Introduction to Character Design: The Most Important Elements with Tom Bancroft | Tom Bancroft | Skillshare

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Introduction to Character Design: The Most Important Elements with Tom Bancroft

teacher avatar Tom Bancroft, Author/ Character Designer/ Animator/ Director

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (1h 44m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1A

    • 3. Lesson 1B

    • 4. Assignment

    • 5. Lesson 2A

    • 6. Lesson 2B

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About This Class

Introduction To Character Design gives you all the basic insights you need to start your journey into the world of character design including: 

  • How to sketch
  • The three (most important) elements of character design
  • Rotating your character’s head in space
  • Simple and complex shapes
  • Breaking up the characters’ clothing into a stronger design
  • Asking questions of yourself

Lesson 1:
• What is Character Design and how does it fit into the process of animation, video games, and illustration?
• Start your character design with a reason, an idea and a personality
• The basics - How to hold your pencil and asking questions.
• SHAPE Based character design
• The fundamental lesson of character design: it is made up of three concepts: Shape, Size, and Variety.
• Now introduce the concept of adding SIZE and VARIETY to your shapes.
• What about character style? Do I need one? How do I get one?

Lesson 2:
• Tom Bancroft will create sketches and walk the artist through his thought process
• Suggestions for the artist on how to continue forward with the project to take it to final.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Tom Bancroft

Author/ Character Designer/ Animator/ Director


Tom Bancroft has almost 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature Animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He has been nominated for Annie and Rueben awards, spoken at the Kennedy Center and awarded an entry into the Chicago Children's Film Festival.

While at Disney, Bancroft had the opportunity to contribute his talents to 10 animated feature films, five animated shorts, and numerous special projects and commercials. Among the classic films on which he worked are, "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "Aladdin," "Mulan" and "Brother Bear." He was also a character designer and director for Big Idea Productions, makers of the family-friendly "Veggietales" video series.

