Some of the big animation and video game companies have employees that focus just on character creation! It’s a very important, irreplaceable facet of video game and animation production!

Character creation has different phases and I’m going to introduce you to some of them. In this blog series, “Introducing Character Creation!”, I cover some of the basic character creation techniques used in the video game and animation industries.

There is more to character creation than I can cover, so what I’m presenting here is just an overview of the character creation process. You may also do these steps in a different order and that’s OK. Do them in the order that suits you best.

Step 1: Find Inspiration

First of all, let’s find our inspiration! Some of us don’t know where to start, so we need a little inspiration. Go out somewhere and look for inspiration! We can find inspiration all around us! Some of us get inspired by a walk through the woods (Disclaimer: Watch out for bears and stick to the walk paths). You can find inspiration walking through a mall or during a trip to the game arcade, and sometimes you will find your inspiration in your own back yard. It’s up to you where you go.

Now, there are other ways to brainstorm and get ideas out of you head and on recordings and paper. If you would like some additional help with this, I recommend my instructor Yann Burrett’s course, Creativity for Coders: How to Create Ideas from Scratch.

Step 2: Write A Character Story Overview

Now that you have your inspiration, you can start writing! It’s easier to decide what a character looks like if you dive into your imagination and write a few paragraphs about said character. For instance, if your character is described as suave and sophisticated, you can give him a nice suit, and in contrast, if your character is a lady who likes sports she can be in athletic wear. Your character can be whatever you want it to be!

Now answer these questions, while you write your character’s story and description. Where was your character born? What time period is your character from? Where does your character live now? Which likes and dislikes does your character have? Which type of personality does your character have? What is your character’s profession? If applicable, what kind of creature is your character? How strong or how weak is your character? What do you want your character to do?

Most importantly, don’t suffer over punctuation and grammar, it will only slow you down. Get your ideas written down, while you can remember them, and you can edit what you have written, later. Remember, suffering over little details can slow your writing process down, and that could lead to you forgetting some very valuable ideas.

OK, we have our back story. What’s next?

Step 3: Gather Reference Images

In addition, you’ll need reference images! All artists need reference images to help them design the look of a character and the character’s wardrobe. If your character is from a certain time period, search for pictures of clothing from that time period.

If your character is a funny looking creature or a monster, it’s likely that you will be combining the features of different animals or objects, to make the design of one character. Search for pictures of each animal or object, which you will include in the character’s design. Furthermore, you can find a lot of inspiration by doing web searches for pictures.

There’s more than I can cover this time, and in the next blog, we’ll take up where we left off. I’ve enjoyed showing you where to start with character creation. Have an awesome day! See you next blog!

About the Author

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Laurie! I’m currently studying the Blender Character Creator course, and I’m having fun learning new things!

I picked up my first coding book when I was 8 years old, but I was frustrated about the fact that the author didn’t explain how the code worked, and I was even more frustrated when the graphics on the screen were so bad. I went through 4 or 5 hours of typing code from the book, into the computer, and nothing spectacular happened! The light show wasn’t a light show, there were lines being drawn on the screen!

Flash forward to the present! Technology has really grown, and now, I’m taking these awesome GameDev.TV courses and learning a lot of cool things about programming! This time, the lessons are much clearer and the graphics are totally cool!

I have always been fascinated with animation and video games, and I plan to use these platforms to make clean, family oriented entertainment. I also plan to revolutionize education and make it fun for everyone!