Wild West and Wizards Character

A contract job I’m currently working on where I’m in charge of characters and character art direction

Wild West and Wizards is an open world RPG where the styles between wizard and wild west need to merge. Our agreed upon aesthetic is to focus more on the wild west aspect, but I made sure to incorporate loose fitting clothes that are more common for wizards.

Since starting this open world RPG project, I’ve been inspired from a couple different sources. For one, Westworld is one of the best written television shows ever, and seeing their costume design really inspired me–especially when it came to color balancing! However, Wild West and Wizards needed a more silly approach to fit the intended mood of the game, so I made sure to re-watch Blazing Saddles to get another take on the popular wild west genre. I noticed that most of the color palettes that I came across were very muted, so I made sure to stick with three core colors that worked together with one accent to draw the eye around the character.

Wild West and Wizards Character Render Full Back
More characters/clothing to come!

My personal favorite part of this project was creating the hair in a way that was geometrically engaging while also utilizing Substance Painter to create a more procedural pipeline for future hair creation. I learned so much more beyond hand painting and seamless textures; now, I can easily swap out colors, accented edges, and highlights/shadows rather than having to repaint layer after layer. It makes the process much easier to look at as well as adjust.

Wild West and Wizards Character Render Full
I put clasps on the back because running around with such thick boots can get difficult!

While on the subject of the hair, I also had a great time creating a hair “bob” rigging system so that her hair can have physics attached which will create a better sense of realism and dynamic movement while moving around the environment. Her braid can swoosh back and forth as well as the ends of her bangs in beside her face.

Currently, we’re also working on getting cloth physics to work as well so that the skirt can add some extra movement. I thought this would be beneficial considering it’s an open world RPG where a lot of environments will be stationary while the cloth will make the player easy to pick out of a crowd of NPCs. This way, it will make it easier for the viewer to spot their character no matter what. Plus, wizards always wear loose fitting garb so that they can cast spells easier! I always try to consider why the character would be wearing certain garments when designing for a specific world.



I’m currently working on getting Marmoset Viewer to work on my website, so in the meantime here’s a link to the 3D viewer if you would like a closer view at the topology/texture maps. Thank you for your patience! 🙂


Software Used:

  • Maya
  • Marvelous Designer
  • ZBrush
  • Topogun
  • Akeytsu
  • Substance Painter
  • Photoshop
  • MotionBuilder
  • Marmoset

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