Design of characters is a standalone area of design, as it creates the basis of the character. The concept artist should not only be a professional in terms of drawing, but also have profound knowledge of human anatomy and most importantly physiognomy. To make a character unforgettable, we need to consider a lot of factors, such as the aging process, drawing the head and face, or styling.
Drawing a perfect character takes a lot of time and practice. At least that’s what we think at Fanatic Games. This article provides an overview of the must-knows for properly creating a video game concept.
Being able to draw and the knowledge of anatomy is important, but what is even more crucial is the ability to affect the gamers’ mind. The professional, thus, draws a combination of what he sees and what he knows. However, this skill takes time. The best way to improve is to learn from the best ones by studying the artworks of recognized artists, and of course by practicing drawing.
Head is the third largest form of the body – after the ribcage and pelvis. Its primary shape is therefore of high importance when it comes to designing a character, as people look at the face very often. Generally speaking, when designing a head, it is important to take into consideration muscles, fatty tissues, and of course lips, ears, and eyelids.
As you might have guessed it, there are some differences between designing a man’s head and a woman’s head. Woman’s head is often rounded with the front and side planes defined with shadow and light to give it a very strong sense of three dimensions. On the other hand, man’s head tends to be more angular, especially the chin.
To create a unique face, you need to consider factors such as the forehead, nose, eyes, cheekbones, angle of the jaws, or for instance eyebrows. The interesting thing about a human’s face is that if you change just a few of these characteristic features, you immediately get a whole new person.
The basic gist of a human face is rather clear. There are, however, differences in shape or development of certain aspects. Let’s consider some of them – nose can be long or short, and lips very thin, but also plumb.
Otherwise known as the rule of thirds, the golden ratio has been used since early renaissance in paintings. You may think it is a thing of the past, but it is quite the contrary. The golden ratio is used in basically every frame of any movie and in videogame cutscenes as well. However, this phenomenon is also found in the nature, for example in spiral structures, leaf sequences, or body proportions. The same things are also applicable to us, humans, as we are a part of the mother Earth as well – we are also proportional creatures, and it needs to be taken into account while creating a game character.
Most of the characteristic features of our face do not change with time and many of them even become more pronounced. For example, wrinkles and mimic folds will start reflecting our emotional side more as we age, so a cheerful person’s nasolabial folds will be much more visible.
The real question is how to make a character unforgettable. It’s all about individual details such as birthmarks, scars, the color of one’s eyes, or the basics such as eyes, nose, and lips. But it is not only about the more natural side of the face, but also about accessories like earrings, jewellery, or glasses. These decorative elements can really make all the difference, as they emphasize the image and add a flashing detail on the face.
Artists, while creating a character, very often exaggerate certain characteristic features to make the character more memorable and sometimes to match the game’s art style. It is very common for the artists to somehow enlarge or deform a certain feature. This technique brings more life to the character, and it also can tell help while developing the backstory of it.
With our twenty years of experience, we at Fanatic Games are well aware of every aspect of designing a concept art. Our artists are professionals who transform the requirements of the clients into a remarkable and memorable character. Entrust your game graphics to experienced professionals. Contact us here.