Digital sculpting, Digital 3D, Character design, 2021
My aims for this project was to:
(1) become acquainted myself with a new program (ZBrush), and
(2) gain experience in character design and conception.
I devised a fantastical character for this purpose, paying special attention to the idea that character design is not just about aesthetic appearance; the backstory, lore and personality of a character are extremely integral and influential to aspects of a character’s visual language.
Prior to this, I was a complete stranger to ZBrush and the practices of digital sculpting; however, I was immensely interested in ZBrush as a program and digital sculpting in general, motivated by the fact that it is an important program used in the animation and game industry. After 2 weeks of character design and 3 weeks of digital sculpting - watching countless Youtube tutorials and discovering for myself a workflow and set of techniques that are most suitable for myself - I was able to sculpt a full-body character accurate to her 2D design.
Atlanta comes from a fantastical, underwater race who adapted to live in the deep dark depths of the ocean. She is a resilient and tough warrior for her clan. She feels a great deal of responsibility in being a leader and protector to them, and actually has a lot of fears and insecurities on the inside. However, she works hard to disguise her shortcomings and act strong for those who depend on her.
Atlanta's personality is reflected in various aspects of her character design, through her hair that conceals half of her face, suggesting that she is hiding something. Her lean and muscular physique expresses her role as a warrior and suggests her physical strength. Her unwavering gaze in her expression suggests her mental strength and self-discipline. Her hair is short and easily manageable, conveying her stoicism and preference for practicality.
As their species lives deep underwater, there is little to no light. They rely on their center piece of hair for their illumination, as well as the ornament in front of her ribcage, which contains bioluminescent elements. The skin tones of individuals of this species are dark colours of grey, blue, brown or green, in order to blend into their surroundings, and they are a defensive rather than offensive species, often hiding from their predators. My main inspiration for their visual design are angler fish and deep sea creatures. On the character design sheet below, Atlanta is wearing a cloak which allows her to camouflage better while she is hunting. It is common for their species to wear cloaks to protect themselves.
Turnaround of the digital sculpt without colour and without clothes
At the beginning of the design process, I put together a simple moodboard of inspiration images for Atlanta. This includes a mix of deep sea creatures, several photos from a Japanese magazine scuba diving shoot, and other images of interesting fashion that I thought was appropriate for my character.
Sketches and process