Graphical Character Design Tools: (What to Do When You Can’t Draw to Save Your Life)

 

Believe it or not, When it comes to the world of writing, the most important thing that you can have isn’t a good plot, or perfect dialogue, or even a well built story world. While all of the above are important, and a story can easily fail without them, the one thing that any story CANNOT do without is people. Every story HAS to be about someone, or else it really isn’t a good story. But how do you describe those characters? How do you get their physical appearance out of your head and into a story?

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If you’ve got artistic abilities on-top of writing know-how, then this won’t be a problem, but what about the ones who don’t, and can’t? It’s true enough that characters, tend to spring full grown from our heads, (much like the Goddess Athena from Greek Mythology), but DRAWING that characters… well, that’s something else… or is it

Believe me when I say that I have SEARCHED for a character modeling program, some sort of resource or database that would make character modeling EASY… I’m one of those people who can map out a person in my head, down to the smallest, most perfect details, but utterly fail getting it OUT of my head. Every attempt to do so only serves to frustrate me beyond comprehension because of my lack of artistic drawing skills. If you’re like me, then you’re going to thoroughly enjoy today’s post.

HEROMACHINE:

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Have you ever wished you could see the character you’ve imagined drawn out in perfect detail by a professional artist, but you just don’t have the skill to do it yourself? Thanks to HeroMachine, now if you can imagine it, you can create it, absolutely free. With thousands of hand-drawn custom-colorable line art, you can outfit any character from any genre. Whether you’re an RPGer who wants to bring a character sketch to the game, a novelist who wants to capture that perfect face to refer to as you write, or a gamer who wants a more comics-style rendering of your warrior, ninja, wizard, or archer, HeroMachine can bring that illustration to life. Just choose the type of item you want, click on it to add it to the canvas, and choose your colors. In minutes you can build your very own customized, beautiful character sketch. ~ Designer’s Description: 

The first link I have to offer today is called “HeroMachine 3” let me simply say that this is the closest thing to the Character Design-program that I have longed for over the years. Everything is 2D (with the exception of some few item) and the only limit is your imagination. Basically it’s a flash-powered massive database of vector drawings designed to fit together in an infinite amount of ways. You have the option of starting out with a template, or just starting from scratch. From there can you create just about anything that you can think of. Male, Female, Alien, Monster, Science-fiction, Medieval, Fantasy, Modern, if you name it, you can make it (easily I might add) in HeroMachine-3 Exporting is even easier! No screen-shotting needed. HeroMachine-3 offers a built in exporter that allows you to choose size and format and download an image to you computer for you. HeroMachine has been a lifesaver, no more frustration, no more banging my head against the desk. I’ve taken more ideas from my head and turned them into a person I can LOOK at in the last three days then I have in YEARS!

Current Customization Categories:

  • Background
  • Backplane
  • Belt
  • Body
  • Companion
  • Ears
  • Eyebrows
  • FacialHair
  • Fonts
  • FootLeft
  • FootRight
  • GloveLeft
  • GloveRight
  • Hair
  • HandLeft
  • HandRight
  • Head
  • Headgear
  • Insignia
  • ItemLeft
  • ItemRight
  • Legwear
  • Mouth
  • Neckwear
  • Nose
  • Patterns
  • ShouderLeft
  • ShoulderRight
  • Tops

Here is a gallery of some of the characters I have made in just the past few days.

For More Information about the HeroMachine-3 (and what it can do) visit: http://www.heromachine.com

Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/HeroMachine


EVE ONLINE:

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This is a video game. You might ask me, “why did you just list the most popular science-fiction MMORPG in existence, in a Character Design post?” well here’s the answer. EVE Online has what I’ll simply describe as “the most realistic and amazing 3d character creation system I have ever seen.” the only down-side is it’s a sci-fi game so you can only make futuristic, sci-fi theme characters (medieval and fantasy readers, sorry.) Eve is a Pay-to-play type game, but they do offer a 14-day trail period. My older brother plays Eve and I’ve used his account several times, designing a new character screen shotting my results, and then simply never finishing the creation process or adding the character in-game. I’ve done this with a free-trail account too. The Creator allows you to have full control over a 3D model, choose between a variety of skin colors and characteristics, clothing, tattoos, piercings, scars, posture, stance, and body-size. Eve’s Character-Creator also allows for small, minute adjustments to very part of the body, such as slimming down the arms, changing the shape of the nose, or even insetting the eyes deeper into the head. Seriously, this is a DETAILED Creation program. Current Customization Categories:

  • Shape – You can adjust your character’s weight and muscularity.
  • Complexion – You can change your character’s skin tone / add detailed effects such as aging, scarring and freckles.
  • Eyes – Alter eye appearance as well as select your character’s eye color.
  • Hair – You can set your character’s hair style as well as the hair color, beard style (for males) and eyebrows.
  • Makeup – You can apply and tweak details such as eye shadow, eyeliner, blush and lipstick for your character.
  • Clothes – Select your character’s basic attire.
  • Body Modifications: – This category contains 3 sub-categories for piercings, tattoos and scars.

Give the game a try to (if space-themed games interest you) because I can guarantee that it’s an awesome play! Here is a gallery of characters I have made in the past using the EVE Online Character Creator.

For More Information about the Eve Online Visit: http://www.eveonline.com/

For More Information about the Eve Character Creator (and what it can do) visit: https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Character_creation

Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eveonline

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