Open Critique Day #3

Alright! It's time for another Open Critique Day! If you're wondering why I doing this today on a Friday instead of on a Saturday, I just want to make sure that this gets more participants than just 3-5 people, as the last two OCD's had only a few.

As for how this goes, you post a work of yours, finished or WIP (aka work in process, for those who are new to abbreviations), and then others give you critiques on your work.  I do not mind if you post the occasional non-HM picture or piece of writing, but keep in mind that, though there are some, not all of us here are writers or do art outside of HeroMachine. All I ask is that you only post pictures that are your own design and not any that copyrighted or based off of copyrighted characters. As for pieces of writing, I’m not sure about whether fan fiction is allowed, but for right now, just in case, don’t post fan fiction either.

Also, again, if you post a work, it is highly recommended that you also give someone else a critique. Throughout the day, when I'm not busy with class, I'll also post critiques.

18 Responses to Open Critique Day #3

  1. JR19759 says:

    Here’s something I’ve been trying to work out all week, so any feedback would be appreciated.

  2. ams says:

    G’day JR! Like the strong start you have to the base of your character. Your custom hair design looks great and the outfit you have put together is interesting. I like that you have the figure slightly leaning to the right to compensate for weapon weight.

    Now for suggestions. You have the back, bottom of the coat fanned out, how about a larger, flared collar for balance? Also, how about making the back, bottom of the coat a little less symmetrical? Even though you have your character looking down (chin down?), I would suggest a little longer neck to even out from her long legs. The rest of the body proportions looks good.

    One last thing and I’ve noticed this with looking at your DA files. How about a different color complexion? I have personally realised that when I first go to add color to my pics, I always go with what I know, my own skin color. Lately, I have been thinking of trying to create a color chart of skin types from around the globe to add a more worldly variety to my concepts. If anyone has some good skin color recipes out there, please drop me a line.

    Anywho, looking forward to seeing your final draft, JR.


  3. Herr D says:

    @JR: The hair weight might also tug the head further over. ams is on the right track about symmetry.

    Worf’s comment on this late on the last OCD made me realize that maybe it’s NOT obvious that these blades are retracted into the radius and ulna. Short of moving to a straight side view and top view, how else would I make it obvious? In this oblique view, the hand flexes down at the wrist, and then the blades come out, like maybe the hand could grip a guy’s collar and the two blades stick out to threaten his eyes?

  4. JR19759 says:

    @AMS- I’ll try that stuff out, cheers.
    @Herr D- I can’t tell where you’re meaning for the thumb side blade to come out from. It looks like it could be coming out from between the thumb and fore-finger at the moment, where-as it would make more sense to becoming out from between the fore & middle fingers (wolverine style). Other than that, I like how you did the phalanges, very inventive.

  5. Valyndril says:

    I love that coat! But I’ve always hated the way it makes the neck disappear. To give your character a neck, you can always use the neck portion in “Female Spandex” in “Tops”. Just color it the same color as your skin and set the line color to transparent. A larger collar could be nice, like ams said, but the way it is works to in my opinion.

  6. Sierra says:

    I don’t know if this is permitted, on this thread, but I usually pull the finished work into Photoshop for lighting effects, and touch ups, anyway, here’s a few. ALL THE COMMENTS ARE HELPFUL!!!
    On this one, I’m not to sure on the lighting or the awkward way her knife is placed in the boot, but in order to get the half-shaved head, I had to do a bunch of clean-up around the head.
    Same character, different scene, despise the lighting.
    I quite enjoy this one, though the pelvis is wonky.

  7. Sierra says:

    Responses to all!
    @JR Ponytail looks like it might be a teeny bit too far down, but I’m in love with the character and the coat, (THE COAT!!!) Love the proportions as well.

    @ Herr, love the view, very interesting concept, what’s it for? Also, as someone else stated, the second blade does seem to be coming from between the thumb and forefinger, otherwise, wicked awesome.

  8. JR19759 says:

    @Sierra- For the first one, I’d say there’s two things you should have a look at. The hair looks good, but it could do with a bit of work. The shaved bit seems to intrude a bit on where the un-shaved bit is at the front, maybe try masking or moving the hair down to cover the meeting point. Then you’ve got the boot, which doesn’t line up with the leg properly. I’d suggest moving it slightly and rotating it as well. I’d also suggest taking the knife out of the boot and using belts around the leg to hold it instead.
    For the second one, her neck looks too long at the back, maybe move the head down a tad. The hand looks weird with that arm, a different arm (like the outstretched to the side arm) would look better, and the gun needs masking to the hand (I don’t know if all the female hands mask properly so you may need to use a resized male hand for this). The background yellow could do with moving down a bit so it’s less bright and prominent. Adding another colour to the background to go in-between the yellow and blue, the green is ok, but adding an orange or a pink may make the background more atmospheric. What else have you done to do the lighting? It might help us to give advice on how to improve it.
    The last one there isn’t much wrong with, but I would say that on the stitched scars you should have the outer colour a skin tone colour and the inner colour red. They stand out way too much with the outer colour being red. I really like the lighting on this one though.

    Anyway, I had a go at some of the changes on my one and finished off the character (face etc.). Anything else I could do (apart from shading obviously)?

