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Creating a character?


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it has been so long since I last thought about this. In the last few years of elementary school I created a cringy looking OC with a cringy name. I can't remember it, I just remember that the whole pony was bad. 

So now I'm trying to create a new one... and I have no idea where to start. I remember seeing a youtube video in the 7th grade saying that you shouldn't use the pony creator game, but thats pretty much it...

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(woop sorry this is long)

well, when I create a character first I start with the character's story. I find that if I design the character beforehand, it limits the background of the character. Make sure it's not obnoxiously OP, and make sure they have some flaws. ex: arrogant, hypocritical, over-competitive, dishonest... I find that flaws that real people have made the character more real. Flaws make the character more interesting. Figure out their past. What did they do in their past that shapes them today? What about goals? Do they have a goal they are reaching for? One thing you have to make sure you don't do is reject the normal. I've seen all too many characters that parents died in a fire... they are bullied.. and they lose the love of their life.. that kind of thing. Its ok to add one or two mundane things into your character's story that will draw interest, but make sure there is a balance. Make sure they have down to earth traits as well as cool traits. If you have no idea where to start with a background I recommend getting inspiration from a background generator(of course don't just let the generator decide everything) but maybe it will give you some small ideas.

Once you have your background now you can design what your character looks like. This part is very important as to not making your character hurt peoples eyes when they stare at it. You probably decided your character's race and gender from when you were writing their background. My advice: don't make an alicorn oc The hardest thing to do is to make a likable alicorn oc. My advice is to just avoid it. First thing I like to do is pick a color scheme. Now, when you pick a scheme, harsh colors are a no-no. If you don't know a thing about color theory and have no idea where to start, look up color schemes on google or find a color scheme generator. Your scheme can somewhat link to your character's background, Ex: Luna's color scheme matches the night. AppleJack's color scheme has yellows and oranges- colors of hay and reminds me of farms. But it doesn't have to. Look up images of hair on google and try sketching out your character with ones you like on them. Even if your not an artist its good to get somewhat of a visual of what they look like until you find someone to draw your character for you- stay away from the pony creator game haha. Look up some real horses and look at their fur patterns if you want your character to have patterns. There are many different options for your character and just mix and match and sketch things out until your happy with what you see. The most important part to this is to have fun while you are doing it and to be proud afterward.

  • Brohoof 2
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@-Juniper- gave some good advice and you should definitely use that, but I thought I’d just throw my character creating process in to give you even more options.

I personally work well with a  theme, if you look at my OCs at the bottom of my about me page you’ll see that most of them are based off cakes and even those that aren’t have similar food like themes.

I think a theme is a great place to start. When I made my first OC, Battenberg, it was in the pony creator for Gmod and I just went with my favourite colours but her battenberg cutie mark came from the creators set of cutie marks and gave my my cake theme.

I decided to make one based off my favourite cake, Victoria Sponge, and so decided to use the colours of that cake, red, white and brown, and later the white flour on top became my OCs white hooves.

Next I decided on basic personality, not too detailed, and came up with posh, snooty, upper class, based on the cake’s Victorian origins. I then developed it a little deciding that she would be a pony who was proud of her appearance and didn’t like to be touched for fear of it being messed up or dirtied. 

Once I had a colour scheme and a basic personality I drew up her body in brown, decided to give her Rarity’s eyes, then started working on the mane.

For the mane I drew about 3 or 4 different styles until I got one I was happy with, I then drew that up in red and white (jam and cream inside the cake) and then based the tail off the mane.

Finally I came up with a cutie mark, like Battenberg’s it started with just the cake itself, but then I decided to add a crown for regality.

I then had Victoria complete. You’re also free to develop your characters in RP, I did that and turned Victoria into a much more fleshed out pony, which led to me redesigning her mane now that I’d had more experience drawing manes, much happier with her design now. So developing your characters can be a continuous process, and if your not completely happy with the design you can always make edits to it.

As for actually drawing these, because you get more freedom than with Pony Maker, I would recommend the free program, Paint.net which is like a free version of photoshop and is very easy to get your head around. I would also recommend using bases or screen caps from the actual show to help you draw the pony’s body.

Though the mane is up to you to do yourself because of its unique nature, for that I would draw it in rough with an obvious colour like bright green or red, then trace over it with the line tool. The line tool lets you draw a line then adjust its curve, it creates  smooth curves which are perfect for show style OCs. 

Finally, for drawing the cutie mark, I take an image from google of whatever I want the cutie mark to me, a Victoria sponge cake, a sprig of heather etc, and I use basic shapes with no outlines to trace over the image to create a cartoon version, that looks like the show style cutie marks.

Hope this wall of text is useful :) 

 

  • Brohoof 1
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Well... I think of creating a character as a flexible process. After all, even after you create them, they’re constantly evolving.

Sometimes just an amazing design springs into my mind, and then that character’s story is pieced together after that. Sometimes it’s the other way around.

If this character is going to be your ponysona, aka a character that represents you, then don’t worry too much about making sense from a storytelling perspective. They’re just a visual representation of yourself, they should be whatever you want them to be, no matter how crazy that is.

But if you’re working on character that’s going to play a real part in a story or narrative, then yeah you need to be a little more nuanced. Pick a species that you like and start from there. You need to find the right balance of realistic and interesting. You want a character to be unique, but not obnoxious. They can be really amazing at one or two things, but they shouldn’t be amazing at EVERYTHING. Because no one is.

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