Character Design with Personality: 4 Core Concepts for Creating Better Characters with Tom Bancroft | Tom Bancroft | Skillshare

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Character Design with Personality: 4 Core Concepts for Creating Better Characters 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

    • 1.

      4 Tips for Better Characters: Introduction


    • 2.

      Tip 1: Shape Variety


    • 3.

      Tip 2: Creating Depth with Your Final Line


    • 4.

      Tip 3: Taking One Last Look


    • 5.

      Tip 4 & Assignment: Using Photoshop to Finalize Your Artwork


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About This Class

Tom Bancroft, former Disney Supervising Animator/Character designer/ Author/ Director, gives you 4 tips based on his day to day work flow, questions asked through the years by animation students and lessons he learned from classic Disney Master animators while working on films like "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", and "Mulan".  Each "Tip" builds on the next so that you can apply them to your next character design - and improve your drawings now!  These tips are great for anyone that works with characters: Comic book artists, Comic Strip Artists, Animators, Children's Book artists, and Video game designers.  And, of course, for anyone that loves to make fan art.  An assignment is given at the end so you can apply the tips learned here and upload your own character design based on an original description. 

Meet Your Teacher

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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

Level: Intermediate

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1. 4 Tips for Better Characters: Introduction: Oh everybody, I'm Tom Bancroft. And today we're gonna talk about forward tips to designing better characters, and we'll talk about her about why it's called that. But accent on banner characters my background is that I'm a former Disney animator. I work out films like Beauty and the Beast, Lying King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Milan, Tarzan, Brother Bear and a few others and stuff that hopefully you've seen before or grew up watching also what I've done it created. I got into character design after I left Disney, and I've been designing characters from not only Liu Xu in Milan the Dragon, but then also, I started writing books about it. I have a few books out called Creating Characters with personality. On the Second is character Mentor, and those two books are books that about how to teach you how toe do character design and then another book just can't recently. This is, you know, the coolest jobs in the world, Animator and it's ah, it's for middle school kids, but it teaches you kind of like just what it's like to be an animator, and with that jobs about, I've also done things like graphic novels. This is my own opposite forces called it a a story I wrote. Andrew and I've done Children's books and video game characters so basically kind of anything that you can think of this more like in the kids room of video games, TV and future animation. I've designed characters for it or animated on it. I've also directed a big idea, productions the makers of VeggieTales and so a little bit of everything in my career. I'm very proud of that and have learned a lot. And it's kind of why I wanted to do this lesson. Really love the vision of teaching people online through video lessons like this, especially at a low price. And so what we're gonna talk to talk about today is designing characters. But I really want to talk about my days at Disney and the things that I learned there was taught by masters of animation. People like Mark in Glen Keane Undressed Asia and Ruin Aquino. People that are some are still around animating films that have gone on to direct films for Disney. But there what I learned there, what they learned even from the 90 men, the masters of animation that created a lot of the rules and techniques that we use have been passed on to me, and I want to kind of help start to pass those onto you. So that's a lot of what we're gonna be talking about it some of these tips that will make your drawings better right now. 2. Tip 1: Shape Variety: All right, So this is tip number one, and this is really the meat and potatoes of all four of these tips. This is the one that kind of the big one. Now, I'm in a kind of gloss over a little bit We're gonna definitely learn about. And this is about shaped variety. We're gonna learn about it, and I'm gonna teach you the basics, but do it in a sort of a simplified way, because this is a bigger subject. And it actually is a big part of my first book creating characters with personality, and we're probably gonna do another lesson about it later on. But she variety is to me the key to designing character. And what I mean by that. Is that everything? You know, we're OK. Let's back up. When we were in school and were first learning how to drop, um, we all had these books and stuff, like 50 steps to drawing. You know this. Sorry. Not 50 draw. 50 famous characters write or draw. 50 cars dropped 50. There's that whole. Siri's a lot of these. When you looked at these books, they're very much step, step, step, step in and started with a circle and then with three Adaline yet another line, the end of the line. And within five or seven steps she had an out. Or you had, you know, Thomas Jefferson or a Corvette. Well, I love and hate those books because it's great for a young child to start just going through the motions of realizing that their shapes involved in everything around them. Everything is made up of shapes. What they are a little deceptive, is, is because there's no tax. There's no really instruction to them. They're just step, step, step, step. And it's supposedly if you follow those steps and put the lines exactly where they are, you have that owl at the end that looks just