Creating a Character Turnaround from a Concept Piece

Hello Everyone and welcome to Creating a Character Turnaround from a Concept Piece tutorial!

In this tutorial I am taking you through the process of creating a character turnaround, the front,side and back, based on a concept art piece. Earlier this week I got back into working on a character concept for my illustrated novel and I decided that this would be a great opportunity to show you guys how to create a modeling turnaround sheet based of a single concept. While I was in school, I had to do this many times to help me see the different details and form while I was modeling. So this tutorial covers the stages of how I went about creating a turnaround for each of my character concepts.

Original Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Software: Photoshop

Below are some key frames from the tutorial highlighting the different stages of the turnaround creation!

1. First I look at the concept and create an underlying anatomical structure and using the copy and paste to draw one half and use it for the other half.

2. After turning the anatomy layer’s opacity down, I then create a sketchy version of the fabric and clothing that the character is wearing

3.  Finally  we get to the actual clean lineart of the turnaround. Using the hard edged circle brush with no opacity settings turned on, I then go around the entire piece and drawing in the lineart.

4. Then I continue doing this for the side and back view

5. The final character modeling turnaround!

Thanks for watching! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the section below!

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28 Responses to “Creating a Character Turnaround from a Concept Piece”
  1. Posts: 6

    Wow. Just wow. Thats all I can say everytime I see tutorials from you Master Rueden. Any plans on doing anything on gesture drawing?

    • Posts: 640

      Thank you very much and yeah I definitely have some gesture drawing tutorials planned for the future.

  2. Posts: 70
    oldman44 says:

    Thanks Tim,

    These “How To” tutorials are just the type of pieces that are so very valuable to me. Very well done. Thank You & please keep them coming.


    • Posts: 70
      oldman44 says:


      Now that I have watched the video I am even more impressed. Loved the detail work. Since I am a hobbist; I am both the modeler & the artist. So the detail work is most important to me & feel the extra time is well worth the effort. Even after only one viewing I can see I will be watching (at a greatly reduced speed) this video many more times in the future.

      This is, at least to me, some of your very best work. Can’t begin to Thank You enough for the effort you put into this tutorial. Building character models is one of the primary reasons for my interest in learning how to draw them. The techniques you are teaching I am finding invaluable.

      Thanks again,

      • Posts: 640

        Thank you very much, I am glad you are able to find them invaluable for yourself! I agree with that I think this is some of my best work, I still think I need to put some more time into it and maybe add a background scene for him to be placed in, so far I am proud of the results but I know it could be much better still so I have to push myself and work in that extra time to make it shine!

  3. Posts: 17

    You mentioned not zooming in. When doing art with a lot of detail I like to have a 2nd window open of the same art. So you can see the update in realtime, zoomed out in the 2nd window, where the 1st window can still be zoomed in. :)

    • Posts: 70
      oldman44 says:

      Good idea Christine. Thank for the tip.


    • Posts: 640

      That is a great idea for concept work and I would definitely recommend that to everyone who is working on a detailed concept piece. I was talking about how for turnarounds I try not to zoom in at all so that I don’t become too fixated on perfecting the smaller details, because I tend to get carried away and over focus areas that do not need it for a modeling sheet turnaround!

  4. Posts: 4
    alec says:

    why do most of your models have that Justin bieber hair cut :/

    • Posts: 640

      Not most, just two of them, but I did look at my piece last night and after almost ten years of drawing this character with the bowl, shag haircut, I decided to chop the locks off. I’m almost finished with the newer version and this time, it’s without the beiber hair 😉

      • Posts: 19
        glakie says:

        Great tutorial as usual Tim, and what’s a Beiber Ha Ha.

      • Posts: 70
        oldman44 says:

        Hey Tim,

        I would be most interested in seeing your new version when it is completed, but must say I really like the character’s present “look”.


  5. Posts: 19
    glakie says:

    On a more serious note. For the last while now, I’ve been testing some of Adobe’s products including Photoshop CS6 and just made the call to subscribe to the Creative Cloud package. Now I know why you guys use Photoshop. It’s so much more intuitive than GIMP that I really don’t know how I got along without it for so long. Now my learning curve just went up big time because I downloaded everything they offer so I could check them out as well. Still waiting on Lightroom 4, but it should be included pretty soon.

  6. Posts: 1
    darrel link says:

    He’s got kind of a Brad Pit meets Leonardo Dicaprio thing going on.

    • Posts: 640

      Ha yeah I can see that, I’m glad for once my character is referred to as a male other than Justin Bieber lol

  7. Posts: 4
    Henri Laroco says:

    Tim, I have a few questions…
    1) How long have you been drawing for? Because I’ve been drawing for 10 years but without proper training (just for fun) so my skills haven’t been developed so well.

    2) How do you get proportions correct? Every time I try to create a quick sketch for the proportions, it looks fine. But when I try to add the real shape of the body it gets distorted.

    Thanks again for another helpful tutorial 😀

    -Blender Fan

    • Posts: 640

      Hey there! 1. I’ve been using Photoshop for just over 3 years, and like many artists, I have been drawing traditionally for as long as I can remember. If you keep practicing, your bound to get better. I treat drawing like a trade skill, you just have to keep sharpening your abilities to master the craft!
      2. Proportions are tough, that just takes time. Study anatomy carefully. And keep practicing drawing it over and over again. Study the different shapes that appear for you and recognize how you would re-create that in a drawing. Lastly, when you are looking at people, see how they stand, look at their proportions, imagine how you would draw them, everyday observation can help train your eyes to start “seeing” as an artist 😀

  8. Posts: 2
    stretchcb1 says:

    I only have one question…what was the brush settings for the sketchy version?

    • Posts: 640

      Standard circle hard edged brush with no opacity or transfer settings on.

    • Posts: 640

      OH you meant for before I even got to outlining, that brush was the standard circle hard edged brush WITH the transfer settings on!

  9. Posts: 35

    Great Job Tim! Can I make a 3d model of this plz? Please reply back as soon as possible 😀 Thanks :)

  10. Posts: 2
    bethus says:

    I hope I’m just as amazing as you one day!

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