Character: Cobolt

Character: Cobolt

Character: Cobolt
« on: Jan 17, 2014, 02:37 PM »
Ref Sheet:





Avatar Picture:



Intro Story:








Bio: Not much is known about this being, only that he came from a distant planet and was the sole survivor of a destroyed star ship which he recalls was attacked by an evil empire known as the "Imperial Bot Empire". After the ship crash-landed in the outskirts of Void City, he was found and sheltered by a local dojo sensei. After his recovery, the sensei became like a father to him, raising him and teaching him the art of kung-fu. Michael was given the nickname "Cobolt" by his master for his natural blue fur and fighting style of attacking and maneuvering with lightning speed. For a few years Michael lived a peaceful and joyous life, however it did not take long for his past to catch up to him. One fateful night, Michael had arrived at his master's dojo, only to find it completely wrecked. Upon entering he found his master dead and an Imperial Bot insignia marked on a wall. After giving his master a proper burial, Michael soon learned that the Imperial Bots have set up their base inside Void City. Michael now resides as a Void civilian in order to find the Imperial Bots and put a stop to their evil plans.

Name: Michael "Cobolt" Callister

Species: Alien Android

Age: 150 years old (Appears to be 25)

Personality: Kind-Hearted, Brave, Smart, Respectful, and Charismatic.

Abilities:

-Has superhuman strength

-Is martial arts expert and a skilled strategist

-Can fly for unprecedented amounts of time.

-Can use a variety of energy projectiles and shields.

Weaknesses:

-Can be worn out if put under continuous physical punishment over the course of a battle.

-Prefers a fair fight, meaning if his opponent is only using their fists he will do the same.

-Can sometimes lose concentration and focus if he can't think of a good strategy, which can leave him vulnerable and sloppy.
« Last Edit: Jul 11, 2014, 02:51 AM by ultraman400 »

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #1 on: Jan 17, 2014, 04:37 PM »
Hey there, and welcome to void! I've seen you around commenting but I never saw you actually post some art, so it's good to see that.


But before I say any critiques in mind, please remember that I'm not going to try to put you down or anything like that, I only want to give some feedback to better your work. I say this first because I have a lot to say now.


First, the design sheet. I don't know what size you're drawing on, since this is traditional, but you might wanna consider drawing much bigger than what you have now. The character is MUCH more important than his weapons, abilities, and alternative outfits, so it's best to Put your character nice and big to have a better understanding of his design. Speaking of design, he looks very...boxy to say the least? I mean I'm not entirely sure what he's wearing, is that supposed to be armor? it's very very basic, I would suggest trying to put more imagination into it, along with learning some basic anatomy to give him some more form, he's very stiff IMO.


Now if you want to put his weapons and alternative outfit for him, I suggest stretching the canvas size in height and put all that info at the bottom. Actually, instead of showing his outfit, draw him in it. Better.


For the intro pages, it feels incredibly unfinished. Your writing is incredibly messy and small, making it hard to read whats going on in this comic. Your pencils are very bold, indicating you were pressing pretty hard when you were sketching this out. Because of your pencils as they are, they feel very sketchy and unfinished. I would also suggest putting some space between your panels. That's probably a nitpick on my side, but just having lines separate your images doesn't seem very attractive to look at. Some good examples I can pull out of my playlist are:

World's Greatest Eccentric by Jongbom and Pocketmouse

Devil's Three-Way, Mister Kent's entry









I can't really thing of anything else to say about this character, I would just say tighten up the overall quality of these drawings and consider some better pacing in your comic pages. hope that helps!

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #2 on: Jan 17, 2014, 04:57 PM »
Really cute character. Blue foxboy? I think yes  :D Super adorable. I wish he was a bit bigger though, so I could see him better~ really see the facial features  <3
And I love how on top of his badass space suit armor thing, that you also gave us an alternate 'normal outfit'. Very useful. And the design for the ship, also kinda cool.
I'd say though, that maybe for your lines, draw really lightly with pencil and then draw over it with a fine-tip black marker, then erase the pencil lines. It'll look much cleaner that way.
And for your speech bubbles, I find it really good to write out the words first, and then draw a bubble around them so the lettering doesn't get squished and sort of hard to read. And watch your spelling, dude. Spelling is super important to professionalism  :)
It also helps, if you read a lot of comics. Just pick one that you really really love and try to emulate their style. Maybe even do an excercise, where you redraw a page of your favorite comic, just to really nail how it goes together.
Also? Arm ion canon = hella cool.