like the drawing at the end. Well, one as a kid, I would just jump to the end and copy the out that was already done. I would kind of ignore those for seven or eight steps because that was the end point. It was just drawing that out and I could see all the lines. I just caught development. Um, so for that reason, I think that as we naturally see a finished drawing, we want to draw finished drawing. The point of those lessons was kind of lost on me because there wasn't a lot of text to explain it. I didn't know, really, Why was drawing their shapes? I didn't know what every line had to be here for what reason? And that doesn't make a full fledged artist later on. Hopefully you grow from that, just learning how to put pencil paper and the concept of just simple drugs or shapes. But there's more to it than that. And so what we're gonna be talking about is a little bit more revolutionary way of using that same basic idea of starting with basic shapes. But we're gonna really go beyond that into some of the things that I learned at Disney and other animation studios. Before I jump into that point of this new step one of shape variety and learn about that, I didn't want to mention I'm gonna be working on this antique. I have a nice antique here that I use every day and draw digitally from time to time. Now, I just introduced the idea all the pencils and the tools and one of those reasons is I do drop traditionally every day. I love still drawing pencil on paper, and then a lot of times I'll scan it, put it in the computer and manipulated or color it. So I do a variety of both why I'm going into digital right now to show you some of these steps is mostly for the cape. For this devil, it's gonna be easier, clearer way for you to see what I'm doing. So we'll go into that mode next. But if you don't have a cent, ik feel free to keep drawing pencils paper using a lot of the same steps that we just talked about in the same tools that we talked about. Okay, so let's get drawn. All right on Welcome Now to tip number one shaped, variety shaped variety is a big subject, even bigger subject behind it is using shapes. Teoh communicate your character designs, but it's kind of true of everything in life. I mean, when I look at life drawings on dime, drawing the figure, I'm working it out into shapes, and I'm trying to figure out the sort of just shape is kind of an over one, and maybe the pelvis area is kind of Ah, a little of a circle. There's kind of tube shakes and you've seen this for the arms and you've seen this in, like many art books, right? But it I think it's great because it helps you to get a flow in your character, and it helps you to kind of understand the dimensionality of it, too. And it gives you a whole lot better, sort of drawing and kind of work it out in a quick way. So that's using shapes to create, uh, your first sketch of either a complicated actor or life drawing. So I'm strongly suggesting use shapes and everything you dio and it really is the core, I think, to becoming a better artist. Now that's the big subject. What? I really want to concentrate on his shaped variety, and this is what the tip is about today. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna introduce Josh. Josh is a very simple face character, and I'm gonna try and show you how to kind of create new characters out of these very basic shapes. Uh, as you can see here, Josh is just a very simple circle with the crosshairs a little circle eyes here, uh, oval for the nose, but all kind of evenly spaced, as you can see, And then the mouth and then sort of this gel shape off of that circle and little half circles for years. OK, so that's all there is to Josh. Now, I'm gonna introduce the idea of shape variety to this by creating new characters with those exact same shapes. But instead of say, uh, when I'm when I would call this Josh Circle as being sort of the largest shape because it goes from here to here with a medium is shape for the jowl shape underneath it, Um, let's do one where we do a small cranium shape and let's dio see kind of a wider general shape. And now let's put the missy will put the eyes, you know, kind of high, but keep him fairly big about about where they are now on the normal, Josh. But let's put his nose up here and then likewise is mouths way down here. Maybe bigger half moon. Here's here. This is almost, like wreck it. Ralph kind of proportions, right? But it's a whole new character, right? I'm using the same shapes. I'm just playing with shaped variety by now, making the cranium circle more of the smaller one and then really kind of, Ah, almost half in half. So I guess we could say That's a medium and this is a medium. So now we're more equal in these two shapes. Now let's do one where we take it even further and we *** Well, not snake circle, even really big a little team jowl down here. Let's bring the island down really low and make big guys okay a little bit more oval with him, too. And now, if we add the Oval State kind of high like that and the mouth here and bring down the ears shapes is, well, half moons. We have a lot younger looking character, don't we? Now, all the sudden, it's kind of like a baby Herman or something from the Roger Rabbit cartoons again, still using the same shapes but using him with a lot more variety, and I can even show you some here. Here's some more than done earlier. Look at these guys all wildly different. Sorry. Um, you know, same shapes, but just playing with the shapes a little bit like here, created more of an oval shape on this guy for his head, the middle guy and but all of them using the same shapes. And here's even a younger face here, but done a little bit differently. Um, you know, So it looks probably like I think this is more of a baby. This is more like a seven year old or something like that on then this stretched face looks a little bit older automatically to, so you get agent age out of it, too. You get a whole