Character Design for Animation: Design and Craft Memorable Personalities | Toniko Pantoja | Skillshare
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Character Design for Animation: Design and Craft Memorable Personalities

teacher avatar Toniko Pantoja, 2D Animator, Character Designer

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

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.

      Introduction

      1:24

    • 2.

      Getting Started

      3:15

    • 3.

      Developing Your Characters

      7:22

    • 4.

      Gathering Inspiration and References

      5:30

    • 5.

      Discovering Exploration Drawings

      10:06

    • 6.

      Posing Your Characters

      8:11

    • 7.

      Creating Your Expression Sheets

      8:30

    • 8.

      Final Thoughts

      1:47

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About This Class

Unleash your inner character designer and craft visually appealing and relatable characters that captivate your viewers. 

Stepping into a world of dragons, trolls, and talking dogs is just an average day for animator and story artist, Toniko Pantoja. Over the past decade, Toniko has spent countless hours developing captivating characters, directing animated shorts, and collaborating on blockbusters like How to Train your Dragon 3, Trolls, and Croods 2. Toniko’s technical precision and unique animation style has captivated millions of viewers helping him build  a community of over 335K on YouTube and Instagram. 

In this class, Toniko draws from both his personal and professional experience to help any animation enthusiast craft interesting and dynamic characters. With Toniko by your side, you’ll build visually appealing, relatable, and realistic characters that can fit into any personal animation project or even a project idea pitch.

With Toniko’s actionable and candid teaching style, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find helpful character references to inspire unique and interesting personas
  • Explore different visual versions of your character and how they fit into your story
  • Represent your story through your character’s emotions, attitude and personality
  • Develop interesting character dynamics through contrasting personas
  • Dive into realistic character posing and emotion to create a more believable story

Plus, get a look into some of Toniko’s previous characters and how he used posing and emotion to better communicate their story. 

Whether you’re building a full blown animation pitch or are exploring character development for the first time, this class will help you come up with new characters who can fit into any story or animation project. 

Basic animation knowledge and illustration skills will help streamline your learning process in this class. To follow along with Toniko, you’ll need a computer, Adobe Animate, and a drawing or graphics tablet. If you don’t have a tablet, you can also draw within Adobe Animate using a mouse. To continue your animation journey, explore Toniko’s full Animation Learning Path.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Toniko Pantoja

2D Animator, Character Designer

Teacher

Toniko Pantoja is a 2D animator, character designer and storyboard artist. His clients include Dreamworks Animation, Netflix Animation, Skybound, Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, TONKO House, Studio La cachette amongst many others. He has worked on notable productions such as Invincible, How to Train your Dragon 30 Wish Dragon, The Croods 2, KIPO: Age of the wonderbeasts, PIG: The Dam keeper Poems, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Trolls, Clarence, and other projects that are not yet disclosed. Although someone in the industry, Toniko views himself more as an independent animator and develops original projects of his own. Toniko has an online presence and youtube channel where he talks about his journey.

