Sunday, 24 October 2010

Character Design - Update

Another long post!

I spent some time today sketching my characters and coming up with a few more designs.

Perhaps more importantly, I've redone my story... again. Having watched an old Star Trek film yesterday, and it being a space opera, I was thinking about how I could make my story more space opera, and also how to make my characters more mythical.

I'll start with the characters.

I started with the villain. My Medusa like character. I experimented further with using a snake, only this time I had some more reference.

Having done these few sketches I was thinking again about what it is that makes it look more mythical and works, and what wasn't working.

For one, I think the hair needs to be a bit crazy and all over the place. It's instantly recognisable straight away. I drew a few snake heads, but when I added the snake hair, it just looked like a snake with seaweed on its head. So that isn't working. I also decided that there was nothing particularly mythical about a snakes head by itself. The other drawing, where the face is totally made up of snakes, just doesn't look like anything in particular.
The dress, in this particular example, isn't working either. So for the next drawing I Looked up further reference of dresses.

So this next drawing shows the crazy hair with the (what I think is) improved dress. The dress doesn't reach the floor either.

The sidekick hasn't changed much, other than he is wearing a golden chest armour plate and the skirt. Although I think I need to change the skirt as it doesn't fit this character very well at all. That, and the hero wears the skirt already.

(One day, I'll start to draw in different poses)

The first drawing (in the middle) went a bit skinny, so I widened him in the drawing to the right.

The hero, again hasn't changed much, it's just a slightly better (or different) drawing of him.

I found a couple of other references before drawing this too.

Now whats the point in even showing these, barely changed characters if it didn't lead to anything new. Well, it was then that I realised that my story desperately needed changing, as it was kind of like, this guy doesn't like that guy, there's something to find, a race against time, the end. My characters were, and still are uninteresting because the story is so wafer thin. It could work with anyone.

So I came up with a new one, only this time I had an old Star Trek film (Wrath of Khan) fresh in my head. And I'm sure this has somehow influence my new story.

So with my rough characters, I tried to re tailor my story for them, so that I can start to really get to know them better. And hopefully come up with better characters.

The story

There is a family of God like characters. I say God, I just mean they rule over and protect the universe from evil. Some of them may have special abilities, but I don't need to go into all that for this project as only one of them is one of the three characters. They travel in a big space craft.

Then there is a villain. My Medusa like character. She has a ship of her own. Although not as big. She has a power. If anyone looks at her, they become enslaved to her, if they disobey, they slowly turn to stone. (or maybe some other material. I can play with that idea later)
So she has a crew of slaves running her ship.

She on many occasions has fought against this family of rulers, both in space and head to head. The rulers of the universe have never been able to destroy her. So they decided to come up with something that could be used against her.

Basically the good guys make (from rare materials) this helmet. The helmet can only be worn by one person, and that is the first person who wears it. That is because it tunes in to the wearers eyes and protects them specifically from the Medusa like powers.

Unfortunately due to irreverent circumstances, the helmet is mislaid and is later found by some random guy on planet earth. The hero. He is very curious and always likes a challenge. He finds the helmet not knowing what it does and puts it on.

The rulers of the universe find him and the helmet and realise that he is the only one who can defeat the Medusa like character and save the day. The rulers decide to send one of their own to teach the hero how to become a hero. This is the sidekick.

So that's the story, and it's the last time it's going to change, except for filling in some of the gaps about the characters themselves. At least now that I have made some decisions, I can now really get to know who my characters are, and design them accordingly. That's instead of my previous tactic where I was just looking at references, drawing some characters, and fitting them into a story somehow.

Lets see if I can come up with some interesting designs before Tuesday!

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