AuthorTopic: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD  (Read 30894 times)

Offline Helm

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THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

on: October 22, 2008, 09:30:08 pm

first google image result for query shall be our host

I am fascinated by the muscle baby thing. You know, top-down RPG sprites without clothes on with very - usually - defined musculature. I try to understand how it happend and how these sort of sprites don't creep everyone the hell out like they do with me. What I want in this thread is to examine this phenomenon closely. I ask you all to post all the muscle babies you find here. Direct links to images would be best. From pixelation threads (with appropriate link to thread below too), from elsewhere, your own, anything. I'll make one too at some point as well. This thread is not about ridicule, it's about understanding. Help me understand. Post muscle babies.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:45:43 pm by Helm »

Offline Atnas

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 10:40:38 pm


I was younger and stupid.  ;D

Nah, let me walk you through my thought process.

I was working on a template for a more realistic top down game. The dude wanted super-realistic every-blade-of-grass style art. I was fresh off my first month dabbling in anatomy, so I went out of my way and did something I normally would not have done - made a musclebaby. Had it been my call, I would have made everything like the last image, probably something even more simplified and cartoony. So I flexed my muscles and gave him something I interpreted as "realistic". Then I went through further simplification and fought with the project leader until I did that last image. (upon return from a lengthy hiatus of working on it, I learned much about what I considered tasteful and distasteful in my own eyes, and made changes accordingly.)

I think it's the same driving force behind people drawing beefy men when they practice anatomy. I mean, there's some intrinsic pull to draw bulging muscles. I've felt it before, but I've not exactly liked the outcome. I find people with huge muscles to be kind of creepy personally, but it's a very interesting thing to explore because of the sheer power the image of muscles hold over humans.

Of course, that's not why I made those sprites so beefy. I was being plain ignorant of what I was making and how ugly it was. Besides the poor craftsmanship, of course.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 10:42:28 pm by Atnas »

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008, 01:11:51 am
Thank you for your reply and your insights. As far as musclebabies go, your don't creep my out as much as usual (though the absence of genitals (another thing I'd like to see explained!) definitely does. The last one has more charm than the rest, naturally and actually conveys birdview pretty well!

Offline Sabata

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 01:34:07 am
...(though the absence of genitals (another thing I'd like to see explained!) ...

I think that the fact of omitting some parts is because mostly those are used on games, which is associated whit kids...which makes it bad for them to see  :-\

Also question...is this actually related to so called "dolls"  ???

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 01:52:27 am
I don't know, you tell me! Is the muscle baby thing related to dolls? Perhaps the more 'masculine' version of dolling? Of course you get to play dress-up with them ultimately in some sort of gaming schema. Whereas in doll communities they dispense with the gaming schema and get right to the core of it: the fun of customization of a little person with clothes.

Offline Willows

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008, 02:05:39 am
They're just crazy chibi characters  created for RPGs (usually, it seems) with defined muscles, because that shit's gonna get covered up by leet itans anyways, but you might as well make it look muscly because the character is probably a WARRIOR of some kind anyways plus then it'll make sense if you make a batman-like molded plastic musclechest magical paladinium enchanted metal armour and stick it on the character.

Plus drawing muscles shows everyone how much you own at drawing.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 02:25:20 am
More musclebabies please.

Offline Akira

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 02:26:52 am

Probably the best walk animation I have ever done. Ever.
I know I should be ashamed but 3 years later there's an interesting feeling of disconnect with this piece. Perhaps I've actually progressed as an artist.
The final one was even more muscled. And walked with knees. I wish I had saved them.
Created for a 2D MMORPG. Was destined to be full of dress up paper doll fun. My brief was pretty much "draw a muscled chibi character". I like to think I delivered.
Edit:

Found a newer version.

