Sunday, 16 January 2011

Character Design | 1 | Interveiws

These were taken from a fantastic blog called 'Character Design' Check it out here!!!

Sorry about how boring this post is, no colour or pictures etc.        

heres some colour to liven it up a bit.......... colou:)

Scott Wright Interveiw
How do you go about designing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

I always start with a story. No matter what the image is for. The drawing needs to inspire a beginning middle and end when the viewer looks at it. I then look for shapes, poses and interesting view points. I do a lot of thumbnailing and I’m never afraid to throw out a good drawing if it doesn’t work in context with the story. The same goes with colour, I try and find ways of improving my story with interesting hues and values.

Chris Battle Interveiw
Same question as above.

When working on a TV show or film, it all boils down to the story and who the character is, so I always start with the script/story treatment. While reading, I'll often doodle in the margins whatever concepts come to mind, so that when I meet with the Director, we can go over our mutual ideas of what the character will be. From there I'll start drawing rough concepts, which I'll run by the Art Director, and if approved, I'll tie down the drawing into it's final form. From there, I'll need do to turns (Drawings of the character from all angles) and after the storyboards are done I'll often need to do special poses/expressions (A luxury in the breakneck pace of TV production) If I'm lucky, sometimes I'll be able to put my 2 cents into the clean-up and color process so they designs can stay true to my vision.

Andre Medina
Same question as above above.

Sometimes an image just pops in my head while I'm drawing or working on something else. But most of the time when I design I figure out a theme and try to add story. In terms of drawing, I try to lay down a light action line and try to compose two or more characters interacting; fighting, arguing, kissing, talking everyday experiences. From the action line that I draw I build on the shape and always think about character and what is the character thinking, I think this is the hardest part. Like most people, I love designing but in animation, a design means nothing if it doesn't have character.

Michael Dougherty
Same question as above, above, above.

Everything, of course, starts with an idea. On a TV show, some of the ideas have already been set up for you before you even put pencil to paper. The script writers conceive the character, then the storyboard artist, the board revisionist and sometimes the show creator all contribute to a character's model for use in the storyboard. Sometimes, the storyboard artists provide strong enough character drawings for me to tweak into finished designs, while other storyboard artists offer more generic characters which allow the designer more wiggle room to be creative. That's when my own ideas, opinions, and individuality as an artist come in handy.

I'm fairly slow and methodical when it comes to drawing. I think I'm a better graphic designer than I am a draftsman. What I mean is that I'm more methodical and pensive when it comes to designing. I'll put down a few lines, edit, then put down a few more lines, edit again, flip the drawing around, do an overlay, and so on. I'm not your fast and furious draftsman, I don't do heavy-handed blue pencil sketches in 15 seconds and I hardly possess the confidence to think I've scored a finished drawing on a first pass. Sometimes, a lot of overlays have to get thrown in the trash before you hit the right note. For me, design is problem solving, like assembling a puzzle or figuring out the next chess move. I edit my designs as much as I draw them.

I design very graphically and I think in terms of 2-dimensional shapes. I start off drawing a strong, interesting silhouette in a clear, legible pose. I try to vary the shapes and pump as much contrast into a design as possible without making it unbalanced and “wonky.” I vary the volumes so that no design is either to round and bubbly or too hard and pointy. Contrast creates interest. For me, I've reached a point where I'm no longer thinking about the technical rules of art – my reactions are intuitive and emotional. If the character's pose, proportions, silhouette, expression and personality "look" appealing and well-balanced, then I'm happy with the result and I call it a day.

Rik Maki
Same question as above, above, above.....above

In the famous words of Joe Grant, "Look three times, think twice and draw once." Before I start to draw anything I research the character, study it's back story, do more research and more research and a little more research. I begin to see it clearly in my head and then just put it down on paper very quickly. I like quick sketches because they have an immediacy and a life in their first impression that you just don't get with a drawing that's been tickled to death. I just like the honesty and imperfections of the quick sketch.

Mel Milton
Same question as above, above, above.....above.

As of late I start with line of action. Once I feel that there is good movement then I lay down some shapes. I usually look for reference and what not if I don't understand the subject Im drawing. I like sketching quick and loose and feel that I can get more ideas down that way. I try to think about the characters personality as well. I pretend that they are animated. Since learning animation Ive been trying to put more life into my designs. I dont get much time to refine my pics since I started school, so I mainly I stay quick and loose. With graduation coming up in March I look forward to getting in some cleanup time in.

