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Talk Original Characters and Their Creation

Started by CiCi Sama September 1st, 2019 7:47 PM
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How do you create your characters?

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CiCi Sama

A̻͚͠s̠͟o̠͚͖̣̕ci ̠̦̝̟a̸l̸ ̶C̪̫̫̲̮̥r͓̦̺̰e ̱̘͈̙̥̦̦́e̫͡ p͉̩̙̫

Female
Fire Lord Zuko's private quarters
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 14 Hours Ago
535 posts
197 Days
Original characters, also known as OCs (or Fan characters/FCs for characters created for fanworks) are the basis of a lot of artists' lives and works. To those who've created original characters, how do you decide to design them? Do you create a full sheet of their personality before delving into their designs? Or do you design first and ask questions later?

Here's your chance to talk about your own personal experiences designing and creating characters, both original and fan characters. Let us into your creative mind! Tell us about your characters and why you decided to choose that particular design!

I'll start so people can base their responses around that :)

Yvette
Spoiler:


Yvette has been through many, many changes throughout her journey, but her aesthetics have remained generally the same. She started out as a One Piece fan character and somehow decided to carve out her own destiny. Probably with her massive claws and even more massive stubbornness.

She started out with an idea of being very unlike most other One Piece women: she's tiny, petite, flat, and nowhere near sexual. This has carried throughout her many renditions (along with her blonde hair and Mary-Sue-like heterochromia), but the reason has changed. Due to her past, she was treated as an objects by, to put it simply, bad people with bad intentions to use her powers for their own good. They would often starve her, and even after she'd [redacted], she starved on the streets as a teenager and into adulthood. Decades of malnourishment has permanently altered her body. Being a beast as a child had more disadvantages than advantages.

Spoiler:

Warning!
this image contains violent content!

Despite being a child, her bestial form was quite large, given that she's an extinct species of hyena.

Certain things weren't planned in the beginning and only came about due to her experiences with said bad people, a rogue group that would beat her if she got out of line. Kiidra, however, took her under his wing (see above: violence = good, that's what Yvette learned). He taught her how to embrace her bestial side. He taught her to become a literal monster. He's the reason she wears very basic clothes that don't get in the way while fighting; she used to have boots that I ditched because Kiidra taught her to use her back legs for running and attacking, hence why old art of her has boots and new art keeps her barefoot.

While she used to be seen mostly in her human form, the introduction of Kiidra made me realize just how uncomfortable Yvette would be like that. As such, more often than not, she's seen in her beast form. She's usually too insecure for anything else. Due to her being in her bestial form more often, that, too, has been through a number of changes. For instance, I continuously made her bigger.

2017:
Spoiler:

Warning!
this image contains minor blood!


2019:
Spoiler:

Warning!
this image contains minor blood!


So I suppose Yvette was a little bit of both ways when it comes to character creation. She was designed around some basic concepts (grumpy, particularly non-sexual, stubborn, angry, opposite of the blonde bombshell), then her personality evolved and so did her aesthetics, ideals, style, and general attitude.

How about all of you? How do you create your characters? Have any specific examples you can break down for us? I thought this could be a fun learning tool to not only teach and guide other creators, but to bring the art community together under something a lot of us simply love to do, and that's character creation. ♥ Hoping to see your methods and create a discussion here, so feel free to pry or ask for clarification!
Also I hope this is an acceptable thread otherwise I talked for nothing, urk x-x

Also also, uploading this has made me realize just how many violent situations I've drawn this character in. xD No one else has this, not even Annie from my far more violent (original! :D) story. Annie gets a nice dance in the swamp, but Yvette gets a nice pair of fangs to the throat. Poor thing, lol
Full sig pic & bigger gallery

I don't need anʎ c̶̡̞̯͍̬̋á̸̼̩̘̗͙̯l̶͔̹̀̉͑ɯ̸̼̩̩̖̏̑̀̇͜ᴉ̸̦̍̑͒n̸̨̲̬̫͙̬͝ģ̸̞̩͋̋͛̊̓ ¡̴̢͔̪̳̪̑̌͋̆̐̍͘͝ɐ̷̨̡̨̛̙͇͔͈̜̹̩̺̺̟̣̝́ǝ̸̮̗̯̜̳́̍ʇ̸̡͍̝̫̖̅

IV

Age 23
Male
Netherlandia
Online now
Posted 14 Hours Ago
2,918 posts
255 Days
Considering the lack of drawing I've done over the past couple of years and since I only recently started to come up with OC's, I always tended to start with the personality/backstory and base a design off of that along with some personal bias.
Though as of today I've actually made steps to draw again so I don't have actual samples to show other than straight up ideas :P

Though there have been moments where I just have a basic concept and then it builds upon it in my mind, so it's not always personality first I suppose.

