Done! Same day even. And... they're ok I think. I'm happiest with Mr Beta, but none of them are awful.
I suppose Gamma needs more contrast. I can handle that with levels. That's a point though - I should probably try and standardise how much contrast there should be between light and dark tones of the same colour. So far I've just been eyeballing it, but I'll bet if you took a bunch of these guys at random they'd look wrong together because the lighting doesn't match.
I suppose the number to look at is the V/B. Thinking about it, if I wanted to make different colour-versions for the same figure, I could do it by making a greyscale base figure for the light/dark definitions and then applying it as a transformation layer over flat colour. Hmm, no that wouldn't work actually - I'm always going to want some areas darker or lighter aside from lighting. I could define and save the /shape/ of the shaded areas though and use that as a guide.
I need better words to think about this stuff really. Perils of a non-technical education. I often find that - trying to talk about something new to me and I just don't have the words to say what I mean. Gives me a newfound appreciation for academic language, and a disdain for people who automatically dismiss it as pretentious.
Oops - that was almost proper blogging, and that's not what this thing is for. I'd best bugger off before I start trying to share my other profound, uneducated insights.