Side By Side Iconic Evolution Comparisons


Second Edition

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Silver Crusade

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I decided to throw some side by sides together to get a better look at the updates.

Take a look.


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Nicely done!


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Commenting so I can find this more easily at a later date...

Silver Crusade

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I'll definitely keep adding to it as we get more too.

Dark Archive

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Yeah seeing em all side by side I'm realising I really am not liking the new art direction for the Iconics at all. It feels like a case of it's not broken to hell with it lets fix it anyway.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Yeah seeing em all side by side I'm realising I really am not liking the new art direction for the Iconics at all. It feels like a case of it's not broken to hell with it lets fix it anyway.

Yeah, in isolation they seemed fine. But looking at the set of them besides the originals, it seems that the style of art has shifted. They were of a more realistic style before, but now things look... I'm not sure how to describe it, fuzzier? Less distinct? More cartoony? I think all apply, but I don't think that's quite capturing what I'm seeing.

The level of detail has gone down as well. Lem's flute for example is much simpler now. I suspect that's for ease of replicating for the other artists.

Liberty's Edge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I'm not sure how to describe it, fuzzier? Less distinct? More cartoony? I think all apply, but I don't think that's quite capturing what I'm seeing.

Fuzziness is partially because these images specifically for the PF2 Iconics are...well, a little fuzzy. Like, I noticed them being fizzier than the versions I looked at elsewhere. I suspect this is some sort of scale thing, with the PF1 ones being simply larger higher-res images of the pictures in question, but it's true.

Looking at them next to each other is still very useful indeed, and the 'cartoonier' complaint is an entirely separate thing, but this remains worth noting.


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Agreed, the side by side shows off the weird scale changes, the lack of good highlights and shadows, the vague lines. I see little bits changed in the new ones that I like, but the originals look like an overall higher quality product. I like the originals so much that I feel bad not liking this new stuff out of respect for the artist. I sort of wonder if it's a change in tools, technique, scale, or something like that.

Dark Archive

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I would say the new ones seem less detailed Overall with less shading/shadowing used as well. Also for all the talk about diffrent body types there does seem to be a trend of a lot of the iconics to be slimmer

Dark Archive

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Kevin Mack wrote:
Yeah seeing em all side by side I'm realising I really am not liking the new art direction for the Iconics at all. It feels like a case of it's not broken to hell with it lets fix it anyway.

Ditto. I like the old artwork better. (Although there were always little details I wasn't a fan of. That crossbow on old-Ezren always seemed 'tacked on' somehow, although I loved that he seemed to have a healthy belly under that belt/tunic, unlike new skinny Ezren.)

Harsk is so far the only one that I like almost equally (although the 1st edition artwork is still much cleaner, which I assume must be us only getting to see fuzzy copies or unfinished drafts of the new artwork or something...).

Dark Archive

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Also there is some weird design choices like they gave Sajan and lem full chest covering shirt's but left Amiri with the exposed midrift and Mersiel with the.............. Um someone please tell me if there is another term for it but for now I'm just gonna call it breast window in her armour Which due to her change in body shape is just plain odd looking

Grand Lodge

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I'm mostly OK with the changes besides Amiri. She totally looks sick and unhealthy.


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Looking at these, I feel like I'm looking at a misrepresentation of this, tbh. Your copies of the new art have a noticeable quality drop, whether it's intentional or not, lines not being as clean as they should be and the whole image feels blurry instead of faded. I appreciate the images being side by side, but I don't know how I feel about how it's currently presented.


MusicAddict wrote:
Looking at these, I feel like I'm looking at a misrepresentation of this, tbh. Your copies of the new art have a noticeable quality drop, whether it's intentional or not, lines not being as clean as they should be and the whole image feels blurry instead of faded. I appreciate the images being side by side, but I don't know how I feel about how it's currently presented.

Correct. I think the OP picked up the images from the blogs, then had to scale them up. However, higher resolution images are accessible via the links.

For example, Sajan's picture on the blog is 519x360, a very low resolution. Click on it and you'll see the 1200x832 rendition, which is way better.

