Character Design – Superman

Second in my character design series – Superman, the goal here was to recreate the superman suit design in a fresh and modern way yet keep the spirit and essence of the traditional comic book design. The problem I’ve always had with live action versions of the Superman outfit is that’s it’s not very 3D friendly and always looked like a Halloween costume, this was more of an attempt to make something a little more ‘other worldly’ or alien like.

The biggest obstacle I had was the red undies, I’m not fan of them so after many hours of thinking, I finally came up with the idea of incorporating the briefs as a pattern into the actual suit itself. Wanted a few tones of blue throughout just add some interest and made the red fairly bright. Couldn’t be bothered trying to figure out who could be a new Superman so I just used one of Brandon Routh’s promo stills. I’m actually surprised so many in the Superman fan base like this design, I really didn’t expect any positive feedback from them but so far, most like the changes.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Manips, Superman
36 comments on “Character Design – Superman
  1. streetkid says:

    amazing this is how superman should nowadays thank god u got away that pants but one thing i believe u should change up abit is the belt 2 me it should look more like a belt but this is still good. also are u going to make a film poster of your superman

  2. Munira says:

    One word. Wow!

  3. Dagger says:

    For the most part, I love it, although I think the red- I supposed “panties,” for lack of a better word- should probably extend down a little farther: it looks a tad awkward where it is.

  4. Aaron says:

    I really like this, you’re an amazing artist. If I had to critique it though, I’d say that it’s a little bit to busy, a little bit too much going on, if you get what I mean, but seriously, I really really like this, as well as all of your other stuff on here!

  5. erika says:

    WOW!!! now this should be the new superman costume!!!!! This is really GOOD!!!
    Amazing!!! 1000000 x better than the original!!!!!!

  6. Doc says:

    Wow. Another fantastic manip. I agree it’s too busy. Super costumes are supposed to be simple unless there’ some cultural influence like WW’s outfit. I think he’s better either with red underwear or changing the red entirely into new design element. It’s kinda in limbo as is. All around fantastic, though.

  7. Spartan says:

    Try it with Chris Reeve instead.

  8. Jon says:

    This is the best superman fan costume I’ve ever seen. And your an amazing artist, I can even know where you begin on doing this. But If I have to criticize, It is too busy. Superman is all about simpleness. I love that the undies are just a part of the suit’s pattern. But I still would have like it to go all the way down ha ha ha… that way it would still look like the classic suit except its not an underwear anymore. But that’s just the purist in me.

  9. sisko rhodes says:

    not bad but needs the blue to be lighter than it is here but overall i think its a good design… nice one mate… do a few more with some variation and try some stuff thats not particularly comic book esque too superman needs updating too so y not do his suit aswell…

  10. The Man of Steel says:

    I love it. To put it quite frankly, THIS is what I think the Superman outfit should look like in live-action, whether it be on the small screen or the silver screen. I respectfully disagree with those who feel that this outfit is too busy for Superman; the outfit you designed seems to be Kryptonian in origin (instead of being made by Martha Kent), so why shouldn’t it be “too busy?”

    The only sort of constructive criticism I can offer you is in regards to the “super-panties” =p. Superman’s suit would look a lot more…unified – or perhaps a better word would be ‘complete’ – if the lower designs that make up the pseudo-underwear were brought together to form one complete design. Broken up like it is, it looks…unfinished. If it were brought together, and the bottom of it brought down just a tad, the costume would (IMO) be truly perfect. But despite that, your costume has become my personal favorite of all the ones you’ve designed so far. Keep up the good work!

  11. nimibro says:

    me too, but he should be portrayed by chris hemsworth (ryan reynolds is deadpool AND green lantren, both major leadingroles, so it’s possible…). can i use this costume for a poster? with hugo weaving as brainiac…

  12. fendie says:

    I’m a superman fan. Really hope this costume will be the new version of superman. Congratulation you’ve found the new outfit for superman……

  13. Alex10 says:

    OMG !! This Is Wonderfull, Can you Create a similar one for The Flash please ?

  14. Jason Sheffield says:

    I love the design but trying to make it look a little alien in design because of Supermans origin being from an alien planet has no bearing on the design of his suit because the suit was made here on earth…very nice concept though…might I suggest looking towards the Air Force and NASA for further inspiration in any other designs you may come up with…

  15. Charlie says:

    Nice. I like the way the corners of the “S” shield meet the inside corner of the deltoid piece. And the deltoid being darker is great. I think I see three colors of vertical stripes over his ribs… looks good. The mandarin collar tying in to his cape is another good touch. Looks overall more like a surfer’s wetsuit with purpose, instead of, as you said, a cheesy halloween costume. The additional seams reinforce that impression. I’m a big fan of the current trend for creating plausible versions of fantastical things, and you’re doing a great job, as you know. (Saw your WW first; she’s got some satisfying cultural details as well.) Keep it up.

  16. claudio atila says:

    man… what can i tell you?
    your job is just AMAZING, unbeliveble what have you done with this suit from superman.

    you are the guy.


  17. Mike360 says:

    Wow! This really is amazing! I hope for the new Superman reboot they have something like this! A suit like the one in Superman Returns would just suck. But this is the best costume design I’ve ever seen! I think around his waist is much better than having underwear but the belt could look better and there is a bit to much going on there, if you know what I mean.


  18. rameyuk says:

    AMAZING, you have very good concept and design of the new superman costume. However, can I make a few suggestions? I have my own vision of superman costume, but the problem is… I can’t put my ideas to the computer screen coz I suck at drawing and designing. But here’s to comment on your design:

    POSITIVE: You have made the perfect color choices. The classing Red/Blue with a shade of yellow defines superman as he supposed to be. You have incorporated different shades of blue on the torso with subtle patterns that add to the awesomeness of the costume design. You have made the red underwear as a pattern and that was a great idea. The logo on the chest is still the old Superman Returns logo, yet bigger in size. This is a huge improvement. Unifying the boots as an actual part of the costume was great and the pattern and colors were perfect.