In 2005, Bancroft had his popular art instruc... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I am Tommy Bancroft. I'm a former Disney animator, was there for 12 years, worked on a lot of the classic films of the nineties and two thousands, including Milan. And for that I created the character Mushu the Dragon and designed Mu Shu on from their left and then created my own books, creating characters with personality and character mentor, both character design books that are still on the shelves today. So today, what I want to do is talk to you about you. An introduction to characters, I. So what is a character designer? What is that job? What do they do? We're gonna talk about shape and size and variants. Those are my three things that I really feel like you have to know to be ableto control your character. What I mean by controls is being able to do one drawing. Yes, but then have you ever done that where you've done that front view of a character like you love it so much? And now wait, how do I make the side view? How don't make it still look like the same character from different angles and from with different expressions on top of that And so we're gonna talk about how to control that using shape, size and variance. The variance One is the most important. A lot of ways, because while it's less about kind of keeping consistency, the variances about how do you make multiple versions now that have one character of this dog designed? I want to do five more so I could show a client or something like that, and so that they have a real variety of choices, right? And so as soon as you can create a lot of different options of a character and not just come up with one and be done, that's when you really get into the more professional level of Hey, I can. I am a character designer, so I really think you're gonna enjoy this. Welcome to introduction to character design and please enjoy it in good luck. 2. Lesson 1A: today. We're talking about introduction to character design. Um, and what is character designs? It's used in about everything, every kind of media that you can think of. So from Children's books Teoh TV animation to feature films, we need characters to bring these stories to life. And really, that's the heart of it. Is what What is your character being used for? So whenever I start a project, we have to design a character. I look, I think about that. Okay, How is this character going to be used is in a main character, Is it a sub character is a background character, one that you're gonna hardly even see just kind of register in a crowd. All those things matter in that for some reason, because you may wanna consider not making one not as important, a little bit more average looking if they're gonna be the background. But the main characters really need to stick out, be a memorable character and certain it's, and that even relates to the personality but also relates to how you design it. So we're gonna be thinking and talk about all those different things. Um, the other thing is that it really starts with an idea. So in this case, what we're gonna be talking about is just the basics of design of a character. So we're not really gonna get into what the personality of a character is. That will be a lesson for another time. And then we also won't be talking about really specifically how it will be used. Is it for a comic book? Is it for a newspaper comic strip visit for animation? I just want to talk about the basics of creating a character because some of those things will kind of bring in new decisions and some of those other how you're gonna use it really doesn't matter. And how have you designed the character? So let's kind of put some of that aside and really just talk about the introduction of the concept of creating a character. A lot of times, what I want to do is talk about the three basics the three basic is going to be talking about is shape, size and variety. Those three concepts are gonna be how you look at your drawing and how you're designing your character from the beginning, all the way. The end. So One of the first things I want to talk about, though, is get on the drawing board here and talk about just even how to approach drawing period. Um, I'd like Teoh started drawing by holding my pencil, and in this case, what I'm using. It's called a color call. Erase pencil by Prisma color, and it's a light blue. A lot of animators use these because we can draw lightly and not and not. It doesn't its waxy so it doesn't have a lot of smearing and stuff. Um, and it can help you kind of get down your thoughts in a sketchy way, but, as you can see when I draw drawing from the side And why do that? Especially in character design, is that it helps me think of the shapes, the big, the big idea rather than get into details right away. But I'll switch to my graphite pencil later to dio detail work so starting kind of with just this kind of feel. One thing to do to loosen up is just to draw circles, and it may sound ridiculous, but because a lot of what we do with character design is based on fluid drawing. Just drawing circles like this really kind of helps you loosen up and it gets you to the Bennett and gets you better. Just drawing a circle. Um, the better you can draw a circle, the better you can draw a dog, a woman, a car, all these things. Because then also another thing that practices doing straight lines and cross hatching. Because if you can do that action smoothly and do fairly straight lines, that's another tool that when you do perspective and things like that down the road, uh, you need to be able to draw your straight lines for that. And they don't have to be ruler straight. I'm not. I don't do ruler straight lines either, but it's a good tool. But both of those things are great for warming up. Um, so that's how I like to sketch. Like to sketch with the side of the pencil. Sorry, it really helps me kind of loosen up, but it also helps me think about the big picture. So what we often do in animation especially, but in most cartoony is we start with a circle, um, something to draw a circle with the side of my pencil again. Let me actually get rid of just under drawing here. You can see that clear now. Why do we start with a circle? A lot of people don't even ask that question. But, um, the reason is that in animation, especially, and I'll have the cross hairs here He's heard of the crosshairs where we split it in half and then in half again, half vertically in half horizontally. And that's also if you've taken any art instruction or seen books, it's a way to figure out where to place a nose and wear a place in eyes. And so that cross Harriet, that being basically the middle of the face. Um, and I added that just so you can see this, for example, is that where we use the crosshairs and while we draw circles is that it's a shape that we can. We could move around in space a lot easier squares awesome. But circles, once you have the crosshairs, especially, you can see how things are moving in space. So for animation, it's really important to be able to go. Okay, now that's the middle of my character's head. I'm gonna draw on a nose right here and I'm gonna draw in some eyes, do this, and graphite actually came and see it better. So this is my in the middle of my face with the crosshairs. Put eyes on both sides right on the line and I might add a nose. It's like, right at the bottom of the line. But now, if I want that character look up. These are sort of some drawing basics, not not specific to characters. I exactly. But why we do what we do now I know where to put those eyes and where to put this nose. This nose is probably gonna cover that far. I may will see just the top of it, but now I can have that character looking up. You can have looking down here, and it's the same shape. It's the same circle. But now I know where to place the the elements of the face. So keep that in mind as we're drawing too. And I used a circle. But the one thing that I want to talk about next with character design is one of the keys. Like I said, with shape, shape is really how we look at the world as an artist, you know where, as we draw, were constantly asking ourselves questions. And one of the first ones is if I were to break down a, um, let's see, like a vase into shapes. Maybe it has an ellipse at the top. That's what I see when I'm looking at a real