My KG entry for February...UPDATED

As always, criticism is always welcome because it can only help me get better. Also, propers and thanks to members like YO and rkuchinsky, who put up how-to’s on PS rendering. I have them printed out as references, no joke.

the sketches are pretty dope, the render looks a lil’ flat especially the black portion of the midsole…design-wise, the grill like mesh(es) at the front and rear do not appear to fit the design, and i think it is a better looking shoe without the sock (maybe functionally too, getting in & out of those type of shoes always seems to be extra difficult!) would be cool to see some other little details added, otherwise it is a good showing…

I’m glad you posted this up for feedback. I think it is a great step forward, but I’m going to give you some very critical feedback that I think will help you make it better.

I also think the sketches have a lot more life to them. I like the quality of the sketches, nice and loose.

The shoe has much more to do with a Jordan 18.5 than that Lexus. The lexus is long with lots of continuous lines from front to back, all one color with all details integrated into the overal form. If you take inspiration from something, make sure it takes you somewhere, esp if you show it. Right now, it looks unrelated to the shoe, but, is visually totaly obsrtucting it.

From a form standpoint, you have a lot going on. Radiating lines, peaked rubber wraps and midsole, pill shaped vents, and then a big square vent popped on the back and an agular pull tab, and then a round eyelet… all these things should relate.

Also, some stitches would help make it more real.

If you have time, I would love to see you take another pass at it. I think you have the ability to push it further!

jungle: i agree, the black portion does look flat, but how can i fix it? i mean, it’s SUPPOSED to be patent leather, but i just couldn’t find a proper way to render it. i was thinking of using a premade texture to simulate it, but they all end up making the panel look like it’s made of glass. i’m having the same problem with the mesh sections of the shoe, simply applying and shading doesn’t do enough to make it believable or viable.

YO: i really appreciate the direction and suggestions, and have spent all of today tweaking, reworking and refining the design. i’m not second-guessing you, but i would just like to justify why i designed it the way i did…

with my design, i wanted to treat the foot like the engine of the car. with that analogy, i wanted to give the shoe the ability to keep the “engine” cool, and thus the mesh grills in the front and back of the shoe. besides that, i just wanted to convey elegance, hence the huge panel of patent leather on the side of the shoe.

…but, after all the things you pointed out, i have to agree, the shoe IS extremely busy with lines going in every direction.

i must say, i am surprised that you guys think my sketching is acceptable. i interned for this small design company for a bit and they said that my sketching was too messy, like chicken-scratch sketching. i mean, i see your sketches in the “doodling” section and it seems like the lines are all so clean.

thanks again for the tips and for the help, i will most definitely put it to good use.

I think Yo pretty much summed up most of the criticisms I had on this shoe. Looking at your presentation I struggled to find the connection between the Lexus Concept and the shoe design, if anything I would probably say the shoe reminds me more of the styling of the Mazda RX-8 in that they both have a lot going on; which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you can pull it all together and keep it cohesive. If you are trying to convey the “cooling” aspect of the engine it would probably work better to maybe work some engine/radiator schematics into the background instead. Also I’d really like to see how you plan on handling the sole of the shoe, and incorporating that into the overall concept.
Good stuff, keep it up!

i would have put this up on monday but life’s hectic like that. anyway, here’s what i came up with. i took all the criticism and suggestions and really sat and sketched out what my shoe would look like if i took each piece of advice and made it the focal point of the redesign. sufficed to say, i came up with pages and pages of sketches. in the end, what i came up with was this…

i know, i know, it looks like an entirely new shoe and there is barely any semblance of where it originated from, but i guess i can try and explain where i am coming from and why i chose this as the “evolved” design of my sneaker…

first and foremost, i thought about what YO said about all the elements that i threw into the shoe. i got rid of the radiating lines and also made a conscious effort to make the lines created by the panels to flow from one end of the shoe all the way to the other. i got rid of all the mesh and the front toe piece in favor of a cleaner design. i also moved the patent leather piece from the stagnant center of the shoe to a more agressive position up front. i also changed the form of the shoe, and made it more angular and dynamic.

in the end, i’m just glad i was inspired to try and improve. at the very least, i got to improve my PS and Illustrator techniques, right? anyway, as always, criticism is asked for and welcome.

Definitely has a unique look…I think the second version looks much better than the first. I’m not sure I like the angular lines though…the LF-A seems more rounded. But I can def see where the individual elements have from on the LF-A. Overall, good revision but you might wanna play around with the lines a bit more.

I think your first concept is a lot closer to a resolved design than the bottom one. The second one looks like to many random angular lines to work and a strange mix of a long sweeping mudguard and small tron-like panels.

I would suggest to remix your first design, based on some of the points Yo already mentioned.

In terms of inspiration from the car, why not just forget the car and move your design forward? I think the first concept has something to it.

I would suggest redoing the toecap (pointed corners dont work IMHO), and try to further resolve the heel counter. The capusule details are OK, but Im not that clear what they are supposed to be? holes? TPU/TPR underlay details?

keep up the good work.


whenever having trouble indicating materials, try to find a pic of a the material with similar lighting, or even other rendering with similar materials…

with inspiration i think it is, in most cases, really hard to have it translate unless it is really literal, so imo it should just be a jump-off point something that get the idea off the ground, as long as it is articulated it is cool, i did a couple of sketches for this month’s kg comp and was thinking along the same lines as you:

similarly i do not think anyone looking at it would make the connection to the concept lex, i agree with rkuchinsky, the 1st joint batch was definitely more appealing, but that could be because the others were had more detailed…

for sketching, 2 things that i think will help you out:

  1. make confident strokes, one thing i noticed about people who draw/sketch will is that they always look like they know exactly what they want to put on the page, i used to watch the guys i interned with and tried to emulate that, draw confidently and that will show more “smoothness” in your lines

  2. PUT DOWN THE PENCIL!!! (that is if you are using one, otherwise disregard) pencils are imo not particularly good for sketching, because they dull, smudge, and they tempt you to redraw lines or rely on the eraser, a fine tip pen or a hard lead mechanical pencil are better alternatives