I’ve never done character design, but the skills and content of this course really appealed to me, also I am a big fan of Arsen’s work and style. I though a winged character would work well for the assignments in this course, so I started thinking about how to approach that.
Brief Builder, References & Symmetrical Sketches
I used the Brief Builder Tool and a few f the categories resonated with me, but I didn’t use all of them (what I envision for this project won’t be an “overlord” type of character). I’m still thinking of some ways I could integrate all of these themes, and some idea I have I’ll flesh out more when I get into ZBrush
First I started out gather references using PureRef. For my references I first thought of who I would cast if this character were to be played by an actress, so I picked some of my favs from sci fi shows I like, since that’s the genre I want this character to exist in. My picks would be:
- Melissa O’Neil (Portia Lin, Dark Matter)
- Florence Faivre (Julie Mao, The Expanse)
- Frankie Adams (Bobby Draper, The Expanse)
- Cara Gee (Camina Drummer, The Expanse)
When we get into sculpting the face these are the references I’ll refer to. For the outfit design, I grabbed some insect images for sure, but rather than look to human cultures of the past and present, I wanted to emulate stylistic designs in Sci Fi series and films, so I looked at a lot of Kerrigan art from Starcraft, and Alita designs by Vitaly Bulgarov.
I loved working with the symmetrical sketching style. I totally see how this works better for actually thinking about and planning how the character will be built in 3D. I tried to go in as many different directions as I could think of to get a range of where this character could go, but in the end I think I’ll end up using the first sketch for the physical construction.
While I’ve never done character design, I do enjoy life drawing quite a bit so I started doing some quick gesture asymmetrical sketches from various poses. These are the ones that resonate the most with me for what I want to pursue on this project.
The first sketch I did was from an image taken from the promo for the first season of the Expanse. I love that show, and this image of a girl floating in space. It could translate well to a winged creature knocked out of flight. I also found some great “flying” poses from looking up Lyra and silks fitness classes on Pinterest. The one shown here was my favourite and what I think I’ll pursue for the sculpt pose.
I printed out my gesture studies on paper and traced over them with marker to have some fun with traditional media, and see what ideas it sparked. It’s got me thinking of what else I can add to the posed images in post.
3D Gesture Studies
I jumped into Daz and Mixamo and started setting up some model poses to study and get inspired, and think about how I might want to pose my sculpt. I then brought the model files into C4D to test out some simple lighting. I didn’t want to spend too much time here but I did want to explore some 3D assets early on.