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Week 5: Characters!

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

For this week, our homework was simply to design more characters and create some reference sheets using them.

Since a lot of bioluminescent creature are from the sea, I first wanted to look at sea-themed colour palettes so to have a range of ideas so to not stick or leon on just sea greens and blues.

As you can see, I used a ton of very different references. For the twin characters, I looked up inspiration from popular twin characters. Sanrio's Angel Twins came to mind, along with the iconic Mario and Luigi. Whilst I certainly didn't want to emulate Sanrio's cutness, or Mario and Luigi's comradery, I believe seeing popular depictions of siblings was useful to see where to create similarities and subtle differences.

I ended up focusing a lot on the twin characters! I first did concepts of the brother both with an antelope as his inspiration, and as a scorpion. For the antelope version, I wanted to use the pointy and triangular features of the animal to derive the core shapes from. I used predominant triangles which helped translate his snooty, arrogant nature. Figurng out how to incoroprate antelope legs was hard, (and the full body sketch on the right gives Jessica Rabbit a run for her money with said legs...) but I ended up creating a minimalistic but strong design - with the key ideas coming across well in silhouette form.

I also toyed with the scorpion idea but by the time I started the page, my mind was kinda made up on using the antelope/gazelle twin idea. I decided to experiment nonetheless and the results were reall good, but a little more complicated and tricky to get down. I tried giving him fangs but it looked clunky and weird. I enjoyed using squares as the base shape to convey strength, and having face markings and a parka vest to nod at scorpion armour - but in the end I perhaps like the first design more.

I also wanted to create a reference page for my alien protagonist! I really love his design and wanted to refine it more. Creating the turnaround, and figuring out different angles with his "hair" was challenging for sure. I also liked the idea that he doesn't swim much, so the fin covering his eye has caused the pupil to dilate.

Finally, I decided to make a loose ref sheet for the twin characters. I wanted to take my traditional sketches and render them digitally, as I believe I do better more exaggerated sketches on paper. I absoloutely love how the full-body renders turned out. I believe the shapes and proportions are cartoony but believable - with a nice blend of overall similarities but still with tiny but striking differences. I had a harder time rendering what their bioluminesence would look like - so my group toyed with the idea that some humans and creatures could camoflague or hide it slightly. I wanted to use the "deer-in-headlights" thing as inspiration, along with them having glowing strands of fur where the bioluminescence isn't hidden fully.

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