lot more variety. So let me let me push this even a little bit further and talk about shaped variety as applied to, let's see, so has applied to the whole body. All right, so now here's using small, medium and large, Um, and, um, in the body. Okay, so this if this is the more average kind of a body right here with a smaller head, the midsection, the torso is the medium which the torso in the pelvis or the chest of Elvis and then long legs for number three. Here it's the larger leg area, and I number them. 123 and then four are the hands and feet. I kind of keep them a sort of a sub thing to play with. Now, I've already drawn this, but now let boom I, taking those exact same things now have applied it to the body, not just the face. And I've taken shape Number one, the head I made even smaller shape member to the torso. I've made a huge now along with the arms and then shape number three of the legs of man, Amaryllis Squad and thick, um, and now instantly have a kind of a superhero character in their villain or hero. But it's it's, ah, definitely kind of a massive character and even took, uh, number four the hands and feet and made of even smaller so that everything you know, all the outer pieces, the head, the feet, the hands are all kept really small so that we can have a really massive big chest, especially, but also legs and arms that will really show off just this massive, hulking character. So, uh, that's really in a nutshell. In a very quick way. This basic thing of trying to use shaped variety and applying it to your character designs . I'll tell you, as soon as you start going down that road, you're gonna find a lot more options. You know, as you're designing characters for whatever you're working on in comic books or comic strips or animation or just your own personal projects. This using this shape variety is really gonna make your your character designs go to the next level from good to great, Okay, so onto the next. 3. Tip 2: Creating Depth with Your Final Line: all right. And now for tip to now, this one's kind of interesting is something that I picked up when I went to Disney. And that is how to take a rough drawing, much like step one at the beginning. I told you about the three step process of drawing a character enemy drawing. Uh, this is involves more step two and three, where we're starting to add details. Now, a lot of people win you to do initial sketch. You fall in love with the energy of that drawing and all that, but now you have to think it or whatever and how many of us can kill it at that face, You know, you start, it gets flat. It's so easy to coat, go back in now and trace it or something like that. What we're going to talk about now is how to create death in your your final line drawing. And that's what this tips all about. One little story is when I first went to Disney, I was a head. It wasn't clean up. And what that meant is you taken animated rough drawing. This is in the days of traditional animation, so for like lying king and movies like that. And I was working with a famous animator Milk Market and Mark Ken had drawn Roger Rabbit for this Roger Rabbit cartoon, and I was supposed to take his rough drawings and then put another piece of paper over every single drawing and do a nice clean line. We we call that cleanup, and it's not a process that's done right now, but that training has really I learned so much about how important it is to get a sketchy drawing, which was marks drawing just like these rough drawing. But they look beautiful in that energy. And now to put another piece paper over that and now try and find the right line, the right line that he wanted not out of the six or seven that are trying to pull up the one that was the best one. And it also not killing the drawing. When I put down that final line, I could then compare the two afterwards, and if I did my job right and use a lot of these tips and I'm gonna show you, you still think that cleanup drawing look great and that's called plus ing again that's that concept of making the drawing better and better. So that's we're gonna talk about is taking that rough drawing and making it better as we tie it down more. All right, welcome to tip number two. This is creating depth when putting down the final line. Let's talk a little bit about that, because are things you can do that are all about drawing dimensionally? Um, that will make your drawing stronger as you tie them down as you refine them more, and one of them is three idea creating depth through line. OK, I always think you when I'm just drawing lines that I'm I'm sculpting, and I want you to get into that kind of a feeling. So if this is, say, like, a hand with or arm right with this horrible looking hand, um, I can I can make that look like it's coming at me more if that's what I want to do. But how overlap these lines, see how I've just, very simply, especially right here. I've created an overlap right there now, all the sudden I'm creating depth. Had I done the opposite of that and mean it made this line overlap the other one. I would make it look like the forearm is going away from us like this. And this was coming at us. But if that wasn't what I was trying to get across, if I wanted to look like this hand this part of the arm say it's a hand on the hip, right? And then this This one is going away from us. That's the elbow here. Then I am gonna wanna have that overlap here, see if I do this. I know I'm just repeating myself, but if I do this now, it looks like this part of the arm is overlapping this one. And that's not what I wanted. I've killed the depth. So that's one minor minor thing, But one of many again, here's the other one to is drawing through whenever we're drawing. Baby Herman on. That was a Roger Rabbit character. Uh, really cute baby had these huge eyes, right? This he had these huge eyes and he always had these cheeks that would overlap that, you know, he kind of looked like that a little