  19. rameyuk says:

    NEGATIVE: The fabric that you used is still the rubbery tight spandex. Which makes him a bit “gay”. I don’t mean to offend anyone with that statement, if so I’m sorry. You made the belt as a pattern as well, and I’m not really happy with that part. In terms of logo, it’s like a drawing on the chest and it’s not embossed. It looks like the costume isn’t properly tailored.

    RECCOMENDATION: I know there are limitations in terms of costume materials since you’re using Routh’s template. But, if u see this picture of Thor’s costumes:

  20. rameyuk says:

    You’ll see that the costume they donned is very cool. Even for a group of gods who never need that kind of protection anyway. I was thinking of (not using exactly the same pattern) using the same type of costume materials as Thor’s. A hard metal costume with shiny metallic blue and red would be awesome.

    Another point from Thor’s picture, is that Loki (the green cape on the far right) donned a cape that is slightly raised on the shoulder showing the audience that he has a wide cape. I was thinking of incorporating the same technique to superman’s cape. I think it’ll be easier if superman wears a metal costume. Oh, and please make the Cape longer toTry to change the belt pattern into a real belt. There’s no need for a change, since the belt from Superman Returns was the best design that I ever seen.

    The Superman logo that u see should be the logo that Superman should wear on his chest. Notice the shiny metallic symbol? It symbolises superman’s strong willed and determination of peace and justice and looks cool at the same time.

    Your design was the best one I’ve seen so far, but improvements could be made. I hope you read my comments and see if you can improve on the design. Great job, thank you ^^ about a few inch off the floor.

    P.S Sorry for the multiple comment, I was unable to posts. I thought it was because it’s too long. But I think it was because I put up the picture links. So I can’t post the links here. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. I dunno how to show you the pictures now..

  21. Michael says:

    I love this costume. It’s definitely other-worldly but it also has an almost regal sense to it as if it’s the representation of Krypton, like the costume makes him an ambassador of a fallen civilization. Have you submitted any of this kind of work to Warner Brothers?

  22. joshmc says:

    I’ve inquired about it but what I’ve been told ultimately if I’m not within the ‘DC circle’ as it were I’ve got next to no chance of them taking any notice. I just do what I do for fun really.

  23. Anonymous says:

    this costume should be used for the new justice league superman as it is a more udated costume and i think this amazing great work .

  24. bradley says:

    You should make a pic of Henry Cavill in this Superman suit.

  25. joshmc says:

    I will when I get the time.

  26. bradley says:

    Cool. And regarding contacting WB, you should try to get more viewers of this pic and it might be noticed, or perhaps go to IMDB on the Man of Steel board and ask if anybody with an IMDBPro account could contact some people in the business.

  27. joshmc says:

    Eh, I think the odds of getting noticed are slim, plus I’m sure they’ve got their own designers coming up with all the artwork they need.

  28. bradley says:

    Yeah probably, but I hope that the suit they use in Man of Steel looks good like this instead of really campy like the previous suits.

  29. Phillip says:

    GREAT JOB!Probably one of the best Ive seen.
    However despite your changes,I still feel the undies and belt are a problem-They shld be completely removed from the costume.This of course raises concerns that his family jewels would be overexposed.That problem however would be solved if the costume is designed in a more space suit patter.

    shows a Superman suit without the undies yet doent have the crotch problem.
    My other small snipe with the suit is the red markings on his wrists and neck.Those seem over the top.
    But otherwise Great Job.
    I really would love to see you make this changes to the suit-perhaps send me the pic of it when you do?

  30. Michael M. says:

    this is probably the best version I’ve seen. It’s modern looking, colors are vivid and perfect, underwear is gone, shield is a great size. It’s not campy at all. It shows friendliness and power. good job man

  31. manco says:

    just… like startex..
    i don’t like this
    please keep the original costume..
    but this color costume is wonderful..
    red & blue…

  32. W says:

    The spell-blindingly perfect Brandon Routh elevates this and any Superman costume.

  33. James Smith says:

    Hi, Love the design of the suit! I prefer this to the new one they’ve done for the ‘man of steel’ film! You should submit it to WB! Amazing!

  34. Casey says:

    Well the one thing we should learn from the comments here is that it doesn’t matter what you do… some people will love it and some will hate it. Some people will say, “Oh no you went too fa”r while others “yeah it looks good but here is what else you should have done”. Personally I say when it comes to the big screen, leave the costumes alone! The hero we pay to see should be a realistic representation of exactly whats on the paper. After all we all already agree that its a cool design or we wouldn’t be such big fans right?Other than the movies I say have at it Change it up however you wish and enjoy each others creativity. I believe that it’s when you start to portray your version as a potential replacement for the real deal that the resistance begins to flow. For we are rather protective of our beloved heroes.and prefer them most of all, just as they are.

  35. scarlettrosephotography says:

    I’m with Creighton University’s Creative Services Department and I was wondering if you could tell me where you found the photograph of Superman? We are doing a super hero theme for an exhibit display showcasing our services and are trying to find a decent picture that we can get permission to use. The information would be extremely helpful. Thanks!

  36. josh says:

    Just got it off the net somewhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Skillshare Classes
I have a few drawing and illustration classes available to view on Skillshare for people who are beginners. These classes are for people just starting out in art and can apply to the photo manip work I do. Click on any of the links to get 2 Free months of Skillshare subscription and start your art journey today!

• Construction and Gesture Drawing
• Body Construction
• Head Drawing Part 1
• How To Draw Hands
• How To Draw Hair
%d bloggers like this: