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Making Of 'Captain Proton'

| Your Rating:
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(Score 4.73 out of 5 after 26 Votes)
| Comments 7
Date Added: 6th February 2012
Software used:
This cartoon character was based on a retro sci-fi idea. I wanted to show a character with strong pose, expression and silhouette with 3D art. My goal was to complete the process in 3D with the open source software Blender. In Blender you can configure your shortcut keys and the interface layout to match any stage of the process. What I did first was to prepare my tools for the task I needed and save the layout with a name.

(The 3D character creation method doesn't depend on the software. So you will be able to reproduce the same with your favorite tool).

References and Concept

You will not achieve an appealing 3D character if you don't have good references with good bases in character design. Working in 3D takes a long time and you will forget elements that are key points during the process. It's very important to define your 2D concept art design. In this case I collected a bunch of references from the internet and also had a female alien concept that I liked (Fig.01a). Sometimes I'll do a quick 3D sculpt concept too, like the one shown in Fig.01b.

Fig. 01a

Fig. 01b

Tip: Come up with a good 2D character design before you start modeling. Sketches are always faster and easier to change than digital sculptures. It will be a lot less painful.


I started by modeling the volume of the character. As I often do, I started with the head, and used simple polygon objects like a box. Then I divided the box with vertical and horizontal edges. In Blender I used the option To Sphere with the box (Spherify in 3ds Max), erased one side of my box and added a mirror modifier (Symmetry in 3ds Max) (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

Tip: To sphere a mesh, select the elements (vertex, edges or faces) you want to affect in Edit mode, press Shift + Alt + S and drag your mouse out.

At this point, I didn't pay attention to details and just tried to define the main shape well. I continued with the geometry, adding more edge loops and pushing the vertexes and edges until I was happy with the entire body shape and the proportions. Having contrasting shapes is very important when it comes to character designer. I kept this in mind and also looked for good topology (Fig.03 - 04).

Fig. 03

Fig. 04

Tip: The topology that can be used for animation can also be used to pose your character in a easier way.

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Blender Attitude on Fri, 02 November 2012 9:16am
Hi, we've just published an article about Luis Arizaga Rico, the Digital Rebel Studio and Academy:
Luis Arizaga on Sun, 07 October 2012 8:39pm
Hi Emile, thank you. You will find a lot of free models in Blender that I uploaded the last week. Here url: - in nav menu "personajes 3d". I hope you like it!
Emile on Tue, 28 February 2012 12:12pm
Ey Louis, no doubt you are a master as well in pedagogy and as well in arts. Thanks for your generosity and by the way also thanks to the makers of Blender. With free advice and free software we make the world, without doubt more free, at least for creativity. Congratulations.
Luis Arizaga on Sat, 11 February 2012 1:57pm
Ey friends! Thanks for comments. I do a workshop next month in Barcelona (Spain). I will help people to achieve the kind of Pixar/Disney characters in their own works. The workshop is in spanish but I'm open to answer any question about character design in 3D. So feel free to contact and I will answer as soon as I can :)
Comeinandburn on Thu, 09 February 2012 1:54am
excellent work, very well executed!!
Luks on Wed, 08 February 2012 3:34pm
Great! Blender internal isn't dead at all. Loved it.
Benni on Wed, 08 February 2012 3:02pm
Awesome. I really like the model (it was my wallpaper for a while) and it's really cool to see the process of creating it. Thumbs up!
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