Realistic Character Design
"Once you pick up realistic drawing,
you can easily apply it to creating
lifelike characters and stylish drawings."
Everything you need to know about
"Realistic Drawing" and the preferences
of the Triple-A video game industry!
Create original, lifelike characters
with drawing and storytelling insights
from "The Last of Us" and "Uncharted"
Main Concept Artist, Hyoungtaek Nam.
Length: 19 videos
Adobe Photoshop CC
6 design exercises
15 PSD files
7 JPG files
+ 1 book material list
AAA Game Studio Naughty Dog's
Concept Artist, Illustrator
Hyoungtaek Nam's Profile & Portfolio
Hi, I'm Concept Artist Hyoungtaek Nam.
While working at Triple-A Game Studio
Naughty Dog in the US,
I participated in creating concept art
for Uncharted and The Last of Us—the most
Game Of The Year winning game of 2013.
I've also worked on numerous
original comics, and more.
As many game studios continue to focus
on delivering qualities of Realism,
concept art based on realistic drawings
and storytelling will continue to advance.
I want to share the knowledge
I've gained through field experience,
to help you develop essential skills
and improve your portfolio
with realistic character concept art design.
I'll guide you through the step-by-step process
of creating a single character:
from drawing techniques for realistic expressions,
narrative costume designs
that fit character concepts
to three-dimensional storytelling insights.
Senior Character Concept Artist at Naughty Dog
Concept Artist at Nihilistic Software
Perpetual Entertainment, Concept Artist
Projects & Awards
The Last of Us: Part 2
The Last of Us
The Last of Us: Left Behind
Uncharted 2 - 4
Unannounced Fantasy Title
Star Trek Online
The Ayzenberg Group
Third Degree Games
6+ Class Exercises
Black & White Sketch
Creating a Concrete Concept
Deciding Character Props
Principles of Clothing Structure
Full-Body Character Design
Expressing Character and Background
Black & White Key Art
Color Key Art
Finalized Color Key Art
Realistic Drawing Skills for Creating Lifelike Characters
Learn to express realism in your concept art through bust sketches and color training,
and get a closer look at the principle design methods of creating clothing & props for characters.
Creating Three-Dimensional Characters Through Storytelling
Based on storytelling insights, learn to create three-dimensional characters with a clear concept and story utilizing details such as facial expressions, gestures, and backgrounds.
Realistic Drawing Skills for Creating Lifelike Characters
Hyoungtaek Nam provides PSD files for effective learning and essential portfolio creation insights for prospective concept artists based on his over 10 years of experience at Naughty Dog.
Understanding Realism-Based DrawingsLearn to create moodboards, tips on setting up tools, idea note usage, and the essentials to creating realistic characters.
Sketch Training to Express Specific Character ConceptsDraw bust sketches for characters using various boxes, diagonal lines, marks, etc., which are the basics of realism drawing, and learn shading and lighting skills
Creating Rich Expressions Through ColoringAdd life to characters with direct & glazing coloring techniques.
Understanding the Principles of Costume Structure & DesignUnderstand the structure of realistic clothing and express details on materials by adding texture and wrinkles.
Understanding Key Art and the Creation ProcessGrasp the importance of realistic composition and theory application. Then use guidelines to arrange a character and background.
Portfolio TipsLearn the day-to-day work process and training techniques of Concept Artists, the company hiring process, composing portfolio pieces, and interview tips.
