Sunday, 5 February 2012

Character Designing

Draft Designs of Balthier

After having conducted research on villains I decided to draft some ideas of what I would like my character to look live. These draws were sketched on original paper in pen and pencil. Once the drawings were finished they were then imported into Illustrator where the ‘Live Trace’ tool was used to create a digital image of the drawings.
Before live trace in Illustrator:
After live trace in Illustrator:
This image below was the first original design of Balthier:
I didn’t use this particular design as I thought that he was too basic, his design would be hard to display the necessary characteristics that I need him too, in order to play the part of withdrawing the sword from the stone. Creating his clothing within 3D Max would have been a challenge so I decided to re-design Balthier with more villain and medieval period characteristics in the design below.
Second design of Balthier:
This was a very hard decision to choose between using this design of Balthier or the one that I chose to use.  One of the main reasons that I didn’t choose this character was the complications I would have encountered by creating his 1 piece jacket and that he didn’t suite the research that I had carried out so far.  However I loved his characteristics and feel that he would have made a great villain character but he didn’t appear suitable towards a young audience.

Designing Balthier

Below is a draft drawing of what Balthier may look like, at present his colour of clothing is only for reference use and the animation may feature different textures.

Before Colour and digital enhancement, a scanned copy of the original drawing.

Why I chose to build this character.

I have chosen to create this character because during my child hood I spent many hours playing computer games and it was often very common to find characters that were created based on historic traveling swords man. These kinds of characters are easy to create characteristics for and they appeal to children’s imaginations very well. In the research questionnaire that I got 5 children to participate in many of the villain characters were based in times when knights and kings where around. This is a very common time period seen in children’s movies and TV programs. Many of the Disney films are based in this time period. He's clothing has also been based on a medievil theme. This is becuase many of the chosen characters that were extracted from the research carried out by the children were mainly based in a medievil time. The clothing is dull and they commonly wear boots and represent poverty. This is why I chose to use dull, old style clothing. It is also commonly seen in children’s villains that they are featured with a weapon, usually a sword of some sort. Some of the characters mentions by the interviewees also carry armour. This may be used as a sign of power or to appear stronger. This is one of the reasons I have given my character a weapon (sword) harness and body armour.  

Facial Expressions and Body Language Techniques

I have chosen to give my character the appearance and body language of a strong person, walks with his chest pushed out and a walk with a bowl. He will use the body language in such a way that he will appear as though he doesn’t have a care in the world about anybody else. His facial expression will be bland and he will not smile at all and will have a facial expression of somebody in a constant mood and with frowned eyebrows. This will give the appearance to my character that he is angry and must not be crossed or he would start trouble. This kind of body language and facial expression is commonly found in child villains, referring back to my research.  


A mood board of some of the Characters that have been on TV and in children’s programs that I used to watch when I was younger. This mood board enables me to visually identify characteristics that I feel are vital to the designing and building of a children’s villain character. The key elements that some of these Characters display and the way they function as human will be incorporated into the designing of me Villain Character.

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