Level Up Your Characters: 5 Techniques for Creating Better Character Designs | Hayden Aube | Skillshare

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Level Up Your Characters: 5 Techniques for Creating Better Character Designs

teacher avatar Hayden Aube, Illustrator & Designer

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Dynamic Poses


    • 7.

      Next Steps


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About This Class

Level Up Your Characters is designed to equip artists of any skill level with reliable tools that can be used any time, with any character, to make it better.

Whether you are creating a new character or reworking an old one, this class will walk you through five easy to understand (but hard to master) techniques for taking good designs and making them great. Don't want to learn all of them? That's okay, because each lesson stands alone so you can jump straight to what you want to work on!

Class Outline

  • Cliches: How can we break away from what people expect to create characters that are unique?
  • Questions: How can we improve our characters before even touching pencil to paper?
  • Exaggeration: What are the most important aspects of our character and how can we push them further?
  • Proportions: What size relationships will best tell the story of our character?
  • Dynamic Poses: How can we reinforce our character's concept just by changing it's pose?

Class Resources

Meet Your Teacher

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Hayden Aube

Illustrator & Designer


Hayden here and I am an illustrator, designer and most importantly to you, teacher!

I am constantly hunting for the actions that will have me producing my best work possible--I assure you it's no easy feat. That's why my primary goal in all of these classes isn't to give you just any information, but only the information that's going to make the biggest difference in your work. Think of it as optimizing your artistic development ;)

So if you're looking to level up your skills in design and illustration, consider checking out my classes. I've gone to great lengths to keep them short and to the point so you can get the information quickly and jump to creating.

