Designing the characters - Huldra

When I had decided which characters to continue working on, it was time to explore their anatomy a bit more. Huldra is exactly like any other human female, but I needed to figure out her body type and how she will move in the animation. She's a light character already, but I want to emphasise it more. I want her movements to be very smooth, like she's gliding from one pose to another. For example when she leaps, she will have tiny bit longer hang time in the air than it would normally be. I think this will be ok to achieve if I do an extra pass on slow in/out when I get to the animation. I did a couple of sketches with moves I imagine she could be doing at some point in the animation.

After the action poses I moved on to different body designs. Some idealised standards, some more athletic or with more curves and all with different hair to help me find out which hairdo to go for.

I chose the body I liked the most and traced it in Photoshop. When digitalised it was easier to come up with concepts for the hair. I tried both loose and braided hair, with and without a fringe and with flower garlands or just a flower here and there. Just to get a bit of contrast I even added a couple of concepts with rather short hair. To make sure I'd create something people would enjoy, I put numbers on the different styles and added the photo to Facebook in order for people to vote for their favourite. I got over 50 replies all together and no doubt did people like 1, 7 and 8 the most. I think, like me, people imagine Huldra a bit wild and because of this they liked the idea of the hair not being tied up, but flowing around her.

I took a closer look at 1, 7 and 8 and tried to do my best to create something everyone would like. Since this is going to be an animated character I decided to go for nr. 8 with the braid as the main part of the hair. It will be easier to sculpt and control during the animation. I then added a bit of the wild look from nr. 7 to make her a bit more like I imagined her in the first place.


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