CiCi Sama

A̻͚͠s̠͟o̠͚͖̣̕ci ̠̦̝̟a̸l̸ ̶C̪̫̫̲̮̥r͓̦̺̰e ̱̘͈̙̥̦̦́e̫͡ p͉̩̙̫

Female
Fire Lord Zuko's private quarters
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 14 Hours Ago
535 posts
197 Days
Physically drawing out character designs is no easy task! There have been so many times where the character in my head is completely different from what I drew, haha. I think it'd be cool to see your process for character design sometime! And it's a lot of fun to draw them a year or two down the line and realize how stagnant they've been or how much they've changed.

But hey, not drawing has the pro of giving you a more complete and solid character design since you have nothing to reference besides your changing thoughts. That's how some of my older characters came to be and they've remained pretty much the same throughout the years.
Full sig pic & bigger gallery

I don't need anʎ c̶̡̞̯͍̬̋á̸̼̩̘̗͙̯l̶͔̹̀̉͑ɯ̸̼̩̩̖̏̑̀̇͜ᴉ̸̦̍̑͒n̸̨̲̬̫͙̬͝ģ̸̞̩͋̋͛̊̓ ¡̴̢͔̪̳̪̑̌͋̆̐̍͘͝ɐ̷̨̡̨̛̙͇͔͈̜̹̩̺̺̟̣̝́ǝ̸̮̗̯̜̳́̍ʇ̸̡͍̝̫̖̅

Sunfished

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Age 23
Male
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted September 19th, 2019
376 posts
7.6 Years
I think all my oc's were either born from a small doodle or a joke, which in turn evolved into more complex characters and designs. Sort of funny seeing how they evolved over time from just little bits and bobs.

I think my favorite one so far spawned from a small game my friends were doing where you put your name into a website and it would spit out a list of "anime stats", and then you had to try to draw out whatever it gave you. This was mine:
Spoiler:




Friends loved it, so I doodled her more and molded her quite a bit. Over time she became WAYYY different than what she was originally:
Spoiler:




This is sorta generally how my oc's go haha. They just spawn from little things like that, and end up being used as a basis for actual oc's later.

Also, I think I'm more of a design-first, characterize-after sort of person. Kind of hard for me to think of a personality and then create a design from that. Really envious of people that can!

IV

Age 23
Male
Netherlandia
Online now
Posted 14 Hours Ago
2,918 posts
255 Days
Physically drawing out character designs is no easy task! There have been so many times where the character in my head is completely different from what I drew, haha. I think it'd be cool to see your process for character design sometime! And it's a lot of fun to draw them a year or two down the line and realize how stagnant they've been or how much they've changed.
I mean I suppose I can share the process that went behind the thoughts of one of my OC's :P

I had this grand idea in my mind to tell my own whole story and the characters that would play a part in it, grabbed 10 random yugioh cards from my collection and thought to myself, who would fit to use such a monster.
(from those 10 I had to cut one since one of them was a card I use myself and im no OC i can guarantee you that haha)

So I pick one card and then start thinking personality wise and what kind of a backstory would fit, yada yada.

Considering I found my old drawing sheet I came across older drawings of characters, so I based the design of this particular character off of older drawings along with designs of already existing characters I just really like the design of (The parasol lady from Black&White for example).

hope i've explained it properly :p

Fairy

Female
Laverre City
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
9,127 posts
8.5 Years
I am straight up terrible at creating believable OCs. I don't know why but the moment I try to come up with anything, I just get so lost in my own head. I guess my Dead Space slug necromorph would technically count as an OC? But it's not like.. a character, it's like a generic enemy NPC lol.

warning for gore:
Spoiler:


In fact, no, I retract the above design. That thing will never be a character with a name or backstory in the Dead Space universe, so I really can't call it a 'character' to begin with tbh. I guess another one I have is my racist Monster Hunter character. She's meant to be, like, basically a conspiracy theorist / flat earther in the MH world who thinks that Wyverians are running the Guild into the ground. I don't have any art of her though and her backstory and details have not been fleshed out at all. Actually not 100% sold on if she'll be female, haha. Lastly, my only non-fan made OC would be this deer anthro goddess character who shape shifts. She doesn't have a name either, ahaa..

I suppose I'll put 'Other' in the poll, only because when it comes to fan content, I really heavily rely on the established environment to build a character that can comfortable live in that universe. I find it easier to build from an existing story and find a niche in there for my character, rather than coming up with one on my own. The restrictions of an existing narrative are less of a challenge than the 'openness' of just coming up with an original character out of nothing imo.

The only one that doesn't count is my little Sylveon character because, well, she's just a Sylveon personification of me. :p She's also no different than any other Sylveon in terms of design so having a backstory would be weird?


Firebolt

Age 21
Male
The Land Down Under
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
592 posts
4.2 Years
Just using my experience from my project that's very, very off and probably on like twice a year.

I suck at design. I can't draw for the sake of the galaxy, and usually have a hard time picturing the nuances of something (someone?) I've never seen before. So there's no design perspective to show unfortunately, but that doesn't mean I didn't think about it!