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hey guys, my name is Hayden, and I am an illustrator and graphic designer and in most of the work that I do, there is an underlying theme and that is that I made a lot of characters. Now, in one of my previous classes, level up the colors. I walked through a bunch of techniques for taking old designs, and making them better through of some color improving techniques. Well, we're going to be doing the same thing with character design today. That means we're going over five techniques, each one standing alone as a tool that you can use at any point to take an old character design that's good, and make it great. In each of these techniques, I'm going to be explaining it, and going over the idea then I'm going to be showing you how it's applied to a bunch of different scenarios and then finally, I'm actually going to take one of my own personal designs, and I'm going to make it better by using the technique we are talking about and the beauty of this class is that if you decide that you only want to work on one technique, say posing, that's all you need to watch. Each one of these techniques stands alone, and does not need the other videos, so you can jump straight to what you want to watch. That being said, I do recommend checking them all out. Regardless of your skill level, if you're looking for a series of techniques that you can apply to your character designs at anytime, then this is the class for you. Whip out some old sketchbooks, find some designs that could use some work, and let's get to it. 2. Cliches: With the first and second technique, we're really going to be focusing on the concept of your character. This is because you can do the best job of executing, you can make a completely beautiful character. But if the concept falls flat, then it's not really going to stick with people. One of the best ways to have it connect with people is to separate it from what they're used to. When you think of knights, you think of shining armor and long curly golden locks, when you think of a burglar you picture the ski mask and all the bags of money. There are a lot of these cliches in the character design world and a really good technique is trying to avoid them. How do we go about avoiding these cliches? The great thing is because they are the default thing that's there, a lot of time all we have to do is sit down and draw for them to come about. Whatever your character is, if you just sit down and start drawing it, it's very likely that many of the first drawings you do or at least all of them in some way are going to have some cliche. Again, shining armor for a knight or maybe it's a damsel in distress so she's thin and frail and scared. There's a lot of these things that you're just going to think of immediately when you start to draw a character. Let's consider that it's a pirate that you're drawing. It will be very surprising in your first couple of drawings if you didn't do things like peg legs, eye patches, or putting a parrot on the filter. That's because cliches are cliches for a reason. They're the first things that we think of. Sometimes, all that we need to do is just get them out of our system so that we can move on to ideas that are more unique. Once we've taken some time to draw what first comes to mind, we can slow ourselves down a bit and focus on drawing things that are outside of that. Once we have a good handle on what those cliches are for the character we're drawing, we can actually decide how strictly or how loosely we want to adhere to them. Depending on the project, you may need to make it very obvious that you're drawing a pirate. You might still want to include some things that are obvious, you might want to include a big pirate hat, a skull, and crossbone somewhere, some key identifiable trait. That being said, it's always helpful to lean on the side of loosely adhering to the cliches because that's the path to more interesting designs. Now, maybe you're not as hip to the cliches of what you're drawing maybe it's something a lot more obscure than a pirate. If you're not too sure what those cliches are, it never really hurts to do a Google image search and just get a sense that way. If you search for a mermaid, it's going to bring up pages of long-haired, slender, bright scaled fish woman. That's going to give you a good sense of the direction that you may not want to go in. Here's a character that I designed as part of a daily challenge and theme here was arms dealer. All that really took was a couple of explorations into what was typical, which was, yes people in trench coats similar to what this guy is wearing. But they were selling different weapons or guns, what you would normally think of. It was only after I explored for a little while that I thought, what if an arms dealer actually sold arms? Just from that alone, I was able to come up with the concept and even just gave him a couple extra arms himself to really hit it home. I think this is a good example of how if you push just a little bit further than your initial concepts, you can come up with something a lot stronger and more unique. Now, that you get the idea, let's apply this to an existing illustration an old character design that could use a bit of a face lift. Here's an old design of a clown that I created about two years or so ago. I think it looks nice, but it really is just a very typical clown, there's nothing special about it. What I'm doing right now is what I didn't do then and it's just to do a lot of different concepts. For each one, I'm exploring just what comes to mind when I think of clowns. This first one here, I'm really leaning into a sad clown with some of the typical attire you would see them wearing, as well as the standard hair, the makeup around the lips, the eye makeup that's what you're seeing there. From sad clown to now, evil menacing clown is what you're seeing. That's another one of these typical archetypes or one of the things that I think of clowns is how for some people they're quite scary and so whenever I really focused on that and made this evil tending his fingers clown. I even took the same hair as the first design, but I tilted it up so it looks like devil horns. Again, what I'm trying to do here is turn off my brain a