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Author Topic: Design-a-Vowel Contest!  (Read 2851 times)

Offline Alaric

  • The Verdant Vowel
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Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« on: August 23, 2010, 03:06:29 PM »
First, it was Wonder Woman. Then, Batman. Now, prepare for the greatest fan controversy of them all, as the legendary Verdant Vowel gets a new costume!

*Pauses for dramatic effect, then notices that no one's actually paying any attention.*

Ahem. THE VERDANT VOWEL IS GETTING A NEW COSTUME!!!!

*People stop what they're doing, look for moment, then go back to whatever they were doing.*

Sigh.

And... YOU GET TO DESIGN IT!!!

*At this, people show slightly more interest, and there's some quiet murmuring.*

*Sighs again, more deeply.*

All right, this is the thing. Much as I like my avatar's current appearance, as originally designed by MJB and subsequently slightly altered by various other people, and much as I enjoy the various works of art various people have created using him, I kind of feel like it's time for a new look. Unfortunately, I have very little artistic talent, and, while I could design something in, say, the Champions Online costume editor, that would put artificial constraints on what costume pieces could be used. Besides, it's more fun to run a contest, and lazily lie back while everyone else does the hard work see what other people can come up with. (Note: I may well live to regret this- I've been compulsively adding all the Vowel's alternate costumes, as designed previously by other people, as alternate costumes for my Verdant Vowel character in Champions Online. If more than a couple of people post entries, I may have to buy myself more costume slots...)

Anyway, here are the rules, or what passes for them:

I'm looking for a new costume design for my avatar, the Verdant Vowel. Entries should be posted in this thread, as images (if you have an idea, but, like me, are artistically challenged, you can try collaborating with an artist- I'll credit the design to both people, in that case). I'll accept any kind of artwork, images from Hero Machine, City of Heroes, Champions Online, etc.. The contest will run for at least a month- possibly two. As the 1-month deadline approaches, I'll announce whether or not the contest will be extended.

Judging will be entirely by myself, but other people's feedback, as posted in this thread, may have some influence, especially if I'm having trouble deciding between two or more entries. I'll announce the winner within two weeks of the contest ending. There's no prize, as such, but I may use the winning entry as my new "official" avatar costume- no guarantees (I may change my mind about changing the vowel's appearance), but, if I do, I'll always try to credit the creator(s) when it seems appropriate.

The following guidelines apply:

1) The Vowel has no actual super powers- he's an actor, who's skilled at both bluffing others into thinking he has powers, and at convincing others that he's an idiot, or a lunatic, so they'll underestimate him. He created the "Verdant Vowel" identity with the intention of getting the character on a PBS kid's TV show, but circumstances caused him to become an actual costumed hero. While he's a highly skilled actor and overall performer, he has an unfortunate tendency to get carried away with the role he's playing- that's why his career hasn't been successful- so he sometimes believes he has actual super powers, and while his over-the-top, scenery-chewing heroic performance as the Vowel is usually an act, sometimes it isn't... He keeps himself in good shape, and has a number of skills he's picked up for various roles he's played. He's highly intelligent, strong willed, courageous, and lucky (not in his personal or professional life, though- the lucky part, that is), but, deep down, he usually feels like he's in over his head... I figure he's about 25-26 years old. He's got blue eyes, and his hair could be anywhere in the dark-blond-to-brown range. While not particularly tall (5' 10" or so), he's good at making himself seem taller.

2) The Vowel's colors should be green, possibly different shades, and black, or some vary dark or grey color.

3) The Vowel should have a green capitol "A" emblazoned on his chest- it's his trademark.

4) The Vowel should be impressive, yet goofy. How those two qualities are balanced is up to the artist, but each should at least be hinted at- they don't have to be obvious qualities, though that's fine, too.

5) As he keeps his real identity a secret, the Vowel should wear a mask.

6) He should have some sort of "traditional super-hero" vibe to him. He created the character for a kid's show, and he designed the outfit to be instantly recognizable as a super-hero.

7) At the same time, he might have something mysterious about him, too- this is less important, though.

8) Although not part of the Vowel's traditional appearance, I'd kind of like him to have gloves. It'll help with his secret identity.