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Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: I love it when my friends see my characters and they empathize with them, they relate to them, and it holds a special place in my heart. Hi there, my name is Toniko Pantoja, and I am an artist within the animation industry here in Los Angeles. I've worked on production such as How to Train Your Dragon 3, The Creed 2. I've worked on TV shows like Kipo and The Age of The Wonderbeast. I like to tell stories. I like to make people laugh, and I like to communicate a part of myself and express a part of myself. With animation, you can tell a lot of different stories and scenarios. The way I would describe character design is coming up with a character and its visual look of what it can look like in animation. First, we're going to find our references, find inspiration. Then we're going to sketch our character out. We're going to do multiple takes, different explorations of our characters until we get something that we like. After that, we're going to pose out our character. We're going to focus more on the emotional side, drawing expressions ranging from happiness to sadness to anger. The bare requirement is really just a paper and a pencil. By the end of this class, you'll have the skills to be able to design three memorable characters. Great. Let's get started. 2. Getting Started: Hi, it's Nico. Welcome to this class where I'll be teaching character design. Characters are super important in an animation production because characters drive the story forward. Characters make decisions, characters learn from each other, and characters learn from their journeys. Characters are super essential when it comes to telling a story, because they're the ones that represent what the story is all about. With good character design, it's going to make characters visually appealing, readable, and clear. I love designing characters because I put myself into it. I use myself as a source of inspiration. I also get to tackle different subject matter and different types of characters, ranging from humans to non-human, to inanimate objects, to a lot of things. I get to wear many skins with character design. I have a lot of favorite character designs throughout animation history. One of them is Puss in Boots from DreamWorks. It's one of the first characters I got to work on. I grew up with Cartoon Network shows back in the '90s, so Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo, and all those popular shows back then. Very great shapes, very iconic. If you see them, you just recognize them. Coming up with characters for personal projects is always fun. They all represent a part of me. It's also a reflection of how I view the world, and the type of world that I want to explore. This class is about coming up with a memorable character design. We're going to also be talking about contrast in character designs. We're going to also talk about how to pose out your character, and come up with expressions and emotions for your characters that feel believable and life-like. By the end of this class, you'll have a drawing of 2-3 different characters, all contrasting from each other then we'll choose one of those characters. We'll have a sheet with expressions, we'll have a sheet with character poses, and we'll also talk about how to explore early exploration and designs for your characters before settling on one. The important thing here is not to worry too much about your draftsmanship skills or how good you are at drawing, what really matters is taking the inspiration that you can find from life, from experiences. Gather those inspirations, the things that you like, the things that resonate with you, and see what you can learn from them. I'm going to be talking about how I collect references for my own work, and how I utilize them in my drawings. For this class, I'll be using a computer and a tablet. The computer being my operating system and the tablet, or the Wacom tablet, being my drawing instrument. I'll be drawing in a program called Adobe Photoshop. This is where I'll just be sketching. I'll be drawing it as if it was on paper. Speaking on paper, the bare requirements for this class all you really need, if you can, it's just paper and pencil. I draw on paper and pencil a lot, so it's still a good choice. Join me in the next lesson. We'll start thinking about our characters, we'll start coming up with ideas for our characters. I'll see you there. 3. Developing Your Characters: The way I think about character development, is I think about several things. I think about their goals, their desires, their strengths or their attributes like what they look like, their personality, and all that. But if I'm, let's say fleshing out a story with different characters, then I think about how they contrast from each other. Because, I think interesting character dynamics. I like to think about how characters are different from each other, and how they act as foils towards each other. I already have a character, and a world in mind, and let me just talk about that. Let me pitch it through. I have three characters in mind. I have a very stoic samurai, who he's just a big burly guy, and then I also have a very cute robot that's very fun and adventurous. Then the third character is someone that's very evil, dangerous, mysterious, so they're all very different from each other. Now, I have this in mind, but it's still very foggy. For me to clarify that out, I have to write that out myself. I'm not going to draw the characters themselves, but I'm just going to draw a representation of them. Let's say big burly guy is going to be a block. Then the robot, I imagine him, or it to be this very cute, bouncy looking thing with limbs, so let's just draw a circle. Now