bit. So the cheek wit overlapped. And of course, we wouldn't draw the bottom of the I and it would look like this when it was it was more tight, uh, tightly cleaned up. But a lot of people, when they would clean that up, is they would. They wouldn't watch where the lines began and where they start. I have to tell people, you know, it's It's almost just as important wear line begins and starts as as as to where that Linus , Because if I were to draw this flat and draw that I and do this, it looks like or order in, here's the correct. So this is what not to dio. And here's what to do. This would be the out of the opposite of that notice that here will not make it even more defined here on the know here. What I've done is I'm drawing straight into that This line, the cheek line, this one. I'm curving into it. And it's all about this. These points right here. This is what I'm talking about with this one. If you didn't continue that line, you feel like this is what was happening. That it was a huge I and then a huge piece of of it was being covered up by that cheek and this one. It feels like it's just a little piece that we're missing. And that's a little more accurate. I mean, if you were gonna even in a cartoon world, it's all based on, you know, um not not is all based on reality. So when you do draw like a cheek overlapping in I you're basing it on reality. You wanted to go so far that feels like that eyes being buried by cheek. So doing this didn't look right. He would always look like it was sort of ending right into the cheek rather than it just feeling like the cheek was just kind of compressing over it. Uh, so part of what I'm gonna talk about is drawing through your character so on what does that mean? That means that if say, I'm drawing a character and this is his torso. This sort of being shaped here is the torso. And here's the legs coming out of that, um, I want to obviously be drawing through the character, especially when I do the next level where I start kind of adding clothes and things like that and what that means is really kind of thinking about the depth of that torso by drawing through that circle that that oval shape and then drawing the oval shape of the legs around here. Um, the oval shape of the lake here before hits the knee. Uh, and again the oval shapes here and and you don't have to all the time. But as long as you're thinking it, that's the most important thing is that I'm drawing through understanding what these shapes look like and the perspective that goes along with it, because, really, this might be a more flat shape here. He fixed that, and we get dimension from that. Now, if I put a belt on this character on, I'll switch colors. I know that it needs to go this way. It's gonna have a convex kind of a shape. I'm thinking, drawing through that same with sleeves on this. I know that the the shape is coming at us, and then this arm is going away from us. Then how I draw that that sleeve on there is gonna go along with that shape. I have a full understanding of of that. There's a shape here how I draw that to go around the neck here. You know, that's a sort of around caller here that matters of all these things matter. So give me a more dimensional drawing. Now, that's I'm gonna show that to you in, In practical matters here, this is a drawing I did on By the way, all of this applies to if you using pencil on paper or if you're drawing on a sin teak like I am, um, for this drawing, this is drawing. I did pencil paper and I scanned it in, and it was just one that I did. Is this cat warrior just for fun? Andi. So they can't warrior drawing. I want to now clean it up. But this is kind of what my first past looks like if I'm gonna tone this down just a little bit. So it's not so bright? No, What I started with if I back up does This is kind of how I first started drawing this. This drawing is I was drawing basic shapes and sorry, I was drawing all the basic shapes and trying to figure out where everything was supposed to land. And I was drawing a fairly dimensionally and trying to work out what? The chest to be out. Um, I'm gonna draw that the waste here, Um, and it really kind of. And I'm thinking about the flow, the shapes and all this and oppose the the dynamics of all that. But I'm drawing just basic shapes, and I said, Okay, I want to put this arm up here, get a little bit of civil wet here. And of course, he's got a sword that he's hold on to that. So I know automatically this arms coming at me, this arms going away from us coming at us and then therefore these shoulder things are gonna This was gonna coming at us. It's gonna be going away from us. I'm considering this. Look, A little belts wash here, of course, a tail at the back. So these are all the basic shapes that I also know that this is gonna have that kind of feel. So let me go over it really quick. And that's the thinking that I have going into doing just this rough red pencil. So now when I clean it up, I have an understanding of where all these shapes are. Because I did all those things So when I clean this up, I'm gonna really be defining, You know, all those shapes because now I know what the perspective is. And so I'm gonna be very careful about and this isn't how I would miss it. This is obviously a lot rougher than I would do, but I know that there's like a cheek that's going over these eyes. I want to define that. I want to make sure I see that knows. And then there's a dimensionality here to this muzzle. So I'm gonna make sure that I get that this side is smaller than this side, right? And all those things, because it's a 3/4 angle. I'm being careful. Make this I smaller over here, this one bigger on this side, defining that even in this jewel shape here, it's wider on this side. This year's obviously bigger and more dimensional. It's coming at us here. This one is going further way. It's smaller. Even I know that I have this sort of If I drew this through this, this