Cube-like Cartoon Character

Hmmm… This is a character which is a work in progress, and the first of a couple of characters which I intend to do in this theme (Sorry, Cuby, I just had to go and do this - couldn’t help myself)

Please keep in mind, when criticizing, he IS designed from a cartoon perspective, so more realistic materials, etc. is not what I’m looking for. Tweaks for a better looking material/mesh is very much what I’m after.


  • I think his hands and feet need some work. If I intend to armature them, they DEFINITELY need work, but I’m not sure yet.
  • Should he have a mouth?
  • The spec. colour of the eyes - I’m not sure if it SHOULD be orange or not… but plain black doesn’t look right.
  • Yes, his eyes are slightly wonky in terms of rotation - they don’t quite look to the same place - don’t worry about that, though.

Great Character, I love it! Mouth or no mouth? will he / she /it talk?

I like it :slight_smile:

I think it would look better if the gap between the eyes and the mesh was smaller though, or at least at less of a sharp angle. Coming from this, I think you could make is nose fit better by softening the point where it goes back into the body. (green lines)

The only other issue really is that the rest of him is quite asymmetrically lumpy. Like with his left hand side, the edge gets sharper and softer at different points. I’ve drawn a bit of red on it to show what I mean.

The orange is nice, though maybe too bright or too small, the aliasing effects are quite strong. Blue or green would be less obvious, but this may just detract from the image.

Personally I’d leave him without a mouth, It looks like a great character to push your animation skills with. Try and get a lot of the emphasis and emotion just from the eyes.

On the topic of the shape, could you post a wire? The edges may be artifacts from a choice of edgeloops or something like that.

Good work on this :slight_smile:


ristesekuloski: Maybe a mouth - that’s what I want opinions on. As to Gender? At the moment it’s a he… I might make a couple of slight modifications and make it look more feminine. Not sure yet.

IanC: Thanks for the comments:

  • In terms of the eyes, they were originally designed as robot eyes (so there is a slight glow), but the character ended up as a plastic cube. I may swap out the eyes entirely for another eye model I have, and I will repost the image.
  • Looking lumpy: He is meant to look banged up a bit (not --too-- cube like) but perhaps he does need a bit of straightening up
  • The nose: thanks for the suggestion: I will see if I can smooth that down a bit as soon as I can
  • A wireframe: Well, after I’ve made the couple of modifications (Swapping the eyes, adjusting the nose) I’ll post a wireframe and an updated image.
  • Looking lumpy: He is meant to look banged up a bit (not --too-- cube like) but perhaps he does need a bit of straightening up

Ahh, wasn’t sure if they were intentional. You’ll need to add scratches and dirt to get that image across I think.

Look forward to updates!
Hmmm… Here are some updates - I’m told, elsewhere, that the eye sockets might be too big, also there is a slight artifact with the mouth which I’ll have to fix, but otherwise, some new comments? I


i like it

my crits on material
he looks like he/she/it should feel a bit soft but he looks too hard

I think that if it doesn’t have to talk - loose the mouth
it can do all it’s speaking with it’s body (squash and strech like a toon)

if it speaks then keep the mouth - I’m not saying the mouth is bad it just completely changed the type of personality I thought the character would have compared to the render when he doesn’t have one.

great character!!

I think a lot of this depends on what his character is like. What you’ve done here is anthropomorphised a cube. In the first renders, the eyes look great, but the effect is not very ‘human’. This is fine if his character is robotic or alien, and I think it looks very good.

The latter renders make him more cute and with a personality much more human- because the new size and color of the iris appears more human like. If that’s the direction you’re going, then as it is it’s falling into the uncanny valley somewhat. That’s why you’re getting the comments about closing the gap around the eyes and such- in order to feel more comfortable with it, people want the eyes to look more human.

If you’re going to go more to the cutsey side with this, then I think the eyes need to appear wet, the iris needs to lighten up and get some texture in there- basically you need to drop some Pixar eyes in. As for the gap around the eyes- I rather like it, and think it could be used to great effect for making different expressions. As it is, it makes the character look worried or scared, so you might want to experiment with different shapes. Oh, and the mouth looks a lot cuter than not having one.

Personally, I like the original much better. I can picture him wandering around as an alien or something trying to figure out human technology and getting into trouble doing so. The version with the new eyes seems to fit more in the vein of Blues Clues or something, which I find much less interesting.

the giant eye sockets make it look creepy…
the mouth looks good there, but i think it makes it look more like a toaster

waylow: On the textures - Maybe I should pick up a new copy of Blender and use SSS! As to the mouth - still not sure yet.
Hewer: Glad you picked that the original eyes were sort of robotic - that was my intention with making the eyes, and I just dropped them into the model - for the latest version I just used a different, more human, eye model.
I say again, this character is the first of a few cube-like characters, so perhaps I will make another character for you to compare this one to.

I think his mouth should be a speaker grille, for some bizzare reason. The mis-matched eyes really freak me out though, i would like it better if it only had one. On the material/shape - he looks plastic, but plastic doesn’t dent and when banged around gets stress fractures; he looks melted. Still cute, however. Makes you feel kinda sorry for him.

naw…no mouth!
use lighting and eyes to communicate

he looks like he should have a girlfriend from Vegas ( a die )…maybe twins (aka a pair of dice) if he’s a wild and crazy guy

I like the way the mouth is done if you decide to keep it. He could talk mumbles like Kenny from South Park though without a mouth. Perhaps in an animation with a narrator that understands him clearly. Maybe the other characters (if he is getting friends) could have mouths but he doesn’t? I think the material is ok. Perhaps a ramp shader to soften the edges a bit?

Or, if you want to try the sss (really cool, but about to get used in every single character project) it is in RC2 of the new official test builds for Blender (on the site)

More wetness/shinyness in the eyes would help too, as someone else already hinted.

Right guys, next update, and I think it’s pretty good…

Fixed the eye sockets, and added some eyelids (though not in this pic)
Also updated the eye itself… And decided to leave the mouth out…


  • Eyelids need a little tweaking
  • After seeing the sad and mad expressions, I decided to change the eyes so that they don’t receive shadows on the iris area
  • Tried that tut, BenDasie, and despite replicating exactly what it said, I couldn’t reproduce the effect. I don’t really want to use nodes, and I’m not getting into SSS… Yet.
  • PapaSmurf - Think of him as being made from a soft plastic (a VERY soft plastic) Also, his entire body was originated from the Mismatched eyes, as it were - I started making the mesh from the eyes outwards, rather than making a mesh and cutting eyeholes out! Trust me - Single eye or uniform eyes just wouldn’t look right.


looking great I like the eye lids - except were they met and cross over
I have never managed to solve that problem on my models

Model the eye lids and give some brows!

Check my sketch

Oneman - I was sort of trying to get the eyelids to double as eyebrows, with their angles, but it does have the problem waylow pointed out - they occasionally cross over - but this can be fixed by not trying an expression that requires them to cross over

The only problem I have now is, without a mouth, I can’t figure out how to make him look happy; no matter how much I exercise my face muscles, I can’t duplicate the effect on my character.

Happy - smile

How to smile without a mouth!


And because I felt like it, I post-processed the image:

You are funny :smiley: