Indie Game Development & Tutorials. Primarily Maya and UE4. Now with a hint of Chinese 5 spice!
Character Design, Where we at?
I've been playing around with proportion and simplicity. Trying to find something interesting and unique. I know for I want simple colors, and by that I mean use colors from a color palette and no gradients in texture, or no "texture" at all. Objects can have 1 color per part, and value changes with in that as needed. Meaning lighten the top of the belt with a highlight of the same color.
I started off with the simplest of simple. I loved having no feet, and detached hands. It makes a lot of things easier, and I like the simplification. This is whats currently in the game:
The simple 4 blocks turned into the main character, who I derived from that to make the zombie enemies and the skeleton on the end. I knew they wouldn't remain that way so I played with color and just kept it loose to move forward with designing the game.
But I felt like it was too simple and too cartoony. I asked myself what kind of style would represent me? Is this it? I don't think so. Its just a little too simple. I'm not sure the big head cartoony was me. I always liked a cartoon, anime, comic book style. (I know all those are very different) but meaning I liked simplifications of characters.
Well the question of what style lead me to ask some more questions. Like if the body was bigger so we can see the outfits a little more how would that look? I actually kept the arms detached but then when I made the small legs, it started to make less and less sense that the arms were floating detached. So I simply added the remaining arm piece to attach them and with a lot of testing got to this point.
The game is is a "top town" but with a good amount of angle on it so the in game would look more like this:
Now the blocky heads are not as strong a motif as they were before. Now the arms seems kinda crazy big, but I still liked it enough to keep exploring, but its not "there". I sent it to my friend who said, "I like it. Everyone seems just a bit wide in the body though. Maybe bring it in by 10-20%? Maybe its not the width but the depth? It's close, but I think it needs just a little tweaking. I know its the style you are going for, but it just seems a bit too exaggerated. They seem a bit stiff, but that is probably just their pose. I'd like to see some animations." I agreed. I had an idea for animation but I thought I'll push the design first.
I took the main character, and game him legs. Full on, but small legs. Refined the hands and re did the face to be more of a rounded cube. I kept the "Mini Gore" mouths but I'm not convinced that it works. I don't plan on having mouth animations in game. And its not very visible from the camera angle. Anyway that got me here:
I took that and brought it into Mixamo to just test it with animation. And maybe its the motion capture data but I felt like am I going in the right direction? I'm not so sure. Time to make this blog post and send it to another friend who's a concept artist. See what he thinks. :D (I actually made this post instead of putting it all into an email and sending it to him)
UPDATE 02/24/18: I continued to work on the proportions, studying a lot of Disney, not that it matters, but trying a lot of new directions that didn't work. Went back to what I had and tried to find what it is I was feeling. Eventually I got here:
...and I'm happy with it. You can see a lot of influences from previous designs, and I think it merges them well.
2) Ok so I've gotten more feedback and think I'm just about ready to move on to the rest of the body. The face is close. The upper e...
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