So, nobody’s really asked where the nine top banners come from, but oh well, here’s your answers and the listing:
The original three:
This is an MS Girl of GAT-X105+AQM/E-X01 Aile Strike Gundam. Was basicly my original idea for banners, a simple double gradient with the site name and my catch phrase. It was also this pic that made me use the colors from the girl itself to actualy put in the gradient. So this kicked off the whole thing.
My second round, this is Hatsune Miku from the Vocaloid series. The whole singing into the mic thing seems to look good and when colored it turned out great.
This is my last in the three that I put together first, Ruri Hoshino from Martian Successor Nadesico. Since I love this girl (my favorite anime girl) I thought she would need a place, so I took one of the best pics I could and threw this together.
This one was sitting in my idea folder for ages, but I hadn’t bothered to make the banner for it. This is Kyonko from The Genderbending of Haruhi Suzumiya, a fan take off of The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya where everyone’s gender is reversed (Kyonko is supposed to be a guy by the name of Kyon). When I just had some time I threw it together and thought I could keep the ball rolling.
I always liked this picture since it looked like my Final Fantasy XI character with a very sexy black metal outfit and a giant cleaver (Great Axe). Problems with hair in this one made it a tad annoying, but the scheme looks great.
At this point I was just flipping through folders looking for stuff that I thought would work good and I came across the above two banners in one picture. So with a quick cut up of separating the two characters I came up with the above two. Asa is in the first one, Kaede is the second and they are both from the Eroge series Shuffle! (In paticular, Really? Really!). Asa posted a real challenge for me to cut up, because of her hair, but her arm also had real artifacting problems so I just cut it off in favor of showing more chest. Kaede ended up with about more problems in deciding colors so you could still read the text without trying too hard.
This is a picture from a fine independent manga artist named Aoi Sakura. Originaly I liked the pic because she seemed rather realistic (she wears a watch) as opposed to most anime girls. Colors in the “bloom” on the text were hard to pin down so it did not look brown. Eventualy I just cheated and went with her inner ear color which ended up looking great.
Now this is from my all-time favorite Doujin artist Ayamo Watsuki (Not to be confused with Nobuhiro Watsuki, author of Rurouni Kenshin, link incredibly not safe for work). This was a small pic of someone I don’t know. While her (yes, it’s a girl) works usualy are hell to cut a character out of because of either a way too colorful background or excessive bloom, this one was just against a white background making it almost a cakewalk. It still took some effort to put this together. It is somewhat excessively white, but I think it fits well here.
I was poking the ideas around to people about how I’m making more top banners, so I went to UltimaKnight for source material. He came back with a slew of goodies, this first one being one of them. This picture showed Saber from Fate/Stay Night being a tad more agressive than my previous banners to add a bit of contrast to the whole thing. Since you can’t see it, she is olding a sword in her arm. I love a woman who can kick my ass.
This was another Saber image given by Ultima. I cut it out and threw it together with some haste. I have to say it’s probably the weakest of the 19 now because of the excessive ammount of bloom that covers her up that I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of. Still was easy to do.
This was yet another Saber image given by Ultima. To contrast that all a bit more this is a picture of her softer side if you will, the side that is going to be nice and not eviscerate you with just a glance. I went with some softer and lighter tones with the gradient on this one and I think it complements well.
This was the last Saber image given by Ultima. Going back to the mean girl, this is actualy from Unlimited Codes and is called Saber Lilly. The black hair ribbon provided the base to work off of for the rest of it and it takes a nice dark tone that is missing from pretty much all the rest.
While not the ideal piece, this is actualy fan art by a guy named Uehiro (Link not safe for work obviously) of Haruhi Suzumiya. The original picture was a pantyshot with a Dutch angle, but since I try to keep the site somewhat clean (Ha!) I had to edit this quite heavily. In terms of presence, she is probably the widest girl I have on the top since she covers up so much. Uehiro does seem to draw everone with oversized boobs though, so she does look a little bigger in the chest department than she should. The colors are light and summer like, so I took it and ran with it.
Same artist as before and this is a picture taken from the top looking down, so you can see quite a bit here. It’s slightly harder than the other one, but this came out well.
As I was flipping through I had realized that I made four Saber banners so I thought I should bolster some classics. This is a rather sharp departure from many others because in this picture I kinda imagine her singing metal with a harsh tone so I picked interesting colors like neon pink and teal to go with it instead of something bland and simple.
I love her. Is there any other reason you need? … Okay. This is a piece by Keiji Goto (Link marginaly unsafe, probably not a good idea at work either) of Ruri and her hair falling apart. Unfortunately that didn’t work to well, so I had to reverse it so we sould still see her head and the text instead of her massive twintail. A darker tone for the enigma that is herself, this also came out quite excelent.
A bunch of Final Fantasy XI crossover pictures have come to me and I took a little time to go ahead and make a banner of the White Mage one. This is Miyuki Takara from Lucky Star, dressed up in White Mage relic armor and a Light Staff (out of frame). I thought it was cute and so I made that first. I also tried to keep the color scheme White Mage-ish so it’s red and white. Oddly, the cap seems to fade into the background because of it, but oh well, it came out good.
Here’s a lovely picture by someone I don’t know. When I got it I originaly misslabled it as Cagalli from Gundam SEED, but it was really Stella Loussier from Gundam SEED Destiny. She is holding the ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam and I love the expression she has. The art style is also rather different, somewhat akin to watercolors and it looks beautiful. The pink scheme here fits very well.
Future idea bucket:
Mahoromatic: I’m having a hard time deciding the pic I want to use for this, but I think i could pull it off.
Primula: I just want to, but i haven’t found the perfect pic yet.
More Haruhi Suzumiya: Because the ones I have are decent, but I want more.