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.
(Image from this very funny Wired article on defending yourself from criticism.)
Hey ho, another open critique day to go! Did I say that? Strong coffee this morning. Anywho, here is my pic for all to critique (and don’t be shy). I have been trying to experiment with some different poses on the forums and really push the program. In this image, I really wanted to capture the energy of the character running at top speed and didn’t want to settle for a side view. Let me know what you guys think. Cheers!
p.s. WOW!! Are the forums ever quiet.
ah just the day i’ve been waiting for.
here is an image i created to cheer a friend up, despite the fact she has yet to see it.
it was inspired by this song
in particular one line ….. “Teach you how to Zombie”
Here’s the image
ams (1): The hands and the face are great. I love how you were able to make both look rotated as if they’re coming at the viewer.
Overall it’s a really good try at the pose, although it still looks a little off. I think maybe the extended leg is too long, maybe? Or that the lower abdomen is missing rather than just being hidden by the chest.
That’s a hard pose to pull off even when drawing by hand, so I’m impressed with the result you were able to get.
This NOT Flash!!))
BloodlessRose (2): Very funny! It’s a good illustration, getting the idea across in a fun and interesting way.
I do think maybe it could be cropped closer — there seems to be an awful lot of environment space above the zombies, overpowering them a bit.
So my kicking pose with a little coloring work.
I can’t do background because i haven’t got any idea.
Rozenstal (4): Hey, it’s Flash! Just kidding.
I like the character designs and the color schemes. The bright red versus the darker blues and blacks reinforces the idea of opposition. The poses are nice, too.
I feel like more could be done with the lightning effects on the red figure. The basic bolt insignia ends up looking like a floppy sword or something rather than actual energy. And having both figures staring straight out at the figure also breaks the illusion that this is an active conflict. I realize the program doesn’t make sideways views easy (or even possible), but it really detracts from the effect you’re going for here.
But, good job on the poses and the coloring, and I like the concept.
this is some charcoal attempts
Okay, since I’m still awake, I guess I’ll contribute now as opposed to later.
I’m trying to update my hero/villain gallery on the UGO forums, with a lot of upgrading characters from HM2 to HM3. This one is Stillbirth (quite probably the most distasteful name I’ve ever come up with for a character). The pose was taken from a custom pose Kaldath posted.
Not showing the original HM2 version. Frankly, it’s pretty bad. Still, wondering if the new HM3 version holds up.
ams (1): Ah yes, another one of your national heroes. I must say I like this one a lot, it’s very dynamic, has great colors and a face very rich in character.
Your choice of pose here is very ambitious, and I think it works well for the most part. The problem is his lack of stomach. You’ve done great work with the shading to imply depth, but it’s not quite there. With the current perspective, his torso just looks really squished.
Another thing I’d like to point out is his left (my right) shoulder. The shoulderpad is covered by the arm, and it just doesn’t look right. I suggest adding another shoulder pad, heavily rotated and masked to the arm so that it covers the tip of the lightning on the arm, that’d also help out the symmery a bit.
BloodlessRose (2): They say inspiration can come from anywhere, and I guess this is the proof!
Really clever use of the energy effects here, I like that a lot. The concept is neat, and the zombies are really well made, and look complete. The only possible exception would be the leg on the male zombie, it sort of disappears, which looks odd.
I’d like you to take a second look at the background. It’s a bit overpowering with those thick lines and high-contrast colors. And speaking of colors, consider making the jacket on the male zombie a little brighter. That dark grey doesn’t play nice with the black line color, it becomes a black blob.
Rozenstal (4): Hehe, sure, not Flash at all!
Nice action picture you have here, I like the poses, the insigia, and the lightning blades – those are really neat. The obvious color schemes are classic and timeless.
The first thing I find weird about this picture is that the characters aren’t looking at each other. I know it’s a lot of work to pull off, but this picture really wants it.
Other than that, most everything looks good. I’d try changing the red one’s right leg (my left) around a bit to make it connect better to the hip, but it might not be possible.
Lastly, you might want to try the ‘PNG – transparent’ export option, that would get rid of the white outline on that hand.
Jeff (7), this not active conflict. His friends, heroes from command.
Tarkabarka (6): I applaud your willingness to think outside the box (ahem), and parts of this are really nice. The coloring is great, and the pose is surprisingly effective.
I’m not personally a big fan of the crotch-shot upskirt kinds of images, but putting that aside, for me the biggest problem is her face. The head looks like it’s in 3/4 view, but the face is not placed properly. The mouth is too low and too centered, and the nose should be further over to our left.
Tarkabarka (6): Oh man, that must have taken a ton of work. So many gradients. So many items. The resulting colors look really good, very natural, and the pose is convincing.
What I think you need to focus on is the head and face. You’ve chosen to rotate the hair, but not the elements of the face, which comes across as a bit jarring. Also, the mouth says anger, but the eyes don’t agree. Try making the eyes more narrow and play around with the size and rotation of the eyebrows, you might find a sweet spot.
zarae (9): Nice one! I suspect you’ve studied a lot of photos for this picture, because it’s extremely realistic – it looks like something you could find in an old school biology book. Your work on the head here is pretty much flawless, and you’ve got a subtle continuation to the body, it all works out in your favor.
However, roosters are very colorful creatures, and I don’t think you’ve exploited that to its fullest potential here. The comb looks very distinct and realistic, but the wattles are usually just as bright red as the comb, and here they pretty much blend in with the feathers.
I don’t know if this is for you, but some artists swear by the golden ratio, and you could place the rooster’s eye right in the spot with just a simple recropping and perhaps drawing just a little more of the body. Might want to consider it!
Myro (10): Tell me, what ever is that item you’ve used on the shoulders? I can’t say I’ve ever seen it before in my life.
Anyway, I really like the colors I see here. You’ve pretty much only used four colors (with some extra shades), and the contrast is very strong. That goes to show that you don’t need thousands of colors to make a good picture.
