Insider 1-9-2012

Today I’d like to talk to you about one of the principles that go into designing the look of our models. The idea is called “silhouette,” and it’s very important when creating one-inch-tall models and conveying character. Simply defined, a silhouette is the visual shape of a character if you were to look at him or her with no details. Strong silhouettes allow us to pick out a model from a distance, even if we aren’t looking at its specific details, and they are very important when considering a figure’s design. Unique silhouettes mean unique characters.

Now, we just don’t jump right in and find a good silhouette without exploring basic shapes. One of the best simple shapes to start with is the triangle.

An inverted triangle with its widest point at the top evokes broad shoulders and a narrow waist—typically masculine features. A triangle with its base at the bottom gives the impression of swelled hips and stability—typically feminine features. For example:

Attempting to switch these ideas around can result in some wacky designs.

We try to utilize these shapes to reinforce characters at a basic level. Two great examples of this are Vlad and Vayl. With his large shoulder pads, Vlad is the epitome of the inverted triangle and exudes a masculine ideal. Vayl with her long train of robes, on the other hand, gives a sense of stately feminine grace.

So, now when you look across the table and instantly recognize a warcaster or warlock at a glance, you’ll know why. ‘Til next time!