Build a Fantasy Character with Shape Language | Brian Shepard | Skillshare

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Build a Fantasy Character with Shape Language

teacher avatar Brian Shepard, 2D Game Artist and Illustrator.

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Assignment


    • 3.

      First Impressions


    • 4.

      Body Shape and Silhouettes


    • 5.

      Minor Features


    • 6.

      Non Humans


    • 7.

      Advanced Shaping - Objects


    • 8.

      Surrogate Features


    • 9.

      Style Components


    • 10.

      Design Your Hero


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About This Class

Have you ever wondered what makes a character look strong? Or how you can just tell who the villain is at first glance?

Characters make up a huge part of our favorite video games, cartoons, and all sorts of fantasy worlds. Just how are they made? This class explores the importance of shapes in character design, and it will teach you to use them intelligently in your own creations! Through a series of hands on exercises and studies of various characters in fiction, we'll expand our knowledge of shapes and how to read them.

This is a class for artists and art-lovers alike who appreciate the unique, quirky, and flat out weird characters that pervade fantasy worlds, who come in all shapes and sizes. The course is less about learning to draw a character's realistic anatomy in perspective, and more about studying how basic shapes can tell us a character's personality at first glance. Learning to use meaningful shapes in characters is something that you can do with a No. 2 pencil and printer paper, or a Wacom drawing tablet and Adobe Photoshop. All I require of you is a little time to explore these concepts and use what we've learned to create a fun character you can be proud of.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Brian Shepard

2D Game Artist and Illustrator.


A slightly-above-average illustrator and character designer for video games. Trying to improve my understanding of character design, storytelling, and how we culturally respond to visual cues like shape and color in everyday situations. Making an effort to help anyone else who wants to learn the same things!

