Character Design - Process Workflow by Pierre Lazarevic
The triggering event for this character design was a post by Rael Lyra. After a while admiring his last work I felt the urge to create something. In this case it happened like that but sometimes just by walking down the street and seeing a guy or a special landscape, well, it does the job of kicking your imagination’s ass too.
This is one of the reasons why I always walk around with a little sketchbook, I try not to let anything pass, it could serve as a reference for me later.
So, sitting in front of my screen, I opened photoshop and stared the white new page that burned my retina. The first thing that came to my mind was the report I saw that same morning on the great north and the eskimos that live there. They were wearing really cool masks to protect themselves from the intense light reflected by the pack ice. So I started by drawing a similar mask but in my own way.
Once the mask done, I continued in my comfort zone by making the face of an old bearded man. I like drawing old bearded men haha, when I was a kid I loved drawing scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Gandalf was a kind of hero for me, so was Dumbledore !
Terrific huh ?… haha
It is from this point that I started my self-questioning process to build my character's story! By asking myself different questions and answering them by drawing, the character gradually appears.
Why is he wearing a mask? This kind of accessory is worn by the Eskimos because the environment is blinding > blinding because the ice pack > I don't want a cold environment (subjective game take) but rather a warm one > the strange shape on his head to protect him from the sun > my friend just called me " weekend hiking dude ?" Nope, let me alone I’m working... >so I put hiking equipment on my character's shoulders > so he travels > why and in what kind of environment? etc....
Therefore, during all this process my brain juggles and tells itself a story based on my experiences and what I have already put on my page. This method of working well apart is quite liberating. Improvising the story during character construction is very creatively enjoyable for me.
The constraint is different from a process from someone that already gives you a brief with boxes to fill, by that I mean that you already influence yourself creatively by reading the brief ( a tall, warlike looking woman, by warrior I think marked, muscular, armor? etc...) the game is different.
Consequently with this process, as we improvise, we maybe let ourselves more free, I think that the brain works differently and it’s ok to step out of our everyday’s creative security process...
The direct line works well for this kind of exercise. I like to do it quickly to stay in the same mood, indeed, this way there is unity in the narration that the character can evoke. The work process is rather classic...