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Art Thread

You all knew this was coming.  And if I wasn't so busy at work, it would have happened sooner.  But seeing as how I just started Labor Day Weekend this afternoon, seemed fitting. So I've been thinking about Adam's costume and trying to make it as alien as its origin implies. So you'll probably recognize 1 from my icon.  I like the stripe of starfield (in the animated series version of our game, moves with him) but I started to wonder what it'd look like if I pushed it further, hence 2 and 3.  I really like 2.  The star field skin really reminds me of the Silver Surfer's look (the original cosmic powered' superhero) without completely aping his look.  The full chest sigil also reminds me a bit of the chest emblems of the Power Rangers' and that's awesome (Yeah, I'm from that generation.)  It also implied as skin-tight protective shell and that's cool too.  I made 3 mostly as a way to try out some different options, but I think I prefer to glove- and boot-less version more.  Same with the eye glows, but I could see that either way. Opinions? Weird Art Side Note No One Will Really Care About: I made Adam five heads tall here.  That's on the younger side of 13 (the rule of thumb age scale is 5 heads = 9-13, 6 heads = 13-17, 6.5 heads = adults) to better differentiate between the team members.  Also, he is the youngest by a few years and we want a visual signifier of that.  I figure Mercury and Link will be 6 heads tall while classically heroic Jason Quill will be 6.5.  Ghost Girl is going to be weird since women are generally half a head shorter and people from further back in history are generally shorter as well, but I figure I'll ignore history's impact here and just go for somewhere between 5.5 and 6 heads tall.
Agree on the less covered version... makes him look younger. 
I get a vibe of "Rainbow Gladiator" from that costume. If someone ever mashed up Young Justice and MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy, I think he'd fit right into the center.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
 agreed that number two is pretty awesome. I wonder if you couldn't do something kind of like the glowing eyes with number two by sort of doing more intense stars in the star field where the eyes would be?
For further visual inspiration, with the internal star field I usually think of Genis-Vell, Mar-Vell's son whose cosmic awareness was on all the time (eventually driving him insane).       More star field than colorful nebulae that it looks like Adam has, but maybe some of what you're looking to do.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
I have always been partial to that 'body-shaped window into space' thing - I have a villain on DCUO whose whole body is a moving starfield, because I like the effect so much. So count me a big fan of that part of the design, for sure.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: For further visual inspiration, with the internal star field Sorry. Really, very very sorry.
So I'm on revision five for Concord and I really like it.  Not a lot has changed since the above, except I made things slightly more readable and simplified some of his design (though some of that is due to trying to make it look in the style of like a Teen Titans Go or Star vs. the Forces of Evil-style show).  I really like the glowing iris and the dark rest of the eye.  Makes him look alien without it being off-putting or making his expressing look unreadable. On to other folks.  Since Doyce posted a nice starter for Mercury, I designed to build off that a little. I vaguely remember Kathrine saying he had a jacket somewhere and latched onto that idea.  Nothing is quite as high school as a letter jacket, so I jumped on that style.  I also tried to go with the Mercury references without going full  Jay Garrick with the helmet and everything , so instead I just made the wings part of a head-set or comms system.  I also added some Booster Gold-style goggles because I  love that design  and if you're going that fast and you don't have phasing powers, you're likely going to get blinded by wind. I had a couple of ideas for symbols, all of them based on the symbol for Mercury.  I kind of like my Mercury + Air design since it also references the Gale family, but it's up for debates.  And speaking of symbols. I'd originally wanted to make everyone's design associated with a different shape (Lines for Mercury, Hexes for Quill, Circles for Link, Triangles for Concord, and Waves for Ghost Girl) but as I thought about it, I thought it'd be nice if everyone did have one common element and a triangle (in different forms) would be easy to incorporate.  If I want that path, however, I'd be disappointed we didn't name ourselves the Tangent.  Oh well, too late for that now. :P
@Mike - Trust me, you do not want to start the trig jokes. (That said, I do like the Hex-Q logo. In modern corporate design parlance, it would probably stand alone, with the full name written beside it, whether Technology or Foundation. I could see Jason having a necklace with that logo, that also serves as a personal key to stuff at Quill properties, comms with the other family members, etc.)