bit not entirely, but just enough to let the default ideas come out. That way I can get a really good sense of what I think of is clowns, which is probably what a lot of people think about is clowns. Then once I have a good grasp on what people are used to, I can decide which of these things do I want to keep so that people still understand clown, but which things do I want to push away from? That it seems like a very unique clown. After I did a sad clown, I did an evil clown. Now, I just made a bored one. He's just throwing some confetti in the air just like "tada", but he really couldn't care less. This is where some of the ideas are getting a little more interesting for me, I think there's a lot of story behind this clown in particular. Now, it could be because I just spent a lot of time drawing pirates but this fourth clown, I actually thought of making him like a pirate clown. What had we think of that was just thinking of clowns and then balloons and then balloon swords, then I was like, "Oh, what if he was really serious about using this sword to fend somebody off." While I'm mostly using the same outfit in this character here that I did in the original. He's a lot more interesting because he has an emotion, he's standing in a battle ready stance and it just tells more of a story than the original design where he's just standing there on one foot, but it's not as exciting. The last thing I want to mention as I finish this up here is that when you're coming up with concepts like I am here, don't worry too much about making them look perfect or having a nice polished drawing. You really just want to worry about getting your idea across and then moving on to the next one. Later on when you decide I really want to develop this idea then you worry about actually making it look good. It's with that, that we can move on to the next technique. 3. Questions: The second technique that we're going to be covering once again deals with the concept. That's because if the concept is no good, the illustration will just fall flat. As I explained in my character design with story class, a very powerful technique for improving concept is just to ask a lot of questions. Each time we ask a question about a character, and then provide an answer for it, we're adding another layer of backstory that just drives our drawings and makes the character more unique, gives it more personality. It's just a really effective way of taking it from just some land, whatever to something that's actually real and living. What questions could we ask? We can ask simple things like, how old is the character, where do they come from, what's their job? These things again, by answering them is going to really shape what character is. But we can also ask some very different things. We can say, what does the characters smell like, what are they scared of, do they have any secrets they don't want people to find out or are they an only child, do they have lots of siblings, do they grow up in the woods? There's all interesting questions that when you answer them, they're going to turn your character into something that might not have started us, but is going to be very interesting for you, not only to draw, but for other people to see. I've included a list from the character design mystery class of a bunch of different questions to get you going. Again, you can make up anything you want, but this should be a good starting point for you. Then the next step, once you've asked all these questions and answer them, is to find out how do I get across to answer these questions in my drawing. I was working on a series of bird theme characters for a fighting game when I created cream here. It didn't take long, but just by answering a few questions about who he was, I was able to make someone who was more interesting than what I drew when my brain was just an autopilot. I asked what his personality was like and decided pretty quickly I wanted someone who was crazy. Based on that, I gave him these big eyes, but really small pupils, as well as a very menacing grin. That's how I got across the idea of the question that I answered. The next question I asked was, why does he want to fight people? In this world where all of these birds are fighting one another, there's got to be a reason for each of them to be doing this. I came up with the story of how after playing football all through high school and college, he became very strong, and he had all these big muscles, but he couldn't use any of them for anything. We turned to fighting as a way to use his stature, and that gave me his body type. That clearly he looks like a very strong character, and then also gave me what he's wearing. You can see he has this varsity jacket, sweat band as well as one of those championship rings. What you'll find is that in many projects, you won't need to develop a backstory. It won't be required of you. But if you take the time to do it, even if you're the only one who ever knows it, it's really going to create something that's much more interesting to everyone who gets to see it. Now just as before, we're going to take a character design that's lacking and use this technique to make it better. The theme for this design was futuristic farmer. Really, I just made a robot that looks like a farmer. While I like the way that he looks, it's not terribly exciting or memorable. I was wondering what questions could bring some new life into it, so I asked is he sentience? Sure. Why not? Does he like farming? Absolutely. Why does he like it? Well, it actually connects him to nature. He's a bit of a nature lover. Then I asked, well, if he's a farming robot, is he a new model or is he an old model? I decided, you know what? He's old, he's like the alpha model, the very beginning. I just use these four questions to guide the new design. For sketching out some new ideas for this character, I'm mostly going to stick to the body shape because I do like it. I'm just going to put them in different scenarios and maybe change a couple of things to really work with those answers. Right off the bat, I don't want him just standing there. How he is in the current one, it is robotic, which it should be. But I want him to have more life, and so I'm going to give them some more human poses. Remember