vase. Now it has a kind of, ah rectangle shape, but it's not quite in a known equal rectangle. It's got a little tapering toward the bottom, and it's connected by these sort of curbs. They're sort of like half circles. If you were to draw it all the way through, um, and that Ellipse gives us some perspective. And the There's an ellipse here that that helps define that. And there's an ellipse here. So where we're breaking away from our initial rectangle and lips with to have, you know and adding some slight details here that will help to find the form. But now I have that base, you know, put in the flowers, and it's just helped those shapes figure out. The shapes of that base has helped me to see how did how to draw it and also be able to capture it in space Because as I draw this oval down here, I'm also describing some perspective here that I'm not drawing in but that it it fits on a ground plane. So there's a lot of concepts here that I'm kind of leaning over just to give you some basics. But, um, all of that to say is that as we look at anything in real life, we want to really kind of figure out what are the shapes that make it up and that includes the human body. If I were to draw a a person, um, the easiest way to start is gonna be kind of an oval head, a little tube neck, kind of a tapered rectangle for the chest, Um, maybe an oval for the waste against two legs here, and then a little circle for the knees and another tapered tapered tube here on a couple little blocks here, rectangle blocks for the feet and then again, maybe a little oval or circles for the the shoulders in a couple tubes here and ovals. Anyway, I can very quickly figure out a human form with these very simple shapes, and then once I have those very simple shapes. Now I can then start playing with those shapes. Now that I know some very basic shapes that generally show the human form, Andi is very recognizable. This is fairly realistic dimensions of the human form. Not so cartoony. Now, I could start playing with my second tool in my box of how to make a great character, which is size I'm gonna start playing with those the size of those shapes. And now what if I had, um let's say it's a really big headed character. So it's got a really big head now. Same general shape now, making it bigger. Well, and I want to maybe make him Ah, young child. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have a smaller chest here, Um, keep generally the same, uh, waste here, and then maybe, maybe even lengthen legs. So the legs, or even longer, Yeah, I'm start all of a sudden, it's starting in. The arms are a little bit longer, too. Now, like all Senate feels a little more cartoony, doesn't it? Um, just having that bigger head in there and changing the shapes here. Everything is not quite so even to. So I'm getting from a design perspective, I'm getting a lot more visual interest to Now, let's take that even a step further and say OK, keep the big the big head. Um, but now let's let's have maybe almost no neck and keep get the torso up here. The head basically is something in there. And maybe maybe now we make really short legs and long arms. Now we get a very kind of a strange, almost dwarfish kind of This would be almost more of a creature because we're getting further away from so far away from human anatomy that we might as well stick years on there and really kind of turn it into sort of a troll character. Big nose, You know, these arms are huge, has claws. You know, when you have very basic things here, right here, Right now, we're all set. Now we have this sort of more alien kind of troll ish character. And again, I was just doing very basic shapes and then started playing with the sizes. So those two things now what we also did is we introduced 1/3 concept while when we went to this level especially, which is variety. Um, I started playing with the variety of shapes by adding some thickness here to the arms and tapering. Here I automatically added variety to the nose, buying a big, big, really big nose that had tapering at the at the top and real wide at the bottom, saying with the years. So let's start talking about that. I'm gonna back up just slightly and starts kind of showing you these basics and how we can really start playing with them. And this might be a good thing for you to do as I'm talking or try at home, which is draw three different circle shapes, all about the same size. That's my goal. Trying to make him all about the same. So very three very uniform circles now to really kind of start playing with, um, size, shape and variety. Let's start with a very basic basic face. Okay, so this is very much just starting out here, so I'm gonna put the crosshairs in, and I'm gonna put very simple knows there and just above those, and that's right about dead center, almost just above those crosshairs. I'm gonna put two oval eyes. They're pretty much equal distance from that line. As you can see, put the pupils in the middle there. No, this isn't gonna be a beautiful drawing. It's just gonna be very basic. And then, like a little smile and again, it's about, you know, almost halfway in between the nose and the chin. And that's a very simple sort of smiley face right now to really kind of show you what? The difference that size, shape and variety make. I'm gonna introduce just playing with, um Well, hola. I'll just play with size in this next one, so this will have the same kind of cross hair in the middle. But now I'm gonna make a really big nose, and I'm gonna make tiny eyes and maybe a little mouth. Now, everything is about in the same place. But I've only played with the sizes and that. Look how instantly this is. A more appealing character. Number two here will make that number one Number two is not a medically more appealing a lot of a little bit more cartoony. Um and it feels already like a just a more unique kind of a character. While this was very bland because everything is very much the same. Now, how to take that to the next level is again. Now we're gonna add a number three here. We're gonna add. I'll put right here. This was size. We'll call that one normal. Then we're gonna add some variety, okay? And that what I mean by variety Is this our third concept where we're gonna really gonna play with where we placed things and this and the shapes and sizes we make them. So now I'm gonna put my cross there's really high and break away from that Now I'm gonna change my shape of my nose and maybe make it long and oval. Um, and I'm gonna and this kind of smallish eyes, but put him far apart. And now I'm maybe we're gonna put my mouth off to the side in case and now, adding variety to our you know, our shapes, our sizes, and now variety. We're trying to get into, you know, and still kind of an oval shaped nose, and it's still kind of the same oval eyes. Now we can go even further If we Once we had variety two sizes and shapes, it can go anywhere. And but again, I'm going to just put the crosshairs down here now and have a tiny little nose. We have huge eyes again. They're still basically the same shape. So I haven't really broken that rule yet. Um, a man, a big mouth. This mouth actually goes all the way to the eyes. Besides the eyes. Again, we're still using the same shapes. For the most part, we're just now added to it, really playing with the size and really playing with a variety where we place it on the faces changed radically and again. You can do thousands even with these, just these basic shapes Thousands of variations on this now and create so many different characters. 