Last one for tonight.  Jason Quill presents a lot of interesting challenges from a design prospective.  As an homage character, it's easy to just create the same character or a caricature like  Action Johnny .  Instead, I started with Jonny Quest as a base and added flair unique to Jason. So let's start with the overall outfit.  I wanted Jason's shirt to extend down to his hands since his nano-bot army is over the top of it like an armor.  I'm not sold on the gloves, but I think I might just go for  thumb sleeves and simplify it down.  The glowy bits serve two purposes: 1) I love glowy bits and I will add them wherever I can and 2) with the "hive-mind" Jason's nano-swarm has, I mentally associated that with bees and wanted to use their stripes as a design element.  As a bonus, I got to use art techniques from Josh Burcham (artist for several runs of Transformers comics) and we'll revisit those and more when we get to Link. The nanobot cloud is... weird.  You could just as easily go with a cloud, but I I wanted to bring in more hexes, so I made a custom brush.  I don't know how well the dark color work, but I do like the little glows in there.  Maybe I'll go with just showing the shirt transform.  That's an easy one. Though it's hard to see, I added a little ear thing that would represent his mental connection to the nanobot swarm that I sort of based on the  biotic amps from Mass Effect (also something we'll revisit with Link).  Everything else is sort of standard.  I gave him some khaki combat pants so as to say "Yes, I fit just as easily into a tech start-up as I do into a combat zone."  It's little, but I enjoy it. Opinions?
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
I mean, Jason is Dave's, so take my input with a grain of salt, but HOLY CRAP I LOVE IT. Both your reasons for having the glowy bits on Jason's arm are sound, but #1 is best. Really like the different logos on people. All these cool designs make an excellent argument for calling you guys Icons. :) (...thinks Waters, to himself, but lets it go.) I like Mercury's jacket a lot, but I looooove the logo you came up with for that jacket. It's sweet. Quill's is a close second. I like how many of these look like concept art for Young Justice, and then Adam looks like a guest star on Steven Universe. :)
Lot of fun, thanks! I like the idea of the bots being hex shaped (allows for all sorts of interlocking building blocks and strong surfaces. I still think the should be individually microscopic, and, yes, do that sandstorm-style effect. I had thought of something jet black, but the idea of some glowing bits (representing networking elements / anchor points) is a cool one. No real reason for Jason to have gloves -- fingerless ones (vs. 2/5 fingerless) makes sense, though. He is used to doing enough with gadgetry (or firearms) to want his fingers free. Love the use of the logo. Jason definitely needs to be wearing some sort of shirt. The "live show" against Iconoclast taught him that. I think the glowy bits add a nice design element. If he ever gets more gadgety, they can serve an actual useful purposes, too. I'm not usually a glowy panel kind of guy (the late 90s Iron Man armor was awful), but it works here. ("Dad?" "Yes, Jason?" "What are these glowy panels for?" "What do you think they're for?" "Nanobot control elements?" "Nope." "Force screen projectors? Chronometric anchors? Emergency glide wing extruders?" "Nope." "Then what?" "To improve your visibility to traffic at night, if you insist on wearing black." "DAD!") The earbud for controlling the swarm isn't needed, as I think of how the "power" was installed in him (thanks, Dad!); his entire skeletal structure is an antenna. But it would make sense that he's loaned out to the team some from the collection of comm earbuds his family kept on hand (and went through like candy), for any who want one. Cargo pants are fine, and make perfect sense given his background. Probably wears hiking/combat boots when going out to the field (when he has a moment to put them on), just because of the nature of the sort of stuff he's used to dealing with. Overall, good stuff.
Doyce T. said: I like how many of these look like concept art for Young Justice, and then Adam looks like a guest star on Steven Universe. :) Bill said in the Episode 6 thread that each of our heroes represents a different sub-genre of superheroics and that really helped me solidify things.  The designs need to look like they fit each other, but you should also get a feeling that they come from that particular sub-genre as well.  I may have made that picture to chime in on Bill's comment, but it really helped me zero in on the design as well.  The Saturday morning hero shows (Steven U, Star vs., Teen Titans Go) all have very simple, clean designs (this is a cost decision for cheaper animation, but it has its artistic merits as well) and I really wanted to pull that in for Adam's design.   Before I feel like I was over designing it and while it's not too different from the costumes I have at the very top, you can also tell that the simplification is there and it fits the sub-genre he represents. Along that same line, emblems and icons are important to almost all superhero genres so I wanted to try and bring those in as well.  Given Link and Ghost Girl's sub-genres, however, I don't think I will make such distinctive emblems, but they will still be there if you know where to look (and I'll make sure to point it out). *** Dave H. said: The earbud for controlling the swarm isn't needed, as I think of how the "power" was installed in him (thanks, Dad!); his entire skeletal structure is an antenna. But it would make sense that he's loaned out to the team some from the collection of comm earbuds his family kept on hand (and went through like candy), for any who want one. The earbud is actually just supposed to be the external antenna of a larger internal structure like you described, though the internal skeletal antenna has some fun as well.  It's always kind of funny to remember Jason is a cyborg, but it is true. *** Dave H. said: I think the glowy bits add a nice design element. If he ever gets more gadgety, they can serve an actual useful purposes, too. I'm not usually a glowy panel kind of guy (the late 90s Iron Man armor was awful), but it works here.  After sleeping on it, I think I need to redesign the placement of the stripes a bit.  The original intention was something like a wifi symbol (shades of the Troll perhaps?) and the largest panel making something visually like elbow patches on a jacket, but I sort of feel like they're haphazardly placed and don't help the overall design that much.  Again, another design pass on those will probably help quiet a bit. I'm probably going to touch up Jason's design a bit based on the feedback, though I'm going to try and focus on getting something functional for Ghost Girl...
It's always kind of funny to remember Jason is a cyborg, but it is true. Yeah, great, let me quick drag in all the Transformed baggage, too. :-)  (Calls to mind Martin Caidin's original Cyborg  novel, which eventually became TV's The Six Million Dollar Man -- both the novel and the pilot episode played on that theme of feeling inhuman after such massive body replacement surgery, and having someone he rescued stare in horror at the bionic arm where the skin had been torn off.) Jason definitely doesn't think of himself that way, and would probably be even more upset if his nose was rubbed into it. The process was relatively non-intrusive (calcium-linked nanotechnology that bonded to the skeletal structure, no surgery required), and recall that the bots were initially designed as an autonomous self-defense; only Jason screwing around with them has made them directable and usable for something other than adaptable self-smart armor. Hmmm. Add that to something Jason needs to discuss with the AI.
Lunch time sketch trying out different forms of the nanobot cloud and Jason's shirt stripes.  Open to opinions.
The first picture is, stylized, closer to my vision of the nanobots. I like the tech construct bottom picture, but that's a bit different power manifestation than I had been thinking. :-) And, let me just say again, these are all awesomesauce, and I'm really jazzed you're doing these illustrations.
Funny story: the "Quill-Spheres(tm)" in the bottom picture are actually partially inspired by the Walking Eye Robot in the opening of Jonny Quest.  The rest of the inspiration is from Voltron (all the orbiting gear on Voltron, Zarkon's mech, and the Crystal RoBeast are just cool). I have an idea on how to solve this in a visually appealing way.  Scott Wegner did it with Dr. Matsuda's Odic Form in Atomic Robo and the Temple of Od #5 (just with more glows and more organic than I'd go with).  The only issue is that I already lean heavy on my Atomic Robo inspirations and I think it makes me a better artist to think about how I'm going to draw things myself instead of leaning on my inspirations. I'll think about it in the back of my head.  I've got a good bead on my design of Ghost Girl, so I think I'll focus on that tonight as planned before my mental image shifts drastically.
Everybody loves the Robot Spy ...
