Imagining how your character might move through space helps to inform your overall design and body structure, as well as give you an insight into their personality. You’ll learn how expert animation character designers use references from life to lend authenticity to their characters. You’ll see the process of their construction, and use it as a guide for sketching and developing your characters with a similar sense of movement.
- Imagining how you think your character might move…if it were animated can help establish both authenticity…and define personality.…Creating gesture drawings from life…and looking at the movie frame by frame…to help you to study movement.…If we look at some examples of animated characters,…we can see how an illusion of movement in drawing…informs the final designs.…Carlos Grangel relied on both sketching from life…and reviewing documentary films on his subject…to create the main character for the…DreamWorks Animation "Spirit".…
Notice that he starts with very loose gesture drawings…to first capture the motion and action of a running horse,…establishing basic proportions…and the positions of legs, body, and head.…His ink studies focus more directly on the…actual proportions of a realistic horse,…Though he's managed to use a dynamic line…and wash technique to maintain the feeling…of the horse in motion.…His sketches reveal the character emerging…as a personality while still maintaining the look…of a realistic horse.…
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