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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Brian Shepard, and I will be your guide today is being embark on a journey to understand how state language plays a role in character design. In order to do that, we'll look at various example of characters and media, so I'm well known. Others might be new to you. We'll examine how their looks are influenced by basic shapes. Look at how states affect our perceptions in the real world, and eventually we'll make up our own character using their principles. We learned the good thing about character design. Is it transcends and giving media? I will mostly be working in photo shop CS four, but you can follow along with anything from the most sophisticated software to a pan and notebook paper. As long as they're ready to draw and raise to make mistakes. You already have everything you need to take this class. I work as a freelancer, providing our work for various indie game studios on PC and mobile platforms. Characters are important to a lot of people because of the way they can draws into a work of fiction, and they have been an important area of study from a since as long as I can remember, you know, they don't look anything like us. We root for them. I want to see them succeed or fail. We aspire to be as grand as they are in their adventures. If you ever dreamed of creating characters for comics or games or any kind of story you wish to tell, state language is a great place to start. I'll do my best to help you take that first step. All right, so that's enough for me. Let's get started, and I hope you'll join me in the next lesson. 2. Your Assignment: the forces of evil loom on the horizon, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Only one hero answer the call to action. Who is it? That's your decision. But don't worry. The forces of evil couldn't wait for a few minutes. While you figure that out by the end of this class, you'll design this one of a kind of fantasy. Here are using shapes as building blocks you want. You need to write up an introduction or a back story because they're designed will tell us everything. We'll start with a shape as a basis for your heroes design. I recommend something geometric square circle or a triangle are good starting points. Next, you'll make a brief list of three or four key words to apply to that shape. This list will help you generally ideas for your character. What kind of character would make a good circle? Well, sort of personality makes sense for a square. What sort of world do they live in their royalty? A commoner. You'll need to do some sketches and research to find the best combination of shape and character traits, who are your favorite heroes and fixing and What can you do differently in your design? Don't worry. If you don't like your initial drawings, the first try is never the right one. Focus on what you want from a character named for that. I always have to fill up pages and pages of notes and fail sketches before I even get close to the right one. Bad designs will help you figure out what you don't want, and that's actually really important. The final step is to, of course, make your character. This is what you'll upload to the project thread. Now bring all of your ideas together and present us with a character that makes good use of its dominant shapes. Focus on. I need professional presentation that will really blow us away. Give us a normal view and it still away. I'll go over this again and I'll walk you through an example of Project a little bit later on. But first, let's talk about safety and character design. 3. First Impressions: this guy is evil. Would you believe me if I told you that you may or may not have thought that before I even say anything? How did I guess what you were thinking? Shapes are their own language, just like English. And like you, I can read them all right. So think about how you know what the word table means. Someone to show you a wooden piece of furniture and say that the table. But eventually we learned that table doesn't need to be made of wood. It doesn't even need exactly four legs or be a certain height. We've seen enough of them that we can pick out only what they have in common and say those elements are what make a table a long, flat thing with some skinny support beams. Judging from the bottom like allies, we learn what pointed edges me because we see them in animals and icons and objects and all kinds of things. Then we identify their common denominators. A lot of animals in nature have pointed bodies toward our creditors, or they might just have sharp teeth. Either way, they comptel possible aggressive, stay away without really saying that there's no coincidence that a lot of evil characters and fantasy just happened to wear pointy stuff where the character itself might have sharp edges. Now, this isn't to say that all start angles are evil, but when we see someone wearing clothes or a turtle sale, the town of Spikes jutting out of it is like saying, Stay away or else. But the character doesn't need to say it with their mouth. It's not just a spike through something about his face. Doesn't seem very friendly scalloping at us. It's hard to tell he's wearing that helmet, But something about that helmets teams kind of evil, right? The visors pointed down in the middle, kind of like angry eyebrows. I mean, those aren't actual eyebrows, but they're angled down like that. He would look kind of scary. His mouth was covered up to you might be smiling underneath, but again, we can't tell. All we can see is that the mouthpiece tapers down at the sides like a frown again on actual frown helmets. Can't do that, but it just happens to be over his mouth so we can't help but get the initial impression that he's not too happy about something. The front of his suit looks like something we've seen before. