Hello!!! At the Toy Büro we are currently shaping a story titled “The Offsiders”. Two of their characters are Sergi (a spanish boy) and Svenson (a viking). At the moment we have them in two different mediums. As cards which are part of a board game, and toy figures. Both are still prototypes but we are hoping to get the finished product soon. In this three part blog entry we will share the process we went through while making both the cards and the toys. We learnt that one thing is what you have in mind and a different one, what you end up doing.

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I – SKETCHING

First, all you´ve got is a blank sheet of paper, so it’s time to start sketching your character. This is what all skilled artists do but  ehhhhhrrr…. it’s not my case because… I rarely sketch! At least not in a precise and professional way. I just make some shapes to check with my eyes if what I have in mind is right. Below there’s an image of a sketch and the final character next to it. And that’s one of my more detailed sketches ever…. I know they look weird, and lack rigor, but they do help me, a lot. Details come afterwards, but the idea is always there, in the sketch. Maybe my enthusiasm to jump to the computer makes me rush with sketches. Many times there’s not even a drawing, I just write down words and ideas describing a character or background.

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But… in the case of Sergi & Svenson I am sad to admit there was no sketch involved at all, not even a simple sketch like the one above. Both were made from scratch using Adobe Illustrator (my favourite piece of software!) . This is not the most reliable thing to do but it works for me. I started throwing vectors without much knowledge of what was going to happen next. All I knew was that they had to be football (soccer) players.

 

II – VECTORS

In the picture below you can see the first vector version of the two characters. The main difference between them and the final characters (on their right) rely on the edges. They were a lot more softer and rounded then. Not as straight and sharp as they are now. Looking at these I am glad we didn’t stick with the first characters, because I usually have to fight with myself not to stick with first versions. And it’s good to play a little so your character can develop before getting conclusions.

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“The Offsiders” story is now filled with humans, robots and animals. But this first characters date from before there was even a story, so they are mostly humans and some fan art I did just for fun. “Jake”, “Finn” (both from Adventure Time), “Gomez” (Fez video game) and “Garnet” (Steven Universe) are the ones I remember drawing. The idea was to make the characters into a playable card deck. So we needed more ideas, to get at least twenty something characters. I like vectors, I LOVE them to be more precise. I love putting tons of vectors with transparency on top of others. Generating thousand of nodes is almost therapeutical. But I was experimenting with photoshop and smart objects at the time so this project was a nice excuse for trying textures on top of those vectors.

In the next post I will talk about that passage from vector to bitmap.

Stay tuned!

BH

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