Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blast from the Past #140: Turtle design for 2K3 show

Here are some more artifacts from the early days of planning for the 4Kids TMNT tv show. They sent me several sketches to try to work out the basic look of the Turtles as they would appear in the show, trying to keep all the essential element while giving the Turtles a look which would be unique and separate from the way they looked in the original show. What you see here are, from top to bottom, a rough pencil sketch, a tight pencil sketch, that same pencil sketch with a proposed color scheme, and finally my tweaks of that colored sketch.

I can't find the old email referenced in the note on that sketch, but I think I can recall what the numbers are in reference to, as follows:

1.) Remove "peaks" from top plastron segments; make them straight across top.

2 and 3.) Make "connective" areas between plastron and carapace more obvious, and color them differently than either the carapace or the Turtles skin color.

7.) Make belt, wristbands, elbow and knee pads brown, i.e. like leather. (The old show extended the bandanna colors to these pieces, and while it worked fine then, I thought it was a little too silly for the attitude we were going for with the new show. -- PL)


  1. Thank you for keeping the knee pads brown. I thought it was a little over the top on color with the original show. Plus, it made for LOADS of animation errors. You'd be surprised how many times they where mis-colored or just plain missing all together, like with Donatello in one episode.

    Who's idea was it to give the new turtle designs 'eyebrows', I guess is the best way to describe it? those little wavy lines dead center above the mask? I always found it distracting and it was the toughest part of the new design to get used to.

    Too me, it made them seem like they have wrinkles...

  2. What I love most about this is I went to make sure I knew what a "plastron" and "carapace" was so I got the post. You taught me words today, Peter! :)

  3. Cool stuff! I love the behind-the-scenes stuff!

  4. Thank you for sharing these cool production pieces.
    I see they started on Donny first?

  5. -->> sessy as hell !! !!

    Damm unique to really how they ultimately looked !!


  6. I love seeing behind the scenes stuff like this. The finished, colored drawing is incredible. Thanks for sharing!

  7. These are really cool. I like it a lot better than the giant Justice League shoulders that the 2k3 TMNTs have.

  8. Too bad they didn't stick to those designs for Fast Forward and Back to the Sewers-- Don in that one looks more like what you told them to change. (they all do)

    ARE you coming to San Diego Comic-Con? I thought I heard someone say you were going to (I picture you on one of your powerful motorcycles, tooling across the continent, the wind blowing over your helmet)... :D

    Sorry-- in a silly mood tonight.