So Ghost Girl... So, I have a bit of a digression to go on first.  I kind of wish these forums had a spoiler tag so I could mark them out because I imagine I'm going to go on for a while.  My first comic book was the third issue of  Justice League/Teen Titans: The Technis Imperative .  I won't delve into that too much due to it being an event comic (and an event comic done right unlike the yearly event comics Marvel does) and  Linkara already having done a better analysis of the comic than I could hope to , but the important part was that it was a direct lead-in to the Young Justice series (the comic, not the show).  I own the entire first year of Young Justice and they are a treasured part of my comic collection.  One of my favorite characters from that series was the ghostly Secret.  When I learned that there was going to be a Young Justice cartoon, I was excited to see how the adaptation would be, but a bit disappointed to learn that Secret wasn't involved.  I found out later that she was in a second season episode (I've only watched a handful of episodes of the first season, so I haven't seen it) but still it was disappointing to find out such an important character to the original series was being left out.  It's for that fondness for the character that I added in a bit of Secret's design into Ghost Girl. I really don't like a lot of what I did here, but I think that's more my sketchy style and the narrow space I tried to work within.  I didn't want to deviate too much from Margie's picture so I had some pretty specific bounds to work within.  I did add a nice little bit of design though: the fishnet glove.  I imagine it was a gift from Power Pony or one of her other coffee house friends or fits this love and excitement for the modern world that Ghost Girl has.  I wanted to play with the idea of adding in other little gifts and such, but I think it'd eventually overload the design (also, I have no idea how she hold on to those gifts). I wanted to post this here at this point to get some group input and hopefully come up with something better.  Going forward, I think it'd be a good idea to design a creepier version of GG that comes out when she's full-on ghost (like when she overpowered Iconoclast).
1. Well, if she can hold onto Link's phone, she can hold onto a different gift. Though whether it can travel with her through shadows, etc., is probably a question for Margie. 2. Love the (comic) Young Justice -- at one point in the past few years I binged and bought the entire run, digitally, just so I could read it. But, then, I'm a Peter David fan, and will usually buy any comic he writes. (I'm actually doing the same thing, more slowly, with his Captain Marvel title, which I coincidentally pasted some pictures from above. But I digress ...) 3. YJ the Comic and YJ the Series are very different things. Both wonderful in their own way, but really not comparable in tone or story. And while Secret (who is a great character, yes) does show up in the YJ cartoon, it's only a tangentially related character (name and supernatural connection). Fantastic episode, to be sure, but not the character from the comic. 4. I like GG sort of fading away at the bottom of her hemline. Very spectral. I like both of the drawings very much, though perforce she's a less visually interesting character than, say, the fantasy ones you did last campaign. Doing something with a contrast of When She's Scary is, I think, is a great idea.

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Though I'm not going to tell Mike what Link ought to look like for anything he draws, I wanted to talk about where he came from. The Brave series was a toy-and-anime line created by Takara and Sunrise, following the Transformers franchise (probably much more familiar to American audiences). It consisted of eight shows and some spin-offs: Brave Exkaiser, Fighbird, Da-Garn, Brave Express Might Gaine, Brave Police J-Decker, Brave of Gold Goldran, Brave Command Dagwon, and GaoGaiGar.  A couple of the shows took shots at themselves or their franchise, like Fighbird's light-hearted heroics and Might Gaine's overt attack on the "toyetic" nature of the franchise, but it was still all in good fun. All shows had a few key threads of narrative: "good" vs. "bad" energy, human-robot relations, responsibility to planet Earth, a team of heroes working together. Many included specific common elements like energy beings of a "space police force". Roles in each show were shuffled around: the Hero, the Kid, the Main Robot, the Support. Half the time, the Hero and the Main Robot were the same person, for example. The importance of the Kid fluctuated, from being the one to give orders to the robots (Da-Garn), to tag-along sidekick (Fighbird) to vital plot element (GaoGaiGar). A long-time fan of anime relayed to me some basic wisdom: "people in the shows with superpowers are basically samurai, ronin, or ninja". Virtually all mecha designs follow this rule, specifically presenting the giant robots as elaborate metal samurai. The