Accelerating Concept Art with Character Creator
As the world of 3D art and animation continues to experience a new renaissance, CG artists need the best possible tools to bring their vision to life. In this article, find out why Senior Concept Artist Kyle Brown recommends Reallusion’s Character Creator 3 to seamlessly move through the workflow of concept to finished product.
Kyle Brown is a Senior Concept Artist in games, film and TV. Since 2015, his resume includes Ready Player 1, X- Men Dark Phoenix, Men in Black, IT, Umbrella Academy Season 2 and more. He is also an instructor at the prestigious Gnomon school where he teaches concept creature design.
Bringing characters to life with posing and dressing
Character Creator 3 caught the attention of Kyle while he was on the lookout for ways to improve and hone his craft. He had previously used similar software to pose and dress characters, but found that Character Creator 3 did this and more.
“It is easy to get distracted with new software or think that every new tool is going to be the answer to the design problems we have, but most of the time I find that to not be the case. Every once in a while a piece of software comes along that feels like a lightbulb moment and really helps improve what I was doing before. No piece of software is ever going to fully remove the need for the artist, but with software like CC3, it makes it a much more enjoyable experience.”
Accelerating the creative process with Character Creator’s fantastic content assets
With Character Creator, Kyle found a sophisticated yet simple workflow that provides all the necessary pieces for his creations. Provided resources and libraries make the prospect of using Character Creator even more appealing, and remove much of the busy work that sometimes comes with 3D modeling.
“Character Creator has all of these fantastic built-in assets and libraries, like their human bases and morph sliders, that allow you to make anatomically correct alterations without having to hand sculpt everything. Most of the time I just want to get a base up and running quickly, so I can block out a costume or features that are going to help with the final design. Character Creator 3 removes the tedious process of having to hand sculpt all of those details first before actually getting into the rest of the design. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to understand how to sculpt these elements yourself, but this just helps speed the process along.”
The scope of Character Creator’s tools is immense and provides numerous ways to ease the burden on the artist, allowing them to focus solely on their creativity.
“I love that the asset library includes everything from surface details, to anatomical morphs, expressions, clothes, props, and scenes. It gives you a lot of flexibility to quickly dress up your character to get a basic look that you can take further. I’m a big fan of the costume elements. You can even apply skin weights to help with the posing of costumes. I have also been a huge fan of CC3’s Headshot Plug-in which allows you to upload a single image of a person, usually an actor, for when I need to capture a likeness quickly. It does a great job of blocking out to the basic shapes that I can modify further.”
Perfect bridge to ZBrush, Substance Painter, Unreal, and other tools
The ability to flow naturally from one part of a project to another is an often overlooked part of the creative process. With Character Creator, Kyle has found a simple workflow that makes all aspects of his work much smoother.
“I was so excited by the opportunities and flexibility it gave me. It took what other software had done before but streamlined the whole process and made it much more efficient. For me in particular, it’s all about the fluidity of the design process. The ability to go back-and-forth and make changes on the fly was a game changer.”
With a pipeline that involved a number of programs outside of Character Creator and the Reallusion suite, it was important that Kyle had an easy way to move between all of them, and limit wait times and headaches that naturally come with working with different ecosystems.
“Once I have the base, I take it over to ZBrush where I will do the sculpting and costume work. That’s where Character Creator 3 really shines. I can send the model back over to Character Creator from ZBrush using GoZ and retain the rigged attributes to easily pose or animate my brand new design, something I just couldn’t do before. Not easily at least. The bridge between Character Creator 3 and ZBrush is invaluable for an artist like myself who doesn’t want to get bogged down with all of the technical stuff. It keeps the whole workflow running smoothly and efficiently. There are also tools built in to send your model to be textured.”
The learning curve – seamless integration with existing toolkits
Kyle says that one of Character Creator’s greatest features is its ease of use and user-friendly interface. He is no stranger to the difficulties that can come from learning a new program and having to adapt his workflow; Character Creator has made this process as easy as can be.
“Reallusion took what those other programs had done and just streamlined the whole thing. The interface is so much cleaner and easier to understand which made taking a deep dive into it that much easier. I didn’t feel like I was bogged down by the technical part of learning a new program. I talked to Reallusion initially when we discussed my workflow as a concept artist and how I thought this could be valuable to how I worked. They did a wonderful job of spotlighting their new features that felt like a perfect serendipitous addition to the way I was working.”
Additionally, Reallusion has done everything in their power to ensure that Character Creator has no compromises. Whether you’re integrating it into your existing workflow or starting from scratch, Character Creator offers a seamless experience for any project environment without having to sacrifice any part of your existing toolkit.
“CC3 is a relatively new addition to my workflow, so I can’t talk too much about the projects I’ve used it on, but they include the Shazam sequel as well as the Borderlands video game film adaptation. All I can say is the process just goes so much smoother than other programs. Character Creator has actually done a wonderful job of utilizing the power of those other programs so you can still keep them as part of your toolbox.
I am always keeping an eye on trends in the design landscape, and this was certainly a great addition to the world of concept design. I can’t wait to share the work I’ve done using their software. I’m constantly telling friends and peers who work in the industry about Character Creator 3 and how valuable it has been to my work as a whole.”
Into the future – extensive creative possibilities
With the ease of use that Character Creator provides, it should come as no surprise when we look at the catalog of work that has been produced with it. Although CG artists like Kyle Brown have already begun to see the limitless potential of the program, other professions have also begun to explore and discover just what this program can provide.
From architects to lighting artists, numerous professions have found a perfect balance of user-friendly UI, powerful engine and capabilities, and fluid compatibility with Reallusion’s Character Creator.
Image credit: John Yim, Architect and CGI Artist
Image credit: Pasquale Scionti, Senior Environment/Lighting Artist
Image credit: Epo, Lighting Artist
To experience what Kyle Brown and numerous other CG professionals have been enjoying with Character Creator, Reallusion offers an extensive free trial. In addition, Kyle has even gone as far as to provide his expertise and time by creating an extensive tutorial that highlights and walks users through Character Creator. This way, both new and experienced artists can hit the ground running with this groundbreaking program!
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