we're having a visual. This is just for my reference of visual imagery to see the contrast against each other. Our next character is going to be this evil character, or this dangerous character. Let's make it a very dangerous triangle. Now we have some visual imagery of these characters, and now from here, I'm going to start thinking about who they are. I can write these as bullet points. When I think about bullet points, I think about, my first bullet point might be who they are, in terms of maybe job, or being whether they're human or not. Then maybe my second point would be about personality, and certain attributes, whether it's physical , or physical description. Then maybe if you have a story figured out in your head, maybe you have something that's more fleshed out, then you can probably write goals and wants. Goals and wants, strengths, and weaknesses. This is more internal stuff. I'm just going to drag this up as reference, just so it's up there. When I think about these shapes, or when I think about these characters, I can resort back to this. I've already established my rectangle is going to be the samurai or warrior. Then our circle, or our ball is going to be robot, time traveler from the future, and our triangle is going to be a wandering Ronin, or wandering assassin. I'll just put wandering assassin. Now I've established you, these characters on who they are, their job, their occupation. Now I'm going to start thinking about their certain attributes, or their physicality, or their personality. Let's start with the samurai: stoic, serious, honorable, strong. The robot: fun, charming is such a general word that can be used for anything really. But for this one it's going to be like, let's say it's cute, playful. Now we're starting to see a contrast between the personality, and the character, between the samurai and the robot. One stoic and serious, one is fun and charming. Let's move on to the wandering assassin, or the wandering Ronin: evil, dangerous, no honor, no morals. Now they're all very different from each other, now that we see it. In terms of goals and strengths and wants, I don't think I personally have any strong story behind them, but let's say I want them to follow a certain code or a certain paradigm. I can just write that down to show what their role is in this world. Maybe for the samurai warrior, to uphold the law or the code authority. Then for our ball, this robot just wants to learn about the world he's in, wants to belong, and maybe this wandering assassin let's say, likes to ruin stuff. Again, very simple, very binary black and white stuff, and is for the money mating. I encourage you to brainstorm, if you have fully fleshed out characters to think about what their weaknesses are, because that's going to also help you figure out what their design is all about. Maybe the summary fears his way of life being lost. Maybe this robot time traveler, wants to learn, wants to belong. There's already a hint of the fear, maybe loneliness, scared of being abandoned. This robot has feelings, and the wandering assassin, what is he afraid of? Afraid of justice, or hates is justice. I invite you to start thinking about your characters, your world, and start writing it down like this. Join me in the next class, we're going to start finding and building our references. 4. Gathering Inspiration and References: In this lesson, we're going to start looking for references for our characters. It's good to understand who our characters are before we draw them and we need to understand how to draw what they are before we just start. Now, you can find references from many different places. Google Images is an easy one. I like to find references from movie productions and from film. You can have books or you can have real-life examples that you have access to. For this case, I don't have all my resources. I don't have the costumes in front of me. I don't have a live-action movie with me, so Google is your best friend. I like to go to Google Images and start searching for references. When you're trying to find your references, start very general, start with samurai costume or warrior costume and then the more you research, the more you're going to find clues about specific time periods or specific styles of costumes and they have names and then you're going to go, "Okay, that's interesting." I can find something that's more specific for that. The more specific your references are, the more grounded your characters will become. It's going to come from a place that comes from a place of honesty and a place of just being really specific. Now, when you're finding references, this can be anything. This can be costumes. For me, since I'm working with animation and design, I look at favorite cartoons. Like for the summer, I was finding designs from my favorite cartoon shows of all time like Samurai Jack and seeing how they handled designs for Samurais. You can also find existing cartoons, media, and property that have dealt with the same subject matter and see how they problem-solve, like for example for Samurai Jack, I want to see how they simplify the shapes. I want to see how they made things a bit more graphic or how they turned a really complicated design of what looks like a Samurai and made it much more appealing or made it more stylized and easy to draw. If you have a certain style in your head, like, let's say you want to draw into style of the Hannah Barbera cartoons of the day. So that's like Fred Flintstones. You also find references of cartoon styles that you might want to try and take inspiration from. What I would advise you to do is to start finding your references and download them, put them in a folder. I like to make a folder, and I like to make a separate folder for each character and put different types