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Powder
07-08-2016, 09:58 PM
Almost all of the concept art created for the modern film series really put me off. There's clothes, weird people features, a heavy focus on extreme differentiation, odd builds/proportions, it's too far away from the original vision for my taste. As history has proven, there are tons of more subtle means to make a new set of turtles stand apart while maintaining a consistent look across all iterations. With so much beloved past material to take influence from, one simply needs to piece them together & pump the brakes so they don't look too unfamiliar.

So I set out to make my own & see how tough it really is. It's not too taxing an effort, I found. You've gotta balance the gruff & ugly with the endearing & almost cute, lean more in favor of turtle than human, & add unique touches while keeping uniformity an important theme. To me, that's the perfect recipe. I feel that formula was one best developed by Jim Henson, & Ciro Nieli, thus they were my biggest inspirations for this look, & I should think it's apparent at first glance. Opted not to go the full body route mostly out of laziness, to be honest. Just pretend they have bodies like the IDW turtles, that's pretty much what I'd be doing with 'em, with added scaling & whatnot.

I guess my technique would best be referred to as photo manipulation, primarily. I started each one with a very loose sketch. Then, I searched Google images for the various materials & textures I needed to bring them to life- turtle skin & shells, scarves, belts, facial features, etc. I would take each part, edit them significantly, & bend them to the form of my linework, erasing along the edges & painting both on top of & underneath their layers to fill in certain details or adjust the lighting. Some portions are entirely hand-painted (digitally, of course), but the bulk of it was done with the above method.

It started with Donatello:
http://orig12.deviantart.net/e645/f/2016/190/6/7/tmnt_donatello_live_action_concept_art_by_powderak acaseyjones-da7tgep.png

You'll notice that signature Nick series gap in his teeth & similar shoulder strap. His eyes came from Frank Sinatra, but have been recolored. Smaller eyes for the well-read turtle who spends his time in dark isolation, & minor scales as his long-range weapon allows him to keep a distance between he & his enemies.

Then came Raphael:
http://orig02.deviantart.net/58d7/f/2016/179/d/3/tmnt_raphael_live_action_concept_art_by_powderakac aseyjones-da81hve.png

Cues taken from PD/Henson in the heavy facial scarring & toothy appearance, as well as the bad-boy toothpick cliche. Another Nick series nod being a missing chunk of plastron, which also features a hand-carved Yankees symbol. Large/thick scales developed as he faces trouble the most. His eyes came from Ice Cube.

Michelangelo was up next:
http://orig12.deviantart.net/b7a3/f/2016/190/5/d/tmnt_michelangelo_live_action_concept_art_by_powde rakacaseyjones-da9bbcb.png

It was important to me that he maintain his child-like innocence, which is why I gave him the (recolored) eyes of the most teddy bear-like actor I could think of- the late John Candy. Short bandana tails for the loose & free turtle, average scales. I thought plastron flair would be a lot of fun, so he's carved a happy face & his own initial on the left, & thrown a Yankees Hello Kitty Sticker on left. (An amusing notion to me being that in this would-be universe, Splinter often had to scold/punish the turtles as kids for etching things into their shells.) The sticker idea came from Michael Dialynas' portrayal of the character.

Last but definitely not least, Leonardo:
http://orig15.deviantart.net/c6df/f/2016/190/2/0/tmnt_leonardo_live_action_concept_art_by_powderaka caseyjones-da9f148.png

Somewhat Playmates inspired shoulder straps, purely a style preference on my part 'cause I've always liked that look. Buttons inspired by both PD & my own personal love for using them (one is for NY punk forefathers The Ramones, if you can't make it out). Heavier scales as he faces battle head on, plenty of cuts on his plastron for similar reasons. His eyes, recolored, belong to Matsumoto Hitoshi (Japanese comedian).

Group shot of the busts:
http://i.imgur.com/eYKBSOM.png

I did not by any means set out to make them so scaly, but as I worked on them, I really came to like that look. I realize that trait will probably be the least liked aspect of my designs, but whatever, it's my touch, I guess. It taps into that "realism" people claim to clamor for, & would offer benefits in combat (though mine would not be bullet proof). :tlol:

I hope you guys dig what I came up with.

Etsyturtle2
07-08-2016, 10:11 PM
The scales put me off a bit, bit the personality put in each turtle is really good. The use of real celebrities facial features is a nice touch. I dig the realistic look of their belts and plastrons, too. I think you really nailed raph.

Powder
07-09-2016, 08:55 PM
Thanks a bunch! Maybe some other characters will follow, the process in making these was a fun challenge.

Etsyturtle2
07-09-2016, 09:06 PM
Id really love to see you take on a more obscure character with this approach.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
07-09-2016, 09:13 PM
I'm cool with everything but the scales; they just look too big. I think the individual scales would be smaller.

LOVE the touches on the plastron, especially the self-scarring. I can totally see Splinter telling them not to do that, like our parents told us not to draw on ourselves.

Why not try for Slash? You've got the Turtle technique down, go five for five. :twink: