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What makes it good?


Ukase
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What I'm after is information. I know that costume appreciation is subjective. 

I see people getting praised for a costume, and I look at it, and I'm asking myself, "What is so great about that? Looks like crap, to me". 
Sometimes, I see a costume and I think, "nice enough", although more often than not, I can't even see costumes. All the buffs and stuff going on, I never really notice them. And, during idle times, I'm far more likely to look at builds and badge counts. 

I see some of the pics in this forum section of various costumes, read the praise...and I am left wondering -- what is it that made player X think that was a good costume? Most aren't hideous, but I see nothing particularly special about them to be worthy of praise. 

How many colors is too many? Are there some rules of thumb that all of you go by that the rest of us are unaware of? 

Should the belt buckle match the boot color? Or should the belt itself match the boot color? Or neither? Should it match anything? 
Is the origin of the character supposed to have any bearing on the costume? 
Is an archery defender supposed to be natural origin? or Tech? I wouldn't think origin matters. But my thinking has never been seen as typical. 
Is a fire character supposed to use a chest symbol that's associated with fire? And the fire stripes for shirt and pants? 
Is a cape supposed to be shorter for certain body types? Larger? 
Can a costume be made to look like a naked mole rat? 

Should a costume be made to look like a naked mole rat? 

What makes a player think their costume is "good"?

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11 minutes ago, Ukase said:

I see people getting praised for a costume, and I look at it, and I'm asking myself, "What is so great about that? Looks like crap, to me". 

 

I am right there with you on that. But more often than not I don't pay much attention at all to other folks' costumes, and I assume that other folks also think mine are nothing special. I've received a few random compliments for my bios, but never for my costumes (to the best of my recollection). And I am totally fine with that, because I like how my costumes look and mine is the only opinion I care about on the matter.

 

As far as colors and rules of thumb, I try to stick to 2-3 colors that relate to one another on the color wheel (and I created a wiki page to help with that), with maybe an accent color on 1-2 parts. It mostly depends on the look I am going for, though.

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2 hours ago, AboveTheChemist said:

 

I am right there with you on that. But more often than not I don't pay much attention at all to other folks' costumes, and I assume that other folks also think mine are nothing special. I've received a few random compliments for my bios, but never for my costumes (to the best of my recollection). And I am totally fine with that, because I like how my costumes look and mine is the only opinion I care about on the matter.

 

As far as colors and rules of thumb, I try to stick to 2-3 colors that relate to one another on the color wheel (and I created a wiki page to help with that), with maybe an accent color on 1-2 parts. It mostly depends on the look I am going for, though.

I promise you - I know mine are trash. I've only tried to do anything special with one - a play on Grod, called Thong Kong, an electric/psi tank. I had to get help on the costume. 

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Like you said, it's all subjective. Not to toot my own horn, I appreciate all the love I get here on the forums for my designs, but I have never won an in-game costume contest despite the positive feedback. Because not everyone has the same tastes, and that's ok.

 

If we're asking how an individual goes about designing a toon, well, I can only speak for myself. I tend to go out of my way to design anything that isn't a standard "tights and capes" hero/villain because that's just not my thing. I tend to lean more towards Fantasy themes or video games homages. I also don't usually aim for "simple", but not very busy either. There's gotta be a flow to it. Colors contribute to that as well. 2 main colors and 1 auxillary color is the way to go. Depending on how you blend them, that auxillary color can end up really standing out, which you can use to your advantage.

 

Of course, not everyone has time for that, and that's fine too. It's only one avenue for enjoying the game.

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Mainly on Excelsior. Find me in game @Spaghetti Betty.

AE Arcs:  Big Magic Blowout! 41612 | The Meta-Human Wrestling Association 44683 | MHWA Part 2 48577

Click to look at my pets!

 

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As what makes a good costume is equivalent to asking what makes good art?