3. Lesson 1B: Now that we understand the concept of size, shape and righty, let's just do one more where we go a little bit more hog wild. Where we say, Okay, um crosshairs or appears that's going to set the the forehead smaller, the chin bigger. Um, and let's start playing with you know what kind of shapes we do with our nose. Now I'm adding almost like two shapes together. This is sort of an over this way and a little oval here. I mean, kind of a gored kind of a nose. Um, I'm gonna do I'll keep finding more circular eyes. Still, I was open them out this time just because we haven't done that. Um, And then from there, we can go anywhere to just now we could start and again. Remember, what we talked about is that we do circles that we could turn him. So let's try a slight turn on this design, and the way we do that is we keep our cross hair right about there, but now we change this this line, the vertical line, remember, that goes all the way around. So if I were to draw through the back of the head. We'd see it dimensionally like that. And I know now that that nose and eyes are right about on this line. And so I know that that knows needs to start about here. But now I know that this this has gotta have some kind of a feeling of dimensionality. I don't want to draw it real flat. So what I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna add some dimensionality to it. Some say it. Actually, it ends right about here. Find where that ending point ISS. But I'm gonna draw a little flatter on this side and add a little bump here that would probably where that would be. With that shape changes. And by flattening out here, it's making it feel like that is fitting on that face a little bit better now. Likewise, when you turn a circle in space, what do you get? You get more of an ellipse, so this one might be a little more circular, but this far one here is gonna be more of an ellipse and see how I'm placing it behind the knows that again. It's that giving it more dimensionality. I'll put the pupils in there and again that's more of an Ellipse. This is gonna be a little bit more of an Ellipse because where we are on a curve here and then that same with that smile. I'm constantly asking questions as I'm doing this is like, Where does that go? That is it in right about at the edge of that? So I know that that line needs to end right about there, because that's about where it ends there. Likewise, that mouth open, does it? It's about here, my circles a little too big. So I'm making my circle a little smaller here. Um, but it ends just about, you know, right about there with that about the distance, the bottom here. So I'm tryingto highball that constantly is my positive and my negative shapes. And it's a little flatter here and a little rounder on this side because it again, that gives dimensionality. So now we have the same very basic character turned in space, and it pretty much looks like the same character. Now, of course, then you had hair that years, and you have, you know, and we can have a full character out of this. But this is a very basic streamline way to show you why we do circles. Why we think about shapes were you wanna break everything down to shapes, and I really call it the way I like to designs. It's called shape based character design, because I really think about shapes whenever I'm doing it, and it helps me to kind of explore. All right, so with, um, what I call shape based character design, remember? Now we could go even further away, so we were just starting with a circle. Now we need to remember that we can kind of change that circle in the different shapes, and as soon as we start doing that, then we really open up to a large variety of different possibilities. So again, this is still just, um, you know, kind of an oval knows, but I'm adding a little bit of a bridge to it. Um, I'm gonna go with a little bit more almond shaped eyes and maybe, like big eyebrows. So now I'm actually starting to kind of take it to the next step where I'm starting Teoh design and carry guns. People looking over here. Um, and maybe he's sort of these kind of more thinking. But even these eyebrows or shapes you know it tapers. It's sort of a triangle is shaped rectangle triangle kind of put together. Um, and this is You could even cut this into two shapes. You could say, this is this your circle underneath that, and then the jowl shape is over it, which is sort of an oval. And cut that into two. And that leads us into complex shapes. More complex shapes is when you have, when we're going beyond just a circle square triangle kind of a face. And pretty much every character isn't just a circle isn't just the triangle isn't just a it's. It's made up of different shapes and kind of like when I was showing earlier with the, um, the human body and it was tubes and it was ovals and I broke it up into all different kinds of shapes. Um, we have to have really good I've toward that. And the more complex the shapes get, the more interesting your character. So you may start with an oval for, say, the top part of the head. But then maybe the character has this sort of jowl kind of a shape. This is his nose here. It's kind of a rectangle shape and oval eyes. Is this more of 3/4 angle? But the, you know, maybe he's kind of a cave man kind of character. So he's got this long, how long? Kind of jaw down here. But I could still cut that into pieces and be able to turn it, you know, from the front. I'm still gonna repeat some of these shapes that over is still there. Now I have more of a of sort of a triangle down here that connects with these Carter curved lines, and I'm looking at where my nose would hit and now the ovals I didn't even put across their here but can be right about there and then has, you know, mouth's gonna be down here. So this would be the idea of using a little bit more complex shapes to make up a little more interesting shapes of heads. Well, in this case, heads but bodies too. So this is kind of we're getting into the root of putting all together variance and shapes and and size, and were starting to go a little further as I go. We're trying to build on those concepts. Um, one thing that it kind of gleaned over, but I want to talk about a little bit, too. Is that remember? We have a variety of shapes that we can use to remember that your key shapes are gonna be your circle, your square, your triangle and your rectangle, and then everything. Everything you make off of that. Now, I wouldn't want to make a character out of a square or trying, you know, purely. Um, generally, we just use those to start with to kind of block out your figure. And then from there you round off corners and you make things a little bit more oval. So we say it's like a square, or it's like a rectangle, but it tapers a little bit more here. Or, uh, you know, it's a little more rounded kind of a triangle, and those are the most interesting thing. So like, if I were gonna make a let's say a dog, right, Let's, uh, that's just for a bean shaped the Serbian shape, OK? And I'm gonna do two different versions of this sort of being shaped head of a dog. Um, I could do A and this is sort of a 3/4 turn on this, too. I could do this really triangular shape here for his nose. Or I could do something that's a little more appealing, Which is this rounded shape. Let's just add eyes. Just, uh, make it clear what I'm drawing well, and the muzzle here. So we know. I mean, look at just not really just trying to spot like, this nose shape here again. Still a triangle, but with the rounded corners and actually the rounded sides to, you know, I almost never in animation, we almost never draw a straight line way. Always draw a you know, a semi curb, you know, straight was dead on straight was that this is what we tend to draw. It's about a straight as we ever go. And the reason because, you know, it gives us softness to almost every character. And we've seen in some, like action kind of TV shows like that man on things like that where a lot of times in the character design, they really do a straight angle with a point to it and everything that that's his shoulder , you know. And here's his neck. Um, I'm not gonna do a pre picture, but that would be like his shoulder here, right for Batman. Um, we when I was a Disney, of course, we wouldn't do that. We would never go that far for a very drastic kind of. And that kind of a graphic look is really for a different style, all together. So my training wasn't get out a ruler and draw a straight line privilege ever because just like I said, there was a There's an appeal to a little bit of a soft, softer, straight, you know, around it straight then I've been a purely straight line then. That's true of our shapes to generally. Yet at Disney, a swell as most other studios, because appeal is a strong part of how your character design, you're not doing really blocky characters. So again, when I throw out okay, this character's makes it made up of triangles, or it's a rectangle with the triangle. You know, you probably noticed I'm not drawing at a perfect rectangular perfect triangle, and because you probably pretty much never want to. There's always gonna be