Once you’ve established the overall shape of your character in silhouette form, establishing the gestures and overall sense of movement in sketches that suggest posture and body type is the next step to realizing your creation. Follow along side me in a demonstration of my methods for exploring a character. I’ll walk you through the thinking and development process with my rough sketches and tool, so that you can gain insight into the early stages of the process of character development.
- The overall body posture of a character…speaks volumes about the personality…and life of a character.…Using human reference for overall body frame,…as well as quirky, particular traits that…help identify a character's personality…creates recognizable forms for the viewer.…The character of Goober, by Nico Marlet,…demonstrates an awareness of a body gesture…and body type that the viewers are likely to recognize.…The hunched shoulders, the boxy frame,…heavy chin and unibrow suggest a kind of…neanderthal character, whose intellect is questionable.…
The peg leg further implies that he's…not such a successful warrior, and his…imbalanced gait reminds us that he lumbers…through life rather ineffectively.…Notice that Nico tries different weapons…and mustache-beard combinations…to test what will express this character best.…At the early stages of design for any kind of character,…starting with a silhouette, and then going to…gesture drawings, can help define a character…more believably.…Even a mythical creature, like Nico's dragons.…
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