71): That looks great! Excellent pose, very convincing. The hair looks a lot more natural than the last couple you’ve posted as well. I like the slightly wistful feeling the way he’s holding the flute generates as well. The boots totally work and I like the detailing on the sword and belts.
I think maybe the fingers and the upper arm musculature could be better defined, but otherwise this is a real winner. Nice job!
Panner(81): Dropping Color 2 on the thigh is probably a good idea. Thanks. And I’ll also darken the shadowing on the left arm, as Ams suggested.
Just heard from UGO, they’re working on getting the forums straightened out, not sure yet what the problem is.
The concept and choice of items here is absolutely flawless, the character looks great. It does everything it’s supposed to do, and looks good while doing it.
I would like to point out though that layering seems a bit off with the belts. One of the belts is layered above the hand, and the other above the leg.
I think the legs could use a tiyn tampering as well. The right leg gives the appearance that she’s balancing on one leg, not standing on both feet.
Finally, the gun looks a bit big for her hand. The hands could probably be made a little bigger and the gun a little smaller and everything would work out.
Yeah, it comes in handy from time to time!
Wow, and you said you couldn’t make the shoes work! They look dead on. I also think the pants leg works rather well, but the edge is pretty visible. If you could just paint over some of the grey with black insignias it would be perfection.
Mr44 (74): Very nice! I think the choice of a lighter blue as the line color was inspired and really helps give the whole thing a very cool style.
I like all the item choices and the overall effect, but I am a little bothered by the gun hand. It would look a lot better to use the trigger-finger hand, and then mask the gun to it — as it stands she looks like she’s going to throw that thing instead of shooting it.
I’d also move in her right (our left) leg some, I think it’s splayed out a bit too far to actually support her. I like the idea of it, it’s just a little too far out for me.
Here is a character I’d like your opinions on. I personally think he turned out well, but I’d still like some feedback.
Houdini is a teleporter. I modified one of SDR’s poses to make him and I’d love to hear how you think it turned out.
*this is a random creation of mine i called it ‘Emergence’ for lack of a better title.
Alex (85) I love this pic its extremely cool and put together seamlessly
Vampyrist (91): I have to be honest, it doesn’t quite work for me. The character’s right thigh and knee look too big, and without seeing any lower leg it appears that he’s an amputee. The knee in particular is just way too broad.
I realize that’s more about SDR’s pose than what you’ve done with it, and I don’t mean to sort of talk behind his back, but this particular one just doesn’t quite look right.
BloodlessRose (92): Very nice! Cool environment and nice figure. Well done.
In terms of suggestions, you might play around a bit with line colors — I think dark grays instead of black for the smoke (and maybe even adjusting the transparency of the smoke in front) would help the atmospherics. Ditto on the lightning bolts, I think some sort of color there other than black for the lines would help them seem more electric.
Those are just minor possibilities, of course, it’s already a very nice composition.
With the Heromachine Forums down, this picture shall be posted on Facebook. If anyone can’t view the picture, please tell me.
This picture is solely for the purposes of brainstorming; it is not intended to be the final product, which will be hand-drawn.
Introducing Heskan the Devilborn. Mechanically a dragonborn (dragon person) who is also an infernal-pact hexblade (a type of warlock who summons forth the power of devils, as well as having a huge blade formed of infernal energy), Heskan’s story begins with two young lovers meeting in the predominantly dragonborn-populated frontier village of Scalewood. Strangest thing, the lovers were a dragonborn female and a tiefling (half-human, half-devil created by ancient rituals) male. Normally, the union wouldn’t produce a child, but it just so happens that an as-of-yet-unnamed servant of Sehanine (Goddess of Love, Mischief, and the Moon) took notice of the couple, and did a little genetic engineering to solve that problem.
The bigger problem, which the servant of Sehanine forgot to solve, was the fact that the people of Scalewood had a lingering prejudice against tieflings due to the ancient war between the dragonborn nation of Arkhosia and the tiefling nation of Bael Turath. And so, when little Heskan was hatched and the two lovers’ secrets found out, they were faced with an angry mob sent to kill the two lovers and their child. The father stood behind and distracted the mob while the mother escaped with her child (unknowingly aided by the servant of Sehanine), never to see her love again.
Heskan, in the arms of his mother, soon found their way to a group of dwarven druids called the Avalanche Callers, who had long read omens that stated the importance of a child spawned of Dragon and Devil in the fate of future events. As such, it was their unanimous decision to protect the mother and her child, believing Heskan to be that child. As Heskan grew, so did the infernal influence in his blood, manifesting itself in the form of devilish powers and a blade that Heskan could summon at will. Now that Heskan is all grown up, it is time for him to go on his first adventure, to help found and protect a new settlement being formed in the nearby woods.
If you hadn’t said that he’s a teleporter, I’d have a hard time telling what’s going on in the picture. A whole bunch of confetti is just not as effective as some kind of portal effect, if you know what I mean. Still, that’s part of the character design, so any way that works is fine.
