You may get asked this a lot, so please excuse my ignorance - but how do you go about constructing character expressions and body language and such? Thanks!
Besides The Basics (construction of heads and skulls and muscles and skeletons and how they move), I’ll go over some things I’ve been trying to work on myself lately:
1. Treat expressions as a single gesture of the face/head, as opposed to a head and then individual features dumped on a plate and arranged into an expression.
First, just get down the big shapes of your expression, just like you would for a pose.
So say I wanna do a low angle angry pose. I know the features are gonna be all mashed down at the bottom because of perspective.
Scribble it down
start to put on features
put on more stuff
fix stuff again
erasing and flipping and stuff a whole bunch until you are happy with it or stop caring
Whole head is a gesture!
2. Just like a facial expression, jot down where the important parts of an entire pose goes first. You can force the rest of the body to fit the pose.
So here I knew I wanted the shoulders tilted a certain direction, and te hand to be in that particular position in front of her face.
That’s the simplest explanation I got. Don’t be afraid to push and pull faces and bodies around! Worry about being “on model” last!
To steal a music term, the hook of a song is that thing that, well, hooks you in and makes you wanna remember the song. So how does that pertain to design you ask? Well early on in the DA:I project I decided to treat the appeal of the characters I designed not through the eye of the beholder, compiling massive reference sheet of beautiful people and picking features I found appealing. Instead I decided to look through the lens of the narrative, and find their hook. I just found beauty too subjective, too mushy too, too, well lets just say I didn’t find it adequate. Luckily for me a lot of the talented people at Bioware believe in narrative so it wasn’t a hard sell to change the thinking and discussion away from “do I like what that looks like” to “does that visually say what we want”.
In the above example of Cassandra. Her hook is her power and authority. So then the trick was merely to use visual language to tell that story. I no longer had to justify what I thought was attractive. Her face became all about her aggression. Through the angle of her facial structure to the angle of her ears. It all became about giving her a strong aggressive forward visual flow.
— Casper Konefal (x)
Working beside this man for the last couple of years has been a highlight of my career. His insights, creativity and artistic integrity have been such an inspiration. He takes this approach to everything he does and his influence permeates Inquisition. Edit: and I should add, EVERY party member and many key NPC’s have received this treatment and I believe the results speak for themselves.
(Source: arcaneidolriots, via amongrunaways)
Here’s some tips, of course nothing professional, but things I’ve learned myself.
Hope it helps some of you guys. ovo
(Source: , via kuormuri)
The tutorial of how I achieve watercolor effect in Sai! :) I highly recommend using real watercolor paintings (your own or ones found on the internet) as reference.
And here you can find a few useful links:
- You can download the Sai file of this picture here: link
- Video process of painting another picture: link
- The old watercolor tutorial: link
- Sai brushes (none of them is made by me) link + file you need to open them in Sai: link
- Awesome watercolor brushes made by Kyle T Webster: link
Here’s the finished painting: link