  9. JR19759 says:

    @Tool- I like the use of tech tops as kneepads. I can’t say I really like the bile yellow you’ve used in parts (I dislike that colour with a passion) and I’m not sure why you’ve gone with the colour scheme you have, it seems to me like you’ve mashed two colour schemes together for no reason, the blue and yellow one and the brown and silver one (which I really like). Maybe if you lost one of the colours (preferable for me, the yellow), it might work better. Also, whilst I like the colours you’ve gone with for the gun, again they don’t fit right with the colour scheme as is, the browns are too different a shade to work with the brown you’ve got at the moment and they don’t work with the blue and yellow anyway. The only colour they really work with is the silver. Another thing I noticed, is that he seems to not have a left hand. I assume this was intentional, but if his hand is meant to be hidden by the gauntlet, it’s not big enough to hide a hand.
    But overall, I like the composition. The armour looks well thought out and realistic, bulky enough for it to provide decent protection, but not so bulky that it would impede movement. I like the fact you’ve made his right arm bare, it’s quite eye catching.

  10. Herr D says:

    Oooooooh. I didn’t get it across with text either, apparently. Point your arm up, fold your hand forward without moving your arm. the blades would come out almost straight up then curving forward. Missing the hand completely! At worst nicking a tendon or a vein on the way out instead of every single funny-shaped wristbone, vein, and tendon inside the hand.

    @Tool: I think your guy needs someone for that ‘signal’ to reach. And a background for context. Raiding a spaceship or alien cave, maybe? Without the context I’m stuck on saying the hand looks odd out like that. Interesting work, though.

    @Sierra: For Merc 1, I agree with JR about the hair but disagree about the knife. Making the knife smaller might look better. Or ‘bulging’ the boot a bit. For Merc 2, yes, add a thumb to the front of the gun. Maybe add some words in a balloon for explanation? “You mutant midgets aren’t killing anymore of my people!” “Where are the other kids?” “Cuteness won’t save you this time.”

    @JR: coming along well–I would tilt that head though.

  11. Jadebrain says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve uploaded a picture of this character already, but it really doesn’t matter, since I’m re-doing her whole look. Here’s Brigrada Olldrijpar (pronounced brih-GRAH-dah ALL-dree-per), the High Jarl of Gondrogar. As this is an outline, I have yet to do patterns or shading, except to help with the placement of scales and splints in the finished product.

    One thing I’m wondering how I should accomplish is how to add a scale pattern without making the surface appear darker than it should be; I’m a bit heavy-handed, and so pressing lightly with the pencil is hard for me, and using erasers to lighten the area tends to blur things a bit.

    Another thing I’m wondering about is whether or not I should continue to use splints in her gauntlets. Originally, I considered her culture, which is aesthetically “barbarians from the north,” and I immediately thought of vikings; in trying to be accurate to that, I ended up asking online what an incredibly high-ranking viking warrior would wear for armor, and the most exceptional thing that was mentioned was “splint armor” (mail was also mentioned, but it didn’t seem “exceptional” enough). However, I was later reminded that this setting is one of my own creation, and now I’m trying to go less “strictly viking” and more “germanic barbarian in general” in terms of the armor she’d have access to. Any suggestions regarding that?

    Continuing the theme of this character, I’m wondering how else I can tie in the theme of her clan without sacrificing function in her armor. The Olldrijpar clan prides itself on its members’ ability to take down any sort of dangerous beast, and so I decided to put the image of a bear’s face on the front, but should I do anything else?

    Finally, I’m wondering about what I should do about her helmet and muzzle armor. Right now, the helmet looks too reminiscent of Darth Vader, and the muzzle armor looks like the grill of an old car. Any suggestions on what to do instead?

    Any other suggestions are also welcome.

  12. Jadebrain says:

    And, for my critique of another’s character: Lef, as far as the design of Nocturne goes, I’d suggest that you add something to his torso; I think that is what I noticed at first, that his torso just looks… featureless. Perhaps you could add patterns of white or light gray, or something as little as a white belt, to fix this, but judging from the armor on Nocturne’s wrists and ankles, I’d say some chest armor would be much better.

  13. Herr D says:

    @Sierra: As to purpose, I was primarily interested in making a more logical alternative to Wolverine’s anatomy.

    @Lef: 1rst, I’d like to see some transition from the pointy gauntlet to the straight-across bands. Block out some of the bands and add some diagonals between? There are lots of ways that could go.
    It’s role might determine what else needs to happen. Egg-layer needs pads on the thighs or heels, maybe. Fighter needs armor, weapons, etc.

    @Jadebrain: If you texture them like anything in particular, that should take care of the Vaderish look. The splints are great, you might want to notch them or put ‘swordcatcher tabs’ protruding from them. Notches could be kill tallies or battle damage.

    I would make the bear utilitarian somehow–the teeth sticking out to impale an enemy?

  14. TOOL says:

    I am colorblind so some colors elude me. I was going for something a little out of my norm. At first I wanted to make a cyborg but decided to go with a bulkier power suit kind of thing. I left the arm bare but maybe I should have added the extra armor being held in his hand. I thought about having his helmet off too. Maybe a kneeling position with some aromor on and some on the ground would have been good. The gauntlet is suppose to be a energy sword type thing that he activates by a handle inside the piece. Maybe I could of made it bigger?

    @Herr D
    Signal? I am not sure what you mean here? I am working on my back ground skills but they are not up to par just as of yet.

    Thanks for the tips.

  15. Lef says:

    Im on it guys! Thanks for the tips 😉

  16. Herr D says:

    @Tool: The two-finger pointing signal.