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Onyx.5

Outstanding BZPower Citizens
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About Onyx.5

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    Toa
  • Birthday 04/28/1994

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    Male
  • Interests
    I'm not too active here anymore.

    I like electronic music. Although I prefer to think of my tastes as "eclectronic". I've collected a large amount of 8bit music and find it interesting when 8bit/chiptune sounds make it in to other genres. I like digital drawing, I use GIMP and a tablet, for now. I've studied fencing but only enough to forever ruin sword fighting scenes in movies.

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  1. Well well, featured topic, how about that. I have to admit, it's a bit exciting. But, come on now, stopping to acknowledge being featured is a bit tired by now, no? It's expected, but not particularly exciting to read. But, now I have to start thinking more seriously about what to draw next... Still, thanks for the kind words everyone, I assure you I took the time to read what everyone has to say, even if I didn't directly respond to you. Blueblur, ah, how refreshing to see someone stopping to point out something they're not such a fan of. On reflection, I must admit, I mainly focused on illustrating the concept of there being human (or cyborg) pilots at all, rather than taking the time to flesh them out and show them as unique people. I guess I ought to work more on that side of things in the future. Funny that you should mention Gali, I've been thinking about that myself. It's tempting to do things like de-emphasize the shoulders and bulk up the leg armour, but my current thoughts are that the sets never made any effort to distinguish Gali as female through her amour, so why should I? You know, do things Samus style. But, taking the opportunity to add visual variety has its draws too... Flex, despite all the various modifications I've made to the way the Bionicle world works, Toa maintain their ability to directly manipulate their respective elements. I haven't decided whether they get to keep that power outside the TOA unit itself, though I'm leaning towards it being specific to the unit. That said, I did consider giving them elementally appropriate weapons... but ultimately, I think that if you want to see flamethrowers, you're going to have to go to the Exo-Toa models. Iku, you seem quite adamant on your position. I'll see what I can do, though I'm already involved in another, non-Bionicle related project. Otherwise I'd be devoting more time to drawing these! You can bet the universe isn't going away any time soon though, it'll keep brewing away in my mind, and sooner or later I'll have a new batch of drawings and concepts. J46, funny you should mention Metal Gear. I've never played the games or really been a fan, but I have to say, every time I chance upon one of Yoji Shinkawa's drawings for the series, I've always liked the look. It's a comparison I'll gladly take, and with any luck I can get closer to his calibre of work in the future. Plus there's those robot designs. So cool, but always just a little bit unusual or awkward, in a way that makes them stick out in your mind. That's the sort of thing I can appreciate. It seems we have a few HB converts. Walking the line between BZP's long tradition of seperate 'movie' and 'humanized' styles was a major goal of mine, so it makes me happy to see people enjoying these drawings who usually don't enjoy anything with a human face on it. I think a major part is still keeping the strong emphasis on cybernetics and biotech, as they're such an integral element of Bionicle that I always find it a bit weird seeing someone completely strip them out. Not that it's bad when someone does, by any means. The more people try different things, the better. But that should help illuminate my personal philosophy towards my Bionicle art, at any rate. Aaaaand Tahtorak with a second reference to Metal Gear's art. Man, and at the time I drew these, I wasn't thinking about Metal Gear at all. I suppose now I'm forced to acknowledge the similarity. Tokusatsu I'm not so sure about, as I've watched literally none of it. But Mecha? Yes. Very much so.
  2. Oh for pete's sake. Of course it's a coincidence, and Mr lightning says himself it's kind of silly. The point of this thread is that coincidences are (or can be, if we're being less generous) interesting. Now, admittedly, what tends to be much more interesting is when you predict something, and post your prediction to the internet well in advance of it actually happening. If we're just reminiscing, we're all prone to hindsight bias, and there's no way to prove if we ever really predicted anything. All the same... There is one incident I can think of, back when the phantoka had just come out, and the mistika were still around the corner. I knew we were going to get 3 more makuta sets, and after considering that the first three that year had been modeled off of bats, and that the setting for the latter half of the year was closer to the ground (and swampy), I found myself thinking that the next three makuta might be insects. Low and behold, what did the mistika makuta end up being? Oh, and I also totally predicted that the toa mistika would be Tahu, Gali, and Onua. Though that's significantly less impressive.
  3. Onyx.5

