Thursday, 2 September 2010

Approaches to Character Design

I have recently been focussing an awful lot of my attention towards doing a bit of character design for the film I will be working on over the next year. (As exampled in the previous post). It is quite a new experiance for me. I have always done silly doodles of people and characters (usually in the back of GCSE maths books). And I have come up with a few intriguing character concepts in my time.
 But never have I had to take the design process seriously. I have found it quite a brain strain to be constantly thinking of new ways to portray a character. New ways to visualise a character. Etc.

 I think I have found a process however, that I can really get my teeth into. I made an airy presumption that perhaps if I new the character well enough inside myself. Almost as the actor knows his role for example. Then maybe the design will begin to reveal itself to me as well. To test this i decided to draw the character I know better than any other. Myself. 
The design process was straight away a more fluid act. Ideas and lines literally spilled onto the paper. I found it easy to put out ideas for a character on the page. Not just in aesthetics, but in attitude as well. 
The results are here below.

So a little trick. If your stuck for visual ideas for a character. Sit down for half an hour and write about who your character is instead. Learn them from the inside out first. 

 In a similar vain . . .

"If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
(From to Kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee) 

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