Good luck!  :D
// get on my finger, carl! \\

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #3 on: Jan 17, 2014, 04:58 PM »
he looks a bit like Starfox meets Megaman ^^; but thats fine if you can own it. right now like Skulls said your lines are sort of stiff and blocky, and moreover flat, theres no depth to it. The intro doesn't give much information about him, its pretty much just "I've arrived, in a spaceship!" but i dont know who he is, which may be in part because the pencils are near impossible for me to read. I think it would be good if you added another page with a little more on the character himself because honestly all I'm getting from your info is he seems about overpowered and generic ^^; I'm not trying to dump on your character I just feel like theres more that could be done to make him stand out on his own.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #4 on: Jan 17, 2014, 05:40 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. maybe I could re-size the ref. sheet, add another Intro page (Probably a flashback to give the character more of a backstory, if it works with you. Yeah, even I was unsure about the Intro Story. In the additional page I also try to draw him without his armor, by the way the design of his armor was intended to be boxy, although I will try to add a picture of him armor-less in the ref. sheet.), fix the writing in the Intro Story, and that probably would fix the issues seen in this character.

Update: ref. sheet is now a thumbnail which by clicking it will take you to the original pic, or take a look at its original size by right-clicking it and click: Open Image in new tab. I'll do the same for the Intro Story.
« Last Edit: Jan 19, 2014, 10:20 AM by ultraman400 »

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #5 on: Jan 19, 2014, 07:14 PM »
Everyone else has kind of gone over a lot of the things I am thinking, but I have a bit of a criticism regarding the plain design he has.

As Shen says, he does remind me of Mega Man which I am going to assume is probably because it influences you? If so I regularly design things with that kind of aesthetic myself :). But in this particular case it seems like a very plain sort of adaptation along this character design:



Which really isn't my beef. As I said I have designed characters taking design cues from lots of things that inspire me, I am pretty sure we all do. But your design in comparison to this is pretty lacking and plain. I get that he is simple to draw but there is also nothing unique about him either. In comparison the Mega Man design I linked above has varying widths to the tubes as well as other little details to separate him out from being totally plain. The orange backpack also helps to add a little bit of extra variety on a very blue design. Mega Man Volnutt's design is still very simple and easy but its still visually more interesting than just a bunch of tubes :).

So what I'm saying is I'd give your guy some more variety around on his design. Don't need to go overboard but give him a little stronger of a silhouette maybe and/or more defined features that if we saw them we'd go "Okay that's Cobolt!".

The other thing is did you intentionally spell his name wrong, or is it meant to be like the colour Cobalt?

Also your writing on the page is very hard to read and you could use with some cleaning it up. Also keep an eye on your writing as I'm noticing spelling errors such as "Set a couse to this Void City", when it should say 'course'. The last line to doesn't make any sense unless there is supposed to be an I in there so it reads "and I plan on keeping it". Basically I'd toss these pages and start on some new ones. Pay attention to how other comics utilize composition in setting up the panels on their page, as well as the drawings within the panels. Composition is key here and as your comic is right now I don't feel you're really utilizing the page to its fullest. It's not awful or anything in terms of your panel layout I just feel it could be a little more interesting, but the drawings within the panels don't have the best composition.

It's quite good to know some basics of composition. As I'm tired and didn't feel like totally trudging through this wikipedia article to make sure it doesn't suck, here is a wikipedia article on composition that hopefully doesn't suck. ALSO when planning out your pages make sure to think of where you want your word bubbles to go first. As it stands I feel you're not thinking of where to place your text and so it gets all crammed in and around the drawings.

Also more detail in the pages please, everything suffers from the same problem the ref does for your character in that the design is plain. Spice it up a bit! Add more creative flair and effort into the drawings, have fun with it!