sort of Darth Vader ish kind of Japanese warrior helmet is it would go through there, of course, that's going through his shoulders but that's it. Power draw through. So I know where I need to start and stop these lines to imply that it's going around this shape. Likewise, he's got a scarf on, so I know that dimensionally, you know, I want to draw that and then this is going over that shape. This is the scarf. It's going over that shape. This is going away for me, some being very careful, how I define the lines on it, that they look like they're going that way. Well, meanwhile, this was coming at us. So I carefully know that I need those to be coming at us and growing in size as they come at us. Likewise, the arm. I know that it's got this perspective where this part is going toward us and it's all coming toward us. I know that I got overlap. This line here read. Draw in the He's got sort of both these arms begin. This one's going away from us, got diesel, four armed guards, and so they They have to have the correct perspective to him, too. The hand is wrapping around the sword. Careful about making sure that I get that right in there where the knuckles are and even the perspective here. I know this is going. It's gonna be a little bit bigger at the top, the the handle of that sword, and then get smaller as it goes down. If I were to drop through it likewise is perspective to the the health of it, which is a rectangle shape and it Same here, of course. Sorry, That's this sort of coming at us. So it's going to get, you know, go smaller as it comes down and wider at the top. So these are on the same here. I know that. It's kind of a little bit of he's going away from us. So as I defined his chest and then I'm drawing through on this this wrap, this sash kind of a belt thing, it would if I drew it through it be kind of on oval like this, and then the same with this. It's coming out of that overlap here, cause this leg is in front of this legs that automatically gonna overlap, teach these lines here. So can you see what I mean by kind of sculpting it because I'm really thinking dimensionally even in this very cartoon drawing this this is overlapping the foot. So I get this s curve here as it comes rounds around, Uh, this foot shape and it seemed here it's kind of round he's gonna go around, you're gonna feel the dimension of that. But that foot and then as it goes away and around these aren't all just random accident shapes, right? I'm not only am I trying to create a flow through this whole character, I'm also trying to be extra dimensional, especially in this tie down phase. So let's jump ahead a little. But I actually did clean this up, and it's gonna look something like that. Um, as you could see, I did this and graphite, but I did this with all those things in mind. You know, how I was creating kind of curve shapes around the belt, and this aren't coming at us. This one going away that pushed this arm up a little bit further, made a few tweaks as I went through. Uh, hopefully you improve it, but this was my final graphite. Now we're going to return to this in the next tip or two. But this is where I'm gonna leave. This is just to say hopefully you're thinking about all these things as you are refining your character to get further and further along. So this tip is all about refining that drawing and plus ing it as you go. Thanks. 4. Tip 3: Taking One Last Look: All right. So for tip three, this is the one I call taking one last look. And I'll tell you, this is something. It sounds like a simple idea in concept, but we're gonna It's you're gonna see that there's a little bit more meat to it than you think. And that is that if you're like me when I do a drawing toward the end, especially by the deadline, or have a number of drawing, I have to get done in a short amount of time. Uh, as I started designing character usually, as I get down to the feet usually stop start top to bottom. They get down the feet, there's the people boat, and I kind of hack it out a little bit at the bottom. And it's I've found that out through years on. Then some other artists, friends telling me, you know, your feet don't look very good or your shoes. You know, I won't put as much time to those because of that. I started to really concentrate on this more, which is, you know, taking one last look so that when I'm done, I stopped for a moment I would look at and It's amazing how often, especially in professional, which you think would be the opposite. But even in professional studios and things like that, because of the deadlines, because you want to jump on during the or that drawing, give me another ideas. Just one grabbed a piece paper do that. Taking that half a 2nd 2nd toe look at one last time is super important, because now you have a chance to make it maybe 10 or 20% better. And that's what we're gonna talk about in this, and part of that process is another story I learned which was flipping the drawing over again. So we're gonna talk about that in this next bit and you're gonna see that taking that little less look and making those last a few tweaks could make your drawings at least 20% better. All right, now, welcome to tip number three. This one is called Take One Last Look. And I'll tell you, this is one that has taken me years to learn. It's the most obvious, probably of all of these two. Almost every time I do this, it improves it at least 10 to 20%. So I'm almost guaranteeing that will. You will improve your drawing if you do this and get into a regular rotation of thinking this way. So it's that taking that moment to slow down and taking one more look at it and I'm gonna go on to this drawing again from Tip number two of my Cat Warrior. It's a pretty final line on it. It's not super clean. I kind of wanted to keep it a little bit sketchy because that's the look I'm going for. But this is very similar. Teoh Ah, drawing style and a drawing level that I would use to for a