    Thok

    Hey, you've got some very nice perspective going on with the Zamor launcher, and the upper body in general has a strong, dynamic pose, and it really gets the attitude of the Piraka across. I feel like a bit of that power, and the interesting angles, are lost once you get to the legs, especially since the feet look like they're missing the same careful placement on the page that the hands recieved. So, consider experimenting with some different leg angles and poses, and watch out for the angle of the hips - we humans have a habit of adjusting our characters to face directly towards us. When you don't think too hard about the pose you're putting a character in, you may suddenly notice that they, or parts of them, are a few degrees closer to a 90 degree angle to the viewer than you intended. I know I've dealt with that before. I also notice that you've simplified the spine somewhat, but it still works, because you've captured the curving, arcing shape of the piraka spines very well, so it leans on a sort of stylized, action-y look, which you might actually consider persuing further. I also notice you've given the teeth a slight angle, so Thok's mouth has a concave shape, in contrast to the rather flat surface the physical sets present. It's a nice touch.
  4. Onyx.5

    Legacy

    Well well, look who it is! Alright everyone, you can go home, Bionicle 2015 is official now. Unkle K has drawn it. I won't be the first or the last to say it: my goodness, the details. All the little rivets and screws and joints, though what really gets me are those little green sections at the finger joints. I mean, come on, that's just going overboard. I find the way you've handled the yellow lower legs, and the feet, interesting. Maybe it's just the colour, but it sort of reminds me of construction equipment, like something you'd see on an excavator, from the future. Not in a bad way, mind, it might be a look worth exploring further. I find it kind of funny that you consider this sketchy, considering it involved a basic shape sketch, a cleaned lineart layer, flat colours, and shading (including the process image was a nice touch, by the way). I guess it goes to show how much work you put in to the pieces you consider to be full, polished illustrations. Though, otoko-lewa's left arm sort of bugs me; it feels like it should point away from the viewer more, and the lower arm shouldn't be at a right angle to the viewer, or perhaps it shouldn't be parallel to the top of the page. But, that's fairly minor, I'm pretty sure it's perfectly anatomically feasible, it just comes off as a bit flat. Still, liking the concept here, and it's cool to see the first sets of both bionicle lines in one image. Oh, and it took me ten minutes, but I found that uncoloured leaf!
  5. Chro: Ah, 'kinetic'! That's a good one, might have to use that. Personally I lean towards making the acronyms make as much sense as possible, but, there's really only so much you can do. Looks like it's time to crack open the ol' dictionary. If there's one big thing I've learned recently, it's how much of a figure you can obscure or ignore while still getting a message across, and how you can still suggest detail without actually drawing in all of it. Case in point being the first drawing: you can see that Tahu's left arm (his right from our POV) has different colours and some details, meanwhile his right arm is just a silhouette. Because I haven't done anything to obviously suggest a pronounced asymetry, you assume that his armor is symetrical and that all the details I put on his left arm must also exist on his right arm, even though I didn't draw them. Which means I can use that to introduce moody or dramatic lighting or to put an emphasis on strong graphic shapes instead of spending time filling in every bolt and screw. Now, putting in every last detail with technical precision is of course a look in itself, and one that I highly admire, but, right now it's not where I'm at. Ziontyro: If someone actually undertook trying to make a costume like this, I'd be honoured. If anyone wants to try it, that would be amazing and they have my full approval. Besides, it's Bionicle, it's not exactly like I own the copyright anyway. But yeah, it's either going to take a simplified design, or a really dedicated builder. At least they wouldn't have to wear their mask all the time to stay in-character. Oh, and Rahk, I assure you, Lewa's suit is perfectly air transportation capable. That's what the built in jump jets are for. And by Mata-Nui's mercy, it's UK. I was sort of afraid you'd show up, I didn't know what you'd say if you did. And as someone with some serious artistic chops around here, what you say carries some serious weight. I take your comment as high praise. You're entirely right about Lewa, though - while I was drawing him, I did struggle to get the upper back of his suit to look right, and it still looks off, resulting in humpback Lewa. Now that I look at it again, it's a bit clearer where I overextended the armor. And his torso is pretty bulky, yeah. I told myself that, hey, they're armour suits, so of course they'll be bulky, I don't need to worry about it, right? But I suppose I could add more definition than that, and vary the shapes more between toa. Ah, character design basics. And I'd like to keep the armor collars as a defining feature of all my toa, but, that doesn't mean I can't experiment with the form. So I'll keep that stuff in mind for future drawings. And I'll keep working on lighting stuff, and... aw man, I don't have any highlights! How did I not notice for so long? As for Alchemy... man, Alchemy. Fun program, I always found it a bit uncomfortable having to go back and forth between programs to draw things, but I suppose that's a digital art skill in itself. While I have been focusing on pure brushwork, I guess I ought to start thinking about how I'm going to start incorporating more texture in to these, whether through Alchemy or custom brushes or photobashing or what have you. But anyway, thanks a ton for stopping by, your observations are as acute as ever. Hope you're enjoying your stay as part of the BZP scenery. Do we even have any natural woodwork around here anymore? I thought they replaced it all with synthetic fiber...
  6. Glad to see people are liking my approach to illustrating these. I only really starting drawing things this way recently, but I find it's a fun style to work with. And again, I'm hoping to bring something a bit different to GA, both in concept and in technical approach. Endless Sea, it's funny that you should mention Warframe (warning, it's a fairly violent game, if you're not interested in violent games, you're not going to get much out of it). A friend introduced it to me and I played it for a few months a while back. It was fun for a while, though the gameplay doesn't change much, so I eventually drifted off. The art direction was certainly interesting though, especially how the titular Warframes relied on huge amounts of detail and texture to define them. As pretty as they were, personally I actually try to avoid relying too much on fine details in my designs, I try to use large shapes and silhouette definition, though I'm not sure how much I'm succeding. I'd like to simplify these TOA further, actually, but I'm still messing around with them, trying to find some aspects to make them unique. The bulky armor collars seem to be a start, though I worry sometimes that I'm just ripping off the Grineer, heh. While I don't conciously reference it, I guess I can't deny that Warframe might be exerting some amount of influence on me (case in point: Katanas). The sci-fi, biotech-heavy setting sure shares some similarities with Bionicle. Though if we want to talk about influences, it might be worth considering Evangelion (warning: 1, Eva can be graphic at times; and 2, it's almost two decades old so there are spoilers aplenty on the wider internet). The more I think about it, the more I like the design of the Eva units. They have a very smooth, uncluttered and sleak design by mecha anime standards, and at the same time the famous shoulder pylons are an interesting detail that makes them immediately recognizable. That's the sort of silhouette-defining design feature I'm attracted to. 5-O: Ah, the Kanohi. I'm still not entirely sure how to deal with integrating them in to my world. I have the character's faces, and I have these segmented armor helmets that are based off the character's original signature mask, and neither of those really lend themselves to being swapped out or collected. My current thought is that Kanohi might actually be more like special programs or functions that are installed as a part of a TOA unit loadout. This would help explain the swapability and collectability of Kanohi, while still allowing me to keep the physical helmets as an integrated part of the TOA, and as a visual signifier of the pilot, which never changes. I don't even want to think about creating acronyms for every Kanohi name... I might just say that the names are simply names, though I have to admit, Harassment Avoidance Unit is pretty good. And I still have to figure out what KANOHI will stand for. Something Ancillary Nueral Operation Something Instance... No, how about...
  7. you make good drawings man what program do you use?

