how to fail at character design

On The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel, Blue Taako, and Representation

 Yesterday, we revealed some pages for our graphic novel adaptation of the first Adventure Zone arc, and received some criticism of the direction we went with for Taako’s coloring. This artwork reveal came some months after the first reveal of some of our characters, for which we also received criticism of our three leads, all of whom were white in these initial designs. Us and the graphic novel team realized that, yes, that is extremely bad, went back to the drawing board, and had several long discussions about how to best rectify this situation, resulting in the artwork revealed yesterday.

More or less all of the criticism we’ve received centers on Taako, whose skin is a pale blue color in these designs. What we’ve heard most is disappointment that Taako is not realized in these pages as a person of color — or, to be more specific, a Latinx or explicitly Mexican character. There was concern we had failed to follow through on an opportunity to get better representation for Latinx listeners, instead opting to take a safe route, and make Taako a fantasy color without any kind of real-world connection. Much of the criticism also focuses on how that color (or, to be more specific, green skin) has anti-semitic connotations.

This conversation was happening in certain corners of our fandom long before the graphic novel art reveal took place yesterday. We’ve heard criticism from some folks over our policy of not having canonical visual representations of any of our characters — a policy that has resulted in a genuinely humbling ocean of fan art, but also some instances of in-fighting between members of the community who take umbrage with one another’s disparate interpretations of these characters. Another criticism of that policy is that it inherently does not foster good representation, and in fact represents a noncommittal way of handling racial representation on this show.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I think all of this comes from this underlying friction between where The Adventure Zone and us, its creators, were when we started doing the podcast, and where we, the show, and you, the community, are at now. 

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leapedspace  asked:

Greetings there fellow tumblerite! I just wanted to say I love how all your characters are so diverse in appearance, and in ways that we don't normally see; each one is so easily distinguishable and it's BEAUTIFUL. I was wondering, do you have any tips for making characters with unique facial features?

Hi, friendo! I can attempt to give you some tips! Also: thank you - this is something I’m specifically trying to get better at so I’m glad it’s working :’)

Giving your characters different faces

The general way I go about designing a character’s face is:

1. Vague idea of what the character’s appearance ‘feels’ like (round / pointy / screaming internally / fuckin’ ripped / etc., a combination thereof)

2. Pick some features. I find it helps to keep a mental list of individual features to use as a starting point. Like a video game character creator, except with better eyebrow options.

3. Try and fail to draw the character until you can consistently draw a version you’re satisfied with. Like that one video of the 3D models that learn how to walk over like nine hundred iterations, but they fall over a lot at first.

I’m gonna include my patented Cheating List Of Features I Already Know How To Draw™ as an example below, but this is the kind of thing where it’s probably best to figure out what works for you.

Again, this is a starting point - you’re gonna have to draw the character a bunch to figure out how you want to draw them, specifically, as an individual.

Here’s a partial list of what I think about while trying stuff out, in case you’re having trouble with it:

Head: shape of cheekbones/cheeks? chin forward/backward, wide/thin? eyebrow area smooth or not?
Eyebrows: pointy/smooth? thick/thin? tidy/not tidy? tilt?
Eyes: are the eyelashes prominent? what shape are the eyelids? height:width ratio?
Nose: triangle/round? how high up does it start? curvy?
Mouth: concave up/concave down? pointy/rounded? visible lips?
Extra bits:
teethies, freckles/moles, even more eyelashes, wrinkles, facial hair, scars, etc.

Also: the size of features, the distance between features (near/far), the placement of features on the face (high/low)

And a few examples to break up the wall of text:

Some extra tips:

For drawing the same thing a million times:

1. It might be helpful to describe things to yourself in the style of “hasn’t slept in 84 years” and “eyebrows are trying to escape” - I find that this makes it easier to vary the character’s face while still having something to aim for.