client for showing some character designs and things like that. I do it fairly tight, so it's very clear what I'm trying to show. But I wouldn't go like super clean up line or inking or anything like that, Uh, because I think this gives it a little bit more life and we'll get into tweaking it even more so later. But this is something that you can dio in pencil on paper or in photo shop photo shop. It's a little easier on especially easier to kind of illustrate it, so that's what I'm doing in photo shop. But I want you to know you can do all these things pencil on paper on his ask old school. So this is my drawing. And I want to look at it one more time, and I go, Okay. Oh, boy. I see. Well, there are a couple of things I can I can refine and make better. It does look like I've completed everything. I don't see any lines that I forgot to draw in or things like that. So I think I'm good there. The next thing I do next step is I am going to reverse it. So I go into edit and I go into the silence. Wrong level. I select that level and I'm going to edit. I go to transform and I go flip horizontal. Now that flips my drawing. Now, obviously, if this is pencil on paper, this is even easier. You can just go on a light board and flip your drawing over, or you need to go to a window and kind of flip, go and put it up against the window. If it's a sunny day and I've been known to do that to even to this day. Well, here's one thing I learned years ago that I I tend to drop when I draw, even though it looks right one way. As soon as you flip it over your your mind sees it differently. Now, everything looks off on, um, part of that is that sometimes it iss I found that through the years that I lean things. For some reason, I always lean things so that they're like the I guess the drawings left side is kind of drooping lower. So when I flip it over, that makes it the drawings right side. So I can already see that right now. When I look at this and I go, okay, this I hear looks a little bit lower. Then it should be this, uh, same with the year here. Um, so what I automatically will do a lot of times when I flip the drawing over is now I will do again, go upto adit and then transform and I'll hit skew. And that makes it so that I can grab the side and I could just shift it up a little bit. And now I feel like these eyes are a little bit more on par that years, aren't you? The whole drawing feels a little bit more correct. So that's one thing that I tend to do almost every time when I get to this face. Now, the next thing I'm going to do and I'll put this on a on a different level for now, is let's talk about tangents. Tangents are when you have lines to say This is an arm, and then behind it is a shirt on this arm has stripes on it and in their stripes on the shirt to of course, this is a hand, Um, and that's the shirt. And then here we go with the stripes and I go like this and I get these tangents here, here, here, here where the lines are meeting in an uncomfortable way. Um, so I see that with any kind of very complex drawing, and this one kind of is complex because there's a lot of lines right in this area of the bow and the sword in the hand and the chest plate. So I have, like, a bad tangent right here. Let me see if I can do that in a different, brighter colors, like right here is a tangent. And let's see. Well, there's a probably about a 1,000,000 of them, but I'm gonna point out the most obvious ones that I can probably fix. Hopefully, you know, right, here's a trouble area, um, thing. Yeah, right here. And some people are really good at spotting him. Make you just go. Oh, yeah. Here, here, here. And believe it or not, it's something that I still struggle with. I don't I can easily create tangents right here, right here where the lines are touching or they're kind of meeting together so automatically I know make that smaller, that I know that I need to clean up this drawing and fix those tangents. So I'm really gonna go in here and a race where I'm creating problems and just find other solutions. I mean, it's just that easy. So in this case, so usually it just means either making something go down a bit lower or a little higher. So you could kind of clear up that area. This case I made that a little bit longer here. This one wasn't bad, actually, Um oh, down here. I could just change these lines here so that they just don't touch. They don't get so close that No, I have not. You know, it's a nice air there between there. Um, let's see over here. It's cheek. You know, she could be just moving it over here more. No, no, I just created another tangent. I just do this. Have a nice negative space there. No tangents. Um, again, there's more. No. And I'm trying to find him. Let's see that one. Was these with obvious ones to me? Oh, I have some over here too. Let's see. This line is moving right into this line and seeing here. This line is imaginary Lee kind of connecting to that one. So I just kind of clean that out. I'm gonna move that down. So these straps for the wider and they don't hands it Now with those lines here, it's pretty close. This one works here. This strap I'm just gonna move that over a little bit. And this seems like minor stuff. And and it is It is admittedly, especially when you start getting in the color too. Which is another step we're gonna do in a minute. You start seeing why some of this is important inspection. We have complex areas here with long a line work, all kind of jumbled together. Oh, here I have another tangent Where this, uh, let me draw it here on this other clay layer here where this is going right into that. Basically, this line looks like it's going through that finger and kind continuing through here. So we're getting kind of this strange, uh, tangent. There were your eyes kind of continuing that line. So, um, let's see, I will just move that up a little bit of this part of clean up groups, so I just make it a little bit clear. Okay. All