Games & Character Concept Design

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Welcome to Rob’s 2D and 3D Character Design Page

Updates and news: Wednesday 16th August, Day #3  – Friday 18th August, Day #5

Thursday Day #4: What are we studying?

* Drawing dynamic hands to express emotion

* Inspiration – Great artists you can learn from

* Workshop session developing your 2D Games character designs

* Zbrush tuition: You’ll learn more about character sculpting in ZBrush. We’ll explore Dynamesh further and the incredible Insert mesh tool. Professional tips and techniques will help you progress faster, building on skills you’re developing in 2D drawing.

Friday Day # 5

* ZBrush 3D Texturing games characters and models using pro techniques.

* 2D environment design tips in Photoshop

* 2D workshop session enabling you to work towards completing your character design creations.

Google Drive resources updates

All the resources from our discussions and activities are updated in our Google Drive link below, including original artwork, Photoshop files, 3D files and links to tutorials which will help you focus on developing your 2D drawing skills and later, your 3D modelling abilities using professional software such as Zbrush.

Google Share drive resources are here

ZBrush head sculpting: extra tuition and help

Hope you enjoyed the introduction To ZBrush today, Day 3 Wednesday. It does take lots of time, patience  and dedication to get into, so well done for persevering today. Read the forums and you’ll find lots of people have problems with ZB quirks and interface.

Sculpting in ZBrush is now established in the industry and is a powerful tool to complement your character concept drawing skills.

On Thursday Day 4, you’ll receive tuition on sculpting and painting a head which is considered quite a challenge even by professionals. We’ll be exploring tips and techniques to help make things as easy as possible. It was great to see many of you diving in and experimenting with some early sculpts.

Here’s a link to specialised training which you can dip into at your leisure  – ZClassroom. The makers of ZBrush Pixologic have created some brilliant video tutorials to enable you to sculpt, model, texture.

Sculptris – A free version of ZBrush!!

ZBrush is expensive but the good news is there is a free version you can download Ito keep practising sculpting after the course – SCULPTRIS. It is now owned by Pixologic and has the basic functions of ZBrush.

A ZBrush lite app is available which is closer to the professional program, you may be interested in investing in called ZBrush CORE 

Photoshop alternatives

Adobe offer low subscription rates to students but it can still be expensive. Here’s a list of Photoshop alternatives which cover the basics you need for character concept creation. Photoshop Elements is a very good choice but there are others, such as Affinity which is well respected and now available for Mac and Windows.


astro land 14_37 copy

Games Concept Design Objectives

Monday Day #1 to Wednesday Day #3

  1. Starter: Games icebreaker quiz
  2. What makes a good games character?
  3. How do I break into the Games Industry and related professional fields?
  4. Sample Games concept art for discussion – characters and environment in 2D and 3D
  5. Pinterest for reference material – setting up your online scrapbook
  6. Basic drawing techniques – using primitive shapes
  7. Introduction to 2D Photoshop drawing and colouring tools
  8. BRIEF #1 Create a humorous cartoon Games character starting with basic shapes. Stretch and challenge: create a nemesis character
  9. Fun drawing warm up game – Developing your listening and drawing skills
  10. Drawing anatomy: Creating the perfect stick man – Photoshop. Download the original Dr Retro Photoshop file from here
  11. Drawing basic anatomy the professional way – body – See this Pinterest link to start
  12. Basic anatomy – face – see this Pinterest link to start
  13. Inspiration – Manga – Studio Ghibli. Download University lecture from here
  14. Drawing Manga clothing – See this Pinterest reference to start 
  15. Drawing Manga hairstyles – See this Pinterest reference to start
  16. BRIEF #2: Using Photoshop create a Manga hero / heroine with a special power and optional weapon of choice. Begin with rough sketches and doodles to start. Optional: Write a very short origin / backstory. 

Additional tasks and activities will be updated this week as we progress  including designing original Games characters and environments in the professional 3D application ZBrush, using Cintiq drawing pads


SHARED FOLDER LINK: Original resources are here 

Dynamic figure drawing, Marvel 60s style by Rob Szczerba


Dr Retro character concept design drawn and painted in Photoshop


Note the line of action. This adds more dynamism and power to the composition. Aim to express an emotion or thought in your character’s pose. Pay close attention to the face and hands as they are very expressive. Many artists start with a line of action and then create their stick man pose from here. In blue simple oval shapes add volume and flesh out the character.

Download Dr Retro layers file 

Download this file Ghibli


Sample 3D renders by Rob

astro land 14_37 copy

Astronaut character created in 3D, using ZBrush and Lightwave


Steampunk fish designrd in ZBrush 3D


Cityscape animated and rendered in Lightwave 3D

13 dp flood b_1

Dr Krabb, concept games character, created in 3D using ZBrush and Lightwave


Environment designed in ZBrush, character animated in Maya, scene rendered in Lightwave


Hydra  modelled in Lightwave and textured in ZBrush


Dawg rendered in Lightwave 3D


Krazy Krab designed in ZBrush, textured in 3D Coat


Games concept character modelled in ZBrush and Lightwave


Character rigged and animated in Maya, rendered in Lightwave


Dr Krabb textured in ZBrush


Demon character created in ZBrush


Demon character modelled and textured in ZBrush


David Pi character facial expressions modelled and rigged in Lightwave

25763344190_8603bdbc24_o (4)

David Pi character and scooter modelled, rigged and rendered in Lightwave


Retro sci fi character modelled rigged and rendered in Lightwave


Croman rigged in Maya, rendered in Lightwave 3D30815626340_ab5e3901ca_o

Fantasy scene, created in Lightwave 3D

rob edited
Robot character rigged in Maya and Lightwave 3D



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