Comments on style are another matter.


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Lower res comparisons aside. I have to say I'm a bit disappointed that the new art seems a bit less detailed. Especially when it comes to shading and shadows. It could be the lower resolution playing tricks on me, but the old art just looks way better, not because of design decisions or anything (I actually like most of the design decisions) just in overall quality.


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I think the new Iconics show a massive improvement in technical skill. Their facial expressions and poses show much more subtlety and character, and the faces themselves are well-proportioned and lovely. Look at the differences between Lem's original expression and his new face, or the angle of Merisiel's eyes and cheekbones. Wonderful.

I like the simplification of art, personally. The less stark shadows are less jarring to me, and I always thought the Iconics looked pretty silly bristling with dozens of pieces of gear. Brighter coloration makes the images much more readable.

I do agree that the changes to Amiri and Sajan's body types are a bit weird, though. Bring back the muscles!

Liberty's Edge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Yeah seeing em all side by side I'm realising I really am not liking the new art direction for the Iconics at all. It feels like a case of it's not broken to hell with it lets fix it anyway.

Yeah, in isolation they seemed fine. But looking at the set of them besides the originals, it seems that the style of art has shifted. They were of a more realistic style before, but now things look... I'm not sure how to describe it, fuzzier? Less distinct? More cartoony? I think all apply, but I don't think that's quite capturing what I'm seeing.

The level of detail has gone down as well. Lem's flute for example is much simpler now. I suspect that's for ease of replicating for the other artists.

Interesting. I see them as more realistic now :-)


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I think the problem is shading. Looking at them both closely side by side, I notice that the shadows are far less pronounced in the new images than the old. Makes them a little less three dimensional than the originals.

Liberty's Edge

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While I think this is a cool thing that helps show off the differences I think that a lot of folks are getting tripped up by the massive difference in the image resolution and quality, mainly because the older iconic drawings were pulled from HUGE uncompressed images and the new art shown here is pulled from a low res blog post image. I'm pretty confident that the issue at hand here as some note via the fuzzyness and shadows is due to the upscaling from a smaller image as opposed to using the raw piece uploaded at a reasonable size.

All that being said, I am even MORE in love with Harsks new design than before, it's just... soooo much better it's striking to me.


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GDI I forgot about new Lem and his stupid sexy gaze. Be still my heart. XD


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Yeah seeing em all side by side I'm realising I really am not liking the new art direction for the Iconics at all. It feels like a case of it's not broken to hell with it lets fix it anyway.
Yeah, in isolation they seemed fine. But looking at the set of them besides the originals, it seems that the style of art has shifted. They were of a more realistic style before, but now things look... I'm not sure how to describe it, fuzzier? Less distinct? More cartoony?

Best guess: the art direction was told to follow the rules evolution. Fuzzier, less distinct, and cartoony isn't a bad way to describe the 2e playtest rules compared to 1e.


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Amiri fell on hard times and hard drugs. Looks all thin, disheveled and crazy.

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
Best guess: the art direction was told to follow the rules evolution. Fuzzier, less distinct, and cartoony isn't a bad way to describe the 2e playtest rules compared to 1e.

I'd like to register my disagreement with this post in the strongest possible terms.

Except regarding Bulk, that's a pretty fair assessment of Bulk (or was in the playtest anyway...I have hopes it's improved).


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Well, it's interesting because from a technical viewpoint, I find much of the new art superior. Facial expressions are stronger and better rendered, poses are more dynamic and make physical sense, the characters are more proportional, and I think there's a better balance of low to high detail areas.

However there are definitely some things I like better in the old art, mostly relating to shading and shadows. The new art is pretty flat, in comparison. Plus I definitely see that Wayne likes to draw people thinner than he did ~10 years ago.

I can't say which I like better, especially since this is a tad unfair comparison what with the new art being so low res.

I remain indifferent.


RoastCabose wrote:

Well, it's interesting because from a technical viewpoint, I find much of the new art superior. Facial expressions are stronger and better rendered, poses are more dynamic and make physical sense, the characters are more proportional, and I think there's a better balance of low to high detail areas.

