Concepts with a sense of identity
Rob Laro uses rapid iteration for a character.
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.