Due to requests, here is a tutorial that will teach you the basic idea of how SD (Super Deformed) mecha should be proportioned. Please forgive the crappy quality of this tutorial, first on the quality of the images. Second, on the quality of the writing.
First and foremost. This tutorial is a guide. By no means is the art of squishing and deforming characters set to one orthodox method. But what this tutorial will do is give you the basics.
So to get things started. The biggest thing about chibis is knowing your proportions.
I know it sounds weird to even bother thinking of proportions for something like that, but it's true even for chibi stuff.
For this tutorial, we'll be using Getter 2 as an example. Forgive the crude quality but I sketched these during class.
Basically the proportions for a chibi are the reverse of normal proportions. Essentially, the main proportions can be reduced to the Head, Body/Torso, and Legs. Take the rough size of these proportions and flip them around. Those are basic Super Deformed proportions. The length of space you'd give to the legs, give that to the head now. Stretch out the chest to compensate for the huge head. And then squish and stubby the legs. That's the core of classic chibi proportions. The classic proportions are most well known for the old SD Gundam illustrations (back when they had googly eyes).
From there it's just a matter of exaggerating key features to make them look amusing and/or cute. Like making the eyes ridiculously huge, or taking some key factor you identify the character with and just doing something weird with it like making it either super tiny for an "awww" effect, or ridiculously huge to bring attention to it. This is mostly learned through intuition and practice. There's no real set focus on what you should exaggerate exactly. Though generally you want to emphasize the eyes.
Now these proportions are just the basics. Most of the SDs I draw are using the recent Super Robot Wars proportions. These proportions are noticably different from the classic ones in that the character's legs are given more emphasis and the head size has been toned down a bit. I like to call this style of proportions, "Toddler Deformed" because it reminds me roughly of the proportions of a small child.
I hope this guide has shed some light on how you should be emphasising and proportioning parts when making SD's. But remember. Even with these proportions, the entire point of SD's and chibis is to be cute!! So long as it looks small, midgety, and goofy. Your SD/chibi has done its job.
This is not really a tutorial, so much as an explanation of how I find myself working these days. I’d like to start doing some tutorials/explanations of how I work and how I come up with designs in case in might be of use to someone. I will probably expand this description soon, but I wanted to get it out there before the end of my vacation.
Downloading the full sized image should show the steps better.
What a lot of people don't understand when they're drawing humanoid bipedal mech is that they have to treat as if it is a bipedal humanoid. The very same drawing rules that apply to the figure drawing you do apply to drawing mechs as well. The only difference is that the mech involves a lot of intersecting straight lines in 3D space, a headache for anyone not well practiced in being able to visualize perspective properly (I'll tackle simple perspective right after this). Another problem is that since most mechs are very intricate in their details, from certain panel line patterns to armor placement, many beginning mech artists pay too much attention to these "decorations" instead of making sure that the figure beneath it is sound and letting the details take care of themselves. So, without further ado, let's take a try at drawin a mech with a simple figure that has a decent amount of surface detail to demonstrate the way I find works for producing good looking profile pics for mechs (being able to draw action pics builds on the things learnt from this lesson).
Start off lightly sketching a stick/skeleton to help visualize the figure as a whole. Is the pose what you want? Are the proportions from joint to joint and mass to mass correct? Will the picture fit in the space you want? etc. You can also start to block in certain parts at this stage as I have. With Gundam type mechs as I'm doing here, often the calf is exagerrated while the thigh is shortened slightly, as is done here.
Now that the pose is correct, we can start to put the armor on. Don't worry about the detail on the armor yet, just make sure that all the amor have correct reference points and that all their perspectives are properly lined up.
Start sketching in roughly where you want the details to go. Don't worry about getting them perfect now, cause then you probably won't get them perfect later. Find the right time to peak, so to say.
On top of your rough sketch, start putting done your good lines. Let the feel of the sketch guide you, let the design flow and come out by itself. Don't force any parts where they don't belong. Be careful to balance negative space(white) with positives space(black lines). Once you've finished, you can get rid of your sketch lines and start coloring.
Now, there is no right way to color a mech. You could go for cel shading, or comic tones, or computer coloring, maybe even painting it like Cass does. Doesn't matter. Just try to get a color scheme that makes you happy but isn't gaudy. Even with color, this seems a bit plain. Let's stick in some weapons.