I’m also not 100% on the head-for-leg here. Sure, SDR is really making those heads work in his poses, but they need the lower part of the leg to make the image complete. Right now, it looks more like a big black leg is covering up his leg. I have obviously not explored any possibilities here, I’m just saying it might not be the best option.
The rest of the character is very well done, placement of eyes and ears is very precise, and he looks quite determined.
The image has a really fitting name, and is fairly suggestive even while providing only a moment. I don’t think you need any changes to the pose or setting, they work very well.
I’d ask you to consider using dark grey instead of pure black for the dress. I personally think a lot of nuance is lost by using pure black and hiding the linework. For example, the area where her sleeve meets the dress lacks any kind of contour.
It also looks a bit weird with that long sleeve. There’s nothing you need to hide on the hand, you can afford to show all of it. If you want the long sleeve, that’s fine of course!
Vampyrist(91): I think it’s a good idea to tweak my poses a little here and there to be sure it’s working – sometimes I’m just making them to see if it’s possible to do them, but I’m not worrying too much about getting everything to work just right. So, you might consider slimming the right thigh and knee (for instance) if you think it will look better with your figure. I think the left lat could probably be smaller here as well.
I think it’s important to not lose the right foot on that pose – it helps sell the idea that you’re looking at a foreshortened knee and thigh, not just two cobbled together head images.
I’m having a hard time judging where the figure is relative to his environment. Is he floating above the ground or bursting from it? Putting a shadow below the figure might help with that.
Putting a second head (all in black but with nearly transparent colours) under the figure’s head and shifted onto the body, can give you a nice shadow under the chin. If need be, mask it to the chest to make it fit.
If he’s wearing spandex, which I assume he is, the effect is sold better if you use darker colours for Color 2 and lighter colours (as highlights) for Color 1. So, for the Chest, Arm, and Head, I’d look into adjusting the shades of blue chosen.
Jadebrain (97): I think he looks pretty darn good. The dragon head works on the body a lot better than I thought it would, particularly with your clever use of that cloak.
The only part for me that needs a bit of attention is where the two weapons meet, near the belt line. It all gets a bit jammed up in there. Oh, and I’m not totally sold on the green used in the shoulder pad, it seems incongruous with the rest of the color choices.
Yeah, that’s a DnD character all right! Looks ready to take on all kinds of nasties. As I’ve said before, in this very thread, RPG characters naturally end up as with all kinds of clothing and accessories, but it’s not strictly necessary to depict them as such.
What I’m getting at is the number of colors you’re using. I’m counting red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, brown and grey, that’s eight. Remember that you only need five colors to paint a (two dimensional) map! I would like to suggest you make the shoulder cloth blue like the cape, and make the shoulderpad brown/grey like the chestplate. It might make the character more uniform and less pastel.
I adjusted the images per your suggestions, now it looks more like he’s coming out of a portal.
Im not great at painting and I only had an hour to get everything together but i like it, the chest should be all black and his arms are too small, but here’
ajw (103): Very nice! I’m not much of a painter either, but I think this has a lot of personality and style.
Vampyrist (102): I do think that looks better. But I thinki it would probably look even better if instead of a foot tucked behind the guy, you had the entirety of the lower leg / shin, disappearing into the portal. So the knee would be where it is now, but you’d have the lower leg face-on going from there into the portal, fading out like the other one does.
Been a while since I showed mah face lol…
Here’s something I made to help concept artists on my game. She’s a barmaid by day, leader of a criminal gang at night. She’s also one of my fictional races… the name of which I am legally bound to withhold. Anyway here, have at it laddies.
vampyrist, no, sorry I wasn’t clear — the character’s left leg was fine the way it was. I was suggesting that you take away the foot on the character’s right leg, and replace it with a shin going down from the current knee into the portal, disappearing into it.
Zforce (106): Welcome back! We’ve seen this bar-maid before, haven’t we, with a different style head on her? Regardless, this is a really nice image. Love the red sash with the rose embroidered on it, that’s cool. She looks a little She-Hulk-ish, but I suppose with an attractive green woman that’s always likely.
My only suggestion would be to maybe make the line color of the skirt a dark brown instead of black to further clench the “burlap” look.
Alright, I think that new portal looks really good, it gives the impression that he rushes out into reality, pulling with him random surges of energy from who-knows-where.
The changed arm suggests a bit more determination, I like it.
I realize this is highly stylized and a portrait, but if you’d ever want to expand it into a full figure picture, his head a bit too big compared to the chest. Chin to groin is about three heads, which is quite a bit in his case!
The shading on his head is also really aggressive, compared to the shading on his torso, which is quite careful.
Otherwise I’d say the concept is solid, colors look really good. And you made this in an hour? It would’ve taken me a week.
Is that… is that a planet as the beer tray? Nice!
Anyway, you say she’s a waitress and gang leader? I’m not sure either of those explain the scrolls in her belt, those are more something you’d expect from a scholar.
