How to Design a Video Game Character - 2021 - MasterClass

Gaming Character Designing Tips and Tricks


Gaming Character designing is oftentimes very tricky to tackle. This is because there is a lot of creativity involved to create multiple characters and those too from scratch. There are many classic gaming characters that you are ought to be familiar with. Whether you want to bring finesse in your designing skills to create cartoons, advertisements, or movies, there is a difference of skill needed which makes them look so effortless. This blog focuses on all little tips and tricks which can bring visual difference within your gaming characters. To make your gaming characters look more unique and enticing you can adopt all the below-mentioned tips and tricks for your gaming business advantage.


Don’t Lose the Magic


Most character designers start with their projects with direct sketching. This is the result of the designer’s eagerness to capture the essence of the character within the sketch design. However, it is best to not lose the magic of the character while experimenting with new sketching styles. Laurie Rowan says that ‘I do not feel that I have created characters but I have rather encountered them’. This must be your take to keeping things shallow yet impressive. It is just fine if you are not starting with simple lines and clean details without setting into more depth and intricate designing activity.


02. Step Away from the Reference Material


Character Design for Film and Games | CG Master Academy


According to Robert Wallace, there is no need to have reference material inform of you while you indulge in gaming character creation. However, the only reference to start is your mind and the ideas which come from somewhere to create something original and not a copy. If you sleep with the idea you will wake up with something new instead of a pastiche of something. This is just the case within gaming character designing. The form of art demands time and creativity of the mind.


03. Research other Characters


For guidance, it proves quite helpful to deconstruct certain character analyses why certain characters are celebrated than others among gamers and in the gaming market. Over the Internet, there is thousands of research material present to be found for character illustration purposes. Give a close observing eye to commercials, cartoons over cereal boxes, shop signs, stickers on different tasty fruits, animated mobile covers, and much more.


04. Don’t Lose Sight of the Original Idea


Ideas are nurtured within the subconscious part of the brain. Here all our brilliant ideas secretly invent and influence us. When you feel sidetracked from your focus point just go back at your initial artwork and in your head to the feeling you experienced while creating a specific gaming character and your project will be shifted back on track. ‘Originality’ is the core ingredient that is going to take your character design very far.


05. Decide who your Character Design is aimed at


Think about your target audience and their interests first hand. Just like if you are creating a children’s game, your character must look vibrant with bright colors and there must be basic shapes design involved. Commissioned character designs are usually restrictive and less creative. Customized gaming characters must be created accordingly to the client’s needs, what you can do is that you can break down the core features and the character personality into what is the client demand.


For example: If any client asks about bigger eyes, then the focus shift must be towards the eyes or around the face to make the key feature stand out.


06. Make your Character Distinctive


Whether your gaming character is a monkey, monster, or robot. There are going to be millions of similar creations out there in the gaming world. You need to ask yourself this question that how is your character design different from others? What distinctive qualities your character has? All your ideas can be straightened and aligned when your address these questions honestly. Your designs must be visually appealing and strong to capture audience attention.


07. Create Clear Silhouettes


Opinions on silhouettes for a character I'm designing : conceptart


There is another great way to make your gaming character design stand out by improving the design posture. You might not feel it is that important but it works to turn into a silhouette. Silhouettes are an essential component of the gaming character designing process that can’t be neglected at any cost even if you are short on time. This way you can tell how the character reads and how the gesture has becomes clearer. In this way, you can easily tell the line of action and the change of emotion to bring the character design close to reality. (Pro tip: try not to overlap the limbs and keeping them separate)


08. Develop A Line of Action


‘Line of action’ is the key in character designing it defines the virtual direction of your gaming character. This can act as a useful narrative tool and bring pulse and movement feeling. A ballet dancer is a great example that emphasizes the lines from their toes tips to their fingers. The line of action in creatures is easier as they consist of fewer back and forelimbs. Hence, the imaginary creature mermaid is an ideal creature to draw the unified line of action.


09. Consider all the Angles


Character Design For Production | CG Master Academy

A gaming character design requires systematic planning. You need to work out all the different perspectives and angles of your gaming character. This is because a flat character can take on a new persona when it is viewed from around the corner side. Just like a massive beer belly. If you want to turn your character design into an effective and leading character design then you will have to make sense of all its angles. Paying attention to hair is also important.


10. Build it in 3D


The best tip in today’s gaming arena is to make your character designs 3D rendered to stand in the 3D world. Working on a character’s height, physical shape, and mass is significant. This helps you to reach one step further in your 3D character designing and modeling process. Making character designs 3-dimensional increases its chances to attract customers and gamer’s eyes towards your gaming produce. This trendy tactic will help your character designs market themselves on their own on social media platforms with reduced overheads for marketing campaigns.


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