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Concept Art - Character Design

  1. 1. Character Design A. Theinert – Becker College - 2013
  2. 2. Character Design So you want to create a character? You’ve had some practice with gesture drawing but that was the easy part! Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin: • What type of game is your character for? • What genre is it? What is the art style of the game? • More importantly – Who is your Target Audience? This answer will help you to answer other questions about your design.
  3. 3. Decide what style is most appropriate for you project. Note that cartoon & stylized characters will usually have exaggerated features and exaggerated posture. Cartoon: Realism:Stylized: Style
  4. 4. For example: • Where is your character from? This may help determine what they are wearing. o Your character has fur accents on her armor because she hails from a cold environment. o Your character has visible tattoos from a tribal heritage Character Design Designing a character is not all about drawing good concept art. Good characters have depth and meaning. If you enjoy creative writing then you may want to try fleshing out a backstory before you even begin sketching. • What was their past like? Did they have a rough upbringing? o Your character carries a variety of weapons because they were forced into a life of smuggling. o Your character enlisted in an assassins guild and is equipped with an assortment of knives & throwing stars.
  5. 5. • Complete the Character Design Sheet • This sheet will also help you create a functional character. How much armor is the character wearing, how will it move when the character moves? Does the character have scales? Why do they have scales? Process (1/3) • Do 4 quick (5-10 min) Gesture Sketches of your character in 4 dynamic different poses, (use a model if possible).
  6. 6. • Sketch in Details on top of the gesture drawings. (2 options): o Add rough details to your sketches based on your character sheet. • Fill in your sketches (on a new layer) to create a silhouette. Use smaller brushes to get details around the edges such as the hilt of a sword or the edge of a boot. OR Process (2/3)
  7. 7. • Pick one of these silhouettes to render out in color o New Layer > highlights o New Layer > shadows o New Layer > colors o New Layer > details Process (3/3)
  8. 8. Technique Use reference images! Concept artists keep vast collections of images & books on anatomy, history, nature, fashion, etc. The best way to make believable, realistic drawings is to study life!
  9. 9. Fabric is defined by highlights and shadows. To make your fabric look like it could naturally flow – make sure the shadow varies on either side of the fold, one shadow should be larger & have a more gradual fade. • Fabric folds will generally flow in straight lines, when it curves it will fold over itself, creating new lines/folds. Fabric • Not all folds are equal, each should have varying sizes and varying amount of shadow/highlights.
  10. 10. Armor • Block in Color • Use the Burn + Dodge Tools to add: o Joint/plating details o Highlight & Shadow o Specular Highlights Metal armor is highly reflective. Most often it is jointed, with overlapping plates. Different areas of the armor will have different textures- dirt, dents, rivets, tarnish, etc.
  11. 11. One of the best things about working in Photoshop (or other painting programs) is the ability to work in Layers. Technique After rendering out the skin tone & facial details you can paint the clothing on a new layer. This way if you want to draw the character in a different outfit all you need to do is turn off the clothing layer and try something new!