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Here are some recent character designs for a couple of personal world-building settings I'm developing for the purpose of expanding my portfolio.
I'm really trying to step up my game so I can find a studio job and would greatly appreciate any crits.
These are two IPs that I'm working on that I think lend themselves to a good range of possibilities.
The first is something I've been going back and forth from, for a while. A lot of revisiting and reinventing. It takes place in relatively near future where commercial space endeavors are common place but still technologically restricted to our own solar system. The title "Primum Mobile" refers to the ninth sphere of heaven or the abode of angels described in Dante's Paradiso.
This is the second IP. I see it as a post-apocalyptic fantasy themed fighting game. Something fun and outlandish and doesn't take itself too seriously.
Last edited by N D Hill; July 23rd, 2012 at 11:57 AM.
Man most of them are out of balance but the real problem to me is that they are not related to anything, the design isn't strong at all. They works in order to express what they are but that's it, there's no cool factor, no particular influences, nothing intriguing about them. If you then put it together to the fact that they seem out of balance the viewer is going to say... meh i don't like it.
No, in general when i do a design, even if i have total freedom of choice, i try to use some real references of a culture or something like that. This is because when we see a human being of any shape we tend to relate to him, the more elements we recognize the more we relate. I'll make you a very simple example on how it works, let's pretend that we have to do an hunter that needs to catch food for his family. It doesn't matter if it's sci-fi, fantasy, retro futuristic or cultural realistic background, the hunter must have a certain type of gear with him like a water can, some kind of silent weapon, some camouflage dress, some pockets. When we see those kind of stuff our brain automatically recognize and relate to. If we see a man with a sun protection tool (an hat) and some clothes or gear that protect the internal legs side we automatically think that he's going to ride something alive, probably out of a city. Those kind of stuff makes your designs believable and easily recognizable, a quick example that i can think out of the bat where the aliens from Stargate, those where extremely good designed and essentially they was a readaptation of Egyptian pyramid culture, of the same theme there where even some squads from Unreal Tournament.
It's not the easiest thing to explain but once you know about this you'll start to notice lots of references between all the stuff you like the most
I could be wrong, but many of them give me the impression of a steam punkish world. Therefore I like most of the designs, the only thing that is really needed are some accents or main points. None of them have special gear parts that cause unsymetrical accents or would make the characters silhouette recognizable. I think characters are interesting at the point you remember them, so they need distinctive elements on them. Maybe add some unsymetric overexxaggerations in certain areas. Like big cogs, plates, rods, steamthrowing exhaust pipes etc. Or even think about renewing a whole costume. The hood-girl with the mask for example - her hood could extent over her whole body in a somehow special and creative way, this would give her this "hood theme" and makes her therefore recognizable through an exaggerated element that shows over the entire design. Make it kinda triangle formed and you'd have not only a very stable form, but also one of the strongest and most recognizable relatet to the whole figure.
Edit: Maeh sorry, didn't see the post between. Pretty much explains my point.
Last edited by Swamp Thing; July 23rd, 2012 at 10:48 AM.
ND I think you have some good starts here. A lot of great information has been said, I'll see if I can add to it. I'm not sure if your painting on one layer, but if you are make a background layer and a character layer. Your edges tend to get a bit sloppy. There are areas you are really caring for, particularly when you paint masks. But then you stop caring when you get to boots and feet on most of them. Some of the anatomy is off a bit, get some reference even if you think its right. 2 things that can really help you is to slow down a bit and get a touchstone. Find a few character artists that blow you away and make a file with a few of their pieces. Once you have your design down and all you have to do is paint keep their work open and try your hardest to match their level of finish. Lastly I'm not sure how many thumbnails/ sketches you did for each design but I think you should do at least a dozen and post them up before moving onto a final. That way you can get some peer feedback on your designs before spending 15 + hours on something that might be tossed.
All that being said you are doing some good things. Your value structure is reading well. Lighting seems fairly consistent, and your utilizing some nice color variation in areas. Keep pushing man!
The fem gladiator looks a little too much like a man. Some some softer lines in the face will help alot.
Thanks. Sorry for the late response, I've been away to Maine for a little bit.
Ninjac: Thanks. Yeah, my process is still a mess and not having all of my design choices set in stone before I start rendering an area is another problem
Here's another a quick creature design I painted over a couple hours yesterday. It has nothing to do with anything here. Just a Prometheus/Alien inspired creature redesign.
check out that gray midones
I've played with it a little bit since to try to make the issues less noticeable but I think to really fix it, I got to think of something else to do with those arms.
I attended the Massive Black Workshop here in San Francisco and it was immensely helpful. I had some really great portfolio reviews and some great feedback from the companies participating in the job fair. All in all, it's been a great Shark Week.
Here's a creature design I did this weekend. Approximately 8 hours. This was for a commission. Now that I think about it, it's sort of looks like My Little Pony meets Avatar.
Uhm, seem more balanced than the previous one, i like the fish mouth you gave him. There is something bugging me though, how does this thing walks around? I dont know man, i think there are some problems with his legs.