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April's Illustrious Illustrations by Jaz (Part 3)

Last month, I showed you how to use Adobe Fuse to create the characters for your book. Now we are going to take those characters one step further. Once you have finished modeling your characters in Fuse, you place your character in a program called Adobe Miximo. These are the final steps I used to finish the cover design for Professor NERD and the Mysterious Buried Treasure.

Step 1: Send your Character to Miximo

Miximo is another free Adobe program that allows you to animate (move your character). There are 2,484 animations to choose from. You can save a still frame of the image. Later, open them in any photo editing program to modify them further. Here is a caricature I finished of myself in Fuse and moved to the beginning screen in Miximo.

Step 2: Choose an Animation

I chose a hip-hop animation from one of 2,484 animations. The short animation continues to play and repeat itself endlessly until I hit pause. I can also drag the slider in the lower right corner to stop the animation where I want it. I can use another tool to change my camera angle.

Step 3: Screen Capture

I use a screen capture program such as Abbyy Screenshot Reader or Snipping Tool to capture a still image from Miximo. If you don’t have a screenshot program you can just hit the Print Screen key on your keyboard and hit paste in Word.

Step 4: Photo Editing

I then place this image into Photoshop (or any photo editing software) and rework it some more. To get the outline look I used the filter Poster Edges.

Note: FUSE is intended to build 3D characters for animation videos and games, but I used it in a very unorthodox manner to help me develop my images for the print media.

I wanted my final book cover and characters for the Web page to be in watercolor. Here are examples of the rough Fuse layout and then one of the watercolors.

Step 5: Completing the Illustration

Finally, using a projector hooked to my computer, I project my image onto watercolor paper. Then I began the painting process.

After finishing all of my characters in watercolor, I scanned them and placed them into the cover design below.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-part series on developing your characters. In future editions, my colleagues and I will talk about cover design.

Happy illustrating,

~ Jaz

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