Trying to design a chibi - help?

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Trying to design a chibi - help?

#1 Post by PMscenarios » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:40 am

I'm working on a chibi fairy/genie for my game "a Fairy special night" that can serve as a game icon and also an in-game chat icon sprite - but I've never tried to draw anything in this style before.
Most of the game is done in a 3d blender style (art by my game artist), but I wanted to have a visually distinct style for the character you speak to through a chat program in-game.

This was my original design, but I got feedback it read too much as a "person":
fairy new version 2.png
This is my current attempt at a chibi:
fairy chibi cropped.png
and I'd love some help improving it - there's some obvious faults - the hand is wonky (I drew this on my tablet and didn't seem to have a way to move part of a layer) and I cannot do hair for the life of me, but would love suggestions and honest feedback on anything and everything.
The eyes are not really working for me, I based it on a Nendoroid, but he doesn't really have the attitude I want him to.

The style has changed a bit since the first fairy - that was very obviously trying to reference Tinkerbell, now I want to go more towards a genie look, while still keeping fairy elements (I really want the feet to fade away into smoke, but couldn't figure out how to draw it).

Current design is based on these references:
https://imgur.com/vOP9fn3
https://imgur.com/Eqzgxk0

and I'm trying to have some inkling of semblance to this character in the chibi face:
https://i.imgur.com/YK8ubmQ.png?1
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Re: Trying to design a chibi - help?

#2 Post by YonYonYon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:28 am

Sorry in advance for my rambling tone, it's time for me to sleep and I'm too tired to filter my words.

Chibi style, similar to anime style, doesn't mean just a huge head with huge eyes. The main function of chibi is being cute. And what people find cute? Babies! Even in character design courses, it is said to imitate baby proportions if you want people to find your design cute. Or at least try toddlers.

I sketched a pair of chibis for you:
https://i.imgur.com/dNGrLSL.png

So, what are the chibi elements?
- No defined chin and jaw. In your example, he has adult jaw and chin, it's a big no-no.
- The babier is the chibi, the shorter is the neck. I mean, if your chibi looks like this https://pre00.deviantart.net/7925/th/pr ... aieipa.png a visible neck is fine, but your example has 2-head height, he should be babiest of the babies. So, close to no neck for you.
- The babier is the chibi, the lesser nose you should have. No defined adult noses! Only acceptable nose is a dot or a button. If your chibi has a nose, put it close to the eyes, and put the mouth close to the nose. No nose at all is superb! Noses are overrated.
- Irises don't have to fill whole eyes. Look at this nendoroid http://images.goodsmile.info/cgm/images ... 2c8659.jpg lol
- Bodies should be pear-shaped. No adult torsos! Even the Joker above has slightly wider hips than shoulders.
- No excessive detail! So, no chiseled muscles on your baby torso, the heck!
- Limbs should be all cute and stubby with no defined muscle. Palms and feet are cute and chubby too. Don't forget, babies.
- BABIES! or at least toddlers
- And stylize the heck out of it!
- I'm not sure what else to say and my time is up. Maybe I'll come back later.

Go forth, young padawan!
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Re: Trying to design a chibi - help?

#3 Post by Scribbles » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:06 pm

YonYonYon wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:28 am

I sketched a pair of chibis for you:
https://i.imgur.com/dNGrLSL.png
i looked b/c I'm nosy and these are ADORABLE!
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Re: Trying to design a chibi - help?

#4 Post by PMscenarios » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:57 pm

YonYonYon wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:28 am
Sorry in advance for my rambling tone, it's time for me to sleep and I'm too tired to filter my words.
I don't mind blunt feedback at all, I'm basically one of those annoying ppl who'll get a sudden urge to try something and then flail wildly at it for a little while. The only reason I have -any- idea how to shade is bc of Pokemon art academy and watching the Drawfee channel. I have no idea what I'm doing.
I sketched a pair of chibis for you:
https://i.imgur.com/dNGrLSL.png
These are absolutely adorable! Do you mind if I try to emulate that hair? It's way better than my try.
YonYonYon wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:28 am
So, what are the chibi elements?[...]
- The babier is the chibi, the lesser nose you should have. No defined adult noses! Only acceptable nose is a dot or a button. If your chibi has a nose, put it close to the eyes, and put the mouth close to the nose. No nose at all is superb! Noses are overrated.
[...]
- Bodies should be pear-shaped. No adult torsos! Even the Joker above has slightly wider hips than shoulders.
- No excessive detail! So, no chiseled muscles on your baby torso, the heck!
[...]
You're totally right, and I basically agree with everything you said, and yet.. My game is trying to target an adult audience. It has adult scenes and language, and the website the sprite is linked to is a bit.. off, or suspect in a way. So while everything you said is 100% true, it's not what I feel is right for this specific element. I want a chibi, and cuteness, but I also don't want to lose the adultness. Sort of create a design that's also a bit "off" in its own way.

There are a few of the Nendoroids, especially those based on western/video game properties that manage to combine cute and tough in their features, in a way that's "cutified" but still look adult, like:
Hanzo
Genos
Superman
Mink
Venom Snake
What I did figure out while looking at these nendos is that my eyes are totally wrong. I usually draw eyes like this: https://imgur.com/pMyFwpp and since I couldn't see chibis having that style of eyes I tried to draw something completely different. But, the more adult-looking the character, the smaller/more oval eyes they have, so I think I should be hitting somewhere in between the 2 shapes.

The nose throws me a bit though. The character I'm trying to reference is mostly distinct through his straight nose and wide chin. Is there a way I can reference him in the design without a nose?


I definitely hear you that my attempt isn't chubby enough and that the neck is too long, and I should probably also round out the face.
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