The problem here can be found at the right side – the moon. It steals a ton of focus from the character, and it simply doesn’t add enough to make up for it. It waters down the red color, it blocks out a large chunk of the ominous sky and it disrupts the symmetry something fierce. I suggest removing it entirely, or alternatively making it a lot less noticable.
Good: The lighting, color, and basic costuming are spot-on, really nice. I like the bleak, forbidding background, too.
Needs Work: The skeleton columns are a nice idea, but they seem too flimsy to actually support weight. Maybe if instead of the arms being over their heads, the columns were resting on their shoulders with the arms bent to support them?
Also, the tube from his mask that goes over his shoulder doesn’t connect to anything. Minor, but distracting.
Good stuff! It looks like what it is supposed to look like and overall the line work is good. I think the best area is in the comb, where you’ve got really good variation from the dark shadows, to leaving the paper plain to serve as the highlight, and then the outline of the comb itself. That’s very effective. I think the rest of it would benefit from some of the same sort of tonal variation, with darker shaded areas to make it all pop more. The nice thing about charcoal (or graphite or conte crayon for that matter) is that you can get variations in gray tones, unlike with ink. I’d definitely pursue that advantage more, rather than keeping all your strokes the same intensity.
Good job, though, thanks again for sharing your hand-drawn art!
thanks for the the advice Jeff (5) and Panner (11)
i took it to mind and had a little play and heres what i came up with.
not huge changes or improvements but i think i got it alittle better 🙂
I did this some time back. My first try using my bamboo. Any guesses who it is.
Maddoctor (8): Nice use of the new mask here! Look like it really was made for characters like this one.
The background you have here is just excellent – very creepy, with just the right amount of items, and with good perspective to the main character.
I think you can do more with the character, though. You say he’s an ubersoldier, but I don’t think your picture quite manages to say that. Sure, the mask is great, but the rest of him looks like any run of the mill nazi. I think you can afford to give him a few more describing items, like bulging veins/muscles, huge weapons, military decorations or something. Anything to sell the concept.
BloodlessRose (17): I like it! That added foot makes a lot of difference, and I like the green jacket. If I may, though, could you make the text just a little bigger so that the ‘Teach you how’ line overlaps the zombies a bit more? Right now it looks like that part is written on the wall.
Good: I like the overall concept and costume choices. The sky background is well put together and effective. Setting the maroons and reds against the blacks and grays there works great.
Needs Work: The brick building facade is the weakest area, for me anyway, partly because it’s up against that great sky background, and partly because it’s so flat, color wise. The eye just slides right down it and out of the picture. I’d try adding some gradient to it, or maybe the dirt pattern, and even trying a darker red tone.
I’m also not sure the yellow in the hair and the boots helps. They’re the only such colors in the composition and so draw the eye. That could be good if they framed and enhanced the areas you want to draw attention to, but as it stands they almost tend to keep you away from the central part of the figure.
I think color composition in this one is the most important bit; if you’re going to have this super pale figure against a largely dark environment, that can be super effective at making her pop. But in that case, everything else has to be in a darker tone, too. The yellows I mentioned, and the reds in her face, could probably all come down a couple of steps in brightness, and it would make for a more effective impact.
The only other bit that I found a bit distracting was her kneepcaps. They’re awfully pointy.
That aside, it’s a neat idea well done, that could just use some improvement in terms of color design.
I tried to keep this one simple as time was limited in making it. The pose took a lot of work though to look somewhat natural.
Rozenstal (12): Ah. Definitely did not get that from the illustration at all, it looks like they’re fighting, to me.
Thanks for the critique, guys. It was a hard pose to translate on to the program and maybe I’ll revisit it withan update using your points.
@Rozenstal – Like what you did with the poses. Nice combination of the 2. I agree with Panner about the leg on the red character. You need to stream line it with the back of the character by rotating it clockwise a couple of degrees. I checked the original pose and it was more in line with the body. Maybe when you reversed the pose it got moved. Good job!
Bloodless Rose (17): Definitely better, the composition is much stronger. The focus now is on the figures and the concept, where it should be. Well done!
Jeff (20): Fair enough. Although, in regards to the kneecaps, that was actually part of Kaldath’s pose. I’ll see what I can do about rounding those off. The colors should be an easy fix.
Panner (14): Neckwear: Standard. 4th page, second row, second column.
@Rozenstal (4) You might want to think about changing the color scheme on the lightning character. I know it’s hard sometimes to find a good combanation of colors, but when you are making a character who has lightning powers, you want to try to avoid using the exact colors of a well known character like the Flash, who’s know for lightning designs on his costume. Even with your disclaimer, the first thing everyone is going to see is The Flash. You’re instantly taking away from your character.
Hammerknight (18): GAH! No one should ever be subjected to that face unless forced!
More seriously, nice job, bud 🙂 At some point, you should definitely start playing around with the pressure sensitivity settings, so you get lines that vary in weight as you draw — from thick to thin and back, looking like they were drawn with a brush instead of a single-width pen. But that will come with time.
Hammerknight (18): LOL! I was wondering how Jeff would critique his own face. And now I know. Well done.
MMI (21): Nice to see you again, sir!
Good: The color scheme and character design are great. Lots of personality bursting through, which to me is one of the hardest things to do in any illustration. The bows are well thought-out and work great.
Needs work: The figure’s right hand (twirling the hair) doesn’t quite work … I think maybe it’s just a smidgeon too small.
The mask is bugging me a little, too, in that it doesn’t seem to wrap around her head. It needs to go to the edge of the face somewhere, either wrapped behind the ears or over them.
Finally, I’d rotate the sword a bit so the hilt (are they still called hilts on katanas?) doesn’t align with the line of her hip. That creates a bit of visual confusion. Just rotating it a bit so the one overlaps the other more would help.
Good job, it’s a fun concept and nice illustration!
ams (23), I did not change your poses, I have simply imposed on them an armour and suits.
