Monday, 16 November 2009

Check This Out: Capcom Character Designs

Recently the video games industry has been growing more rapidly than it has done previously and is beginning to build up to a level that is starting to rival the film indusrty in terms of story and visuals. Ofcourse one of the things that makes a videogame memorable is it's characters (this obviously goes for film aswell), and an important part of that is the look of the character. Below I'm going to analyse character's that have been designed for games published by the successful videogames company Capcom to understand the ins and outs of good character designs.

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Here is the character Wayne from Lost Planet. Within the game's world it's sub zero temperatures so characracters all need warm and protective clothing, this includes a suit which pumps thermal energy keeping the character warm, this is represented by the orange lines seen on his clothing. There are also lots of pouches and holsters to hold items and weapons are the character does a lot of exploring this is complimented by the earthy colours used that also allow players to differentiate the character from the white, arctic surrounds. It's clear a lot of research into how people dress to survive within cold climates and have modified it accordingly to give it a certain appeal. An interesting point is that Wayne originally was going to have blonde hair but some where along development of the character is was decided that it would use the face of Korean actor Byung Hun Lee. This gives the character a much real look.

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Each of the characters in Lost Planet have very similar attires but with slight variations, one common feature is the use of fur around the edge of the collar of character's coats. One notable variation in design is that of the character Luka, who still wears outer clothing under her thermal suit but it's much less concealing giving the illusion of sexiness whilst also outlining that the character is female by showing these attributes. It's interesting to see how much the characters change from their designs on paper when entering three-dimensions but nonetheless it's very impressive.

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Here we have several characters from the videogame Devil May Cry 4, all these characters share the theme of dressing in white which translates into them having an alliance with each other, a notable design is that of Gloria which is very revealing for that sake adding in the theme of sexiness to the group. There is also an absence of any short/bald hair within this group which helps tie these characters together.

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Here are sketches of the development of the main charcater Dante. Previously this character stood out for his large leather coat, white hair and large claymore sword. Here the artist has experimented with several new looks for the character's face whilst keeping the same general motif. There is also an image of Dante's "Devil Trigger" form, which also takes on from the main motif but warps it into a new character. It's truly interesting to see what can be done when you use the same design motif and give it new variations or spins.

All artwork is copyright of Capcom.

Finally here are designs of the newest character Nero. His design is very much based of Dante's but with the use of Blue as the main colour instead of Red, he's also younger and more slender to give a kind of contrast to the other protagonist. Clothing choices here seem that originally is was intended that Nero would dress in clothing of early 1900s style but the design developed to give a more upto date look. Whats interesting to note is whilst Nero and Dante have similar design traits you can still tell the difference between them, such as age differences, body builds, face and colour pallete.

What I can take away from this look into character designs from Capcom is: Research clothing based on enviroment, Similar Colour Palletes can designate groups or alliances, Alot can be done with one design motif, Character build and facial structure can make all the difference, show the audience when a character is female (unless there is some reason not to), Hair styles play a key part in a good character image and don't be afraid to modify designs you may have already finalised previous.

I think I'll use these tips for the next time I'm designing a character.


  1. So love the designs. beautiful cover beautiful product beautiful thanks for sharing Keep Blogging!!
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