of references in that folder. I'm going to walk through the references I've found that feel appropriate for my designs. For my robot character, I like this design because of the shape, language, and limbs. This is something that I'll take inspiration for for the actual character design. I like the idea of a screen for the face. When I look at designs like E from Wile E, I really like the idea of just eyes expressing the character's emotions. Some of these shapes are super cute and super appealing. Again, it's just like how do I find ways to personify a robot character? Again, just finding random bits and pieces of inspiration of like, what are some design elements I can add to this robot character like, oh, I think that'd be very charming to have a floppy disk drive on this robot even though it's from the far future, but I think it just feels futuristic. Then for my samurai, for example, I was also trying to hunt for a lot of different inspirations for the types of costumes that we can get for a samurai character. I even looked up shows like Samurai Jack's to see how they designed some of the characters, how they broke down some of the shape language that could be good for complicated costumes. I even look at actors who played roles of a samurai to see what their charisma was all about, to see what made that appealing. Again, researching a bit of their history and just more costume ideas, just more personalities I can find, more faces for what this character could look like. I even did the one for our wandering Ronin, our evil guy. I started off with very simple straw hats and then as you can tell, I got a little more specific with the type of straw hat that I want and some of the shapes. I think this feels very ominous to me. There's something about this hat to me and maybe associated with a sword and a weapon just feels quite dangerous. Just me trying to research and find inspiration for these character designs. When you're finding character designs, I found very low res images, but find the best images that you can, or find images that you can look at and say this is something that I can work with, it's clear to me. But again, find references from different places, whether it's from video games, whether it's from film, or whether it's just straight from the Internet. Join me in the next lesson. We're going to pull off our references and we're going to turn them into actual drawings and designs using our references as inspiration. 5. Discovering Exploration Drawings: On this next lesson, we're going to move forward working with one of our characters and we're going to explore different varieties and different explorations of what this character could look like. For this character that I'm going to be working with, I'm going to choose the robot because I think it's a fun character. It's a simple character and again, I can see so many different possibilities with a character like the robot. I have an idea of what this character it looks like already so that's why the references I chose are quite limited. It's because I have an idea of what I want. Now I'm just going to do exploration stages. Let's do about three or five. I think that's a good number. Let's start. It's like thumbnailing for storyboarding so you start with very simple shapes so let's start with this robot. When I was writing the character, I just thought okay, a ball. Then I'm also going to look at my references like to see, it had a screen for face. It had eyes like this. Then I know that I wanted the arms to be a bit low and the legs just to show up like that. It's a very simple character. That's one exploration. Let's try different variations of shapes and designs. Maybe instead of just a ball-shape, what if we went for something that looks like something that's more blocky, something that's more like a computer monitor from back in the day. Then maybe it actually has the torso or a little body and little legs. I'm still thinking about the reference of the character design. I still want it to have like very newly limbs and very extended limbs so I still want to implement that. I still have an idea of what this character generally looks like, but I still want to figure out the overall design choices for this character. That's variation one, two and a three. What else can we do? Let's say, what if the head shape is a little more beveled. Then the monitor's up here and what if we move the arms all the way up here? Again, we don't know what our final character design will be. We're just exploring. One thing I want to bring up as I draw my characters, either in a front view angle or three-fourth angle. I choose a three-fourth angle because that shows the most information in terms of what this character could look like depth wise. A three-fourth angle is when the character is facing somewhere just off-screen. Body-wise, angle-wise, not fully sideways, but not fully front ways. It's somewhere in-between where you can see a bit of the side of the shoulder and the face. We're getting a bit of both worlds. I know I want this robot to be Q. What if we gave it very cute expression. We have three different variations. Let's do another one. I'm going to do maybe two more for now. But something I just remembered and this is something that you're going to also want to think about again, is, remember, where is this character set? That's also going to help determine what this character is wearing or what this character is holding. Let's do another pass. I wonder what if this character had little antennas on the side. That feels very retro-futuristic but let's go for it for now. I'm thinking this character already has a little belt buckle and a sword right by it. The great thing about hunting down references is you learn a bit of history of some of these costumes and some of these references. Like I just realized that a samurai carries two swords. Maybe he's already wearing some of the shoulder pads the samurai would wear. Now we're getting a bit more specific. I liked the idea of having this character wear costume. Let's try one more. Let's figure that out. Now, in my later passes, I can also start to think about what I like about some of these previous designs. I like the simplicity of the first one. I also like some of the limbs. I like the head shape of my third one and I like the costume idea of my fourth one. Now I realize that I'm not really into the torso body. Maybe that's not something that I want to utilize. I like the idea of just a ball with legs and arms. I think that's super appealing. Let's try a pass that takes the best of both of these worlds. Something that's still round and beveled. Let's say I like the monitor or the monitor of the screen face to be a bit up still. I like the cute expressions of the third one too. Let's try what that looks like. I realized that when I look at my references, I like the idea of having a floppy disk drive. For some reason to me it just feels very mechanical or robotic, just like a drive or a socket. Just to show that this is like a walking, talking computer. Maybe its limbs like I said, I like where the limbs are in the first place, so I'm going to start referencing that. Then my legs. I like it when my legs taper outwards. What I mean by taper is things shrinking when you draw it or things extending. Things like arms and limbs. For this case, I want to, let's say taper it so it's getting smaller by the knees, but then taper out when we get to the legs. Now that I look at it, I think that looks a bit awkward, but tapering is a very important thing to know about in character design. I think I like it when it's more subdued. Then now, like as mentioned from our fourth pass, I really like the idea of having elements of a costume so maybe we can add a headband or a bandana. I think this character would be funny if it walked around with a tail that represented an electrical cord. Just to give it a bit of that personality and to make it look a bit more flimsy and clumsy. Something about this character starts to feel a bit more childlike. Even though I say that I use myself as a source of inspiration I also think about other people and people that I know are sources of inspiration too. I'm thinking about my friend's kid who's very aloof and very oblivious. Let's give it a sword. Now, I think we have a character design that's much closer to what I want. Even though I just did the robot, I've already done examples of the other two characters, the Samurai and the Ronin. I want to show you that. Here are all my characters standing next to each other. I like to think about shape, language and contrasts and this is why I started with the whole ball, rectangle, and triangle to see if I can come up with designs and shapes at best represent them. We have our robot character, we have our Samurai. Again this is after explorations of different shapes. I've also been using reference to get more specific with the designs and then for our Ronin character, this is when I learned, it's not just a normal straw hat, it's very specific straw hat that hides surface completely I even made some of the cloth feel a bit more spiky or sharp with triangles to make it feel dangerous, to make it feel ominous and just a very cautious shape. Once you've established on one design that you're happy with, then we can move forward with exploring our posing for our character. That's what we'll do in the next lesson. 6. Posing Your Characters: In this lesson, we're going to talk about how I go about posing my character and how I think about giving it attitude while trying to figure out the logistics and how the character design works. In the last lesson, I settled on our fifth character design. I'm going to select my character design and paste it into my new document. Let me just rotate the Canvas. I go to Image. I hit "Image Rotation" and I hit "90 degrees clockwise", and then I paste my character. So now I'm going to start thinking about posing. When I think about poses, I still look at references. I take pictures of myself doing the pose, or I find clips or find images of poses that I want. In my other screen, I was finding pictures of kids, because this character resembles a kid to me. So I think let's find something that's very childlike in terms of poses and expression. I was looking at Google images to find references for that, of kids sitting down by a campfire Just to see what are some of the subtle nuances they would do when they sit down. So I like the idea of kids or this character just sitting maybe on their butt, or maybe they're squatting. Again, this character design is so specific, so I have to be creative with how to problem-solve this. So if a character is sitting down, I want it hunched over, maybe hugging its own legs. I'm just going to again use the drawing that I have as a reference and just try and study from the references that I find and have it. I'll get its own legs. Like it's sitting down. Maybe it's camping. Maybe it's frying a piece of meat. But a robot doesn't eat, but I think it's still charming to have a robot kid sitting by campfire. So I study my references and I like to just draw it out. Let's just draw a campfire just to give it context. So that's the thing about storytelling with drawing. It's like giving enough clues and information to hit what this character is doing. Maybe he's bored. So I'll probably give a very rough expression. Then sometimes I'll look at references of poses of what this character would look like fighting with a sword. So this is where a lot of that gesture drawing comes into play. So again, I'm being very loose, but I like