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Chapter 1. Creating Organic 3D Characters > Designing an Organic Character

Designing an Organic Character

This section shows you how to begin creating a 3D character in Maya by taking you through the basic preproduction design process. Some character-idea generation approaches are presented, and you are shown how to create the designs that you will later use as guides for modeling your character’s skin.

Design Considerations

The first thing you want to do when designing your character is to decide the style you want to use. At one extreme, you could design a completely stylized cartoon character; at the other extreme, you could design a fully realistic character. Because this book focuses on creating characters that have a muscle and bone structure, you should avoid designing a completely cartoon character for working through each chapter’s exercises. A completely realistic character, on the other hand, can be too challenging for someone who is not already a professional. Photorealistic characters must not only look real, they must also animate realistically, which requires a lot of subtleties in the character controls. Between these two extremes is a surreal character design, such as a Shrek-style character. This kind of character has a stylized look, while still containing a believable anatomical structure. Such a character is easier to model and animate because viewer expectations will not be as high as for a photorealistic character.


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