Creating the Characters
As the storyboard is made, designers begin to create the characters. Rough sketches of major characters are drawn and redrawn until they are perfect. It's important for the artists to refine the characters as much as possible at this stage because it will be costly to make changes later.
Once the character design is finalized, it's time to transform the sketches into controllable 3D characters.
According to Steve Thompson, art director for Gas Powered Games, it takes about five days to design and program a character.
The sketches are first scanned into the computer. Then, a digital exoskeleton is created to define the character's shape and to give the computer the control points necessary to animate the figure. The more detailed this exoskeleton is, the more realistic the motion of the character will be. Next, layers of "skin" are added, followed by layers of color and texture.
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