Choosing the right tools for the job is important no matter what you’re doing, but trusting what works best for you is more important than you’d think. Tools that allow for the quickest, most accessible way to express your ideas is essential, whether it's software or traditional media. You’ll learn about a variety of tools that work well for the experts, and be encouraged to try your hand at any of them, or just trust the tools you know feel right for you.
- Characters are often based on archetypes,…defined as very typical examples…of a certain kind of person.…Archetypes display stereotypical personalities,…behaviors, and characteristics, regardless…of how unique they may seem initially.…When used in character design, it becomes…a visual shorthand for cultural meaning…that can be useful for communicating…a particular impression.…Archetypes help to give you a place to start…when figuring out what type of character…you're trying to develop.…The classic archetypes in storytelling are…the hero,…the villain,…the caretaker,…the innocent,…the ruler,…the sage,…and the trickster.…
But the most common archetypes that drive a story…are the hero and the villain.…Let's look at the hero first.…If we compare these two archetypal male heroes,…created by two different illustrators,…we can deconstruct the parts that are similar in each.…Both have strong jaws, wide-set eyes,…and thick, expressive eyebrows,…demonstrating a classic handsomeness.…Each have proportionate and symmetrical features…
Mary Jane explains how the components of good character design can be broken down into concrete elements. She shows how body shape, posture, anatomy, facial expression, costume, color, movement, and abstract aspects like archetypes and environment bring a character to life. The lessons are illustrated with examples from Mary Jane's books, as well as famous, heart-warming characters created by a group of extraordinary character designers.
- Capturing the heart and soul of a character
- Using the right tools
- Relying on archetypes
- Adding motion
- Painting shapes and silhouettes
- Understanding anatomy and proportion
- Creating easy-to-read facial expressions
- Coloring your character
- Designing a cast of characters
- Making fantasy creatures believable
- Going from 2D to 3D