  8. A big thanks for your kind words, everybody! You're right, TN - I've been drifting towards the sort of concept-art mindset, where fine details get sacrificed for the sake of getting a general idea across, without spending tons of time on a single image. I've never been good at getting clean outlines or smooth, polished looking images, and while sooner or later I'm going to have to conquer that dragon, for now I've decided to explore what happens when I simply throw cleanliness and outlines in general out the window. I guess I lean on an impressionist approach quite a bit as well. I've also recently stopped beginning my drawings with a sketch and then painting/inking over it, instead I just start with the dark colour and carve out the shapes I want. I think that's saved a lot of time. An intriguing concept is what I aim to deliver, and I hope I can get people to consider for themselves how they can bring a unique interpretation to the Bionicle world. Because I assure you, this isn't a special ability given only to a chosen few. As for why you'd recognize my art style... well, darned if I know. I know I recognized you pretty quickly, no surprise there, but I can't say I've posted many topics on GA, or anywhere really.
  9. Alright, someone here needs to have a really unusual opinion, I guess I'll take one for the team and volunteer. Personally, I'm kind of hoping for no returning characters. Bionicle as a larger setting, a strange world with a wide variety of technobiological inhabitants, is great, and as a building system it was without question the best toy I had as a kid. But if Lego is going to release Bionicle again, the target audience is going to be different, and since they're likely to have no forknowledge of the series, and because Lego is likely to make it a reboot instead of trying to teach the old, incredibly convoluted lore to a bunch of young kids, that means the only reason to bring any of the old characters back at all is either as a nod to us old fans, or to save the work of making new characters. Which isn't bad, I suppose, but a new Bionicle provides the possibility for a fresh start. It provides the chance for Lego to change some of the stranger aspects of the canon, such as the gendered elements, with impunity. I think it would be unfortunate if Lego didn't take the opportunity to update some things, and one of the biggest updates they could make would be an all-new cast, untethered by the long spiraling history of the old Bionicle. They don't have to make the new sets fit in to the old story, so why not take advantage of that fact? But, if Lego does start bringing back old characters... Krakua would be cool. Everybody likes a Toa of sonics, right? It would be neat to finally have an official set of one. I have to agree on Artahka and Karzahni, more characters with serious set potential, especially when the inevitable titan sets start coming out. And the Toa Hagah, sure. Heck, any of the Dark Hunters, there are a lot of interesting characters there that never had actual sets.
  10. Dear RahkshiToa88: Thank you for your interest in the Techno Organic Armour unit system! Unfortunately, TOA units are not available on the consumer market at this time. We are currently investigating potential distribution channels and legel authorization measures, but due to regulatory complications, we can not provide an estimated date of availability. While we would like to assure you that a TOA unit would be fully capable of executing everyday activities while protecting the pilot from excessive stress and exhaustion, TOA units are currently not approved for civillian, labour, or light and heavy industrial use. Rest assured, we continue to push for wider acceptance and availability of TOA units in all sectors as we strive to meet your needs. Please check back later! Don't actually check back later, I'm probably not going to change anything. Dear Onarax: What you are seeing is a prototypical TOA unit model. As with all TOA units, the unit is speci- Okay I can't keep this up. And your comment doesn't really work with an in-character response anyway. So, uh... katana, right. Well, the simplest answer is that I don't think very hard when I draw these. But that answer is also unsatisfying. So, Tahu is well known for carrying a fire sword, but I wanted to draw him holding an actual physical sword of some kind, which he would then use to channel his flame powers. Rapiers and similar swords were right out, as I wanted something that was predominately a slashing weapon. Overall I just thought that the japanese concept of the sword, as a fast, fragile, but incredibly sharp weapon, fit much better with the concept of elemental fire than the heavy, defensive, club-like concept of the ancient european greatsword. Now, if you were really looking closely, you would ask why Tahu is holding it in his left hand. And for that, you might want to go back to my first answer. As for Exo Toa, I actually made a topic a while ago with some thoughts and drawings of Exo Toa in this universe, though it's probably out of date with my headcanon at this point. While TOA merely contiain artificial muscle to supplement the pilot's strength, External Xenobiological Operating Techno Organic Armor* units are entirely self contained biotech organisms, capable of independant movement and thought (in keeping with the original Bionicle