"Star Wars was a big part of my childhood and continues to be a source of inspiration for me," he says. "While I planned on judging the Darth contest, I couldn't help but work on some designs on my own."
There was just one request: that the artists Ross judged provide him feedback on his redesign. I asked our September contestants to do just that, and a couple responded.
Check out the full article for Ross's Vader redesign and the artist feedback!
Lemurtree: The move to give the helmet more of a scowl by drawing the eyebrow line down into a point is logical – I did much the same in my effort. Vader’s original expression is quite neutral, even a little vacant, with round eye lenses and quite a high, straight browline. It’s a wasted opportunity not to show Vader’s cruelty in the lines of his mask.
Xerina: With Vader, you must keep the helmet. I think that's the essence of the character. This Vader suit doesn't convince me that much, though. I like the helmet, but it strikes me too much as a ninja or superhero suit.
I like this suit, mainly because is somewhat of a fashionable design, really classy, but probably not very fitting to Vader at the same time. I like as a design for another Jedi, because it looks great. I really like the way the cloak moves
Lemurtree: It’s great to see the experimentation here, with Ross using quick character sketches to explore how much Vader’s look can be modified without losing his identity. I was surprised at the number of finalists in the contest that didn’t use a flared helmet, for example, and it’s obvious that Ross shares the view that Vader needs to keep to roughly the same outline. Vader’s original costume makes him instantly recognisable with nothing more than a black silhouette.
Lemurtree: As the designer of the reddest Vader in the competition, I have to admire the thinking evident in Ross’s "Maul Vader". This is a lot more coherent than my approach – I just liked the look of a red Vader and retroactively applied some logic. Ross has actively sought to apply the visual style of one character to another, so the result is more solid. I like this a lot. My one criticism is that having Vader’s helmet wrap downwards and inwards either side of the face does make the helmet resemble a pair of spaniel’s ears.
Xerina: Not much of a fan of the Maul-Vader design. I think the brightness of DM designs was that it is such an organic design. The marks on his face, the movement and fluity of the clothes, and even the way he moves goes accordingly to his design, all that makes it appealing, here, is just way to mechanic. Though the mix is rather interesting it isn't attractive, at least for me.
What do you all think? Let us know in the comments below!