 

The following, originally painted in 1894, sold at auction in 2015 for $658,000.

poker-dogs-poker-game-c-m-coolidge.jpg

 

Allow me to suggest that what is art is what you would spend money to own because you like it. It varies from person to person. And what one person will praise another would see no value in or think is junk.

 

The painter of the following was considered so poorly he was unmentioned in art history texts from 150 years ago.

49758842643_90850f9150_k.jpg

 

Now he is considered a master of the Rococo period. How times change, eh?

 

I will say that my standards for praise are not the same as, "costume I wish I had come up with" or "a costume I want a character of mine to have". Over time I have gone from, "I find it outstanding on solely its merits" to "it causes me to pause when scrolling through the costume thread", to "it evokes the character name/bio", to "it strikes me as a labor of love", arguably becoming less discriminating over time, whereas if the criteria was, "I have to give the poster 10 million influence" if I indicate I like it I might be considerably more picky.

 

On the other hand, there is "real world" artwork I have seen in museum which has floored me for reasons other than pure, aesthetic appeal. There was a piece at the Hirshorn depicting a street scene in New York City which, when I saw I wondered why there was a photo in an exhibit which was about paintings. Then I got close to it and noticed it was a painting. The artist had individually painted each brick in every building or wall and every other object in the scene was composed of the tiniest brush strokes. I was floored. The scene itself...nothing special. The painting however still leaves me stunned thinking about it a lifetime later.

 

 

Like with that painting, I consider broadly what I see.

 

But that is me. Your criteria are yours and completely fair for you to use for your judgments.

 

Edited by Erratic1

Pity me. My graphics card died and I am getting by on a Radeon 5450. It is amazing how a 12-year-old graphics card struggles with an 18-year-old game.

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23 hours ago, Ukase said:

What I'm after is information. I know that costume appreciation is subjective. 

I see people getting praised for a costume, and I look at it, and I'm asking myself, "What is so great about that? Looks like crap, to me". 
Sometimes, I see a costume and I think, "nice enough", although more often than not, I can't even see costumes. All the buffs and stuff going on, I never really notice them. And, during idle times, I'm far more likely to look at builds and badge counts. 

I see some of the pics in this forum section of various costumes, read the praise...and I am left wondering -- what is it that made player X think that was a good costume? Most aren't hideous, but I see nothing particularly special about them to be worthy of praise. 

How many colors is too many? Are there some rules of thumb that all of you go by that the rest of us are unaware of? 

Should the belt buckle match the boot color? Or should the belt itself match the boot color? Or neither? Should it match anything? 
Is the origin of the character supposed to have any bearing on the costume? 
Is an archery defender supposed to be natural origin? or Tech? I wouldn't think origin matters. But my thinking has never been seen as typical. 
Is a fire character supposed to use a chest symbol that's associated with fire? And the fire stripes for shirt and pants? 
Is a cape supposed to be shorter for certain body types? Larger? 
Can a costume be made to look like a naked mole rat? 

Should a costume be made to look like a naked mole rat? 

What makes a player think their costume is "good"?


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and all that.

 

I often admire costumes in game, frequently taking screenshots and sending the person a /tell in appreciation. Mostly it comes down to various semi-nebulous criteria like “creative use of disparate elements” or “really nailed the spirit of the idea”.

 

I like most genres, so I also like most costumes. Superhero, epic fantasy, space alien, robots, pulp hero… it’s all good.

 

Here’s an example of a subtly brilliant cape’n’cowl-style superhero named Mr. Victory from Seadevil on page 2 of the “fave costumes” thread. Seadevil combined two different patterns that work together seamlessly, added metal accents which have wings that can be read as the letter V, and cleverly used one of the cape styles to clip the pattern into a giant V. The three colors work great in this combination.


3-ED0-C4-D7-96-D6-4-E53-A06-B-D34-DDCE97

https://ibb.co/zF916D1
 

6519-FCA9-6699-4-CD2-914-C-6063-A76-B69-

https://ibb.co/QY2PbVS

 

This character by Jon (pg 4) is deceptively simple, but look how he’s alternated the color of the glove and boot pattern and inventively worked in the chest pattern. It looks obvious, but few people can come up with such an elegant design.