Dan (26), The matter is that I have thought up it for a long time when I yet did not know about Flesha. And to change it already it would not be desirable, I and so has made colours more darkly. At it even a name similar)
@ MM&I (21)- I like the pose you built and had some critiques, but couldn’t put into words. So here is what I would have done.http://forums.ugo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=79088&d=1310742862
Slight changes in the postioning of the legs and hands. Remember when putting and Item into a subjects hands adds WEIGHT. The pic I built trys to counter ballance the sword’s weight making her lean more on her left legand leaning the torso forward. This also aligns the sword more with the arm making the wrist bend more. Hope this helps. Cheers!
Hammerknight (18): Bamboo, eh? I would never have guessed.
I think your picture does a very good work as a portrait – facial features are distinct and you’ve skipped all the unnecessary lines.
The first thing I noticed was the moustache, how it’s covered by the upper lip, instead of the other way around. Given the jagged lines you’ve chosen for the rest of the facial hair, this looks a bit off.
I’m also not entirely convinced by his ears, a line separates his earlobes from the area with the ear canal, which is not how real ears work (well, ears can look a lot of different ways, I guess). Just removing a portion of that line should take care of that!
MMI (21): I gotta say, choosing a unique color for the hair is something I’m personally extremely fond of, I think it does a fantastic job of giving the character flare and drawing the viewer’s eyes to the face. I also think you’ve done a great job with the ribbons here, nice touch.
I have to say though, the picture doesn’t say cheerleader to me. For a cheerleader, I expect pompoms, team logos and gym shoes. I don’t think this is a problem with the picture though, but rather with the title.
Other than that, I’d suggest a tiny repositioning of the sword. Its handle meets her hip quite awkwardly.
Lastly, I’m not sure about the pattern on the mask, it might look better as plain white.
Myro (25): Well, look at that. Makes sense. Thanks!
@Rozenstal(30) I totally understand that. It’s hard, but the problem with that is that all people will see is Flash, and you’re doing yourself a disservice because he looks like an interesting character. Even if his powers are completely diffrent, which they appear to be, people will just think you’re ripping off Flash. Even just darkining those colors still invoke Flash. The great thing about heromachine is that you saved the character, so you can play around with the colors to find ones that work.
@ Rozenstal (30). Sorry. Maybe with it reversed, it looks differnt. My mistake. Back to the drawing board.
I need a second opinion on this color scheme:
Normally I stay away from pure white since it tends to blur into the background (since I suck too much at backgrounds to make a real one) but the red white and blue combo seemed appropriate for a Captain America expy.
Looking back though, I’m not sure it was a good idea.
The background in this image was largely the basis for the Lady of Winter image that I submitted to the Capricorn contest, so there are some similarities there, but also some noticeable rough spots. The tip of the cliff, for one. I feel like, in retrospect, the horse was an awkward and unnecessary addition, but there it is. The pose is basic, but it was the character design that was really central in this one.
@Doornik, I think it works, if you’re going for an all american type character.
Iago Valentine (36)
I like the design, even the horse. The helmet under the arm was also a nice touch. That’s a pose I’ve struggled with in the past.
However, the physical proportions seem slightly askew. The head is too large (though that might be the head shape), the torso is too thin, and the legs feel a little too long.
Here is a character who I’d like to hear any critiques of, if possible. I personally liked the way he came out, but if anything can be improved, I would like the chance to improve him.
He’s Judiah Grimm, a black mage and current scourge to all magic users on Earth.
Very spooky. I like it.
My only quibble is it’s a little too black. If I were you I would lighten up the secondary color just a tad so the character has more definition.
Dan (33), maiby, this?
I like the fundamental color scheme, definitely. And not just that it’s red white and blue, but the way you’ve arranged the pieces.
However, I think using pure white as the highlight on the colored metal parts isn’t working as well as it could. Partly it confuses the actual white parts of the uniform, and partly it disrupts the color scheme by interrupting the yellow and blue areas. I think using a very very light tint of the existing colors would probably work better, maintaining the integrity of the overall color design.
The other area that gives me pause is his mask. After studying it, I think he has a ninja-style face mask with eye holes cut out, but on the first couple of looks it seems like it was supposed to be his face and just isn’t finished. I think you need to have some kind of shadowing going on there where the nose or cheeks would go, so it’s obvious this isn’t a face plate or whatnot.
Neat looking dude, though.
Iago Valentine (36): I think it’s a great setting! I like the character as well, particularly the helmet tucked under her arm.
Focusing on the setting, I think the sky is great. I love it — the gradient, the clouds, all of it works together to make a very pleasing and convincing backdrop.
I like the landscape as well, though I’d like to see the line art maybe go to a dark dark green rather than black, something to make it “hazier” as would befit something that far off.
Roaenstal (41) yeah, that’s definitely better. The little added details on the yellow areas, especially to the boots and gloves helps to make it stand out better and look more original.
Doornik1142 (35): Oh come on, the color scheme is a classic! I agree that white can be problematic, but I think it works perfectly here.
Other than that, I’m not too keen on the boots you use here. There’s this sweet metallic sheen on his torso, arms and legs, and that makes me expect it on the boots as well. I guess they just look a bit out of place.
Also, try switching color 1 and 2 on the belt items. Most other items have white in the center and red edges.
Iago Valentine (36): Excellent background in your picture here, I especially like the sky. The color choice on the gradient is very nice. Other than that, the loincloth here is fantastic, very nice work on that!
I think you’re right that the horse is unnecessary. Well, most of it works, but hiding its hooves like that creates some unneeded perspective and is probably just confusing. Might work to just put it at the edge of the picture if you really want it.
The character herself looks great, nice colors and pose. That grey piece of clothing at her waist looks a bit out of place though, it doesn’t have any shading, unlike the rest of her clothes, and the color is kind of random.
Vampyrist (39): Oh wow, that’s twelve kinds of crazy! The number of gradients here is just insane. I agree that it came out well, he’s really grim and ghastly, exactly what I expect from the description.
The only thing that puzzled me a bit is your choice of putting his right (my left) hand behind his leg. That was a bit surprising, and it didn’t click right away.