heads in particular, with their fins, wings, mouth guards (on a robot!), and so on, call to mind the kabuto of Japan. Animal motifs - lions, birds, even dinosaurs - featured prominently. Mobile Suit Gundam's color palette (strong primary colors, red/white/blue for the hero robot, black and gold highlights) carried through to the Brave series' robots, and to their human protagonists as well. Here's a gallery of the lead characters in each show: So yeah. You've already seen Dagwon's En Daidouji - I'm using him as Link's avatar. Of course, there's some overlap with the live-action tokusatsu genre, where the "Ranger" characters wear their colors in civilian mode. Aside from letting younger viewers immediately recognize a character, the colors themselves have associations. Red is strength, passion, and self-sacrifice, so these are typically assigned to these leading characters. Sunrise played around with the art style in each series. Though the mecha were often very similar, the human characters went from highly stylized to reasonably well-drawn (particularly in Dagwon, where "pretty boy" appeal was offered to draw in female viewers, similar to Mobile Suit Gundam Wing). You could watch any of the shows and tell immediately who was the main character by this common palette. I chose white instead of red to avoid too many comparisons with Iron Man (and let's face it, Spider-man) when Link is in his armor. Still, Leo (the Lion) Snow (the bastard son of a Stark - in this case, Tony) is meant to come from this line of red-jacketed, big-haired fighters for justice.
More random stuff here: What about Pneuma then? Whether or not she ever gets art, she looks like something . I think Doyce had some art that caught his eye, but I can't find the post immediately. I had a different, and specific inspiration. Both of us are probably wrong :)  But why? After their argument about Pneuma's intended role in his life, Leo chose to commit to what she wanted - independence. He gave her access to all his robotics equipment and shut the lab door. She had - and still has - total authority over what she looks like, including height, build, coloration, and so on. And she can change it, if she wants. That's part of the deal.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
I posted a couple pictures of my head-canon pneuma during the last game. Sort of combat-mode and civilian-mode. If I wanted to tie it into what Bill already posted, my head-canon would include the explanation that she's slowly changing her look to reflect the native heritage in the area where Halcyon City is located, but basically I just liked the body armor that's actually just body (though the armor would be white, or mostly white), and the thoughtful golden eyes on the civilian picture.  The two faces don't actually look at all the same, but the palette is similar? Again, this is just my head-canon. I see her switch to combat mode by literally flipping her "body-panels" or something, but that's just me. Unlike the other two, this isn't from Bill's pinterest board, but I like the face. It ignores everything I just said.
I like that last one. My own head-canon has been more like the Maria 'bot in Metropolis, but I don't at all assert it's good head-canon. 
Doyce T. said: Unlike the other two, this isn't from Bill's pinterest board It is now.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
Just don't go for the Japanese look. Amir kept setting this up as Jason's wallpaper on various devices. And that so  doesn't look like his corgi.
On the note of hexagonal nanotech, I found this:
Finally getting around to trying something for Link (I really don't like doing highly technical things, so I've been putting it off) and I was overly amused with if I played with the colors they sort of look like different members of a sentai/Power Rangers team. The helmet is based a bit off one of Bill's references and the Aegis armor from Mass Effect 2 (my second favorite helmet design from that series).  Based on Bill's description, I wanted something equal parts Iron Man and Power Rangers.  I don't think this is anything close to what the finished design is going to look like, but I do think it's a good jump off point to start discussing things. A few more interesting details that I gathered from all this: the major color shared by the majority of the team is white.  It's a dominant color in Link, Concord, and Mercury's design (if you count silver as white).  Based on my initial design, Ghost Girl also has white as an accent color.  That just leaves Jason out with his primary color being black (diametrically opposed to white) which sort of fits the team dynamic going on. Now I want that major moment when Jason gets on the same page as the rest of the team to involve a costume change to something white.  Or he could just Renegade option it ( more Mass Effect references !*) and get everyone else to fall into line with him, making the color shift happen to the rest of the team. *Link not relevant to anything, I just love that exchange from ME2.
