Mar 23 2008

Imperium Project Character Drafts: Boys’ Side

It’s been a while since my last art post but I finally finished. I had planned to finish off my work and complete the three remaining heirs but I lost the will to do anything and essentially wasted the rest of my spring break. Unfortunately that laziness followed me back to school so I have been goofing off by catching up on some anime and even reading manga for the first time in maybe half-a-year. Furthermore like I have stated in the past, I am not that good at drawing guys so even when I attempted to be productive and draw, I had nothing to work with. I also had the dilemma that I was the only artist on the team and had a difficult time finding some partners to help me. What is written below will follow the same format as the Girls’ Side post.

The first one I started drawing was Aoric but at the time I had no clue who it would become. I started drawing a bit before the Thursday before last’s club meeting but all I had was a head. I brought my sketchbook with me and continued at the meeting but all I really did was re-draw the hair and face several times. The end product is alright but I can’t help feeling that something is off.

There were two main concepts that I kept in mind when drawing the armor. First, I wanted to keep it similar to Aorin’s since they are siblings and I thought it would be nice to match. Second, I wanted to incorporate some Metal Gear-style power suit into the plated armor which is clearly visible under the chest plate. This gives Aoric greater flexibility to perform wider movements which should come in handy given his dual-sword-style.

Unfortunately, there was a slight miscommunication between myself and Zanaikin so I didn’t know at the time that Aoric didn’t use armor so the above two paragraphs are null. That gave me two options on what to do about the design I came up with. The first would be giving the armor to someone else or if that didn’t work, give it to Aorin has her “weaponized” armor. Anways, you guys probably won’t see “Aoric 0.5” any time soon so onto the real drafts:

Clotaire Lothair Staufen Draft 1
Clotaire ‘Lothair’ Staufen

Discounting “Aoric 0.5,” Lothair was the first male Heir to be completed. I was told to model him after Gilgamesh (Fate/stay night version) so that’s what I did. However since I don’t like heavy armor and much prefer speed (think Fate from Nanoha) over anything else, I subconsciously drew his armor lighter that what Zanaikin wanted. Despite that the design itself is pretty solid so I don’t foresee to many major changes to his overall appearance especially to his face which looking at the comments seems to be quite a hit. I tried staying away from copying Aorin’s armor but I ending up borrowing “Aoric’s old footwear which were based off Aorin’s” so you can really see the resemblance there. There was also a slight miscommunication so in the first draft he is missing his cape so I will fix that in draft 2.

Reginberaht Exelar Celkosen Draft 1
Reginberaht Exelar Celkosen

Next is the lead man himself, Exelar. Me and Zanaikin were not too sure whether to make him look very unique or make him look average like a VN lead character so I ended up making him look somewhere between those two extremes. The most noticeable feature face-wise is the bit of hair that come out on the right side of his head which was inspired by Yagami Kazuma of Kaze no Stigma which I have no plans of watching. Other than that, the only other real distinguishing feature is the second chain on his left shoulder. The rest of his uniform is pretty much standard issue for male officers and was heavily influenced by Sofiya’s uniform. Also thanks to Citrus who helped me brainstorm ideas last night. This is one of the few times where my specialization in uniform design failed, mainly because these were not girl’s uniforms.

Aoric Zanaikin Draft 1
Aoric Zanaikin

Ironically, I started and finished with Aoric. His most striking detail is the reverse V-fin (thanks again to Citrus) which sets him apart from the other guys so I doubt I would want to change this at all; I know Citrus wouldn’t. I did give him earrings again because of Gilgamesh who is GAR. I mean holding a girl who happens to be one of the greatest figures to exist in human history upside down by her foot and proposing to her is pretty manly lol. Anyways, I will be taking those out and fixing the hair balance a bit. Unlike Exelar, Aoric wears his jacket closed and his V-shaped collar expresses his all-business attitude. He also wears semi-long boots which will most likely become the standard men’s foot attire.

As you can tell, I don’t really have nearly as much to say about the guys I guess partly because I watch too many bishoujo shows. I didn’t have much to work with in terms of hairstyles since we all agreed to keep them realistic and professional and avoiding over-the-top “shounen-style” hair-dos. Now it looks like I need to get started on the version 2 designs of some of the characters, especially Rika, although many of them don’t rquire drastic changes and will end up as version 1.2’s instead. Hopefully, I will also be able to convince Citrus to help me write a draft for Canan’s path or else we may have to completely drop the third girl’s path.

I really need to find someone to draw the guys for me…

Permanent link to this article: http://honya-ch.com/2008/03/23/imperium-project-character-drafts-boys-side/


  1. Zanaikin

    Sweet, we are on schedule! On the revised schedule at least.

    They still look the same to me! xD

    Anyways, real comments this time:

    Exelar definitely looks fine, his expression is just right too. His hair reminds me a bit of Tatsuya’s from Yoakena, (I can’t find a mainchar CG on the August site) and Koji Hirose (upper left) from Hanihani, which may make a good reference point. Remind me to show you those games’ CGpack and fanbook next time.

    Lothair’s armor isn’t quite what I imagined, mostly because they’re a little too tight-fitting, and as a result looks significantly lighter (more like medium armor than heavy full plate). But, I guess that’s what happened when the artist is too used to draw girls (xD). Either way, that’s something very easy to fix anyways. We’ll discuss on the details later.
    Also, since the Arcanum has a lot of the knights-in-shining-armor stereotype behind them. He needs a bigger cape, hanging from both shoulders.
    His facial features and expression is definitely fitting for his more peasant side.

    With Aoric, the earrings (at least those things look like earrings) is a definite no, it doesn’t fit his professional image at all. He looks a bit like he’s in bad need of a haircut.
    His expression is just right though =).
    I think the main thing is the fact his hair has two bumps with a split down the middle giving off the impression of a lot of hair piled up on top (as if he’s only been trimming the sides for… however long). Not sure if that might be better with a rounded top instead.
    His two hair spikes in the front makes it seems like he uses hair gel to fix that, something I can’t quite see him doing. If anything, having the hair fall naturally is the best for him.

  2. Citrus

    Now it’s time for my two cents.

    I think Lothair’s design is probably the most solid of the three – it really does fit his personality well and makes him look like a trustworthy friend. I agree with Zanaikin that the armor looks a bit too light, and I actually think you should match the design to Aorin’s as much as you can.

    Exelar’s uniform is pretty stylish, eh? ^_^ His expression is just right, but… I can’t quite place it, yet he looks just a bit too plain for someone with so much responsibility on his shoulders. Not my favorite design.

    Aoric’s earrings definitely have to go. He looks too androgynous with them, and that’s not GAR at all. I like his boots and his “all-business” pose and expression, though. I feel like I recognize his hairstyle, too. ^_^ You may indeed want to “take a little off the top,” as Zanaikin suggested, but for the love of Haruhi keep the hair spikes. They’re distinctive, and I think they make Aoric look tough. If you let his hair fall naturally, he’ll look so much like Lothair…

    The good news? All these characters look more or less male, so mission accomplished there.

  3. zanaikin

    Need to mention this before I forget again but…

    I’ve been doing some light research into Little Busters! and, the character images I found for Natsume Kyousuke felt like it be a near perfect representation of Aoric’s style.

    Also, if you haven’t read this yet, it’s quite insightful into the whole field of VN development:
    Impact of KEY

    zanaikin’s last blog post..Documentation Log Mar.21

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