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Portrait of Hotaru - 2017

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This is essentially a rework of my Hotaru fanart from 2006 (feels like it was yesterday!) ladymadcat.deviantart.com/art/…

I've worked on this character on and off in the past months, I could write down how my creative process went but probably nobody cares at this point (Sub-Zero 's and Raiden's addition in Injustice 2 aside, the Mortal Kombat world is deader than my financial situation after Black Friday, sad but true).

:Firefly: Yes, my #1 favorite MK character is still Hotaru. Loved him ever since he was revealed in that magazine article back in 2004. I don't have much hope, if at all, that he will ever appear in anything MK related again, especially as playable.
NRS can throw as many worn-out sacred cows, obnoxious army brats or disgusting horror "icons" at me as they can and I'll still prefer this stern samurai over any one of them. snobbish 
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© 2017 - 2021 ladymadcat
Comments37
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Rhaenerya's avatar
ladymadcat's avatar
That he surely is. No other MK character has such a perma-frown on their face like Hotaru.
AnonIsnothere's avatar
It's a imperial city guard
PhoenixWright8897's avatar
It's greater than the old one, gonna favorite it.
ladymadcat's avatar
I'm glad you like it :)
D1u9c7k9's avatar
Simony17y's avatar
Dem eyebrows! :eyes:
ladymadcat's avatar
I had to stay true to the character :D

They're about five times thicker than mine :lol:
Simony17y's avatar
He can allow himself to have some organized chaos on his face. =P
ladymadcat's avatar
Hotaru and Havik might be polar opposites but when it comes to eyebrows they're like brothers :lol:
HotaruThodt's avatar
It doesn't look a thing like me though! :lol:

Anyway, he's looking good. I have a little hope he'll appear in a future MK game given Seidou was mentioned in Johnny Cage's MK9 ending. : (
ladymadcat's avatar
LOL, he looks like you as much as this looks like me: i.imgur.com/cao0yxt.jpg :P

Thanks :)
JC's Seidan training is referenced on a card in the mobile game. Technically it'd be a great opportunity to bring Hotaru into the new timeline. In the old timeline he had ties to prominent characters such as Sub-Zero, Kenshi, and also to Onaga himself. In this one he could have ties to JC. *sad sigh* Some MK9 endings had such good ideas and they never got realized in MKX's canon (Noob & Havik's alliance is another that comes to mind).
K0MBAT-KING's avatar
Oh god he's not only well rendered, but incredibly miffed! :XD:
ladymadcat's avatar
Thank you :D Exactly what I was going for!
doodler95's avatar
He looks awesome!

I would love to hear your process ^^
ladymadcat's avatar
Thank you :D
Well, basically this is the n-th incarnation, LOL. I begun reworking the character which I used here Hotaru beefcake zOMG! by ladymadcat but I just couldn't achieve decent Asian AND manly features for the life of me. Then I tried a more advanced 3D model as base which looked much better but was less compatible with Poser (so it frequently crashed). I redid the character morphing about six times before I started to achieve results I could work with (I've never worked with this model before). I ripped the 3D models of the flags and shoulder guards from the game itself (via Dolphin Emulator) and positioning them onto the Poser model was tedious but I'm glad I managed it for this shot :P
LOL, I just hope my Hotaru looks different enough from my Fujin. Some MK fans always state that they look very similar in the games, so I give extra attention to making them as dissimilar as possible in my arts :P
doodler95's avatar
I think they look pretty different facially!

Ok, so since I have, like, no experience at all with 3D modeling, so you'll have to pardon my ignorance and explain what character morphing is?

and hey if you ever need references for masculine asian models :eyes: hit me up
ladymadcat's avatar
Awesome :phew:

Gladly :) I myself don't actually model in 3D because Poser (also Daz Studio) is based on the posing and morphing of pre-existing 3D base models. You have various basic looking 3D models * which you can alter in different ways, some of them contain hundreds of morphs that you can set at different settings and then mix them as desired. There are full body morphs affecting the entire body type (muscular, skinny, pear-shaped, heavy etc.), partial body morphs (breast size, butt size, ab detail etc.) and a ton of head morphs which vary from affecting the shape of the whole face to modifying only tiny details (lacrimal size, sparseness of eyelashes etc.). All in all, morphs are different modified geometry settings embedded into the model which you can recall as desired.
The 3D models themselves work like mannequins which artists use for reference - in fact, back in the 90's, Poser started as a helper program for artists, it had a basic looking mannequin which could be posed in 3D. The many different clothes, hair, accessories, scenes, material and light settings only came later.

* Michael 4 Default <-the base look of a male 3D model, and it's missing a body part here because it's detachable :lol:

All in all, this kind of art is perfect for me, someone who can't draw, paint or sculpt but does possess artistic vision. I'm glad I discovered it in the early 2000's. If I could, I'd exchange my skills for actual drawing talent because that will always be more versatile.


w00t! From what I've seen over @ tumblr, you have quite a collection of hawt azn males in your picture library :D
doodler95's avatar
I see; I just looked up Daz, is it completely free if you register or is it a limited free version they give you? Does it also come with pre-rendered models or is that exclusively a Poser thing? The idea of being able to completely customize a face model is really appealing to me because I have a posing app that I can use for anatomy but I have to stick to pictures for facial referencing, which isn't always as versatile (on a similar note, which program lets you alter expressions?).

I think you show a lot of skill with your models though! They definitely look like official quality!

o shit you're onto me but lmao yeah i gotta get my inspiration somewhere
ladymadcat's avatar
A completely working Daz Studio can be freely downloaded :) However, some advanced functions and a plethora of additional models, morph packs and the like have to be purchased separately. Some have called this the "you get a car for free but you have to buy the key for it" type of marketing, LOL. For someone who wants to create art solely based on Daz, heavily utilizing all of its capabilities, I think acquiring several additional functions, plugins, modules is necessary, however for someone who would only use the program for artistic reference, the "bare" version of Daz is perfectly enough.

I have Daz Studio 4.9 installed on my harddrive but I'm only using it for converting certain items so that I can use them in Poser so I barely know anything about how the program itself works. There is a basic figure readily available, called "Genesis". From what I see it doesn't come with any morphs so it's just a grey, androgynous humanoid as it is, you can pose it but not alter its look. There are several 3rd party figures out there that you can download for free and install into Daz Studio (there are more females than males though). Those figures come with some shaping morphs and expressions. Both Poser and Daz allows you to alter expressions ;)

Thanks :) I always try my best and along the years I've learned to make the end result look as different as possible from 1. the default look of the base model and 2. the "standard" 3D pretty girl or handsome boy.

Haha! The Japanese guy with the cat is the best ;)
doodler95's avatar
Thanks for the info! I'll definitely give it a try. ^^

I think getting away from the generic is probably the best route an artist can take. Hardly anything is any fun to look at when it all feels the same.

god i'm in fucking love with him. his name is kitamura kazuki and i base raiden heavily on him, in case that wasn't already obvious. i use another model named kenta sakurai for fujin, i definitely recommend you check him out (not even necessarily for reference, he's just a sight for sore eyes)
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