Khaldun M'khai [Calling it Finished, All Advice Still Warmly Welcomed!!]
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Thread: Khaldun M'khai [Calling it Finished, All Advice Still Warmly Welcomed!!]

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    Khaldun M'khai [Calling it Finished, All Advice Still Warmly Welcomed!!]

    So I'm trying to design characters for DWIV and I decide on an idea I like - an evolved bipedal lion with a full braided main.

    I've done ehh... ok until I get to the armor part. All the sudden it's like I can't create, I just draw similar to the european armor I've studied!!

    Everything I draw seems to be pure function and not aesthetic. No spikies or glowy bits or wing thingamabobs or big choking shoulder pads. How do you spice it up without making it a battle hazard?

    I wanted to make him more tribal but I was afraid that "A Post apocalyptic universe where magic exists" would imply that tribal was dead.

    [BTW It's black because I blocked in some shape first and then started to add lines with a lighter color]

    Here are the pics:

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    A few thoughts:

    Armor is first & foremost functional, so don't be too afraid of having that determine the main forms, unless you're going for something purely ceremonial & decorative;

    Imo, armor is best tailored to the type of battle the warrior is fighting -- swordsmen generally need heavier protection than say an archer or a rifleman. How does this creature fight? Armor should reflect that.

    Does the warrior value brute strength or finesse more in his battle style? That can affect how the armor is designed, the former can be large and chunky, the latter lighter and with more flexibility built in.

    Does the creature's culture have any specific aesthetic (design) motifs that can be used to guide any decorations? Think of how the various cultures in the LOTR movies each had a distinct and recognizable design foundation -- maybe something of that sort could be developed for your leonine race.

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    Well, he is a melee fighter so I figured he'd need medium-heavy armor. On one arm will be a buckler and the other is a magical weapon. I was thinking something attached to a gauntlet and making his hands more "paw-like". He's going to be up against machines with guns as well, so that would necessitate thicker armor plates.

    I was thinking of a resourceful civilization, reusing natural resources for their own use (ie pieces of prey as armor and weapons, machine scraps for armor plating). Not to the level of Mad Max per say, but incorporating their use in their armors.

    He needs to be somewhat agile as he may need the use of his paws, but I don't want him TOTALLY tin canned. He's not jousting! Also, I have not decided if they require a mount yet or not but his physiology at present favors bipedal walking, not running on all fours.

    I've done some brainstorming on a helmet in class today so I'll post that later when I get home to my scanner.

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    X-Posted to my Sketchbook, here is the brainstorming I was doing on helmet shape and design. However, it looks to elf-ish and elegant to be a part of his culture. I think the shape would work with his leonine head, though... what do you think?

    Even if I do very poorly with DWIV, I am learning an awful lot about character design and costume design which is very important to me. I think that means at this point in my art career a whole lot more than a physical prize...

    ...not saying a Cintiq would be bad though, lols.

    I guess I feel somewhat embarrassed because everyone else has so many thumbs and sketches and I just have this and I'm struggling. They get some shapes going in alchemy and bam, they have a billion characters. I was just hit with inspiration for this one race and well... I really like him. I'm trying to truly think about his influences and design from the ground up but maybe I SHOULD do lots of little drawings.

    Confusing, but I'll get it eventually

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    The thing about armour design is that they are meant to cover the most leaving exposed the less. The type of armour will indicate the technology level of a civilization and the kind of society it is (and also the social level of the one that is wearing it and the rank, and so on, and so on..).. Also, the materials available will condition the armour. e.g. Chinese armour uses silk because they have a lot and is great against cutting and piercing...

    Think first what this armour has to protect from. If it's from gunfire, it will have to be mainly centered on the chest and head because protecting more is not worthy for the excessive weight toll. If it's against cutting/slashing, structures like mail and leather, or silk and scales work great while keeping it lightweight. If it's against piercing/thrusting, usually you need plate armour as the one you depicted..

    Sorry for the rant.. Is a topic close to my work

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    The only problem is, they'd also be fighting other races according to the brief, which is why I am somewhat confused as to how to go about designing the armor. The armor is allowed to be very much magical in nature. Sometimes maybe I feel like I have TOO many choices?

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    If there are too many chocies, just pick what the armourer knows best, his own threat..

    As I see it, if human race would be attacked now by an alien race we would use our state of the art technology to fight them. So choose a moment of development for them when they enter the war and there you are

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    Also keep in mind that there is generally a lag between state-of-the-art tech and military usage, particularly in less advanced cultures. Example: in the American Civil War, a principle tactic was the bayonet charge, even though the rifled musket, Minee ball, and later, repeating rifles made such tactics obsolete. Same for armor -- visually and functionally it should have a history rooted in the culture of the wearer, and may not be perfectly effective against newer threats. Magical aspects should be limited imo, otherwise, why bother at all with armor, just use the magic to counteract all possible attacks.

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    I think I should stick around this thread, I am in need of armor theory and the advice here are sound for my state and would like to hear more.

    sorry that I can't share anything since I am also have problems dealing with armor ^^; but I like your design.

