3D characters are virtual creatures that inhabit the fictional worlds of computer games and movie universes. In addition, they are often used in business advertising, and with their charisma win whole armies of fans for brands.

Modeling a 3D character is a process in which technical precision and knowledge of anatomy intersect with the flight of the designer’s imagination. This combination allows you to create unique creatures with their own character, style and behavior.

How 3D characters differ from 2D


How 3D characters differ from 2D AVADA-MEDIA

2D are flat characters with only width and height, and for 3D models a third characteristic is added – depth. That is, three-dimensional images are three-dimensional, and they can be viewed from all sides.

The main advantages of 3D graphics:

  • Realism. Any level of detail can be achieved in 3D models. For example, 3D characters were used in the creation of such cult games as Call of Duty, Doom Eternal, Horizon: Zero Dawn and others.
  • Rotation capability. The 3D character model can be viewed from different angles: from the side, from behind, from above. Whereas a two-dimensional picture can be simply zoomed in or out.
  • Tuning speed. The finished model is easy to adjust, so adding new features and capabilities is easy.
  • Freedom of animation. 3D characters are easy to control. They are already modeled in 3D, which means they don’t need to be redrawn in different poses to depict movement.

Stages of creating a 3D character


Stages of creating a 3D character AVADA-MEDIA

The visual appeal of the character, his story, style, traits and moral principles are what the player identifies with during the game. Therefore, in game development, the development of heroes is one of the key moments and a lot of effort is put into it.

The character creation process is divided into several main stages. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.

Concept development

The concept is the foundation of the future project. At this stage, references are collected, ideas are put forward and preliminary sketches are created. As a result, the customer receives several options for how the character might look, and the “combat” option is approved with him.

When the image is approved, additional sketches are created, reflecting different variations in the character’s body position, his facial expressions, equipment, clothes, color palette and other nuances. Subsequently, these points also go through the stage of approval.

High-poly model sculpting

Then the designer “sculpts” the most detailed digital version of the character, in a hi-poly model – with the greatest detail. The fact is that in the subsequent stages it will be problematic to finalize the detailing, so everything needs to be taken care of now.

This is a laborious process that takes quite a long time. The timing depends on the complexity of the model.


It is almost impossible to integrate a mesh with several million polygons into a game. This is due to the fact that such a model is difficult to force to respond quickly to any commands. Therefore, a retopology is done – that is, on the basis of the existing mesh, which we received at the previous stage, a new one is built, with a smaller number of polygons.


The 3D character consists of volumetric shapes, but the system does not know how to apply a flat texture to geometric objects. Therefore, at the next stage, the designer performs an unfolding – translates all the elements of the character into a plane. In this case, the greatest attention is paid to the area where the greatest detail is required – more space is allocated to such areas.

Character texturing

At this stage, the designer creates textures and applies them to the character model. There are two popular types of texturing:

  • Embossed display is a technology that makes it possible to create the most realistic design. There are also several flavors here: Bump mapping, Normal mapping and Parallax occlusion mapping.
  • MIP is a method that uses multiple copies of the same texture image with varying degrees of detail.
    The quality of the final result depends on the experience and skills of the designer.

Rigging and skinning a character

To give the character the ability to move correctly, he must be equipped with a musculoskeletal system. Therefore, at the final stage, the designer creates a skeleton and skins the finished 3D model to it. Depending on the complexity of the project, 20 to 100 bones may be required.

The process is quite laborious, since you need to correctly distribute the weight for each vertex of the character.

3D character design

Rules for creating three-dimensional characters


Rules for creating three-dimensional characters AVADA-MEDIA

In order for the character to evoke the necessary emotions and be remembered, it is worth following some rules during the development of the model. Understanding them is important not only for the developer, but also for the customer involved in the approval process.


  • Don’t overuse color. The color palette must be used sparingly, otherwise the person simply will not understand which part of the model to look at. The three main shades and their variations are most often used.
  • The characters must be different. Each model must be unique. Ideally, a person should only have a glance at one silhouette to guess who is hiding behind it.
  • Use accessories. Sometimes, in order to emphasize the peculiarity or traits of the character, he needs to add accessories – special weapons, decoration, etc. This will help make it more expressive.
  • Exaggerate. Sometimes visual exaggeration can reflect the character’s behavior and make it more memorable. For example, if he is strong – do not skimp on muscles, if weak – make him skinny, etc.
  • Simplify. The simpler the character, the easier it is for the user to remember it, so try to remove everything unnecessary from its visual display.
3D character design

Creating a 3D character in AVADA MEDIA


Creating a 3D character in AVADA MEDIA AVADA-MEDIA

AVADA MEDIA employs experienced 3D designers with extensive experience in character development for various games and animation videos.

We use modern technology to achieve flawless results. Write, and we will discuss the development of a future character for your project.

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The best confirmation of our qualifications and professionalism are the stories of the success of our clients and the differences in their business before and after working with us.

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