However there are definitely some things I like better in the old art, mostly relating to shading and shadows. The new art is pretty flat, in comparison. Plus I definitely see that Wayne likes to draw people thinner than he did ~10 years ago.

I can't say which I like better, especially since this is a tad unfair comparison what with the new art being so low res.

I remain indifferent.

Might be interesting to compare to the more recent non-core iconics. Is this a gradual evolution in art style or a deliberate choice for the new edition?

Wayne did design all the iconics, right?

Dark Archive

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thejeff wrote:
RoastCabose wrote:

Well, it's interesting because from a technical viewpoint, I find much of the new art superior. Facial expressions are stronger and better rendered, poses are more dynamic and make physical sense, the characters are more proportional, and I think there's a better balance of low to high detail areas.

However there are definitely some things I like better in the old art, mostly relating to shading and shadows. The new art is pretty flat, in comparison. Plus I definitely see that Wayne likes to draw people thinner than he did ~10 years ago.

I can't say which I like better, especially since this is a tad unfair comparison what with the new art being so low res.

I remain indifferent.

Might be interesting to compare to the more recent non-core iconics. Is this a gradual evolution in art style or a deliberate choice for the new edition?

Wayne did design all the iconics, right?

All the ones that appeared in rule books (Except maybe the mythic versions)


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I’m mostly indifferent to the characters being slimmed down. Well except Mavaro. That’s where I draw the line. If he loses that belly I will be very irate.


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Wow, seeing them side by side, (image quality aside, looked up the higher quality images to compare), I now see how much I like the originals more. The new ones look weaker, thinner (sickly?), less heroic. They also seem a little less detailed some how (shading? maybe they are not finished?)

Silver Crusade

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gwynfrid wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
Looking at these, I feel like I'm looking at a misrepresentation of this, tbh. Your copies of the new art have a noticeable quality drop, whether it's intentional or not, lines not being as clean as they should be and the whole image feels blurry instead of faded. I appreciate the images being side by side, but I don't know how I feel about how it's currently presented.

Correct. I think the OP picked up the images from the blogs, then had to scale them up. However, higher resolution images are accessible via the links.

For example, Sajan's picture on the blog is 519x360, a very low resolution. Click on it and you'll see the 1200x832 rendition, which is way better.

Comments on style are another matter.

You're correct and I didn't know clicking the images would lead to a better one. That's on me and I'm going to fix that tonight. I was also disappointed with the quality.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I'm not sure how to describe it, fuzzier? Less distinct? More cartoony? I think all apply, but I don't think that's quite capturing what I'm seeing.
Fuzziness is partially because these images specifically for the PF2 Iconics are...well, a little fuzzy. Like, I noticed them being fizzier than the versions I looked at elsewhere. I suspect this is some sort of scale thing, with the PF1 ones being simply larger higher-res images of the pictures in question, but it's true.

That's very likely true. I noticed that the playtest book (at least the PDF, I haven't looked as much at the hard-copy) also has some really fuzzy artwork, where it's clear they used a lower rez version than the original and it's scaled up too large. For example: Page 202, Page 231, Page 249, Page 257 and page 273.

Quote:
Looking at them next to each other is still very useful indeed, and the 'cartoonier' complaint is an entirely separate thing, but this remains worth noting.

Yeah, I do think that is something different. Partly color choice I think. The newer ones have much more vibrant colors and the older ones more subdued. Others have said shading, and I think that might be a lot of it too. Coupled with the lack of detail it all just seems simplified.


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Not a huge fan of the old art, but I find it superior to the new one in most of the cases.

Also, Several of them have weird looking bow-legs taht I quite dislike.

Silver Crusade

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Alright Here is an updated copy with better resolution for the new looks Sorry about that.


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Much better now! Can properly appreciate them side by side.

Now I realize that new Merisiel's upper body is... Wrong. It becomes more unsettling the more I look at it, specially since the old one still looks pretty good.


dot

Liberty's Edge

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Cori Marie wrote:
Alright Here is an updated copy with better resolution for the new looks Sorry about that.