Also, the belt stands out a bit since all other items have so much work on them, but the belt is unmodified.
Vampyrist (39): Awesome! Love the pose, the colors, the highlighting, the simple item selection, all of it. Great job!
I do think the pose could use some minor tweaking. I’d tilt the belt so it slants from higher on the character’s right hip (the viewer’s left side) down to lower on the character’s left hip, to give more heft to the contrapposto pose.
I’d also be curious to see it with his head straight instead of tilted.
That’s all minor stuff, though, it’s a really good illustration.
Do you mean using a darker shade of white or replacing the white with a darker red?
I mean, keep the actual white parts of the costume white, but replace the white “highlights” with either a darker version of the base red/blue, or a very very light version of the red/blue. Definitely not a gray, though.
Getting so close now! Eleventh in my croquet pin-up calendar, I present Miss November.
Rosco (49): Beautiful! She might be my favorite so far, the picture is really well done. I think what stands out the most to me is the earrings, that’s a very nice choice. I also like the increasing transparency of the skirts, and that their colors match the colors of the bracelets.
I’m a bit confused by choice of month though. Is November an autumn month where you live? Because I’d expect snowflakes and icicles for miss November.
Also, I’d suggest you try flipping around the head of the mallet. I think the perspective would work better if you rotate it 180 degrees.
group shot of my team The Negatives
This is my redo of a Golden Age character called “The Black Diamond”. The original was a masked cowboy hero of the old west. In the Danniverse the Black Diamond is Langston Carver, a scientist experimenting with a black diamond which came to Earth in a meteor. The black diamond, which is harder than titanium and contains tremendous energy, could possibly be synthesized and used as a new energy source. When terrorists (hired by a ultra rich fossile fuel conglomerate) try to sabotage his experiments, Carver decides to bring the guilty parties to justice. He uses a molecular bonding technique to bond black diamond molecules to a costume. Carver also uses shards of the black diamond to power the costumes wrist powerblasters.
Thanks, Panner! I’m glad you appreciated th’earrings, which were a lot of work.
I definitely associate November with Autumn, having grown up in Central NJ, altho many of the places I’ve lived synce then have been close the Canadian border and thus been all done with leaves by November. Anyway, where I am now for November has avg. hi 55 avg. lo 37, so pretty Autumnal still. Definitely no snow, and besides, October was taken with Halloween, so I had to do an Autumn one.
Miss January was my Snow Queen, complete with snow flakes.
As for the mallet head, if it were upside down, it’dn’t be connected to the mallet shaft.
OK, I’ve made a few changes.
I changed her right hand size and position and also masked some hair over her thumb. Thank you Jeff and Panner for the feedback.
I lowered her Katana to change the angle in comparison to her hip and also adjust her center of balance towards the center (Thank you AMS for bringing that to my attention). The Katana is a light blade but still has some weight.
I also adjusted the mask to be closer to the edges of her head.
Lastly I also adjusted the line colors so there are far fewer black outlines. Rather they are mostly darker shades of the color they are outlining.
Taking in all of your suggestions, here’s Grimm with a straight face.
Oh, and I removed the pattern from the mask as well, good idea Panner. I himmed and hawed about that one myself before.
Hell Satan? Drunk buisnessman with horns? Interstellar alien with goatee? You name it
Rosco (49): Good one! Love the outfit, it’s rockin’. The gauzy bottom of the dress is perfect, and the boots are cool. Can’t think of too much to do to this one, it’s spot-on.
ajw (51): Awesome! That’s a fantastic group shot, with a whole bunch of distinct and colorful characters. It’s a bit hard to comment on, though, since the resolution is so small. Do you have a bigger version?
Danny Beaty (52): I like your use of colors a lot, black and yellow make for a great combo, and the red background complements it all.
The design works well for a superhero costume, but I think there’s opportunity to add a little more accessories. There’s just not a lot of items here, y’know.
You could also make the diamond insignia a little more elaborate if you want, since it depicts the character’s entire concept. Some shine or sparkles or something could make it draw the eye a little more. However, I’m not sure that would have the desired effect, so use with caution!
Rosco (53): Yeah, that makes a lot of sense about October being occupied. Oh well, no problem.
And about the mallet alignment, I’m not so sure. I was thinking something like this:
http://i.imgur.com/K5Ucr.png (Not this one Jeff)
It’s up to you, of course, it’s just an idea.
Rosco (49) Of all of your Pin Up’s I like this one the best. The bracelets and earings are cool.
ajw (51): Nice looking group! The image is a bit fuzzy so some of the details are hard to make out but I like what I see.
On a technical note, you might want to export your individual character images as PNGs with transparent backgrounds, hopefully that will get rid of the slight white outline around some of them when you pull them into the composite image.
The only suggestion I might have is to make the center logo on the doors a bit lighter, since it sort of interferes with those figures in front of it.
Good job, though!
Danny Beaty (52): Well done! It’s a nice, simple design that’s well-executed and therefore, quite effective. Nothing to really suggest in terms of improvements, I think it’s really good as-is.
MMI (54): Much better, good job!
Vampyrist (55): I like that a lot better, hopefully you do as well. They were subtle changes but I think they made a big difference.
MMI (54): Yeah, I like that better! I mean, the changes are really tiny, but I think it’s in the right direction. However, I think her belt broke in the transition. Accidental move of a masked background?
Malfar (57): Hmm, I’m gonna say that’s the devil. Yeah, the legs tell it all.
The color scheme here is classic and fits very well, and I really like the face you’ve gone with. The different colored eyes is a nice touch, and the moustache looks quite diabolical.
What I don’t like is the hands. They need some attention since right now they appear to grow out of the sleeves of the trenchcoat. It shouldn’t be that hard to fix, but it might take some time.
I’m also not sure about the background. It looks really aggressive and might overpower the character, who is suave and discreet. Again, I’m not sure.
Gonna throw this one out there. Any comments on the highlighting would be appreciated, it’s the first time I’ve tried it.