 

BFE85-ABA-38-D8-4-D9-B-9-A2-A-241-BF5-B3

https://ibb.co/sqLkNVj

 

First Player likewise made use of color and clipping for this one (pg 218) to come up with something minimalist and cool.

 

0-E59-B783-726-F-4-AE5-87-E1-981-E8-C4-E

https://ibb.co/nmbmKpz

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5 hours ago, Trike said:

This character by Jon (pg 4) is deceptively simple, but look how he’s alternated the color of the glove and boot pattern and inventively worked in the chest pattern. It looks obvious, but few people can come up with such an elegant design.

 

BFE85-ABA-38-D8-4-D9-B-9-A2-A-241-BF5-B3

 

 

 

I gotta say, I do like the name and the look. I wouldn't say they go together - the name would be good with just about in any look. 

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On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

What makes a player think their costume is "good"?

My circular and half-sarcastic answer - when other players praise the costume.

 

My personal interpretation of art of any kind is mostly based on whether it looks (or sounds) like it was fun to create.  Naturally, that depends on my personal idea of what's fun, but I try to keep an open mind and see the art from the designer's point of view (even if the designer never directly expresses it).

 

There are certain types of costumes I'll never create or use myself.  The classical spandex body suit, for instance, is right out (my dark and terrible secret is that I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of superhero comics, even after playing this game for so long).  Likewise, I'll never have a character with a plethora of spikes or fins and other random sticky-outy bits.  I'll leave that to other MMOSs.  However, that doesn't keep me from appreciating a classic hero look, or a weird half-tree half-insect half-eldritch monster, as long as it looks like significant thought and attention to detail went into it.

 

Not sure if that helps, so I'll throw out some random examples from other types of art.  I would never want to even try to play The Burning Wheel RPG - but I appreciate that it's a true labor of love, and I've lifted several ideas for my own games.  I never gave much thought to Cajun or Cuban music, until I heard the bands Beau Soleil and Buena Vista Social Club.  And crime thrillers never managed to catch my interest until I saw the TV series "Mindhunter."

 

Not sure if htat helps either, but, there it is.

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Make what YOU like, if others praise you for it, then your ego gets a little boost, if not you still have a costume or concept you like, regardless of the opinion of others.

 

I have posted up quite a few, some I spent many hours on trying to get the details just right to have no one notice, others I threw together in 15-20 minutes, and got positive comments from every angle, both in game and on the forums. 

 

Like others have pointed out, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So make what pleases your own eyes.

 

I follow a few rules when I make a toon:

1. I attempt to be original, if at all possible (I imagine a backstory. I ask myself; why do they look a certain way?)

2. If it's not possible to be original, then I try to think outside the box for execution. (there is a 1000 ways to pull off a "Poison Ivy" , "Bat Man", or a "Mr. Freeze type hero or villain")

3. I steer away from using too many pieces from same sets.

4. Color pallet choices are key.  I try to avoid colors that clash for the main majority, but i do use a clashing color as an accent sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

Is the origin of the character supposed to have any bearing on the costume?

I would say only if the origin should be perceptible by your average passer-by;  If they're wearing obvious armor, then yes.  If it's something "from within" then you can look however you want.  Just keep in mind if your "costume" is indeed a costume, and not just clothes the character wears while doing their thing, then it probably should express something about how that character wants to express themselves.

 

On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

Should the belt buckle match the boot color? Or should the belt itself match the boot color? Or neither? Should it match anything?

 

If the costume has multiple components that are supposed to be of the same material, and you want a coherent look, then colors should be coordinated.  If you are intentionally going for a more chaotic look or one that is supposed to appear as improvised, then go w/ whatever you like.

