Friday, December 13, 2013

Tips for Anime/Manga/Light Novel Writers Who Cannot Draw

As you may or may not know, I don't just run a blog, but I also write fiction in the form of light novels. Throughout my endeavors, I ran into a major problem. I have so many great character designs, but no artistic ability. So what to do if I want to put these ideas into concrete images? Well, there's a couple of options, some free, some not. I'll give you a quick list of the resources I use.

Soul Calibur IV/V - Character Creation ~ About 20 dollars or less to buy

It's not this in-depth, but you can even plan out concept art like this with pre-designed features in game.
Sorry guys, no pictures of my customs for now. (PS3 is currently dead.) This is my main platform for visualizing my characters. I didn't buy either game for the purpose of doing it, but the great system is something that led to numerous characters. Although great, it's not without flaws.

There were a few things that irked me when it came to customization. First, I'll start with Soul Calibur IV. I like Soul Calibur IV's system, because it has good qualities that were removed with the sequel. The first I can think of is the voice system. When creating a custom character, you select voices from a list to accommodate your character. By adjusting a slider you can make the chosen voice higher and lower. This was done very well in IV as despite the highness or lowness of the voice, as it still sounded natural. While you could not do as much with the character's body in the game, the other features: weapon availability, outfits, numerous colours; prove to be useful.

However in Soul Calibur V the voice system was changed. Now voices can be customized by both pitch and tone, as well as malfestation for that freaky monster voice. Sounds like it was a great idea right? Well, it wasn't. The voices end up being robotic sounding depending on how high or low you set them. So while the amount of customization you could do to your character's appearance increased, the icing on the cake slipped through the cracks. However, SCV is still a good game for character creation.

Phantasy Star Online 2 ~ Free, but somewhat troublesome

Phantasy Star Online 2 offers beautiful graphics and vast worlds for combat and exploration. The perfect setting for a writer. One problem, the game doesn't have an english release yet. However, there's no worry. You can download an english patch easily, but the whole setup and updating might be confusing for those who aren't that tech savvy.

Still there is an alternative. PSO2 has it's own character creator separate from the game. You can download it here.

The character creation system let's the player customize nearly everything about their character. From ears, to eyes, to lip shape, you can make your ideal image. For an indepth guide, click here.

Deviant ~ Free or Not

Last but not least, deviantart. Deviantart has a pretty large database of character creators, which are pretty nice if you want to play around. However, some aren't very good and others you'll find are a bit limited. Still, it's better than nothing.

If character creators aren't really your thing, you can always contact artists that draw in a style that suits your fancy. They will usually requests a form of pay for creating your character, but nothing outrageous. 

What happens if you don't want to take either route? Well, you can always learn how to create characters yourself through artwork and online programs. Deviantart is not only a great place for displaying artwork, but a good medium for learning. 

Hopefully these tips are helpful for aspiring writers! 

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