some variants and some softening to it. So keep that in mind, and that pretty much leads us into style. I do want to touch on that. Its really to me, not a big part of how I teach an introduction to character design like this. And the reason is is because I feel like style is a really its own thing. I'm talking about core character design concepts here that I think you can apply to any style, and that's really what this lessons about. But a lot of people say, Well, what my style, what is my style like my star or how I do something that's in that other style? Like, if I were to get hired tomorrow by, um, Nickelodeon, and they wanted me to work on SpongeBob Square pants, I would have to adapt my style to their style. They have an established style, and I would have to make my SpongeBob's look like the rest of you know that are in the show . So in that way it's very important. I'm not belittling the fact that you need to be able to adapt to styles or maybe even have one of your own. Um, I guess I'm just not really getting into it. Because to me, um, a lot of what we're talking about is going to be how you discern a style either your own or somebody else's. So if I were to get on that team and started working on Nickelodeon on SpongeBob the way I would approach how to adapt to that style, one is they would give me model sheets. I would be able to get some drawing demos on these model sheets of Okay. SpongeBob is a rectangle, and in general and from the side, it looks like this. And from this angle, he looks like that hears him and different expressions. I'd have those tools in front of me. Um, but in the end, to be able to just decipher those as an artist, I have to start applying a lot of what we just talked about. You know, what are the size of the shapes? What are the What is the lines here is that kind of a soft triangle shape is Atta and even beyond what they're instructing me. I have to be able to look at that and be able to decipher How are they making up that character? And again, this is that part of what's going to make you an even stronger character designer and make you probably even more sort of financially viable in the character design world is how you can adapt. Um, but it also give you and part of this is is experience to it's only gonna come through experience is that once you start singing more complex shapes and being ableto come up with new complex shapes, it's gonna make you as a character designer grow, because now we don't have just one knows you. You commonly draw when you draw a dog. You you have an endless amount of noses that you can think of, you know, because you're adapt and used to trying new shapes, trying new new thing. Okay, so let's talk about that a little bit more and that, um, I just want you to be able to recognize now, once we kind of start planning all these things together, all these concepts that now here's how you sort of take it to the next level, which is we're gonna get to a point for very soon where I give out an assignment. So I wanted to point out that okay, if I was gonna draw. Okay, let's say it's a let's say it's a girl, okay? I'm just going to do a very cartoony, um, girl. And right now, I'm not gonna You'll see. I'm kind of making Europe out of pretty simple shapes for right now. Let's see. You know, I always had the hair on top. A lot of people don't, uh, just another tip here when you draw your over or your head or the top of the cranium. You know, especially for girls and people with lots of hair. You're gonna add the hair on top of that like a good, you know, layer on top so that it feels thick. Um, so I would start well above that cranium and add the hair. Um, Ok, Anyway, the point I was gonna get to Woz. Okay, If this is her, I'm just gonna make her Not in a very exciting post here, As you can see, just like I was with the human body. I'm I'm just making her up of different shapes. And in doing so, I can I can really quickly kind of figure out her post to, And if I'm liking certain angles or if I'm liking certain shapes and and I could be making changes as I go. Um, because again, you know, we're asking ourselves questions constantly as we sketch, and we just don't even know it. But I'm making decisions, you know, big and small as I go say, this is okay. Are generic kind of girl, right? Um no, that eyelashes just so that we know she's a girl for sure. Right? A little thickness to her lips and things like that. Well, maybe do a lesson just on drawing girls one day just so that for people that I wanna learn how toe to draw a pretty girl somebody wants said that if you can draw a pretty girl, you'll never go for So you say this is a girl. Um, my point I wanted to make was that even in every element of our character design, if this is the basics of what I'm thinking is my character that I'm starting a like every element of this character design has some design and said some shape and variety. So even as I clothe this character, that's character designed to I'm gonna say OK, what? What kind of a shirt do I want on our Where's your waist? Okay, I'm gonna say it's here. But I could say is way up here. I mean, I could put it way up at her waist and have these pants be, like, really long on her and have this sort of baggy shirt over here. Or Aiken Dio and let me do this in a different color just so you could see it. Um, but as I proud of figure out what I wanted to where I'm gonna do. Okay. That's a V neck. Kind of a shirt. You don't make thes sort of smaller. You know, it was really short kind of T shirts with the sleeves. A really short because again, not only is it a hopefully a little more fashionable, but it's, um it's also got a good design to it, you know, rather than having just a normal plane where it cuts the arm and half. Now, I have a nice shape here where I have long here and small here for her arm. Um, maybe I'll make it a sort of Ah, I want to go slightly more sexy. I guess I would make it a little crop top. And so now we have. But what I'm doing to what I'm doing that I'm I'm changing my design slightly. Maybe I'm gonna put the pants a little bit lower so that they're the kind of genes that are more popular now with teenagers where they go below your waist. So now I have but notice that I'm cutting up how she's designed. Even now, I'm getting this shape here that I didn't really have before. I'm spotlighting this area of her so that now we really see her hips more, Um, a little zipper kind of thing here with pocket. But every line I'm putting down, I'm slightly altering. Maybe we'll make these sort of capri pants. So now it ends here rather than down here. If they were jeans, Um, and it really starts to kind of make her one a little more unique in her style. But also in her character design. Um, on. Look at her getting okay. Well, what kind of shoes? Maybe they'll be more like sandals or something, but they're they're more just very simple. Kind of slip on shoes again. I'm just I'm even with her clothes. I'm doing fairly simple shapes. But now I have a character very quickly, too, I might add. I mean, that's kind of one of the keys to Is that as you're sketching and designing, you don't want to spend forever on things. You know, you want to be able to get out as many ideas as you can and then go back in and start adding details. So, um, but now even cut up how she's dressed, Maybe I'll even add sunglasses here. But what will I do? Normal? Small? Or do I do like maybe they're, like, really big, like this big sort of sunglasses that are a little pointy at the end? Does that make her kind of look hipper or less? You know, those are all questions I'm asking myself as I go to, and this is without reference. We'll get into reference and the next video. But again, I'm just I'm just thinking off the top my head. But now you know I'm changing her. I'm changing not only her look but in her clothes, but again, I'm using size to look at this tiny little top now that I put on her and accents these medium size pants and then I have a nice little shape here that's a little smaller. So I've kind of cut her up in a in a more interesting way than just having playing close on her. That that go to here. You know, long shirt, long sleeves and everything is cut in half. I've really tried to play with also just her clothing. So consider that, too. Here we go. Have her lips coming it, Um but consider that we're