ux.artu.tv » Blog Archive » Meet Elwë the Lizzard, created with Expression Design

Meet Elwë the Lizzard, created with Expression Design

Studio Aiko, an amazing character design studio in Thailand kindly invited me to participate in her second Monster Party due on Christmas day 2008. You can go to the Monster Party and vote for your favorite character. The idea was to send a monster with christmas/winter theme. I decided to create Elwë the Lizzard. To get to it I got 3 sources of inspiration: 1) a sketch I had drawn a few months ago 2) a Lizzard (or some similar animal) and 3) Will Ferrell’s interpretation of an elf in his Elf movie. Very funny!

I created the entire character in Expression Design using the bezier pen, dynamic colors and effects. I also used a bit of Photoshop to create the furry feel in the coat and hat.

You can download the source Design file for Elwë the Lizzard here… I hope it helps you get some ideas on how to design characters or icons. Smile

elwe_lizzard.png

What do you get when you mix Will Ferrell’s Elf character with a lizard?

sketch01.jpg

I had drawn this sketch a few months ago… I envisioned it as a little monster with little pointy teeth. I left it there in my sketchbook waiting for the right time to bring it to life.

step2_elwe_small.jpg

When Aiko invited me to participate in the Monster Party No. 2 contest for Christmas I thought the original sketch would be great for a monster so scanned the sketch and then used Expression Design bezier pen to draw the outlines… Because this is a Christmas theme I had to dress up my monster with an elf looking suit. I got inspiration from Will Ferrell’s Elf character… he is so funny!

step3_elwe_small.jpg

I then realized the eyes were cute but it didn’t really look like a monster or a lizzard so I change the eyes to be more lizzard looking. This kind of removed the cuteness of the character but I liked it more… I continued to add details using the bezier pen. You will also notice I added some surface curves around the head, body and legs which helped me keep track of perspective and angles much better…

step4_elwe_small.jpg

Here I gave it the first color pass, just trying to determine the colors for different parts of the lizzard… it all felt too green! but lizzards are kind of green and Will’s suit is green so I decided to make it work somehow using only greens… the risk was for the result to end up looking all green making it hard to separate body from head and tail but the next stage (textures) helped a lot in achieving a good visual result even when it’s all green.

step5_elwe_small.jpg

I started adding textures… I got a reptile skin image and applied it using the Screen Blending mode in Expression Design. This is a very subtle reptile skin texture which works well with this cartoon type of character. I loved the result. I played with Opacity to achieve the bumpiness of the reptile skin I wanted.

step6_elwe_small1.jpg

At the end I took my image into Photoshop and added the final details. I used the smear tool to create the furry look in the white collar and the hat. I then brough the image back into Expression Design and added the black outline to make the character stand out from the background. You can see Elwë the lizzard dancing in the Monster Party at: www.studioaiko.com/MonstersParty.html

Please visit Studio Aiko and vote for one of the many cool characters in the Monster Party.

11 Responses to “Meet Elwë the Lizzard, created with Expression Design”

  1. Fred C Says:

    Well done, Arturo!

  2. ArturoT Says:

    Thank you very much! :)

  3. Silverlight Girl Says:

    Wonderful! My favorite from all the entries of the Monster Party. Very rich and finished. Good caricature proportions and accomplished volume. I wish I owned Expression Design. I didn’t even download the trial version for fear of liking it too much!
    I am adding this post to Mashooo’s Silverlight Gamers Useful Resources, I find it inspiring.
    Elwë should have won.

  4. Richard Stricker Says:

    Very nicely drawn, Arturo. Thanks for sharing the talent and your strength with ED. Could you please tell me a bit more about the step where you applied the snake skin texture with the blend tool. I am afraid I do not understand this feature.

    R

  5. ArturoT Says:

    Hello Richard!
    To do the skin I brought in a bitmap texture with reptile skin into Design. I then applied a 25% opacity and most importantly a Screen blend mode. The blend modes are kind of hidden, you can see it by clicking the little chevron on the bottom of the Appearance panel. you will see there Blend Mode. That makes the bitmap blend in nicely with the face of the lizzard while making the texture feel a little bumpy.

  6. Richard Stricker Says:

    Thanks, Arturo. I appreciate you bringing up the blend mode. When I read about it in the manual I couldn’t imagine how it could be used. You gave me enough of a hint to make it begin to work for me. Nice feature!

    I appreciate you sharing your techniques so clearly. That is a real help for a beginner like myself.

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