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Sonic's Best Design

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Sonic has had several design changes over the years. I think that the best was his design in Sonic Unleashed/Sonic Generations, and the worst was his design in Sonic Forces. What do you think of the tweaks made to Modern Sonic's in-game model design over the years?

Sonic Generations design:

4052.png

Sonic Forces design:

 

2021-01-19 01.55.18.png

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Haven't been a fan of the recent models at all, despite their higher polygonal quality, especially since 2D art is no longer promoting the games. Honestly I find them to look derpy at times when they try to make him do certain poses, just looks boring and stiff.

Models I do prefer are the more stylistic look of the Adventures, notably SA2.

Other than that, I'm usually all for Toei/Junio Sonic, which I'm glad Tyson Hesse takes design cues from.

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I do miss the Yuji Uekawa art on the covers. Maybe if they made some smaller games between main releases, they could have some more 2D cover art.

I was hoping the next Sonic TV series would be a cartoon in the Tyson Hesse style after seeing the Team Sonic Racing shorts, but CG is fine with me. Just as long as it's canon with the games, the modern Sonic style, and no character design changes. ( I'm looking at you, Sonic Boom.)

I think I need to rephrase my initial question. What do you think of the tweaks made to Modern Sonic's in-game model design over the years?

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Toei/Junio Sonic is my favorite classic Sonic. As for modern ones, I'm a huge fan of this specific Uekawa/Sonic Channel design. It's SA1&2 with a bit of Sonic Battle:

o1000050614344262325.png?caw=800

 

I think the worst Sonic design was from Sonic Boom. While his face is absolutely perfect, the body proportions and overuse of athletic tape kill it for me.

SonicBoom_ConceptArts_1.jpg

27579-sonic-boom-trailer-di-sticks_jpg_1

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21 hours ago, Shaddy Zaphod said:

aTxqKmB.gif

I like the GIF you made! It really brings out the differences in the models. See how much shorter his spines are, how much lighter the blue is, the bigger body, smaller hands, and how much rounder the shoes are in the Sonic Forces model. He might as well be Classic Sonic! The design of Sonic in Mario and Sonic Tokyo 2020 and the Jakks Pacific toy line has given me hope for his design in the next game, at least.

Here are some comparisons:

ESyI_2XUEAAULyT.jpg

r2h528tsbl631.jpg

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I think you're missing the part when I said

22 hours ago, Shaddy Zaphod said:

They are literally almost the exact same my dude

These differences are so nebulous. I made the GIF because your points are trivial. Your second comparison doesn't even have him as a lighter blue, the shoes are completely imperceptible in the game and some things you're saying like the hands are just incorrect. They're not even technically different designs, just different models for the same design.

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Who said his spines were heavy? They actually seem pretty lightweight the way that they fly in the wind. The spines on the Sonic Forces design don't do that because they're so short. The Jakks Pacific Sonic figures can stand perfectly straight without falling over, by the way. They're based on the Generations design.

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I mean top heavy in a character design sense, not litterally. It removes a lot of clutter and evens out the silhouette pretty well, so I can't really see what need there is for such an outcry. You know they're just gonna change it again anyway.

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The current design we have had since Lost World/Runners/Forces looks awful. They took the Unleashed/Colors/Generations design and edited it to look more like Generations Classic Sonic. They made Sonic's spikes far too short, along with a stubbier design, and lighter blue. The design just looks like a bizarre mix and it clashes badly.

I'd like to see Yuji Uekawa's Sonic design turned into a 3D model. It would probably translate quite well

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Exactly! The changes also make his shoes look a bit big. I like the Youtube videos that show a mod of Sonic Forces that replaces Sonic with the Generations Sonic model.

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I honestly agree with @SonicFan2832, i think sonic from forces looks more bland than Sonic from generations. Even if it is just the lighting, i think the colour of his quills also has something to do with it. Personally, I think Sonic's best design is his Riders appearances.

To be fair, this design really only works in context of the riders games but i believe these to be the coolest designs of Sonic to date, the anime style is also incredibly fitting for him and the sunnies just add to it! But for mainline games, i think that the unleashed version is the way to go

sonic-riders-20051205053742627_640w.jpg

Screenshot 2021-01-23 130744.png

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Honestly, I would probably say the classic Sonic design we see on the Sonic 1 box art is perhaps the most effective character design of all time, but for an answer that isn't boring as hell, I'm gonna give it to one that never actually made it into anything.