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that looks like rows of bones, maybe even a rib cage. All right, so this guy hasn't had a single line of dialogue, and we know absolutely nothing about his background or aspirations. We don't even know what face is really making. Despite all of that, he can still give off some pretty intimidating advise based on what we see and our past experiences. This is what state language does. It tells us things so that every character doesn't need to live her or his credentials, and it comes in many forms. It might be the safer of their armor and might be the angle that the hair crosses the face or might be a still wet of their entire body. These features have their own meanings and definitions to us, consciously or not, and we immediately recall these definitions. When you see the corresponding features appear in a character, just like when someone says the word table, you probably think of something like the deafness and we came out with earlier. State language is a way of saying, Hey, this guy's evil without, you know, actually saying that. No, My style, like state languages, just glorified stereotypes, but there's more to it than that. This is just a picture you might be the nicest guy in his neighborhood. State language can server expectations, just as much of it reinforces them. Now that we have an idea of where sheepskin tell us, let's get some hands on experience. 4. Body Shape and Silhouettes: as we know ST Linguist comes in various forms. The easiest way to understand how it works is toe looking characters whose entire bodies are dominated by a specific, non complex shape in the game about launching things out of the slingshot. It just makes sense for the thing to be around object. Even though the angry birds are mostly round, there's enough variation between them so that they each have their own personality and function. To give you an easy example, you can probably guess what the 3rd 1 does without even playing the game. All I really did was at her failure to the top, but suddenly has the silhouette of those temple we recognized, namely a bomb and the only one that isn't round speeds up when you tap on it. In the game. Triangles are a bit more aerodynamic, so that birds looks faster than the others is. Where does that sound? In fact, there are plenty of video game characters who are mostly just circles. Kirby lives in a world full of warped shape characters, but tiny little lin. There's an overarching cute in this factor among all of them that's hard to ignore, so you don't need a whole lot to make a character. You can probably make something pretty interesting without a lot of anatomy studies. Although there was a good to do to. So let's give it a shot. Open up Photoshopped or grab a pen and paper or whatever used to draw. All right, so start with a circle. It doesn't need to be perfect. And this one definitely is not. I don't know. Okay, that's good enough. So I want you guys to circle. No. Give some features to bring it to life. You can add eyes, a mouth, legs, anything you think that it needs to feel like a living thing. A character. So gonna give some eyes a mouth here if I can get this right. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with circles today. Anyway, I hope you do better than I did. Um, let's give them some legs to stand on. So he's not just like a ball floating through space. Really? Stubby legs. All right, now, so listener route that overlap. So as you can see, um, most of the forms and this guy are around, you know, we're using a lot of curves. Not a whole lot of straight lines and angles here just to keep in line with the concept of a circle. And, um, let's let's give him a weird fishtail. I'm not sure why I'm just working on the fly here, people, but, um, you know, you can do whatever you want to give you character, life, whatever we have on your paper. Ah, hopefully you know, you add a lot of curves and rounded edges to ah, keep in line with a circle. All right, so we're going to do the same thing here. But this time we will be using a square as our base shape. So straight lines 90 degree angles, but will be going through the same process of bringing its a life. So, um, you know, adds some features to make it feel like a living thing. I'm going to start with the windows to the soul. Um, actually, if I'm honest, I feel like square eyes are very difficult to pull off on a character without looking strange, but ah, for the sake of this exercise will go with that, um, gives some eyebrows. Same mouth his last time. All right, So it was like a living thing. But as you can see, he already feels different than in previous character. All I really did, which changed the curves two straight lines and the Let's get rid of that again. Um, here we go, this weird fishtail thing. I think I made that too high, but you get the point. So basically, this character has the same basic facial expression and posed as the previous one. But you know, he already feels pretty different. Is very hard to norther, safe to dominate a character. So always think about how they will impact their personality from the beginning. My opinion, This character field, uh, a bit more stoic, Grumpier because of all the angles. So you know what seems like small change to make a big difference. The same principles apply in three D perspective. So square becomes a cube, a circle becomes a sphere and so on. Thinking about your drawings and three dimensions is often a good thing, but flashed up has this place to, and it's a sufficient starting point. All right, so when you've done that for a while and you feel comfortable with it, try stacking more than one state. Think about how many combinations we have with this simple inducing. You can overlap them or separate them in tow up around lower body. Make them different sizes. You can literally do this with anything from the entire body, down to the fingers on these hands. State language applies anywhere and everywhere. Basically, if I eyes can see, it has to be shaped like something. So always be thinking about this element of your characters. Look at the gangrene gang from the powerful of girls. Most of them give away their personality or role in the gang just by the overall state. So which one would you say is the dumb muscle? And which one would you guess, is the sniveling Yes, man? And take a look at this group from Fox's home for imaginary friends. Which one would you say, excels a student hoops and which one is probably terrified of their own strength? A lot of artists will tell you that still away is the most important part of a character's visual design. It's a bit more evolved in that, but there's no denying that is one of the first things you notice about a character silhouettes are states in their purest