Good character design is essential to the success of any entertainment product. A character is a display of players in the game, their avatar, a link that generates a special connection between a person and virtual reality. Therefore, considerable work must be done in this direction. And it can’t be done without knowing the fundamental rules of character creation.
Of course, in modern realities, there is no need to draw only by hand. Advanced software allows any character design agency to optimize and speed up the creation of characters. From 2D stylized to 3D realistic ones. However, character artists and character designers still work according to some rules. They include shape design, creating silhouettes, straight and curved lines. What is meant? Let’s take a closer look at this topic.
It All Starts With Silhouettes
A silhouette is a monochrome outline of something, in our case a character. The drawing is done in profile and this is logical: if the drawing is one-color, then the full-face image will not give any information at all, except for the display of an incomprehensible black spot.
Silhouette allows you to show the character’s figure and his or her pose. It is essentially a shadow. Of course, when it comes to realistic characters such as people, it is difficult to make the silhouettes of the main character and the secondary characters somehow differ. In 2D stylized games, it’s much easier to play with shapes and silhouettes. The memorable outline of the protagonist makes them easily recognizable in any setting, and even displays their main characteristics with a good layout and thoughtfulness.
Silhouettes should be easy and fast to reproduce. If a 2D project is supposed, then they can be used for further rendering of the character in color. If this is a 3D project, then the silhouettes are used for further concept formation and brainstorming.
Straight and Curved Lines
As primitive as it may sound, the aspect of proper mastery of the line art is critically important for character creation. In fact, the lines are everywhere, they alternate to form a silhouette and all other parts of the drawing, which is already depicted in color.
The secret of the visual appeal of the character lies precisely in the alternation of straight and curved lines. As well as in the absence of parallel ones. It is important to understand that straight lines serve to represent static structures and directions. Curves provide information on changing shapes such as muscles changing position as the character moves. During the animation, the contrast of all these lines allows for a visually realistic display of the character’s movement. It also makes it almost indistinguishable from the real one. When it comes to the style of realism, of course.
Working with Shapes
Elementary shapes such as a circle, square and triangle allow you to convey certain messages to people and give the character the desired characteristics. You have probably often seen in artist videos how a complex drawing arises from the originally taken shape of a circle or square. It would seem that what can come of an elementary figure? Nevertheless, it transforms into the eyes and turns into something completely unimaginable.
Each simple figure evokes certain associations. For example, a circle and everything connected with it is associated with something cute, kind and naive. The square is seen as something solid, stubborn, unshakable. The triangle is often used to create the traits of cunning and sinister antagonistic characters.
This does not mean that good characters should be all round, and evil triangular. These are just the basic psychological characteristics of simple figures. They can be combined to create more complex characters and personalities that are not distinguished by some straightforward feature, but, for example, by a combination of the incompatible. The variations are endless.
Despite the fact that any artwork is a huge and serious work, it is the character design that is considered the key to perfect storytelling and the best connection with the player. Therefore, character creation should not be taken lightly. When choosing a character artist for hire, one must look not only at creativity, but also at the experience and knowledge of the fundamentals. Character design studio Kevuru Games provides services for the creation of stylized and realistic characters for games of any genre and complexity. The team of this character studio has faced a variety of tasks and knows perfectly well how to bring the idea to life in the best possible way.