Double edit:
bonus ass-shaking back view.

and the original thread: http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=531.0

Thanks helm, for this trip down memory lane.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 02:34:15 am by Akira »
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline Darien

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 02:34:16 am



Really all I could find in a quick search here.  By gnarf.  I actually like this, though, like it's intentionally creepy

Offline Jad

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 10:48:54 am
Holy shit I just started sweating cold @ ___________ @
' _ '

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 01:46:54 pm




Original by Hyrule Swordsman, edit by ilkke. From this thread.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 03:32:21 pm
as i see it, the nakedness is basically the base for customizing your wardrobe, or lack of one.
its pretty popular in role-playing-esque type games where you're trying to exude personality in your character.
as for the chibi side of it, I think that theres a few reasons for it. the bigger head allows for more detail to be shown in the expressions, which I think is helpful for showing emotion.
also, it allows for more stylistic choices to be made with the facial features, which otherwise may not be possible, and thus you can change the feel to be more cute with exagerated eyes etc. you don't have to go that route though, but it does seem to be the popular choice. maybe it plays subconsciously with the fact that the proportions of the head make it resemble closer to a baby, thus people are inclined to believe its cute.
as for why they have muscles? probably because the ones with muscles are made by mostly guys. I would think a male would feel more manly putting muscles on them than to make them look girly cute.. though it could also be because the intention of the sprite is for a game where there is combat and fighting..
thats my take on it anyways..

the style itself probably originated from attempts to draw children, and then somehow it becoming a trend.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 03:35:01 pm by Alex Hanson-White »

Offline Darien

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 04:02:28 pm
reminds me of the babyheads from John Lethem's Gun, with Occasional Music

Offline Sabata

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 07:39:18 pm
About being chibi... its usually made in that style because of what Alex said but he missed one important piece, normally this is used on games where you customize (add clothes to base) so when animations are involved each piece of cloth need a frame too, so its easier to do smaller chibi look like doll (Yes Helm they are called dolls too...) than making a big realistic base, since it would use more work to animate and that is = to more frames for clothes....

Sooo resuming people who do them usually are lazy guys  :D
Jk its just that players accept chibi so well, so why bother making realistic???

Offline Lackey

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 08:08:02 pm
I'm sure we understand the idea of needing a naked template character for layering items on and we understand the chibi thing, the reasons to draw a bigger than natural head is straightforward enough, but what's confusing is why the detailed musculature on a character which already demands to be symbolic; we're not literally suggesting a world of people with huge heads (unless the game is Hydrocephalic World: Online) so why be so literal rendering the body?

Quote
Plus drawing muscles shows everyone how much you own at drawing.
I think that's probably the gist of it.  Sometimes we pixel artists just don't know when to stop :P

I agree with Helm about the 4th one there, Atnas, it's quite nice.

My attempt, for this thread:

But he's neither muscly nor babyish enough I think.

I wonder how many pixel artists have an "rpg doll" as their first real attempt at pixel art?  I think that was the case for me.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #15 on: October 23, 2008, 08:57:30 pm
Here's mine also.



I don't see why people get freaked out by these things, I think they're awesome.

Offline Jad

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #16 on: October 23, 2008, 09:43:19 pm
But it is!

Anyways, I also think it's a normal case of overdetailing - you draw a body and then you wanna fill it with something. If it's a man, you can always go for muscles and then musclebabiness happens.

And it looks awful @ __@;;

And awesome but in a very very twisted way.
' _ '

Offline Sabata

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #17 on: October 23, 2008, 10:42:02 pm

I think that's probably the gist of it.  Sometimes we pixel artists just don't know when to stop :P

Exactly! Usually when I do a template/doll/baby whatever we call it I just cant stop on that simple look... my hand just move and I try making muscles...  :crazy:

Umm RPG doll was not ym very first pixel art, but it was around there...I still try to do those and still not where I want to reach...

here are some of mine..all iso and many unfinished by simple fact of not being how I would like it....








