Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

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Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu May 22, 2014 3:16 pm

As suggested by Cuddly a couple of times lately, it's time for all of us to show how crap we were and how less crap we (hopefully) are.

I actually did a blog about this in a little more detail so I'm just going to post a few pics here, you can always go to my blog if you want more insight.


So here we go, feel free to laugh:
Sh!t Happens
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Maelstrom Heart
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Flying Tigers
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Living the Dream
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby Terotrous on Fri May 23, 2014 11:20 am

Sure, I'll do one as well. I think my artistic skills started from as close to zero as you can possibly get, so hopefully this should be inspiring for anyone else who currently can't draw worth a damn. If you stick at it for 12 years, you might actually get a little bit better!


This was literally the first piece of comic-related art I ever drew. Unlike the rest of my art, this was drawn by hand and scanned in, and you can see it clearly didn't help things any. The MSPaint version is shown afterwards.
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Some MSPaint Art. It's worth noting that not only is the lineart terrible, the colour choice is also really questionable. I would have used much flatter colours if I drew this now.
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Early Coreldraw art. I clearly don't quite understand how layers work at this point, you can see there's a weird discolored outline around the line boundaries that's a result of using bucket fill.
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Slightly later Coreldraw art. Comic Creatorz's style is a little more in line with reality, in particular characters have necks now and it's not quite as exaggerated.
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Early flash art. Flash is clearly more expressive. Even though this is really simplistic, I don't hate the way this looks even now.
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Later Coreldraw art. I never moved Comic Creatorz to Flash, and as such it eventually developed an extremely consistent look, as you can see in the next two pictures, which were drawn around 6 years apart.
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More early Flash Art. This was the beginning of the slightly more detailed style that I would later use for What Lies Beyond.
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Later Flash Art. These were drawn for a game I made in university. This is where my avatar, Rall, comes from, though he was drawn later so his art is a little better. The second one is Rall's mother.
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And finally some of my most recent art from What Lies Beyond. I'm actually making an effort to have anatomy and perspective make sense now, but it's not always perfect.
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Now if it could only improve this much again in the next 10 years maybe I'd actually get pretty good at it.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sat May 24, 2014 7:32 am

There's definitely some big improvement there Tero!
You should try mixing some of the shading stuff from the second last examples with your current style.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby Terotrous on Sat May 24, 2014 9:25 am

Yeah I did kind of get lazy with shading, it should probably come back. I also slightly miss the thicker lineart, it has a certain charm to it. Maybe I'll put some of that into the illustrations for my second book.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sat May 24, 2014 12:10 pm

Sssso I took the first halves from this thread so that I didn't have to rescan the "VERY FIRST ORIGINALS" again. Then I went through my archives and tried to pick representative images of tendencies from over the years. It was tough, because during the play chapter for instance the characters were just inexplicably off-model most of the time. During the play and the beginning of the prom chapter I went through a phase where I had to draw everybody's teeth IN DETAIL. I also went back to the deleted original chapters so I could give samples from when I drew eye-outlines totally enclosed. You can also witness my passage from large, pointy-corner-having foreheads to no foreheads at all and then nowadays kind of coming back more responsibly inconsistently in some of the designs. Enjoy the earliest drawings of hats on peoples heads, where the hats are at best perched upon the crown and at worst forming a brain-case as in Aggie's image.

2 things I noticed- I need to be more consistent about who has thick eyebrows and who doesn't!!! Also this chapter, my characters' heads are probably more realistically proportioned, but some of the old designs seemed more recognizable/"iconic" in some ways. I think it's because they're starting to look more textured and less plasticine. In general I feel I'm getting better and that there's obviously a net improvement but I still have a lot to work on and to learn.


Beware the images


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I think I finally have a satisfactory way to render Aggie's freckles. Last image is a little blurry because I embiggened it a little bit. Idk why Aggie's hair part changed sides, I guess I just forgot which side it was on at some point.



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Clarabelle was always supposed to be kinda plump and curvy which you can see in the original design, but gets lost in basically all of the middle designs because of how long and narrow her face was. The end of her nose was close to seceding from the Union in two thousands nine through twelve but has decided to remain after all. Her bangs have also changed shape because I find the downward curl frankly a lot more flattering.



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Cecilia, despite being one of my more extreme designs, has probably stayed the most consistent over time.



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Eddie's 2009 head has the dimensions of a sewing needle. Though his eyes are still enormous for his face, I think they're a lot less jarring looking now than in say the top right image.




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Joseph




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Leon's probably the most changed character from his original appearance.




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Marie never really went through the "long face syndrome" everyone else did and it's probably only because her eyes sit so wide that for her head to be long in addition she would have this fucking huge ass head



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I love how Tonies 2-4 are like the same pose, same outfit, same location, and manage to look like 3 entirely different characters. Probably also the best timelapse example of me learning how hats work.




