You can watch the time lapse video here: (With Commentary|Without Commentary)
This is the final episode of Mother Month, which actually ended up taking twice as long than we wanted it to, but that's just how it goes when you're working on a side project.
This particular 3D model is the first one of the series that's done almost exclusively by me! I did get some help from colossalcake on the more technical material work, as well as the rig. For a first go at a complete character in 3D, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. A bit more of the design thinking in detail:
When interpreting the character, I did a ton of research. Since there are no official promo art pieces for any characters in Mother 3, I used Mother 2 and its design trends as a benchmark. Characters like Venus and Ness's mom are examples of what adult women can look like in the series, so presuming that Kumatora is older than 15, it's safe to assume that she's probably not going to get any taller, so I used those characters as a proportional guide.
The pacman-style eyes is another design trend that I lifted from mother 2 artwork, in which girls are typically given that style eye rather than a plain ellipse.
I chose to give her lipstick because her in-game sprite (being the only piece of official art in existence) has pink pixels instead of black for the mouth, which is obviously a deliberate choice, and logically represents lipstick. I know she's a tomboy, but as I see it, the developers saw fit to make her a tomboy and also give her lipstick. I would argue that you don't have to dislike lipstick to be a tomboy anyways, and I think it's narrow-minded to insist such a thing. I know the vast majority of fan art depicts her without lipstick to communicate that she's a tomboy, but it's not the developers' fault that the fandom somehow made the collective decision to ignore that detail of the sprite. For smashified, it's my job to think like the developer would think, and not put too much stock in fan art. To me, the developers chose to create a tomboy that likes lipstick in spite of what is typical for tomboys. That says more about her character than "she's a tomboy." She's a character who likes to defy stereotypes. She defies both the stereotypes for girls AND tomboys. I find that much more interesting.
I'm certain that people will reference the clay models and point out that Kumatora doesn't have lipstick there. However, those clay models aren't official. They were made by FlintofMother3 back in 2006, and became so ubiquitous that many fans assume they're official. However, I deliberately chose not to let that clay model inform my design decisions when interpreting the content of the sprites.
What's that in her hand?
As you might have noticed, this is the first Smashified where an attack is being represented, much like how Mario's artwork has his Fireball. I wanted to use this opportunity to try to extrapolate a design for a PSI ability in the same manner that Smash Bros extrapolates. The ability depicted here is BrainShock.
After some careful consideration and lengthy discussion regarding design trends in the Mother series, we came to the conclusion that there is no definitive answer to the question of whether or not Kumatora wears lipstick. Since I imagine many people would prefer to have artwork of Kumatora not wearing lipstick, and it's impossible to know for sure whether she wears it or not, I decided to make an official render without lipstick. I've also lightened the lipstick shade somewhat to make it less contrasting, which helps the feeling of the facial proportion significantly.
Regarding the decision, there are several factors at play:
- There is no official artwork of Mother 3 beyond the sprites themselves.
- The sprite of Kumatora has pink pixels for a mouth, which seems to imply lipstick.
- All girls in Mother 3 have sprites with pink pixel mouths EXCEPT for Dona, who has black pixels for her mouth.
- In Mother 2, girl sprites have pink mouths.
- In Mother 2, Paula, Ness's mom, and Venus's sprites have a pink mouth, and their official artwork DOES have lipstick.
- In Mother 2, Tracy's (Ness's younger sister) sprite has a pink mouth, but her official artwork has a thin red line for a mouth rather than lipstick.
- Kumatora was raised by the Magypsies, who wear excessive makeup, therefore it's conceivable that she'd like to wear lipstick.
- Kumatora dislikes girly clothing, so it's conceivable that she could dislike lipstick, which is typically considered girly.
So only these conclusions can be drawn:
- Sprites with pink mouths CAN represent that a character wears lipstick, but doesn't always represent that (see Tracy).
- The devs went out of their way to communicate that Dona does not wear lipstick and likely doesn't wear much makeup in general.
- The devs did NOT go out of their way to make Kumatora's sprite mouth black, and therefore did not go out of their way to communicate that Kumatora wouldn't wear lipstick. Or at least not to the degree that they did with Dona.
- Tracy, being a young child, is too young to worry about makeup, but it's conceivable that if her character was older, the devs would have given her lipstick.
- It's conceivable that the vast majority of women in the Mother universe wear lipstick.
I personally think that her association with the Magypsies and the contrast with Dona's sprite is enough to support the notion that Kumatora would wear lipstick, therefore the lipstick version will remain the primary Smashified version. But because this is a community-driven project, it only makes sense to have multiple versions.
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