The Character-A-Fortnight Event : CAFÉ 001


    [b]CAFÉ 001[/b]
    [b][color=darkorange]"Take something organic and turn it into something mechanical."[/b][/color]
    [b]Story starter –[i] "The whirring of cogs and the humming of moving parts reverberate in the darkened passageway. I can see blinking lights casting their illumination on the walls ahead. My breathing quickens as I turn the next corner


      [b][color=orange]CHARACTER-A-FORTNIGHT EVENT (CAFÉ)[/b][/color]
    [b][i]Manifesto:  The anatomy forum CAFÉ - A place to meet, share your concepts, ideas and work, and then discuss your solutions to the brief with like minded individuals (Bring your own coffee though...)[/i][/b]
[left]   The purpose of this ongoing workshop series is to develop original character artwork in both 2D and 3D. A theme or brief will be given at the inception point of the workshop, and the project will be executed by the participants during a 2 week period. To have your own idea from the set brief, develop it in 2 dimensions and then execute it in 3 dimensions is very challenging, (especially within the time period,) and helps the artist to understand form “in the round.” 
   If you are thinking of taking your ideas into 3 dimensions, please decide on a suitable polygon budget (for games/TV/film or as much as your computer can handle!) If you are unsure, please enquire on the workshop and others will try and help. The workshop is application independent, and so anyone can try it. For those of you who would like to try 3d but do not have a package, blender ([]( ) is a very high standard open source 3d application that is free to download and use. However, this will take time to learn.
   Duration of projects: 2 Weeks.
   Breakdown: (guidelines only – depends on the complexity of the idea and model.)
   Concept development and realization - 1 week.*
   Model development and texture art - 1 week.*
   * You can split up your time however you wish - to reflect the area that you want to work in the most, for example.
   The above guidelines are intensive and will require a lot of work. Please look at the amount of time you have available for each project before trying to take on too much. Quality artwork and developing your creative problem solving skills are key here, along with learning how others handled the same brief in conceptual and technical terms.
   [i]These are guidelines only. You can do all the sections or just choose the areas you feel most comfortable with.[/i] If you wish to use another persons concept art for a model, then please seek permission to do so from the user. If you just want to create the concept art and don’t mind others using your art work for a fully realized character, please state so in your post. If you are having trouble with an area, please shout up and others will try to help out as best they can.
   [b]WIP is encouraged[/b], and please help others by providing your thoughts on their solutions in a positive manner. Discouragement of others will not help anyone as we are all here to get better, and people bring different skills to the table.
   1. Concept art >>>

[li]Ideas[/li][li]Final presentation art (full body character pose, head and image plane orthographics.)[/li][/ul]

      [left]2. Model >>> (high poly cinematic or lower poly real time games character)

[li]Base model (untextured)[/li][li]Final model (with textures)[/li][/ul]
[left]Learning outcomes:

[li]How to develop ideas and a final character from a written brief.[/li][li]Creative problem solving.[/li][li]How to demonstrate your ideas to others.[/li][li]Taking 2d artwork in to 3d artwork.[/li][li]Texture art.[/li][li]Visual communication skills.[/li][/ul]

   1. Work created here MUST be ORIGINAL TO THE CREATOR and for the purpose of serious study of character art and design. Those who post silly or off topic work will have their posts deleted immediately and will no longer be allowed to post on this thread. Rebecca Kimmel reserves the right to determine which pieces are considered to be in poor taste and / or disrespectful in the workshop.
   2. This Workshop will run in 2 WEEK slots.
   3. There is NO LIMIT to the NUMBER of posts an artist may make. However, we ask that you post only work which you feel best represents your ideas and important design points you feel others should know about during your character development, even if it is considered unfinished.
   4. Artists who post comments and critiques of other artists' work on this thread must be RESPECTFUL, POLITE, and offer CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Flaming will be NOT be tolerated, and constitutes dismissal from this and other threads.
   5. Mike/default.rol and Rebecca Kimmel will be offering the occasional comments / critique ~ however, the main focus of the Workshop should be on Group Critique and interaction.
   6. ANY MEDIUM or STYLE may be used: Traditional or Digital Drawing or Painting, Sculpture, or 3D Model / Render for the initial stages. Development beyond the initial character idea (stage 2) should be done in a 3D application of your choice.
   7. Please limit the SIZE of your POSTS to 800 pixels WIDTH x Appropriate pixel LENGTH. No huge posts, please! (you are welcome to offer remote links to high resolution versions of your art work along side images that are of an appropriate size, if you so wish.)
   8. Have fun, enjoy, and create great art![/left]


For those of you slightly confused by the terminology, a fortnight is 14 nights in duration. Here is a definition of it from Wikipedia.