2. If you get stuck or frustrated, it might help to try to draw the character at different ages.

3. The ones that don’t turn out right aren’t failures, they’re, uh, cousins or clones or something. Or ‘off-brand.’

And some other tips:

1. Be critical of your avoidance of/preference for particular characteristics.

2. You don’t have to adhere to stuff like ‘evil = triangles’ and ‘women are round, men are square.’

3. Look at photos of actual people.

4. How the character makes facial expressions affects their overall appearance. “c:” and “(:” and “[:” are different, you know?

5. Keep the rest of their body in mind, too.

I hope that helps!

I tried to challenge myself and design an mc in @thearcanagame’s setting.

Kinda failed tbh but i like how the character came out on the left (designed the right side first, wasn’t really happy with it) tho theyre quick sketches i might touch up later asdfg.

My excuse is that my mc was mainly dressing casually until they lived at Nadia’s palace where she got sick of the mc’s pleb tastes and asked portia to up her game. though, maybe the casual clothes shouldn’t have been red so asra’s excuse for a blush logical,,,

anonymous asked:

how come you included bismuth and not steven? bismuth is kinda.. a mean character and steven is a crystal gem too ;-;

1) bc I like bismuth more than steven. rose is a crystal gem too but I didn’t include her either 

2) saying bismuth is mean is like saying jasper is mean. both of them at a shallow glance may seem aggressive and both have typical traits associated w antagonists but keep in mind, both of them also have reasons behind acting this way. jasper’s diamond was taken from her so she feels like she failed her leader, not to mention being a gem designed for battling, she feels an intense need to seek revenge on those who uprooted everything she knew and lived for. I think that’s pretty justified for her being so tough and “mean”. same applies for bismuth. she was fighting for a good cause, one that provided freedom from a tyrannical matriarchy and saved humanity, yet she’s demonized bc she was the only one willing to accept the fact that with war, sacrifices have to be made, especially to the enemy. of course these shattered gems would never affect the diamonds directly, but at the time you can imagine how desperate the crystal gems were to do anything to stop homeworld. bismuth was on earth during the time of the gem war and didn’t get the proper chance to open up to the possibility that violence isn’t the only solution, like the other crystal gems grew to accept. she was bubbled and never got to see the world change over the years, and neither did her perspective. her mind is still set in a time where it’s their life or hers. she never got to heal. she’s brash, headstrong, and hurt, but not mean. and every horribly inaccurate misportrayal of her character makes me love her even harder just to spite everyone.

as someone who really, really loves beefy women i think that the act of drawing pharah extremely muscular is rooted in naive creative tunnel vision that is meant to exaggerate a character’s features based on the desire to see those features more often in designs (see: people drawing sailor moon fat, etc.) but failing to step back and realize how bad it looks when viewed in the context of a burly dark-skinned woman protecting (and often subservient to) a delicate white woman

design unfortunately doesn’t exist in a bubble and as appealing as i find buff tuff pharah i will concede that it often has some really uncomfortable visuals in pharmercy shipping contexts and i’m not sure why people are so desperate to argue that

she’s canonically nearly 6ft tall and has an athletic build so when people ask you to tone it down they’re not saying she needs to be waifish lmao

anonymous asked:

I follow you everywhere I possibly can. Your art is so amazing. How did you learn to paint like that? I'm a graphic designer and cannot wield an electronic paintbrush as amazingly as you can... damn. So impressed. Your Sk8er Boy Jared Padalecki is amazing and one of my favorites.

Hi anon ^^

Thank you for enjoying my drawings so much and following me everywhere! It’s so nice of you ♥

How did you learn to paint like that? 

