Rare Sonic Art (And restoring it)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by JackSkellinghog, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Pengi

    Pengi

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    It's interesting to see how Mecha Sonic's design was refined compared to Yamaguchi's earlier sketch:

    [​IMG]

    One curious detail is that Mecha Sonic's hands went from being Mickey Mouse-ish like Sonic's, to something near identical to Metal Sonic's.

    It's been said that the Sonic CD and Sonic 2 staff came up with Metal Sonic and Mecha Sonic independently, unaware of what the other team was doing. The Sonic CD staff were surprised to see Mecha Sonic in a prototype Sonic 2 ROM, so they mailed their Metal Sonic designs over to the Sonic 2 team.

    So did Yamaguchi like the look of Metal Sonic's hands and incorporate them into Mecha Sonic's final art, is it just coincidence, or is there an inspiration that both designs were drawing from?

    EDIT: Corrected image URL.
     
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  2. Linkabel

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    I still find it weird that they updated Mecha's design for S3&K instead of using Metal Sonic.

    Unless the version in S3&K is supposed to be an updated/rebuilt version from the one in S2, and people were more familiar with that game than with CD so that's why they didn't use Metal?
     
  3. I honestly wish Mecha Sonic from S3&K would be used again.
     
  4. Xiao Hayes

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    Yeah, I don't find an issue in having different doppelganger models, but it seems Eggman only likes to rebuild one.
     
  5. Pengi

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    Since Sonic 3 & Knuckles' story was a continuation of Sonic 2, it makes sense to have a callback to that game, rather than CD. The Sonic Jam Official Guide describes it as a 2nd generation Mecha Sonic - that may or may not be a flourish added by the guide writer, but given its attack patterns, height, wheels on the feet and singular eye, this seems to be the intent. Sonic 2's Mecha Sonic was inspired by Mechagodzilla, and 1993 saw the debut of a sleeker, redesigned Mechagodzilla (which combined with a mech to become a flying Super Mechagodzilla), so they may have had that in mind. (Sonic Adventure reverted to being a tribute to the original Mechagodzilla, but even moreso.)

    I think Hoshino and Ohshima not being involved in S3&K may also have been a factor in not using Metal Sonic - they might not have wanted to do anything that seemed disrespectful to their colleagues. At the time Metal Sonic hadn't appeared in anything other than Sonic CD, so he wasn't a series mainstay yet.
     
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  6. laughing_sun

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    If it wasn't blatantly obvious before, it is now: Death Egg Robot is a Scopedog from VOTOMS. Great find on this artwork. This is absolutely incredible.

    I wouldn't say the fingers/hands are identical to Metal Sonic's. In the original Sonic CD, Metal Sonic didn't have segmented fingers. He just had spikes for fingers. They do appear closer to Metal Sonic's than the hands in the concept art. One other tidbit is in the margins of the concept art are lists of weapons Mecha Sonic could potentially have. I believe one of them was "finger missiles" ala MechaGodzilla or Dragon Ceasar/Dragonzord. So it's possible the "spikes" are meant to reflect the "missiles" or perhaps after that idea was scrapped, the pointy fingers were just the replacement.

    On the topic of S3K, would love to see some concept art of that version of Mecha Sonic. It's clear that a lot of thought went into that design, and I'd love to see what the little details were supposed to be that 16-bit pixel art doesn't always properly capture. That robot features a gold ring inside his chest when he charges on the Master Emerald. Based on the color scheme and features, he always seemed to me to be a hybrid of Metal Sonic and Mecha Sonic (Sonic 2 version).
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
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  7. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Wow, there's indeed a resemblance.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Pengi

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    I said "near identical". I can't think of any other robot in the series that has hands like that, and it's one of the biggest changes from the earlier draft.

    It's some kind of red orb he has under his chestplate: https://www.spriters-resource.com/fullview/10577/

    It's another similarity to the original Mechagodzilla: https://comicvine1.cbsistatic.com/u...5881332-showa mecha gz ability blasts (2).gif
     
  9. laughing_sun

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    Honestly, it doesn't so much look like it's under his chest, but almost like it folds up in his collar or maybe even his face. Note that in the sprites when the chest is half open, You only see the bottom portion of the "orb" when you would expect to see only the top portion. In the next frame his head is thrown back and we see the entire orb. Also note that his "eye" stops being visible as soon as the "orb" is exposed and they are the same colors. There are also some cables and tubes present in the final frame in the neck area. His head is thrown back in the same manner during his "transformation" pose but the wires and tubes are not visible at all. It's just the normal "black." Also worth noting is in the transformation pose, his eye is still visible.

    It looks to me like there is definitely a "transforming" element to revealing that "orb" rather than it just being "revealed" under his chest when he pulls it down. Honestly I think it might be his "eye" coming out of his face.

