design iterations

 Okay guys, so you're going to need to be rough with me on this one. I feel soooo rusty with concept design right now. Here's a couple of designs that I sketched out the other day and just finished. I'd like to take this guy and just run the complete concept process, thumbs, sketches, iterations, final paint design and then something that's a little bit more contextual, him in a scene and stuff.

I'd also like to pose a question for you guys: Do you ever feel like you end up making your designs more conservative or conventional as you go through the design process?
I pretty much completely did away with the bubble helmet as I moved forward with these and I'm wondering if that was a mistake.


  1. Time for the ruff' stuff!

    Ok, I feel like the thumbs for this aren't related to the the three sketches, It seems like they got a little to far away with whatever thumb you chose to elaborate on, they just dont have the same feel. The thumbs look much more space suit/clean cut/sleek than the sketches, who have a much frumpier/ complicated composite clothing. This might be an issue with not really finding a thumbnail that you liked well enough and establish a basic look to move on with, and just went ahead and moved on to the sketches. If you cant work out something that you like on the thumbnail stage, chances are that you wont solve design problems by moving on to the sketch stage.

    that being said, i've never been one for following "steps" to find designs, but sometimes just thinking about the "rules" and "steps" as you skip them, is enough........ so take all that with a grain of salt.

    Moving on to the actual sketches, I dont get a sense of cohesion about them. It seems like they have to many design elements competing that they look a little confusing. I cant tell if they are patchwork siuts, made from differing peices and haphazardly composited together to make a fallout style badass, as the crossbow suggests. Or if he is a futuristic soldier from a heavily polluted city, a'la half-life 2? And then there is old world references like the samurai-like pauldrons and crotch flap. It has a lott of possibilities, but not enough of one thing to be definitive. The impression this leaves, as best i can describe it is, "fuzzy" or "blurry" like it could kind of fit in anywhere, or nowhere, to generic to look like it belongs anywhere specifically........

    ....which segues into your last question. I have a HUGE problem with this and have yet no idea how to break myself of it, but I most defiantly feel like the longer I spend on a design, the more bland it becomes. I think this might just be the way of things, just look at the progresion of concept cars and then the actuall production models of the same car. Drastically watered down to appeal to a larger audience. I think We do the same thing unconsciously, toneing things down as we go along because we think "oh, that weird little shape of his mouth nozzle might not read clearly, ill change it to this, because people are more familiar with it.." and so on. A bunch of those little changes, and the design soon loses its initial energy and strength..

    like everything I think its a fine balance between making it clearly readable and familiar enough to appeal to others, which is a necessary step, and to preserve the initial idea and strength of the concept.....

    .....aaaaand im going to go take a nap. that ramble has taken more brain power than i am used to anymore......I tried to be as harsh as I could without being a wiener. apologies for typos and such, as i dont have the willpower to proofread right now.

    also, i would bring back the bubble helmut, but thats just me. im partial to bubble helms...

    and here are some boobs,..... /( . )( . )\

  2. i actually.... dont like the bubble helmet. sorry you guys :/ and I think the sketch thumbnails are great but If i was an art director I'm not quite sure what these would be telling me, so maybe make them a little more coherent with some smaller details (maybe showing how sleeves and what not are connected to the suit or seams just so i can know what is going where) I know you asked me my opinion on this when you were making them and I said they were awesome, but now that I havent seen them in a while i kinda realized i cant read them as easily as I remember :(

    the painted variations still look awesome... i LIKE the non-bubble helmet but now im leaning more toward the far left version instead of the middle one. its more believable. and i think that ridiculous crossbow is kinda cool. also, maybe pay a little more attention to the edges and details with the shoulder pads and the loin-crotch pieces since those seem to be the defining changes in the costuming.... but damit. now I want to go for the far right one because he's a less conservative design..... ugh, I dont think im being helpful with this. but yeah, i too feel like my designs are toning down through the process. and maybe my initial resoning towards the far left figure is why. toned down for me is more believable, and thus I feel like it could be an easier and therefore possible design option for an art dirctor and design team. which sadly, could will cripple my designs if I only focus on that aspect. I hope some of this helps and by golly fluke, that was a mighty fine non-weinerish sounding critique :)

  3. Non-wienerish indeed! You guys are the awesomest. Solid crits all around and I also really appreciate your commiseration on the subject of conservativism on concept stuff. So seriously, a huge thanks, Fluke and AD. I'll try to post something again soon!