lore), which help augment the pilot's decisions making process, and allow the EXO TOA to have split-second reactions to possible threats without input from the pilot. Also, EXO TOA are serveral stories tall. So in effect, Toa = power armor, Exo Toa = giant mecha. *[somebody please save me from my own backronyms] Dear MrCod: Thank you so very much, sir! That's what I only hoped to hear. The flavour text was pretty fun to write, I've always taken a perverse joy in creating jargon. It's going to take a lot of work to top "proactive interests protection plan". The idea of a human/bionicle combination is the entire point of this world, although it actually started when I was thinking about how I wanted to deal with the Kanohi masks in my Bionicle art. After all, how do you portray facial emotion on a piece of metal? The common approaches tend to be not bothering with facial expressions at all (the set-style approach), incorporating animate features directly in to masks (the movie-style approach), or doing away with the masks altogether to just have faces (the human bionicle approach). None of those entirely appealed to me. I was thinking about sci-fi in general when I realized I could draw the masks as helmets, thus preserving both the cool, technological feel of the metal masks, and the squishy, relatable form of the human face. And then I just expanded that approach to the entire Toa, and viola, you get the idea of Toa as armor. So I can draw all the little techno details I want, and then draw fully humanized characters, and they don't have to be in seperate worlds. I get to have my cake and eat it too.
  11. We are proud to present our newest paramilitary product, the Techno Organic Armor unit, or TOA. Made as a supplementary full body armour system that easily fits over a standard issue Motor Assisted Techno Organic Reaction Axiom Nervesuit, a TOA unit is a composite of high strength metalic cladding and exo skeleton components, combined with muscle cell cultures grown from a DNA sample of the TOA's designated pilot. When a designated pilot that has undergone full TOA certification and registration enters their designated unit, the muscle cells "fuse" with the pilot, allowing for direct neural control of the unit and enhancement of the pilot's strength and stamina. Undifferentiated cell cultures contained within the TOA unit grant it amazing regenerative capabilities, allowing for easy replacement of damaged components and limbs in the field, without the need for advanced medical or biotechnology training. Because all living cell components are derived from pilot DNA, in the event of catastrophic system failure or loss, a replacement TOA unit can be grown, and the pilot reconditioned for subsequent redeployment. TOA units are built with only the most advanced digital and organic security features, with bioinformatic feedback and DNA recognition as a design paradigm. TOA units will never activate for any adversary that gains physical access to the unit. Your control is assured, from cell to circuit™. No matter whether you're ensuring the security of your assets and personell or enacting a proactive interests protection plan, act with confidence: act with TOA. Product rollout to selected enforcement agencies is scheduled to begin soon! Note: Because cell cultures will reject all organisms attempting to access the unit that are not the designated pilot, TOA units may not be transferred between pilots. This is by design. We strongly recommend against attempting activation of a TOA unit with any person who is not the designated pilot for that unit. If you require additional TOA pilots, please aqcuire individual TOA units and TOA operation certification for each additional pilot desired. Note: Please allow several minutes for fusion and diffusion of cell cultures at the activation and deactivation of the unit, respectively. Note: Images shown are for demonstration purposes only, and may not reflect the final product. All designs subject to change. Edit: Well, everyone, you've twisted my arm. Here's a new Tahu drawing, featuring exlusive guest star Lewa.
  12. Hah, excellent. I'm hardly a pro at landscapes and backgrounds either. Just keep practicing, I'm sure you can do it, you certainly have a good-luck-wish from me. Also, that process explanation was way more in-depth than I expected, thanks for taking the time to lay it all out. It doesn't sound drastically different from how I've handled cell-shaded work before, so that's encouraging, I guess. I'm still impressed by how clean it looks...
  13. Well, I got nothin'. Simple but well handled cell-shading, dynamic pose, and great stylization on the armor and proportions (those lower legs are the best take on nuva limbs I've ever seen, and I really like how you handled the limb joints, for some reason). However, I'm going to have to disagree with Disciple on the background - personally, I'd suggest going for something more ambitious by placing characters in to full scenes. Y'know, with landscapes n' stuff. I mean there's nothing wrong with a simple background that puts the focus on the character, but, when you're this good at drawing figures, you ought to start practicing other things! Oh, and I'm curious - what was the drawing process behind this? What program do you use? It looks like it might be vector art, everything is so clean and sharp.
  14. Onyx.5

