August 19, 2011

Card Game Character Design Part II

As we saw last time, I usually start a character design with some silhouettes, laying out big shapes and trying different ideas in broad strokes. I like to design characters who aren't tied to the same outfit all the time - a character's clothing should probably have a core set of shapes, color palette, and visual cues, but I like flexibility. That means that body type and facial features are the most consistent elements in a design. I already figured out the body in my silhouettes, so now its time to move onto the head.

After some exploratory sketches, I came up with 6 potential faces. For this character, the client was trying to nail down a particular look, so I decided to separate out the face and the hair. You'll notice a kind of grid going on here - each face gets its own row, then there's a column for loose, braided, and pinned-up hair. We narrowed the field down to three faces, but the hairstyle was still totally up in the air. I put together a more detailed hair sheet for each face - you can see the one for the final face above. At this point, the client knew he wanted that face with some sort of braided hair, so I did one last sheet with a bunch of braided hair variations. As you can see in Part I, we ended up going with #6. In our next and final installment, I get to play fashion designer. Check back for steampunk costume design!

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