form. If you're wondering how your character comes across, try blocking out all the other details to see how the Seyfried is it mostly square. Are there a lot of buying prickly ages? Even if a certain state was common in the fine details of a character, it's overall silhouette will tell us a great deal more. And still that doesn't just apply to a character's body. A small but iconic feature might have a unique silhouette that would help us recognize them without a lot of other details. Body stayed with the idea in his most blatant form, state languages, equally powerful when infuse more subtly into a character's appearance, which will take a look at next time. 5. Minor Features: last time we looked at, characters were stabling. Was Dominy Ah, pretty much their entire Still the way. And hopefully by now you have at least a few pages of characters based on those basic shapes. So now we're going to look at some ways they're shaped to use less. Conspicuously. This is Mandy from the Grim Adventures. A 1,000,000,000 Mandy. She's, ah, grumpy, a little girl. She's basically a circle on top of the square if you look and ah you know with limbs sticking out from that. But ah, let's ignore all that for a second. If you look closely at her hair kind of looks like horns. Now let's see what happens if we change that a bit. I mean, overall, you know, she still looks grumpy. We'll look at how much more. So with her first haircut, all we really did was take out the sharp edges and replaced him with curves and has a pretty significant impact on the character of silhouette. So by now you've probably picked up that the scale of roundness and sharpness is pretty important to a character's appearance. Typically, roundness is reserved for a cute, harmless, non threatening things, and start angles are for edgy, cool, modern, imposing things. Different artists will tell you why this is often the case. Personally, I believe a big part of it is just how we develop from babies to adults. Babies have soft, round face is while the adult ahead is more defined and sculpted according to the bones underneath, many of which have sharp angles. There's also the national defense explanation we explore earlier. I'm sure there are many more reasons out there as well. Take a look at our square appliances, TVs, tablets, laptops, furniture, even app icons and know how many of them are not truly square at the corners. It would hurt to touch or run into something like that. Rounded corners are a bit more inviting for a lot of products out there, and designers are fully aware of that fact. All right, so going back around and stop characters, we can actually do the same thing with steak is mascot Sonic the Hedgehog. If you look closely as sonic and a lot of his artwork, you'll see that his quills are not perfectly sharpen the edges two sharp, and he looks kind of dangerous for a good guy. But if you make him to around, you lose his trademark attitude, even beside how started spikes are his overall. Still, that makes him much of who he is now. Imagine if his spikes we're going the other way. He doesn't look very fast anymore, the way he is now. His quills just makes sense when he's running forward like built in speed lines. How about the most famous Pokemon of all? Peek. A choo wouldn't be peek a choo if it wasn't really, really cute. So you might be thinking, Why not get rid of all the sharp angles in his design that would improve it right? Well, if we round out the tail, too, must it doesn't look like a lightning bolt anymore, striking a balance of the huge part of the effort for many designers going too far in the other. Roundness or sharpness into the spectrum conceive a. From the characters intended purpose curves are often used to emphasize femininity, and angles typically convey masculinity. However, there's no reason you can't reverse these is you really want to. What we're learning is how our culture typically response to certain shapes, but were by no means bound to those interpretations. All right, so hopefully that gives you a pretty good idea of what you can do with curves and angles and minor parts of the character. And by now, you probably know how to handle a square or a circle or a triangle and building a character from just that bled. There are many more safe in the world and just those found in the math book. So what else can we use? We'll take a look at some slightly more complex shapes and their functions in the following lessons. 6. Non Humans: If you look closely in the world around us, everything has a face, a personality. We're constantly finding human faces and our surroundings. This is a common form of the phenomenon known as Parad Olya, and it's another way in which state language can affect us. To put it another way, think about clouds that look like animals or vehicles. That's Parador Leah, recognizing a visual pattern and something that is actually a random or arbitrary basketballs don't really have faces. But if you stare hard enough, you can see a disgruntled brow. And below that, a frown safe language doesn't have to be a literal as square character around character, sometimes a curved like and tell his own story. So you might have a character who isn't literally human, but you can still give it visible human qualities. So let's look at one of the main ways you can do that. Two identical shapes above a different shape will almost always be seen as a face to us because it looks like eyes and a mouth. This combination can take on pretty much any form you can think of. Sometimes a mouth isn't even necessary to get the face across to the viewer. In this case, safe language becomes even more important in conveying specific emotions as long to see a body and ahead, we start personifying normal objects. All right, so think about how you know where the head is on a character that isn't human. Our faces are close to the top of our bodies, so that's always where we look. First, we assume the anything above the eyes constitutes the rest of the head, however big. But when that doesn't work, we'll always look for the tried and true formula twin stapes above a different state characters with very low faces, an enormous heads may come up as intelligent or devious or even childlike, while a high face may imply a simpler or more naive character. So look at how hard it is to identify the face. When we flipped that formula upside down. Where is the face on? These are the even living things, All right, so give it a shot. Try many different combinations with this equation and see what sort of faces you can make . Even in its more abstract forms. See, it can give or remove life from a character. Now I'm not saying you should just put two eyes on any object and call it character design . I mean, you can if you want to, of course, but it's not always the most effective solution, that's all. Character design really is a solution to a question that's all designed. In fact, for Sonic the Hedgehogs creators, the question was, How can we make a mascot? Who's better? Them are you? All characters were born from problems that their creators need to solve for your project. The problem you'll tackle how to design a unique hero were limited to a basic shape and a few basic features. 