That's my two cents.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #6 on: Jan 22, 2014, 06:55 PM »
You know what, I just don't have it in me to continue on with this anymore. Its just because there is so much complex factors put into comic book making that I just can't (not even for the life of me) adapt to. For me, this was just to test my artistic capabilities. Not because I'm a terrible artist (I'm at least fairly good), its just so difficult to make a comic. I might do some fan art though (If it is okay) of some of the characters on this site, so you never know.
« Last Edit: Jan 22, 2014, 06:58 PM by ultraman400 »

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #7 on: Jan 22, 2014, 07:38 PM »
you are welcome to hang around, we always love fanart! if someday you get more comfortable drawing comics, feel free to try again!

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #8 on: Jan 23, 2014, 01:01 AM »
Oh, don't give up so fast! You are starting now and you just got a LOT of advice. It can be a little intimidating and a lot to take in at first. But don't worry - nobody is expecting you to do it all at once. Just take it one step at a time, do it in your own pace.

And this is something that Kozi linked me a few days ago and I think it's a brilliant advice on how to make comics:

http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/01/18/get-started-already/

:)

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #9 on: Jan 23, 2014, 10:10 AM »
Nobody likes a quitter! =P

Seriously though, the only way to get better is to practice. I took a huge break from art for about two years and just got back into it this past Christmas when my fiancee got me some Copic sketch markers. I've been drawing every day since then and my art already looks 100 times better than it did back in December. Progress is a good feeling. Creating a piece that you're proud of is an even better feeling and you shouldn't deny yourself of it. Stick with it. You'll be impressed with what you can do.
What I do when I'm not drawing: ALBOTAS - A Little Bit On The Awesome Side

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #10 on: Jan 23, 2014, 11:20 AM »
Don't give up! Comics are hard, but if we all stopped doing things because they were hard we wouldn't have cures for diseases, cars, spaceships, the internet, etc.
Kittens wearins mittens

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #11 on: Jan 23, 2014, 11:40 AM »
Thing is I'm not that much of a fan of doing massive detailing for my characters.

(1) If I'm going to do a comic where a character or characters are massively detailed as the character design example pictured above, (Mega Man Volnutt) then it feels like a waste of materials and time. And being that if I'm going to make a comic character where I have to have him/her and my other characters massively detailed, I'm going to eventually lose interest in finishing it.

(2) I don't really mind doing another artist's character in great detail (check out my gallery on DeviantArt: ultraman400) because I think doing that artist's character in the same detail as his/her creator would do then that means to me that I'm doing that character good. But when comes to my characters I tend to give them simple designs because I going to draw them frequently.

(3) I'm not much of composition guy, but I'll try to work on spacing and distance with objects and characters.

(4) Yes, his anatomy with that armor on is not really all that accurate, but it's a totally different case with his armor off (a bit muscular, but not like superman or Goku).

(5) And lastly, just because I'm saying I'm done for now, doesn't mean I'm giving up on this guy. This is just a setback. I might try again by re-doing the Ref. sheet (put in some more detail for his armor, draw him in him civilian clothing, and maybe draw his body and muscle structure for anatomy), change his bio. a bit to make him look and feel less over-powered and generic (maybe give him a couple of villains to fight for Beyond Battles, give him a better motive for coming to Void other then because of "I swore on an oath.", and maybe explain a bit about his race), re-do the intro story (This time no colour, spacing between panels, put in some background work, do some distancing between objects and characters such as if I draw a character or object that's far or close I draw them in the size that represents the distance, do page about his back story, and give the characters some emotions, honestly the Intro Story is the biggest problem with him), the avatar stays the same, and draw everything a bit cleaner (no more inking, use black pencil crayon or crayon for space backgrounds or darkness, type the dialogue, and maybe give him a love interest. And that's all I can think of to improve.

I will try again just not now.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #12 on: Jan 23, 2014, 11:49 AM »
But you won't get better if you don't try. You don't have to make a detailed character, I mean look at Nutty the Squirrel



Simplifying other people's characters is fine and no one is going to be offended if you don't get every detail right on them.
Kittens wearins mittens

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #13 on: Jan 23, 2014, 12:13 PM »
Okay I might keep his armor design the way it is just with some more detail, but I still need to do it again. When I re-do his Ref. Sheet this time I'm going to draw him in his civilian clothes, and his anatomy design keep his armor picture for editing. Quick question can I take the design of him from the old Ref. Sheet, give it more detail, and put it in my new Ref. Sheet?