I am actually freaked out myself  :o
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 10:45:49 pm by Sabata »

Offline AlexHW

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #18 on: October 24, 2008, 01:18:51 am
the bigger head allows for more detail, but
part of the reason could be that most people might find it difficult to correctly represent the facial details at a smaller more realistic scale, so they scale up without realizing what they're doing..
so it may not be a, oh i should make a chibi character so i can fit more details, but rather.. oh i can't make these details fit, so ill make it bigger..
it would be a good exercise for some to intentionally draw a realistic proportion sprites in a small scale in order to experiment on how to sacrifice details in order to be more realistic yet still be believable
i dunno.

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #19 on: October 24, 2008, 02:33:46 am
I believe it has to do with what a lot of free sprite based MMOs do, Maple Story being the most popular, and are trying to be what is most appealing for their audience or what they like the most.

Personally, I'm more interested in the clothes and armor they make for these things.  I'm sure this forum could give interesting critique for those than yet ANOTHER musclebaby.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #20 on: October 24, 2008, 03:31:25 am
Kittenmaster this thread is about understanding a phenomenon, not giving critique. People can start any thread in the critique section to get what this place is primarily here for.

Kon I totally agree people should try to see how to make proportioned small sprites instead of instant blowup head. I don't think any small sprite will please those looking for quasi-anime face characterization primarily though.

What is Maple Story? Any screenshots of their muscle babies?

Offline alkaline

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #21 on: October 24, 2008, 03:33:47 am
Posted by xooxer:


edits of xooxer's muscle baby by terley and sharprm respectively:



he's segmented like an earthworm in that first one.. ::)

Offline Dusty

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #22 on: October 24, 2008, 04:17:36 am
What is Maple Story? Any screenshots of their muscle babies?
Not necessarily muscle-babies, but just very chibi.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #23 on: October 24, 2008, 04:20:06 am
ouch ouch the painterly tiles and harsh black pixel chibis kinda hurt! Is this a Korean grindfest?

Offline Dusty

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #24 on: October 24, 2008, 04:25:00 am
Pretty sure it is.

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #25 on: October 24, 2008, 05:18:14 am
Quote
Kittenmaster this thread is about understanding a phenomenon, not giving critique. People can start any thread in the critique section to get what this place is primarily here for.
Oh, I meant about a lot of the muscle baby threads that have already been made, showing off their RPG sprite base but never really show any clothing that would eventually be attached.  I didn't mean anything negative towards this thread in specific.

Offline ortodoxx

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #26 on: October 24, 2008, 06:52:56 am
Here's mine also.





This... is the stuff of madness. How did this happen? Why? Thank you for giving shape to subconscious fear.

Offline Corsair

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #27 on: October 24, 2008, 07:34:44 am




Original by Hyrule Swordsman, edit by ilkke. From this thread.

I mean no offense to anyone who worked on these,

but jesus christ. maybe it's because I haven't slept for a couple days but these pictures caused me to bust out laughing for a good ten minutes or so.

Everyting about musclebabies is amazingly funny to me - all the way down the name "musclebaby" which causes me to giggle just thinking about it

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #28 on: October 24, 2008, 02:29:26 pm
The interesting and wonderful thing is that for a lot of other people Corsair, they look totally right and as expected. I enjoy that humanity has such a range of viewpoints on things.

Offline Corsair

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #29 on: October 24, 2008, 05:24:56 pm
I'm not saying they look "wrong", but to say that they are amusing to look at is an understatement. that is to say that i'm glad people make them because at least in theory they have a practical function (not going to get int the semantics of that.) but they are also quite funny looking to me. (as in funny ha-ha - not as in funny as in a guy with a leg injury might be said to walk "funny")
That being said I'm actually working on one right now.

edit: *trying* to work on one, that is.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 05:31:09 pm by Corsair »

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #30 on: October 24, 2008, 08:44:03 pm
Yeah I found myself giggling at my screen making mine quite a bit.  :crazy:

Offline Souly

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #31 on: October 25, 2008, 01:04:07 am
These probably count here.



Offline Willows

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #32 on: October 25, 2008, 02:44:47 am
I don't know what the hell that was, Helm, but I can't stop laughing long enough to read any text in the vicinity of that... thing.

