I'm developing a social avatar website https://chewboba.com where users can change their characters outfit with select items. Development is 50% complete and the rest is character design and integrating it into the website.
I'm switching frameworks from Gatsby to EmberJS which is a responsive UI framework to get closer to an app and feel and be user friendly whether your on a phone or desktop. There is a lot of work ahead but making a small app with simple features and pushing it out is the best approach to get up and running.
Here is the first character design. Characters will be able to change their gender, clothes, hair, eyebrows, eyes, face expression, color, and more. While the characters will only be 2D images I'm working to minimize the drawing work by 70%. To do that I need to create 3D characters and render the images. The advantages are that I can create different poses and expressions and take different shots.
I'm studying the smile face expression. Everyone has a unique smile that creates wrinkles in certain areas of the face. Not all face expression are equal, there is a variation, and sometimes there are none, but a smile is a smile and it is easily recognized.
Modo's render engine is quick and easy to achieve sss toon look in one frame. Blender is also quick but the frames need to be separated and rendered then layered over each other through blenders composite nodes or another drawing or photo application.
(September, 23/2020 7:18pm) I did a paint over and sketched the hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and lighting. In Blender I created a hair curve and began tweaking settings and doing test renders in Evee Render Engine.
There are two options for hair strands, strand, and strip. I chose to use strip because it looks great for toon characters and it has a semi-realistic look. Strand will render rounded hair follicles while strip will render flat strips similar to long ribbons. Add some translucency by ramping up the sub surface scattering in the principled shader settings and you get hair!.