The transition from fur to skin works on her hands, but not quite as well on her feet. I’d try making the fur on her feet the same colors as her legs, and then making it wider to match the legs.
I’m particularly liking her head here. You can sort of tell that she’s more than a waitress, but hiding it.
UGO Forums are back up!
SeanDavidRoss (64): Love it. The shading works great. I’m not totally sold on the character’s right leg as the calf gets a bit lumpy — would masking a black & gray square onto it work?
Anyway, nice job. I actually saw this last night, I think, while poking around and almost commented on it then.
Jeff(50) – Yeah, the shield really helped out in this one.
Panner(54) – A shadow is an excellent suggestion. I was having trouble seeing him as being mid-air also.
The “thing” on his back is the coupling his shield connects to when he is not holding it in his hand and i see what you mean about it looking like a hole. I’ll mess around with the placement to see if i can get it to look better.
As for a weapon in the other hand, he already has one. It’s his ring. I usually have some sort of energy effect around it but left it out as I was focusing more on the pose. I guess I can add it in now along with adding a shadow and adjusting the shield coupling to finish off the image.
As always thanks for the help.
Jeff(111): To be clear, are you referring to the figure’s right leg (the straight one) or the right leg from the perspective of the viewer (the bent one)?
You know, I suspected that the ring was more important than it let on. If you decide to add some sort off effect to it, it doesn’t need to be very large and flashy, the ring is quite obvious even without any effect. Just a little shine or glow should do it!
I always try to differentiate between “The figure’s right” (meaning what the person shown would consider his or her or its right) and “the viewer’s right” (meaning the right side as seen by someone looking at the image).
In this case I am talking about the figure’s right leg, on the viewer’s left, the one that currently is just a truncated thigh and knee with the foot peeking out from behind it. NOT the figure’s left leg (to the viewer’s right), which is straight. The straight one’s fine the way it was before the last change.
Jeff(115): Sorry. I’m confused. The image I’m seeking critique on is this one:
The figure’s right leg (in that image) is straight and non-truncated. The left leg is a foreshortened thigh with the shin and thigh in the foreground. Both feet are fully revealed, not peeking out.
I think you’re critiquing one of my other poses. If you link to it, I’ll see if I want to revisit that one or not.
er. “shin and calf in the foreground” not “shin and thigh”… sigh…
SDR (117): Not just confusion but confusion on multiple levels — sorry, the last paragraph of my comment 115 was directed at Vampyrist’s “Houdini”. My apologies on that.
However, there was another error on my part apparently, as the character you posted in 64 looks different than the one I now see by going to the link in your comment 116 — the original one I saw didn’t have a mask and his calf was lumpy. In the 116 version, he has a mask and the figure’s right calf has a boot masked to it.
I don’t know what the heck happened there, sorry.
Anyway, I like the 116 version very much, he looks awesome.
OK folks, time to shut this one down. Many thanks to all the commenters and posters!
OK SO I KNOW YOU SAID YOUR SHUTTING THIS ONE DOWN BUT IS IT TOO LATE TO TAKE ONE MORE LOOK AT MINE. I REMADE HIM A LITTLE WITH SOME OF YOURS AND OTHERS SUGGESTIONS IN MY OWN WAY AND WANTED TO SEE IF IT CAME OUT BETTER OR WORSE. WASN’T ABLE TO GET BACK TILL NOW, I WORK NIGHTS AND HAD TO SLEEP ALL DAY.
@Tool (120) I think he looks great. I went back to check the old version but it was gone, so I can’t tell you if it has gotten better. Needless to say the current version is very nice.
THANKS. YEAH I HAD UPDATED MY PHOTOBOOK AND DELETED THE OTHER ONE, I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT MESSING UP THE LINK HERE SORRY.
Ok, sorry. I had no time at all to post yesterday. So here is one of my villains. He is, quite literally, an immortal soul. He is an adept user of magic and can jump his soul from body to body, reconfiguring it in a matter of minutes to how his body originally looked. He has gone by many names, but is too old to recall his given name. He now goes by MacGuffin. His civilian name is Gus Trainer. he is the sworn enemy of Jyn.
She was meant to be rather generic on the surface but i havent really shown a character like this before. I will do that line colour thing… I usually dont like to mess with it but i’ll give it a shot. As for the fur its a pain in the ass because there is no female alternate section I have to make and mask multiple layers and by the time i get to the feet i just use the male alternate full body that has feet. colour 1 on that blurs into the fur and i just dont feel like editing any more lol. Oh and the scroll could be anything… covert message… unknown magical artifact… marked building blueprints… liquor menu? lol
side note… a clear all patterns button would be nice.
I think he either needs some more personal stuff, a different pose, or a background. His armbands and shoulders are too colourful, either change them to be duller, or get rid of them altogether. I also think you should change the alpha of the grey in his hair and beard down, or else it looks just so blunt, not mixed. One last thing; that can’t be his mouth. Right now he looks like an outgoing guy, not an immortal villain.