Aspiring indies have a tough time when it comes to creating content. A lot of it has to be learned from scratch, or else outsourced to people (who may or may not charge you for their services). If you’re of a mind, though, Autodesk have created a new application called Autodesk: Character Generator that aims to ease the process of getting a character model up-and-running for testing quickly.
It’s also kinda for those folks who spend inordinate amounts of time in the character generator for games like Skyrim or Guild Wars 2 before even getting into the game proper.
I gave it a quick spin, creating my own little Terror From Siliconera and was surprised by how easy and painless it really was. With just a few clicks, touching up here, sliding a ruler there, I had something that looked appropriately oddball and totally of my own making. Once you’re signed in, most of the interface is drag’n’drop or sliders and selectors. The generator then updates a preview image on the left as you go.
The generator comes in both free and premium versions. It’s worth noting though that the free version gives you access to nearly all the styles, costumes and other knick-knacks to carve out your own preferred character, tailored to your liking. Users can then tweak this model with additional changes such as hair or clothes.
Once done, you can choose a “rig,” or wireframes that tell a computer how to animate a figure, before exporting it to other gaming developer staples such as Maya. While the free version doesn’t let you export medium and high-quality versions (Premium members have to use Autodesk’s cloud credits, and quick math runs that each generated medium or high-quality render will be US$5 a pop), it does do lo-res renders for free.
That’s perfect for those who just want to tinker around and perhaps learn a little more about how 3D models work, or indie devs hungry to utilize Autodesk tech to come up with working proofs for their games. Premium also gives you access to facial blend shapes and bone rigs, if you don’t want your model having flappy jaw syndrome.
Autodesk: Character Generator is available to try out here.