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Character and Creature Design – 3D Animation

Character and Creature Design – 3D Animation

Marie-Christin Aufinger
by marieaufinger on 1 Jun 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Here you can see some of my character and creature designs I made since last year to push my skills and knowledge in this area. I tried to stick to a production process including visual development and concept sketches, sculpting, retopologizing, texturing, rendering and lighting.

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Me, myself and I

Character design and texturing

In this project I made myself into a stylized character. I tried to figure out my own characteristics of style. It helped me a lot to get into stylized sculpting and also character design and figuring out shapes.

I used ZBrush for sculpting and posing the character and afterwards I retopologized it in Maya, so it could be animated. Then I used Substance Painter for texturing and figuring out how to make stylized textures that match the character. Finally I rendered it in Maya with V-ray.


Creature Design

Koilly-fish is a personal creature design work of mine. I tried to figure out how a creature made out of a jellyfish and a koifish could look like. I used ZBrush for sculpting, Substance Painter for texturing, Maya and V-Ray for rendering and Photoshop for additional editing.

A rough concept sketch for the creature design, experimenting with Koifish and Jellyfish features.

It was a good practice regarding the workflow in ZBrush, Substance Painter and Maya/V-Ray. I learned how to work with Substance Painter and improved my rendering skills with V-Ray. It also helped me practicing creature design. All in all I learned a lot while working on this project.


Character Design

For a university project in May 2019 I decided to create four different character designs based on german rummy card personalities. As a main theme I chose magic and witches. Therefore the title also refers to an act of witchcraft performed with the intention to cause damage or injury.

All german rummy card characters are women and impersonate different kinds of magic such as telling fortunes. After I finished my Concept Art for the different charactersI started to make them also in 3D space.For every character there‘s also a attribute, which defines them. At the end I combined the 3D rendering with some 2D illustrated elements for the concepts and Visual Development.

I used Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator for the Card Design, Adobe Photoshop for editing and 2D Illustrations, ZBrush for sculpting and Keyhot 8 for rendering.


Seacreature Concept

As a study in creature design I made a concept of a seacreature, which is mostly made out of crystals. Thus, I called it Fluorite, as this gemstone changes its color from vivid blue to pink depending on the lighting situation. These flourite creatures I created, live in the depths of the sea and humans rarely catch a glance upon them. Their upper body has female features and their gems tend to light up to provide their own light source. They are also called the »Hidden Treasure« by fishermen, as one can use their healing powers when managing to catch this creatures. Additionally, they will give you a fortune for a lifetime. But only if you're pure of heart, otherwise they will pull you down into the depths of the ocean and nobody is ever going to find you.

Rough sketch for the concept of the creatures as well as personality and variation. The idea for Fluorite was created during my participation in Inktober 2019.

I used ZBrush for sculpting, Substance Painter, for texturing, Maya and V-Ray for rendering and Photoshop for additional editing.

Thank you for reading my entry!

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