We all have our favorite characters while playing video games. Even, if we are not a fanatical gamer, we also have some of the preferred characters.
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It’s always easy to talk about a specific character from a game, cartoon, or movie.
Learning how to design or create character is a CHALLENGING task,especially for newbies.
Don’t miss consulting our character design tips below and apply to create the impressive character for your own project.
- 1 What do you know about character design?
- 2 Character design tips and what you should not miss
- 2.1 Determine your target audience
- 2.2 Consider 2D or 3D
- 2.3 Figure out when your character will appear
- 2.4 Examine other designs
- 2.5 Create a unique character
- 2.6 Stick to a unique body shape
- 2.7 Use lines to describe the character
- 2.8 Use exaggeration
- 2.9 Add some characteristics
- 2.10 Add colors
- 2.11 Add accessories
- 2.12 Add facial expressions
- 2.13 Try to keep your character design as simple as possible
- 2.14 Give your character dreams, aim, and desires
- 2.15 Make a storyline
- 2.16 Do a test
- 2.17 Welcome feedbacks
- 3 A final note
What do you know about character design?
Before discovering the tips, it’s best to learn what character design is at first.
The most important element is SIMPLICITY. Relying on that, you can spend more time improve the whole scene or draw other frames of animation.
For instance, the character of Mickey Mouse has three-fingered hands. That’s why, game developers saved production time and allowed more cartoons to be produced quickly. And now, it has become an iconic feature of Disney.
Aside from simplicity, there is still more to designing characters. And you have to evaluate what should be overstated, downplayed, etc.
Just remember that the good character design is the result of hours and hours of careful thoughts and many design repetitions.
Character design tips and what you should not miss
Determine your target audience
Who is your character trying to attract?
For instance, if you want to appeal to kids, make sure your characters are designed with basic shapes and come with bright colors. Or assume you’re creating characters for a client; your characters need to cover all required elements.
It can be said that determining your target audience is the first and foremost point of your character design process.
Consider 2D or 3D
2D characters can perform all kinds of physically impossible things relied on how they’re drawn. Meanwhile, 3D characters require a more realistic physicality to them.
Since the 3D characters can be viewed from all angles, you need to determine what they look at when being seen from all around. From there, you can give a clear sense of your character’s shape, height, and weight.
Figure out when your character will appear
Where will your character design be viewed and in what medium?
Determining it brings a direct manner on how you undertake.
For example, the characters on the mobile phones won’t ask for a lot of details because they will not be seen carefully. Meanwhile, designing the cartoon characters require more clear information, depending on the type of cartoon.
Examine other designs
Always spend time figure out both well-designed characters and the poorly designed ones to determine whether they are attractive or not!
What do their physical characteristics or color selections refer to the character? Why does that trait attract people or vice versa? And so on.
This helps to improve your ideas of skills in designing your characters later.
Create a unique character
We all know, how hard to create unique characters!
You can find hundreds (or even millions) of repetitions of any character you might imagine. That’s why you need to build an interesting and strong character that stands out from the crowd.
Let’s take this example!
Do you know why the Simpsons come with the yellow skin? It’s because this color help to attract viewer’s attention when they are switching channels.
It’s best to carry out some research on the type of character you are going to design. Or you can consult a popular character design and do some tweaks to make it unique.
Stick to a unique body shape
When building a single character, make sure you give a distinctive body shape because it efficiently delivers the characteristic.
For instance, a clever character should be wiry and small. Meanwhile, a tall and muscular character should be robust.
You should think of the types of character. If your game is about science fictions, the characters should be robots, aliens, and talking animals.
In case you have no idea of the character’s types, try to build your own or add some elements to make a more personality-filled character. Both human-like and animal-like are excellent ideas as well.
Another trick is to draw the character’s head separately from the body. Then paint some different body types on another piece of paper and combine the body and the head design.
Use lines to describe the character
Do you know that the type of line you avail to make your own character design will disclose the kind of character?
