Digital Art Tutorial: The Making of Cain

Digital Art Tutorial: The Making of Cain

Dmitry Blagorodov is a freelance artist and has experience working individually and in a team. He enjoys creating characters, creatures and transport. Dmitry draws inspiration from his favorite childhood movies like, Terminator, Aliens, Star Wars, etc. Here he takes us through the making of 'Cain.'

I began the character design with a character search. In my case, there are 2 options: Bust Design


Silhouette Design

Often I start to sculpt/draw a character from the face. This may not be the most correct method, but for me the character of the face/muzzle is important. If a pipeline allows you to do so, and not look for the silhouette first thing - I do so. =) ZBrush and similar software allow this. You can "crumple" digital clay until you achieve the desired result.

The c temper is important in the character, whether it be an animal, an insect or even a robot. 

After the bust is ready, we transgress to the silhouette of the body, to the design of the body. This, perhaps, is one of the most difficult moments in the design of the character. At the first stage, we do not pay much attention to anatomy, texture and other specifying points, we just follow the proportions. It is important! Here, the main thing is not to overdo it with the number of limbs, sprouts. We must understand that this is the basis, the skeleton for the future concept, and all this in the future will have to be specified in anatomy. Often beginning artists do not understand this, pile up the image with a lot of details and in the end do not take it all to the proper level. Our task is to make the image understandable, convincing. Realistic.

After searching for the silhouette, finally, we proceed to refine the design. It does not matter which part of the body you start to do it from. It is important to remember that all people pay attention to the face, chest and only then to the hands, and other parts of the body. 


In case you don't understand what you want to do you'll need a deeper knowledge and understanding of anatomy. So we collect the necessary references. In my case, with the character "Cain" of insectoid origin, insects' references are needed, and a little bit (which is not very important) of the elements of industrial design. Here these elements are few. 

I begin to detail the head, neck, shoulders. Here, in addition to insects, I was inspired by such already known characters as Guyver, Predator, Star Wars characters. A characteristic feature of the insectoid is the chitinous cover. We carefully sculpt the surface of the body. Also, do not forget that the cover has "thorns", "hair", which radically distinguishes them even from reptiles. This is a very laborious process, it requires perseverance. It is important not to rush here, if we want a decent result on the way out. ;)
In parallel, I squeeze out of the volume the future "backpack", the device behind Cain, responsible for the management of his drones, bloodhounds. Then I do the drones themselves. Here I wanted the design to be not intricate, ergonomic and dynamic. 

After that, I proceed to the pose of the character. It will be in charge of the mood, talking about the character of the hero. 

Having finished with the model itself, I proceed to test renderings. On them I can better see and understand, where to improve the design, where you need to polish it.  After that, I do several render passes (with different materials) in Keyshot, combine them in Photoshop, parallel to the character's entry into the habitat.. At this finish line, the main thing is not to rush, working with color is not easy. Also, review a lot of references, analogues of other artists works. My character is a villain character, because I chose rather faded colors for my composition. The atmosphere is cold, uncomfortable for a healthy person. It lives in swamps, on the techno-swamps. I love the contrast in design. 

Now the work is done and ready for presentation. 

Thank you for showing interest in my pipeline. In total words can not be described, there are a lot of nuances at each stage, but I hope I told you the basics. The character design and concept art in general are very exciting! It is necessary to be "in love" to create a thrill. I love this work...;) Good luck with your concepts! Cheers!

See more of Dmitry's work on Instagram and Facebook.