Did some thinking about this! On the one hand, if you don't like doing tech-focused art, I literally have a Pinterest board full of armor candidates in case I need a visual reference, and I'd love to see what you make of unsuited Leo or Pneuma. On the other hand, every artist I know likes to challenge themselves sooner or later, and I don't know where you are in that process, but I like what you did so far. What you have here reminds me of Pacific Rim's Gipsy Danger suits ( ). Without seeing anything below the shoulders, I don't know where what you have falls on the scale between "flexible pilot suit" and "solid plate armor". By design, the Link Suit would be closer to "solid plate". Suits like this ( ) look more flexible, but ones like this ( ) follow the contours of a human body but still look reasonably solid. From a visual perspective, I think the most important thing is the face. In a TV show or movie, the helmet needs to either show the actor's face so they can emote, or project a strong impression by itself. The bad-guy mooks will either be faceless, or have something that's not recognizably a face ( ). Leo won't show his face - he still has a secret identity at this point. So his helmet needs to emote for him. The archetypical mecha helmet has a sloped top, forming a thick brow over the eyes to give a stern impression. A mouth guard or mask effect hides the highly expressive lips of a human face. An example here: Voltron looks more like a samurai warrior in a lion helmet, but with a similarly stern facial impression: So what does Link want to emote? He's dangerous, he can see you, he's coming for you. A visor-like line of light ( ), optionally with something eye-like ( ), might serve better than a solid plate. My intuition is that wider optics will look like bigger eyes on regular characters, conveying youth or immaturity (and Leo's certainly still that). Having the Tron lines extend up to the helmet let you sculpt a facial expression, give the impression of a mouth, and so on.
Yeah, Link out of armor is pretty simple.  I have a really clear image in mind for him in civies (I don't want to deviate very far from the look in your various Leo Meets the Internet comics.  That's canon as far as I'm concerned.) but armor's a whole other story.  I do appreciate all the thought you've put into this, reference material is always awesome. Here's something I sketched out this evening. Still playing around with the overall look.  The contours are completely off, but I do want to use this as an example piece. Gypsy Danger's drift suits were totally an inspiration for those.  I'd sent it one of your old posts and threw it into my reference folder.  You're definitely right, the face plate is important.  I want to stay away from the  Iron Man look , but it is so human looking.   Voltron  would be cool to style after, but I'd really need to redesign the helmet shape.  Funny enough, my first thought was  Matt LeBlanc's helmet from the Lost in Space movie. (As a movie, it's pretty bad.  As something cool to turn on and look as nice SFX and designs, it's pretty good.) In a completely other direction, my original plan with the faceless helmet with the full face glass covering would be hard to put on and take off and instead it would just lighten up on the inside (like the  divesuits in the Abyss ) if Leo wanted to show someone his face for some reason.  A bit oddball, but it seems like something Leo wouldn't think of at first and then when it did come up, his first thought might be "oh that's an easy fix" instead of "let's redesign the helmet from the ground up". So, those light up triangles.  What are they?  In my mind, they're the hardpoints that Link's grapple lines fire out from.  I need to reorient them a little.  The ones on the hips I see working like  the Big O's hooks and as for the ones on the shoulders... I'm of two minds at the moment.  I'm beginning to think about basing them on  various  shoulder  rocket  designs, but part of me thinks that's silly and that they're probably just upward mounted on his shoulder blades and probably not visible from the front.  For the ones on the wrists, I just need to re-contour the wrist mount so that they make more sense . As I'm writing this and reviewing your various links, I am really starting to dig  this design .  I might use it as a base, but I think I'm going to have to start thinking about accent color too.  The white main color is fine and fits Leo's character, but it looks a little bland without something to accent it with (and I don't want to use black or the metal colors as accents, as they sort of just blend into the lineart).  I'm half tempted to use a rust red or orange as a little shout out to Leo's junkyard workshop, but I also wondered if you had any ideas on that front. Probably next time I'll throw in some designs for the rest of Leo's crew.  Pneuma is going to be interesting.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author

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Doyce T. said: OMG I FORGOT ABOUT BIG O I LOVED THAT SHOW. Oh? You forgot about a show featuring a guy who tries to talk to his enemies, hangs around with a robot girl, drives a big robot, and is on the wrong side of the police much of the time? Because I didn't. :D
Touche, Bill. Also after posting this I thought to myself, "you know, in the time it took you to render out that sketch, you probably could have roughed out like four or five other designs and iterated closer to something you like."  Man I hate being inconsistent. 