 

On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

Is an archery defender supposed to be natural origin? or Tech? I wouldn't think origin matters.

 A lot depends upon how much you care about origin as CoH defines it;  If your archer's abilities come from their skill, and the fancy arrowheads are secondary to that skill, then I'd go with 'Natural'.  If, however, the special warheads, or other abilities, are the more prominent aspect of said character, then I'd go with tech.  In short, you can pretty much make any origin work.

 

On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

Is a fire character supposed to use a chest symbol that's associated with fire? And the fire stripes for shirt and pants? 

 

I think "supposed to" is the wrong term here;  The question is whether the character wants others to be able to tell at a glance what kind of powers they have.

 

On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

Is a cape supposed to be shorter for certain body types? Larger?

 

I would say it's a matter of overall look and proportion - do you want the character to look statuesque and elegant, or broader?  The pattern you apply to the cape also affects this greatly.

 

On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

What makes a player think their costume is "good"?

 

A good rule of thumb is to go with complimentary colors or contrasting colors, but not both.  There's no singe set of rules that work, however.

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It's largely subjective but I think a good thing to keep in mind is legibility. Whatever character aspects that costume is communicating should be easy to read. For example, I think that for most iconic superheroes (Batman, Superman, etc.) you would be able to recognize the character just from their silhouette. Add as many design elements as necessary to clearly communicate that design, while keeping those elements as simple and bold overall.

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On 9/4/2022 at 11:22 AM, Ukase said:

.... I know that costume appreciation is subjective. 

 

This right here is your answer to everything.  If you like it... great!  if not, ok too.  Not everyone likes Picasso, or Renoir, or Anne Geddes, or whoever made "Dogs Playing Poker" .... There are a lot posted on the forum that I don't particularly care for either and I think "what were they thinking and why are people liking that?  But okay, whatever... glad they are happy."  And then there are a lot that I do like too and I am happy to give them a like or thumbs up.  

I post some of mine too... it's great when people like them, but ok if they don't... I make them to MY liking first and foremost.  I share them in case perhaps it inspires someone else for something they want to do.  I also get inspiration from others.  But at the end of the day.... it's subjective and is what appeals to you.  🙂

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I think what really brings a costume together is most often the combination of the name and costume rather than the costume alone.  You can have a super intricate and awesome costume but if your name is “Man Who Punches Hard” you’re costume is not going to get appreciated.  

 

Wild Wing posted up above is a nice simple costume.  Name it Wild Wing and instantly your brain and eyes make a connection.  Name it Blue Devil and it doesn’t make that connection.

 

 

89FE7EB5-0AF7-4776-8488-F4ABAC84ABA0.thumb.png.202f2b1f0df500a5a8665f3672d767f5.png

@Jawbreaker made this.  It’s a good costume in general.  I read Speed Fiend and instantly my minds eye says, “oh yeah, that guy has serious issues!   Look at that grin!   That is a Fiend!!!”   Speed Sentinel just doesn’t do it.  

 

6BA40878-4E98-4A4B-8394-7C5375AB85B9.png.d562218269387af0e3bce99b32c14e87.png

@First Player made this.  Pretty standard knight.  He names it Dungeon.  The likes poor in!   Instantly Sir Elwin goes from knight number 11457 to possibly immortal, died hundreds of times, battle hardened, armor dwelling spirit, man of torment and darkness, artifact seeking, etc.   Instantly your lore, your story, everything is so much richer.  His bio could be Steve from accounting for all I know.

 

@Without_Pause said, “ First Player’s true super power is good names”.  It’s so true for anybody who gets tons of likes on their costumes.  It’s not the costume itself, it’s the name and costume combo.  

 

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Guardian survivor

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18 hours ago, Vulpoid said:

I found these articles amazing, if you want to take a deep dive into comic book color psychology and mythology....

https://comicsalliance.com/author/mclachlanhanson/

 

 

 

 

These articles are super interesting. Also the article on flags mentioned in one of them is really cool! Thanks for sharing.