Again, just lightly sketch in the general shape and idea of the weapons, not worrying about the final product but rather letting the design flow through.
Almost done. All we have to do now is add some color to those weapons. Also, the white background is a bit drab, so let's add a quick colored one.
~RULES~ For personal non-commercial use in any capacity that is NOT a resource. For commercial use in maps and illustrations/photomanips ONLY. For use in any other commercial capacity, please contact me via email. Sharing/redistribution of this zip file and its contents is NOT permitted. Please direct others to my deviantART gallery if they would like to download it. Sharing/redistribution as new resources (stock-from-stock, modifications, etc.) is NOT permitted, either personally OR commercially. Credit and notification of use is not required, but would be much appreciated.
~CREDITS~ RockSnow1 stock photo/texture by Cisticola - Dundjinni forum White Bushes (Arctic Pack) by Kepli - Dundjinni Scout Tower by Nytoprod - DAZ Productions Snow Transitions by supercaptain - Dundjinni forum Map Texture Pack by coyotemax - deviantART
RPG Map Element Mods 02: Castle Guard Bronzed-Aged Statues
~RULES~ For personal and commercial use. Sharing/redistribution of this file is permitted as long as you do not alter the zip or its contents in any way.
It's not required, but I would love it you could send me a link to any maps you make with this. I'd really like to see how they're used, and add the links here so others can too. You can leave a comment here, send a deviantART note, or an email.
~CREDITS~ Castle Guards by Steel Rat - RPGMapShare Column by Jgovernale - Dundjinni forum
(Note: The images in this set are much larger than what's shown in the preview.)
~RULES~ For personal non-commercial use in any capacity that is NOT a resource. For commercial use in maps and illustrations/photomanips ONLY. For use in any other commercial capacity, please contact me via email. Sharing/redistribution of this zip file and its contents is NOT permitted. Sharing/redistribution as new resources (stock-from-stock, modifications, etc.) is NOT permitted, either personally OR commercially. Credit and notification of use is not required, but would be much appreciated.
(These are the original rules, dated: June 15th, 2014)
~CREDITS~ Container 02, 04, 05, 07 by 3-d-c - ShareCG Crate 2, 5, 6, 7 by Badtiger - ShareCG Cylinder001 by Stonemason - Polycount Nuclear Container A by 3-d-c - ShareCG RaLF-M171 Reanimated Life Form-Storage Unit by McGyver - ShareCG Sci-Fi Container 02 by Stonemason - Renderosity Sci-Fi Crates 'n Containers by Stonemason - DAZ Productions Toxic Barrels by Andi3D - Andi3D Tritium Container by Nightshift3D - DAZ Productions
I like to make realistic fantasy maps in my free time. So, here's a world map without the world, earth based and free for everyone.
A few map-making tips:
The tropic lines tend to be desert. Ironic, isn't it?
Tropical rain forests tend to be found on the equator. 60° N/S can get pretty wet, too.
The arctic and antarctic circles are where you'll get 24-hour days around the hemisphere's mid-summer
Earth's axial tilt is at about 23.5° -- if you change this, the tropic and the arctic circles change, as well as the seasons and how water disperses (since a lot of water flow in the summer is snowmelt)
The hottest and the coldest places on a planet will be on the interior of the continents. Oceans act as a giant heat sink.
Mountains tend to have a wet side and a dry side, depending on prevalent winds. Ever hear about how it's always raining in Seattle? Blame the cascades; Eastern Washington is two steps away from being a desert.
Panel 1-Block out the general shape of the Gundam's head. The example I chose to do today is the RX-78-2 ver Ka, because it is the basic no frills Gundam. Once you can draw the RX-78, you can draw any Gundam you want. Anyhoo, Gundam staples are the helmet style head, with the IR Mohawk sensor, side vents, v fin antennae, two eyes, and face plate. As you can see, all the basics are sketched out here. Any mistakes about proportions and perspective should be fixed here! Otherwise you're ****ed later.
Panel 2-Start fleshing out those features!
Panel 3-Adding detail
Panel 4-Finished product. Quickly added some rudimentary shading and background. I'd like to note at this time that this was done in 30 min in Opencanvas with a tablet, so it's not meant to be any grand piece of art.
(This tutorial was written for in prelude for one of the Animerica Mecha contests. It's really pretty badly done in hindsight, but I figure someone might get something out of it. I'll see about making a better one some day.)