 

spacer.png

 

For my money it's just the right amount of modern and classic. He's got some of Modern's sleekness, but still has the friendly appeal of classic. I honestly wouldn't mind if this had just become the de facto Sonic for everything ever.

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11 hours ago, Chili Dawg said:

For my money it's just the right amount of modern and classic. He's got some of Modern's sleekness, but still has the friendly appeal of classic. I honestly wouldn't mind if this had just become the de facto Sonic for everything ever.

I didn't even know that design existed!

11 hours ago, Chili Dawg said:

spacer.png

I didn't even know that design existed!

whoops... double post

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On 1/23/2021 at 2:03 PM, Chili Dawg said:

Honestly, I would probably say the classic Sonic design we see on the Sonic 1 box art is perhaps the most effective character design of all time, but for an answer that isn't boring as hell, I'm gonna give it to one that never actually made it into anything.

 

spacer.png

 

For my money it's just the right amount of modern and classic. He's got some of Modern's sleekness, but still has the friendly appeal of classic. I honestly wouldn't mind if this had just become the de facto Sonic for everything ever.

This design did appear at Joypolis apparently:

hybridsonic.png.6612d3c92f2ccf795408cc47655597f4.png

Sourced from this page: https://web.archive.org/web/20200924075002/http://segabits.com/blog/2014/02/28/the-weekly-five-how-sega-redesigned-sonic-the-hedgehog/

It also appeared in the 1998 arcade game, Spikeout:

DlZlpJvWwAAZ_e4?format=jpg&name=large

This design in particular was by Yuji Uekawa. In fact this design was the one that made him become responsible for redesigning all the characters for Adventure. According to Satoshi Okano, another artist at Sega, this design was chosen from a contest to decide what will be the new design of Sonic and Uekawa's submission, this design, was what won. 

If you want to learn more about Okano and what he did to contribute to the Adventure redesign you can check this interview:

https://web.archive.org/web/20201217040306/https://www.fanbyte.com/features/sonic-hedgehog-satoshi-okano/

In the interview Okano says,

“Among the four who participated in the contest there was classic Sonic’s father, Naoto Ohshima, Yuji Uekawa who drew characters like Ristar the Shining Star and Sonic, and Takumi Miyake who illustrated the 1996 Nights into Dreams storybook. Although I was a 3D field designer for SEGA, I was recommended because of my past work on Saturn Magazine.”

The submissions were shown in a Sega Harmony magazine, specifically Volume 154.

Archived Source: http://archive.is/ui0O3

f0d3693f527978929462e69e9e66ddb803ece393

Through choice of elimination I figured the designs for each were:

1. Yuji Uekawa 

2. Satoshi Okano

3. Naoto Ohshima

4. Takumi Miyake

Going back to Spikeout, the design from Ohshima also appears there:

DlZleoMW4AAXYSk?format=jpg&name=large

Both Spikeout images were sourced here: 

https://twitter.com/KazuCrash_/status/1033125073010483201

Archived Source: https://archive.vn/Bovff

Naoto Ohshima himself seemed to have been unaware that his design appeared in the game:

Archived Source: https://archive.vn/XiJ1F

Here's a ripped version of the entire graphic:

9301f7a4eb20b791fcef8396d247e04a3e5ad6f4

Anyways, on the topic of best Sonic design I would say no contest it's Junio/Eguchi Sonic:

Sonic_CD_Concept_Art_002.jpg

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12 hours ago, YuTwo said:

 

f0d3693f527978929462e69e9e66ddb803ece393

Through choice of elimination I figured the designs for each were:

1. Yuji Uekawa 

2. Satoshi Okano

3. Naoto Ohshima

4. Takumi Miyake

Takumi Miyake’s design looks like he eats babies.

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I haven't seen those other three designs before. The fourth design looks like an evil version of Sonic that could've been in the Archie Sonic comics. It reminds me of Tracy Yardley!'s style.

 

Sth177_v2.jpg

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16 hours ago, YuTwo said:

*post*

Thank you for this post, very informative and fascinating stuff. I was familiar with Oshima's attempt at redesigning Sonic in addition to Uekawa, tho I had never seen that particular illustration, and I had never seen those other two. I gotta say... Thank god they didn't go with Mikaye's. Okano's looks really cool tho, I must say. The process of reinventing Sonic in those days must have been fascinating.

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No question the sonic adventure style I love seen all the new characters drawn that way I think new sonic design on forces is boring but the adventures one are so full of style. 

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