Real Virtual Beauty Training: diverse and authentic character design

We’re pleased to announce the release of a new course, Real Virtual Beauty Training, supported by Dove, the Centre for Appearance Research, and Unreal Engine Education.

This course will teach you how to create even more diverse and authentic characters for your games. By bringing variety to the appearance and functionality of your characters—particularly female characters—you can be part of a bigger movement to improve the well-being of players by raising their self-esteem, elevating their idea of how they fit in the world, and broadening representation. After completing the course, upload your character design to your ArtStation profile and tag your work with #RealVirtualBeauty.

From a game development point of view, designing a broad range of characters provides the opportunity to achieve greater originality and creativity in your character design.

This course will focus on self-expression through character design, creating unique characters, and understanding character design principles. Get started today!

What you’ll learn

Module 1 - Defining Real Virtual Beauty

In this module, Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs from the Centre for Appearance Research outlines the current state of play for appearance diversity in the games industry for women and girls and examines why it’s worth investing in more varied and original character design.

Module 2 - Frameworks: Introspection and Co-Design

Next, industry expert Raqi Syed—a writer, tech artist, and instructor—guides us through the framing principles of respectful design to help answer the question “How do we design authentic characters?”
Module 3 - Technical Tips: Character Design
Working with MetaHuman Creator, this installment covers how to design and represent a character’s appearance more realistically using real-time tools. We look at how to preserve the unique and idiosyncratic elements of a human face; uncover beauty biases in character design; and learn the Mesh to MetaHuman framework.
Module 4 - Technical Tips: Costume
Costume is an essential part of the externalization of our persona and the personas of the characters we’re designing. In this module, costume designer Heli Salomaa explains how to design and represent costumes more authentically to reflect a range of body sizes and avoid gender stereotyping in character development storytelling.

    Take the course

    Dive into Real Virtual Beauty Training and start designing more diverse and authentic characters for your games today!