9)Feel free to ignore any or all of the above of it gets in the way of your idea.

And that's it. I know contests and challenges haven't been very successful around here lately, but if anyone feels inspired by any of this, or just thinks it may be a fun challenge, don't hesitate to post the results here.

Have fun! And may your vowelish might never falter, fellow heroes!


« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 06:41:34 PM by Alaric »
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline MJB

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 12:46:16 AM »
Thought I would give it a shot.



First of all keep in mind that is a rough drawing. I haven't drawn on a regular basis in what seems like ages.

Next here are some of the changes I made from my original design...

1) Less beefy! The original design had more of a "Superman" type build.
2) Elongated face! Did this to fit the request for him to look a bit goofy.
3) Puffy hair! Think something like Conan O'Brien. Also for the goofy look.
4) No cape! If we all learned anything from The Incredibles it is that capes are dangerous.
5) No outside undies! Tried to keep things traditional while still looking a bit more modern.
6) Fancy belt!
7) Altered color scheme! Took him from being black/grey & green to white, green & dark dark purple.

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 01:34:42 AM »
Wow! Someone actually entered this conte- er, I mean, Ah. Our first entry. Seems we're off to a flying start!

Nice! Very different take on the character than your original design! I really like the new design for the "A" on the chest. Overall, he looks like he'd be the "comic relief" character on a super team.

Can't wait to see if- er, I mean, what other people come up with. Feel free to post another entry if the inspiration strikes you, as well- there's no limit.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline docdelorean88

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 01:47:09 AM »
I'll see what i can do! :)
"Roads, Where we're going we don't need... Roads"

Offline MJB

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 05:06:11 AM »
Overall, he looks like he'd be the "comic relief" character on a super team.

Looking back at it I agree. He does look like a good comic relief character.

After I posted that pic & read your response I looked at some of my sketches and found some pieces I liked. I grabbed up a sheet of paper and an ink pen and doodled in between missions while playing City of Heroes.

Here's the re-redesign...




The wife suggested that I keep the purple highlights on the chest/legs. Here is a shot of what he would look like with grey instead...



I intended to include a shot of what VV would look like with his cape over his arms. His cape & belt make another "A". I threw this together in photoshop in like a minute...



Here's another list of changes! WEE!

1) New mask! Now more pointy & mysterious.
2) Return of the pupils! You can totally see his pupils.
3) Cape 2: Electric Boogaloo! Added a cape to put the Super back in Superhero.
4) Tight Gloves/Boots! Took out the loose white gloves/boots & replaced them with tight green ones.
5) "A" stripes! Gloves/Boots feature the "A".
6) Knuckle padding!

So there you go. I kept the less bulky look. I also kept the elongated face & hair. With the added cape & altered mask I feel he has both the goofy & heroic feel you were looking for. His utility belt isn't entirely useless. That's where he keeps his head-shots & pens for autographs!

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 04:39:40 PM »
That's GREAT! The cape really helps, I think- I had been thinking of listing a cape for the character as one of my "rules", but I arbitrarily decided not to. Also like the fact that this version has more green than the previous version.

While I like the grey highlights version, the purple helps make the character look "flashier"- which I think works- and helps distinguish this from his old look.

I like the added "A"s- help him look less generic, while still classically superheroic.

I love that "cape-over-arms" image. While the contest is still ongoing, I think I'll resize that and use it for my new avatar image...

I like the use for the utility belt. I realize when you designed the original costume, I had a much vaguer idea of the character than I do now, so you had less to go on- nice to see you making use of his more detailed background. Also, as any of my fellow players from the "Omegus" posting games may remember, the Vowel does have a tendency to pick things up for future use along the way- now he has a place to keep them! And I decided a while back that one of his catchphrases is "Sometimes, the best power is an empty pair of hands".

I'm still hoping to see at least a couple of other people give it a try.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 04:44:16 PM by Alaric »
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline bat1987

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 06:40:33 PM »
Will try to mix up something in CO costume editor ;)

Offline bat1987

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 10:44:28 AM »
I really liked the original Verdant Vowel, so I didn`t do any drastic changes to design. I inverted the colors, the costume is brighter and the gloves and cape are darker, I gave him the capsule belt to feel more superheroic. Still not sure about the collar though, might make some tweaks later.


Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 11:40:13 AM »
I like it!

The collar might work better if it were a little shorter.

Did you save the costume? If so, I wouldn't mind having the file- though it looks easy enough to recreate.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline bat1987

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 12:47:48 PM »
Ok reworked the collar a bit and saved ya a costume file  ;)


Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 01:06:01 PM »
Thanks!
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2010, 12:51:54 AM »
Just posting to announce that I'll be extending the contest for a second month.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Courtnall6

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2010, 10:21:00 PM »
Clothes make the man and colourful tights make the Super-Hero.

Offline Outcast

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2010, 12:03:36 AM »
Some really nice designs here guys. Loving those drawings too.  :cool:

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2010, 02:03:20 AM »
That's... just amazing, Court. Manages to be unique and classic at the same time, evokes the late '70s/early '80s while having something more modern- or at least more recent- or maybe just less decade-specific- about it...

(Kind of makes sense to me that, while his original outfit was somewhat "Golden age-ish", his updated look would be more '70s-ish- besides, I have a personal affinity for that era in superhero comics...)

Not sure what more I can say. Trying to think of something "constructive criticism-y"... I guess the "A" could be a little more obvious, but I'm not sure how that would be done without ruining the uniqueness of the design.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Reepicheep

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2010, 09:21:12 AM »
Hoh-wow. Thats awesome work, C6!

Offline Courtnall6

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2010, 02:22:20 PM »
Thanks guys :D

Here's another version with a more obvious "A". The additional stripe patterns on the gloves, boots, and cape are there to balance it out.

Clothes make the man and colourful tights make the Super-Hero.

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2010, 04:37:01 PM »
Nice! Can't figure out which one I like better- in the second, the "A" is more obvious, but the first kind of looks like he actually is the "A", which given his codename is quite fitting. The first looks a little more mysterious, the other a little flashier- both suit the character, in one way or another.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline UnkoMan

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2010, 04:56:22 PM »
I've got something for this that I will be posting by... whenever I get a chance. C6's is pretty darn swell though. I think I like the flashier second one better.

And, okay... I did this at work after looking at scores of pictures of children's performers.


I threw in a bit of Marvin there too, to give a more '70s feel. I was thinking Electric Company, too. I'm still not sold on the boots though, but I didn't want them to be upside-down A's like the gloves either.

Anyhow, pretty simple stuff, but that's my style.

PS: Hmm... I just realize this is fairly similar to MJB's. Maybe I will have to think more on this...
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 04:35:17 AM by UnkoMan »

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2010, 12:27:39 AM »
Heh. I like the picture- yes, it's a little like MJB's, but looks different enough to me. I kind of like the simple 3-color scheme- black, green, and dark green. The "A"s on the gloves and boots are stylistically different from MJB's, and the way you drew them gives them a physical quality I like.

Overall, it's definitely further toward the "goofy" end of the spectrum than most of the entries have been- in a way that really works.

Not sure about that belt, though... I'm not sure why.

I'm hoping you do end up submitting another, though- as far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier. Besides, everyone else who's entered something has at least done a couple of variants, if not entirely different costumes...  ;)
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2010, 02:55:50 AM »
Contest ends on Saturday, October 23rd- less than a week from now! Who will win? Who will lose? Who will live? Who will die? Will the world ever be the same?

(Suspenseful, isn't it?)

Seriously, I want to thank everyone who's entered- even if there are no further entries in the next few days, this is already more than I was expecting, frankly, and I've been astonished, impressed, and pleased with all the entries. As far as I'm concerned, no one's losing here- it's just a question of who's winning a little more than everyone else.

By my count, four people have submitted entries, five costumes have been entered, and three have alternate variants. I'll declare the winner on Sunday the 24th.

Starting next month, I plan to use each image entered in this thread as my avatar picture for a full week each, then switch to the winning design for... at least a month. As to whether the winning design actually becomes the Verdant Vowel's "official' new costume (whatever that means), I have to admit, that's not entirely up to me. It kind of depends, in part, on whether the various talented artists who frequent these Forums are inspired enough to start portraying him that way, when they're kind enough to include him in their avatar-inspired art.