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    Okay, thanks for all the good advice. I'll hopefully have some new renditions soon - you all are super helpful

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    What masque says is really true I could put some real examples of state of the art transparent armour technology that are not used on military yet..

    I guess the term I should have used would be Off The Shelf

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    Heya Thread,

    Just wanted to let you all know that I haven't abandoned this project in the slightest, I've just taken a few days off of it. Had to concentrate on a value project I'm doing for 2-D Design (Ugh, replicating drawings via stippling and cut out hole punches...) and had some math homework backup.

    Plus... well, I wanted to crank out a few more of my Warhammer 40k figs, lol.

    Soon I will post an update with more sketches, I am designing some armor made of bones of fallen prey and past warriors (each warrior's armor is unique with a similar motif). I really, really like it so far. I need to stop being so afraid and just start f'ing DOING stuff. So I'm gonna!

    EDIT: Here's a 10 minute mockup so you don't think I'm bluffing:

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    I got hit with this 2x4 of inspiration while I was at D&D the other day. Hadn't had time to work on this in a while, was a little behind on my math and public speaking assignments. I'm set to roll now, though.

    Obviously being huddled up on a couch at D&D I had no references except the sketches I did of lions facial expressions. I was also trying to concentrate on the combat at hand (Fucking beholders level drained me), and didn't lay the anatomy out very well so I was really just letting the ideas flow. I eventually redrew the feet 6 times to no avail and gave up. Only now do I realize I screwed up at his HIPS/waist... his legs look like they're being wrung through a meat grinder and oozing out the other side of his hips.

    Alas, I think the ideas developed nice and smoothly, except his bone armor looks too symmetrical to be so segmented, I need to define these shapes more and add more stuff. I think I want like a carved bone lion's head adorning the middle of his chest plates and strapped on with leather belts.

    PS I will be taking photos of my best model in the whole world (my boyfriend) in the pose I want this guy in for the finalization, so I can get the anatomy of the foot right and get his proportions in check. Gotta get it right the first time; it's going to be oil or acrylic on masonite!\

    Also I'm working security at a sci fi/horror con in parsippany, NJ over the weekend so if you've got any input on this I'd like to see some asap so I can take it into consideration while I'm at the con - it can get boring during the downtime especially on Sunday mornings when all the celebs are packing up so I'm bringing my sketch paper as something to do and I'd like to work on this guy.

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    [Please flip the canvas or check in the mirror for proportional corrections]

    I love the shoulders. It's not too big and not too small.
    Like Mad Max. Mad Max is cool.

    (I dig the moleskins too, not the sketches, just the moleskins. kidding.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwardo View Post
    I love the shoulders. It's not too big and not too small.
    Like Mad Max. Mad Max is cool.

    (I dig the moleskins too, not the sketches, just the moleskins. kidding.)
    How'd you know I love the Road Warrior so much? Rofl. I wanted to get away from the Warhammer 40k/Warcraft "Rule of Cool" gigantic shoulder pad trend that's been happening lately. And yes, I love Mad Max - and I love makeshift stuff.

    Mmm, mole's skin. Tastes delicious. Omnomnom

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    [doh, i meant moleskine ] Although the mole skin still applies.
    Hot sauce ... Yumm.

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    Don't get too caught up in making our concepts (especially armour) effectively realistic. If you do that there just aren't that many forms to use. Look at you last design, looks much better but it wouldn't protect him from anything except a very half hearted slash to the chest. Noone looks at armour designs and thinks "oh well he would have a really hard time lifting his arm above his shouldeer in that outfit so my immersion is broken and I will immediately stop playing this game".

    Just draw it so it looks good.

    LOTR armour?
    Gondor: Middle ages europe
    Rohan: late dark ages Europe
    They look affective and real because they're real world armour design
    Orcs: Total fantasy, totally unrealisstic. With all those spikes and crap sticking offit a) they would catch on other parts of the armour and restrict their movement and b) every time someone hit them the blow would be caught in the cevices and the force transmitted to the wearer. That's why plate mail is all curves, so blows glance off it.

    To sum up: all the best design only gives a nod to realistic use. Do you think WOW would be so succesful if Night elves wore realistic armour and the ORcs wore stuff that allowed for freedom of movement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    Don't get too caught up in making our concepts (especially armour) effectively realistic. If you do that there just aren't that many forms to use. Look at you last design, looks much better but it wouldn't protect him from anything except a very half hearted slash to the chest. Noone looks at armour designs and thinks "oh well he would have a really hard time lifting his arm above his shouldeer in that outfit so my immersion is broken and I will immediately stop playing this game".

    Just draw it so it looks good.

    LOTR armour?
    Gondor: Middle ages europe
    Rohan: late dark ages Europe
    They look affective and real because they're real world armour design
    Orcs: Total fantasy, totally unrealisstic. With all those spikes and crap sticking offit a) they would catch on other parts of the armour and restrict their movement and b) every time someone hit them the blow would be caught in the cevices and the force transmitted to the wearer. That's why plate mail is all curves, so blows glance off it.

    To sum up: all the best design only gives a nod to realistic use. Do you think WOW would be so succesful if Night elves wore realistic armour and the ORcs wore stuff that allowed for freedom of movement?
    I'm telling you, my brief time spent as an engineering major before I was an art major ruined me

    I kind of want to make the shoulder pads just a little bigger and add more bony... bits to the armor. Because right now, I don't like the design so much.

    But I've drawn some strange inspiration while organizing lacrosse pads at work - from the separate rib pads and large encumbering chest pieces of hockey padding. So I think I can make it more visually interesting/large and still have it "work" enough to where people won't go "That's ridiculous"

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    So I was thinking about what you all said while I was at art history today and came up with this. It was a little dark in there so I strained my eyes to draw at first, but it got better once we got to lighter slides (lol @ German Expressionism ftw).

    I like this muuuch better... and it incorporated my lacrosse/hockey pad philosophy

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    Please do me a favor and critique this anatomy ASAP. I was trying to keep with real proportions (took a photo of a model in the pose for reference) but the torso keeps coming out funny. I've also attached the reference - everything is blurred to protect him as he probably doesn't want half nude photos of him online.

    I'm having a hard time visualizing the construction lines for the torso. It may be because I want to idealize the figure more, my model does not have an ideal or heroic figure.

    Please give me some pointers - asap! I want to start laying in the background and raw sienna underpainting.

    PS Apologies for the photograph of the masonite board, however light graphite does NOT scan well with my scanner so I went for a photo

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    Should I enlarge his head slightly?

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    Not sure, maybe a little bit, and also broaden his shoulders slightly .. apart from that the progress is great, and the pose is really dynamic

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    me dumb today with words, hope drawing helps O_O

    When you start with drawing, always draw your line of action and align everything along it. Pay special attention how the ribcage and the pelvis are tilted, they usually give the most dynamic to bodies.

    Keep on working, very cool concept, go on with it

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    I just took a break to post this.
    But sometimes I also draw stuff
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    Is it just me or is it easier to measure a human figure in real life VS a photo? oi. I think particularly because I do not have a great inclined surface on which to work right now I am skewing some details due to having things laying too flat on my desk. I'll have to prop this up somehow tonight on my lap.

    I see what you mean now - I've somehow forgotten everything I learned in the anatomy lessons from my figure drawing class years ago. Maybe you guys can help me. I forgot the Hip VS Shoulder rotations and such. I'll go browse fine arts or tutorials.

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    Here's another update, I'm pretty terrible at this figure drawing stuff. Makes me wish I could see my boyfriend's feet I just can't get them right. No angle I draw them from looks correct. Got frustrated tonight and had to stop here. I don't plan on changing the upper body anymore but am open to leg/foot suggestions (was sketching around armor ideas for shin and thigh but not happy yet). The thing is I just have to get SOMETHING entered for this so I can't beat myself up over this forever. It'd be nice to finish something.

    But please, any suggestions for getting better save for "draw from life" I'd like em. Even if it's just a little quick and dirty guide to proportions.

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    Re-worked him a little bit today in Art History class (Horrah for 36 slides of Jackson Pollock...). Added details, removed arm buckler, altered Khopesh to look more... Khopesh-y and then started blocking in the pile of cyborgs he's standing on (His magical Khopesh can get hot on the blade, enabling him to slice through their metal bones! That's his one magical item he's allowed).

    What do you think about his victim pile? Is it too distracting? I guess I'll have to keep it darker so it doesn't get distracting in the painting...?

    I am enjoying watching my piece come together

    Do I need me one of those there repoussoirs?

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    I really like the composition.. The only thing I see fails a bit is the rear foot/ leg.

    Love the armour, btw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quikenobi View Post
    I really like the composition.. The only thing I see fails a bit is the rear foot/ leg.

    Love the armour, btw
    Do you think it fails because I need to pull his left leg forward so the rear leg receeds?

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    I think it is because both tighs are not the same length, and the right ankle should be a little bit higher.. but this is just my opinion...

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    Oh. Ho. Ly. Shit.

    I am an idiot.

    I had this nice sketch all laid out on Masonite. Pre. Gessoed. Masonite. The oil paint is literally just sliding all over and the mineral spirits took my sketch half way to the grave. I'm royally pissed right now.

    So I am going to start laying out and blocking in the official "Concept Sheet" and the "Modeling Sheet". I am nervous about screwing up the proportions for the modeling sheet, but I think if I use a ruler across the page I will be ok.

    I may be doing a different pose, though. I want him a little more upright, I think. He's going to be in action still or maybe receiving armor from 'squire' type Asadaii cubs. BRB - drawing. This time on the same thick watercolor paper Iv'e BEEN doing oil paintings on.

    EDIT: After having looked at other entries, I am somewhat discouraged but am at least very happy that this has been a hell of a learning experience.

    Last edited by Pezz; May 7th, 2009 at 12:11 AM.
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