When a fantasy character is purely an invention of the artist’s mind, establishing authenticity is critical. Making the viewer believe in the character stems from using recognizable elements in a new context—juxtaposing real and unreal elements. Here you’ll learn what kind of combinations, shapes, and features create a certain kind of character, and how specific changes can shift a character from benign to terrifying, sour to sweet and how color can soften even the most frightening of creations.
- Designing a cast ensemble means…balancing different types of characters.…Choosing a variety of shapes and proportions…and costumes and colors helps to make an ensemble cast…more interesting and inviting to the viewer.…For Carlos Rangel the two major factors for creating…a cast of characters is body shape and body language.…The characters must be diversified…to get a broad cast of different individuals…but they all still need to share a style…and look as if they can live in the same world.…The silhouettes vary from character to character…in size, shape and body language…but remain consistent in overall style.…
Nick Cole maintains that silhouette can…be particularly powerful to differentiate…the varied types and personalities.…He uses wildly different physical silhouettes…to make sure you know who's who at a glance.…Although the style is consistent, it's easy…to determine who the hero is, the jester,…the wise sage and the bodyguard.…They're all based on silhouette alone.…Looking more closely at the detail…of each clarifies the message but…
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