 [i]A [b]fortnight[/b] is a unit of [time]( equal to two [weeks]( that is [14 days](, or literally 14 nights. The term is common in the [British Isles]( and many [Commonwealth countries](, but rarely used in the [United States]( It derives from the [Old English]( feowertiene niht, meaning "fourteen nights".[/i]


A little inspiration from erilaz:…88098929&size=o…anical-art.html…ontest_id=10619…and_Art_Gallery…us_grab_tmb.jpg…29687202&size=l…20491199&size=o…11451821&size=o…02124406&size=l…95682077&size=l…92279476&size=l…89450270&size=o…86003713&size=o…89448300&size=o…89447430&size=o…89445937&size=o…89446728&size=o…89442616&size=o

              [i][b]oDaYWaLKeRo has shared this link >>> [/b][](

Kary shared this link on steampunk concepting >>>



If one cannot use 3D apps and just want to focus on the 2D side is that okay? Would this mean that person would be out of the second week (second stage)?

I have access to 3D Studio Max 8, but I have no clue how to work it! This is my issue. I would love to go the full stretch, but with limited knowledge I cannot…




You may split the time however you wish. If you only want to focus on 2D for the full project then that is totally fine.

Looking forward to seeing your work.

MIKE :slight_smile:


I can only repeat what’s been said above - FANTASTIC!
I am working on something now but will still try this… obviously a fully textured model is aiming way too high for 2 weeks buuut a shaded one’s doable :smiley: … still considering 2d…


We should try and get ideas flowing in this topic too!

Give the go ahead and I will type out some ideas from the top of my mind.


If you wish to contribute your thoughts to the brief, then go for it. Others who may want to do the project but are struggling for a starting point may find something useful in your interpretation.





I've just spent 40 minutes on this break down of the brief, as I see it.

I usually begin with preliminary written work before I begin drawing anything.  I have friends who draw stuff from the get go, but that doesn't work for me.  I need to see my thoughts on paper to start with >>> in this fashion.


For this project I have chosen as my "organic" creature/character >>> A scorpion/whip scorpion type of insect.  This allows me to have a menacing feel to the thing I am going to design and some iconic shapes in the form of the sting of a scorpions tail, or the arms of a whip scorpion.  

From this starting point, I attached words and phrases to the creatures to gauge my personal feeling towards them.  I then tried to find man made things with similar traits in character.  These were found in military vehicles.

[b]So now I have decided to design a scorpion/whip scorpion in the style of a military vehicle.  

[/b]I will now start to try and apply the mechanical form language of military vehicles to the organic forms of the scorpion/whip scorpion.  I have also decided after doing a google image search, that I want my character to be an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC,) as the heavy armour on APC's reminds me of the exoskeleton on a whip scorpion.

This is where I am up to so far.  I hope that the above break down helps someone with a little bit about my thought process and how I tackle a brief such as this.



whoa Mike,

that is exactly the kind of information and example I was hoping to find in order to get an idea of…ermm… how to get ideas…:scream:

I think I will try writing down things first, too! Sound like exactly my cup of coffee.

and as you mentioned we should write down a few of the ideas that sprung up to our minds (is that english at all? :argh: ) here’s what I had in mind:

  • [organic to mechanical]: 23rd century industrial watchdog

  • [organic to mechanical]: Jack the robot ripper

  • [organic to mechanical]: Orgasmatron 3000 premium line (on second thought the menacing atmo of the story starter combined with this one does not sound very appealing… :eek: )

  • [organic to mechanical]: desert patrol mount

  • [organic to mechanical]: submarine bomb disposal vehicle (might clash a bit with the story starter unless you interpret the passageway as an underwater abyss…:smiley: )


Thanks for running this Mike, and I hope to see a lot of cool work coming out of this Workshop. It’s all yours, looking forward to seeing what you and everyone does here. :slight_smile:


Cool so what should I post? Or should i say I am a newbie in character design… so how should I start?


