oh jeez thanks anon ur making me blush
and god i actually was planning on making some pretty guide on how i do designs and concepts but in the end i got lazy SO ILL JUST
GIVE A LESS ORGANIZED RUNDOWN OF HOW I DO THINGS (IM ASSUMING UR ASKING ABOUT MY HUMANFORMERS BUT IF NOT THEN WHAT IM ABOUT TO SAY STILL APPLIES TO DESIGN ANYWAYS)
also this is going to be a long post be prepared for a lot of rambling and pictures
first and foremost i pick the context which i like to divide into three catagories:
i would like to say that all 3 of these categories are acceptable designs but only when its in its own context. like you cant put an impractical design in a practical setting, its not going to work and it looks ridiculous (the only fitting setting an impractical design would fall under would be pinups but thats just me)
i personally like using something along the middle of practical and impractical cause practical is boring and bland and impractical if done wrong is in bad taste and like the pic says above i can get the best of both from using something in the middle
visual cues > practicabililty
by visual cues i mean something u can instantly recognize at first glance, like a cross on someone’s jacket? totally a medic. i sure as heck dont want my designs looking like something from call of duty. i want something looking like tf2 (which heavily depends on visual cues more than practicability and in the end you get a really great diverse cast that everyone can recognize)
NEXT STEP: i make a list of characteristics, physical appearences, likes/dislikes/etc. of whoever im designing and i cherry pick from that list of what i would like to highlight the most. the list doesn’t have to be long, just put down some of the basic info and go from there (if you need to make a detailed list, go ahead!)
im going to be using skyfire as my main example with appearences from others
so anyways: a short list for skyfire would be
from this extremely short list i immediately zoned in on “was frozen in the arctic for a very very long time” cause i was getting the most inspiration from that, so i start designing from there
NEXT STEP: i start brainstorming and collecting material!
the first thing i thought of when i thought of “frozen in arctic” was the inuit people who live there and dang inuit!skyfire sounds like a sweet idea and i start researching the inuits and arctic gear and other things related around that area
(i used that yellow hat for lady!skyfire)
its super important that you do your research at this part especially if you’re going to be using cultures that you’re not familiar with! start reading and asking people (be polite!) when it comes to this
get tons of material for this part!! look at fashion magazines/shoots, pictures of houses or places, look at colors, draw from your own experiences, read tons of articles and books on anything! history, how to get cute curls in your hair, what dress looks cute on what body type, etc. i really really cannot stress this enough. getting as much material as possible on anything will make designing a lot easier!
i want to mention that this part really depends on how fast inspiration hits you. with skyfire i was immediately drawn to them being inuit. with others, i had a hard time coming up with something! you just gotta keep gathering references and materials until inspiration hits you! for example, rumble and frenzy gave me an extremely hard time. i knew what i wanted for them but i was having a difficult time coming up with a hair style that would tie everything together. it took a lot of looking through fashion magazines and pictures to finally find what i wanted:
i actually bought vogue us’s january 2014 issue solely for this photoshoot cause the instant i saw these lovely ladies i thought “this hair is perfect for rumble and frenzy adds this to gathered material” and from there i had an idea for soundwave’s shitty kids
looking good B)
NEXT STEP: more brainstorming and actual drawing!
ok from here i start doodling what i want skyfire to look like by using the material ive collected from the previous step.
i dont actually have any process drawings for skyfire here lmao but i do have one for elita one:
i actually dont do this much designing but elita one was giving me the most difficult time lmao. but yeah here you want to try as many things as you can until you find something you like!
if you like one design but also like something else in another design, then combine the 2! or 3 or 4 or whatever! the point here is to make as many designs/combinations as you see fit
you dont need to stick with the actual robot design to a t! i want to emphasize this im going to emphasize this a lot. strictly sticking to the original robot design is going to make things look extremely awkward and the design will look superficial at best. heres a bad drawing of what im talking about but i hope you get the point here:
this doesnt tell me anything as opposed to this:
visual cues!!!!!!! cross patches, stethoscope, scowl on their faces,etc!
as you can see i did not strictly keep to ratchet’s original design. i want to make this clear: its ok to deviate from the original! it makes things more interesting and more grounded! dont deviate too much tho!
some good ways to determine whether or not a design is good or not:
of course these questions cant really be used for every design, cause many designs also rely on themes, historical context, body type, expressions, poses, etc. but its a good place to start things off!
i want to also mention that there are certain characteristics that look similar to certain types of clothing
for example: bluestreak’s (and prowl’s and smokescreen’s) chevron looks like a cute bow so its only natural for me to give them cute bows for their hair
cute chevron turns into cute bow!
NEXT STEP: i start to finalize the concepts
ok so after all the nitpicking and drawing and tears i pick what i like best and finalize the concepts and ta da!
looking great here skyfire!!
EXTRA TIDBITS TO CONSIDER:
i am all for diversity. you cant expect anyone to believe that everyone would be white with a perfect body now can you? this is extremely important to design and it needs to be considered!
ok i know you asked for costume design, but goddamnit what people wear is tied in with who they are.
race is important, body type is important, gender/sex is important, everything is goddamn important and people show it through how they dress themselves.
a good example of this would be mtmte skids. skids comes from a group of robots who have gifts and are persecuted because of it. fuck even senator shockwave made the academy a safe place for these robots. you would think this could translate well for a poc!skids but lmao exactly why skids has a boring white dude for a hologram will never cease to confuse and anger me
fucking look at this like what the fuck generic white man in a generic suit what the fuCK
milne i love your art but you fucked up and u seriously need to think more on skids holoform because it screams boring
sexualization is ok! but it has to done right or it’ll up in the hypersexualization/bad taste category.
it really depends on who you are sexualizing. you have to think: who’s more willing to show off their body and are more willing to wear cute skimpy outfits? who’s more outgoing? who has more confidence in their body??
someone who is shy as hell would most definitely not be wearing something with their midriff showing
also consider this: many women who have large chests wear lowcut shirts because they are easier to breathe in!! so maybe someone likes to wear revealing clothes because its more relaxing and easier to breathe!! it all really depends!
you have to treat them like actual human beings. i really cant stress this enough. these are real people you’re trying to design from scratch, so you need to keep this in mind otherwise your designs will fall flat and they will end up being generic/gross/boring/what the fuck are you doing
this book fucked me up but ill be damned if it wasn’t a great inspiration for hound
and also lots of pictures of mountains, lakes, russia, russian winters, military, dirt, flowers, etc. ya know, everything that hound loves so dearly
motherfucking wendy the welder/rosie the riveter
lets be honest here, if you dont think of rosie the riveter when it comes to the constructicons, then you’re wrong
also i would like to mention that rosie the riveter (and that whole time period really) is a major influence on a lot of my designs. i really really really fucking love this time period and if you can find something you love dearly then try to incorporate them into your designs!!
i hope all this jabbering sorta helped and im really sorry for this super long post
just an insight on how i design my humanformers
This is a really interesting take on character design! There are a lot of good points to use from this.