Why do fan made Iron Man suits look kind of "Janky"

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halkun

New Member
So I've always been interested in comic book type armors. It was an old 80s Japanese cartoon named "Bubblegum Crisis" that sparked my interest. I never really had an inclination to make armor from that show, mostly because the main characters were women, the armor was quite shapely, and as I grew older, discovered that the armor was patterned after lingerie. It would of been a poor fit for me..

Lately I've been looking at some of the higher quality Iron Man armors being made. Even with the attention to detail going into each of them, they still seem a little "off" when compared to the one(s?) used for the movies. With the fan-made suits, the bulk seems to be in the wrong places, or they just seem so... fragile that even sitting down would probably break something.

During Civil War, I decided to pay real close attention to RDJ's suit. Here he could squat and jump, and just *pose* better. (I mean, within reason. He obviously isn't flying in the thing). The joints were solid, bit very moveable. There was one shot where RDJ is sitting on the ground, and he has one leg tucked under the other. In a normal "fan" suit, I could easily see something break, but once again you can even see him move one leg over the other.

Now, I'm talking about the suit on it's own, and not the obvious CGI transformations like the "suitcase suit" and the like

I've seen a Master Chief suit that is almost that good, but it has open joints as a drawback. (And it's HUGE)

So what is it about the movie suits that makes them so robust? It there actually a metal skeleton on the inside? Is that what happens when you dump about a million dollars of movie budget into one? Could you crowd-source the R&D or materials? Is there any real-world applications coming from this?
 

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bummer6

Well-Known Member
Honestly, CGI contributes a lot more than you think to how the suit in the movies look. If you've seen some behind-the-scenes footage then you know all the joints and moving bits are CGI that's edited in after the scene is shot. The reason fan-made suits look more clunky and harder to move in is because they're 100% real... All the joints are physically there and everything has to be functional. We can't fill the gaps in out armors with CGI, we have to actually cover it up. When it comes to durability, most fiberglass suits are probably pretty close to what RDJ wears, but again; without the help of CGI, he wouldn't be able to pull all those cool poses we see in the movie without either exposing his undersuit or potentially hurting himself or the armor.
 

JPH

Sr Member
normal human proportions are different from comic proportions. And like others have said, CGI, multiple takes, etc.. Think about explosions in movies vs when things blow up in real life, much cooler in movies. Not to be a buzzkill, but, "it is a movie."
 

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BattleGrade

Active Member
So I've always been interested in comic book type armors. It was an old 80s Japanese cartoon named "Bubblegum Crisis" that sparked my interest. I never really had an inclination to make armor from that show, mostly because the main characters were women, the armor was quite shapely, and as I grew older, discovered that the armor was patterned after lingerie. It would of been a poor fit for me..

Lately I've been looking at some of the higher quality Iron Man armors being made. Even with the attention to detail going into each of them, they still seem a little "off" when compared to the one(s?) used for the movies. With the fan-made suits, the bulk seems to be in the wrong places, or they just seem so... fragile that even sitting down would probably break something.

During Civil War, I decided to pay real close attention to RDJ's suit. Here he could squat and jump, and just *pose* better. (I mean, within reason. He obviously isn't flying in the thing). The joints were solid, bit very moveable. There was one shot where RDJ is sitting on the ground, and he has one leg tucked under the other. In a normal "fan" suit, I could easily see something break, but once again you can even see him move one leg over the other.

Now, I'm talking about the suit on it's own, and not the obvious CGI transformations like the "suitcase suit" and the like

I've seen a Master Chief suit that is almost that good, but it has open joints as a drawback. (And it's HUGE)

So what is it about the movie suits that makes them so robust? It there actually a metal skeleton on the inside? Is that what happens when you dump about a million dollars of movie budget into one? Could you crowd-source the R&D or materials? Is there any real-world applications coming from this?

This post is irrational and ill-conceived.

Open joints, metal skeletons, crowd source, real-world apps?
You're kidding right... [troll much]
 

DRG

Active Member
Here's a link with some other discussion of what's real and what isn't. http://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/2198/how-are-the-iron-man-suit-scenes-filmed

It's also important to know that they have different suits built for specific purposes. They may have a special suit built for crouching/squatting scene that looks great in those shot but looks poor in standing/running shots.

Like this pic from the set: W1J27.jpg
Here you can see even in the suit they didn't include those leg pieces and parts of the arms (digitally added later). Speaking from experience, these were some of the toughest parts to 'get right' as far as fit and sizing, especially when you factor in actually having to move around in them. So most costume makers have to make some degree of compromise in look just for the sake of basic wearability and motion.
 

collinE83

Well-Known Member
It's not a bad question. There is a certain level of movie magic like others have mentioned. Even when not using CG, there are a lot of cool techniques the costume designers use to make the practical suit look as real as possible.

They designed parts of the suit specifically so Tony could lay back and chill inside a giant donut, make a fist, or sit on the ground. They have to put in a lot of work making a modified suit every time there's a scene with him in a different position. Then change back to a different suit between takes. Usually it's just parts of the suit, and the CG the rest like people mentioned before.

This is true even with non-armored superheroes. Take the Flash for instance. His wearable cowl is a different version than when he pulls it off and it lays back like a hood. If you watch those scenes where he's taking it on and off, you never see a completely unbroken transition. When you have teams of costume designers, multiple suits and lots of money, you can make different versions for different situations.

Unfortunately, most of us are just hobbyists with this stuff and are using paper and fiberglass, foam that has a uniform thickness throughout the entire suit, and most of the time we use templates that sometimes are resized, sometimes not.

We do the best with the materials, money, and time we have, for better or worse.
 

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bigbisont

Active Member
All of the above pretty much goes to show that you can't seriously compare the works of fans who make one suit to be as versatile and comfortable as possible to works of Hollywood special effects TEAMS that build dozens of specialized suits for specific scenes (plus CGI on top).

There is still plenty of "Janky"ness to go around, though. Go back and watch the scene in Iron Man 2 where he is drunk and partying in his suit and shooting things. Saw that the other day and had to laugh. Crazy how quickly we can get spoiled when judging effects sometimes (myself of course included).
 

monsterpartyhat

Well-Known Member
Throughout the various Marvel movies featuring Iron Man, the suit tech has progressed from physical, to partially physical augmented with CGI, to the point where many scenes are done with on-set motion capture and a suit that's 100% CGI. Take the final battle from Iron Man 2, for example:

ironmanbehindthescenes.jpg

Or for a lot of scenes, there will be a physical upper body suit (or partial suit), with everything from the waist on down filled in with CGI. E.g.

f94373c0de9cffc6a9a1668c53b0dfb4.jpg

So basically, anytime you see those very mobile legs you asked about - they're CGI.
 

Zarancorde

New Member
The suits in the movies are all mocap cgi. ILM Stan Winston Studios built actual suits, which are the ones in Tony's showcase, but at most, if you can see his face in a suit (not the HUD scenes) but a helmet open shot, he's usually wearing a collar-yoke piece and a red mocap suit.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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