If you want to create a cute and open character, for instance, you can use softer, round, thicker, and even lines. Or in case you want to reveal a sensitive and odd nature, try to use sharper and jagged edges.
When designing characters, you need to exaggerate to bring the character that can appeal to the audience best.
Keep in mind that,
Visually transferring a feeling of the character’s personality is crucial than entirely accurate anatomy.
Exaggeration helps to highlight the traits.
If you want to show a physically strong character, make sure to give them broad shoulders and muscular arms. For a genius, you can add Einstein hair, white lab coat, and large glasses.
These silly exaggerations help players instantly know at least one BIG personality of your character.
Add some characteristics
Giving a signature trait for your character will make your character design better. Moreover, this is an excellent starting point because the characteristic often brings some great inspiration to expand later.
Remember that your character’s personality is as engaging as his/her appearance. And it should be displayed via interactions and reactions in comic strips and animations.
People tend to connect to characteristics more than the interesting visual designs. Creating a relevant and interesting trait will make your character influencethe players more.
Don’t underestimate the colors since they also DO a great job in communicating your character’s trait!
For example, yellow, bold red, and blue are associated with heroism. Meanwhile, pink, blue, yellow, and white colors help to describe good guys.
Avoid using too many colors, or you might distract people from it.
The signature character design only come with some (three base colors will be the best).
Adding accessories helps to make your character’s personality and background clearer for sure.
You can think about uniforms or uniform-like clothing to disclose the characteristic. It’s okay to use cultural clothing or items like katanas or cowboy hats as well. Some touches such as a facial scar helps to highlight the sense of your character.
The most exciting thing is that you can use your own stuff such as car keys, your preferred shirt, etc. to make your character engaging and believable.
Add facial expressions
Adding facial expressions doesn’t only reveal the character’s personality but also their attitude for every situation.
The best way to perform is to sit in front of a mirror and show different emotions on your face.
What does your face look like when you’re sad, happy, angry, etc.?
Then apply these expressions to your character for a particular situation.
Make sure to concentrate on the eyes, brows, and mouth because these parts are the most obvious ways to show emotion.
Try to keep your character design as simple as possible
As stated above, simplicity is a KEY to design the characters.
If you cannot convey the character’s shape, personality or clothing, the best way is to simplify.
You might draw your character in different poses and performing all kinds of different things. Hence, designing needs to remain consistent throughout. Avoid giving a complicated design since you will meet difficulties to finish.
For instance, adding patterned clothing or tattoos are fun and interesting, but it will be hard to draw correctly from all angles.
Give your character dreams, aim, and desires
The character’s aims are the motive power behind their trait.
Want to become the rich? Want to solve a mystery? Etc.
These “missing” points might help to build the dramatic push behind the adventure the character gets up.
Make a storyline
Developing a backstory is a MUST if your character is going to exist within animation and comics.
Here are some questions that you can try to ask to create backstory such as:
- Where did your character come?
- Did anything interesting occur in their past?
- What is their job?
- Where do they live?
- What is their favorite food, color, etc.?
- And more
After answering, you will create the stability of the characters, making them more acceptable to the audience.
The answers influence the character’s trait. A character that lives in a desert will have different behavior and preferences that the one who lives near the beach, for example.
Avoid getting too tangled up in building the backstory because the players might forget the main adventure of your character.
Do a test
It’s okay to follow character design tutorials to understand the basics.
Try to carry out different things such as an approachable character with a crazed smile or anything you might imagine.
Soon, you will be surprised at the results.
After completing, you should show your character to others and ask for their comments.
It’s best to ask whether or not they like or what they think about this character’s personality or how they can determine some of the signature traits.
Make sure you ask people who have not been hearing your ideas earlier. Hence, when seeing your design for the first time, they can give their opinions as the audience.
Remember not to ask your friends and family because they know you well and what you are doing.
A final note
Bear in mind that your character should be FUN and INTERESTING to appeal to your audience.
And with all the character design tips above, will you be ready to make your own one?
Let’s start now!