Malfar (57): Excellent! Great use of color to frame and enhance the character design. I like his expression a lot, especially the eyes. Very sinister!
Kaylin88100 (66): Nice! I like the fundamental character design a lot. Cool items and color scheme. The facial tattoo is particularly neat.
For me, the highlighting is good but puzzling. The moon has to be (and is!) super bright to get that level of highlighting coming off the metal. Like, way brighter than it ever could actually be. All the highlights say “daytime” to me but it’s obviously night.
That might just be me, though, I’ll be curious what the others think.
That aside, I love the character herself. Very cool.
Kaylin88100 (66): I like it a lot! The picture sells your concept perfectly, and the simple background supports it well.
You wondered about highlights, and I like them. Actually, I like the one on the moon the most, since it’s the most noticable, but the ones on armor and weapon sure add a bit of depth to the character.
As for everything else, I think she’s wearing a little much on her legs! I mean, look, she has some thigh guards, scale mail, some leather armor, a roman war skirt (or whatever it’s called), a cloth skirt, legplates and presumably pants. That’s quite a bit more than enough.
I’m also not too fond of her hair. It’s very dark and covers a small part of the head, making it blend in a bit with the dark background. It’s not a big deal, just something I noticed.
Panner (65) I think it was just an export issue. I exported it again and it seems fine now.
thank yall very much. been trying to practice with charcoal pencils.
I better not mention how well you’re keeping up…
Kyla, a mercenary.
Here’s one I finished last night. Just wondering how all the poses work and how they work together. Also wondering if the characters are a little to plain or if you guys think they look ok. Any other critiques welcome also. of course.
I’ve been working on this one on and off for a bit, but something doesn’t seem quiet right to me. But I still like it.
Oops, it’s supposed to say, “Want to hold hands?”, but it was cut off.
Captain Kicktar (72): Heh, yeah, I figure you’ll just jinx it if you ask!
Nice mercenary you have here, I especially like the scar in the face, it looks really good, and gives the character a lot of, well, character! I also think you’ve made interesting clothes choices here, that go really well together.
However, you don’t think you’re using a little too little color? Sure you make those black shades work, but I don’t think it would hurt with just a little color here and there. Maybe a little trinket or necklace or something from her past… Something that speaks of her personality. I don’t know, I’m just throwing out ideas here.
headlessgeneral (73): Hmm, too bland? Well, maybe if there was just one of them, but like this, I don’t think so. If you still want to add something, the first thing I’d add is some straps over the torso, or maybe more elaborate masks.
As for other details, well, I think you want to pay some attention to legs. The blue one’s right leg (my left) seems to have fallen off, and the left leg is covered by a part of the torso (Suggested solution – mask another thigh to a crescent). Additionally, the crotch area on the red one doesn’t look entirely right, should be easy to fix since the belt separates it.
Finally, one thing that looks REALLY off is the red one’s left foot. That one really needs to be moved, it aligns very badly with the blue one.
I have worked on a catcostume from the first catwoman the old batmanseries. So i have take it for a picture.
Panner (75): That’s actually a good idea, assuming I can work out her past a bit more than I have.
Here’s another of my SWTOR pcs that I’m sure could use some fixing:http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm156/Tuldabar/Heros/ImperialAgent.png. I had to use some creative masking to get some of the armor to work, and I think that part isn’t the issue. In case you’re wondering, I used a masked version of the astronaut helmet to make a mike/headset. Mainly, I know the arm isn’t technically able to bend like that, but everything is in place and I don’t know what’ll work better. And the backround could use some fixing too: It’s supposed to be the patio of a Hutt’s palace on Nal Hutta he just snuck onto. Help?
Fridays I am usually gone to game so I don’t get to participate here much for Critique, but Tonight is Full Moon so we have cancelled this Weekend game for Ritual since all 12 of us gamers are pagans. 🙂
Recently I got into full blown Hobbit mode.
And thought of what kind of “tough” jobs there might be for an adventuring Hobbit.
So I came up with several, An Acrobat with a Devil mask who calls himself Dust Devil,
A miner with a pick axe,
a Martial Artist (he was taken in by a monk monestary and raised),
A Blacksmith with a wicked hammer,
but the one I am submitting for critique and comments is
Cleaveland the Butcher.
Not an evil psudonym so much as a job description, he litterally is a Butcher, skilled in Cleavers and Knives and just where to take apart a body quickly. Monsters Beware!
BenK22 (74): Nice, that’s a cool effect on the hand! Colors are simple but effective, and your usage of that lightning insignia is neat.
Actually, about that lightning, I think it should probably be aimed at her navel, as that’s the center line of the body. It’s not a necessity, but I just expect that kind of costume to be mostly symmetrical.
I’m also not sure about her hair. Or rather, how it interacts with the background. The white background eats the white line color, which makes most of the hair disappear. If you give the background some color, the hair should fit better.
Kytana (76): Well, uhm, I’m not sure if you’re in copyright territory here, to be honest. I mean, I hardly think there’s going to be any trouble, but you never know with comic companies.
Well, those issues aside, I love this picture! Her outfit is classic, the necklace is creative, and the catwoman suit in the foreground is very subtle and very awesome.
This might be a record for smallest nitpick ever, but I believe the batlogo is layered on top of the window beams.
Other than that, I’d like to say a few words about the setting – it doesn’t exactly scream catwoman to me. Granted, I’m not very familiar with the source material, but I just can’t imagine catwoman liking those chairs. I can’t provide a good alternative, I’m just saying I think the background is the weakest link here.
Here is one of many concepts of a stealth suit like those in the splinter cell games
tell me what ya think
Panner (19) and Jeff (24)
again thanks for the comments and i have taken them to mind and again i have come back with the results here you go:
just out of interest did anyone watch the video i posted with this the first time? its a really good song lol
Captain Kicktar (72): I like the simple, clean lines of the figure. The costuming choices are all solid, and the spot color red works well.