7. Advanced Shaping - Objects: So last time we saw that with the right features, objects can look like people. Well, there's no reason that people can't resemble objects. Typically, this is a bit hard to pull off, since people don't normally look like inanimate things. But a fantasy character who resembles an object can really stand out if it's done right. It's kind of a strange concept for designing a character, but I'll try to explain. What we're really doing is exploring all kinds of common things in our surroundings and not just seeing them as things but as a collection of features. Almost any object you can think of is really just a complex mix of spheres, cubes, cones and cylinders. The balance and proportions of these shapes gives the object its identity. As we saw before. A table is mostly just a flat cube on four long cubes. Well, the same goes for even simple objects, and a ball is not just in a ball. An eight ball is round, it's heavy, is black, it tells fortunes. If you remember, part of your assignment will be coming up with a list of keywords or traits to apply to your character. Using an everyday object is a great way to get ideas for those traits. Which one is just a have in common with the human being? And how can we make that conversion? All right, so get a fresh sheet of paper and we'll turn eight ball into a living, breathing character. All right, So the first thing on the list we made was, ah, the Round State. So I think that would be the most important characteristic. So, you know, who probably have a body like an orb? No, it would be kind of heavyset. Ah, the other thing I think will be important is to, of course, incorporate black into his costume. So I think you know, he's going, He's going to be wearing mostly a lot of black closed. Um, but I want to make sure that the proportion of blacks white is ah, very, very carefully done because, you know, I don't want to take a too much bass with the head and neck line. You know, I want you to look at this character and say, you know, where have I seen this? This combination of black and white before? So that you immediately think you know this is not just know some random guy in a suit. This design is clearly based on I object your seen before, So, uh, all right, we'll give him Ah, that the a good amount of space for the head and the neckline, so, you know, trying not to take up too much space. Ah, with the white areas, So ah, the proportion of ah, light and our values is very important. All right, So you can be as subtle or, you know, as blunt as you want in your design. Personally, I kind of like blunt designs and characters, so I think that the number eight should show up somewhere very clearly. So list, give him a bow tie. Uh, kind of a weird bowtie with the white buttons on the front, for some reason. But just so we have eight somewhere very clearly on his design and just, you know, again. So he's not just a ball floating through space. We'll ask them legs. So already this character is coming to give it and I feel like once you give it a body and legs to sit or stand on, it starts to feel like a living thing the character, so it's Ah, pillows in a bit. Given some shoes, of course. All right, that's good enough. So let's give him, Ah, the criminal waistcoat. This so he's not just like a black blob was giving some hair. Let's give him a face. Of course, I'm not sure what he's so grumpy about. Well, maybe he's not grumpy. Maybe he's just concentrating really hard on something because we'll find out what that something is. Later, I would put one arm behind his back. Just seemed to fit with the kind of post we have here. Um, excuse me at the bottom of the waste codes as one frills here and there again. I want to add too much. Ah, detail Teoh to his clothing because I want to distract from the overall. So the wet so, you know, wanted You saw the black state to really stand out. So let's finish up the head here. We'll give him a monocle. No, I can't have a waistcoat without a monocle. Seems like a pretty dapper, well dressed guy. And he needs to arms. Probably. Well, I mean, he doesn't have to have two arms, but for the sake of this exercise looking into. And since he's a fortune teller, which was another thing wrote, Now on our list, I think you should be holding something to signify that. So what better way to do that? They didn't give him a crystal ball to gaze into. Well, hold on, let me. It was fixed these fingers real quick, so they look somewhat presentable, all right, we'll give him a crystal ball to look into. You can tell your fortune or what have you. You know, that's, um, sparkles and some mystical smoke. Just so it's not, uh, white blob sitting on the page. So that has some context. All right, now we can go in and start to add some or ah, minor features to his clothing. This lady doesn't feel so playing. But again, we don't want to ask so much that distract from his overall silhouette and from the the dominance of the black shapes in his costume. So you know we'll add a little bit, will give him some pant legs and things like that. So it feels like he's wearing actual clothes, but I don't want to go too far, but again, you know, whatever you have on your paper and whatever eight ball careful you're drawing right now as I speak will be different than mine. Careful, design is very subjective And go any direction you want to. So you know, you have toe decide what you want. And that was filling that