Like all the digital artists that you can see on this site or on Deviant Art: little by little. Lot of practice, lot of failures, lot of books about CG art read, lot of tutorials followed. Rome wasn’t build in one day believe me, it took years. People who have followed me since I joined the Supernatural fandom on Live Journal (or since I started on French website Gamekult) have seen my art improve and my technique change whether it’s for pure CG paintings or for “line work + coloring” drawings, as you can see below:

(Black line work + coloring)

(Pure CG painting. Don’t ask me how I found in my computer a fan art that dates back 2005 but I did!! The character is Jayce from Jayce and the wheeled warriors. My age is showing xD)

Anyway, all this to tell you that 1) I may make it look easy but believe me, it took me years to reach the point I am today. 2) I still fail, (yes,it happens!) and 3) you WILL get there too. It will take time and patience but it’s perfectly possible! I mean, I don’t have a gift or any particular talent, I just worked.

I’m a graphic designer and cannot wield an electronic paintbrush as amazingly as you can 

As you said you are a GRAPHIC DESIGNER, not an illustrator. I’m sure I can’t do half of the things you do when it comes to graphic design. I can’t create logos, I can hardly use Illustrator, I can’t create animations (or just simple gifs). It’s two different fields. It’s like a lung specialist saying to a heart surgeon “I’m not good enough to understand how the heart works and to do an open heart surgery, I suck”. Dude, you’re a lung specialist, of course you can’t do an open heart surgery, it’s not your field! Exactly like it’s better for a heart surgeon to stay away from a patient’s lungs xD

Don’t feel down for not being able to do what I do (yet!) because it’s really two different things but as I told you, with time you’ll get there! Good luck to you and thanks again for enjoying my art ♥

Well I tried to resist watching the leaks and failed

This new Sapphire is such a cutie. I find it interesting how she has late predictions as a defect and I really like her design. Plus, she seems so sweet and innocent and in need of protection <3

I have a strong feeling she’ll be my new favorite character when the Wanted event airs :)


I’m making a retro point and click adventure game.

This has been my dream since first playing LucasArts games when I was 6. I used to draw backgrounds on paper and cutout characters and objects, design puzzles and act the game out for my sister, having her shout commands at my characters.

I made many failed attempts at games in various game-creation programs, until I was about 16. I learned how to write music and jokes for these games that would never exist.

I’m 28 now. Let’s do this!

Follow @IconArchitect10 on twitter for updates and tidbits.

i cant tell you how fucking obsessed with this thing i was when i was 15, this fuckin character from a failed disney channel block that only appeared for probably a few months back in 2001, i mean its a pretty adorable design but young man me would not shut the fuck up about it to my poor friends, very bad experience

In character design, it’s crucial to have your character be instantly recognizable. Fuli is supposed to be a cheetah. I thought she was a leopard until reading otherwise in her bio. Apart from being ‘slender’ nothing about her says cheetah. I’m not sure how but the creators managed to draw every iteration of spots on her other than a cheetah’s spots. cheetahs do not have rosettes, they don’t have large spots, they even failed to give her the iconic “tear line” marking down her face. the bulkiness of her paws bother me too. I would also argue cheetahs do not have a distinct lighter belly either but neither do lions and disney gave their lions bellies so whatever.

spots aside her physique in general just doesn’t fit the style with the rest of the show. she seriously looks like a MLP design more than anything. i have watched some lion guard and im pretty unimpressed with the show, and honestly seeing Fuli’s design was my first sign it would not be anything great.

talesfromcallcenters: That Time a Character from Family Guy Called for Product Support...

Reminiscing on my call center days, I remembered an older gentleman I had spoken to a while back. Nice, older sounding gentleman who happened to have an unusual number of questions about a relatively simple product design. As the call approached the 45 minute mark, I got up and began to stretch. Without thinking about how the gentleman’s name could be considered NSFW, I blurted out “That’s wonderful Mr. Weed, is there anything else I can help you with?”

The entire call center, all 40 something people, gasped and looked up at me. Blushing, I sat back down and later got a strike on my record because my manager honestly believed I said it just for shock value
In hindsight, I think my coworkers overreacted.

