Skeleton Analysis (2/3)
After reviewing the characters as they are presented in their final design, I decided to break them down to see what really made them tick. I silhouetted each character and sketched in basic skeletons to break apart the pose and see what the designs are built upon.
With the skeletons in place we see much of what we already knew made clearer. Wide shoulders produce brutish barrel chested characters for Dota and Darksiders (although other Dota characters do use slimmer skeletons to suggest speed over brawn). The addition of a narrow waste to Bob Rafei’s characters add an agile aspect. Ashley Wood enjoys tall imposing characters by using long legs.
Again the skeletons of the female characters highlight what has already been seen. Indeed, it makes the severity of their sexualised nature even more obvious. I was being quite generous when drawing the spines of these characters and tried pulling them into natural positions but you can see, especially in Bob Rafei’s work, a lot of twisting and contorting is present in their poses to give them an appealing look.
Also by silhouetting the characters we can see how their designs effect this appearance. Dota 2’s character goes from having a semi-reasonable tabard and tight trouser, to appearing to be dressed in a miniskirt. In Ashley Woods character we see his exaggeration of butt and breast highlighted as they protrude unnaturally from the body. But as I said I am not here to right about the implications of these design decisions, merely acknowledge them and avoid repeating them
Drawing the skeletons of the characters helped to highlight what I already thought, but I feel in terms of core design I can break the styles down further and find more commonalities among them of simpler natures.