More plot dev on Hack Mars tonight, but I wanted to make a very good character sketch and skin. Well, above is the result. I'm pretty happy with it. Some of it was very difficult, some of it was fairly easy. The first thing you will probably notice is the hair. You might remember this from the Hack Mars Duck Tape Mural. Actually, it's a bit different, but it's the same girl. You'll recognize the camo pants, I bet. You will notice that most of the image is shaded. That's what I've been working on for months. I've done ok without shading my character sketches until now. Truthfully, the skins in HM may still be non-shaded just for style reasons. I understood the very basics of shading a long time ago, but it's apparent that I just recently refined my shading skills. The idea is this: dark around the edges, light in the center, gaussian blur until it is correct. While this simple plan may create decent looking spheres, it doesn't work on everything. Shading requires some thought beyond darken edge + blur. I didn't shade everything in this image just because of time restraints. You can see that I didn't shade the neck, red shirt, hands, or boots. I did a lot of work on various things. The lips took a long time considering how small they are. Really, I didn't do a very good job on them. They eyes worked out even though it wasn't quite how it should be. I had to do a few workarounds to make it work. I didn't want to overdo the face, and it seems like I succeeded. It is shaded, really it is. The hair was a bit of fun once I saw that it was working out. The pink was cool because it looked very realistic. I just did a fuzzy paintbrush over and over again. It took a while, but it was worth it, I think. The blue went on very easily right over the pink. The corset (... don't ask) was a bit of a task, just using the clone tool to repeat the horizontal lines. Why? Because it needed texture. The corset string was easy, I just drew it, then selected and shrank and colored the inside light, selected just the string, then blurred a bunch of times. I think it worked well. The jacket was a bit of work, but really wasn't as bad as it should be. I just darkened the edges of the jacket, giving special care to shadow the breasts and give them a bit of highlighting. I blurred so many times that it was getting silly. I did the same for the pants and all I can say is that maybe it's too 3d looking. It's like her legs are a foot thick. By the way, the camo was made by hand drawing stripes and lightly using Gimp's IWarp tool. I think there's a camo tool, but I forgot to use it.
Her mechanical position shouldn't surprise you. This is a character sketch. Artists like me draw these type of pictures so that I can measure, look, and copy data from this picture. It's likely that a skin will come from this image. You can see the sharp angle used on the outline of the breasts; that isn't because I think breasts look that way. It's just easier to use sharp angles when working with skins. You'll notice that I'm not using bezier at all. I like bezier when it's useful, but not for edges of video game character sketches. You might notice that the head doesn't quite exactly fit with the body (size, etc). That's because I created the body and the head separately. I think it worked fairly well, but probably not perfect.
So who is this girl who I spend so much time on? Her name is Anne Rchy. She's a Martian who learns the truth about the UN's brutality. She saves Jim's life and leads many missions against the PKs and the UN. Her tough exterior, her strive for freedom, and her radical ideals make her a tough foe for any who oppose her.