Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Character Designs for a Game: Part Three, The Troll

Today's design is the Troll, which I have to admit is a complex creature because there are so many different versions in many world cultures. 
Some are giants, while others are human size . . . Or they are long-haired, naked, googly-eyed imps as in the popular 70's dolls (which were re-popularized in the 90's.)
In D+D and fantasy games, they are often twice a human size, slow-witted and regenerating menaces. Or, as in my Mother-in-Law's Icelandic traditions, they are 13 dwarf-looking brothers, who each take turns invading homes on the 13 days of Christmas. Some of the most annoying Trolls . . . are Internet Trolls. 

The many types of Trolls throughout the world
Some live under bridges, others live in the mountains or as in World of Warcraft they are a dispersed race that have reggae accents. Some even turn into stone because they see sunlight.

But generally there's one thing in common: they are ugly creatures.

Since this Troll is a role-playing game, I naturally had to focus on creating a more classic D+D gaming version . . . but keep it unique and original from all the others.
A few rough pencils sketches, which helps me to explore, finding some unique (but recognizable) character features.
It was also important to keep this character different enough from the other 3 characters I was making for the game. As I previously mentioned, several of these creatures are interchangeable, where you may think a Troll might look more like an Ogre, Giant or Orc than a Troll. Hopefully, with the main character features, props and coloring, each of these designs will generally represent their legendary gaming creature.
The original pencil sketch of the Troll
Once I had the design cleaned and tightened, I decided to make a few color comps for the Troll's coloring using markers. The Troll was the only design of the four that I did a marker comp; I wanted to see how the coloring would affect the character. I gave Steve four color options, and again, he picked the same one I preferred . . . The yellow-green version.
Quick color comps I did with markers. Only one image was rendered on paper; then that was scanned into Photoshop, where the hues of the skin/hair were altered to create 3 more variations of color.
To help suggest the Troll's massive size, I gave him a heavy wooden club the size of a tree trunk.
The inked version of the Troll with his tree trunk sized club
I still feel this character could easily play the part of an Orc, Ogre or Giant . . . But when comparing this to the other designs - hopefully, the traits of a Troll will be more apparent.

Full-color image on dark background with drop shadowing