Yeah, that looks much better.

The colors on the PF2 stuff are a tad...brighter? Flatter? Not more cartoony per se, but definitely less shading as others have mentioned. This is probably to make duplicating them easier for other artists, which is the primary purpose of the Iconics after all (ie: to be used in the art).

I'm ambivalent on whether this is good or bad, frankly.

My only actual issue with the art is Droogami, I think. Whose PF1 look I much prefer.

ChibiNyan wrote:
Now I realize that new Merisiel's upper body is... Wrong. It becomes more unsettling the more I look at it, specially since the old one still looks pretty good.

This is intentional. She is not human and the PF2 art is intended to emphasize that with her proportions. I think it's a solid choice and like the new look.

Dark Archive

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Deadmanwalking wrote:


This is intentional. She is not human and the PF2 art is intended to emphasize that with her proportions. I think it's a solid choice and like the new look.

The new look does make some of her aesthetic choices make less sense.


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The thing that's most important to me that I really like is the sense of visual clutter has been massively reduced, while still giving them a TON of equipment. I really like this because honestly... the clutter on the original PF1 iconics makes me feel uncomfortable even if I like the visualization of how characters are carrying all of their things.

Other than that, part of me wishes droogami wasn't a snow leopard and didn't become such a goofy looking one, and I'm not a huge fan of new sajan, but it's whatever.

Liberty's Edge

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Kevin Mack wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is intentional. She is not human and the PF2 art is intended to emphasize that with her proportions. I think it's a solid choice and like the new look.
The new look does make some of her aesthetic choices make less sense.

Uh...what aesthetic choices are you referring to? I'm sincerely confused.

Dark Archive

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is intentional. She is not human and the PF2 art is intended to emphasize that with her proportions. I think it's a solid choice and like the new look.
The new look does make some of her aesthetic choices make less sense.
Uh...what aesthetic choices are you referring to? I'm sincerely confused.

Specificly the part of her outfit that has the breast window when she seems to be now as flat as a washboard.


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Having them side by side really does bring out how much brighter the palet is for the new art. I like it I think it makes the characters more vibrant and I've had my fill of GrimDARK. I also agree that they seem less busy without reducing the amount of items they are carrying.

Liberty's Edge

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Kevin Mack wrote:
Specificly the part of her outfit that has the breast window when she seems to be now as flat as a washboard.

She's really not. Her breast size is smaller, but she still definitely has some. And her outfit seems perfectly appropriate for someone of her personality to me.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Specificly the part of her outfit that has the breast window when she seems to be now as flat as a washboard.
She's really not. Her breast size is smaller, but she still definitely has some. And her outfit seems perfectly appropriate for someone of her personality to me.

I also like that it is a little bit less male-gazey.

Separately, I LOVE Harsk's new look.


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Tbh, the only piece I think I have a major issue with is Amiri. When compared to her classic look, she is looking thin. I like how Wayne made her pallid and gaunt, giving her a haunted, crazed look which I think is apropos for a barbarian, but she is really thin.

That said, I've always been partial to beefy characters. I don't find issue with Merisiel's new design, on the other hand, so idk.

Dark Archive

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I like that Harsk is more colorful (both in clothing and hair). I like that Lini is physically interacting with Droogami and he's not just a backdrop. I like that Ezren is visibly using magic (and that the tiny crossbow is gone). I like that Kyra's holy symbol is more brightly lit and seems slightly larger and more significant.

Harsk's face looks a little more deliberately not-human (and, indeed, seems to have an angular blockiness in common with giant-ish faces, which intrigues me!).

There's also some stuff I don't like, but I'm going for the positives.

If I had to pick one, it would be Lem's scary face, strung-out Amiri or super-skinny Sajan.

I wonder if Seoni will break the internet, since she was the only one whose original look was even remotely controversial...

Liberty's Edge

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Set wrote:
I wonder if Seoni will break the internet, since she was the only one whose original look was even remotely controversial...