A little inspiration:



I mean the process of character design…


Did you consider the vehicle might be in dry dock?
Glad my process helped you some, Mu. :slight_smile:

Thx erilaz, I’ve copied them to the top. :thumbsup:

@ TTYO >>> You can either choose to break down the brief as I have done, or you can choose another way (there are as many ways to do character design as there are character designers.) If you feel comfortable with just busting out the pens and pencils, then I say go for it! :smiley:



You might find this one useful yourself Mike!


ok I will write up a brief for my character well, this might help the storyline even more…:slight_smile:


The mind map is an excellent way to drop down keywords and search for an idea. I may use this mechanic myself for this one. Although I may do it in photoshop or painter and use a wacom to write :smiley: Unlimited space!!

When I first saw it I wasn’t thinking of creatures with bodies that were armoured. I was thinking about any creature and then how it may look as a mechanical being. For mine I do not think I will go for war. This day and age war is looked upon as cool, but I think I will be a tree hugger for this one.

For me the industrial age was a time of growth in the economy sector, and was a time of utility to make human life easier. So my proposal is to design something that has the anatomical structure of a creature, but is used to aid mankind.

Firstly i will think of which function I want this utility to give, and then think about a creature that will benifit from this function, or the function benifits from the creatures anatomial structure.

Secondly I will either use traditional markers, or I will go into Painter, and sketch thumbnail silhuettes of this creature I select. Each time I draw it I will add something that looks man made. Once this stage is complete I will scan in the images, and turn down the opacity of the main layer so that the ink is not as intense, and then start adding the largest details to the thumbnails I believe might work.

This is how I might start this project. I will post these marker studies once I have got to that stage.



Sounds like a great journy is about to get underway.:thumbsup: Count me in on this voyage into the abysis of the deepest ocean of unforseen discoveries. :slight_smile: … Just took off the leash of my imagination…TIME TO SET IT FREE,…TIME TO SEE…WHAT’S LYING IN WAIT BENEATH THIS SEA.

Poetry is my method and vehical for creating and grasping ideas…:slight_smile:

I think that for this first exercise, I will do a deep sea fish…maybe one of those with the huge spiked teeth, and florescent lanterns that dangle from thier heads, and act like a lure, tempting thier prey to come closer…maybe a two headed version…:eek:
ANYONE…is welcome to use, expand on, and manipulate my concept, in any way they may choose.

Hey Mike…you know that that whip scorpion uses that whip as a chemical weapon…that whip is loaded with toxins…that’s against the Geneva Convention…no fair…but then again,… all’s fair in love and war…:twisted: :eek:
Looking forward to seeing everyones concepts come into being…:bounce: :thumbsup:


“The whirring of cogs and the humming of moving parts reverberate in the darkened passageway. I can see blinking lights casting their illumination on the walls ahead. My breathing quickens as I turn the next corner
THERE IT IS! The new Green Turtle Ferries, what a sight to behold! This think was HUGE! It was a transport vehicle, transporting people under the sea to their land destinations. Right then I was in one of the tunnels you had to travel to so that you could walk onboard one of these things. Some day a city under the sea will take the form of this Ferrie, a TURTLE!”

So I will be combining a turtle anatomy with the structure of a vehicle that can carry people under very deep depths. It will be like a holiday ferrie where you can enjoy the underwater mysteries. It will be able to go to deep depths as deep as the sea bed. So this think has to be pressure resistant.

Just noticed glenn, you have chosen the sea too :smiley: I was inspired by one of the deep sea books I borrowed from the library. Good luck with the two headed thingy.


THANKS…Andrew…Good Luck to you also…maybe we’ll run into each other, while we’re down thier…:scream:
I was a lancher tech., and part of the crew for a few years on a POLARIS sub, while in the Navy as a kid years ago…no windows to see what was out there,…only the windows of the imagination…:eek: very very cold down there, in more ways than one…:slight_smile: