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live tmnt concept art by rainingcrow live tmnt concept art by rainingcrow
sculptris and photoshop... redux

they figured Id grow out of it, but 20 yrs later and I'm still drawing these guys.

just FYI I follow the more old school approach to the turtles. more grit and blood, less pizza and cartoons. Though I did always have my own ideas about each of them personally... some things less stated but implied.

I made bodies to go with my facial designs. (refer to my previous images "turtle time", and "turtle time redux") Splinter however is entirely new. Unlike the faces thought these were fully Photoshop rather than having any self sculpted components. I tried to convey my full perspective for each character by their appearance and attire. I'm not sure about the background yet, but this is what I have for now... if you like it you are welcome to share it etc, just make sure to associate my name with it as usual. ;)

fan art for fun etc.

following this is my development process documentation.

these are things I kept in mind while doing my designs. It should shed some light on how I came to the end results.
The first thing for me was to take a good hard look at the origin story. Examine its components in a light that is true to the characters essences. Forget the cartoony tongue in cheek. What are the guys if not a blend of the sci-fi and the mystical? How do I convey both in such a way as to keep a full approach to character? I mean these guys have to be so many things. Siblings, warriors, heroes, sci-fi "monsters" and all the while remain teens trying to find their places in a world not their own.

So I started with the most basic.

The "ooze" - a semi viscous fluid capable of separating and safely trans coding genetic markers from subject A to subject B between living organisms. Usually depicted as glowing which means it holds a certain level of energy independent from its outside contacts.

Eventually the "ooze" was revealed to be no simple radioactive waste or accidental combination of hazardous materials but a direct byproduct of the use of teleportation technology. (utroms)

Why does this make sense and then what rules does this set forth for its interactions and effects?

Because Once you eliminate the possibility of trans-dimensional tesseracts as a means of interstellar travel you are left with the basic reality that you can not physically move matter from point A to point B without complete evisceration and dis assembly, therefore not only would there need to be a compound from which to reassemble the matter stream, but it would have to trans code the data identically from point to point while retaining an independent energy signature.

After the biomass was properly reconfigured, the remaining gel would hold onto its base properties unless properly destroyed. This is why a teleportation byproduct makes the perfect base for a mutagenic compound.

2 species coming into contact with it would cause a cross transference of genetic information and thusly traits. 4 turtles coming into contact with it shortly after exposure to human DNA would not only cause them to take on humanoid traits, but those of each other as well.

The main trick of it is, that the exposure to the cross species has to occur either previous to contact with the compound or be a simultaneous occurrence before the energy stored within it is expended and it becomes inert... Hence splinter and the turtles coming into contact with each other shortly after exposure would not pose risk of crossing genetic markers with each other. (Not rats with shells or turtles with fur)

Interestingly enough, in this scenario, splinter would share enough genetic material with his former owner to technically be his son, while the turtles would share enough material with not only each other but the boy who had purchased them originally to make them ALL brothers.

So this sets up an interesting opportunity to both unify them and distinguish them as individuals.

the way I figure it... they aren't all the same breed of turtle. 4 turtles bought in a pet shop yeah, but each one a different kind... of course with the mutagen effects described they take on secondary species characteristics of whoever they were recently in contact with... that is after all how they got the human characteristics... I drew them each as having distinctly different physical characteristics making sure to include canon detail like Raphs "beak" that everyone teases him about, and Mikeys wide face and big mouth.

So imagine a box tortoise, and a terrapin combining traits with a baby snapper... and each of the turtles winding up with slightly different noticeable skin types, scales, shell patterns, bone structures etc... Then apply species characteristics to personality traits and development over time.

Leo - base species - slider ... He is the most attractive in a conventional sense. Smooth but leathery skin, tall sleek and most human in appearance. smooth hard shell etc... but buff and "handsome" Growing up with this outward appearance obviously allows his personality to form a bit different than his brothers. He relates the most closely with his human side and often chooses to ignore the fact that he is not entirely so. His role models are proud leaders and good men, and while everyone has room for doubt... Leonardo strives to conquer his flaws as if one day if he is virtuous enough he may be acceptable to the men and women of the surface world.

My design thoughts were as follows

more humanoid in appearance.
slightly handsome even, overall impression similar to Clint Eastwood.
classic hero proportions.
smooth and muscled looking under shell
Smoothest skin.
tall, slim, good posture, wide shoulders.
musculature of a practiced swordsman
long arms and fingers
stoic.
armor/attire
samurai inspired,
covers areas most likely to be struck by his own sword in practice
mask - neat, clean, classic...
backup weapon - hand to hand
Leo should care about his appearance.
He should try to look well put together and professional.
cool headed, determined, responsible.
summary word - zen

Donnie - base species - green sea turtle. He is next in line to Leo's characteristics, but he seems more aquatic. His skin looks softer, more pliable... his patterning is lighter in color and very different from the others, the underside of his shell rests closer in than the others and his back shell is elongated with larger plates and more of a football shape than an oval. He is also the leanest and most agile. Because of Donnies aquatic side his eyes have tendency to get dry when he works long hours. He also has astigmatism. So I figure that he should maybe wear goggles instead of a headband a lot of the time... The sea turtle side of him also gives him a larger brain capacity and focus on particular traits such as memory which allow him to train his intellectual side in tandem to storage of knowledge on a near savant level... I also always like the concept that was sometimes toyed with to make Donnie a bit sexually ambiguous. Something about him is just a little bit different than the rest... Begging the question that if your species only has 4 members of the same sex... where does attraction lie in the long run? April? Casey? Some alien from another galaxy? Who knows... these thoughts are best pondered with the help of a mind altering substance.

