Hi everyone! How's it going? It's been a while since I posted here. I've been talking with a few people on Skype about UTAU designs and the like. One thing I've come to notice is that a lot of people tend to say they want their UTAU to be unique and noticed. While the voice quality and type are arguably the most important thing for a voicebank, a design is very important as well to catch someone's eye! Before I begin, I want to make this clear: This is not a tutorial! These are merely tips from observations I have made about character design. There is always more than one answer to artistic questions, and these are the answers I have come up with! That said, let us begin! PART ONE: CHARACTER SILHOUETTE AND SHAPE This is arguably the most important thing I'm going point out. If you want a character to stand out among the thousands of available UTAU out there, you want them to have a unique shape that translates to a distinguishable silhouette. Please take a look at these examples: Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler What do you notice about these characters? Take a look at the first one. What do you notice first? His freaky hair perhaps? How about the other 3? Perhaps it's their head gear, or perhaps the shape of their bodies play with anatomy in a way that still looks correct, but also very stylish? If you break down Dr. Eggman in the last one for instance, his body is literally one big egg with arms and legs, as his name would suggest. If I made a silhouette of any of these characters, they would stand out from the masses because of the shapes they're made up of. When it comes to UTAU, much like VOCALOID, the box art is most likely the first thing people are going to examine. An eye-catching design will most likely make someone want to investigate the voice as well. While it wont always do that, it is more likely when someone is pleased with what their eyes see. As human beings, we make connections when we see a face. We project ourselves onto characters, so when their design makes a positive impression on the viewer, they are likely to have a positive opinion of it as well! Now, that brings me to the next part! PART TWO: STATEMENT POSE This is VERY important, especially when you're trying to catch someone's attention among a sea of other characters. All too often, I see characters, including UTAUloids, standing around like they're taking a photo at Macy's or something. If you want people to remember your character, on top of having a unique silhouette, you also want an iconic statement pose that tells people something about that character! Please take a look at these examples: Spoiler Spoiler What do you notice about these two poses? Let us examine the first example. This is a very iconic pose and if you were to parody it without saying what you're basing it off, most people will probably say "Superman!" because of that pose. How about the second? Viewtiful Joe's pose is telling you he's a wild hero ready to kick some evil butt! While I personally have a prefence for high energy poses like that, an iconic pose doesn't even have to be that high energy! For example: Spoiler Spoiler These poses aren't nearly as dynamic as the first two examples, but they still send a message to you: They're ready for adventure. Fox McCloud is ready any day, any time, and Red is ready for his long Pokemon journey! To wrap this part up: A pose that tells you something about the character is more likely to stick in the minds of the viewers than a static pose!. PART THREE: COLOR SCHEME I'm not going to go deeply into this because color theory is something would require a tutorial on it's own, but please take a look at these super helpful resources: Spoiler http://color-palettes.tumblr.com/ http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/color-blend/ http://kuler.adobe.com/#themes/newest?time=30 I have found these tools to be very useful, but like all tools, they're only as useful as you make them, so please give them a try if you're ever in a stump. Finally, before I wrap up this guide I have one final word of advice: Spoiler Please. I know a lot of you can't draw. I understand this! But most people will respect you more if you at least try to draw it yourself rather than trace Hatsune Miku or any other of the popular Vocaloids or UTAUloids. Your UTAUloid is most likely to get ignored and dismissed as garbage if you just trace something so many other people trace. As far as art goes, I can only tell you practice makes perfect. There are people willing to draw for people for money or for free. The worst that'll happen if you ask for a request is someone will say no. Otherwise, if you just trace something and pass it off as your creation, be prepared to be dismissed. WRAP UP While these aren't definitive ways of assuring success, I feel these tips can really help you along. Feel free to explore other methods of character design! After all, the best things we can do is experiment with things! Your character doesn't have to be super outlandish either! Some of the most interesting characters have very down to earth designs and I'd be a heretic to tell you every character has to be super crazy looking. So, remember the key points: - A unique shape and silhouette will really help your character stand out - An iconic statement pose will help sketch a portrait of the character's personality - A great color scheme will help a character look really nice - Don't trace Miku. Don't do it. Stop. Thank you for reading, and I hope this was of use to you all!