still working rough and everything now that we've gone and gotten to the point where we we've really kind of put together all these concepts of shape , size and variety, and we kind of showed you also had to make it more complex shapes how to now, how that all effects even the clothing on the character, Um, that it really encompasses. That idea encompasses everything that you do is a character designer. I really want to get the point now where I give up this assignment 4. Assignment: This is the point where when you listen and take this assignment and go off to your studio , your desk, or wherever, and and draw your version of this assignment on what it's gonna be is where and this is gonna be posted on the website. So goto the this lesson website and you'll see the assignment also clearly stated. But what it is is we're gonna do just a generic boy character, and we're going to five different versions of him, whether or not it's the exact same character. Or you're actually thinking more like it's, you know, a piece of a baseball team or whatever. That doesn't matter, because I want you to go as varied as possible on each of these sketches. I don't want to look like almost the same character. Really make one a little taller, one a little shorter, one a little heavier, really play with the clothing they're wearing. I want their facial elements to be really different ones. Got little bigger knows once. Go and you don't have to go really far. It's up to you. I mean, there is a point where you break a character design. You make something that doesn't look very attractive. Um, but I want to wanting to see a lot of variety as much as you can and each each of these five. So anyway, that do those sketches and if you can do them all in the same piece of paper, you know? So it's 12345 together in the same pizza paper. And I only say that because that's optional because I only say that because then it makes a little bit easier for you to scan it and be able to upload it and show it to other people. But if not, that's fine. I mean, you could just do it on Joe match as you need to on different piece of paper. I oftentimes draw too large and go off the paper and all that. So that's the assignment I want. You go off and do that. The next video. I'm gonna come back and do my version of that assignment. I'm gonna draw five characters, five little boy characters and make up between between ages 8 to 12 somewhere in there and just, uh, so next video, we're gonna have a lot of fun with that. But before you watch that video, I want you to go off to do with your own. So you're not influenced by what I do. But then hopefully you come back and watch what ideo and enjoy that and learn something from that also. So I'll see in a minute. 5. Lesson 2A: okay. And welcome back to enter the character design. I'm still Tom bankrupt, and hopefully you went off and did some drawing. Um, hopefully what you did was your five little boy characters between 8 to 12 years old. And you've created all five in a good variety of shapes and sizes. And you've used the shape, size and variants that we talked about earlier and really did some fun designs. Um, I'm gonna now sit down and do it myself. And this is the fun part where I just get a draw in design. Now, remember, these are generic characters. So while I will probably try and put just kind of automatically try and put a little personality and their maven in the post, it's really not about that. It's We'll get into posing and expressions all that, and even designing a character specifically for a purpose with specific personality will get into those things and another lessons down the road. Right now, it's all about just the generic, figuring out what makes a good, strong, appealing character design and using those three concepts that we've already talked about. So what I've done now, then, is I've just divided I don't know if you can see these light blue lines here. That's mostly just a guy, because I'm gonna try and create all five on this piece of paper. And for me, that's gonna be the hardest thing. Is just keeping them all kind of together, Um, without going off the page and things like that. And yet still, and I haven't thought these characters through. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna play with shapes a little bit and the thing with low , and I'm using the red pencil. This is just a cold cola race, Prison color red, Just so you can see a little bit better because the blue or the red, it doesn't really matter. But then I'll probably go back over with graphite Teoh, you know, strengthen it. Um, again, I'm gonna use the side of the pencil and I'm gonna try and just think shapes and things like that, and I may have an image in my mind of what? Where I'm going. But I may have a very fuzzy one. And in most cases here I have a Fozie one, but I want to get a variety. So let's see I'm gonna start with maybe one that is a little bit more circular shaped, a little more oval in general shape of his body. So he might be the character that's a little heavier and has a little more, you know, a little a little bit of a weight problem. But I'm already trying to play with a little bit more complex shapes. The are hopefully gonna make him individual. And as you can see, I'm already thinking, OK, yeah, out of that oval, I'm gonna cut it in. Not in half, but down here, low for his waist. And then I'm gonna add little teeny legs down here, but they're still thick and kind of to bish, um, that if this is his shoulders right about here, just slumps into sort of this triangular shape here, of which I'm gonna have much of a neck. Some have a little cranium appear and big kind of jowl shape here, and we'll get back to him. I want to jump around. Um, not all five of these to try and kind of flesh out. Maybe this guy is gonna be a little more rectangular in his head shape. And so he's gonna maybe have the long, lanky body so far, he's It's just a little more generic, I guess you could say, um, memory been neck. Let's go with this guy being a little more on the medium size and arounder. So I'm gonna go a little oval on him on his face. Um, I guess just sort of taper his body may be a little more triangular here again, I'm gonna dress them all about the same. So they could you could say their versions of the same, like radically different versions of the same character. Or you can say they're, you know, friends. Eso there, we got 123 Let's see now this one, What could we do? Let's let's do kind of a triangle shape for his head and maybe he's kind of a medium. Or maybe he's on the shorter side. Uh, let's see. Small chest. Okay, legs. We may change this shape a little bit as we go, Um, and then my last guy, Let's say, um, yeah, let's let's Dio, I guess kind of the big bruiser of the neighborhood. You may end up being the bully, really. It's cranium small, but a little bit more of Ah, uh, have ah, rectangular head. May will go with kind of a bigger body here. Let's see, he's more barrel chested than he is fat So but let's tapers his legs. Let's give him skinny legs, tiny little legs Here it's even more cartoony. Maybe so. I'm playing a little style. I'd like to keep these guys within the same style. So do you see how I did that even really quickly designing five different shapes? Um, I'm really playing with all the different kinds of shapes. As you can see more of a rectangle a little more squarish year triangles, more circular on. Then this guy's kind of in between. I suppose he's got some triangle shapes and ovals. Um, but now I go, Okay, I'm kind of liking where that's going and again, Remember, I use the side of my pencil, and I was just sort of trying to get the whole feeling of the shapes and how they all relate. And as I'm going on making little little tweaks and changes and and I'm gonna continue that because now I'm gonna go into step two. I kind of I guess you could say I do three passes my first past being this, just sort of roughing out a shape and starting to kind of figure out what parts of it doing that. Like or, um, But now, Step two is where I start refining, adding interior shapes. And obviously, as I'm drawing this even in the first phase, I'm thinking about probably where things might go like noses and eyes. But, um, now is where I'm gonna really start playing with that. So, um, let's start adding I'm gonna stay with the