I tried out many different ideas for characters at first such as a robot, fighter and mage-type characters before deciding on my current nature character as I thought it would be the most interesting visually and for a story idea.
To make my final character I began looking at nature and natural forms such as moss and different types of flowers and things typically associated with nature, as well as dark skin complexions which I wanted to expand on with my character as I thought the darker skin would compliment the greens and brighter colours of the flowers fairly well.
I then made a concept idea of what she might look like, simplifying the design down to be able to make an interesting sidescroller design.
I played around with colours to make it look as similar to my original idea as I could, mostly using the pen tool and fixing the anchors to make my character.
After I had a template model to work with, I moved her legs and arms a little each time to make a walk cycle, using guides and an image of a similar walk cycle so I could get the leg placements right.
This is my first attempt at a walk cycle, in which I needed to fix the legs, and possibly how the arms moved as well as the colour for the shading on the leg that’s behind the other.
To put the gif together, I used Photoshop and copied the vectors from Illustrator into Photoshop.
In this attempt, I was able to fix the order of the layers and the animation came out smoother. I may also still have to fix how the arms move but the shading also improved compared to the first attempt.
This is an idle animation in which I selected everything but the legs and moved the pose so she moved up and down, moving her arms individually with each pose as well. Then I put them all together in photoshop as animation and exported it as a gif.
Using similar techniques as the walking cycle and idle animations, I was able to make my character jump. From there I tried to fix the jump animation by adding an extra frame in between, but I’m not sure at this point whether it’s better or worse than my original try.