Character Development Week 3

Elements of visual development

These images show the process that an visual development artist may take. We see how simple shapes can mould into different characteristics of people. We find that if we were to create a hero there shoulders would be broader shaped. If it was to be a women the face would be lighter, and there waist wider. Women are depicted to have more curves then men, so there body would consist more of circler shapes. If we were to create a normal man, they would have a slim body, with a tall body and a long face. A baby would often have rounded of shapes and a tough strong person would tend to have squares. Squares show heaviness in a character and strength.

  • Shape play- weight of the character
  • Exaggeration
  • Style- the way the character looks
  • Concept art- designs of the character
  • Colour charts- colours for the character
  • Movement tests
  • Line
  • Tone
  • Texture- the feel of the character
  • Form- how it looks
  • Model sheets- multiple designs
  • Facial expressions

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Proko is a artist who creates videos on how to design different form of characters and how shapes work for them. This video shows examples of how he breaks down the form of structure for the human body using gestures and exaggeration. The gestures and body structures that this video explains will help me structure my work, it’ll help me gain a better understanding on how the anatomy and body positions work. Proko starts of by drawing simple shapes then working his way into creating more detail and depth for the shapes within his work. Gestures are important in the animation would because it allows the animators the create an all round visual look and make the work look consistent with the animation for the character. Normally the work is drawn out on a model sheet which shows a 360 look on how the character looks from all different angles. The model sheet consists of features on how the character looks, such as visual expressions and poses of the character in different positions, this allows the work to look the same so that the character dosnt end up looking like something completely different in the end result.

We also looked at advice from Pixar pictures, giving tips on how to develop your work. They talk about the styles that you have and the designs for characters being one page for your portfolio. The employer cares more about what you can do by seeing on a few pages your best pieces together. If you wanted to focus on environment art then that would be at the front of your portfolio, where as if you want to do character design that would be at the front of your portfolio.

Model sheets

These are model sheets from beauty and the beast, bugs bunny and from tangled. We see the process of how the characters were made. The designs for the beast show the skeleton structure of the creature which allowed them to work around making it more realistic with knowing how he would move. We also see an early stage of Bella that has been drawn, it shows that they had more then one design to work from. Often they would have multiple design concepts to work from until they find the write one. The first design is never the final design. From the bugs bunny model sheets we see the simple shapes that he has, showing the structure of his figure. These model sheets would normally have lots of different representations of the character showing the different poses so that the artist has a 3 dimensional idea to work from, this allows the character to look consistent through animations because they know how the character would look from different angles. Further on we see tangled facial expressions. Facial expressions are very important for the main characters because it allows the audience to gain emotions and feelings from the character, it allows them to connect batter with them, read how they are feeling. Which means there needs to be a ride range of facial expressions to work from.

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Art of silhouetting 

The art of silhouetting consists of drawing quick sketches of silhouettes then working of them giving them more a 3 dimensional look after. This technique allows us to generate more variety of ideas and choose our favourite shapes for a character design. I like this method because it allows you to go crazy with the idea that anything can become a character, it generates more ideas for how your character might end up looking like. Often the artist would then move to Photoshop to create the more realistic detailed end product from the silhouette.


Class experiment

After looking at all the different styles and elements of character visual development, we moved across the room reading each others character descriptions, then started to draw out our interpretation ideas of what we thought the character looked like. This gave us a chance to have a better understanding on how to generate ideas in a short amount of time. After seeing people work with my character descriptions I learnt that they were finding it difficult to create a character with, so I needed to refine my character descriptions. When I saw the designs that they had created I found that they all came up with a creature from my first character but didn’t have many simulates with the designs. There was one design that had the use of a mask which I felt would work well with my idea, it fits with the character trying to hide away from others.

Refine characters descriptions

My first character description is a warm loyal creature (undead) who wants to fit in at school but hides from students because of the way he looks. He wears a mask to hide his face so that the pupils that are humans don’t judge him, helplessly tries to stay away from bullies but when he gets hurt he will fight back. He would wear a school costume with a tie, he is tall and broad but is shy and clumsy. His clumsy mistakes often lead him to trouble or make others laugh. He has a rough texture to his body and has short legs but long strong arms.

My second character description refined is a young girl who is going through rough stages in her life. She is seen to be clever and talented and wants to be an actor. We see her dress like a rebel and always gets into trouble even though she has gifts that she dosnt even realise, she would wear her school clothes ripped because she wants to say something about herself. She is upset and wants to push to her acting career. She is misunderstood and she is an emotional character who wants to makes friends.

20 drawings character concept design


Here I have experimented with ideas on how my characters could visually look. I liked the idea of having them linking to school and dressing smart or rough fitting to there personality’s. I tried different ways to make them look different visually. So I would make them top heavy or bottom heavy. Then I would change key features that would make them look more unique. Like the mask, I wanted the one character to have a mask to fit with his personality, because I wrote how shy he gets and that he hides away from others and that all he wants to do is fit in with everyone else. I gave them usual body structures that might not go well with there personality, I did this to try and see if I preferred the different styles on the way that they looked which could lead me to alter their personality’s. I firstly drew out small shapes and added more shapes onto them, I found out that if I used a large rectangular shape it will make the body of my character look bigger and stronger, and if I were to use a small circular shape it would make them look more round. I found by changing the shapes as I created more designs it made the character look completely different to how it looked previously.


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