January 2nd, 2013 Update: Alternative Character Customization
Quotes from the Official Skyrim Concept Art Book On Each of the Races of Humans:
- “Bretons are the average human race. They have more rounded and softer features compared to the other human races.”
- “The Nords are the primary race of Skyrim. They have fair skin and hair that contrasts against their strong facial features.”
- “The Imperial race is based off of classical Features. They generally have strong facial structures, and darker skin and hair tones.”
- “When we designed the Redguards, we based them off of Moorish culture. This gave us a unique combination of looks that could fit many characters.”
My Own Notes:
When working the Bretons I took a look at a lot of different references, as they’re supposed to be the “average human race”. They’re specifically supposed to have softer and more rounded features, so that’s what I tried to give them.
Something I always found interesting was the size of the brow bump in the concept art— it’s actually quite large! I figured this may be indicative of their mixed elven ancestry, so I thought it might be a neat (and subtle) trait to include!
When trying to find a face I thought fit for the Nords, I tried to follow the concept art closely as well as look at different faces with “strong facial features” that I thought might reflect a Nord while still allowing a lot of work-room so that the face isn’t too predefined at the beginning.
Working on the Imperials ended up being a lot of fun. After I’d run through the Bretons and Nords already (although I did go back and touch them up as I’ve gone, and I’ll probably continue to do so) I felt I’d learned enough to try to go for the “classical features” of the Imperials. I’ve always related classical features to the 19th century paintings and Greek and Roman statues, and as it turns out that’s what a lot of people were under the impression of as well!
I tried to give the imperials strong implied planar definition while still keeping that smooth “statue-like” feature. I kept trying to imagine the face turning into a statue, and thinking about if it was “Greek/Roman Statue Enough”…
I think I may have done a decent job in that regard!
For the Redguards I, obviously, looked at the Moors of Earth! They have many descendents in many areas, and they’re known for their genetic diversity, so I was presented with a bit of a challenge! They aren’t exactly defined as looking a certain way. They had traits that were North African, Sub-Saharan African, Arabic, Middle Eastern, European, etc.
Bethesda specifically stated that they wanted the Redguards to be able to fit many characters— so I felt they should have a face that reflects the “Moorish” side to their facial traits but still leaves open a lot of room for what the character could look like!
They come from a different bloodline than the Imperials/Nords/Bretons, so I figured that I would give them some traits that I hadn’t given the other races of man yet to make them seem comparatively “exotic” while keeping them relatively undefined (have to fit many characters, after all!).
Now I’m going to get to work on the human female textures! I’m really excited for those, too. First up, naturally, will be the Nords. I’ll probably edit minor things about the male ones unless I notice a huge problem.
If you’ve got any advice, criticism, comments, suggestions, etc. feel free to drop me a message!