that our job here is now to take the answers that we've given to our questions and to find ways of getting those across in our drawing. One thing that I'm deciding right here is that if he's going to be sentient, he's going to be a bit more human and so I'm actually going to make him in this one kneeling down tending to a plant because that also hits on his love of nature. The robot farmer in the original has this display on his chest. I thought that this could be a good opportunity to use that as a way to maybe show his emotion or just show again his synthetic humanity. Maybe he's feeling a lot of love for this little plant that he found, and that's why there's a heart. I also want to get across that again, he's an old model. I put this version is 0.1. on his chest to show he's like the first of his kind. Then right here, you can actually see that I am trying to figure out some battery pack. Maybe he has to carry around these giant batteries just to support him because he's a big, clunky old model. Again, I'm going to do more than one design on this. I could continue with that one. I think it's better than the original, but it doesn't take very long to explore new ideas. I'm going to do that now. Here I'm again thinking of what's a more human pose, so I have his shoulders and his hips tilted in different directions. That's usually how people stand. I want to have him again looking at a plant here. But what I was thinking could play well to his character is if maybe because he's an old model, he's broken in some way, maybe he's missing an arm, but he doesn't even really pay attention to that. He's more enamored by this plant. Now the display on his chest could have a exclamation mark because it's like a warning. But again, he doesn't really care, he's more interested in this piece of life that he's found. There are just two concepts that I was able to come up with based on my original design just by asking four questions. It probably took me a minute to ask and answer them. But the payoff of taking that short amount of time is that my concept is now stronger. I'm not only going to have a design that people rather see, but it's actually more fun for me to create characters when there's more backstory like this. That wraps up this technique. When you're ready, you can jump onto the next. 4. Exaggeration: [MUSIC]. In the previous two techniques, we focused on concept. That's the foundation. With a strong foundation for a character, we can move into things that are going to make it more visually interesting. That's what we're going to do here. One of the best, and in my opinion, most fun ways of visually improving a character is through exaggeration. This means taking things that are big, or small and making them huge over time. Maybe your character has a small waist. You make it very, very like way smaller. Maybe their big muscles become like bulging or maybe just their smile that goes from, the size of their face actually push off outside of their face because they're that happy. This is what caricature artists do. They hone in on different elements of somebody's face or their body. They just exaggerate it way out of proportion. That is a really effective way to make interesting and fun character designs. When you're looking to improve your own characters, all you're doing is looking at your current design and deciding, what about this can I exaggerate. Or what should I exaggerate? In the case of this character, I knew that I wanted him to be very big. As big as I could get away with. What you're seeing here is the third or fourth time that I drew him. Because each time I redrew him, I realized that I could push his largeness further and further. I could do this by showing the stress of his jacket being pulled across it's large body, I could add lines on his neck. It looks like it's just squeezing out of a tight collar. I can make features such as his legs, his feet, and his hands smaller so that his body looks even bigger by comparison. This is something that's actually really important to note, is that everything in your drawing is relative. If you want something to look small, everything around it needs to be big. And if you want one body part to be long, the rest have to be short. The more contrast between the elements and design that there is, the more exaggerated and in many cases, interesting your character will be. If you don't use a lot of exaggeration in your characters, you're going to have to force it more than you're comfortable. My recommendation is that you aim to push your character further than you think that you should. In my experience, that actually ends up being right where it should be. However, if you do go too far, you could always just scale it back in the next drawing. Now let's give this a go with an old design. This is old man husk. He's a character I made as part of another daily design challenge. While I like the concept of this old farming piece of corn, I wasn't super thrilled with the final execution. I'm going to now use exaggeration to focus on the things that I really like about him and make those more definite. What I want to emphasize in this first drawing is his stance. I'm making him even more hunched over then he once was. So much so that there is more stress on his arm. It's straight, like he's really trying to hold himself up with that cane. Same with arm in the back it's a lot more stressed and you can even see his eyes are a little more squinty like he's exerting more effort just to stay upright. He's still happy. I wanted to keep that. But you'll notice that he is now a lot more squat. He's all scrunched down. This version of character is much shorter than he originally was, I would say before he was no average size. But now he's really small. That's a new exaggerated take for him. After realizing that I did this really small version of him, I wanted to make a tall version of him. Especially since ears of corn are there long. I thought that would be a nice, cool take if I made him taller than the original design. That's what you can see me doing here. I've also decided in this design not to emphasize the stress of him standing as much. He looks a little more at ease. One trick that you can do if you're working digitally like I am, is you can actually just