Character Design

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Today has been a very varied day. This morning we kicked off our Character Design unit with Justin Wyatt, who assigned us two genres to 'mash-up' in the style of an 80's Cartoon, such as Transformers or Heman. From this mash-up cartoon we will have to design three characters; a villan, a hero and a sidekick.

For this project, I received Arabian Nights and Vikings. Justin stressed that the unit is not about creating a plot of Vikings invading the desert, but rather merging the two genres into one. I'm happy with my selection and can already imagine a few ideas.

We began learning the theory by looking at different conventions in character animation to help the audience understand the story, this heavily relied on two things:  Posture/ Movement (The way the character stands, walks and holds themselves) and Colour. Justin stressed that these conventions are important when designing a character.

The Hero
The Hero, especially in Disney, normally has very generic body proportion or shape, such as muscular or average build, they are rarely incredibly skinny or crooked. The colours tend to be bright and vagrant, using bright clothing such as red, white and blue. Below, shows Disney's Hercules with fair skin and a bright blue cape.

The Villian
The Villain tends to have a much less desirable body shape, usually either very skinny and thin or very large. Having such a strange exaggerated body shows that they are unusual and helps empthasize their evilness that comes across in personality. Their colours are normally much darker, being either black, purple or dark reds.
In Disney films the villains tend to move in a 'slimey' or 'slithering' way, such as Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid'.

The Sidekick
In terms of body proportion and looks, the animated sidekick tends to be much less restricted. In many Disney films, the sidekick is an animal, which is stressed for comedy value (Mushu - Mulan, Iago -Aladdin)
These sidekicks move in much more exgaggerate comedy ways. They also tend to be bright colours if working with the Hero or resemble the villian if they are against the hero. Below shows Mushu in 'Mulan'.

  Justin and Alan suggested using the Influence board after receiving the genres. I will make a start on this tommorow and I've been thinking about what to add to it.

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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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