TL;DR - Mr. Weed (from Family Guy) called and I got a strike on my record for “Disturbing the Work Environment” and the entire call center overreacted

By: mattied23


@obito-neko said: I don’t even really know how this started. Outertale is my favorite aesthetic AU so i gotta mix it with everything. I really hope its okay that i did this. I attempted pixel art and failed. New AU? idk what do you guys thing? I just really like space. (I’ll draw a actual character chart later this look 3 ½ days i’m tired.)

Altertale! belongs to @friisans 
Outertale! belongs to  @2mi127
Character design/outfits is mine. 

Frii said: 👌👌👌

to do list since im on nacib feels tonite:
-more….writing…….and….character design……..i am so tired……..
-draw teen felix with his awful long hair because hes just too damn sad and tired to get it cut yknow + tacky wardobe consisting of black metal band t shirts, a filthy army jacket and sweatpants
-the one comic where lucy using his remaining illusion abilities shows felix what he looked like as a baby and the following exchange happens: 
felix: you looked like a failed dog abortion 
lucy: HEY!!! you’re one to talk!!! how premature were you again?…
felix: (takes a bigggggggg ol drink of coffee from his mug) 
felix: yeah that’s fair
-draw beezy
-work on [REDACTED]s character stuff and design
-more plot outlining
-fix fucking Pen Pressure 
-draw more lucy while in full human camo mode (walmart vest) AND full form lucy


Since the first time I read Classic Star Wars #20, I’m so curious about this unnamed imperial designer / mechanic / whatever his job really was, who help Darth Vader to set trap on Verdanth planet. Seriously, it drives me mad that such character doesn’t have a name because there is so wasted potential, it really hurts. I mean, just look how Vader is speaking about the whole situation, after project failed (due to uncontrollable factors that weren’t fault of Vader or the man): “we failed” & “our trap”, what makes me think it was project that engaged them both equally. The Cybernetic Chamber was designed to strengthen Vader’s Force ability / range what probably means they spent a lot time working together, to balance technology & mystic Force  aspects and I suspect making new machinery is still enjoyable activity for the Dark Lord of the Sith. And who knows, maybe this imperial scientist was that enough close associate of Vader thanks to their common interests?

It hurst to see how such potential was never expanded beyond that one(?) issue. I know I would love to see Vader working with imperial scientist on his own project in more details. There is a quite a lot sources about Vader’s relationship with common soldiers & officers, imperial agents or spies or even rebels. But how often we see him working with people that share his technical knowledge & joy of creating machines?

Inktober #15. Ruby and Sapphire went ice skating and Ruby obviously needs a few lessons. At least she didn’t melt the ice yet. Tried to get their designs close to the original style but I failed to keep it simple. ‘‘8T

anonymous asked:

I know this is a stupid question, but I was looking at your analysis of how big the wings (Maximum Ride) would actually be, and I don't see how that could work with a chair? The tips when folded nearly scrape the ground and the top part reaches basically head level.

OK. Patterson describes Max’s wingspan as being thirteen to fourteen feet. That’s pretty big. I assume you’re referring to the image from Uzlo’s “Thoughts on Wings,” which is an excellent source of inspiration for winged characters. (It is not affiliated with Maximum Ride.) I used it in an attempt to give a rough idea of what those 13-14-foot wingspans would look like on a human body.

Throughout the series, the Flock sits at dining room tables, at school desks, and in cars, and in many other random sitty-type places. In many of these cases, they are in disguise and have their wings sucked up into their cavernous torso pockets. So, presumably no problems sitting there.

But there is one line that springs to mind from MAX, where they visit a school and are directed to “chairs that were designed to accommodate the wingless.” This is one of the few times they acknowledge the way the birdkids’ bodies don’t fit into the human-designed world around them. It’s left up to the readers’ imagination how they actually sit down, though Max is clearly uncomfortable. This is one of the series’ failings in my opinion because it’s a great opportunity for worldbuilding and character building.

HOWEVER. I did find this thing on Pinterest from an artist called squidlifecrisis. This is an amazing example of some creative furniture design for characters with huge wings. Beyond benches and stools, which are the simplest solutions, this has some clever ideas for backrests and wingrests.