For me, I think the main problem area is in the chest. By making the overcloak and the back of the cape the same colors, it sort of compresses the top part of the torso into the rear plane. Couple that with the flat nature of the cape, and where it hits the curve of the abdomen, and it looks like she is literally flat there — as in, on the same plane and absolutely board-thin as the cape back. Plus, it blends into the chain mail, which is a totally different texture and material.
Basically, I’d encourage you to choose a different cape front, and make sure it is separated from the coif. Something that’s got a bit of dimension to it, as it’s lying over her chest — even if she is an AA cup, still the curve of the rib cage would make what’s over it curve.
At that point you’ll be able to tell if her slump-shouldered-ness is an artifact of that part, or if the neck is too thick when joined with the shoulder pads, or what. Because she’s kind of hunchy at the moment, but that might just be an optical illusion kind of thing.
i was having a groovy 70s moment:
Tuldabar (78): You’re talking about the head set, but what caught my eye immediately when looking at the picture was that awesome grappling hook. Now that’s creative!
Let’s start with the background here. You say this is Jabba the Hutt’s palace, but doesn’t he live in a desert? It doesn’t really matter much, it was just a little puzzling. Most of the background works, but I’m not sure about the wall to the left. It doesn’t connect to anything, making it look like a piece of backdrop or something.
About the arm, then, I can definitely see what you’re going for. I think it’s possible to fix it up, but it might take some work. I suggest scouring the internet for reference pictures, or just taking a photo of a nearby model. Just keep trying all the different arms!
Cliff (79): Wow, that’s a nice background! Colorful and nice, and shows a very appropriate surrounding. I like the apron you’ve created, and the various blood effects don’t look too gory.
I must, though, raise some concern about proportions here, I don’t think they belong to a hobbit. I suggest making the feet bigger, the hands smaller, and the arms and legs shorter. If you want to further drive home the size of the character, you could add something for reference, like a dog or something. That’d help the viewer get the right idea.
Aaron (81): Nice concept, even nicer execution. He has some recognizable clothes, like the camo pants, with a couple of unknown gadgets, like the bracer, which makes for a good combo.
It’s really black though. Like, tilt-your-monitor-to-see-details black. It’s the point of the suit, sure, but the point of the picture is to show off the character, which doesn’t work perfectly when the details are hards to spot.
Tuldabar (78), you might want to change the blue for the skin to a lighter shade. As far as the arm goes, you might want to adjust the upper arm, bring it in a little bit, then rotate the forearm so it’s at more of an angle so it looks like the wrist is bent instead of being straight. As far as the background goes, I think Nal Hutta is supposed to be more citylike, so maybe change out the green, and add a city skyline.
headlessgeneral (73): I can’t get your image to come up … I’ll try again in a bit and if I can resolve it, I’ll comment. Sorry 🙁
BenK22 (74): Nifty! Love the hair, that’s a great effect. And the lightning-bolt cut-out is cool, too. I’d probably go lighter on the shadow color on her face, as it kind of looks like she needs a shave, but other than that I like the head in general quite a bit.
I think the lightning effect on the cupped hand is pretty good, but the other one, with the bolts coming out from it like streaks, doesn’t quite do it for me. They just don’t read as energy.
Other than that, though, I think it’s stellar, nice job!
Kytana (76): I can’t really comment on images that contain likely copyright violations. If you choose to violate the terms of service you agree to when opening the app, then that’s on you. But I put myself and UGO in an awkward position if we’re seen to encourage using the program in a fashion that might be construed as illegal.
Jeff (87): Been having problems getting stuff from the Ugo forum myself.
Tuldabar (78): OK, just to clarify, as in light of my last comment (89), this might be confusing. But the way my non-legal brain is interpreting this, I can comment on this image because while it’s set in the Star Wars universe, it’s not a copyrighted character, whereas Kytana’s Catwoman and Batman symbol clearly are. Hope that makes sense.
I really thought I had a microphone like that somewhere … I should add that into Ears or something. Nice job on getting in there, it looks good. I agree with Panner, too (thanks again for the great comments, Panner!), that the grappling hook is neat.
I like the outfit, too.
My biggest concern with the image overall is the color palette. There’s a lot going on, to the point where it almost hurts to look at it. Peach, bright blue, lots of orange/brown shades, greens, browns, turquoise … I really think you need to simplify the number and arrangement of colors here so the character is the main focus.
Hope that helps …
headlessgeneral (73): OK, it came up finally! Phew.
That’s a really neat concept! Lots of dynamism and action. I immediately liked it upon opening it, which is exactly what you want from an illustration.
The only figure I’m not totally sold on is the blue one, and I think it’s because she’s so much shinier than the others with the internal lines and contour highlighting. Maybe that’s what you wanted, but she does kind of stick out.
Otherwise, I think it’s great!
BloodlessRose (82): Yeah, that looks neat! You know, if you cropped it differently and added a bit more text, it would look a lot like a CD cover, probably for a single. Well, maybe I’m the only one to think that.
And I did watch the video, it was pretty cool!
PapaKrok (84): Haha, oh man, that’s one crazy picture. That energy orb thing is spectacular, there’s a whole slew of items in there. I like the strong color contrasts, the poses, the facial expressions… pretty much everything about this picture is great!
Except one thing – the pattern on the woman’s clothes. Having the same pattern on the costume and the belt makes it look like they’re one piece, which just makes no sense. I suggest changing the pattern on one of the pieces, or switching up the colors a bit.
Here’s my newest DnD character… Yes, I’m playing Jeff Andonuts, from Earthbound, in DnD. This picture is more of an outline of what the final picture will look like, which is why it’s not shaded at all. Is there anything that can be done to improve this picture as far as proportions or angles, etc. before I finish it? Note that Jeff is 13.
Cliff (79): I’m always up for a good Hobbit-ish ass-kicker!
Overall I like the character design, and the front part of the setting is good.
I’m not sure if the circle behind him is a door, or just a design element? Either way, I feel like the wood grain shouldn’t be the same across the outer rim as on the inner part. I’d also like to see it shrunk a bit so the top of the cleaver pokes out of the shape a bit, I think that will help establish the proper figure-ground relationship better.
