The above are character designs for the thesis project. The top figure is Amy, the (current) girlfriend of Mike. (It was a relatively quick sketch, I was more worried about the body forms than clothing.) The middle figure is Brody, a troll who gets into a fight with a Goblin and a Dwarf, right in front of Donovan. The bottom picture is Brody in his human form (note the amulet around his neck, removed in the middle pic.)
Of special note is the human-Brody pic, which was inked and colored in ToonBoom Animate! I've bought a copy and will most likely be doing the actual thesis project using that software. (I'll add updates on it as I go)
More to come. I've got several more sketches, and I'm going to start getting more of this work put onto the actual Nightmares site.
Not sure why I didn't post this, it was finished within a short period of the previous version. I retitled it because this one seems to have a different connotation. Biggest change is the addition of hair, as well as the extra layer of shadows over everything from the new lightsource.
Here's the group shot for my three main characters, showing the size compared between them. I'll also be using this as a blank template to design costumes.
I love the interplay of expressions on these guys, which is mostly accidental. Makes it look like Gwen (in green) just told a joke which makes Mike (in red) uneasy, while Donovan (in blue) looks ticked about it.
And yes, they have sock feet. No need to mess with toes here.
Much better! Got Gwen's face design down a bit better. (proportions were off on the previous, and I was trying to use too much pointed angles in the design.) Much better with a smooth bow-shaped flow down the face from the eyebrow to the chin.
Early sketch, didn't even get as far as sketching on underwear, let alone clothing, but decided I needed to get a copy.
Here's Gwen, the female love interest in the episode. Her hair is sort of what I think as the Qui-Gon w/bangs. It's basically a ponytail bunched from the front-half of her head, leaving the rest to hang down in back.
Still might tweak this a bit, not sure. I like what I've got at the moment, but we'll see what it looks like tomorrow.
Here's the full-body shot for Mike. (It's a little more detailed than the Donovan shot, but then Mike is also more well-defined. He works hard for those ab muscles.) He's a lot thinner than Donovan is, both in frame and muscularity. He's also got longer legs, proportionately.
Working through several different sketch designs, I'm finding I have to thin down his neck, as compared to the original character headshots. Originally, I had this very specific image as to his build, which was directly informed by the thick neck and apparent shoulders in the headshot, but I was finding that it was too similar to Donovan's, albeit slightly shorter. (This would have worked better if Donovan had been, say, tall and lanky, but not when he's built like a linebacker.) One aspect of character design, when designing characters in pairs or groups, is to clearly define and create oppositions in the characters. I couldn't have them both be the same build.
This works, tho. It also puts a slightly different dynamic together, in that Donovan is thick and square, with blocky shapes. (albiet, built with curves, but with broad proportions..) Mike, on the other hand, is more sinuous, with that same V-shaped taper reflected not only in his torso, but also in his head. The basic shape of his head is roughly square, but wider at the top than at the base of the neck, and the V that starts from the front of his throat, at the clavicle, is extended up through the top of the head, where the side-most spikes of the hair stick off in either direction.
Here's a sketch for Donovan's full-body design. This is a pretty rough one, I haven't had time to clean it up, it's more for the purpose of showing the construction lines than anything. Of special emphasis is the way I'm combining the Cheeks-inspired angular construction with some S-curve dynamics.
Specifically, look at the groin area, how it's the center of the body construction. Rising up are the two curves which make up the sides of the torso, from the sides of the lower abdominal muscles up to the lat muscles and curving around the top of the shoulder, where it attaches to the torso.
Then on the legs, from the same point, the standing leg is constructed with a slight outward-curving line. The inner calf muscle is created with an inward curve, and the rest of the thigh and calf muscles are recreated with simple curves, such as the S-curve that runs from the top of the hip, down the inner thigh to make that swoop of muscle that separates the inner thigh from the rest, then crosses at the knee to make the outer calf muscle, and finishes up making the other side of the heel.
I decided to make Donovan a little top-built. Some figures are leggy, with the half-point of their height being that center groin point, Donovan is not. His half-point is around the middle of his hips, closer to the waist than the groin. (Mike, on the other hand, being more of a runner, is going to have more legs.)
