Character Evolution for YouTube MetaFriends – Devblog

Greetings to all MetaFriends enthusiasts!

Today, we want to share the story of how we created our characters, starting from the very first steps to our current achievements. This process has been long and challenging but incredibly exciting and full of discoveries. Let's begin with how we came to create our main character, who now reviews games and talks about our project on YouTube. This much-troubled character became the foundation for all future heroes you will control in our game.

Initially, when we conceived the character, we didn't have a clear idea of what they should be like. We knew that our character had to be more than just a shell; they needed to be a full-fledged hero who could evoke an emotional response from users and become a guide into our world. We tried various approaches and styles, experimented with designs and characteristics, striving to find the very image that would perfectly suit our purpose.

It is important to note that we used this character to test different methods of capturing and processing facial movements and explored how all this could be integrated into the game to create realistic and emotionally rich interactions. Working on the facial expressions was especially crucial because the character's face had to convey all shades of emotions and reactions, making them appear alive and convincing. We used the latest motion capture technologies to ensure every gesture, every glance looked as natural as possible.

The Beginning of the Journey

Our first task was to completely rethink the character's architecture. We began by analyzing all existing elements, identifying those that could be reused. Then, we proceeded to create a new model using the latest technologies and methods. Our animators engaged in sculpting with ZBrush, crafting a new image that was more realistic and detailed. This required meticulous attention to every detail, from the overall shape to the smallest facial features and skin texture.

Additionally, we needed to develop the animation of movements and facial expressions to make the character appear lively and natural. For this, we utilized motion capture technologies, which allowed us to record and reproduce realistic gestures and facial expressions. This was painstaking work, requiring not only technical skill but also a creative approach. Every gesture, every movement had to be precise and expressive to convey the character's personality and emotions.

We also paid close attention to texturing and lighting to create a realistic and appealing appearance. Using advanced tools and techniques, we achieved a high level of detail and realism, which made our character stand out among others. We worked on every detail, from skin texture to the glint in the eyes, to create the most believable image possible.

Creating the character turned out to be a complex but fascinating process. We faced many challenges, but each one provided us with valuable experience and allowed us to hone our skills. Now, thanks to our efforts, our character is ready to become the foundation for all future heroes that players will control in our game. We are proud of the work we have done and are confident that our character will become an important part of MetaFriends, bringing joy and emotions to all users.

Evolution of the Look

Everyone following our project likely remembers Ellen. She was with us for quite some time but seemed dull and too mature. We were searching for a new host to convey more emotions. Finding a new voice actor was crucial for us because the voice is a key element in animation. I focused on the emotional component, and my task was to accentuate the voice actor's speech with body movements. Ellen didn't fully capture the energy and drive we wanted in our project, so we started searching for a new voice talent who could bring the character to life.

Inspiration and Prototypes

In search of the perfect image, we considered many well-known bloggers and actresses. The team kept proposing new images, and our sculptors were going crazy trying to bring them to life. Female beauty is something individual, and it was extremely difficult to reach a compromise. Eventually, we managed to create a character that everyone liked, but the image was still not fully accepted. This process involved countless iterations and discussions, where every detail, from the shape of the face to the hairstyle, was meticulously analyzed and adjusted. We aimed to create a character that not only looked attractive but also had a unique charisma.

Creative Challenges

When we finally found the new voice actor, our animator decided to focus on idle animations - an extremely important aspect for our project. He literally "stripped" our character down and began working on their appearance. While he hadn’t yet heard the new voice actor’s performance, he continued refining the character’s look. This involved experimenting with different clothing styles, hairstyles, and accessories to find that unique look that would perfectly match the new voice. A lot of time was spent creating and fine-tuning various animations to ensure the character appeared lively and dynamic even in a state of rest.

The Final Image

In the end, we approved a new image that fully matched the voice of the actor. Now, our character looks more feminine and dynamic. We are very pleased with how everything turned out but believe it is essential to always keep searching for new images and perfecting the existing ones. We continue to experiment with different styles and details to ensure each character in our game is unique and interesting. This includes not only the external features but also the development of the character's inner world, their story, and personal qualities.

The entire process of creating a character, from initial concepts to final implementation, was filled with creative challenges and innovative solutions. Our artists and animators poured their hearts into this project, striving to make each character lively and engaging. We are proud of the work we have done and confident that players will appreciate our efforts, as every character in MetaFriends is the result of meticulous development and the tremendous hard work of the entire team.

Animation Pipeline

The next stage was creating the animation, a complex and multilayered process. It begins with developing the animation sequence, into which our new character is integrated. At this stage, it is crucial to design controls that allow animators to manipulate the character with maximum precision and flexibility. These controls include various manipulators for moving the character's limbs, face, and body, ensuring the ability to create both large, expressive gestures and subtle, nuanced movements.

The animation process starts with blocking, which is built on the principle of moving from the general to the specific. In the initial stage, it is important to establish the primary movements and poses to create the foundation for the entire animation. This involves defining keyframes that capture the main moments of the character's movement. Subsequently, in-between frames are added between these keyframes to make the animation smoother and more natural. This helps create the illusion of continuous motion and makes the animation more realistic.

Particular attention is given to the naturalness and fluidity of the animations. Our goal was to create a character that looked and moved like a living being. To achieve this, we studied real human movements, analyzed video footage, and used motion capture technology. This technology allows recording the movements of real people and transferring them to the virtual character, significantly enhancing the realism of the animation. We also employed keyframing techniques for manual animation to add unique movements and poses that highlight the character's personality and individuality.

Walking is considered one of the most challenging animation processes despite its apparent simplicity. Through walking, a lot can be conveyed, including the character's emotional state and personality. We meticulously studied the biomechanics and various walking styles of different people to create realistic and individual movements. Every detail, from the placement of the foot to the movement of the arms, plays a crucial role in creating a cohesive and convincing image. 

We explored different types of walks, from confident and fast to slow and hesitant, to diversify the animation and make the character more lively and interesting.

Each stage of creating the animation requires careful review and adjustments. We conducted numerous tests and made modifications to achieve the perfect result. This involved correcting minor flaws, improving the smoothness of movements, and adding additional details. For example, we added small head and eye movements to make the character look more attentive and alive. These small details, although not always noticeable at first glance, significantly enhance the overall realism and expressiveness of the animation.

During the work, we also actively interacted with other team members, including writers, artists, and programmers. This allowed us to consider all aspects of the project and create animations that fit perfectly into the overall context and support the narrative. Collaborative discussions and the exchange of ideas helped us find optimal solutions and improve the quality of the animation.

Ultimately, creating animation is a meticulous and creative process that requires attention to detail and a constant drive for perfection. We are proud of the work we have done and believe that our characters will delight players with their realism and liveliness.


Creating characters for MetaFriends is a complex and captivating process that requires extensive experience and a creative approach. We strive to make each character unique and lively, reflecting all the nuances of human expressions and movements. We hope our story inspires you and gives you an understanding of the immense effort and talent invested in creating virtual worlds. We continue to work on making MetaFriends even better and more engaging for you. Each new day brings us new ideas and opportunities, and we eagerly look forward to sharing them with you.

Thank you for following our project. We are committed to making MetaFriends even better and more interesting for you!

You can see what we have done in more detail on our YouTube channel