to draw in very broad shapes and very rough and loose. So when I think about poses, I don't just think about characters doing a dynamic pose just for no reason. You can't do it that way but for me, interesting characters have a bit of character and story. So let's do one more pose. I'm thinking, what's a good pose that I could do? Maybe a character just like running. I think you can also look up references. I'm going to do that because I did type in people just running. From here you can be as rough or as loose as you can be and really sketchy like I did. What you can also do is if you're happy with your poses and you want to make the character a bit more solid, you can grab a new layer and start drawing a bit more clean for example. Now I want to talk about the poses itself and how you can think about coming up with your poses. So I'm going to list several bullet points that you can think about when coming up with your poses for your characters. Let's write that down. I always like to look for references, references to understand the mechanics of the pose. Meaning, what makes this pose work? What makes it believable? What are the arms doing? So it's where the mechanics of your drawing. So how a person holds a sword or how a person runs like really analyze that. Another thing that I wanted to think about, the problem-solving aspect of it, because like this character, for example, has no torso, meaning it has no chest and no pelvis, it's just a head with arms and legs. How do I still retain some of the believability of these poses even if the character design itself is a bit odd. So I'll write that down, problem-solving with design. Then another one that I want to think about is things like performance, character acting, emotions. Character acting. So this includes attitudes and personality. When I do animation poses, I really want to showcase how this character does a certain thing, because everyone does things differently, whether we're running or something, our personalities will affect that pose. The last thing actually is all of these added together is clarity and storytelling. So when I see a pose, it's clear, it's readable. You can see what this pose is all about. You can see that, let's say this person is fighting with a sword and it's fighting aggressively, or this character is running away. But not only is it running away, it's running away scared. So really think about adding a bit of story elements to your poses. I invite you to come up with several different poses for your character. I did three to four poses. You can do more if you want to if you want to keep exploring your character. I want to show you some examples that I've done with other characters. So first, I want to show you that samurai that I did. I looked at Kendall poses. I also try to implement a bit of the character acting to make the character feel a lot more aggressive. So for me, I was also trying to problem-solve a lot of how this would work with the character's costume or with this character's overall shape. So it's me trying to study my reference too. Here's some other examples where I add a bit of character and attitude. A girl playing a guitar and singing to a microphone. Maybe your characters are more realistic, maybe your characters are more graphic and simplified. What's important is just to keep exploring your poses to see what best suits your character and think about clarity. So keep working on your poses, keep exploring your character positions and acting. Once you feel ready, we're going to move on to the heart and soul of our characters which is the face and the expressions of our characters. So join me next time for that. 7. Creating Your Expression Sheets: In this lesson, we're going to talk about faces and expressions, things featuring the eyes and the mouth. The reason why expressions and emotions are highly important in animation is because animation is a very expressive form of medium and characters express and emote with facial expressions or poses. With that in mind, we're going to draw different expressions for our characters. I want to draw five expressions because I have these five expressions in mind that are great for just character design in general. The first one is neutral. This means a character in their resting expression. It's just a very standard resting emotion. Then the second one will be our character happy. The next one will be our character angry. Then the last two are sad and surprise. Now, let's start with our neutral expression, this means this character in its resting pose. You can be creative depending on what your character design is. Maybe the character only shows its eyes, there's no mouth yet and this is a creative decision that I'm working with. This is where its limbs will go. Okay, neutral. Now, let's look at happy. What would that look like? When I do expressions, I like to whip out my phone or a mirror, set the camera on selfie mode, and just practice expressions just to see those subtle nuances my face is making and this is going to help me give clues on how to draw some of these shapes. When I look at myself and I do happy, I notice that my eyes squint a bit and it was close going upward, so I'm going to give that robot squinty eyes with the arc going upwards and then maybe a mouth. I'm thinking, should the mouth be wide open, or should it be closed like this? I want to do wide, I think that's super clear to me. You decide. Now I'm going to go for, what's my next expression? Angry. I'm just going to take pictures of my face doing all these expressions right now, so angry, next is sad, surprise. I think those three are pretty important. I might take liberties with these expressions because I'm human so I have limitations. I also have big cheeks that also prevents me from expressing the