Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate designer, you likely have areas of specialization or natural talent. It can be easy to lean into those areas and shy away from areas that aren’t your strong suit. One of the areas that many new designers will shy away from is designing armor. This skill takes basic understanding of functional armor design, and it also takes time to enhance these skills. Here are the basics of armor design and how you can level up your skills. 


Fantasy Armor Design Basics 

Before you skip right to the tips, it’s important that you understand the basics behind designing this special type of equipment in a game. Armor is used to keep the avatar from being injured or killed, and the armor acts as a shield from sharp objects and weapons. 

Traditional armor is made of metal, which is heavy. This should be considered because it will affect how your avatar will move in the game. Having armor will make your avatar slower and require more power when fighting. 

Not only is it heavy, but this metal is a hard, rigid material that will cause your player to be more rigid through the upper body and trunk. This can be difficult for an animator to make it look professional, so it’s something else you should keep in mind. 


How to Improve Your Armor Design 


Know Your Purpose 

One of the best ways that you can improve your armor design is to know the purpose behind what your character is wearing. This will allow you to create a realistic looking character in your game. Is your character poor or wealthy? What is their weapon of choice? What time period is your game in? 

Having a basic understanding of who you want your character to be will help you design realistic armor for that time period. You wouldn’t want to place big, bulky armor on someone who is required to be stealthy in the game. 

Manage Your Layers

Even though armor can take many different appearances, each type typically comes with several layers. This may include regular clothing layers plus shoulder pads, body plates or corsets, and metal or leather outer layers. 

To create a realistic looking set of armor for your character, you’ll need to manage your layers. Often, you’ll have to sacrifice a little bit of the character’s masculine or feminine figure to achieve an accurate representation of protective armor – not just armor “for looks.” The goal for the character is to survive, but you need to adjust the layers so that your character doesn’t look too bulky. 

Learn Poly, Texture, and Presentation Skills 

Low poly and high poly, texturing, and engraving and presentation skills will truly transform your armor design. As an artist, you’ll need to not only know your anatomy and figure sculpting, but you’ll need to know how to add the details that give the realistic armor appearance. 

Learning these skills is often difficult without proper education. One of the best ways that you can enhance these skills is by learning from the best in the industry. 

So, where can you go to learn these skills? 


Fantasy Armor Design Education 

Finding someone who has the knowledge and experience to show you how to take your armor design from beginner to expert can be difficult. Often, these types of classes are available at colleges, which require enrollment and tuition. The overall costs and inconvenience of in-person classes hinder many artists from furthering their skills and education. So, what can you do? 

Vertex School offers an online Armor for Games Workshop that you can take without enrolling in a college and is a fraction of the price. This Workshop shows you all of the skill sets and workflows needed to create a convincing set of armor. 

By the end of the course, you’ll: 

  • Understand how to get a good and quick starting point in ZBrush
  • Understand how to make convincing armor parts and fit together fasteners, buckles, etc.
  • Have mastered how to add details such as engraving and embossing
  • Know how to use Substance Painter workflows to create smart materials for the full set of armor


Armor for Games Workshop Overview

This course is broken down into 6 easy-to-understand modules. Here is a bit of what you can expect: 

Module 1: Concepting

Module 2: High Poly A

Module 3: High Poly B

Module 4: Game Ready Mesh 

Module 5: Texturing

Module 6: Engraving & Presentation


Frequently Asked Questions

You may be wondering how you can attend an art course without enrolling in a college, and you may also have other questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the course. 


What is the course format? 

Vertex School is a one-of-a-kind alternative to expensive college degrees. The primary goal is to make art and design education widely available to all who may not have access to college classes. 

All Vertex School classes are hosted online in a pre-recorded format, so you can take the information at your own pace. Each course is taught by a professional within the specified industry, and all student work is critiqued by highly skilled Teaching Assistants. You’ll also have access to the Teaching Assistants for answering any questions you might have and a private Discord group to discuss with peers. 


What software do I need? 

Software and materials needed include: ZBrush, Substance Painter, Marmoset, 3Ds Max or Maya or Blender


What is the refund policy? 

Vertex School strives to create happy artists. Your investment is fully backed by the 15-day money-back guarantee. For more information on the refund policy, refer to this page and scroll down to the frequently asked questions. 


How long will I have access to the course? 

When you learn from Vertex School, you’ll have lifetime access to the workshop videos. This allows you to refer back to them again and again as many times as you need to. 


Take the Next Step

Enhancing your skills to achieve professional quality armor design doesn’t need to be a lengthy process of obtaining a degree, and it doesn’t need to cost years of savings. With Vertex School, you can have a quality education from top professionals, the convenience of self-paced learning, and a simple process to get started at a fraction of the cost.

Build your skills today with the Armor for Games Workshop.