    There is a band along his waist that seems to be the same color scheme, but when he "shuts down" his eye goes dark but the band remains, so I suspect that is just a "stripe" rather than some sort of power source. It seems to vanish as soon as his chest is being folded down.

    upload_2020-9-7_9-58-23.png upload_2020-9-7_9-58-53.png upload_2020-9-7_10-9-30.png
     
  10. Pengi

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    That's probably the correct reading, that the orb is behind his eyes, but pulls down when he opens his chest plate.

    Makes me wonder if there are any other mecha like that in pop culture.

    EDIT: Flipping back and forth between the two frames of animation (half exposed orb and fully exposed orb), the orb stays in position, he just tilts his head back. So the orb is behind his upper chest and mouth area. His eyes still glow when he exposes the orb to attack in his "Super" form.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  11. laughing_sun

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    Good call on comparing the frames. I made an animation to compare everything. I started by using a normal standing frame which is not part of the charging animation but it helps to illustrate what is happening.

    First the head and shoulders lift up, partially exposing the "orb" while the chest folds down. Looking at this we see a couple things: one the orb is entirely encased in his head normally as the chest from the standing frame is below the elevation of the orb in the first charging frame. Second, the bottom-most spike does not move up with the rest of the head, so it seems to be fixed to the stationary portion of the torso.

    Next, as you pointed out, his head hyper-extends backwards exposing more of the orb and the machinery. We also see his shoulders roll back as well.

    Next his legs swing back, just to show that the firing frame is (almost) the same as the charging frame, at least in this palette. The key differences seem to be some black spots that appear on the orb and of course the legs swing back.

    Finally the last poses showcases that the head can move about without exposing the orb and also the difference in "height" between the poses when the orb is exposed versus when it is not.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Pengi

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  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    There are scans on archive.org that I don't touch because the file sizes are crazy. Here's a recent one:

    https://archive.org/details/1991_sega_ufo_catcher_sonic_prizeout_scans

    It's the prize door for a New UFO Catcher. It's one of the earliest products to feature Sonic the Hedgehog.


    (it's something like, Rad Mobile, MD Sonic, SMS Sonic, GG Sonic, New UFO Catcher (with the Sonic toys)). Sonic Eraser is in there somewhere too. Then it really kicks off in 1992.
     
  14. Pengi

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    The Wiki says that New UFO Catcher was released December 1991. Apparently this was from the old Sega-Interactive site. But I'm not sure it's accurate? The flyer is dated 1991.5 (near the bottom right) and it's also in the 1991.9 dated Sega Amusement catalogue, along with the UFO Catcher Mini and Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car.

    This ad from Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic vol. 2 gives the first Sonic plush doll prize series a 15 July 1991 release date, with the New UFO Catcher pictured:

    [​IMG]

    At least one other Sonic 1 print ad had the New UFO Catcher in it too.
     
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I've seen Sega use the December date a few times, but they could easily be wrong. Unless there were location tests in July/August or something.
     
  16. Tanks

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    ESRGAN is sexy.

    [​IMG]

    It's not perfect, you lose small bits of the image with some added artifacting from the model I used after removing the halftones, but I'm impressed all the same.

    EDIT: Replaced final pic with a color corrected version.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
  17. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Kind of looks like "the DVNR of artwork", to be honest... :eyebrow:

    I guess this could have a use for somebody at SEGA working on advertising a new manga compilation, but for archiving old artwork?

    The halftone on Sonic's shoes looks completely intentional, by the way, seeing how it looks exaggerately bigger than that on the rest of the illustration.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  18. Pengi

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  19. Tanks

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    Well my intention wasn't to stay true to the original. Didn't realize the purpose of the thread was to remaster for wiki archival, but I do see exactly where you're coming from. ESRGAN when used right is a powerful tool and can be pretty respectful of the source material if you train up a model or use one derived from similar source material. For instance, this 4x clean upscale of this Sonic 3D Blast wallpaper is the perfect use case.

    For this old-style Sonic halftone though, I will preface this by saying this is not intended to be perfect, but the model I used here is much more respectful of the source while up scaling and smoothing out the smaller halftones thanks to it being trained on manga. (I did some color correcting and scaled back down in PS). The model I used originally was designed to nuke half toning completely, hence the complete smoothing and loss of detail. I chained it with another model which cleaned up the line-work, but the data loss was already in place by that point.

    All that said, if we do want to use my quick clean source clean up on the wiki I'd be flattered. All I did was remove the chat bubble overlapping the glove with Photoshop's healbrush so it should be pretty faithful to the original.
     
  20. Scarred Sun

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    Just a note on art cleanup and scanning: I strongly recommend using Sattva Descreen for these sorts of endeavors.