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Mike said: Here's something I sketched out this evening. He looks like he's having a rough day, so it's spot-on. :) I think what Iron Man lacks is that sort of framing helmet-type effect. Putting a 'face' on the suit without that would probably look too close, yeah. I do remember the Lost in Space helmet too! It struck me as a curiously medieval aesthetic, which was awesome.  Collapsible Helmets are of course done in a lot of places. It didn't feel right for this particular character yet, though as he develops and opens up more, he'd adopt something like that. So mark that down as a milestone of character development. Skyhooks: I imagined them as relatively small for what they do. Placement-wise, circular turrets on the  hips and  shoulders , flush with the armor when not in use, and able to rotate 360 degrees and fire at an angle as needed. Their positioning is pragmatic - they need to be mounted where the armor is most rigid, since they'll be load-bearing. They should definitely be able to fire at all angles, like Big O's restraint system, and for the same reason. I agree that the  last link in your post looks solid - I've been collecting many more along those lines since I first saw it. What other colors to include? The  classic answer to this question works fine for me. Aside from that, part of the conceit of Leo's junkyard is that a lot of Halcyon City's wrecked tech ends up there, and that he built some of his stuff using that. The colors I associate with super-prototype or trainer vehicles like that would be bright orange or yellow-gold, like the  Valkyrie in the foreground here. Visually treating the armor like a prototype of its own is certainly appropriate. :) Everything you're doing, for all the PCs, is awesome and I'm grateful for the time you've put into it so far.

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Apropos of nearly nothing ... Funny enough, my first thought was Matt LeBlanc's helmet from the Lost in Space movie. (As a movie, it's pretty bad. As something cool to turn on and look as nice SFX and designs, it's pretty good. I have such a love-hate relationship with that movie. On the one hand, there are some visuals and ideas they use that are absolutely top-notch. And I always appreciate cameos for previous role-players in a movie remake. On the other hand, the plot is horrifyingly written by an internally conflicted committee of idiots.  Bottom line, I actually based a character (in Doyce' oft-referenced ADRPG campaign) on Gary Oldman's Doctor Smith ( Edward, Assassin of Amber ). So I am horribly prejudiced. Also, yes,  Matt Leblanc's armor helmet thang was very cool. Dammit. Now I need to watch that movie again. And I always feel dirty when I do.

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For collapsible or otherwise easy-access helmets, one option is the  Robocop 2014 flip-down helmet . It's got the light-line optics, plus the half-exposed face typical of many  superhero masks and  toku helmets . Tough to depict in a static image, but I'll keep it in mind as a feature.
*** Dave H. said: I have such a love-hate relationship with that movie. On the one hand, there are some visuals and ideas they use that are absolutely top-notch. And I always appreciate cameos for previous role-players in a movie remake. Oh Dave, you would not believe the number of movies, documentaries, tv shows, music videos, and books that I own that I don't really care about but keep around because of good visuals.
Mike said: "you know, in the time it took you to render out that sketch, you probably could have roughed out like four or five other designs and iterated closer to something you like."  Man I hate being inconsistent.  So yeah, I was totally right about iterative design. Started with just throwing whatever I could think of on the canvas (in hindsight, 5 is totally Robo-Thor) but towards the end I suddenly thought about why Bill had said Link chose white as the primary color.  This led me to thought line of "Hmm, Leo wants to be a hero, a proverbial white knight... wait, why don't we make him a white knight?"  There was also a bit where I started playing around with the design trying to make a "best of" all the previous designs, which would be #9 and #12.  And that was where I really wanted to stick with the helmet visor look. On that same note, if we do go with the White Knight design, I vote that we make Troll Link's nemesis who constantly tries to pull him to the dark side.  There's some puns waiting to happen there. #7 would make an awesome villain look.  #1 would be the skull design for his robot minions. The figure is me just playing around seeing if I liked a bulkier design like Bunker from the Sentinels of the Multiverse. (A great card game, by the way.  I play it on Steam with my friends all the time.  Would not recommend the physical version though, there's a lot of things to keep in mind basically all the time and I'd rather offload that mental work to a computer.)  I like the shoulder hooks a lot the more I think about them, and making some knightly pauldrons would give somewhere to hide them.
