SUPER BASIC CHARACTER DESIGN TIPS?
I’m not really sure I’d call myself an authority on character design, but I was asked to put something like this together, so I hope it can at least be of some help to someone.
For this demonstration, I will be using my “maybe-kinda mascot” character, Browne.
Cute little grump, isn’t he?
Well, believe it or not, without a few important design qualities I picked up in life, he could have turned out VERY differently.
Yes, there was a dark period in my life (ie: middle school), where I might have likely designed this character like this.
-completely uninteresting, cut-and-paste facial features, barely a step up from a basic emote.
-inconsistent, mismatched shapes trying to force sharp corners and curved lines together in ways that look jarring.
-awkward “hair for the sake of hair” anime mop haphazardly stapled atop his lumpy head.
-strange proportions that make him appear to have a normal sized humanoid torso with shortened limbs.
There isn’t really anything about this design that would catch anyone’s attention, and if anything, the disjointed nature would probably turn them off it entirely.
Now, compare to a design that considers and uses all of those factors to create a cohesive and charming look.
-Browne’s facial features are now specifically shaped to fit together in a way that provides both a unique face, and a variety of ways to show emotion.
-The design specifically avoids sharp corners anywhere it can use a soft curve instead, and there is a recurring fluff motif spread all throughout, from his outfit, to his hair and eartips, and even for the shape of his hands and feet.
-The character’s proportions are purposefully exaggerated to create a cuter look, avoiding jutting shoulders and making his head roughly the size of his torso.
And now, to test whether a design really works, the rule of thumb is:
If your character can be easily identified by their silhouette, then you nailed the most important part of making a memorable character design.
For instance, you might be able to recognize this as Browne, even if it was presented to you out of context, correct?
Of course you can. The big poofy cap and cape would make it obvious right away.
AND, even if I drew him without a distinctive outfit, and in an action pose that could trick the eyes, his proportions and features would still make his silhouette recognizable.
In closing, though, the most important advice I can give is KEEP TRYING.
Look at characters whose designs you like, break them down into basic shapes and see what makes them fit. Analyze EVERYTHING and challenge yourself to see if you could do it better.
If a goober like me can make progress, than believe me, so can you.
Frank & Alyssa|| The Right Steps to an Epic Song
Alyssa rolled out of bed with a determined smile on her face. When she noticed the time she ran around the room in a frantic rush. She promised to meet Frank in one of the green fields beyond the castle’s high protective walls and she was late.
She hopped about as she slid the pants on one leg then the other using the Force to keep her balance. She threw on her brother’s tunic she borrowed and snapped her light-saber to the utility belt. Alyssa slipped each foot into a boot before darting into the hallway.
She greeted a few other members of the court with a “good morning” and a quick bow. They seemed to watch half in amusement and half in horror at her public display of panicked excitement. Alyssa gave a quick salute as she tore past a few guards who exchanged looks over their morning coffee.
Her heart was racing with delighted anticipation. Across the field she could see her brother’s figure standing tall and proud like an ancient Roman statue with his sandy brown hair fluttering to and fro now and then in the wind. Alyssa called to him as she came skidding to a halt ” good morning! Sorry I am late Master.” She gave a quick bow to her brother.
prologue to untitled
Warnings: implied self-harm(?)
note: stupid little thing I wrote in class, figured I’d post it.
Catch ya Later | Brigitte & Kai
Perhaps “Catch ya later” had been a poor choice of words. Kai had mentioned before she had walked away from him that they would be seeing each other again. She should have caught on, but Brigitte wasn’t always the smartest when fear had blended with her thought process. Usually she was calculated, precise, highly intelligent, but something about being taken hostage had clouded her thoughts, muddled her ability to reason. It didn’t help that she wasn’t exactly an American, and she knew very little about her surroundings. She knew what street she was on, merely because another hostage had told her. Still, she figured it was worth a shot.
Taking a breath, Brigitte moved toward the window. She had no idea who was watching her, or that anyone had even taken notice of her. Kai had left her alone, and the room seemed empty. She pushed on the window, willing it to move. She was pleasantly surprised to find it unlocked. Once the window was open, she took another breath to calm her nerves. She hated heights, and she wasn’t exactly on the ground floor. She hoisted herself up and over the window sill, dangling above the ground below her. She squeezed her eyes shut to stop the dizziness she felt when she looked down, measuring how far the drop was. She was trembling, both from fear and from supporting herself, but finally she let go, falling to the ground with a painful thud.
She forced herself to get up, ignoring the ache in her ankle as she struggled to her feet. She had to get out of there, and quickly. She looked around, the sounds of New York strange and foreign to her ears. Berlin was a big city, but New York had a completely different mood. Without thinking, she began to run toward the fence. She knew she’d have to climb quickly, but she couldn’t worry about that. She was almost there, just a few more feet. But then she heard a shout behind her, and panic set in. Within seconds her body had flown forward and a heavier being rested on top of her, pinning her to the ground. She squirmed beneath the boy’s weight, tears welling in her eyes as he stepped on her ankle. “Get off of me!” She screeched as the boy got up, grabbing her arms and tugging her up with him.
Brigitte struggled the entire time. She had no idea who was holding her, or rather dragging her, but she had a feeling she knew where they were going. To see Kai. Kai had told her that was what would happen. The boy pushed open a door and shoved Brigitte inside. She fell to the ground, landing on her hands and scraping them open. She wrinkled her nose in disgust, looking up to see the boy and Kai talking. She swallowed back her pride, and her fear, and backed away from the two on her hands, inching toward the other side of the room as quickly as she could. “Don’t hurt me.” She whispered, suddenly realizing why meeting Kai formally was not a good thing.
Shelby walked down the hall to Jason’s place, a smile on her lips. She was looking forward to see him, like always. He was a good guy who as easy to talk to. Plus…well, just look at him. What’s not to like? When she finally got to his door, she gave it a knock, stepping back as she waited for an answer.