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Monday, January 7, 2013

Creating a character

What a weekend. So busy I forgot it was even a weekend. Oh well, makes today feel less like a Monday.

We managed to hammer out the details of the character design on Friday night, and I am really happy with the result. It may not look like much, but a ridiculous amount of time and work went into this little guy. You can see from older posts the various prior designs we went through that got us here, and you can see which elements got to stay and which ones were banished.

Since we're an internet team, the way we actually go about designing this might seem a little unusual. So I've decided to just go ahead and give you a run down of the process, in case anyone is interested.

I'll preface everything by first saying that the team carries out virtually all communication via Gchat. I've had quite a bit of experience with various Cloud services and video chat service, and Google seems to have the most reliable of each category.

Needless to say, there are going to be people who have had different experiences and have different opinions, and that's all fine by me. I'm no fan-boy, I'm just trying to get work done. I'll give more details on how we use Google's services to our advantage on a later post.

In the meantime, here's how the art creation process tends to work:

First, the artist (the unbelievably talented Murilo Kleine) and myself set a time to meet on Google. Generally it's between 7:30 to 8  in the evening- the best time to accommodate the time difference. Once we meet, we start a "Google Hangout" and open up screen share. There's a chat window on the right of this and we use that to discuss a plan of action for the night. Then he starts drawing. Meanwhile, I share my screen, usually set to show an MS Paint window, so that I can draw really rough versions of what I'm looking for so he can turn it into something that won't make people want to vomit, which I am sure you are doing right now thanks to the picture on the bottom left.
The difference between talent and the opposite of talent

So he draws and asks for input as he goes. I respond with suggestions but generally try to give enough freedom for him to get something that fits his own talents. For example, the original character design had a hat that looked like a tall sauce pan and clothes that looked like olde-timey pajamas.

Needless to say, the new design is a VAST improvement, in both design and art quality. I was against giving the character hair til I saw how it looked!

So anyway, we spend a few hours doing that and then we start fiddling with colors and then we get tired and go to bed and do it all again the next day. It's long and tedious, but really I think we both have a lot of fun with it.

That's a pretty brief overview, but I guess it will do! Let me know if you want to know anything else!