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Ulysses, perpetually worried since 2009. And with good reason as we can see in image #3 his chin and lower face are being pulled into another dimension via unseen black hole.
A good example of learning how a cranium might look on a human.



boodlyboodlyboodlyboodly bop
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun May 25, 2014 2:35 pm

RobboAKAscooby wrote:Image
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I'm aiming to just compare the first two images with the last one- If you had shown me these without me knowing you, I would have not been able to guess that these were by the same person.


I think that SH- R along with its cohorts in time was where you had the most obvious problem with flatness and rigidity. I have to say that although there was generally improvement all throughout, the most recent pictures show the hugest strides in terms of three-dimensional anatomy.



Tero, I like your walk through your programs. :P it's neat how with each new tool you used you formed different habits and learned improvements. One thing that's been consistent for you over basically the whole selection of images there, except for Rall's mom it seems, is that you use the same line thickness throughout each entire piece. I wonder how your work would look if you started playing around with that a bit more. I like the experimenting with shading, though again it's the same thickness of shadow around the lineart and so it doesn't really add much to the form.

Your characters are a lot more expressive now and the subdued color choices are quite pleasing.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby Terotrous on Sun May 25, 2014 6:41 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:One thing that's been consistent for you over basically the whole selection of images there, except for Rall's mom it seems, is that you use the same line thickness throughout each entire piece. I wonder how your work would look if you started playing around with that a bit more.

To be honest I'm not really sure where varying the line thickness would be useful. I do use thinner lines for faces and other fine-detail areas simply so I have more space to work with, but that's about it. I also do all of my drawing with a mouse so it's hard to vary the line thickness within an single layer.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun May 25, 2014 8:19 pm

Terotrous wrote:
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:One thing that's been consistent for you over basically the whole selection of images there, except for Rall's mom it seems, is that you use the same line thickness throughout each entire piece. I wonder how your work would look if you started playing around with that a bit more.

To be honest I'm not really sure where varying the line thickness would be useful. I do use thinner lines for faces and other fine-detail areas simply so I have more space to work with, but that's about it. I also do all of my drawing with a mouse so it's hard to vary the line thickness within an single layer.

There are other "interior" lines that often benefit from a thinner line being used, for instance the line where a person's sleeve stops and their emerging arm begins. The trick is that the thickness of a line often tells us how far apart two planes are. Like, if you were to draw two frisbees in the air at different distances, the one closer to us, in addition to being larger space-wise, could also use a larger outline than the farther-away one. Or a character with one hand on his stomach and one hand in front of his stomach but closer to the "audience," a thicker line on the hand that's "closer" to us makes it more distinguished from his body than the hand resting on his stomach.

I know what you mean about having difficulty with tools. When I am workign on a close-up panel or something with a lot of motion, I can use a brush pen that has a lot of variety for line width, but for all my other lines I alternate between specifically sized technical pens. Lot of picking up, uncapping, using, recapping, putting down. I can get some varying width out of the tech pens though it's less noticeable than it is with the brush pen.

Anyway, just something I figured I'd mention, since it's one thing that hasn't really changed from the first sample posted.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Mon May 26, 2014 12:27 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I'm aiming to just compare the first two images with the last one- If you had shown me these without me knowing you, I would have not been able to guess that these were by the same person.

Thanks Cuddly :D

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I think that SH- R along with its cohorts in time was where you had the most obvious problem with flatness and rigidity. I have to say that although there was generally improvement all throughout, the most recent pictures show the hugest strides in terms of three-dimensional anatomy.

Yeah.
I think I spent too long stubbornly trying to refine a style that just didn't work, it was too measured out as I was focused on maintaining consistency, whereas now I don't mind if the characters are a little off-scale or the height difference changes a little or whatever.
And that I think has helped me loosen up a lot.
Now I just need to work on my:
- thin arms/legs/joints/waists
- small hands/feet
- looser posing/motion
- a ton of other stuff


Cuddly - Your stuff has obviously grown HUGELY from the no-neck-bobblehead period. I think you pretty much settled into your style around 2011 and have continued to refine things without ever really hitting a plateau.

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:I know what you mean about having difficulty with tools. When I am workign on a close-up panel or something with a lot of motion, I can use a brush pen that has a lot of variety for line width, but for all my other lines I alternate between specifically sized technical pens. Lot of picking up, uncapping, using, recapping, putting down. I can get some varying width out of the tech pens though it's less noticeable than it is with the brush pen.

I can't use a brush pen with my crappy hands other than that my inking process is pretty much identical to yours.
When I want variable line weight I go back and basically shade it in but lately I've just settled into a simple difference in line width since I'm mostly illustrating not comicking.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Mon May 26, 2014 12:53 am

And since I had that weird error again I might as well add...

