Main Points in Video Game Character Design 3D Rendering

Video game characters have come a long way since the early days of arcade games and 8-bit graphics. Today, thanks to advances in 3D rendering technology, video game characters can be truly lifelike. However, creating a realistic character is not simply a matter of improving the graphics. Character designers must also take into account the character’s movements, expressions, and interactions with the game world. In other words, they must create a believable and compelling character that players will want to control.

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While some video game characters are based on real people, others are completely original creations. In either case, designing a believable and engaging character is vital to the success of the game. Without proper experience, it will not be possible to achieve good results here.


What is 3D rendering?

3D rendering is a process used in computer graphics that takes three-dimensional data and creates a two-dimensional image from it. This can be done to create either a photorealistic or non-realistic image, depending on the goal. 3D models are one type of data that can be used; these are digital files of an object that has been created using software or through 3D scanning.

3D rendering is similar to virtual photography in some ways. For example, the staging and lighting of scenes are crucial elements in generating and capturing images, whether they should look realistic or not. However, Rubey explains that “in 3D rendering, you take all of the 3D data and turn it into a snapshot of the scene,” whereas with photography you are using an actual camera to capture a real-life scene. Overall, 3D rendering is a versatile tool that can be used to create various types of images, depending on the needs of the project.

Stages of the Game Character 3D Rendering Process

Character design 3D is the creation of three-dimensional character models. The process begins with a consultation, during which the client discusses their vision for the character with the designer. The designer then analyses and designs the character, creating a model that can be used for 3D rendering. Once the render is approved, it is delivered to the client. Rendering steps may differ depending on the project, the type of software used, and the desired outcomes. 

Materials and Texture

Character design in 3D requires a great deal of accuracy to create a realistic character. The artist must take into account the character’s material properties, such as gloss, matte, or even surface roughness. In addition, the artist must also consider the character’s environment and how it will interact with its surroundings. For example, a character that is designed to be installed in a room with hardwood floors will require different materials and settings than a character that is designed to be installed on a carpeted floor.


Lighting is essential in 3D design for creating realistic shadows and reflections. Without good lighting, products can look fake and unnatural. People often can’t put their finger on why something looks fake, but it largely has to do with a lack of realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections. Good lighting designers in 3D understand the physics of light and how it affects different surfaces. This allows them to create Shadows and reflections that make objects appear real. In other words, light is everything when it comes to creating convincing 3D design game characters.


After the 3D artist has textured and lit the scene, they will continue to sculpt and add details to complete the concept. By adding additional details, the artist can make the form more lifelike and realistic. In some cases, the goal may be to make the form as close to lifelike as possible. However, in other cases, the goal may be to create a stylized or abstract representation of the character. Either way, the addition of detail can help to bring the concept to life and give it a sense of realism.


The process of creating a work of art is often a collaborative one. After an artist has completed a sketch or prototype, it is common for the client or art director to provide feedback. This feedback helps to guide the artist as they refine the piece. In some cases, only minor changes may be necessary, such as adjusting the color palette or making a small alteration to the composition. Other times, more significant changes may be required, such as completely redesigning a character or redrawing an entire scene. Once the artist has incorporated the input and made any necessary changes, the image is submitted for final approval. This ensures that both the artist and the client are satisfied with the result before it is published or displayed. By working together, both parties can help to create a work of art that meets everyone’s expectations.


When all production steps are completed, rendering is performed. The finished result is sent to the customer. The resolution and format of the pictures depend on the ultimate use: print, web, video, or film. For example, if the character is going to be used in a video game, the image will need to be rendered at a high resolution so that it looks good on a high-definition screen.


Basic rendering types

When it comes to rendering, there are two basic approaches: real-time rendering and non-real-time rendering. For video games, real-time rendering is usually used, but there is also offline rendering. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses.

Real-time rendering is typically faster and more efficient than non-real-time rendering, but it often produces lower-quality results. This is because real-time renderers must make tradeoffs to meet the demands of real-time performance. Non-real-time renderers, on the other hand, can take their time to produce high-quality results without the need for speed.

One type of real-time renderer is a multi-pass renderer. A multi-pass renderer performs multiple passes over the scene data to generate the final image. This approach can be very effective, but it often requires more processing power than a single-pass renderer. Another type of real-time renderer is a rasterizer. A rasterizer converts the 3D scene data into a 2D image by projecting it onto a 2D grid. This approach is typically faster than a multi-pass renderer, but it can produce poorer quality results.

Non-real-time renderers can be further divided into two categories: ray tracers and radiosity engines. A ray tracer generates an image by tracing the path of light rays through the 3D scene. This approach generally produces high-quality results, but it can be very slow. A radiosity engine generates an image by calculating the way heat radiates through the scene. This approach can be faster than a ray tracer, but it often produces lower-quality results.


Designing characters for video games is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of 3D rendering. To create believable and lifelike character designs, game designers must take into account numerous factors, such as anatomy, lighting, and texture. The character design team must also collaborate closely with the game’s programmers to ensure that the character can be brought to life in the game engine. With so many considerations to take into account, it’s no wonder that creating characters for video games is such a challenging and rewarding process.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.