    The Vice-Captain

    Well, If I'm honest I haven't seen any of your previous drawings, so I don't have much of a baseline for how human this is compared to how you normally draw Bionicle characters, but I certainly wouldn't say it turned out 'horribly'. You've managed to pull off a fairly challenging perspective on the shoulders. The feet and especially the hands are well done - those give most artists a lot of trouble. Though there's some odd stuff going on with the legs - as Norik said, they look a bit long, perhaps because they're not quite in the same perspective, and aren't as foreshortened as the rest of the character. More importantly, if you look at the position of the knees, and then consider where her ankles are, you might see that her right lower leg is very long. I suspect you got really focused and worked out the upper legs, and then lower legs, and then the feet, in isolation, without stepping back to look at the overall proportions. You can either let the legs dictate where the feet go, or let the foot position tell you how the legs should work, but make sure you're treating them as a single larger object. Meanwhile the arms are in good perspective, and nicely shaped. Oh, and I just realize that the oval-shaped armor indentations are a reference to the pin holes on actual bionicle pieces - was that intentional? It's a nice touch either way.
  15. Onyx.5

    Exo Toa

    Indeed, it is our fiery hero. I never actually put much thought in to the scale of it - what's the point of a giant mecha without the giant part? Really aiming for the Exo-Toa as bulky combat robot, not so much as a suit of armor. Now I realize just how much I upsized from the set. And, thanks, that was probably the biggest thing going in to this sketch; trying to get a few large blocks that would define the Exo-Toa, and give it a unique shape. Maybe I should draw some more of them, different customized units for the different Toa...
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