Neither Link nor I can take Troll seriously at all though. I've kind of got an arch villain as well. :)
Okay, so worked out some layers working with the knight idea. And then to make sure the whole design works in an actual comic panel...
Looks I'm actively trying to avoid: and Your in-progress sketches gave me an idea though. Rather than the crown symbol above the eye line that I see in the rightmost sketch, can a stylized crown become the optics themselves? While I thought about that, I remembered the wings adorning a ton of the fancier armors - usually on the back, anime style, but it needn't be that. What about forming a mouth-guard out of them? Super-rough sketch to follow.
((Agree completely on Sentinals of the Multiverse.))

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Had some trouble sleeping due to our impending snow storm (sinuses, man...) so I decided to iterate a little more.  I went a little heavy into the tokusatsu designs, but we'll get into my comments below. 1 & 4. Bill's design pretty much verbatium and my own take on it.  It kind of feels weird to try and get those wings to work well.  I'll try some other ideas later. 2. A more classical knight helmet. 3. Somewhere between Voltron and Pharah from Overwatch. 5. For some reason, I smirk at the idea of Link repurposing a wielding helmet for his battlesuit. 6 & 9 & 12. Variations on your normal Power Rangers-ish helmet, with 12 taking a bit from the recent Robocop. 7. Trying the wings again.  Doesn't feel right.  Too Techno-Viking. 8. Taking the idea of the Bull a little too literally. 10. Also some Robocop. 11. I was totally watching Robotech on Netflix while doing this and felt Bill would approve.  Those flight helmets man, I almost bought one a few years back.  If they had Roy's color scheme, I probably would have broke down and done it.  Feels like it's a little plain as is, but probably with a bit of modification it could be something.  To the right is a side view.
I was totally watching Robotech on Netflix while doing this and felt Bill would approve. Those flight helmets man, I almost bought one a few years back. If they had Roy's color scheme, I probably would have broke down and done it. Feels like it's a little plain as is, but probably with a bit of modification it could be something. To the right is a side view. I very much imprinted on Robotech back in the day, so, yeah, I've sort of had those images in my brain as you've been discussing all this armor for Link.
11 looks pretty good for where Link is right now: scrounging tech and using his own ideas with the few safe devices he got access to from Rossum's old lab, after AEGIS took it over. From the neck down, your most recent armor was solidly in that same aesthetic. Earlier versions might have literally had a welding mask, I hope he's moved past that by now. But the idea of it suits his lower tech, practical approach to inventions. Not a lot of fancy add-ons or gewgaws, just whatever works best and isn't fragile.
Got it.  When I get home, I'll try working out some aesthetically pleasing variations and try to match the armor a little more.  Also, we'll start on some Pneuma and Otto designs.  I've also got some ideas for Ghost Girl and Mercury to work out... okay, this is starting to sound like a week's worth of work. Doyce, is there room in the budget for an art team?  What do you mean there isn't a budget?!
In all seriousness if you have a PayPal donation link or patreon or etc I would like to contribute.
Bill G. said: In all seriousness if you have a PayPal donation link or patreon or etc I would like to contribute. Believe me when I say if my experience with Doyce trying to commission me is any indication, attempting to pay me with actual legal tender will turn me into an anxiety-ridden mess that hardly touches a pen out of guilt and self-doubt.  Instead, pay me with praise and support in my future endeavors (whenever I actually get around to those, I've been procrastinating on a comic since around 2005-6).  Besides, I make more than enough money at my day job and the stress-relief and enjoyment I get out of making art is a fine payment for my time.