Possibly, though we actually know her new look: She has a cloak now. It covers her neck and upper chest at least partially.

That's the only big change (I imagine there are many little ones). It's a more modest outfit, but not hugely so. I hope sincerely that people will thus not freak out...but I'm still expecting some serious arguments.

Dark Archive

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Just for fun, I increased the saturation on the new Amiri and instantly, she looks less sickly and more menacing*. Hopefully, her skin will look less pallid in future pictures of her

* The armour looks weirdly colourful, but that's because I didn't exclude it from the saturation change

Shadow Lodge

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Ezren, Kyra and Lem all look bow-legged to me, and Ezren is the only one that is easily explainable via an awkward stance (because you can actually see his bent knees and upper legs). Their feet are placed wider than their shoulders, and their lower legs are too vertical.

I'll echo the observations on lighter creases and shading (low contrast). It's especially apparent on Lem's sleeves.

I like Lem, Lini and Harsk's new faces and proportions, but the thinness of the humans and Merisiel is jarring except for Sajan.

Liberty's Edge

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Lady Melo wrote:
Wow, seeing them side by side, (image quality aside, looked up the higher quality images to compare), I now see how much I like the originals more. The new ones look weaker, thinner (sickly?), less heroic. They also seem a little less detailed some how (shading? maybe they are not finished?)

The "less heroic" comment resonates with me but I happen to actually like it better this way. No accounting for taste, I guess :-)

I feel they look more like normal people you might meet down the street (apart from the specifically inhuman features of the non-human ones) but who chose a life of adventuring.

While the PF1 looked more like larger-than-life heroes, a bit like supers in comics. Or like pictures that would have been heavily photoshopped.

I honestly had never been able to understand the low CHA of Amiri with her original art, while the new art fits perfectly.

All in all, I prefer the PF2 style as I feel it sets them apart from the standard fare of RPGs art.

My only regret is the Paizomorphing of Droogami. Which now makes the cat a likely target for Plushy Polymorph ;-P


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IMO

The barbarian, bard, druid, end rogue are improvements. The non-humans look non-human and the barbarian looks less pretty and more scary which I think is appropriate.

Wizard & Cleric are really basically the same. I like that the wizard is doing a wizardy thing with his right hand.

I like the change in costume on the ranger but his shoulders seem strangely sloped to me. Maybe it is just waynes interpretation of the non-humanness of dwarves I just think of them as more square and less triangle.

The only one I can say I really like less is the monk and again it's the shoulders which seem strange to me. Maybe it is just the angle since the PF1 version is straight on... but ye can't win 'em all.

Overall good job I say.


The Raven Black wrote:
Lady Melo wrote:
Wow, seeing them side by side, (image quality aside, looked up the higher quality images to compare), I now see how much I like the originals more. The new ones look weaker, thinner (sickly?), less heroic. They also seem a little less detailed some how (shading? maybe they are not finished?)

The "less heroic" comment resonates with me but I happen to actually like it better this way. No accounting for taste, I guess :-)

I feel they look more like normal people you might meet down the street (apart from the specifically inhuman features of the non-human ones) but who chose a life of adventuring.

While the PF1 looked more like larger-than-life heroes, a bit like supers in comics. Or like pictures that would have been heavily photoshopped.

I honestly had never been able to understand the low CHA of Amiri with her original art, while the new art fits perfectly.

All in all, I prefer the PF2 style as I feel it sets them apart from the standard fare of RPGs art.

My only regret is the Paizomorphing of Droogami. Which now makes the cat a likely target for Plushy Polymorph ;-P

As I’ve stated elsewhere I don’t have many issues with the new art but I feel I have to comment on this. I understand your liking of a less heroic look and it is just a personal taste thing but PF is for all intents and purposes a supers fantasy setting. At 1st level I agree, they aren’t there yet and the looks work which is how I choose to look at these images but by about 5th level most characters are easily lower class super hero power level and it just increases from there. For a less heroic game I usually suggest D&D 5th or other games.

Edit: I completely agree with you on the Amiri charisma bit.

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