Tutorial: How Does Pixar Create Great Characters (2)
In this article, the best CPU & GPU cloud render farm service provider, Fox Renderfarm, will continue sharing with you how Pixar creates great characters.
How Character Design Begins
After scrutinizing character backgrounds, there are other important visual elements that character designers need to keep in mind when starting production. Most of these considerations are audience-related, and character designers will want to understand how audiences perceive characters.
Firstly, the first impression is everything. Character designers must consider how to express the character's personality by exaggerating certain characteristics.
Character designers usually spend a lot of time on this initial step, creating countless versions of the same character, changing detail after detail, until they have a sketch that best describes the character's essence and background.
Second, character designers need to get creative for their work, but they must also obey basic natural rules. Of course, if some creature is a completely whimsical mythical beast, it may not correspond to any existing human or animal proportions.
However, all characters must eventually fit into the universe - where their particular story takes place. Armed with a solid understanding of how a character will look, a designer can start creating thumbnails, which are basic versions of sketches that communicate important details about a design to the audience.
At this stage, designers tend to focus on the silhouette of the character.
In other words, if a pirate's entire shape is a shadow, and only the shape (no color or detail) defines it, will its thumbnail still look like a thief on a ship? Or does it look like a big black lump?
To answer these questions, designers must pay attention to white space (empty space around a character) to ensure that the character is easily recognizable by the audience—even if it is shrouded in shadow.
After completing the thumbnails, the character designer can start filling in the gaps. Make the characters more dynamic by making various outfits and experimenting with some different poses.
Essentially, designers can bring characters to life in the process. At this point, the character designer must remember not to stray too far from the character's original goals. For example, the color of the costume must match the mission and setting of the character.
Finally, the designer will do light and shadow design, light and shadow make the character three-dimensional. When adding light to the initial character design, the designer needs to choose the light source. This determines the angle at which the light hits the character, and it also dictates where the character's shadow falls.
8 Tips For Character Design
Building character designs from scratch does take a lot of work, and whether you're just starting to design your first character or have been creating your own for years, here are 8 tips to help you improve your character design skills and abilities.
1. Choose few but critical colors
The color choices will ultimately help you create more realistic and unique characters. But when a character has too many colors in one design, it can be difficult for the audience to impress. So focus on the colors of each character design (about three or four key colors) that will help the character develop a unique style.
2. Create a unique character look
One of the most fun parts of creating your own characters is giving them wacky body shapes and styles. You can certainly stick to traditional, human, or animal-like characters. But when you're building a fantasy world, there's nothing stopping you from using a variety of shapes to create a unique look to each character's character.
In fact, a character should be recognizable from their silhouette. For example, anyone can simply name Maggie Simpson from the outline of the hairstyle.
3. Exaggerate key parts of your character
When you think of favorite characters, I can guarantee that certain exaggerated traits come to mind immediately. Whether it's a huge nose or crazy hair, adding emphasis to certain parts of a design is one of the best character design techniques to help character creation stand out.
Emphasizing physical features is a great place to start, and you can gain insight into a character's personality from how they look.
4. Form an exclusive design style
You may feel like every design has been done before, but like stories, the topic may have come up, but no one is going to tell the story the way you do. The same goes for your character.
Everything you observe and how you understand will be incorporated into your art, helping you create unique character designs. Drawing inspiration from different sources and your own imagination will eventually develop a style of your own.
5. Focus on the character's facial expressions
Have you ever noticed that when you meet a stranger you have never met, you first remember their faces and expressions. Even encountering people with deeply hidden emotions cannot prevent their facial expressions from revealing their emotions.
The same should be true for character design, especially when you're creating a 2D or 3D fictional character, it's important to incorporate some life and personality into their design so that the reader or viewer has something to relate to reality .
Emotions can be expressed on a character's face in different ways, for example, try different eyebrow positions to show surprise or concern, or tilt their head to the side for a sarcastic look.
6. Consider the influence of character background on design
Having a strong backstory is especially important if you plan to integrate the character into a larger narrative and can use that story to guide some design.
Think about what experiences the characters might have had before we initially met them - how did that affect the facial expressions they made or the clothes they wore.
Building character mood boards is a great way to gather all those ideas and keep your thoughts organized before you start drawing, especially when designing multiple characters at the same time.
Setting up the scene before you start drawing, even if it's just a reference for yourself and never actually mentioned in the story, can give your character a more believable depth.
7. Make sure characters can be reused
If you intend to design characters that do not exist only on drawings, such as forming a complete animated story, it is critical to be able to recreate the design of each character over and over again.
When you first design a character, you can create several key poses that are usually easy to use, such as standing, walking, or running. Later, you can use these design sketches as templates for other designs in the future.
Imagine the scenarios where these characters will be used (animation, movie or game, etc.) and how the characters will be replicated in the future and remain as originally designed.
8. When things get tough, keep it simple
Like keeping each character's color to a minimum, when you're having a hard time choosing, go back to simplicity.
Keeping the design simple and straightforward not only makes it easier to reproduce, but also helps you focus on the key parts without getting bogged down in details. Start by sticking to simple lines and silhouettes until you feel more comfortable.
Character design is a creative and challenging job. Creating a character from scratch is a lot of work and difficult, but when you see the end result, you know all the hard work is worth it.
Whether you're just starting out with your first character, or have been working on your own for years, I hope this article has provided you with some character design tips and ideas that will help you improve your skills and ultimately design a character you're proud of.
Fox Renderfarm will always be your most faithful partner on your journey of creating 3D characters and we are always committed to providing the best cloud rendering services.
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