Making Samurai... tokens
GP was nice enough to let me post my process for making overhead character tokens. In this case I am making a set of tokens based on 4 poses. However with a bit of work I can take these four and create several variations.
My process is pretty straightforward and uses Illustrator and Photoshop and a healthy amount of pen and ink work. I've used Poser as a base reference for the poses.
Visualize what you want the tokens to look like or represent.
Using poser create a body shape that looks right from the overhead camera.
Get some reference. In this case GP provided some great links, plus I'm watching The Last Samurai and the Seven Samurai over and over.
After getting the sketches and reference together I draw the lower legs, torsos and heads separately.
I draw the parts on tracing vellum, over my reference or rough sketches.
I then scan in the pieces and in PS clean up the work. Adjust the levels to get a nice contrasty image, then I select the white and delete it making the background transparent. Using a large red layer stroke I find all the crap that is partially a result of having a dusty scanner. Selecting the background again and then increasing the selection by 1 pxl usually removes most of the crap.
I've put the bodies away for a bit, since the next step there is to head to illustrator. I've taken my head template and made a nice b/w version of it.
Then duplicating it 8 times make a template to create my samuarai heads.
Truly top down tokens would rarely show the face, so here I have taken a bit of an angle so that facial features can be seen so that the tokens have a unique look to them.
Cool stuff Devin!
I could never draw/sketch people worth a darn.
I'll post more as I work on it. I have very little time right now but will see this thread through the completed color tokens and some variants.
Awesome - always did want to see how you did it. Repped naturally...
It's been a while but I need to get these Samurai done in the next week or so.
So using the templates I have made clothing for them, and using the head template sketched up a few kabuto (helmets).
With the kabuto I have several pieces that will overlap with the head. These are traced from my sketches in Illustrator. Most of my stuff is live traced, but with things that require a lot of symmetry I will trace them with the pen tool from half the object and then reflect it.
I will be doing weapons today and will post those later.
Here are the weapon images.
I almost have all the parts ready.
It's taken 18 8.5x11 sheets of sketches and tracings to get this far.
I will start posting some images with color soon.
Good stuff DN. I always like to see character studies.
Great looking tokens so far and I like the methodology. Thanks, DK!