The other thing that I thought needed some help was the feet. They’re really small compared to the rest of the body, whereas I always think of Hobbit feet as being larger in proportion than a human’s would be. But even if you just want them to be “normal” sized, they’re currently so tiny I can’t see how he’d run without toppling over.
Otherwise, nice job!
Oh, and you might want to export as a PNG instead of a JPG, especially with any image containing red. This one got a bit muddied on export, whereas I think with a PNG it would end up a lot sharper.
Aaron (81): It’s a good design, though frankly it’s so dark I have a bit of a hard time making out any details. I did wonder if maybe that nice blue could be worked into some of the seams or other small areas elsewhere, to help break up the gray and black a bit. I mean, I know it’s a stealth suit, so being dark and blendy is the concept, but still … it needs something to juice it up.
Still, a good design, I get what you were going for and it definitely gets the concept across.
PapaKrok (84): Ha, disco indeed! Love that energy effect in the foreground, very cool. The color design is also really good, simple enough to highlight the right areas without being bland.
Not too much to say in terms of changes, I think it’s pretty cool.
Jadebrain (94): Nice! You’ve done a great job on it so far, this should turn into a great illustration once done.
The only two bits I’d work on a bit would be the bowtie (it looks awfully stiff and ruffled compared to the very realistic folds in the rest of the clothing) and the hat (which comes across as a hard helmet rather than a soft cloth cap, assuming that’s what it is).
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/284510_10150241699437291_708352290_7551508_4738815_n.jpg obviously, this is a work in progress. it is supposed to be a more modern and twisted version of frankenstein’s monster. i know theres not much to go off of, so any ideas,etc no matter how little, are appreciated 🙂
@ Jeff: That’s actually his hair.
Jadebrain (94): Hmm, I think you’ve done your homework here, the proportions look good and the fabric folds nicely.
I think your shortening of his left (my right) shoulder is a little too aggressive. The perspective is almost centered, the shoulders should probably be about the same size.
I know it’s just a draft, but I think you need to give him a much softer jawline. Jeff isn’t exactly a big brawler, and his current jaw looks very tough.
demonhunter (99): I like this design a lot, you’ve got a great start here. All the patching is nicely done, and that little touch with the added fingers really made me smile.
If you want to focus on making it look modern, I’d definitely suggest cybernetic parts. Just a few, of course, not to overdo it. Maybe just an eye or a foot.
I know you want it twisted, but if you want to add a little comedy, I’d say animal parts. A hoof instead of a foot (or hand), an elephant trunk or whatever you want.
This is probably hard to pull off, but if you could give him a baby’s head and make it work, that’d be most twisted and evil. People always react strongly when small children are hurt, quite understandably.
hes the “batman” of a team of heroes im making
demonhunter (99): Looks good so far! I dig the extra fingers on that one hand, that’s a nice “touch” (ahem). I keep thinking he should be more … I dunno, asymmetrical, maybe? Like with a hunchback, or mismatched arms, or something.
But he’s cool as-is, so I look forward to seeing what you do as you progress!
merkwithamouth2 (102): Man, everyone really likes black! Sure it’s the coolest color, sure it goes with everything, but the other colors don’t bite, y’know?
Anyway, I like what you’ve done with it. Only seeing the linework and eyes like that is cool and sinister, and it also helps to sell the character concept.
You say he’s the ‘Batman’ of the team, so let’s start there. In at least some continuities, Batman’s costume was designed to be intimidating and inhuman, to make sure that he was received as larger than life. I think your character isn’t quite there yet.
He sure is intimidating, with those red glowing eyes, but you can still clearly see he’s just a man. If it was me, I’d start by adding some kind of unnatural hands, problably big claws. Then I’d put in big shoulderpads, horns, and maybe some long and flowing hair. The point would be to cover up as much anatomy as possible, to make him appear as a monster rather than a man.
Jadebrain (100): Ah. Then, yeah, that area definitely needs some work, as I didn’t get “hair” at all from that :-/
merkwithamouth2 (102): The design looks good, though with the white lines on all black it definitely reads as a “blueprint” rather than an actual character image, if that makes sense. But the costuming elements and item choices are all solid.
yeah it does i did it so that he would show up better for the image in my head and in “real life” the character wouldn’t show up so well
when i say the “batman” i don’t so much mean a symbol. i mean he uses tech, skill, and brains instead of “real” superpowers
I don´t know that is illeagal. Is only a picture with not correct symbol( its not possible) and unknow man in the front. And the outfit is not exakt the same only similiar.
But when in your land all is a little bit stricter ok. I take it back but it confuse me a little. You can post here
Hackenkreuze but not a similar comic figur. A little bit strange.
Thanks Jeff and Panner. Here’s an updated version. Fixed the legs and crotch areas of Red and Blue. I tried to find better spot for the left leg/foot of red. And I evened out the highlights of the three. I decided to keep the outfits as is and overall I think I’m happy with how it is now. Thanks again guys.
merkwithamouth2 (107): I was afraid you’d say that. Ah, well, I suppose it still holds anyway, just with a little less emphasis. When you don’t have any superhuman powers, you’ll need every edge you can get.
Kytana (108): Yeah, it’s weird, but comic book companies in the states are really, really extremely paranoid about stuff like that. Maybe they’re overreacting, maybe they know what they’re doing, but one thing’s for sure – it’s not any fun to have them against you.
headlessgeneral (109): Oh yeah, I like that a lot. It’s such a cool and dynamic picture, and those speed lines are usually pretty hard to make good use of.
Wouldn’t want to miss another good critique.
@TOOl and @ Maddoctor your characters look kind of like the automoton nazi’s from suckerpunch
thank you for the suggestions!
So i hope its better. I call her Caat. She is a really bad girl with two very angry cats.
