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Making Of 'Female Cleric: From First Concept to Final Render'

By Arno Schmitz
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Date Added: 2nd April 2013
Software used:
Photoshop, Maya, Mudbox, mental ray

What equipment does he/she use? Weaponry? Tools? Why does he/she need those?

Her most important weapon is her staff, which has a holy cross as a headpiece. This staff can repel and kill demons and undead in many ways. Besides its magical abilities it serves as her blunt weapon, able to crush shields and bones. Her primary physical weapon is her spear; she received extensive military training exclusively for spear use. The spear has no magical abilities and is meant to be used against the human enemies of the church.

She also carries a shield that, like the staff, contains holy powers. It has no offensive abilities but is unable to be destroyed by any attack made by an unholy being.

Does he/she have relatives/companions?

She has already survived two military campaigns, leaving her with connections to many high-ranking officers and brave crusaders. Besides that she has many companions in the monastery, the place where she lives in between missions.

Is there a side character?

During the progression of the game she joins the group of the player character with some crusaders to assist them in their fight against the demons.

The Design Process

The design process is a chronological description of the steps taken to get from the initial idea to the final design (Fig.02).

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Fig.02

The original idea was to create a brute warrior type. This was abandoned; instead the focus was redirected to create a holy warrior. This change allowed for a much more interesting design, and opened up an entire new window of reference to draw inspiration from. This also gave much stronger motivation for her to be a soldier; instead of bloodlust, she now fights for justice and the survival of the church.

Giving her a pure character, it was justifiable to give her a young, beautiful and unblemished face (Fig.03).

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Fig.03

For the costume, two main sources of reference/influences were used: catholic robes were mixed with Victorian dresses to get the final look for this character. The few plates of armor copy the detailing of the Victorian dresses. The shoulder plates covered by the amice were added to increase the "crusader" feel (Fig.04).

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Fig.04

In Fig.04 you can clearly see the excessive use of rich materials in the catholic clothing. The use of gold is very apparent and is adopted into the design. At first the idea was to give the plating a metal color, but gold fitted the theme better and increased the holiness of the character (Fig.05).

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Fig.05

The Victorian details fitted in very well with the Catholic details, but the overall form was much more feminine and exposing. Things like corsets were adopted from this style into the character design; this gave the character a younger and more feminine look.

In Fig.06 you can see some of the full body designs for the character. When creating the full body designs, appropriate detail images are usually also created at the same time. In this stage you need to determine if all the elements flow correctly with each other, and see how the clothing affects the visual proportions of the character.

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Fig.06

The detail sketches you can see in Fig.07 are mostly influenced by Christian symbols. For things like gloves and boots, many variations were made in an effort to find the balance between plate armor and cloth. The embroidery on the cloth is based on Victorian designs, and the plating has Victorian leaves and birds included in them. A golden dove holds the bust together, and the hip plates have an eagle head incorporated into them.

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Fig.07



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 203873, pid: 0) Chris on Mon, 24 June 2013 3:52am
To be honest, the costume design is kind of revealing for a cleric, which is rather contradictory in concept. I don't know but it bothers me. Then again, it would be a shame to let those great legs go to waste hidden away behind sensible long robes wouldn't it, lol
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