Con­cepts with a sense of iden­tity

Rob Laro uses rapid it­er­a­tion for a char­ac­ter.

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

When de­sign­ing char­ac­ters for pur­poses be­yond a sin­gle il­lus­tra­tion, be it for games, comics or an­i­ma­tion, a more in-depth ap­proach may be needed to en­sure your char­ac­ter leaves a last­ing im­pres­sion. Each el­e­ment of their de­sign needs to be fleshed out, from the in­side of their jacket to the bot­tom of their feet.

Not only do you need to be thor­ough, but you also need to unify the char­ac­ter as a whole. One way to achieve this is to per­son­ify a sin­gle dis­tinc­tive idea or con­cept, giv­ing them a strong sense of iden­tity. This en­sures that you’ll por­tray what the char­ac­ter is all about quickly and cleanly to the viewer.

In this work­shop I’ll be demon­strat­ing my de­sign process for a char­ac­ter, as if they were the main char­ac­ter of a game, from start to fin­ish. My start­ing point is the rough idea of a mon­ster-slaying maiden, in­cor­po­rat­ing the theme of a chimera: a myth­i­cal hy­brid crea­ture.

I’ll be­gin by ex­plor­ing the con­cept with a se­ries of quick fig­ure sketches of the char­ac­ter be­fore fo­cus­ing on each el­e­ment of her cloth­ing and equip­ment. Here I’ll ex­plain the sig­nif­i­cance of ref­er­ence ma­te­rial to sup­port the de­signs and how you can in­ter­pret it. Once I fi­nalise the de­sign, I’ll tran­si­tion to colour in Pho­to­shop and cre­ate an il­lus­tra­tion to show­case the char­ac­ter while look­ing at some of the tech­niques I use to add colour vari­ance and light­ing.

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