Offline Atnas

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #33 on: October 27, 2008, 10:33:10 pm
Thank you Helm and Lackey for the compliments.  :)

Today I got home from school and felt the urge to do rpg graphics. I decided the first thing I'd make was a character template to set the scale for everything else and give me a base to easily change jobs.



Now, I wouldn't call it a musclebaby, but it's definitely a baby! I was going for a cute and maybe even cuddly look. I think that's what many people want when they do these. They know that all that will be showing is the big pleading eyes and that everything else will be covered by belts and zippers with spikes of hair poking out. But then when they get to the body, it shifts to anatomy practice. It won't show anyway, so what would it hurt to practice a little?

Well, it only took me a few minutes to draw a few blobs, clean them, mirror, and choose colors. It was amazingly efficient. I'm used to over complicating things and then simplifying, not the other way around. I think muscle babies may be one of the reasons nine out of ten rpgs never make it off the ground. People spend all the time on these unnecessary muscles and lose interest in the game itself. (Or the artist gets fed up with spending so much time on the project and leaves the moment it's done, as was the case in the job I outlined in my first post. It's self inflicted torment, really. Unless you've already had lots of pixel experience, which most rpg spriters haven't had.)

Oh well, that's just one theory.

DISCUSS:


Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #34 on: October 27, 2008, 10:50:20 pm
Yeah I was going to post to tell Skeddles about this thread but I also wanted to give him hefty critique so it didn't sound like 'lol, you're making a musclebaby'. Why I really want to avoid because ridicule is awful and not the point of the thread. But it is a valid concern stylistically to mix a semi-realistic body with a huge symbolic head and people making that sort of art just because other people make similar art to it should be more informed about how it reads to other people.

Offline Atnas

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #35 on: October 27, 2008, 11:34:12 pm
I'm actually intrigued by how skinny Skeddles' template is, when almost all the others are hulks. Sure, it has definition, but it's also incredibly lanky. I was wondering if, beside the mixing of anime with realism, if something that wasn't necessarily muscled was still considered a musclebaby. Where is the line drawn?

To tell the truth, the lankybaby's body is actually very close to the type of definition you'd see in an anime - but it has a chibi head. Is something considered a musclebaby as long as the head and body are far enough apart stylistically, or are they independent of each other?

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #36 on: October 27, 2008, 11:37:05 pm
For me as long as the face connotes 'baby innocence' and a few muscle groups are defined, it's a musclebaby.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #37 on: November 02, 2008, 04:12:49 pm

Offline skamocore

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #38 on: November 02, 2008, 05:57:21 pm
I tried making a 'muscle baby', but I think I may have done something wrong:

Offline straypixels

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #39 on: November 02, 2008, 05:58:06 pm
LOL! I've been indoctrinated into the musclebaby thread lol. Thanks for the link, Conceit.

I suppose it wasn't really intention to make a musclebaby, but I kid you not, my wife walked up to me last night and said "Why does it look like a baby."

I'm uh... I'm gonna be making some changes to fix that lol

Although I have to admit, I may not stick to this size. I was starting to consider how HAYOOOOGE some of the assets in the game were going to have to be to be scale to this bugger... just not worth it the memory constraints O_O
Straying since 1999

Offline rabidbaboy

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #40 on: November 08, 2008, 02:05:45 am
Found an old one!



Made a few weeks after joining Pixeltendo and Pixelopolis.
Contrast was a mystery word.

But it turns out I never made muscle babies! Hoorah!
"Baboy" is Filipino for pig.

Offline Emtch

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #41 on: November 13, 2008, 08:20:36 pm
Pretty much anything visual coming from Japan consists mostly of muscle babies, it seems. Manga, anime, games, etc, if it doesn't contain muscle babies it's frowned upon.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #42 on: November 13, 2008, 10:22:12 pm
that's an exageration...it's abundant in a style of shonen, but it is not frowned upon to NOt have muscle babies.