Tero, one idea might be to make all the lines thinner in general, then use some shading to and dimensionality.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby Terotrous on Mon May 26, 2014 3:37 pm

I have definitely started using some thinner lines, but I kind of miss some of the thick-line aesthetic. The issue is that thick lines inherently forces pretty simplistic character design, so it tends to work best for simplistic, cutesy art. If I was still working on my pokemon-clone game I'd definitely use the thick lines for it.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby djracodex on Wed May 28, 2014 8:08 pm

I love these sorts of parties!
Shcoob, seeing the energy into your poses creep in and take over is really great! I love all the bra shots lol I totally had hair like Samantha from Shit Happens. Damn if I didn't know you played that blonde/pink game first!
Guitars!
Ter, I really do like the thick outlines and I agree with Cuddly. The perspective on What Lies Beyond helps, but If you could add just a little more line variance I believe it would really pop and you could still keep those thick lines. The next 10 years this will be in 3D!
Cuddly, though you may not feel it, through those snapshots it looks like your style has refined effortlessly. I'm loving the line work in this last year.

Yalp, now I need to compile some embarrassment to share...
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Thu May 29, 2014 1:50 am

djracodex wrote:I love these sorts of parties!
Yalp, now I need to compile some embarrassment to share...

Yes, yes you do.

djracodex wrote:Shcoob, seeing the energy into your poses creep in and take over is really great!

Long way to go, but glad it's starting to show.

djracodex wrote:I love all the bra shots lol

XD
It's kind of funny that a lot of the more recent bra-peeks aren't so much fan-service but just sort of reflecting the styles I actually see on young women in the real world.
Such as Cara's open side (can you call it a sleeve?) tank top, I saw a lot of that style over the Summer-Autumn period.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby djracodex on Fri May 30, 2014 4:40 pm

Oh jeebus, here we go

Before we begin I have one thing to say: Cheekbones.
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I never really played around with Whini's hair until just recently. It's always been in a bun, or up in the 'shark fin'. Since 2013 her fin has been falling, I like it, but I don't think it'll be her main look.
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Holy shit, a strong jaw line! Where did I find that? T's race/species has done backflips as I've changed the story. Human to werebear to nymph (to make things easier). I've tried to keep his features somewhat similar to Meli's: Big eyes, button nose. The ponytail was a last minute decision, I just thought it looked more 'old-worldish' than the short.

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Melody changed to Meli around 2009 as well as adopting some softer more realistic looking hair. Oh lol. Originally, I wanted to keep Meli pale, thinking that she's from a different continent. I gave her some freckles, trying to show that she'd spent time in the sun, but after considering that she's supposed to have lived in the desert for nearly all her life, freckles weren't going to cut it-TAN IT IS. Loking back, her nose has generally stayed the same

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Glasses mean he's the nerd, right? Originally, Lance/Lotlca has always been darker skinned, though he started off as an inuit-sort of race. I had a difficult time renaming my peeps to sound more mesoamerican. I couldn't bring myself to change Whini, or go far from Melody so I rationalized that they were raised in a different place and had a different sort of naming. T was pretty easy, it's always been short for some ridiculously long name (Then was Thunderoninhigh now it's Telotal'ihutli), but with Lance I had a chance to really nail it. Cacalotl means crow, and since Lotlca's character is rather cunning, I made it work.

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Who doesn't want a murder puppy? I'm rather pleased that I learned how to actually draw realistic looking animal anatomy. We went from 3 toes, to 4 to 5, yay! I've done a totally of 3 different story lines ('99-'06, '08-'09, and '11-now) with these characters and only the last one has ever involved Tar.

And kind of a "Draw Again".
2008 to 2014
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Headcannon they all just stayed in Cancun, didn't get any older, but got sick tans...speaking of hat improvement, Cuddly, Hats are totally hard!

There, that was fun :shucks: I hope more people post!
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Sat May 31, 2014 2:57 am

djracodex wrote:There, that was fun :shucks: I hope more people post!

Yes!

I like the way your style developed from that "typical wannabe manga" look into a more individual style, having only seen your more recent stuff I never would have pegged you for that.

djracodex wrote:Image

Someone went Super Saiyan there for a while XD

djracodex wrote:Image Image


Hmmm? Have we ever done a Summer art swap around here?
I mean it's Winter here in Australia but that's besides the point...
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:55 pm

Lol wait guys wait









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Here, have some out-of-context panels.

Postby Cope on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:20 pm

My character evolved so much she changed her species.

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It freaks me out the way her neck fluctuates in size. She should see a doctor about that.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby RobboAKAscooby on Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:11 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Lol wait guys wait
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YESSSS!!!!

This brings back memories XD



And, Cope, was that Crash Bandicoot at the beginning?
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She's a zap-nosed swamp plorg.

Postby Cope on Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:06 am

RobboAKAscooby wrote:And, Cope, was that Crash Bandicoot at the beginning?

No, she's not a bandicoot. She's a...actually, I don't know what the hell she's supposed to be.
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Re: Character/Style Evolution (pic intensive)

Postby IVstudios on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:51 am

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:Image


Cuddly, that is so adorable that I'm almost disappointed you've progressed as an artist.
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