View Full Version : Cartoon Character - Style Difficulties

05 May 2010, 05:51 PM
I am working on creating a 3D adaptation of a 2D character sketch for a client. I have been trying for several days now to try and capture the character's facial features to no avail. I'm not very good at doing "cartoony" characters - especially cute ones - and am beginning to get frustrated with this project.

I'm more concerned about the face at the moment as I just made the body real quick for reference. I'm specifically unhappy with the overall shape of the face, especially the eyes. I don't know how to handle cartoon eyes that will do the original art justice.

Any help / suggestions would be much appreciated.

We would like to achieve something akin to the following quality / style:

05 May 2010, 07:24 PM
In order to get the character's eyes nailed, I'd consider flattening the lower lid, and building the upper eyelid/eyelash. At the moment I think your getting frustrated at the overall shape of the eye, and I don't think it'd be possible to get the 'bashful' 'devious' look expressed in the source images without that upper lid.

05 May 2010, 07:38 PM
Hi, well, i think is going very good, i can recommend to do a z-brush/mudbox/3d coat, whatever pass on yout base mesh/control cage, this will help you to improve more interactively your proportions (great way to go, really, back and forth, back and forth between your main package and your sculpting package), but the main problems i see are:

- The model`s brows are too thick, in the concept are thinner.

- The skull part in the brow area is kinda protruding in the concept, much more pronounce.

- The overall shape of the head in the concept is kinda heart shaped (hearth symbol, not the real stuff).

- The eye shape needs to be much, much more almond shaped and with nice pointy ends, in your model are two ovals.

- In the concept the nasal bridge is pretty broad and pronounce, in your model is thin and too much defined.

- In the concept the nose is like a button nose, and pretty broad, specially the center part, in your model looks like Michael Jackson`s.

- The relation between nose/lips is the lips are inside the nose extent, because are tony lips, in you model are bigger than the nose extents.

- The forearms in the model are too straight, in the concept they are more stylized, very thick with a tiny wrist.

- The shape of the sleeve in the concept is a very pronounce bell shape.

- In the concept the torso proportions goes from the a thin pectoral area to a thick/heavy belly area.

- The hands, i canīt see them very good, but i think the fingers needs to be thinner and stylized.

I hope this helps you, i know this kind of commissions can be very tricky sometimes cause they are too easy and simple designs, but you will do it good. Best wishes.


05 May 2010, 08:15 PM
Going on what Grashock is saying. A way to kind of help in figuring out how to model the eyes, pay particular attention to the lines around the eyes in the first drawing. Notice how the top half circle is then the bottom and the bottom half circle curves into the inside of the top lid. Use that as a basis for modeling the eye. Think about how the mesh would need to be constructed to achieve that behavior. The shape will tend to come naturally after that.

05 May 2010, 08:29 PM
The eyelids look separate. The arms look better on sketch, now they lost some anatomical form and diversity.

05 May 2010, 09:30 PM
I second that about the eyelids. Take a closer look at Pedro Conti's work there he has a defined eyelid on his character that is visible and I think it is a way to get the big eye look and keep the lids too. Also the brows need a bit of an arch to make them a bit more expressive. When I do the eyes I have the iris and the pupil a different color that gives me a better idea what the character looks like at an early stage. I like the character design and want to see some progress on it.

05 May 2010, 10:42 PM
I find that making my own concepts of characters helps me understand the shapes and forms of that I'm trying to depict better, and it's that lack of forms that you're losing in the transition to 3d.
Try drawing, or drawing topology over the concept to get an idea of how you could proceed.

Also, what really stands out to me on the model is the size of the eyes. They're way to big for the character. Size them down, and space them out. There's more than one way to make things look cute

05 May 2010, 10:45 PM
Look at ratios, how many eyes fit across the head, then work out where the mouth and nose fit into this "unit".
Right now the eyes are way too big. the mouth could also be less wide.
Forget about the rest of the body, focus on the head, Build stand in geom to create the mass of the hair. Also get those refs in the viewport to refer to more readily.

05 May 2010, 08:23 AM
Hi :) I only skim read the responses so I apologize if this has been included;

There is more volume in between the edge of her head and eyes. Your eyes are too big (these two problems go hand in hand). Maintain the volume of her head while shrinking the eyes, and the likeness should go up tenfold.

The eyebrows are too thick.

Look at the shape of her upper lip, and compare it with yours, hers has no indent, it's just a straight arc.

I realize these may be decisions you made consciously, but I'm just trying to point out what doesn't match up with the reference.

Hope this helps you :)

05 May 2010, 05:39 AM
Awesome! Thanks a lot for all the replies, they were all really helpful. It's still not quite there, but a lot closer - and more importantly, close enough that the client should be happy with my progress.

edit: looking at it, it seems the head is still not nearly wide enough and the eyes are still to big / close together. Anything else any of you notice?

05 May 2010, 05:19 AM
Almost have her finished (minus eye lashes/brows, lips), thought you might like to see the results. Thank again for all the input, it was really helpful!

05 May 2010, 09:46 AM
Have you worked on the shaders yet? They need some attention.

Currently she looks a bit plasticy + the hair is really out of place, but looks great (if it wasn't out of place). Did you use Maya Hair?

TBH eyes still look a bit big mate.

05 May 2010, 08:20 PM
I agree about the eyes, but unfortunately the client asked me to make them that size and won't budge. So that's the size they stay I suppose.

I'm still working on the skin, which is supposed to be a lot more bronzed than it is now. Just having a hard time figuring out what colors & settings will produce the skin tone we are looking for. The hair is using Shave & Haircut, and I know what you mean. It doesn't really go well with her styling necessarily - I'm still playing around trying to bring the two styles closer to each other.

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