To start off, I really wanted to create work in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien, but aimed at a more teenage audience (same epic fantasy, maybe not so wordy to match my own writing skills). One of the most interesting races would certainly be the elves, and I daresay any Middle Earth-like fantasy would not be complete without an elf-like race, so that's what I set out to create.

My initial idea of the elf-person was to have someone act as a foil to the 'princess', a sort of no-nonsense go-getter character that gets stuff done. It was at this point where I started thinking, how would this character meet the Protagonist and the Princess? What's their story? Why do they want to be here? So I thought to myself, "How about an exile who's acting as a sort of bodyguard to the Princess?" That's nice and all, but why were they exiled? And a royal guard of a different race, no less.

By now, I decided to make this elf character a female to strengthen the sisterly-bond motif with the Princess, and maybe set up a love triangle later(?). Putting that aside, I focused more on their past and how they met. Elf Lady must have done something huge to not only be exiled from her people, but also end up as the Princess' most trusted aid. It then made sense for this race of elves (actual name species still pending, calling them elves so far makes things easier) to be xenophobic, considering themselves the superior species perhaps due being 'made' by a different creator who envisioned a people far beyond mortal humans. So perhaps there was an extremist branch of these people that decided to wage a secret war on humans, beginning with the assassination of the royal family to throw the realm into chaos and allow them to easily assume control. The general members of the community turn a blind eye to what's happening, as they already dislike the other beings on the continent enough, but Elf Lady sees the bigger picture and realises that this path might not be the best for the realm. Long story short, a foiled assassination attempt, some elves die, and Elf Lady is exiled for committing the highest treason against her kind. At first, I did imagine this would mean that Elf Lady finds a new refuge as the Princess' guard, but as the Princess developed more into her own character, and I started thinking more about the different races and cultures in the world, I thought that it might be interesting make her more of a general advisor and training soldier under a more experienced Princess, who herself is the go-getter and gets stuff done person in the dynamic duo. Why?

This leads back to Elf Lady; what does it mean to be exiled? The elves are indeed the 'strongest' race in the world, but their power and immortality comes at a heavy price: they require constant access to the divine energy flowing from a World Tree-like structure. Their magical existence is based on this sustenance, and without it, they lose everything and return back to their roots. No literally, they were made from trees and possess almost ephereal forms as divine beings, so without their energy, they become trees once again. Being an exile means that your connection to the World Tree is severed, and this has huge impacts on Elf Lady starting from taking away her powers and strengths as an immortal, to cursing her to become a mere human-ish thing who looks more like a walking tree each passing day. Her biggest strengths are her knowledge and experience while she possessed her longevity, and this pushes her away from the bodyguard role and allows the Princess to be the driving character for her own story.

It's getting a bit late, I could share my experiences with the other characters, but I picked this one as I believe she went through the most significant changes, and it somehow excites me even more to write about her as I feel like she's the one character so far that I was able to nail down rather than appearing as just another OC™. I've been meaning to get designs complete of these characters to make them come to life more, but laziness and trying to find the right artist are killing me.

Kitty

Meow, purr purr.

Space
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
852 posts
1.7 Years
Honestly it depends on what pops into my mind first; usually its the personality that comes first and I find a cool design that comes with it and edit appropriately. That's usually how most of my RP characters go.

Rarely I do design first and create a character based on that. Thats only if I really have no idea what I want. Also how most of the story characters arrive because I'm an aesthetic kinda person I suppose. I want the designs to match the world I have in mind for them.

Sometimes I do really random prompts that spark idea. I have this app called what to draw; usually theres some prompts that are supposed to be sceneries but i draw a character and think "hey thats pretty cool", so boom that's a character now.

Said character is below pic: that was three stages of thumbnailing to rough sketches and I liked all the poses.... So hey thats a character sheet now.
Spoiler:

Cubism

Cubie the Cube

Age 20
Male
The computer room
Online now
Posted 17 Hours Ago
960 posts
324 Days
I usually get my idea of what I want first and immediately draw my characters and think about a personality for them while doing that. I later try giving them some kind of backstory since I usually suck at that. When drawing my characters I don't stop until they are close enough to what I have in mind so it's normal for me to spend a lot of time there. I could share some later if possible but I don't have my sketches with me at the moment.
I still don't know what to put here :rowlyikes:

Seliph

Lord

Male
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
2,781 posts
6.8 Years
I used to come up with original characters all the time. I never was the type who just drew already existing ones. Best case, I created one based on an already existing character (one that I remember vividly was based off of Trunks from DBZ which I was into back in the day).

I still prefer creating my own characters, though I've kind of restricted the amount of characters I work on. Currently I'm working on two of them, though the way how the world around them is set up it's kind of only one character (it's complicated). When creating a character I like to play around with contrasts and I like to apply different (mostly philosophical/psychological) themes. As a result I often find myself wondering if the characters I create are way to similar (my own world views kinda tempt me to create similar patterns and that unfortunately applies to characters way too often as well). Even worse: the feeling they reflect yourself more than actual other indiviuals (I'm terrible at understanding other human beings, so it's likely for me to not represent a different individual that well as such)
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