Character Design For Beginners #1: Introduction and Theory | Danan Thilakanathan | Skillshare

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Character Design For Beginners #1: Introduction and Theory

teacher avatar Danan Thilakanathan

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

5 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Importance Of Anatomy

    • 3. Creating Appealing Characters

    • 4. Set Yourself Free

    • 5. Exercise: Draw What You See

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn the importance of human anatomy and the secrets to creating appealing looking characters for comics, games and movies.

This is the first of 7 classes that will teach you and help give you the skills to designing and drawing realistic and appealing looking characters.


Meet Your Teacher

Hi, my name is Danan. I am a Software Engineer by day and a filmmaker/animator/educator by night.

I started out making an animated short film for fun using Blender a few years ago. It was during this time did I realize I had a huge passion for 3D filmmaking. I have spent the past 5 years making animated short films and have learned a great deal about the entire process of filmmaking and animation.

This is something that I do as a hobby. Animation and filmmaking are both something I'm quite passionate about and I spent a few years trying to learn and master this skill. Through heaps of trial and error and researching on my own, I feel I have come a long way. I would now like to impart this knowledge towards others who feel a similar w... See full profile

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1. Introduction: welcome to the character design for complete beginners. Course design encounters can be so much fun, but it can be frustrating if you have no idea where to even begin. It can even be quite intimidating to go through all those books and online tutorials and figure out a more structured way of designing your own characters from your imagination, especially if you're completely new to this. Throughout this course, you will learn the skills and techniques of drawing and designing, appealing and interesting looking characters similar to the way professionals do it for films and games. I highly encourage you to follow the exercises throughout this course, since that is the only way you will improve as an artist. You may have heard this many times before, but practice really does make perfect time and time again. This has been proven to be true. It's only when you practice make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Will you truly become an awesome character designer to give you a better idea whether this course will be a good fit for you or not? I should probably let you know what this course will not color character posing. You will learn the basics off, drawing your character from different angles. But we won't cover dynamic posing and all that other stuff that will be more useful for comic artists or animators. DIGITAL painting We won't be covering how to digitally paint your character designs. Although we do cover the basics of color for your character, we won't learn how to make those awesomely realistic, digitally painted portrait. This course can, however, be that first step and help you on that journey. Advanced Anatomy We will only be covering the basics of human anatomy in this book. Run. Learn all the intricate muscle groups. You'll learn only the most relevant muscles as needed for an artist designing for movies, games and comics. Last. Of course, we will not be covering any two D character animation. What you will get out of this close, though, is a systematic approach to the design off characters for films and games. You will learn how to bring that counter that only exists in your imagination right now, to paper, or perhaps with digital canvas and understanding off the human form. We'll cover the basics of human, an enemy that is necessary for a digital artist. If you're creating characters off certain styles, such as cartoony characters. You could get away without learning an enemy. But having the knowledge of human anatomy can put you at a greater advantage over other artists. In other words, you will be able to produce more convincing human characters. Compared to stick figures, a better understanding off character archetypes. You will learn the secrets to creating different character archetypes and looks such as cute, angry, happy go lucky, nervous, vicious, strong, weak and so on. You will also learn the skills needed to create character modeling sheets. You will learn how to create accurate turnarounds of your character that will be useful to a three D model of aiming to bring your character design to life. The course is organized in the following way. We first start with all the essential period stuff. Then we will move on to the anatomy and go one by one with understanding the muscles off each major body parts off the humanoid. After that, you will then start brainstorming your ideas and blocking in your first designs. Then we continue to refine your designs and finally create a three D modeling sheet for your final character design. I hope that covers pretty much everything about this course. Let's now move on to the next section to get started. 2. Importance Of Anatomy: Let's now look at all the essential puree stuff you need to know as a captain designer. Having a knowledge of human anatomy can go a long way to making your characters look both realistic and believable. It is possible to get away without learning any an enemy at all, and pretty much just eyeball it. But this can make your characters look just a little bit off. Unless, of course, the character star that you're going for is cartoony. In that case, exaggeration is key. But if you are trying for a parenting style that it's a little bit more realistic in nature , such as comic style characters than having a knowledge of human anatomy can put you at a greater advantage over other drawing artists, I feel like I might know what you were three thinking. At this point, learning all the intricate details of the human proportions and muscles are just gonna take forever. And quite frankly, yes, it is a little bit boring. To be honest, I have to agree on that point, if that is what you were thinking. Learning every muscle, the human body, as well as trying to memorize a scientifically ridiculous names like noticed amiss door side, for example, just for the purpose of drawing characters just seems downright silly to me. I mean, you may as well have just completed a degree in medical science, in my opinion, and I could be wrong. There is