sore triangle theme on him and as sort of a big , triangular nose here, I'm gonna go smaller on his eyes. He's 3/4 here. And then, um, I'm gonna make him Maybe he's sort of the crazy kid crazy. Have you said kids? Um, maybe to go with that, I give him, you know, sort of wild, curly hair again. Super simple T shirt. I'm gonna give him long sleeves to me. That's gonna make him look even bag here, uh, again it it's kind of a big belly here. And then, uh, you know, it's a low crotch with tiny little legs. Um, and I might give him real small feet to try that and small hands. So you mean that little tell what that is quite yet. But I'm gonna I'm gonna start going into just kind of bumped into this guy, didn't I? I'm gonna put his arm up, because now we don't have room. Don't make him him waving. Okay, um, so let me start adding stuff here to some more detail. Let's see. So for him, I'm gonna And again, I'm still used in the side of my because I don't want to get into too much detail. So I'm still using the side of my pencil because I'm trying to make quick decisions. You know what he's gonna have. Let's give him sort of spiky hair. And, um, let's let's set his face kind of low. Um, but with bigger eyes. But his nose is kind of high. I hope you can kind of make this out. Um, he's gonna have sort of a big chin, his ears up here. Can you know it? Same T shirt, kind of a generic T shirt. Um, I think his way should be yellow higher. So let's let's do that. And we can make his shirt hangover. it. But there's waste is really up here. Crotch is right up there. She's got longer legs. Maybe he's got big feet. Let's give him the big feet of the group. Put his hand in this park it here. Okay, he's waving. Okay, so that's where he's coming from. Um, okay, round headed or oval headed kid here, Um, let's make him He probably gonna be the best looking of the group. So let's let's go a little more. Kinda cute, Attractive. Let's go round eyes again. A little simpler knows kind of the leader. I guess I might switch him to having a little bit of a U shaped to his face. As I'm going up kind of playing with that idea and, you know, for design, I might have some hairs sticking out over his head. I'm getting a little feel of shoulders just by coming right off the neck, almost his shoulders sloped down. We'll just have arms at sides here again. Let's have his shirt untucked so he looks a little more casual, so his shirt hangs down low, but that rings his crotch. Here is really is pants and here underneath the shirt. So the crotches about there just sort of taper his leg so that they're thinner at the waist . Ron was starting to get this kind of a field where it's a little thicker at the waist. I like that. So I'm kind of exaggerating it right now, going a little more V on this on their real small at the waist and then flaring out again it that the legs. And so we kind of get a nice repeat. You know, we're tapers that way, and then it tapers that way. So I'll do you kind of generic but surrounded feet and his hands would be right about here . Okay. Eso yet He's gonna be more, I guess, your hero character this way. He's shaking up. Um, let's kind of reverse. Let's see where she put let's go up high on this guy. He's gonna maybe be a little creepier. Um, maybe almost diamond shaped eyes. Maybe he this guy is the, um you know, the guy in the group that nobody knows what he's going to do next. So on, let's give him sort of a little bit more of a, uh, diamond shaped nose. Yeah, he's the one that and then use that chin. So he's got He's got kind of a chin on him, given big, big years, kind of coming out besides here. Um, yeah, let's Let's add on, Jim. This nice wave kind of a hair on top. Okay, let's make his neck a little a little bigger as you could see him. Kind of either rounding things off or squaring things off here and there as I go. So I think it fits the shape a little bit. Um, let's see. Give him a loose collar. He's got more shoulders. He's got a little broader shoulders again. Remember, these are all still kids, So I want to try and keep within that. Well, I'm gonna give him kind of thinner. He's got a Taper taper to the wrist on his arms. It's Give him fists. He's okay again. He's got a little wider chest here, so we're going to stay with that. He's got a little bit of our Popeye kind of a feeling. Okay, so we're getting somewhere right. We're really starting to refine things. OK, now here's our big guy again. Remember, he's kind of barrel chest. He's a little square. Um, let's stay with the square shape and give him a big knows more of a rectangle, though, Um, I gotta go bigger eyes just because, remember, he is a kid, and he's not gonna look like a kid very easily. Already got proportions on him that fill a little big. Um, you might need to make his head a little bigger. Let's I know. Let's make him sort of the surfer dudes. He's got long hair, really? Stack it up here. That's drooping down over his eyes. And that makes a nice design right there. Just alone. We're gonna have it kind of hanging back here. Uh, his collar is actually going to go like this, you know, like his neck is almost just underneath his head. Uh, let's see to do a small yes, you small small shape for his sleeves. Again, he's got So then he's got these long his hands up right about here. Like the kind of barrel chest. Um, let's just have his his waist to. Probably around here. We're going a little more stylized on him, so we'll have his pants. Let's bend his bend his knees a little bit, but keep him real thin and Twiggy. He's got a little more of a Hanna Barbera feel to him already. Think so. They may not. I'll go together in the same world, but let's not worry about that right now, all right? And that's where I'm gonna put down my red pencil, and I'm gonna go into phase three. 6. Lesson 2B: no. All right. And that's where I'm gonna put down my red pencil and I'm gonna go into Phase three. And for that, I grabbed my graphite pencil. And this this one in particular is a palomino Black wing, 602 I really like him. There's the softer lead. I tend to like softer leads, but I keep it fairly sharp, because now I'm not drawing from the side. I'm actually drawing the way. Normally, draw. And this is where I really start to define things. So we're going to start again on the left here, and I like where I'm going with certain things. Now, I'm just gonna try and push him. Um, I'm gonna give this guy kind of sort triangular, uh, making kind of a little I, like, sort of his He's gonna be kind of weird, you know, um, we're gonna keep this sort of rounded big nose. I mean, even an eye lashes here or eye lids, but in general, I'm just adding detail. Here's his big jail here. Bottom lip, and then but sort of a chin shape there. See his hair. Like I said was gonna be kind of curly, so I just sort of. But I wanted to become a little goofy looking, so I just can't do this weird shaped hair. Doesn't look like a little kid, does he? Um well, I wouldn't worry about that. Now. I'm gonna keep this straight line flowing all the way through his body right here, so into his sleeves. Kind of comes off here, um, is belly. He's got his tucked in. For some reason, we'll just say his is stuck dead because it really shows off his belly nicely. Really? Thick arms. You know what to blow this. So that's what I usually do. I just draw, draw darker when I mess up. Um, remember, we're gonna give little tiny hands. I see. And then he's got the rial low crotch. Remember, we talked about giving him a little tiny, tiny feet. So these air his little and again, I'm doing this still really loose. Um, I would do a whole another pass if I was gonna turn this into a client where I would, you know, do a nice tight version and probably been color it. But again, I'm still just trying to delineate, even in this graphite phase, you know, shapes and looking for things to plus or and hopefully just not lose things. But actually, as I go, you know, improve on certain things. Hopefully, eso That's that guy. Creepy, huh? Some of these are gonna be creepy. Um, now, here's we got rectangle head and let's we wanted to give him kind of spiky hair. So I'm trying to find little shapes, even within the spikes of the hair. Some are big, Some are small summer, medium size, so that they just don't look like a bus off, you know, like everything's the same. Um, that's sort of