Ridd Sorensen
Same question as above, above, above.....above.

To be honest, when I sit down to design a character I don't think a lot about it. Once I have an idea I just doodle for a while on whatever paper is around until I come up with something that I think is decent enough to scan and develop further in Flash. I've never been much of a sketch artist. Not because I don't like to do it, but because I'm not very good at it! It takes too long for me to get a sketch to where I want it, and I'm rarely 100% happy with the finished result. That said, I do still sketch a lot, and I will do a lot of roughs - but when I get these roughs into the old laptop is when things start to pick up for me. Flash allows me to push my drawings a little further, change things around that aren't working, and basically get the design to where I want it.

plus this question...
What do you think really helps you out in designing a character?

It depends what I'm designing the character for. If it's a character for a show with an already established style, I'll look at a whack of previously designed characters and try to stay as on style as possible when designing mine. Facial expressions and body language are so important if you're trying to relay any sort of attitude or personality, so character descriptions in a script really help if they're available. If I'm coming up with my own character I tend to drown myself in a sea of reference for inspiration - real life (people watching, zoos, etc.), art books, cartoons, movies, and now bookmarked blogs. Then I'll sit down with my sketchbook and try to hammer out something half decent.

Paul Watling
How do you go about designing a character, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

It all depends on how many beers I've had at lunch. I guess I try to get a really good, clear vision in my head of how I picture the's about the only time I use my brain. Posing is very important as this helps distinguish personality. On a good day I'll rough something out...REALLY rough, then go to a clean rough and once I've worked out any outstanding problems I clean 'er up. I go super, super clean and I'll take this opportunity to explain why...see, I work on a flash show, and as you may know, when you clean up, or "build" a character in flash it REALLY flattens out the drawing. So if I go super tight with my clean up on paper, I can get an idea how it'll look cleaned up in flash. If it's not working for me I go at it again from scratch. Keep in mind, this is all on a good day...on a bad day I've probably wiped out a rain forest. (We do recycle though!)

Guy Francis
How do you go about designing a character, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

Most of the work I do is in the children’s market, so I try to think on a child’s level. My wife says I spend a lot of time there.

My clients usually give me an idea of what they want. They give me a concept, a description, or a manuscript. That starts the juices flowing. I think of the overall story, the environment, the mood and the setting. It all seems to play a part in the early design stages. I also try to think of the attitude and personality of the character I’m working on. I try to put myself in his mind and think like he does. This helps me think of the character’s shape, size, postures, and emotions. Sometimes my sketching is very deliberate—I know what I want when I start—and sometimes I just start drawing and the character emerges from the pencil spontaneously. I have a hard time doing anything very serious. Most of my stuff is lighthearted kind of goofy. I like it when my character interacts with the viewer.

What do you think really helps you out in designing a character?

Drawing all the time. That’s first and foremost. But I’m also very influenced by other artists’ work. I love seeing the way other artists sketch. I’ve got a huge file of artists’ work that really inspires. I have it set as my screen saver so that pictures shuffle through and they often spark an idea and get me going.

How do you go about designing a character, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

I always start with written notes. The basics- who, what, where and when. Even at this stage I work big to small by starting with general descriptives and closing in on the specifics. Such as- short, fat boy- This is enough to give you a silhouette and tells you WHAT the character is. The following begins to tell you WHO the character is-From there- 9 years old, red hair, lots of freckles, squinty eyes, crooked nose, dirty shirt, pants two sizes too small, unlaced worn high-top sneakers, grubby backpack covered in pins and patches filled to capacity-bursting at the seams with stuffed animals. What is the problem and how do you solve it in a way that serves the story? It's always an issue of form following function. How can the character be distilled? What context do they exist in? I always start with the macro and close in slowly. Large shapes and silhouettes enclosing smaller shapes and details. I think that if you start large and address the broad strokes you find that the details begin to define themselves.

What do you think really helps you out in designing a character?

Context. It always has to come to down to context. What is it that you want the character to convey and do? Does the design allow them to act and move in a way that serves the story? However you can't dismiss the x factor either. Sometimes, or maybe most times, a good drawing/design defies logic and intent and exists in spite of our efforts.

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