Character Design

by norm on Aug 9, 2017 (200 Views)

Fundamentals of Motion Designs to help put a spring in your character's Step

You may have had a favorite cartoon character from when you were little, be it Popeye, Olive Oyl, Tom, Jerry,Spyke, Tyke, Bugs, Daffy, Mickey, Tweety, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn etc. But would you have loved them the same if they were dull and lifeless in any way, shape, form or even a different motion design? No, right? Here’s what you need to give your character some character and get them up and running.

1.    Theme your Character when you start out

When you start out with your character, you essentially have a blank canvas. Not having anything to go with can create a creative block of the worst kind. Before you even think of Motion design, you should have a certain theme of the character in mind. For example, Jerry feels like the sort of deviant, miscreant mouse that manages to pull away from any kind of trouble due to his quick wit and cute features. So stick to a theme to get ideas flowing.

2.    Side with a species

Would you have imagined foghorn the leghorn (Rooster from Looney Toons) as a Dolphin? How about Bugs as a Dung Beetle? Weird and difficult right? That is because the species have been and classification of the character have been decided before the motion design was even set in place. If you think of Wall-E as dog instead of a robot, you will feel at least a little weird. So decide what species would best fit the character.

3.    Have a backstory ready for your character

Imagine Bugs Bunny anywhere except loony toon land, oh wait, Space Jam! Well you still have to have a back story for your character, in case it doesn’t fit as perfectly in other worlds. Knowing your character is like having a new best friend because you know where they are from, what they have gone through, what their personality is like. How would you see bugs if they were living the life of Popeye? One shudders at the thought. It helps to have a backstory to be able to get the best design for them.

4.    What will be their build?

Could you imagine sweet and innocent Tweety with the build of Spyke, the dog from Tom and Jerry. That sounds farfetched but it plays a really important role in the overall motion design. If you imagine Bolt the Dog, from the movie of the same name, as a greyhound who is aggressive, the character will not be the same!

5.    Create a unique Name and Personality to them

What if Speedy Gonzalez, the Mexican mouse was not Speedy but Lazy and fat. Doesn’t really go with the theme or the design. In fact, it seems horribly misaligned! The name and personality of character will matter the most when you try to animate their motion and design them. Speedy Gonzalez would not be the same if it were not for his roots..

6.    Pose for the Camera

To imagine what their motion design will be you need to have your characters come full circle. Get a number of different poses for their motion design to help them look and feel more in tune with themselves.

To have characters made that keeps these rules in mind during design, contact XYZ Creative Group.

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