Regardless, this has been fun, which was the main point.

And, remember, I'm still accepting entries for the next few days.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2010, 08:24:41 PM »
Quick reminder- today's the final day of the contest.
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Reepicheep

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2010, 02:53:46 AM »
My entry:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2010, 03:19:29 AM »
Now THIS is the kind of thing I was hoping for- you ignored all of my suggestions, and went with something truly original, a completely new take on the character!

(I've been waiting for someone to do that...)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline Reepicheep

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2010, 12:27:08 PM »
What can I say? If you want to move things forwards, you gotta break a few rules.

(albeit predictably, apparently)

Offline Alaric

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2010, 12:47:59 AM »
What can I say? If you want to move things forwards, you gotta break a few rules.

(albeit predictably, apparently)

Don't think of it as being predictable- think of it as warped minds thinking alike.


Oh, right- I've got to choose a winner, don't I?


I've been very happy with all of the entries. This definitely isn't an easy decision. In fact, I'd like to keep them all as alternate outfits for the Vowel, possibly from alternate realities or something, and I may even end up using one or another sometime down the line as a regular outfit, regardless of which one wins.

In judging, I'm trying to look past the different artistic styles to judge the costume designs themselves.

The world is clearly not ready for the sheer, gutsy, total re-imagining of Reep's design, obviously, so I'm afraid that one's not winning.

I want to thank bat1987 very much for entering- I really like what he came up with. Looking at the two version again, I actually think I like the first one, with the higher collar, better. Of course, even though I specifically invited people to use costume creators, including the CO character creator, in an effort to open this up to as many people as might be interested, the fact is that any costume created this way was always going to be at a disadvantage, due to the fact that you had to work with already-created costume pieces, which does limit the amount of creativity possible- can't do things like new designs for the "A" emblem, for example. It was a great try, but I'm afraid that one's out, too.

It comes down to three outfits- three clever, imaginative, original costume designs, by three different artists. In the order in which they were posted;

1) MJB's second attempt, in the purple variant:



2) Courtnall6's second version:



3) UnkoMan's entry:



Choosing between the three is not easy- there are things I really like about each of them. Court's is my favorite overall design, but Unko's captures the concept the best, and MJB's is a great blend between concept and design.

Overall, though, this was a contest for a new costume design, so I'm going to go with the costume that reminds me least of the Vowel's classic look.

The winning design is...

(drum roll)

Courtnall6 (2nd variant)!

(applause)

With MJB's second attempt and UnkoMan's entry tied as runner-ups!

(more applause)

And, a special mention for bat1987 for having the courage to enter a contest against several experienced avatar designers/redesigners!

(still more applause)

And a SPECIAL special nonexistent prize for Reepicheep, for somehow steeling my sense of humor and using it against me!

(cricket noises)

Well, that's all for now, folks- congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone who took part. I'll be away for the next week, I'll figure out exactly what Court's victory means when I get back...
Fear the "A"!!!

Offline bat1987

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2010, 12:21:05 PM »
Grats to all! Great entries  :thumbup:

I want to thank bat1987 very much for entering- I really like what he came up with. Looking at the two version again, I actually think I like the first one, with the higher collar, better. Of course, even though I specifically invited people to use costume creators, including the CO character creator, in an effort to open this up to as many people as might be interested, the fact is that any costume created this way was always going to be at a disadvantage, due to the fact that you had to work with already-created costume pieces, which does limit the amount of creativity possible- can't do things like new designs for the "A" emblem, for example. It was a great try, but I'm afraid that one's out, too.

Np mate, it sure was fun! As long as you have it as an alternate costume in CO I`m happy  ;)

Offline UnkoMan

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Re: Design-a-Vowel Contest!
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 04:34:25 AM »
Now you've got to get yourself a skin of the new costume!

Sorry I didn't get around to doing a second entry. It's been a while since I designed some heroes. To be honest though, I've always loved guys with just enormous A's on them. I've actually made a few in the past. I could have just stole some of those ones!

Ah, but yeah! Hope it treats you well.