Design thoughts

alien like, less humanoid leg articulation. larger eyes, thinner face.
needs to look intellectual but still badass... Physically Harry Potter-esque...
tall, lanky, shell juts forward making him look slightly hunched like he spends a lot of time in front of a computer...
possible goggles in place of mask. Id like for him to look like a bit of a sea turtle. webbing? large scale plates? smooth oval shell.
secondary weapon - shuriken
summary word - tech

Raph - base species- snapper. Dude looks like he was made like a tank. He has thick protective scales on his skin, he has a hard beak and a hard rough textured shell with a slightly spiked ridge on it like a snapper. His skin has more earthiness to it. His head looks like it has a thick ridged skull,. He's stocky. He's the turtle version of Wolverine, rough and ready with a natural predilection towards aggressive behavior... He is the only assassin of the group because he is the most withdrawn and least inclined to fall into what is the expected norm of a human based culture. His looks make him less humanoid than the others and so he holds less hope of ever being anything but a loner. His solitude makes him bitter towards Leo especially as he sees himself as having gotten the short end of the deal in almost every way. He smokes cigars and occasionally drinks alone.

Design thoughts

Raph - built like a tank. attire should be a darker reflection of leo.
Looks full on turtle. has a beak the others tease him about. closest in height to mike. low brow, thick skull, heavily armored. heavily muscled in all areas.
mask - tattered afterthought
brash rough and tumble guy. demeanor like a snapping turtle (display physically)
other weapons should include grapple, and climbing spikes
summary word - wolverine

Mike - Base species - box turtle. He's hefty, he's as tough as Raph, he has scales but they aren't wide or thick, they look more like barnacles in a way. He has a tough thick shell... and unlike the rest He was the only one to get the box tortoise ability to fully retreat into it. He seems like he has the best of everything... but he doesn't notice. He's the youngest after all, at least as far as everyone is concerned. He has nothing to worry about ... except his brothers.

And that something I would want to see show through... That despite all his carefree nature, Mike does have a whole lot on his shoulders. His brothers are not easy to keep together. One thinks the responsibility of the rest lies on him, one seems insecure at times and withdrawn by his own over-thinking, and one feels mad at the world... Mike just wants to make everyone happy, and to be so himself. So he is the clown of the bunch, the relief they all need. Mike being able to keep things positive is what holds the family together, but it isn't without cost to him. He has a rough time facing the coldness of reality and retreats into fantasy and pop culture to wind down. He also discovered a certain affection for pot along with Donnie... Which is why the two of them are usually off eating somewhere while Leo and Raph argue.

Design thoughts.

short, stout, large shell, smooth but thick skin. thick everything.
musculature - huge forearms and calves developed from years of skateboard tricks and nunchuck practice.
look - relaxed, comfortable
sarong (Hawaiian print ) and shoulder pads prevent major injury from nunchucks in practice.
back up weapon - throwing knives
thick kneepads
tie dye mask, worn like a bandanna or skull cap
personal adornments to outfit (button of smiling Buddha with headphones on) mp3 player and headphones , shell necklace with yin yang symbol.

Personal idea... shell necklace made from every chip every to come off of his own shell. makes a joke of personal injury. personal quirk. whenever he gets a "ding" he finds it, and strings it on. His brothers thinks this is gross, like collecting ones fingernail clippings. He views it like a trophy, the way many extreme sportsmen view their scars.

summary word - Tao

Splinter needs to actually look like a rat who thinks like an old Japanese man. Full clothing, monks robes, walking staff... and usually holding a cup of tea. I want him to come off equal parts Yoda and Mr. Miyagi.

So those were my basic thoughts...
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:iconsonicblur2-0:
Sonicblur2-0 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
I'll be honest, usually when I see a description longer than one small paragraph, I'll skip it. But reading the thought process you went through when designing these new looks for the Turtles was amazing! And the actual designs themselves are fantastic! They blew me away. Another thing I found interesting was you mentioned Mikey and Don smoke pot, which, due to the more cartoon-y aspect of the newer incarnations, was never really talked about. That seems like something they would do though, adding a more realistic element to them. So again, you did a phenomenal job! I just have one qustion: Are you the concept artist for the TMNT movie coming out this summer? 
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:iconrainingcrow:
rainingcrow Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
Well thank you. Lol but no I am not. This was actually a piece to try and draw in potential employers for this type of work. It is my dream job but as of yet there have been no callers. Not the first time Ive been asked though. I'm saving up to buy a tablet in order to raise my capabilities currently. Thank you again for your opinions.
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:icondirector1265:
Director1265 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
Your designs are the best I've seen yet! They're costumes and body shapes really emphasize their personalities, plus they look slightly deformed (like a real mutant might be like) , their costumes look like something cleverly-slapped together from a bunch of scavenged junk, and overall they just look so real! Great job, rainingcrow! Great job!
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:iconrainingcrow:
rainingcrow Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you. I tried to put the concept into the art.
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:icondirector1265:
Director1265 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
Tried? TRIED?! Dude, you MASTERED putting the concept into the art! This is seriously how I imagined the Turtles to look if they were real, living beings!
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:iconrainingcrow:
rainingcrow Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well thank you. I appreciate your comments. If you like that you should go here. [link]

download the mario file and let me know what you think. There is a forum on the site.
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:icondirector1265:
Director1265 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
Just saw the website, Nostalgia Reboot, and I'm quite impressed. LOL...pretty much everything on it is yours! Do you own the website, or just dominate it?
Reply
:iconrainingcrow:
rainingcrow Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
I own it but. I am trying to get more people interested. Don't have money to advertise though. It needs more variety.
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:icondirector1265:
Director1265 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
Would you like some suggestions?
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:iconrainingcrow:
rainingcrow Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
sure, so long as they are free. :D
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