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Thyra - Real Time Character

Hi all,

Here's a character I was a working on for the past few weeks. She's called Thyra and she's a Nordic witch that is meant to be an enemy character. I sketched out her design, then sculpted her in Zbrush, textured her in Substance 3D Painter, rigged her in Maya 2019. and rendered her in Marmoset Toolbag 4.

For some reason I feel like there's something off with her look and I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's the lighting, maybe it's the skin, maybe it's the hair, maybe it's everything.

Let me know what you guys think.


  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycount lvl 666

    Hi! I think the character looks quite cool.

    A few areas that I think could be improved:

    • Hair in the front (framing the face) clashes a bit with the rest of the hair and makes the character look less wild/chaotic. I wonder why you went away from the concept in this aspect? If you want to keep the current hairstyle, maybe the front needs some roughing up, like self cut, different lengths, no obvious central parting?
    • Skin could use more color and roughness variation. Overall it seems pretty light. You could try to tone the overall brightness down (exposed to nature) and accentuate certain parts of the body (face, hand) using paint/ash. In areas you apply paint/ash, I would try to show subtle detail of it's application and how it ran down in places. Overall dirt could be added in less exposed places (sweat spots + dirt).
    • Clothes could also benefit from some subtle variation and breakup. And here I would think about proper edge treatment (stitching to keep the fabric from dissolving).
    • Eyes look bit "flat". There are some good toolbag tutorials you could follow if you don't already. Imo it's also fine to use/modify an existing eye asset.

    Do you know in which game engine the character will be implemented yet? I believe it saves much trouble/time to check assets in engine as soon as possible.

    Keep it up πŸš€

  • killnpc
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    killnpc polycounter

    i wish i had found this link on nordic runes a while back to help with some freelance concepts. like most general public information it is rather scattered to the winds but this seemed like a great resource.

    so i was looking for what specifically made your character a villain. what's most immediate is that she's a beautiful young woman so her actions must be what's villainous. the pendant of a raven, feathers padding her shoulders, seductive cuts in her frock would lead me to believe she is mischievous and a prankster. were the main character an incel and she ain't putting out like a good girl, i think you'd have a winner. these associative details are good as subtle but are not apparent or forthright. to make her look more like a villain, i'd lean into readable details that made her look tricky. a pretty face will be the first take of attention. in the shadows that frame her, those details should tell why she is not to be trusted or trifled with that are clear nods.

  • moonscape117

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I agree with all the notes you mentioned. I do think she needs a lot more breakup and variation since she's looking too clean and plain. I made the eyes using the marmoset eye tutorial so I guess I need to make some adjustments to the material to keep it from looking flat.

    This character is meant to be in Unreal and yeah I agree it would be wise to implement her asap.

    I'll keep at it. Thanks again!

  • moonscape117

    Nice find! Truth be told I was looking up Nordic runes and found a hodgepodge of images and picked the ones that stood out to me.

    Good point about her villainous nature. It should be more apparent that she is evil and ready to hurt anyone that crosses her. I'll make some adjustments to the lighting, pose, and expression to emphasize this better. Thanks a ton!

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