right. Um, and again, there's probably more that you would find if you pause this. Look, I'm not gonna let you do that. Hopefully. But again, that was Those are my points. Is taking that last minute look and I don't know Did we make it 20% better? I don't think so, but let's But we did do a few minor things that definitely made it better. Let's see. Now let's put it back to thanks. Normal. There we go. And then we can even compare it to what it used to be. So that's what it used to be. This is what it is now again. Not huge, not huge to where maybe the average person can see it. Um, but I feel good that I made this better. And it's something that, depending on how much time you put into the original drawing of something, because again I put a little more time into this President has many things to change. But you're gonna find that if you apply this idea of taking one last look, reversing the drawing, going over it on the back and then maybe flippant back over racing and fixing those areas that you found on tangents or of lines that didn't have much death as you wanted, Teoh, um, you're gonna find that you can make your drawings at least 10 to 20% better, So give that a try. Thanks. 5. Tip 4 & Assignment: Using Photoshop to Finalize Your Artwork: all right. For tip number four. This one is a little bit more picky and we're going into the really finalizing your drawing now, as you can see from these tips and trying to kind of take you through the process of designing a character and we're not talking Aton about design, how to design a character and some of the drawing principles that go into it I mean, we are, but we're talking kind of specifically about certain angles. So in this one, I'm gonna assume that you've already got through this process of designing and character, and now you either drift original digitally or you draw traditionally and now you've scanned it. But this one's about four shop. So hopefully you have Photoshopped. You have a computer because in the professional world, this is really something you're gonna need to know. I'm on deviant art, and I have had a page there for many years, and I can't tell you how many times I've had people ask me this very simple question, which is how do you make your drawings look so good on deviant art? And it's almost like, you know, like a photography question or something like clearly because they tend to be just taking a picture on their iPhone or something like that. Well, one thing I tell them is I scanned the drawing. I have a scanner and I scan it. And and but then the part that I don't tell him because that's what we're going to be talking about today, and there's a lot of steps to it. It's how to make it look good and photo shop and how to kind of manipulate your drawing and take it to the next level. So we're gonna be talking about how to drop out some of the red and blue lines by using channels and things like that to be able to get a final line and something that you can color now. And so if this was a client job for a character John designed, I could take up more of a rough concept and really kind of clean it up pretty nicely, with only just using layers and certain filters and channels in fun shop and creates a very quick color version of that that I can assure client it looks pretty professional, So let's talk about that right now. All right. Welcome to tip number four on this one is all about using Photoshopped to finalize your artwork. So this is going really beyond just drawing skills and more in the technical side of things . But I thought it would be kind of nice and said we don't normally I don't normally talk about those kind of things to do it here. So for tip number four, what it is is taking a drawing like this where I've done either a light blue or a red under drawing, which I do a lot. And then I've gone over it with graphite and I do a nice clean drawing. The next step then for me is to take that scanned in the photo shop like this and say, I want to get it ready for color or something like that. So what I can do is I can take that drawing and hit up here on the care of the Sorry, the channels. Okay, but in here hit channels. And then if it's got red under drawing, I hit the red. If it's got blue under drawing, I hit blue. But in this case, it's red. So I hit the red and Boom, Do you see what happened there? Automatically? All the red comes out of it and they get a nice, clean drawing of just the graphite. It's something a lot of people don't know, but that's a really cool thing to be able to do in photo shop. Now what I can do is I can go up to file on our upstart into image and adjust levels, and then this this will pop up, and what I just tend to do is just to get out some of the grain that's in there. How kind of bring the light one over to the left. And that will kind of knock out some of the some of the green s at least the major areas. And they will take the black. And I come over quite a bit about into the middle almost and really get my lines a little bit thicker, figure necessary, but darker. Um, then I can easily go in here in either race or paint with white, and this is some areas that I had erased. So I just have some gray areas here. I could see that It just I was gonna knock it all out with the the sharpness. But remember, I fixed the tangents here, so I had some erasing marks that just work coming up completely. So it's good, just just to kind of clean it up again. This is something you could do a photo shop. Or if you're scan has dirt on it, he knows which mind usually does. This is a place for me to go in and just get rid of all those little smudges and things like that and clean up my image. Let's see your thoughts here again. That's from scanning some from erasing. And this is really gonna take your drawing again. Another percentage, you know, necessarily. And again, I can also add black lines. If I'm a racing back, the black too much, I might go in it, had that. Or