Ive googled, but I must be missing something. What is the difference between an origin character and a companion? It seems like a companion that you can choose instead of making a custom character. Which leads me to the most important part of my lack of understanding: If I spend time making a good companion, why does it take more resources to make them an origin?
Origin characters are also companions. The difference is that you also have the option to start the game as one of the companion NPCs and then play through the game as if the companion is your main character. This also means that in the places where a normal companion quest might play out you experience it first-hand rather than second hand [through your companion]. Think of it as playing the game through the eyes of one of the companions.
The term 'origin character' is just Larian's term to describe their type of companions in order to differentiate them from 'classic' RPG companions who only act as party members.