I hear voices in my head all the time…but I promise I’m not crazy! It’s my characters, you see. They speak to me. They speak to each other. Sometimes, their voices are just as real to me as my own. I hear their voices, feel their feelings, see their faces. I only wish I could draw them!
Unfortunately, unlike some writers, I am NOT also a drawer. Every time I see a fellow writer’s character sketches, especially those in the kinda cartoon/anime style, I turn positively green with envy. But I will not be cowed!
For many months I have been on the hunt for a program that will let me draw my characters digitally, and while procrastinating from my exam study last week, I’ve finally found one I like! Rinmaru Games is a free online dress-up game and avatar creator, and using the site’s Mega Anime Avatar Creator, I have FINALLY been able to bring visuals of my characters to life!
Meet Asa and Kael O’Dair, the protagonists of my WIP epic fantasy series Graceborn:
They are brothers in all but blood. Kael was adopted by the O’Dairs at ten years old, when he was found wandering in the middle of nowhere (there’s a sneaky little fact for you). They are also nothing alike—can you tell which one’s “naughty” and which one’s “nice”?
Interested in the process used to make these portraits? Want to create your own? Well, here’s how…
Step 1 – Open and setup the website.
Go to http://www.rinmarugames.com/playgame.php?game_link=mega-anime-avatar-creator and select PLAY GAME.
A video advertisement may pop up, but once it finishes the following screen will appear. Select PLAY.
You should see the default avatar and MAKE OVER MENU. Now you’re ready to start!
Step 2 – Select facial features
Create your character’s facial features using the MAKE OVER MENU. As you can see, there are heaps of options. The main limitation is that you can’t choose different face shapes, but you can do almost everything else!
Step 3 – Select hairstyle
Put hair on your character’s head with the HAIR STYLES MENU. Again, there are so many options. Note that HAIR BOTTOMS is the hairstyle at the back of the head, and HAIR EXTRA is around the ears.
Step 4 – Select clothing
Clothe your character with the OUTFITS MENU. Jackets, coats and cloaks can be found by clicking on the OUTERWEAR tile. One limitation her is that you can’t leave your avatar topless, but a number of the tops can be tailored for a male/female body shape.
Step 5 – Select accessories
Choose accessories for your character with the ACCESSORIES MENU. The possibilities are nearly endless! Note that there are headwear items in the HATS section that are not actually hats, so make sure you check it out before accepting you can’t find what you’re looking for (e.g. Asa’s flower crown was found in the HATS section!).
Step 6 – Select hand position
Select your character’s hand position with the HANDS MENU. The default is for the avatar to have its hands by its sides, where you can’t see them. This menu lets you choose to have your character hold something or have their bare hands in front of them in a number of different poses.
Step 7 – Select background
Select the background for your character portrait in BACKGROUNDS. The only plain background is the default teal colour, but I’m sure that can be adjusted in some other program. Otherwise, there are dozens of unique backgrounds to choose from!
Step 8 – Download
Download your character portrait by selecting the orange camera button on the bottom of the screen. The picture will download as a JPEG around 455 x 601 pixels in size.
Example – Asa
Example – Kael
All base images in this post are taken from Rinmaru Games Mega Anime Avatar Creator. Edits were made using Microsoft Word. Good luck creating your own character portraits!
What do you think of Rinmaru Games and my character portraits? What tools and programs do you use to draw your characters? Send me links to your pictures!