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back in the days: Zukunft (EU) ... nowadays: Everlasting

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4 hours ago, Marshal_General said:

I look at a Picasso and all I see is art that you would hang on your fridge done by your 5 year old.

 

If that's all you see, then you probably don't have an education in art history sufficient to understand why his modern art was valued (Picasso was accomplished at traditional realism as well, he simply chose not to do it). If I give a random teenager with no background in English literature one of Shakespeare's plays, they'll most likely think it's bad as well if they can even make it through the archaic language.

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3 hours ago, battlewraith said:

 

If that's all you see, then you probably don't have an education in art history sufficient to understand why his modern art was valued (Picasso was accomplished at traditional realism as well, he simply chose not to do it). If I give a random teenager with no background in English literature one of Shakespeare's plays, they'll most likely think it's bad as well if they can even make it through the archaic language.

But going back to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"  Sufficient art education, can only make you appreciate the effort or timeliness of the art, but Cant force you to appreciate the style.  Arts value to one vs another is purely subjective and no amount of education can or ever will change that.  Snobbery alone sets the value of art in the gallery scene, so there is that. My 10 year old daughter actually makes better looking impressionist art than Picasso, but yet no one is lining up to buy her works.

Edited by Mr. Apocalypse
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18 minutes ago, Mr. Apocalypse said:

My 10 year old daughter actually makes better looking impressionist art than Picasso, but yet no one is lining up to buy her works.

 

Did Picasso do Impressionism? 

Pity me. My graphics card died and I am getting by on a Radeon 5450. It is amazing how a 12-year-old graphics card struggles with an 18-year-old game.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Apocalypse said:

But going back to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"  Sufficient art education, can only make you appreciate the effort or timeliness of the art, but Cant force you to appreciate the style.  Arts value to one vs another is purely subjective and no amount of education can or ever will change that.  Snobbery alone sets the value of art in the gallery scene, so there is that. My 10 year old daughter actually makes better looking impressionist art than Picasso, but yet no one is lining up to buy her works.

 

I think it's lot more complicated than that. If it's just purely subjective then you would never be able to say, for example, that Mozart is better than Nickelback. Or that Norman Rockwell is a better painter than your 10 year old. A lot of the value in art is, in addition to it's formal characteristics, whatever statement it's making within the cultural and historical period in which it was produced. This understanding may not make you personally like something, but it should explain why something is valued when other things aren't.

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7 minutes ago, battlewraith said:

 

I think it's lot more complicated than that. If it's just purely subjective then you would never be able to say, for example, that Mozart is better than Nickelback. Or that Norman Rockwell is a better painter than your 10 year old. A lot of the value in art is, in addition to it's formal characteristics, whatever statement it's making within the cultural and historical period in which it was produced. This understanding may not make you personally like something, but it should explain why something is valued when other things aren't.

Then you agree with me. I acknowledged there is an apreciation of its time and place, but yet you can still think its junk!

 

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1 minute ago, Mr. Apocalypse said:

he did, whatever he did. Whatever its called. I recognize it as a profound style given the time in which it was done, but I also think it looks like garbage.

 

Picasso did a lot of things and worked in half a dozen different styles. 

 

Picasso at age 16:

Spoiler

picasso-early-work-6.jpg

 

Picasso at age 22:

Spoiler

1200px-Old_guitarist_chicago.jpg

 

Picasso at age 29:

Spoiler

a2d19be1f10f59e9260f9f577b57d0ba.jpg

 

Picasso at age 30:

Spoiler

mother-and-child-1921-1.jpg

 

Picasso at age 58:

Spoiler

93131255366f5d417e96134576e6c9c0.jpg

 

Eye of the beholder though. It may all be junk to you. 🙂

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Pity me. My graphics card died and I am getting by on a Radeon 5450. It is amazing how a 12-year-old graphics card struggles with an 18-year-old game.

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