Slight tweaks on the design for Donovan. I think I'm finally satisfied with this one, it's a nice intermediate between my original intent, and the more simplified action-cartoon/Cheeks-inspired design, which was bugging me to heck because I didn't have a good mnemonic for the design. This one, I've got a much better structure underneath. Also relatively happy with the eyes, though I still prefer my (unposted) sketch version of the design, where he's got these scowling flat eyebrows. (Hard to do in this shot, tho.)
Purposefully recreating the angle and pose from the previous Donovan pic, plus neck this time, so I can replace it. He feels more solid, more grounded.
Here's the three views for Mike. I've been in a bit of a rut lately, never home long enough to collect my thoughts and get anything done. Been trying to get everything done in terms of prep-work for the fall semester; character designs, script, storyboards, etc.
I'm starting to feel Mike is really established. I don't have a fullbody for him yet, but the image of his build and physicality is in my head. Might try to work on it tonight.
It's not easy, I've gotta keep Donovan and Mike differentiated. Both are vaguely athletic figures, though Mike is only middling height, whereas Donovan is tall and with heavier bonestructure. (Both are former football players in highschool.) Mike is more cut down, (He likes showing off the washboard to the ladies) where Don's just big, a little fat.
Need to finish up this guy in Flash like I did with Mike, but I wanted to get this done before bed. (it's so distorted because my scanner's still dead, this was the best my laptop's webcam could get, and even then I had to play with it and filter it to get it to look good. This is also as LARGE as it gets.)
Warren is Donovan's boss, landlord, and old family friend. (He called him Uncle Warren back when he was a kid.) Warren knew Donovan's father, served with him in the military, and even stood as his best man at the wedding. After his death, Warren took it upon himself to be the male figure in Donovan's upbringing, but left when Donovan was around eleven, moving cross-state. When Donovan moved over there to go to college, Warren gave Donovan a part-time job at the bar he'd established, and fixed up the upstairs of the building to act as an apartment for him to rent. As of now he's in his late forties/early fifties.
Anyhoo, I'll update this post with the inked and colored version when I've got it. Got stuff to handle tomorrow so it could be a couple days.
This was done a couple weeks ago, on paper at the Motor City Comic Con. Unfortunately, around the same time, or shortly before, my scanner decided to crap out on me.
This was imported using the camera on my laptop, not the best way (and also why I'm not posting the original sketch). Cleaned it up, inked and colored it in Flash. This is Mike, one of the prime secondary characters (almost the second protagonist, for how often he's involved, but not really a viewpoint character). He's Donovan's best friend, a post-college jock who hasn't really figured out what he wants to do with his life, aside from sleep with every available woman in the tri-county area.
Here's the pre-final version of my T-shirt design! If all goes according to plan (IE, no glaring errors or stupid-font choices pointed out by my friends) I should have pre-order set up in a couple days!
Jaegers! As I mention in the other image, these guys are the goblins, orcs, ogres, and so forth of Nightmares in the Dark. They're the mythologicals not based on animals, the dark half of the Fey (generally the 'bump in the night' sort), but they also serve an important purpose, they're the Host of the Wild Hunt, which in-universe is actually a regular event held to flush out and destroy demons. This is how I get their name, Jæger means 'hunter' in germanic languages.
This is also my most extensive exploration of this character style, which draws on recent trends in action cartoons, most notably Sean 'Cheeks' Galloway, who's done character designs for Hellboy Animated, Spider-man, and is features on the covers of Teen Titans Go!
In this image, we have (clockwise, starting at the top): Ogre (Big guys related to giants) Troll (Related to ogres, but more bestial) Hobgoblin (Small, often-helpful goblins) Orc (Not so well-sourced in mythology, but I had to have them, so I found a reference to black-skinned berserker-warriors who serve Odin. It helped pull together some of my mythology.) Goblin (Near-human, Goblins are the most common kind.) Dark Elf (Arrogant elitists, they are the most naturally gifted in magic among the Jaegers.)
I'm working on getting this design developed to put on a T-shirt, though I'm not sure how it'll look yet. (Two main options are greyscale versions, either using white-and-shade before colors were added, or doing a force-to-grey version of this, with a lot more color levels. This gets pricey, tho, so I'll have to figure things out. I could do full-color, but again, price is an issue.)