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #14 on: Jan 23, 2014, 07:24 PM »
I didn't say your character needed to be complex.

That Volnutt design isn't even really all that complex either - it is just a bunch of tubes stuck together with a few bolts plastered here and there. My point was more in silhouette, rather than being about all the little bolts and stuff. It was just about making your character more appealing to look at. Nutty is a perfect example of a simple character who is recognizable on the site just by his silhouette. He has very defined shapes and the right amount of detail to stand out for the style he is in. I understand you have to draw the character frequently (its a totally valid point) which is why I, or anyone else for that matter, don't expect you to make something super crazy in detail. I was just asking for something more expressive that builds upon the simplicity you have there already.

I guess my point is take more pride in your character and give him the extra pizzazz so people are drawn to him more visually. How is that a waste of materials and time? Take pride in your art and your comics man, be manageable in what you know you can do and plan around that - but don't succumb to taking the simple way out all the time. Just because something seems daunting and perhaps a little bit more work isn't a waste of anything at all - the process you go through to make it better than anything you have done before makes it worth all the time and all the materials you put to it. Simply saying "that's a waste" is kind of disheartening to hear.

Glad to see you'll try it again some other time though. Don't give up.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #15 on: Jan 23, 2014, 09:31 PM »
This time I'm only going to draw one view of him in the new Ref. Sheet. Because it's more easier for me to draw him in his different outfits. Maybe I can alter his leg and arm parts to make him look more movable and unique.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #16 on: Jan 31, 2014, 09:50 AM »
Update:

I doing a sketch page showing different design ideas for the leg, arm, and shoulder parts of Cobolt's armor and also ideas for his hair style. I'll post them when I'm finished doing them.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #17 on: Jan 31, 2014, 12:45 PM »
Just a friendly reminder that posting text updates about stuff you are drawing doesn't help the creation process. It's better to sit on something until it's done, since talking about what you're planning can trick your brain into feeling like you've actually done work on it.

Also, the only way you'll make progress on this is to sit down and start drawing.

GIT OUT DEM PENCILS
- I yearn for redemption, but I'll settle for a breakfast sandwich.


Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #18 on: Jan 31, 2014, 02:50 PM »
Ok, thanks for the tip.

Oh, and that phrase "GIT OUT DEM PENCILS", nice one man.
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2014, 04:03 PM by ultraman400 »

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #19 on: Feb 04, 2014, 04:20 PM »
Honestly, I will take the maker line art advice, because ballpoint pen makes the line work sloppy and digital is not my forte. Thanks Rob.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #20 on: Feb 04, 2014, 04:35 PM »
That's great and all, but start posting imagery. Images truly do tell more than 1000 words. In this context it means that whatever you post here that doesn't contain art and comics related to this submission is a wasted post.

You can update your pro tool sets, cool style methods and rad one-offs all you can AFTER you've posted pages. Now you're just talking the talk - time to walk the walk, man.
If I dream of impossible, should I forget it?

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #21 on: Feb 14, 2014, 10:04 AM »
Finally updating, here are some ideas on my characters hairstyle and Arm and Leg Parts. Take a look and suggest me which one of each I could use to make him stand out.





« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2014, 10:19 AM by ultraman400 »

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #22 on: Feb 14, 2014, 10:36 AM »
Instead of drawing them separately, why not just draw them on the character altogether? You might find that while you like certain parts, you may not like them in combination. After all, a character is a sum of all of its parts, so you need to make sure there's proper cohesion between all of them.

Also, I don't feel as though you're straying too far out of your comfort zone. The "new" parts you've drawn are still basically cones and cylinders. Instead of trying to build out of single shapes, try combining shapes to get something more dynamic and interesting.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #23 on: Feb 14, 2014, 10:51 AM »
No, I will not try combining shapes. I will only go with any of these three designs for his armor. Besides the last one I did was to step out of my comfort zone.

Re: Character: Cobolt
« Reply #24 on: Feb 14, 2014, 01:26 PM »
Oh, well, the important thing is that you tried




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