Designing the Character
Before I even put pencil to paper to concept what my characters look like I spend hours trawling the internet for images that could inspire various aspects of what the character will look like. From the objects the may carry with them to the kind of horns or wings they may have every aspect will have at lease couple of images dedicated to it on the characters mood board. As you can see via the boards below, many of that the elements that went into the character of Scorch are here.
Now if you go to the character design page in my portfolio there is a PDF that details the design process that Scorch went through from body type through to colour scheme. Though I always had in mind to make him a little red devil I still did colour testing to see if something else worked.
My process for Lil' Dread was some what different as the character design was based off a drawing I had done several years ago before I had Had been taught the proper method of character development. so this not only is this not about how I go about developing my characters the right way, well the right way that works for me and how taking short cuts can lead to problems that will slow the process down.
So using the method that I find works and you come to the final character and you've then done your 360 degree turnaround, I myself sometimes don't even go that far if the character is mostly symmetrical in basic design, then the I produce the model sheets. As I mentioned In my last posed I use many different versions of these layering them from the basic body form then adding clothes, hair and boots and in Lil' Dread's case another layer showing the armour on the boots and the cloak. Then there will be others that show things that are with in the body such as the mouth. So at last count I am working with at least 4 front, 4 left and 2 back sheets for the Dread model when I modelled the first version of Scorch I had only 4, one front, one left and 2 backs.
One of the other rules i have come to apply to my design process is function over form. This means that if the item in question serves no purpose whether to explain the characters backstory or actions the item is left out of the design despite the fact that it may look cool.
Take the original concept art for Lil' Dread, the hood and cape under went a design change for the simple fact that the length of the back of the hood just was not practical and the bow in the front has been removed all together. The boots got a redesign and the Battle Chasers inspired gloves have been replaced with a much more streamlined look.
The ringlets have also been replaced with a much simpler and far easier hair design that has been inspired by the character designs from Marvels Avengers Academy in particular the character of Spider-Gwen, for any character modellers I recommend this game from a research point of as it has many great designs as does Ludia's TMNT legends game which has versions of characters ranging from the original Laird and Eastman comics through to the Micheal Bay movies and the games a fun to boot.