maybe I'm seeing, like, last minute little things that I can a race and clean up to get cleaner line or whatever, Um, kind of jumping all around this drawing just kind of get finalized it even more so that I don't want it to look kinked. I don't want to go so clean that it looks eat, but I want it to clean it up, some to get. So when I add the color, I'm really defining the shapes even more so. All right. So I like that. And the last thing we need to do just to get rid of these extra colors is to go into image mode grayscale. It'll say, Discard other channels. And I'll say yep, because And so now I'm in grayscale. I can't do rgb Um and what I why did that is because it really messes it up later on when I had color. If I still have that that red, I have to turn on the other colors to add the color. So if I go completely grayscale now, I just have black and white. Um, now I can go into and go image mode again and go rgb color. And now I've got all my my tones back. But my artwork, it might at least my beginning artwork is all completely black and white. And now I'm gonna jump ahead a little bit because this is so that's got me a nice clean in black line just the way I want it so I can add my color and I'm jumping over to this one, cause I've already done it. Now what I'll do a lot of times is I will on this one. I'll hit. Uh, I'll select everything behind it and then x that out so that basically all I'm doing it cut out around the character on. And sometimes I'll even add White behind it. But basically, I just want to carve out the character from the white background. Done. And I've already done that, too. So what I can do then is that add a background to it. So now I can paint behind it on another layer, as you can see here this another layer behind it. And I'm just really quickly at its like a blue gray behind it and a little bit of a a tone behind it. I'm trying. I look go for a graphic look, so I'm not really doing airbrushing kind of step, and then I can because I have ah, white layer behind my black and white right. Then I can go on top of that. I usually at my color on top of the black line, just like that, and that is on multiply, so I could still see my black lines through it and the way hit. This was my expression. I went on online, and I found this really cool Japanese armour, and I kind of like the color scheme of it, especially with the turquoise and the mustard color. And then I used that as my reference here for my can't warrior. I always suggest that you always trying for reference one. You'll get inspiration from it, but also you kind of ground you in some history, like there's a little bit of history to do what I've designed, even though it's not. It's a very cartoony version of a sort of a Japanese show gun or Sam Roy Warrior kind of a costume. But that's kind of this tip right here is basically just how to get rid of your under drawing lines and get a nice, create clean black line and then a real quick way of coloring to. And as you can see, I've done a very kind of a cartoon coloring job on that. I'm not gonna go into all the photo shop stuff that you need to note it to cover a character like this because that's a whole another lesson. But there's others that probably would do it better than me to a Z could see I like a very cartoon kind of graphic covering anyway. So thanks for watching this. And this was the final tip number four. Okay, well, that's the four steps that the tips that I wanted to take you through for designing a better character. But we're not done yet. This is where the rubber meets the road. I want you guys to try out some of this stuff, and and I want you to design a character. So I've really enjoyed kind of going through nearly some stories, but also things I've learned at Disney and other studios and passing along to you. But where What's exciting to me is that now see what you kind of come up with. So while I designed a different character altogether for all these examples, I want you to design something completely different, something that I haven't done design yet. And basically, what mintues? I'll give you a description, and this will be posted up the site and you'll be able to see a description I made up of a character. I'm gonna call her Sandra Carrington and she's gonna be kind of a mid forties, kind of very rich, snobby ish kind of woman. And she's gonna have a little dog with her. Call Tiffany and you could design the dog if you want it or not. That sort of optional. Um, but you give you a nice little description. Hopefully, that will give you an idea of, uh, you know, what kind of shapes do I want to use and start experimenting and what I would suggest And this isn't a part. You need the post. I just want to see the final, probably of what you come up with. But I do suggest you Do you like four or six different designs of this character, you know, and use the side pencil. Like I said in a colored pencil and design a bunch of different shapes and, you know, she kind of top heavy, You see bottom, heavy issue, You know, I say she's mid forties. You know that She's she's old, that she's not old, old, she just mature on kind of. Maybe I even hint that she might be on the downward slope of her life so really kind of consider all those things when you look at photos of magazines and go online and just many think of a celebrity that you want to base it off or somebody you know, but come up with a kind of an animated from or in the comic books. Maybe it's gonna be a little bit more realistic character I M. Or an animation or even TV animation. I'm not really picky about style, not pushing style and in this lesson at all. So maybe it's more of an anime style for you just drawn a style that you either want to try or for this project or one that you're just used to and let's see what you come up with. I'd love to see him, so thank you for being a part of this, and we're hoping to do more. We have another lesson coming soon