As you should already know, our 3rd Event came and went and a winner--the new Servbot equivalent--was chosen after careful consideration. During Legends 3's development, I wasn't always happy with Capcom's decisions, so even though Blyka and I felt confident we'd picked a great design I couldn't help but be apprehensive about making the announcement. Fortunately the response from around the community has been a very positive one. I want to say congratulations and thanks again to Eris for the great design!
Even before officially deciding on Eris's entry, we began the process of refining the design a bit. I'm going to outline our changes and our reasons behind them, but to start off let's just get the before and after versions out, shall we?
We made several small changes to the original design, both in planning and during the 3D modeling process.
- Feet! We felt that the design needed just a little more stability or else it might be prone to falling over, so we brought out the toes a bit while maintaining the rounded shape of the shins.
- We took the straight edges of the knee caps and slanted them a bit to match the shape of the forearms.
- In place of flat screws at the elbow joints, we stuck in "buttons" like the Servbots and Birdbots both have to help keep that design tradition going.
- The original sketches mentioned having the Sturm insignia on the bot's backpack. We took this idea as far as to include it in the model texture before opting to remove it for a more mechanical looking pack.
- Joint realism! If you've ever modeled and posed a 3D Servbot before, then you know there's a big difference between how artists draw cute anime style characters and how they actually move as 3D geometry. Elbows, thumbs, and knees needed some tweaking to make them work properly.
While all in all the design was good as was, a couple of things did stand out to us as we studied it more closely.
At a quick glance, the most obvious alteration you're likely to notice is the color change from green to blue. Eris mentioned using a lot of Sirocco influence in the design (cool move with the shoulder -> chest pattern) and that included her green armor color. We don't want our main characters blending together too much though so we played with a great many colors before finally deciding on the cheery yet still subdued enough blue-teal.
Picking a new color wasn't all there was to it though. If you look at the original drawing you'll notice that the light gray of the face also appears in a couple of other places. Since it's sort of like a skin color we didn't feel that worked, and decided that bringing in a second main color would not only solve the problem but also liven up the design a bit by providing better contrast to some areas, particularly distinguishing the shoulders from the chest.
What should the second color be? Should we choose a different first color to help find the right second? Well we once again went through the endless options and finally decided this combo looked the best while remaining suited to the design and function of the Sturmbots. Unintentionally, there's a resemblance to Megaman's armor, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Then there was headgear, my oh my... As we were still judging the entries, Blyka pointed out the headphones with mic that this design was sporting. Well, we've seen the Servbots wearing similar headsets of course, but normally it's only for ones that are piloting or manning communications posts. So, what does this guy look like if he takes off the headset? Kind of like a bald guy with a shiny, gray head... Yeah, not so good. We decided we needed to find an alternate form of head decoration, be it a helmet, hat, or a giant bolt.
Oddly enough, the beret you see in the 3D model is an idea Blyka threw out there (half-jokingly) in the first five minutes of our search for the perfect head wear... I've never liked berets, but I sketched it over Eris's drawing just to see what it might look like and was no less than shocked at how well it seemed to suit the design. But like I said, I've never liked berets. I really couldn't imagine actually modeling one and putting it on our little Sturmbot to show the public. And yet, after literally hours and hours of toying with dozens of ideas, we kept coming back to the beret as one that just somehow seemed to work and in the end, I modeled it, put it on our little Sturmbot and am showing it to the public... What do you think, are we crazy or does the beret suit him? We'd love to hear your feedback on this and all the changes in the comments!