take your sketch and you can stretch it or squash it to play around with his exaggeration. You're going to see me do that right here. I'm going to make them a lot longer, and now he looks taller, and then I'm taking my small version and making it even smaller. As I mentioned, sometimes we want to push as far as we possibly can before it doesn't work. That's one trick this is very useful for. The last thing you're going to see here is what I would do once I got a concept that I was happy with. In the case of this really scrunched up old man husk, I lower the opacity of the layer, created a new one. Now I'm drawing on top of it to start to finalize some of the details. This is still a very rough drawing, but this would be the next step, so you get a sense. Remember that the more versions of design that you create, the more and more it's going to get better and more refined. Let this just be an example of one of those potential revisions. That gives you a sense of how we can exaggerate different things and in character design to improve it. Once you've got a good grasp on it, we can move to the next one. 5. Proportions: This next technique is quite similar to the previous one. In that we exaggerated different elements of our design. In this one, we're actually just going to mix around portions. So if an arm is like the same size as a leg, what happens at that arm is half the size of the leg. The leg is like three times as long as the arm. Again, this is a really fun technique that can produce some very interesting concepts. So all we need to do is take our current design, establish what the existing proportions are, and then start to change them around. So looking at this photo, I could actually identify some of his proportions. The distance from his shoulders to his waist is about the same as his waist to his boots. A little more than two of his heads could pick between his shoulders and his waist. His beard takes up about a third of his head while his hair is just a little piece on top. I can mark off as many of these kinds of relationships as I'd like. Now when you look at my drawing, all you see that I've done is play with these proportions. The beard went from taking up a third of his head to being about three times the size of it. His hair is now twice the size of his head. The distance from his shoulders to his waist is now larger than from his waist to his feet. You'll even notice that the horn on his belt, now takes up a lot less space while his ax is much larger. This technique works really well with the previous ones. If we've decided that part of our character concept is that he is very strong. We can use proportions and exaggeration to get that across, like I've done here, by making both his ax and his chest not only larger than before, but larger in relation to many other aspects of the design. Have fun with this technique, you can very quickly come up with a lot of variations on a single character just by changing around the proportions. Often peer experimentation will yield something that you may never have even considered to draw. Now once again, we'll take an old design, and prove it by playing with proportions. So the first thing you're going to see me do here is just mark off a couple simple relationship. So I got like the head, the chest, and then the waste down to the feet, as well as just the width of the shoulders. Now all I'm going to do is redraw the character, same pose, same everything. But I'm changing these proportions around and making the head a lot smaller and making the chest a lot bigger, wider shoulders, and then the whole leg area is going to be considerably smaller. Something I want to mention is that those sizes could have been anything. I made the head small. I could've decided, You know what, I want the head to be half the entire figure. I really just chose some arbitrary sizes and now I'm just playing around with it. This could be designed that I like. This could be designed that I don't like. But the idea here is that the original design, the proportions were very similar to a typical person. I think that it could be a lot more fun if they weren't. If I just pause right here, you can get a good sense of the differences between the proportions of the original and the design I'm working on. So the last thing you're going to see here is once again, just another step of revision. Let's say, you know what, I like these proportions more. This is what I want my character to be. Now I'm going to go through the process of continuing to redraw the character and make decisions about where lines go, what shapes go where, and overtime and up with a final design like you've see in the original. A point that I can't stress enough is that it's totally okay. In fact, I would encourage it if you redraw your character again and again. There's a lot of pressure if you try to hit it out of the park on the first go. It's a lot easier if you just give yourself room to make something messy. Then makes something a little less messy and then less messy, until you're finally at something that you like, it's something that looks refined. Yes. That takes a lot longer than if you just again, [inaudible] at one go. But, A the results can be better. B, you're going to have more fun doing it. I can't think of a time that I ever rushed through a drawing while having a good time. So slow down, take your time and enjoy the process. On that note, we can move on to our fifth and final technique. 