a widow's peak. Now he's got more oval shaped eyes. I like to add a little thickness to the top of the eyes a lot of times because it gives feel eyelashes. You know, it's just in a graphic way. Can have thinner eyebrows. Um, just give him a little bigger ears, and I'm going to give a little where he's got that rectangular shape, but I want to give it a little bit of shape to it, even add little highlights, sometimes to the eyes, which this guy doesn't need. But did it? Let's see to neck. But again I liked even that has a little taper to it, You know where it's a little thinner of the base and wider as it goes to the body. Um, I see it can make his sleeves a little Well, frankly, I guess, Oh, this guy had, like, one side on talked, okay? It was also his his hands in his pocket here, waving, Um, yeah, again. We I think we put the crotch up pretty high so that we could do nice long legs. Um, nothing too spectacular about them trying to make his making Phil baggy at the bottom when he had the big feet. So we're gonna go long on the on this shapes here. Long rectangular. Yeah. As you could see, I'm just really kind of I was scribbling it out. Exactly. Does playing with it? And, uh I mean, this is still kind of the fun part to you, though. You know, im I think the next phase might be inking it or taking it, scanning these in and redrawing them or tightening them up even more in adding color in photoshopped. Uh, depending on how I want to turn them into a client or what what my goal is, You know, around this guy's nose off. Some even go back on this guy rounding it off even more. Um, look, I don't like his nostrils, so I'm gonna go back in and lift it up a little bit. Okay? That brings us to number three here in the middle. Remember this? What guy was going to be sort of are kind of looking at this sort of our leader of our group that I'm end up making here, So he's gonna be maybe a little less cartoony than the rest. A little bit more. I know. Cute, dreamy whatever. Um so as I'm thinking that as I make my decisions, I'm sort of thinking OK, Sorry. Shut his eyes. It's a little sweeter. Look. All totally excited. He's just he smooth given time a a u shape here. His jaw and medium size eyes I like. Like I gave him Taino people's He's cat us. Small are something is his are a little bigger, I guess. Confident smile. Did you notice that even most of the time, Mike smiles kind of off to the side because it just looks more natural hair. Hopefully, I can even access that wisp out here. Two big on his ears. But kids, Do you have a Grier's something? Your neck. Maybe We like heaven. He's got little silver, the silver here, round off the shoulders. Remember, he's got a little bit of a chest here. He's athletic show that even in his arms, give a little form to his arms. Crunch fists. But a little straighter on this side knows this curve. That straits another good design thing to do is to have opposing angles like that, where you have some things on a curve on what side it straight. On the other, it's called straight against curve. It's a nice design principles trying work in. Yeah, sure, it is Tuck, and we have a get tapered here to his almost bellbottoms. It's, you know, his his herbal block here with stylized on his shoes. So again, even as my next passed, I would probably refined some of these shapes even more, You know, right now I'm still trying to quickly sketch things and trying to discover new shapes as I go on new things that I like as I go so accenting bangs and making their own hero code stripes finish? Sure. Just make him set him apart. Okay, Now we're going to this guy. He's gonna be a little I know. Maybe he's the rougher one. He's kind of a crazy. I don't know what he's gonna do next. Kind looking teeth. He's always going on here. Pointy nose again. More. There's again. Another straight against curve, curve on top and straight on the bottom. Wilmore that an angle to I should be the lives. But I went a little bigger just because too small pupils as you'll see what this guy makes him look older. Um, And again, these are supposed to be kids. So But he'll have kind of angry eyebrows, so a little thicker. And he's got this fun wave in his hair. Remember, He's yet this Or give a little more chicken put years way out here, too, as of doing things and kind of trying to decide what is a straight When is a curve. What you know. You know how refined those as I go. He has a little he's got a row, broad chest, broadest of them all. I think his because he's got a, you know, broad chest arena He sure did. Unlike some of the other ones, it seems like it goes with his personality a little bit more. Give him kind of thick arms. Notice that because maybe this guy will have the next guy. Um, okay, this is because he's crazy. Um, maybe some, you know, thin waist here again, Uh, adding off whitening tapers at the the waste y said the bottom, keeping the little flatters it seems to shoot suit the shapes here. I know these bodies ended up a little similar. Can that be something that I would, as I go back over it again, maybe make some changes? So that's where he is. Now, remember, this is our big guy. He's the most cartoonion of them all to, but let's try and push a few things as we dio and again, he's supposed to be a kid, and already he doesn't look like one. So we're gonna try and push things. Let's see. Um well, one, I'll make a nice big nose for him. Um kind of added circular things at the top of his head just to go real stylized on that. But again, with that hair hanging in for of his eyes. His eyes probably just make up. Sort of half shut. Droopy eyed. He's got a fun little smile here. He's bashful. Maybe. I don't know, get around it. Kind of. Ah, Rick Stengel head that he's got. Let's keep this hair going That way. You see the bottom of his ears. We're gonna have this net kind of flow right into the shoulders. That's over here. He's got shorter slaves can keep that barrel chest. Sure. Just kind of hanging out. Talk. Let's go back. Appear. Finish his hair. Make it kind of wavy. Yeah, back internal lines here and there. Sometimes just to define other hairs. You know what you're doing in a very graphic way back under his eye. Um, he has a big collar. Okay, Arms. I'm gonna make a little picture than my sketch has. And again, more graphic. So he's gonna have just Kirby Farms Big hands again. More stylized, credible waste later on, she kind of separated a little bit. Gap between the crotch again just makes him look more stylized. Coming. So you see that clear on, then? I think his feet. Yeah, well, just I think we're going to go kind of writing in there with those but flat. Okay. And so this is what I've ended up with my five characters. They all have a pretty good amount of shape variants. And I'm really happy with that. They're very varied as faras. I don't think anyone looks alike. Um and, you know, if it was for a client or something, making maybe at least be able to go. Why? Like this head? But I like this body here. What if it had elements of this and actually that would probably my next faces? I might Then after doing these five, take a look and go Well, I don't like like, for example, these two on the end, they don't feel like kids. So I would probably do a whole nother passed on both of those at least their faces and, um refined that more and make sure they all look about the same age because that's one of the goals that ahead for this. So that makes those to a little less successful in my mind. But, I mean, I had fun doing it, and I hope you did too. And I hope the goal. Really, with this assignment Waas and is that you can hopefully get a nice portfolio piece out of it if you have a page full in your portfolio of boy sketches and there are, you know, different variations of a same character. I think that's a really nice piece that you can have in your character design portfolio later on. We're gonna have other lessons where we can take things like this to a color stage so that maybe one of these five you really liked a lot on your page and you want to take it to a final. And that makes an even nicer portfolio peaks. So you have the refs, and then you have the final version of one of them that you picked as your on that you refined even a little bit more to maybe depicted as your final. So thanks, guys, has been awesome time that I've had. And on to the next lesson