Villain Character Design

Villain Character Design

Alexandru Petre Ionel Octavian
by Gohuro on 23 May 2021

This was a group project in which we had to make a team of original characters that had the same style and aesthetic.

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Style and Mood

At the start, each one of us had a different Idea of how the project would develop, some of the ideas were D&D, cyberpunk, villains, etc.. But the theme of a villain team was a constant in almost all ideas. So we went along with the idea of having a team that would serve as the villains of some heroes . 

We had a strong influence of dark fantasy, H.P. Lovecraft and also some touches of popular culture such as Draculea, but giving it a twist, making the characters have a victorian aesthetic, having them contrast the evilness of their character with the elegance of their clothing. 

Each character had its own outer world magic power that made him special from the others, each one having a “role” inside the team such as being the damage dealer, mage, healer, tank, etc...

As for the colors, black and white were the first colors we chose for the palette because they represented elegance and purity but also coldness and evilness, to this we added red, which is the color of blood and rage, but also passion and love, the next two were purple and blue, two colors that represent royalty and high class, but also making the palette as a whole be on the cold side. 

In the style department first, we ditched the line in favour of using silhouettes and forms, making very strong designs with a lot of personality, we also chose cel shading so that the design was still not realistic, but we chose some desaturated colors for the light and shadow in order to balance the unrealistic shading, and also to not make the colors change a lot.

Character design

Now starting with my character, I was the last one to come up with a design because I wanted to do something that balanced the team as a whole, when everyone made their ideas I felt like a “support” role was lacking, someone on the behind that could offer help from afar, and that's how Nip`thu was born, the design was made in order to balance the lack of round shapes and also to add another triangular shape to the mix. 

It has two props that serve as part of the character, the symmetry was very intentional, so that the character would feel almost alien-like, inhumane like something that pretends but it is not that’s why it has a mask and it’s covered fully.

As for the thumbnails and color palettes, we tried many things, even making it more humane and more bizarre, but at the end the thing that worked the most was the elegance of the final design.

The final design shows a very mysterious character, that at the same time looks soft but unapproachable, it looks the least threatening of the whole team, as it feels like the more dangerous in terms of personality. It feels like something is there but not a real person.

Here you can see the lineup of the whole team also with the original forms that were going to be the base of the characters


After this is the singular part of the project, as always, firstly I like to do a rough sketch of what is going to be the final result, just so that I can see very early if the scene as a whole is going to work.

 I started first the background, adding a cover since I feel like any concept deserves a title screen and also because we were told to emulate a character selector of a videogame.

When I did the background and I redid some of the characters I also made sure every single part was in its own layer, so that when it all went to after effects it was easier to move around and control.

What I did was animate each character on its own, after that I animated the movement of the characters in the tentacles and to finish the movement of the camera and the menu. To add the finishing touches I also added some free royalty sounds and music so that the video wouldn’t feel odd.

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