Character Design

This section describes the process of designing unique and consistent looking character faces!

Mac This is Mac Arnot, a mysterious cadet in the Bludhaven Police Academy with Dick Grayson. He is a guy of the street, clearly motivated by his own hidden agenda of "no good."

So, how did I design this guy?


Try to think of someone (a celebrity is preferred - someone that is photographed from many angles and settings) that reminds you of the character description. In this case, I thought of the Matt Dillon character in The Outsiders. A tough, street-wise kid that clearly can think on his feet.


Try to find as many photographic references as possible on your targeted model. Try to find ones with good lighting, clearly revealing features of the person's face. I lucked out and found a recent photo shoot of Matt in a fashion magazine. This works well for me, as Mac is older than the teen I first thought of.
Matt This is Matt Dillon, who is my target model for Mac Arnot.

So - now what??

Matt Mac


Try to capture the "feel" of the face. It's not necessary to capture an exact likeness. I don't try to - I just try to get the right "style" of the face. Once we have one view (and here we have captured the front view), we set up a turn-around.


Set the view completed into a grid of 5 views: Front, 3/4 Front, Side, 3/4 Side, and Back.

Extend guidelines from the facial features of the initial view across the grid. You will use these to keep the facial features in the proper alignment as you try to figure out the other views. Mac
Fill in the remaining views. Bear in mind that it will take some trial and error to get the face to appear correct in the other views. It will help tremendously if you can find clear photos of the target model from some of these key angles. Mac
That's it! Now you have a customized character model sheet that will help you keep your characters looking unique and consistent! Mac


Here are some others that I've done recently on Nightwing characters.
Every major and supporting character in Nightwing has one!

Mac Arnot

Matt Dillon

Matt Mac

Academy Sergeant

Clint Eastwood

Clint Sgt.

Shooting Inst.

James B. Sikking

James Instr.

Housing Auth. Cop

Reggie White

Reggie Sander

Turk Fremunda

Dennis Farina

Dennis Turk