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This is a tutorial split over two videos on polishing a game character in Inkscape quickly and easily. Refining the head and working in the body, legs, and arms.

Hans Hildenbrand, Blogger

July 23, 2021

2 Min Read

Refining the head

The first video is about refining a game character in Inkscape. In this tutorial, I will be revisiting the character from an older tutorial on character animation. The initial caveman was lacking a bit of detail and depth. With advances in Inkscape [the original design is dating back to 2014] it is now possible to quickly and easily add a layer of polish to your older designs.

Tools used to refine the character design

I am mainly working with blur on the existing shapes. The blend modes are adjusted for shading. I prefer a ‘Multiply’ with opacity to a ‘Normal’ for shadows. Try and avoid plain black and white for your shading. It easily ends up looking dead. A rich dark brown or a deep purple works just as well. Have a go and play with the colours that work best for you. Detail doesn’t have to be overly complex. A lot of the time simple shapes [circles, ellipses, diamond shapes, etc.] work fine. Placing objects in clipping groups helps constrain the elements inside, especially when using effects like a blur.
Recycle as much of the art as possible! I duplicate and modify rather than create from scratch.  It helps speed up the creation process a lot.


Polishing the body

This is the 2nd video on polishing a game character in Inkscape. Part 1 covered the head and the general approach. In this video, I will continue working on the character’s body, legs, and arms.  The caveman was first created in an old [now obsolete] tutorial on character animation. The design was nice but missing detail and depth. In the meantime [2014 to now] Inkscape has constantly evolved and improved. It is now possible to quickly and easily add a layer of polish using clipping groups, blurred shapes, and work with layer blend modes.

I hope you had as much fun with the video as I did [once I overcame some technical issues in Inkscape that put a spanner in the works while recording]. Give it a try, play around with clipping groups [they are awesome], and see where it leads.

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