6. Dynamic Poses: This final technique, in my opinion, might be the most daunting or challenging, but it also in the same way can be the most rewarding. That is taking our character out of a static or just standing there pose but making it dynamic, bringing some more life into it. When I say dynamic, a lot of time we think of people, flying through the air, some crazy action shot. But dynamic is just really putting whatever emotion or feeling into your design that you want. You could have somebody who is being lazy and still dynamic. Maybe their shoulders are really slow or just maybe they're lying back on a couch with their arms up or something. It's not an action shot, but you really get a feeling for how that character feels. Also they're not just like the stiff, rigid person just standing there. Unless of course maybe that's this thing that you're going for. Maybe you want someone to be a firm rigid, like a bodyguard or something. Why I said this could be the most daunting technique, is because this means that we actually got to do some research. We got to figure out how do people actually stand. This usually means either, if you really want to go onboard with it, you go to like life drawing classes or you go out in the streets and you draw people in cafes. But it also, it could just mean you pull up some photo reference or something that I like to do is, you take pictures of yourself posing as you want and you draw from that. But this technique regardless takes, I think a bit more learning than the other ones. I do want to talk more on the idea of actually doing the pose yourself and taking a picture. Because it might feel very dorky to just be in your living room, posing with a broom or something. Which is something you're totally going to see in a bit, me doing. But it's actually really helpful not just in giving you the exact pose that you want, but you actually get a feel for it. You can feel like how your arms would sit, what muscles are tensed or what muscles are slacked. I find it's way more effective than if you just found a patrol line. If you are finding a patrol line, maybe you could just try and stand up and adopt the pose yourself. Even if you're not taking a picture of it, just again, to get a feel for it. It's a very useful technique. As promised, here is a slightly embarrassing but perfect example of what I'm talking about. I couldn't seem to find the exact pose that I was looking for, for this character, so I just grabbed the broom and I did it myself. When I did this, it taught me a lot more about how to position my character, than it would have if I just drew from a reference that I found. You can see that in the result, because I took the stance myself, I learned that although my legs were facing the camera, my chest, was facing off to the side. I was also able to discover that one leg was bent a lot more than the other, and it's knee was pointed in the same direction as my chest. I realized that from this view, you actually couldn't see much of my right forearm as the whole arm would be pushed back and behind me. Obviously, learning to draw a new pose takes a lot more time, than drawing somebody standing still. But it's important to mention that the more often you do this, the more you will build out your visual library of poses. Now that I've so closely studied how to stand this way, I can pose characters in many similar ways just from memory alone. Even if you're only comfortable drawing character standing still right now, all it takes some time spent working on poses, to expand your comfort to drawing characters in all sorts of dynamic positions. This is one reason why left drawing can be so helpful. Finally, let's add a dynamic pose to an old character design. Here's an example of a character design that I really liked, but I wasn't altogether sold on the pose. It's just like he's standing there. I can use this as an opportunity to tell a bit more about this character, just in the way that he stands. Naturally, I wrap myself up in a blanket and I took a bunch of poses. In fact, what I did here is I just set my webcam to record, and I just cycled through a couple of different poses. Most of them were pretty bad. But here's just a couple of them that I liked. Again, it's pretty silly, but it works really well. Of the three, I decided that I like the first the most. Because the original character design, he seemed very cool and serious. I didn't picture in any crazy action pose, but maybe something just a little more dynamic. Like standing off to the side, holding his gun up in the air with this menacing look in his face. This is what I'm going to go with, and what you're going to see me do, is not jump right into redrawing the character. But first, I'm just going to very roughly draw out this pose. This is so I can get a good idea of where the limbs are, which body parts are facing in which direction. Just give me a chance to understand the pose and then I can worry about putting that pose on my character. While you could just jump straight into applying your pose to your character in a single drawing, I find that whenever I can break things down into more steps, the result is usually better. Because I can focus on just the pose alone and then I can focus just on putting the character design to the pose. It's just how I work. Something I should mention too, is that the better you understand human anatomy, and the more experience you have drawing people and poses, the easier this step is going to be for you. Don't get me wrong. It's still a hard thing to do, I find that whenever I'm trying to capture a pose like this, it does take a lot of mental work. But the more that I understand about how human bodies move and how they're built piece-by-piece, the easier it is for me to do something like this and actually understand it. If you're having trouble and this is a skill that you want to develop, I would recommend checking out Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing for All It's Worth. It's in my opinion, one of the better books on understanding human anatomy and how to draw people. But outside of that, if you can, I would really encourage you to take a in-person class. Maybe on figure drawing or human anatomy or some sort of life drawing course. I find that the in-person education, is way better than anything you can get out of a book or a tutorial like this. I've gotten to the point where I more or less understand the pose and I'm ready to apply it to my character design. Now, really it's just about combining the design that I created before, with the new pose that I've just learned. Again, this can be something that is quite tricky, because especially in my own characters case, the proportions of the pose I did and the character are quite different. Don't get discouraged, just like anything else, this is a skill that you build over time. Again, in my opinion, it is one of the hardest things to do. As I've said in some of previous videos, just be patient, give yourself some room to mess up, and over time you'll get good at this. When in doubt, remember that