corners of my mouth, so I'm going to cheat that a bit. I would also recommend you to use other references too. I don't have any references loaded up, but if you have let's say your favorite cartoons or animation, load up expressions of those characters on a separate screen and use that as a guide to figure out what shapes you want for your character design. Let's do angry. This character doesn't have a nose and noses cell the angry expressions really well. But I noticed that my eyebrows go down, and this is a decision that you might have to make. That's the problem-solving of character design too. It's like what's appropriate because I can get away with the eyes slanted like this, this feels pretty angry to me. But then I can also sell even more buy adding brows to it and I noticed that there's a tension on my eyebrows to really sell that. I noticed that one of my lips is quivering up to sell that asymmetry and notice tense there too. We have a version of an angry expression and again, this is where the limbs will go. That's angry and then the next one, sad. I know when I'm sad my head drops and if I was drawing this character shoulders, that also plays a role in the expressions. When I'm angry, I tense up, when I'm sad, I drop down. Shoulders help sell the attitude and expressions of things. Sad, let's see what that looks like. Eyes arching down, eye tense and when I do tension, I really indicate the creases of the lines or the little muscles in my eyebrows to really help sell that and then the character's mouth arching downwards. I can even sell this even more by being a bit more creative, let's say I give this character a teardrop. Because it's got a very graphic user interface for a face. Now let's do surprise. For this last expression, I could be experimental and maybe have the head stretch, just like my head is stretching in my reference. You notice that my head is a bit tilted, but one thing for sure is that my eyes are just fully open. I'll use the shape of my own mouth for my reference to show that. I mean I could break design a bit and make it really wide and just keep playing with those shapes. There we have it, we have very rough versions of some of these expressions. I want to show you the expressions I did for the samurai character. The samurai character is human so it was easy for me to reference this character because there's a lot of similarities with my face and his face. But I also got to be a bit more playful and expressive with the eyebrows and the mustache that this character has. If let's say a character is startled, the mustache goes all frenzied and when it's sad, maybe the mustache drops down. But all these expressions that I have all come from a place where I'm looking at myself and studying from life. One of my favorite parts about character design is just doing facial expressions because you can get really specific with them. I'm going to load up some examples of that, of what I've done in the past. Again, I've explored different styles of animation, some of them are more realistic, some of them are more detailed, some of them are a lot more cartoony, for example, I'm going to load that up. Some of them are playful. Sometimes I'm dealing with characters that are not human. You also have to be creative with how can you show believable human-like expression to a character that's not human. You have to really think about that problem-solving element that I kept talking about earlier. Just a bunch of different explorations of my characters. Doing expressions or expressions, in general, are important for characters because characters emote, they have feelings and they have to be able to show that visually. Some characters show it differently than others. Some characters are more exaggerated than others, but what's important is that when characters express and when they achieve a goal, they express. When they interact with each other, there's so many different emotions being expressed and that communicates story. 8. Final Thoughts: Hey, we just reached the end of the class and we did a lot of things related to character design. Now that we've done something like this, we can now use our character in multiple or different scenarios. You could pitch a character for a show idea, or you could use your character for a story idea that you have. Even though I just focus on one character, I want you to design and develop 2-3 different characters, all contrasting each other, all different from each other and come up with separate expressions and poses for each of those characters. I think it's important to have 2-3 different characters because they elaborate on the type of world these characters live in and how all these characters interact with each other or how they're all different from each other. There's something very rewarding about coming up with a character that's memorable to people and that's special to you. Because when people like your character, when they start to love your character, and when a character expresses heartbreak and when the audience or your friends or people that see your character feel that same outbreak and feel the same way, there's something very special about that. I think characters are just another way or another lens in how we look at life. Keep developing characters, keep making characters. Find someone that you know in real life and make a character based out of them and see if you can caricature that, if you can exaggerate that, poke fun at that. Have fun with it. Character design should be fun. When you're done and ready with your character design, upload it to the project gallery because I'd love to see what you came up with. If you enjoyed this class, I have other classes that you can check out on Skillshare, ranging from animation to story-boarding. I'll see you later.