Cartoon Character design: Eryth Myrrah

For a long time, I have wanted to create a Victorian character inspired by the work of Lovecraft, and recently I made that dream a reality. I needed to add some diversity to my concept art, and a cartoon styled character felt like a fun way to do it, so I decided on a chibi art style, and thought up some backstory for the character.

This character is called Eryth Myrrah. She is a Lovecraftian-inspired ghost hunter, and she is an angel who studies ghosts, undead, and the final moments before death, in order to avenge a lost loved one. She puts herself in harms way and acts rashly in order to study more effectively, but deep down is haunted by her dangerous studies, however, she hides it with an upbeat and lighthearted exterior. I wanted to create a fallen angel, not in the sense that this character is a demon, but just in the sense that this angel is no longer a good, lawful angel. She has committed crimes, murdered based on vigilante justice, and carried out many grotesque experiments to become a ghost hunter. I wanted to make a cute looking character with a dark Lovecraftian backstory, I just love the idea of an angel conducting dark experiments in attempt learn about ghosts and undead.

I like doodle pages, so I decided to make a doodle page for Eryth with a variety of poses and expressions. ( I haven’t got a scan yet, so this picture will have to do. I will also add colour to this, and bring her to life a bit more). I chose her colour palette so that as a being, she looks light, however her clothes are supposed to reflect that she is fallen, and now experiments with darkness.

Erythphonepic.jpg

 

Fantasy Character Design: The Lorithia family

A few months ago, I designed a character called Yumea Lorithia, a noble knight, and posted about her here. Recently, I designed the rest of her family, because originally I had planned to make a family of wood elves as a fantasy project outside of college. Lorithia family signatures.png

This is the Lorithia family. To the bottom right, I have a better detailed sketch of Yumea Lorithia, the youngest child of the family. Above her, is Ielenia, the middle child, and in the middle of the bottom row, is Aelar, the eldest. The lady in the top right is Enna Lorithia, the mother, and at the bottom right is Rolen Lorithia, the father. I decided to flesh out Yumea’s backstory, because she is the first character I have ever originally designed, and I figured it would be easier to improve her if she had some backstory.

The main reason I am making a blog post about this is to show how my art has improved over the past few months. My original drawing of Yumea didn’t have much detail to her face, so I wanted to draw her head, just to work out what she looked like. The drawings look quite messy, but this is intentional, because I wanted to show that these drawings are scans from my sketchbook, that I have taken into Photoshop and painted over with colours that had layers on ‘Multiply’ mode.

I am really happy with how these drawings have turned out. I am very very happy with Yumea, Ielenia, and Enna, but I feel like Aelar and Rolen could have been better. I think it is the eyes that need improving, they just don’t look right to me. This is the first time I have drawn an original male character, so I’m not going to judge myself too harshly.

High Poly Environment Asset: Sledgehammer concepts and initial designs

Today we were divided into groups and given the task of making one small but high quality asset for a collaborative environment. We first had some group agreements on what the theme would be. We decided that we would first chose the magical fantasy theme, and then decided that the environment that we wanted to make would be a blacksmith’s forge.

We then made some group documents that everyone can access and change, and worked out an assets list, and then we collected some images to create moodboards and draw inspiration from (I have only included the ones that are relevant to my work here).

Assets list

I then started designing some sledgehammers of my own, taking some inspiration from my research. I made 3 initial concepts, and I liked them all very much, so I made a group vote on which is best. The general consensus was my third design, with my first and second only getting one vote each, and my third getting 4 votes.

 

Sledgehammers concept-1.png

I then made some drawings that are scaled the same, and are from different perspectives of the hammer. I did scale them correctly, and made sure they all had the same measurements in the right places, but the only thing that is wrong with them is that they aren’t all in exactly the same position on the page. However, I’m sure that this can be fixed digitally if needs be.

Sledgehammers all perspectives crop

 

 

Overall, I’m incredibly happy with how this sledgehammer turned out in concept. I feel blessed that the group chose one that in theory, looks good to make. It doesn’t look too hard, but it isn’t easy, and it looks appealing too.

3D sculpting with Mudbox and Maya topology

This week I tried to sculpt with Mudbox. I tried to make some shoulder plates in Mudbox by pulling a mass out of the model’s shoulder, then using the knife tool to show the seam at the bottom of the plate, then used the flatten tool to make it look like it was hammered and pummeled manually into place.

I then sent this to Maya, but it wouldn’t load, so I opened up the same model without my edits into Maya, and I tried using Live surface, and using the ‘quad draw’ tool to sketch some polys into a shoulder plate shape. This was as far as I got with this, because overall I didn’t really understand what I was doing.

Maya topology

3D sculpting with Sculptris

Today I worked on trying to sculpt a head with the 3D modelling software Sculptris. Admittedly, this worked out pretty badly, but I feel like the basic skull shape is there. It just needs a lot of work to make it look better. I made this by using the really basic push in and flatten tools, and admittedly the angle of this screenshot doesn’t do it justice, because at a better angle you can see the the nose that had a lot of work put into it.

To improve this, I would add some eye shapes in, and work on making those eye sockets look more like actual eyes, and then try and add some lips into this. It needs a lot of time and care to fix…

Sculptris face attempt.PNG

 

Modelling with plastercine

In Tony’s lesson on Thursday, I made a model of a face out of plastercine to demonstrate facial construction. My plan was to build up the face from the skull, to the muscles, and finally to the skin layer. Unfortunately I didn’t get much further than the skull, because I spent a long time trying to get the skull shape looking right.

I feel like making the skull shape went pretty well, because I put dents in the right place for eye sockets, cheek bones and the side of the skull, and I feel like I demonstrated the shape of a skull really well, but I think I could have done a better job of actually progressing and making a face better, because I only added in the muscles on the nose and near the mouth. I think if I was to try this task again I would take a faster approach to making it, because if I was more speedy, the actual shape of the skull wouldn’t have been as important because other features would be covering the eye sockets etc. Ideally I would have liked more time, because nothing was too badly wrong, it was just that I was too slow and didn’t have a chance to finish. Had I given it eyes and a proper mouth, it would probably looked much better.

The skills from this lesson could probably be applied to modelling faces with Mudbox, I have only used mudbox for substance painting so far, but I know that when you model with it, you pull the object around and sculpt it using your mouse, so I feel like the actual techniques and knowledge about modelling using tactile substances will be useful for that. I also think that the knowledge gained from trying to construct a head layer by layer will be useful for drawing and designing characters in the future, because I will be able to visualise muscle structure and work it out more intelligently.

Character design: Heads

I did some sketches of people with different perspectives as practice for character design. My choices of people include David Tennant, Audrey Hepburn, Billy Porter, Nathan Sharp, Utada Hikaru, and Brendon Urie.

I do like how most of these turned out, my favourites being Billy Porter (middle left), and Brendon Urie (bottom right). However, I really don’t like how Nathan Sharp (middle right) turned out, because I think he looks pretty silly and desperately needs re-drawing. I also think I need to give Brendon Urie some shoulders because he looks like a floating head and if you look at it for too long it looks really weird. I think next time, to improve, I need to completely redraw Nathan Sharp, and desperately need to give Brendon Urie some shoulders for my own piece of mind. I think I would also like to maybe add lighter shading to some areas on David Tennant’s face, and that I could maybe add more people to my selection, because I had many more people in mind to add.