you have the power to redraw things as many times as you want. One of the really great things to consider, is that a drawing is never finished until you say it is. If that means drawing it two times, if that means drawing it 10 times, 20 times. You get to decide when it's complete. If one version of the drawing isn't looking good, that's totally okay, nobody has to see it. You can find out what's wrong with it, and then fix it in the next drawing. Maybe right now you can start to get a sense of how I'm combining the pose on the left, and the character on the right to make what's in the middle right now. You can see I'm really trying to pay attention to the proportion. Keeping those really thick forearms, keeping those really wide shoulders, as well as the shape of the head, the shape of the hat. But still put things in the same position as in the pose, as well as trying to match some of the curves. You'll notice on the left arm that there's this big curve that goes from the shoulder, all the way down to like the knuckles. I really wanted to keep that in my drawing. Similarly, you can see that there's a line that goes from the chest, down the leg, to the knee, and curves inwards on the right side. I also, am trying to match that. It's a balance of taking pieces from the pose that are really essential to the pose that really make it up, and combining them with the existing design. Now what I would do, just like I did in the previous two techniques, is once I had a good-looking drawing here, I would redraw it. I would either completely redraw it from scratch if I thought it was really off. But probably in this case, I would do the other option which is, lowering the opacity of this layer, and then drawing on top of it just to finalize some of the decisions about the drawing. I hope this final technique has shown you that you can create a really, really solid character design. But if the pose is static, it can lack a bit. You can have a lot of fun with this step. You can do what I did, and you can hold the broom ready to fight someone. You can wrap yourself up in blankets and pretend that you have gun hands. This doesn't have to be super serious, even though it is a bit of a difficult technique. I hope that this helps you to enrich your characters like the rest of the techniques. Once you're ready, you can move to the last video where we're going to go over your assignment for really practicing this work. Then I'm also going to offer you a couple of options if you want to further your character design abilities. 7. Next Steps: So you now have five new techniques for improving your character designs. The beauty of them is that you don't just have to use them for working on existing characters. But you can use these techniques in creating new ones as well. But it's important to know that what you learn today, is only useful if you use it, and you have to use it soon. We leak information very quickly as humans. So as soon as you learn something like what you've learned in this class, it's important that you apply it. The sooner, the more that it can be solidified into your just normal way of working. All this to say that is why we have a class assignment. So for the class assignment, all I want you to do is find an old character design. It can be very old, it can be recent, it can be something you just made yesterday. It doesn't matter. I just want you to take an existing character, and improve upon it using some of the techniques from this class. You could use one technique, you could use all five, it doesn't matter. Just apply what you've learned today to make sure that in the future it's going to come naturally to you. As you're doing this, I just want you to remember that it often takes many different iterations on a design, before you actually get something you like. I know personally the minimum for character design I usually redraw something at least like three times. Sometimes it goes up to like 10 revisions. This is just because it takes a lot of time to figure out the parts you don't like, change them into something you do like, and just to go through different versions till you get what you like. So I think this is really important to remember, not just in all your designs, but especially when you're learning like right now. Because you're trying to learn new things out. So there's going to be some stumbling. It's not going to come as naturally as you're seeing it in the class. So just be patient and let yourself make just crappy work. Just trust that over time, your designs will go and turn into something that you really like. Now if you're hungry for some more character design stuff, I got three things for you. One is my character design story class, and that really dives into the first two techniques that we went over in this class, which is all about the concept of your character. In that class, we really make sure that we're not just making the first thing that comes to mind. But we're actually putting a lot of thought into who our character is before we even draw it. I also have a character design class with animals, and in here we really get into the nitty-gritty of the anatomy of animals. How the anatomy of an animal's relates to people? Also how we can take the behavior of animals and turn that into interesting and exciting characters. Finally, there is a challenge that I've created called character quest. It is a 30 day e-mail that each day you will get a prompt with a theme, and it will tell you a character to draw. The great thing about this challenge is that there have already been over 1000 submissions for it. So there's a lot of people taking part. You can meet some other artists on Instagram or something while you're doing it. It's just a really great way to, A practice what you've done today and B, to start to build a portfolio of character design especially if that's something you want to do. So finally, I just want to thank you for taking the class. This is probably my favorite topic to talk about. So I really appreciate the opportunity that I get to sit here and nerd out about it with you. I hope that this has been very helpful, and if there are any questions that have arisen throughout the course, just reach out. I'm happy to help when I can. So thanks again and take care.