(Edited to add the picture. Tumblr was being weird the other day and the picture kept coming out really blurry.)

Tag 8 People you want to get to know better

Tagged by: @dreadangel

How old are you?

What’s your current job?
I don’t really have one, I just do a bunch of small different tasks for people to get money

What are you talented at?
Drawing, Luigi’s mansion (I played it too much as a kid and learnt to speed run I guess), Getting really good ideas but failing to put them down correctly on paper, and character design (I hope..)

What’s your aesthetic?

Does pastel count?

Do you collect anything?
Amiibo and old games I used to play when I was 8 but we gave away (I determined to collect them all and relive my first gaming experiences)

What’s a topic you always talk about?
Tv shows, any new games, certain game characters, criticise a certain show or movie for some dumb stuff they try to push as serious, occasional anime, how much school sucks and we’re probably going to fail, and just roasting

What’s a pet peeve of yours?
When a show or movie is super serious like a horror or drama, yet it has a massive plot hole that is never explained and ignored by the fans who praise it for how genius it is. That and anime characters who have either stupid hair or a stupid outfit.

Good advice to give?
Just do what you want to do, if you want to draw someone with a large chest, some gore, or even an odd crossover then do it! Don’t let someone tell you what you should draw because they don’t like your other ideas, just do what you want to do (But make sure you don’t disregard criticism and adivce, that can really help you grow and develop)

What are five songs you’d recommend?

  1. Toyko Ghoul Unravel (Current song I keep on loop)
  2. 【IA】 Imposter Advisory
  3. Gumi - A Fake, Fake, Psychotropic
  4. Flower - People Allergy
  5. MYTH & ROID - STRAIGHT BET (Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu ED) 

I don’t really know who to tag, so if you want to do this go nuts!

caitlynal  asked:

I love your character designs they are absolutely stunning to see and leave me in total awe! I'm an artist in high school who keeps failing to get into the art classes at my school because they get filled out so quickly and I haven't ever taken a class at my school, I was wondering how do you come up with unique head shapes for characters? I ask because I feel like all of mine have the same exact shape and want to add more range.

Hey! Thanks so much, it really means a lot to me to hear that! One important thing for me when I was trying to learn more about character design was to take big risks and really experiment. Here’s an exercise to try - have a friend, doesn’t matter whether they’re an artist or not, randomly draw some simple shapes without telling them what the shapes will be for. Could be geometric, like a triangle or square, or could be something more organic looking. Then take whatever shapes they draw and make them all into head shapes. They won’t all work, but it’s a good way to get out of your comfort zone and maybe come up with some ideas that you like!

Another thing that can really help is studying different faces from life, and doing caricatures of real people to get some inspiration. Doing that has helped me a lot, and many of the face shapes that I draw are loose caricatures of people I know. It’s always good to try drawing people with interesting faces, I used to fall into the trap of studying mostly the faces of celebrities, but drawing just young, conventionally attractive people isn’t always going to help you discover new and interesting shapes. And you can switch things like age or gender up to find even more fun possibilities - one of my favourite character designs is a teen girl who’s face is loosely based on a caricature I did of an old man at a bus stop.

I hope that helps! Thanks for reaching out!

one of the more ridiculous video game complaints i see are when people play games with known random elements and get mad about it. like in games that have tabletop-like chances of attack success, people will complain that an attack had a 90+% chance of success but it missed, like yes, that is what anything below 100% chance means. do you know how probability works? or people will complain about how enemy attacks sometimes are critical hits that kill their character, not just get tilted because it was devastating but actually argue that something like that is objectively bad design.

relatedly, people confuse whether an action succeeded with whether it was the right action. like if option A has an 80% success rate and option B has a 40% success rate, and someone takes option A but it fails, people will say that person misplayed even though it was the right choice strategically, it just didn’t work out

sometimes things just don’t work out! there isn’t always a reward for the right decision! existentialism by video game