no need to learn every muscle of the human body. Quite simply, there is just way too many of them, many of which wouldn't even be relevant to an artist. You won't even really end up drawing a lot of them. Unfortunately, you will need to learn human anatomy If you plan on drawing relatively realistic looking characters, especially if you plan on modelling those characters in a treaty software program later on down the line or passing it off to a three D model. There's no point reading in rushing and drawing away. You can draw appealing and interesting characters, but you will be at a greater advantage if you know the underlying anatomy of your drawing. This is why so many artists don't really improve that much. Even after tracing and copying characters from those comic books, it's important that you know the main muscles to be able to block in the main forms off the human body. If you're also a three D model ER, This may also bode well for your future, as you will find that having basic anatomy knowledge will put you at an advantage. When it comes to developing awesome looking three D characters, you may be able to quickly just tell what's off with your character model over an artist with limited to no knowledge of anatomy. Keep in mind of the anatomy of all humans aren't exactly the same. There are in hearing differences between men, women, Children and older people, to name a few. When you apply basic anatomy proportions to your character, the result is a character that is believable to the viewers I. 3. Creating Appealing Characters: once you've nailed character an enemy and can make your characters look believable, we can then started. Think about making our characters look appealing. Drawing believable characters can be fun, but it can get boring real quick, not just for you but for your audience as well. If you're looking to be accounted designer for films and games, simply drawing monotonous, realistic drawings won't cut it. It's pretty much essential in this day and age in the life off the car designer to draw appealing characters. And when I say appealing, I don't mean that you should draw all your characters so good looking that they all should buy for a chance at a modeling career. By appealing, I mean that it should instantly resonate with your audience what type of person that character is. If your character is kind and sweet hearted, then it should look kind and sweet hearted. If their malicious and evil then they should look malicious and evil. Of course, this doesn't have to be set in stone, and you can break these rules when you break these rules, though, you should have a reason to do so. For instance, you don't want your main country to toe have vampire fangs and teeth and evil red eyes. If the captain Nature is meant to be cute, innocent and shy, however, you could break that rule if you want to create suspense or surprise. In this case, the audience would instantly stereotype the vampire character with red eyes as evil and scary. And they would never guess that it was just an shy, innocent character ashamed to show himself in public because of what people think of him. Nevertheless, putting in the time to plan out how your character will look and understand how the local resonate with your audience will go a long way into making you a better character designer and helping you produce awesome original Carter designs. Keep your design simple and try toe only. Add elements to your design if there is a good reason to do so. 4. Set Yourself Free: when drawing and designing characters, It can be so easy to get caught up with following processes and steps, and this can be quite restricting in terms of coming up with unique, out of designs. You can keep following their step by step, drawing to trolls on how to draw that next big counter from Disney. But you won't be able to develop your own unique style if you keep following those steps by the rule book. You may become very good at drawing famous Disney characters, but you don't want to trap yourself In the world of Disney, your main goal should be to bring out that inner artist within you. Once you free yourself from the clasps off other artists, styles and rules, can you truly blossom into an awesome character artist yourself? You'll then be able to discover your own style and your own rules, which will result in your own unique counter designs. I mean, after this course, you may later find out that my way of doing things isn't really that great, and you may discover your own way, which looks better. Do whatever you feel is comfortable for you and don't get restricted to rules and processes . Remember, the ultimate golden counter design is to create characters that will instantly resonate with your audience. 5. Exercise: Draw What You See: for our first exercise. Let's to start off a little bit easy. Simply just draw what you see. Just take the time to go out to a nearby park or trained shopping mall or some other public place and simply just observe the people around you. I know it sounds a little bit creepy, but just do it. Just bring a drawing pad and pen or pencil with you and very loosely sketched a few people while taking their poses into account. Try to fill out a page full of sketches a day for the next week or so. This side may further help you Now I know it sounds a little bit creepy, but really, the goal is to help you gain an understanding off people and why they act the way they do through their pose and body language. You may be able to interpret what the character's personality is like or what they are feeling, and perhaps their past experiences that might be a little bit challenging the forget about anatomy and proportions for this exercise. Just set yourself free and just sketch away In time. You should have a library full of different body types and poses, which could be beneficial to refer back to later on. This exercise may seem more relevant for character animation, and yes, I agree. It probably is. But the main idea is that you get an understanding of the different types of people in this world, and it may even serve it motivation for your next counter design or even story you will understand, or, at the very least, in food from their body language. Whether they are cheerful, angry, busy, all the time board and someone just a little tip. Try not to be too obvious when observing people because, believe it or not, humans do tend to get creeped out when they know you are observing them in detail. So try not to be too shifty, either. Just just act natural. One quick glance should generally be enough. So with that, I will say good luck with your exercise and hope you have fun