monocle. All right, so obviously we could stay here and find this a lot more, but I think it's safe to say this particular constant is ah, you know, it's on paper. It's fleshed out. Uh, you know, we have the We have the major trades who wrote down from our list earlier? Um, he's pretty around wearing a lot of black. Um, I you know, I think it's pretty obvious that he's a fortune teller of some kind. Uh, so that pretty much the you know, the process from beginning to cost that? No, obviously, um, you know, whatever medium you're working in will have an impact on your design. So I don't know this guy could be a Boston and video game, or he could be the main character of an animated short. So whatever your intended purposes that will have his own restrictions and limitations that you have to keep in mind. But you know, for now we have a pretty solid, you know, idea. I pretty solid cost steptoe work from. So you kind of get an idea of what we're doing here. We're taking the basic fundamental elements of an eight ball and applying those to a living human being. See, this idea doesn't come across very well of were to say, give him a cube saved body. All other things being equal, safe can make or break the communication between you and your audience. Since the eight balls round, this is an identifying characteristic. Round safety are found in his silhouette and all throughout the rest of his attire. So if you remember from earlier when we were designing a character based off of a circle, we were toying around with some pretty basic common features to give it life, face and legs and stuff like that. However, if you draw inspiration from other circular things in real life, it opens that many more doors for clever character designs. So if you want to create a character that is based on a certain motif like the sun or a musical instrument for certain animal safe linguist can get you halfway there. Break your desire theme down into a set of traits and symbols, then builds your character around those basing characters off of common objects can be a fun way to combine safe and work from there. It also gives you a much wider range to work with and just geometric forms. 8. Surrogate Features: As you already know, shaping a character's body can tell us much about them. But sometimes a more subtle method is needed. One of those is the use of surrogate features. Remember Mr Nicest guy in the neighborhood? We couldn't see his actual face, so we allowed the visor to stand in for eyebrows, and the bottom of his helmet became his mouth. There are endless ways you can use things on or near a character's face to replace actual features. This gives you many more tools to play with in order to imply certain traits. Let's look at some other examples. A hairline or bangs become a replacement for eyebrows. These characters are basically triplets, practically identical except for their haircuts. Despite all having the exact same face. Notice how one of them appears menacing. One looks pleasant and once even neutral. The banks are standing for the eyebrows, since they're covered up and give us a sense of their emotion. How you style your characters. Hair could have a major influence on the viewers. First impression. This can go beyond hair, though, Because of the way perspective works. Our point of view can affect the way we perceive the shape of an object. A common trick is to have a character's hat or headband or something of that nature obscure the area above their eyes, giving them a somewhat menacing look. Obscuring parts of the face implies mystery or danger. So why is it menacing? I think it's because the eyes, even when they're drawing his perfect circles, are being cut off at the top with changes them into 1/2 moon state. Changing the shape of the eyes usually has a major impact on our impression. Since we place so much emphasis on them as the windows to the soul, a mustache can become a mouth. Mario probably has the most famous moustache on earth. There's something cheerful about it, all right, so notice how even when we can't see his mouth. Mario always has this naturally jolly look about him. Imagine how he looks when his mustache comb differently, but there's more to it than just the direction that is combed in. Once again, Bubbly states make us feel more welcome towards the character. There's a reason that war you Mario was mean. Counterpart has facial hair that looks like lightning bolts. Imagine if Mario had a mustache like his, All right, so that's very different from the mascot we know and love. Do you think he's would warm up to? This guy is easily so. Facial hair can do all sorts of things, but it's not just mustache is and a lot of cases drooping shapes feel sad and upright shape still bright and lively. A mask could become my state. This is made tonight from the curb universe of video games. He's cool and mysterious as he looks. Why is that exactly? Well, it's a number of things, but this class is about shape. To be honest, he looks very similar to the pain guy that both round with little flipper arms and stubby feet. That mask is cool, though fierce, imposing Let's make it not so imposing. And just like that mechanized personality appears to have done, a 1 80 is just a mask, but without seeing his actual face. It's all we have in terms of his personality, in this case, a replacement for the brow line important downward, who looks fierce. But when the central point is upward, it loses all of his confidence, not a threat, basically. Oh, and if you're wondering. His face looks exactly like Kirby's underneath but Blue, which is probably why he wears the thing. Even I say it could be used to imply a brow line where there are no literal eyebrows. This is why Sonics always a little bit mad even when he's not. He's got attitude. His buddy tails, on the other hand, seems pretty cheerful there I safe so not that different. But the difference makes all the difference, if that makes sense. The valley between the hedgehogs eyes appeared to be a stand in for an angry brow line. Since tales eyes are completely separate, he doesn't appear to have any sort of brow implied or otherwise. Also notice how the outer edges of sonic size tapering near the bottom. While tales eyes are more uniformly vertical, we're starting to see a very common pattern, with the way eyes or eyebrows