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SECTION 01. Understanding Drawings Based on Realism
01. Instructor & Class Introduction
- Instructor & class introduction
- Concept illustration & design: Definition and fundamentals
- Explaining character concept design role in game creation
- The necessity for realistic character creation in the game industry
02. Tool Settings for Realistic Depictions
- Making moodboards and introducing essential tools for creating realistic characters
- Preliminary sketch tool setup tips
- Different lines from basic brush tools
03. Employing Idea Notes for Precise Concept Development
- Introducing idea sketch notes
- How to use idea sketch notes
- Actual industry process for delivering precise concepts to clients
SECTION 02. Sketching a Black & White Bust
04. Black & White Bust Sketch Using Moodboards and Sketch Notes (1)
- Various approaches to drawing realistic character heads
- Box approach
- Image reference boards & diagonal line approach
- Grouping lines of shadow & light and using geometric shape guidelines
- Flipping the Subject
- Understanding basic Form Reading & Lighting Structure
- Understanding simple light & shadows with spheres
05. Design Variation Setup for Black & White Bust Sketch (2)
- Collecting facial expression references and applying them to a sketch
- Character personality and concept depictions through lighting
SECTION 03. Coloring Busts
06. Character Bust Coloring Technique
- Introducing direct coloring technique
- Glazing color technique
SECTION 04. Costume Designs that Highlight Character Concepts
07. Costume Design that Embodies the Concept
- Understanding the process of creating character costumes that fits the story
- Full-body character sketches: Costume references (1)
- Importance and logic behind character poses
- The Proposition: Tips on Building Bone Structures
08. Perfecting Costumes
- Full-body character sketches: Costume references (2)
- Understanding the design aspect of character costume creation
- Pros & cons of a rough silhouette sketch
- Understanding the principles of clothing structure
09. Adding a Character Specific Background
- Full-body character sketches using costume references (3)
- Capturing line and plane details
- Process behind creating a presentation background for a character (Framing)
- Background texture creation process
- Tips on creating shadows for figures
10. Finishing Details for Character Concepts
- Character prop design
- Character hand gesture design
SECTION 05. Creating Black&White Key Art
11. Game Concepts Displayed Through Key Art
- Introducing the production process of key art for games
- The importance and application of realistic composition based on Key Art character and background
12. Sketching Black & White Key Art (1)
- Framing according to camera ratio & lens
- Thumbnail sketch
- Positioning character and background through perspective guidelines
13. Sketching Black & White Key Art (2)
- Storytelling using sub-characters
- Understanding compositional flow
- Explaining character story with background objects
SECTION 06. Coloring Black & White Key Art
14. Key Art Coloring Using Color Swatches (1)
- Creating a gradiation color palette and thumbnail
- Color combinations to create realistic expressions
- Creating backgrounds with existing photo references
15. Key Art Character Direct Coloring Technique (2)
- Various direct coloring techniques for characters
- Different types of damage on costumes for realistic characters
- Indicating character story through details in the costume
16. Finishing off Key Art Coloring (3)
- Finalizing color with filtering
- Tips on using curve & hue tool
- Processing texture through an alpha map
SECTION 07. The Job of a Concept Artist
17. Work Process After Completing Concept Design
- Importance of creating a "call out sheet"
- Painting over
- Solving 3D character issues
18. Skill Enhancing Training Techniques
- Training with various drawing exercises
- Pros & cons of sketching, croquis, etc., training techniques
19. Skills and Competencies Needed to Enter a Internationally Recognized Game Studio
- Conventional hiring process
- Tips for creating your portfolio
- Interview tips
with Concept Artist Hyoungtaek Nam
What do you focus on when designing character concepts?
I like to focus on the costumes as they play a significant role in the visual aspect of portraying a character's story. I plan to go over theories that people tend to miss, such as clothing and how to develop a good design.
What are your strengths
as a Concept Artist?
Creating characters with a compelling background story is my biggest strength. A story alone is not visible to the naked eye, so it's vital to develop the story by creating context for every visible aspect.
What's the difference between
Realism and Photo-Realism?
Similar to photo-realistic drawings, the artwork needs to feel real, but more than that, it needs to maintain that realistic aspect in the character's clothes or accessories. It's important to keep the standard to "Would it exist?" rather than "Would it look cool?". Throughout this class, we will cover insights to help maintain that standard.
What's a distinctive trait
in your drawing?
I can create variations to fit each client's request. Knowing the foundation of drawing is essential to storytelling, and with this class, I will teach you key aspects of drawing and working efficiently.
Do you have any special tips
when it comes to portfolios?
Most American Triple-A (AAA) game studios work based on realism. Therefore, gaining realistic drawing skills is first and foremost. When creating a portfolio it's important to show your personal taste through your art, as it will set the path of your creations after getting into a studio.
This course will use Adobe Photoshop CC.
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* All programs and requirements will not be provided as part of the class.
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