Character Design Tips For Better Concept Art

July 10, 2022 by No Comments

While the steps we’ve outlined here can help give you an initial framework for developing your character designs, it takes time and practice to hone your skills as a character artist. If you are looking for a more pictorial style, you can mix these tones with a brush with reduced opacity and periodically taste new shades of gray using the pipette tool. Otherwise, most cartoonish styles tend to keep the edges hard for their colors and shadows. To get an idea of how this is all done, search and study process videos by other character artists on YouTube.

Having completed over 100 stylized character projects, our team knows how to best choose the optimal styling direction for a harmonious and fun gameplay experience. Most online schools are just too expensive, and students have misconceptions about what really matters, whether it’s in their portfolio, in their skills, or what the job is once they enter the industry. Outgang’s mission is to address that by providing affordable, industry-driven character art colleges so that students have a better chance at the job they so desperately want. I also give workshops and lectures to teams working on AAA projects in video game studios to improve their character creation techniques through Outgang. While some junior positions are available in the industry, most character artists have years of experience in character creation, sculpture, and design. A good way to get into this field is to learn 3D modeling and build a working portfolio of original 3D characters.

One of the first video game artists to bring more form and two-dimensional characters was Shigeru Miyamoto, who created Mario and Donkey Kong. We could talk at length about the pitfalls of the over-smoothing models in ZBrush and how that’s a big hurdle for students to overcome! Because most of us are entering character art from a technical perspective for the first time, we tend to underestimate the importance of studying the artistic and design fundamentals of the craft. MetaHuman Creator is on everyone’s mind right now, it seems, and fundamental knowledge such as simply knowing how to sculpt expressive shapes in ZBrush is thrown to the edge of the road. Many students, who don’t get a job, do so because they demonstrate technical competence, but no artistic expression in their portfolio.

As a direct reference, you can watch similar video games, movies, comics, etc. and find examples of what your character should look like. This kind of reference is great, because you’re looking at what’s already gone through multiple iterations to get to its final form. That said, it’s a good idea to take a break at this point if you have time to spare. If you do this, you can clear your mind and return to your miniatures with a new perspective. When you’re ready to get back to work, find the thumbnail that most effectively evokes your concept. Next, you’ll create a larger, more detailed sketch that will serve as the basis for your final artwork.

With being a character artist, you need to specialize, know a production pipeline, 3dsmax, Maya, Zbrush, Photoshop. Material editors PBR, Substance Designer/Painter, Quixel NDT, physics-based clothing modeling programs like Marvelous Designer, to name a few. You can just start using the demos or student versions of the software. These variations can be much simpler than the posture of the main action, as that design should be the focus.

In addition, a big difference lies in the purpose of the content you create. For a sculpture, it can essentially live on its own as a unique asset. While the story it tells can play an important role in making it an engaging work of art, creating a character for a game can be much more complicated.

Not only that, photogrammetry plays a big role in many high-end performance capture systems and is really an important element for having realistic animations in a cinematic environment. However, there is almost always a need for the human dimension to give this style of information that fits within the game world and not everything can be scanned. Unless the game attempts to mimic the real world lyrically, artists must add clothing, armor, details, distorted proportions, etc. There is this misconception, especially among students, that there are not many works in the art of character and that it is therefore impossible to enter the industry. This is strange because I hear from many colleagues in different studios who are hungry for good talent for their character art teams and who can spend months looking for the right recruit.