Offline Argyle

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #43 on: November 14, 2008, 02:53:30 pm


Was laughing too hard while making this.
Thanks Mush, adcrusher524, Ego, and iLKke!

Offline Jakten

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #44 on: November 14, 2008, 10:43:46 pm
I've certainly created such atrocities in the past.

He's a bit more manly but I'm sure he qualifies

Offline Manupix

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #45 on: February 12, 2010, 07:16:00 pm
Should I necropost or shouldn't I?
I do. Sue me.

Found this and this on Tim Slowinski's website:



« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 07:39:46 pm by Manupix »

Offline Jakten

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #46 on: February 13, 2010, 02:24:17 am
Those are absolutely horrifying, especially the second one... oh god...

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #47 on: February 13, 2010, 03:31:35 am
Amazing, just amazing. This completes the thread huh

Offline Arne

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #48 on: February 14, 2010, 02:06:58 am
I'm not sure if this qualifies. It's more on the plain chibi side, although there is a dressup system, something which muscle babies often use as well.



I made the graphics in 2006 for a RL called WHACK, but never got around to the programming anything.

The enemies aren't all that, although I thought that the 'walking bread' was fun at the time.  Now, I wouldn't use black outlines where there's (ground) contact.

Offline Helm

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #49 on: February 14, 2010, 08:12:47 am
There's no muscle, so these aren't musclebabies. But that's some pretty rad stuff, Arne.

Offline Arne

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #50 on: February 14, 2010, 03:31:07 pm
Yeah, I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. I hope this is:



It's just a painting which I scaled down and cleaned up, so there's some weird stray pixels left untouched.

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #51 on: February 14, 2010, 07:38:34 pm
Yes... this... is appropriate...

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #52 on: February 22, 2010, 10:18:24 am
Hilarious.

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #53 on: April 30, 2010, 09:55:37 am

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #54 on: April 30, 2010, 10:00:42 am
That musclepose at the end is priceless.

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #55 on: April 30, 2010, 12:00:41 pm
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1923475 oh god, no no no

 :o :o :o Is that even real, god, unbelievable...

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #56 on: April 30, 2010, 02:13:50 pm
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1923475 oh god, no no no

That's disturbing.
When he poses... his belly... I'mean... Oh... the humanity.

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #57 on: November 03, 2012, 08:10:53 am
Over 2 years this thread's last post . . . what the @#&$% . . . wow . . . time . . .
Anyway . . .



I'd say this adept warrior toddler has trained under the master himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oHWvFrpocY

« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 10:17:05 am by Mathias »

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #58 on: March 11, 2015, 12:08:20 pm
Perfect muscle baby example…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lakoQkqF89w
Founder of Odd Tales
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Offline Indigo

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #59 on: March 13, 2015, 01:04:32 am
I hosted an Art Jam during GDC and it had a great turnout.  Quite a number of pixel artists showed up including Junkboy, Jad, Threesided, a bunch of Braingale folks, and several others I'm forgetting.  Among many things that happened that night, we collaborated on a muscle baby sketch page:



and a couple sketches Junkboy left behind


« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 01:09:51 am by Indigo »

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #60 on: March 17, 2015, 09:06:47 pm
Brings tears to my eyes. Literally.

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #61 on: September 16, 2015, 06:56:37 pm

Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen

 ;D

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #62 on: September 25, 2015, 10:00:24 am
 :(

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #63 on: September 25, 2015, 12:06:16 pm
Probably concept art for an old JRPG. When asked for comments, Vermeyen said that "super deformed will be all the rage in the future" and "my next painting will be an assortment of jackets to put on this guy". Critics call the project "epic in scope".

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #64 on: September 29, 2015, 03:00:01 am


Mommy's Boy: Development Blog  Youtube  Contact: MommysBoyGame or Psylent-Knight@hotmail
View all my game assets at 300% zoom (click twice)

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Re: THE MUSCLE BABY THREAD

Reply #65 on: March 17, 2017, 12:10:14 am