Hi everybody, I'm here again to explain how I did another character illustration in 3D. First of all, I want to say thank you to all the 3DTotal team for offering me the chance to publish my work and this Making Of on their site.
I've been working with 3ds Max for years, but I wanted to know if any open source software could be a good alternative program in which to work independently of the OS. So I did this project to test the Blender tools to see if I could produce 3D cartoon characters with the same quality as I could get in Max. I didn't have to change my method of working because of the software and I learned some extra things by taking this journey with Blender.
The Main Idea and Collecting References
Everything starts with an idea. All designs need to have a well-defined idea to be strong designs. The same thing is true of characters, stories and illustrations. For this image I wanted to do an old cowboy, so I looked for some references for my topic. I collected a lot of photos, pictures and drawings from my favorite artists. At the beginning I didn't have in mind to do a full illustration, but by the end I saw that creating a character within an environment added context and helped a lot to describe him (Fig.01).
Designing the Character
I'll never get tired of saying that it's important to write a description of your character down on paper. This will help you to keep the designs in mind without and focus on the main idea without any distortions or deviations. This is what you receive from the script writer in the animation industry or from your client if you're a freelancer. In my school I teach my students to write a list of words that describe the character accurately before they go to design it. This is something I learned from my teacher Stephen Silver and it's very helpful.
I've made a list of questions to better understand any characters that I create:
• Who is the character?
• Where is the character from?
• Which time period does my character come from?
• What is my character's personality?
• How does the character look like?
• How old are they?
• What are their mannerisms?
• Do they have any specific physical details (tattoos, scars, etc)?
I try to find a contrast in shapes and experiment with some silhouettes. This is the concept I did at the end of the process (Fig.02).