Hey everyone, my name is Emily Dillhunt. I’m a junior here at Stout, and just recently started working on the Harvey project. It’s an honor to be able to help out in a project like this, I see great things in the future of our program.
If there’s anything that’s come to my attention in the first few weeks of taking part in this project, it’s how passionate and committed all of the students are. It’s a great experience to be able to take part in such a large group of designers, all putting forth their unique specializations to create a game. I can’t wait to see what the final project will turn out to be.
Speaking of unique specializations, I’m a part of the character sculpting team. What we do is a bit of a mixture of technical skill and aesthetic decision making; it’s not enough to just make the characters look nice (though that’s pretty important), they have to be built so they can function well, too. If they’re not built properly, the animators will have a tough time doing their job.
Sculpting a character starts out simple: you need a reference. In my case, as a new member I was tasked with the creation of Clarence “Cal” Peters, a muralist who painted at Stout in the ’30s. The tricky thing, however, is that when Cal was at Stout painting his murals, he was 32… And my references are from 30 years later, when he is 60 years old. You can see (right) what he looked like at some point in his later life, after he moved out to California.
So here’s what I knew about Cal: He was 32 when he painted in the basement of Harvey Hall. He liked history and strived to be historically accurate in his depictions. He always wore a white t-shit when painting, and was described as being “slight, unruly haired.” And then, of course, I needed to de-age him about three decades. After some quick ideation sketches, I started to develop the basic shape of his face–working out how his nose, ears, eyes, and chin were shaped–and from there it was a lot of scaling (did you know your ears and your nose never stop growing?) and minor tweaks like figuring out his eye shape and how his hair would look.
Eventually this was the final result, which will potentially go on to a sculptor to create the 3D game model. Who knows, maybe you’ll see Cal later in Harvey Hall! Only time will tell.