Character design is the creation of a new character from head to toe (or nose to claw). Character designers visualize and create the look of individual characters. They work from descriptions given to them by the director. These might include notes on a character’s personality as well as physical traits. Character designers take inspiration from the script and concept art to design characters. They communicate the characters’ personalities through the artwork of facial expressions and physical poses.
Once a design has been approved, character designers create ‘model sheets’ which show the character from different angles these will be used. These designs, then are taken of models to create the characters, or to the animator uses. Storyboard artists will also look at these designs to incorporate them into their work as the project progresses. Character designers are often employed by an animation studio rather than freelancing.
tools/ skills of a Character designers
Important principles to Good Character Design
- There are two major components to good character design: the idea itself, and the visual communication of that idea. Silhouette is the overal shape of the character without its details. The key to a good silhoutte is to make it iconic. Maybe some exaggerated features, or by gestures. Think about some famous characters and like Mickey mouse, if Mickey was shown to you as just a silhouette would you recognize it?
- Shape Design
- Most aspiring character designers require an important shift in thinking before they can effectively express their ideas: characters are just a collection of shapes. A silhouette is just a shape, the biggest and the most important one.
- Sillouette, can also refer to the pose and gesture of the character. These are things that make them visually interesting. Stan Lee was a master at this. Each character he drew was mid motion and used foreshortening.
- Color palette
- The colors you use can influence a viewer, so character designers use this theory to their advantage. Character designer live their lives by the idea of " show don't' tell" so choosing cool colors to covey a calm or level headed character can subconsciously influence how the view sees that character.
- When you approach exaggeration in character design you want their form and their mannerisms to be tailored to their unique personalities, experiences and skill sets. For example, a character that loves rock climbing story might be a athletic monkey or spider-like being versus a stubby round piglet-like character.
Notable Character designers
Step one: Create a 3d model of your action with lighting and camera angle
use one of the 3d maniquin modeling programs and pose your character in a "mid motion" position. think about the positive and negative space of the character
step two: Quick Gesture Sketch
Create a quick gestural sketch that reflects both proportions and the movement of the figure. Take the posed 3d rendering and bring it into Photoshop. On a new blank layer create your gestural sketch based on the 3d model. ie like roughly trace the model
step three: Draw or Design your character.
on another layer start to draw / design
Your character Start lightly as you work through the details such as the face and clothing. once you have figured out the particulars you can draw darker,, or for a more clean drawing adds a new layer and draw a fresh outline based on your "thinking Lines"
step four: Add a layer of shading
create a cell shading ( the shadows ) of the piece.
Cel shading or toon shading is an art style of non-photorealistic rendering designed to make 3D computer graphics or artworks look three dimensional by creating flat colors on top of a base color, making the object look three-dimensional while still keeping that 2D effect in it. It is very popular in anime styling
Step five: coloring
using your color palette, color in your character on a new layer . the colors should reflect the emotion and personality of your character. once the painting is done you are going to take your gray layer and move it above the colored layer. apply multiply or darken , or color burn to it to show now the shadows of the colors.
In this lesson, students will use the characteristics of Jack Kirby's illustration and employ them in their own Comic illustrations.