Artists are the backbone of any game development studio, including right here at Sumo India Studios.
We when started with Sumo Pune in 2008, we were primarily an art studio. Eventually, we expanded to other departments including Programming, Design, QA and Management roles – but the Art department was there from the very beginning.
We have been expanding rapidly for the last couple of years, and with that our requirement for quality character artists have increased exponentially. We sat down with a few of our experienced character artists to share their viewpoints on what aspiring character artists can do to improve their portfolios – and maybe one day work alongside us at Sumo India!
ANATOMY AND AESTHETICS
Needless to say, the most important aspect of ‘Character Art’ is understanding the anatomy of the human body, as well as the aesthetics of character design. This will help you stand apart from others in developing your own character. It takes time but practice makes perfect.
Forms represents things like muscles and how they work with bones, such as working with bigger shapes first and not jumping into pores and wrinkles like skin details too early. Forms come first, and detail comes later.
Before trying to move onto details, spend enough time improvising form. It doesn’t matter how many details you add – if you don’t have a solid base, the character will look never appealing. A character piece with really good form already looks amazing.
DON’T MAKE CHARACTERS IN JUST ONE POSE
Don’t present your characters in just T-Pose. Experimenting with different poses will make them look more detailed and will also reveal if anything requires more work.
Topology is used to understand geometric objects that don’t change when bent or stretched. This is a must for any character artist to have a good understanding. Creating an animation-friendly topology is something an aspiring character artist needs to develop. This means that the low-poly model that is being created should have a mesh flow that is animation-friendly.
The term ‘Drapery’ means the depiction of folds of cloth on characters. A good hand sculpting knowledge of drapery is a must. As a character artist, you will need to work on building those wrinkles into more of a realistic and believable asset.
OBSERVATION AND TAKING FEEDBACK
Last but not least, learn from other artists online. Everyone has their unique style, tips, and tricks. Observe them and do not shy away from taking positive criticism and feedback and improve accordingly. Other experienced and talented artists also went through the same.