To recap since it's been a while, we announced in July that we would be doing some design revisions on our main character based on issues that became apparent during the development process. It was great to see all the community comments voicing approval over the intended direction--even with the tiny preview we gave. Now, as I recently tweeted, Tuttle's overhaul is finally complete!
In the Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Tuttle was a lovably quirky, comically freakish character. We have no intention nor desire to change who he is, but by setting him in the spotlight we're upping his role as a digger. If he's going to triumph in his adventures he needs to be stronger, more agile, and more mobile. He needs to look more like, well, the hero he is to become!
Of course it was very important to us that we not get carried away on design changes. We considered all sorts of potential tweaks, but tried to stay true to things that make his design what it is. For example, we wanted mechanical type boots that would help explain his great jumping ability and also allow the addition of jet skates, but he's not an armor-clad digger, so we didn't want to give him a full set of mechanical legs or even lower legs, so we settled on something that looks like regular boots but with mechanical elements, like his actual legs are still inside them.
We also considered (again) the possibility of giving him a gun, but it just doesn't feel right to us. The cane is it, so we thought about what kind of cane would be better suited to smashing reaverbots. We thickened it, gave it a more mechanical feel, and also added on a small handle of sorts that's angled in such a way that Tuttle can rest is hand on top for relaxed occasions but also grip easily for attacking. With the old cane shape and the way he held it, he had to whip it up and around to hold it like a sword for striking, which wasn't so great from an animation perspective.
The most obvious change was of course the shortening of his trenchcoat. This along with the new boots give his legs a much more substantial feel and he has room to move without restriction. It also just makes him look more eye-catching to have more color and a discernable body, instead of appearing as a purple tube with a hat and feet. Furthermore, the lengthy trenchcoat was an awkward nightmare from an animation perspective, so personally I am all that much more excited by the new length. You can click the image below to check it out in the model gallery, though the bumpmapping fails to show very well in the flash player.
Big changes aside, there are numerous smaller tweaks we've made and of course the whole model's much cleaner and made to work with the new shading style. What do you think, everyone? Does he look good, and did we manage to give him the look of a worthy hero while keeping his essence intact?