point either up or down for effect, clothing becomes an extension for the body. You can use close to alter the overall shape of your character, an enormous hat or coat that fans out and give the character are regal or imposing appearance. There's a reason why a lot of supervillains wear oversized colors. Likewise, clothing can obscure parts of the face or square out the state of the torso. Glasses become eyes. This is the protagonist of Dexter's laboratory. Most of the time, Dexter's glasses are half moon, but when he surprised or chipper, they become full ellipses. Think about why that happens. Also, consider the fact that the half circles say Create star points for the ellipses do not. Often the glasses will be so big on a character that the eyebrows aren't even visible. Whether or not the pupils are showing through the lenses will also make a difference in their perceived expression. Glasses come in all shapes and sizes so you can get really creative with this. I should clarify that not all of these examples began with the express intent of being clever surrogate features together. Miyamoto Mario is creator stated that he gave the plumber a mustache because of technical limitations of arcade machines. Back in the Stone Age video game characters with just a few pixels wide and tall, so fine details like complex faces were not only unimportant but impossible. But as the years passed, Mario Design evolved into what it is today, and it works. We're beyond the point of worrying about whether or not we can put a mouth on a character in a game, But we can still learn from the limitations of our art ancestors. They were restricted to a very small canvas, So if they're one of the characters features to stand out, they had no choice but to focus on the important stuff. Hat overalls, most asked. Rid. We create characters like that, just a few key ingredients. We can assure that they work at the most basic level before adding all sorts of bells and whistles. 9. Style Components: every character has its own recipe. Regardless of our style, we can agree that these are all linked the hero time from the Legend of Zelda, even though they're so drastically different. How is this possible? Pointy hat? 20 years tunic work boots? You could say that he's character is a list of ingredients change just a few, and the outcome may be radically different. These traits are essentially the characters DNA, so we can take the exact same character or render them with straight lines and sharp angles . Or stretch them out like putty with lots of sweeping kers, or make them bubbly with circular forms. Repetition. Can Addison's of unity to a character and tie all the different parts to give it? This is often how state languages used, showing up again and again within the character. Among various features, however, safe language doesn't need to occur within just one character. The stapes may translate across an entire medium full of characters, like a TV show or a common foot. Typically safe plane was is one part of what we normally call an art style, which is basically how much, or how little things are visually exaggerated. Other components of an art style, our proportion lying quality, color scheme and visual density. All of these combined give any painting or cartoon or video game is distinct. Look, now this is by no means an exhaustive list. But in my experience, these were some of the more important elements required to establish a specific style in two D artworks. Try looking up your favorite graphic artists and identify how each of these elements is used in their signature look. So in short, safe Stone has to do all the work for a character's identity. Now all characters emphasized it equally, but they can go a long way in her or his design. When combined with these other elements, state becomes incredibly powerful when creating a list of traits for your character in the class assignment. Think about how recognizable your characters design is with different types of shapes and consider which elements can't be changed without affecting their identity. 10. Design Your Hero: as we discussed at the beginning of this class and evil force has disturbed the peace for a class project. I like you to design the hero of this fantasy setting. The reason we're thinking in terms of fantasy is to give you as much freedom as possible and to get you thinking outside the box in terms of your characters design, you're not restricted to the confines of real life. Clear communication is what we're after. More than anything, fantasy can be whatever you like. Elves Talking space animals on day, George Washington For the sake of this class, let's stay away from anything overly Lou or violent. But other than that, the sky's the limit. So the first step is to create a list of four ingredients. The 1st 1 should be a state To keep things simple, choose either a square circle or triangle. The second thing on your list should be a defining occupation. It doesn't need to be a literal job, but it's some defining niece that they fulfill. Mario is a plumber. Casper is a ghost. Pac Man is a anyway. It could be anything from Nice Lane dragon to this, like a custodian to a brave little toaster. It's your story, so you get to decide who the big hero is. And remember, it's fantasy. So don't be afraid to get weird. If you're having trouble think about the evil force that they're up against. Is it an ancient demon? A 10 page essay decided who would be the best or worst character for the job? So if you choose a nonhuman characters, such as an animal object or fantastic creature that qualifies as an occupation for this project, However, if you really want to make a ghost who also sells used cars, be my guest. You can have a non human with a human occupation. Just remember, we're limiting ourselves to four important characteristics for your character. The other two ingredients are your choice. You may want to keep it to a single term tall feline Harry. If you're having trouble remember, famous characters have their own ingredients to, and you can use those as inspiration. Figuring out the recipe might help you settle on a shape if you haven't already done so. If you want to make a character based on a full moon for one who wears a bicycle helmet a circle lends itself to those forms you can build around that, so use