With thanks to Jeff and Panner, here is the updated outline for my picture of Jeff Andonuts from Earthbound. As you’ll notice, I shrunk his jaw a little bit, extended his left (your right) shoulder a little outward, used an actual reference picture when redrawing the bowtie, and redid his hair to make it look like actual hair instead of a helmet (though this was very hard, considering that it is a bowl-cut hairdo). I also re-did his eyebrows and mouth, as the expression on his face before hardly matched his personality as a shy and socially unconfident person.
Here’s my character. He’s captain of the good ship Leviathon’s Bane. His flag is a blue leviathon on black.
Tool (111): Nifty! Lots of good gear, good color scheme, and nice overall composition. The arms are a bit large in comparison to the lower body, but that’s just part of that particular style, I reckon. The dueling flame and cold (?) effects on the guns are neat, you did a good job there. I do wonder if there shouldn’t be another hose coming off his mask to the other tank, though? Not a big deal, just curious.
Kytana (113): Is that the captain from your Leviathan pic? A guest star, neat!
The image is great. Excellent texture on the costume, great environment, great use of color (dark around the figure, making the purple and skin tones really pop), and superior composition / staging.
Great job! My only hesitation would be whether the foreground figure is supposed to be face-down, as if just defeated. Because it definitely comes across more as if it is standing with its back to the viewer, not lying down.
Jadebrain (114): Well done!
Jake (115): Overall, a very good go. I like the idea and the starkness of the piece, a sort of brutal take on the hard life of a pirate.
For me, though, the hazing rain effect is too strong, washing out everything behind it. I’d ramp down the transparency on that a fair degree. Also, his pants are so close to his skin tone that at first I thought he was naked. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, you understand, but it wasn’t exactly the effect you were going for, I don’t think.
Still, an evocative and cool piece!
OK folks, I’m going to draw this edition of Open Critique Day to a close. Many thanks to everyone who either submitted themselves to the harsh slings and arrows of critique, or who were kind enough to launch those slings and arrows in the first place.
Have a great weekend!
Any suggestions to make this character look more sinister?
Seems I came home just too late. Will put it up for the next Open Critique Day 🙂
OK, Pesky slips in under the finish line!
Pesky, that’s awesome.
If you want him more sinister, maybe lose the actual eyes in favor of just a menacing glow? I’d also maybe choose a less cheery orange for the accent color in the uniform, maybe a sort of sickly greenish-bronze type of color. I’d also think about going with red for the current green in the glove, both to limit the total number of colors and to tie it together a bit. Plus, I think of “Green=Go” and “Red=Stop”, so I think of red as being more menacing.
Finally, maybe something a bit more … I don’t know, bone-like or metallic or spikey or rugged for the cane. The current one feels more like what a chipper English gentlemen would carry along for his constitutional walk every evening.
That’s all minor, though, because like I said — awesome.
Jeff, the blue tank is for oxygen and L gun is just smoke coming out and R gun is fire yes and the hoses in the back I hoped would fit in to the flame gun idea. Thanks for comments.
Vampyrist(39 & 55): I think the figure looks better with the straighter head though, personally, I would have just reduce the angle of tilt to 1-3 degrees rather than to 0. The pose is suggesting to me that the figure is meant to be walking forward: one arm is behind the torso, the other in front; the opposite leg is advanced while the other behind. If that’s so, talk a walk towards a mirror, swinging your arms, and take note of the relative height of each of your shoulders. I believe a more natural looking walking pose could be achieved if you raise the figure’s left shoulder and lower his right (the opposite of what you have now).
Also, the figure’s left bicep should be in front of the chest, if the arm is swinging forward….
Regarding highlighting, I find the result confused. Where is the light coming from? The head suggests that it’s coming from the left (more highlights on that right side of the figure’s mask, with shadows on the other side). But the lighting on the body, suggests the light is coming in from the front (from where we are towards the figure) and the lighting on the gloves say the light is coming from the left for the figures right forearm (from in front for the bicep, though) and that it is coming from the right for the figures left forearm (but from in front, again, for the bicep). The shin’s lighting says the light comes from the left – sort of – the receding leg (figure’s left) is cast in shadow when really some of a left side light would be hitting it….
Here is my suggestion: Light the figure from the left – most of your highlighting is suggesting that now, so it’s the easiest to work with. Shift the highlighting on the figure’s torso, biceps, and thighs toward the left, to the high-points of the body on that side. You might want to increase the intensity (brightness) of the highlighting (but only slightly) for the areas closer to the left side, then gradually make them more transparent (darker) as you progress from left to right across the body. Don’t forget to light the belt and the shoes (if you’re going to light things up, you need to light it all up).
One thing that may help with the lighting is to temporarily add a dark background, then use a big gradient circle as a light source. Set color 1 and line colour transparency to 0 and fiddle the transparency level for color 2. Shift the light source off to the left til the hotpoint (the brightest point, is off screen. Now, see where the light is hitting your figure and judge the relative intensity of the light that is hitting the left side as opposed to what is hitting the right. You could highlight with the light source still on, or remove it after you’ve seen how it works. When you’re done, remove the background and light source (or keep them, if you prefer).
Hope that helps.
Kaylin88100 (66): I’m going to refer you to another instance where I suggested lighting tips to Atomic Punk for one of his images. My suggestions for lighting your image would be similar.
You can find Atomic’s original on Page 13 of the Poses thread over at the forums.
@Pesky add a swastika that always makes people look more evil also add flames in the background or something similar
I’m not asking for a critique for this, but since I don’t have the time to participate in this week’s character contest (Cancer), I’m posting a quick sketch I did of the concept. For your viewing pleasure!
holy crap man, that’s awesome, if i had half your talent…maybe that’s what i have. Great job!
Lotta things got in the way this week. Hopefully I can post again soon. Had to work and do school stuff today, so that basically sucked. On the bright side I’m almost finished with the first full draft of the script for my comic and have a solid lead on an artist and a way into the industry (BATMAN writer, Paul Dini.) So, yeah, there’s that.
@118 Jeff: Its only a police woman. I have it fix very fast so you are right, its not correct. But thanks.