anything you like at this point. Now the next step is to create a visual of state ingredients using the safe you settle on. It doesn't need to be a complex or even human go crazy. You can go as simply or as realistic and detailed as you want to. However, basic forms are often more effective and emphasizing the importance shapes. So if you're new to this kind of thing, I highly recommend something straightforward for your first try. Oh, and one more thing. Stay away from colors, at least for your first design. Color adds a different dimension apart from state, as we learned earlier. Right now, we want the curves and start points to do the talking. If you want to add color to your original black and white version after is completed, that's fine. I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with, All right, so let's walk through an example of Project. I'll start by choosing a signature shape first, and I think I'll go with a triangle of this time. The shirts uploaded Thumbnail of the state view shows so we can see how it translates into your final design. Include the other police trace you shows somewhere in this thumbnail. I can't think of anything. Scribble some adjectives and occupations on scraps of paper, toss him into a hat, shake them up and shoes a few at random. So let's see. I'll work with the words thief, padlock and fox. Remember, Choosing tribal doesn't let me to a character whose head or torso is literally a triangle. It just means the sharp points will likely be prominent features and that triangles dominate the overall design. You may use your state blatantly or subtly, but keep in mind was clear for the audience and try to portray a sense of unity in your character. Was shapes all right, so I have a shape and I have some ingredients. Now it's time to brainstorm. Good characters don't come from nowhere. You can start by sketching around your shape and seeing what looks good. I recommend spending time to do research in the world around you. Even if you like your first few ideas. Research will give you more tools to work with. Look around your neighborhood, explore your house, browse the Web looking characters other people have made ideas are anywhere and everywhere . All right, so I want to start by looking at Fox characteristics and how I can translate those into a human being. Ah, box years with triangular. So we already have a connection. So the primary shape. But I'm not sure how we can fit those ears until human character. So maybe we'll just set that aside for now. Maybe with a surrogate feature, like pigtails or a hair clip or something. I'm not sure. Um, I can see triangles and other parts of this design No, the appointed boundary where the tail changes color and the tip of the muzzle. So maybe this thief has a really pointy nose like a fox. Another identifying part of Aflac's is they have, ah, have wife for on their undersides. I mean, human skin doesn't really change color that drastically. So what can we do with that? Maybe if she had a white bandanna around her mouth, that waste you can conceal her identity and boxes have black pause. So let's give her a pair of black gloves and black boots. The good thief needs to avoid leaving fingerprints behind. All right, so I think we've got the fox part down. So let's see how we can incorporate padlocks into this design. Uh, they're not triangular at all, but I think the other parts make up for that. Remember, you're not necessarily restriction to using Onley one shaping your design. The idea is to make sure that the shape you chose dominates the others. So if you look at the padlock, their kind of saved like bags or backpacks, the square part is kind of like the body of the bag in the shackle. The you Stayed apart is like a handle. So where this thief kept all their loot and one of those to avoid suspicion? From a dramatic standpoint, these are well versed in picking actual locks, too. So the state makes sense here, So that's kind of my process for this character, which is totally disorganized. But that might help you get started. There's no wrong way to do research or come up with ideas. I recommend looking for your primary shaped in the traits you shows and then thinking about clever coincidences between various concepts. You can also look at how other characters have used similar characteristics. I remember you don't need to use all of them equally. If you can't find many meaningful connections, consider trying a different state that works better. Just keep trying different methods until you find one that motivates you. And finally, the fun part. This is the part where you upload your hero. Remember to upload on normal view as well as a still await version. Now you can do this by painting or filling in the silhouette with graphite or chasing over your characters. Outline on a black steed of paper and cutting that out. Just have fun with it. As I said, I've been working in a photo shop CS for, But you're free to draw on paper or whatever you like Miss Cannon or photograph your project. Try to avoid lined notebook paper, though we don't want anything to distract us from your characters. Design. Once you've done all that, you can pat yourself from the back. You just made a character using safe language. So by now you must have figured out that shaped language isn't just for characters. It shows up in logos on products, layers and living things. It's everywhere, always giving us information includes whether we realize it or not. A real world is an endless resource of everything you need to train your imagination. The possibilities really are limitless, as clues say, is that sound? Now that you understand how important shapes our tour characters expression? Imagine how powerful they are when combined with color, body language and all sorts of other things. Explore them is deeply as you want to creates a round shape. Use them in ways other people have never even thought of. Indulging in your favorite books. Movies, museums, cartoons and video games will help you find what store so character designs you do and do not light, which will take you even further. Well, I hope you learn something from this class, and I can't thank you enough for sticking through to the end. We barely scratched the surface of what you can do is shapes and artists are creating new, amazing characters every day