Character Design is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.
DEAR TIM I HAVE CONCEPTS TO COMPLETE DUE IN AN HOUR WHY DID YOU LINK THIS THIS IS THE MOST DISTRACTING THING YOU COULD’VE LINKED
CLICK IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CLICK IT.
Scanned pages of New Poses Volume 3: Couples
More scans found here: http://imgur.com/a/2Er8Y#0
Rambling about color zones of faces.
When I work with a dead layer (the greyscale or a monochrome underpainting to get values and the general gist of the painting) my favorite part is right after laying down the first colors of the skin. It just looks neat to me. Even when using photo reference I don’t really like just drawing it exactly as I see it. Deeper colors that are more stylized is so much more interesting than just copying the reference. If I just try and do exactly what I see I think it tends to look flat and dead :P
I’ll lay down a wash of ochre, burnt sienna or other orangish/brownish skintone base on a layer set to “color” or “soft light” if it’s not some kind of crazy lighting. (Otherwise I might lay down the color of the surrounding light first and build up skintones from that. Depends on how I feel.) I usually end up with a few layers set to various modes to get the colors laid down. It just takes some fiddling and practice. I don’t think I ever do it exactly the same way twice.
Then go in a lay down what a professor of mine called “the apples” of the face. How much red appears in the face all depends on the person. Someone like Mr. Bates here tends to have a sort of “jolly” look to him so I’m making him look very kind and soft by accentuating his nose, cheeks and lips with my “apples”. Now if I were painting someone like Thomas, I would only use enough red to not make him look dead since Thomas isn’t exactly a “warm” character. >.>
Yellows and oranges for the forehead and sometimes on the upper lip area on girls does the job. These areas are easy to make look too flat and pale otherwise.
Blue, grey, green or purple on the lower half of the face. More pronounced on men then women. It can be really subtle on a lady but an easy way to get a five o’ clock shadow on a dude! (I should have put it more on his upper lip too…)
Then I’ll flatten it all and go in to paint “glazes” in varying opacities and layer modes on top of this to get the final painting and a realistic blending on the skin. Laying down the basic underlying colors this way helps me keep faces looking fleshy and alive. I also do it on the rest of the painting to be sure there is a unifying feel to the colors.
I’m still trying to perfect it and there’s more than one way to skin a cat, but I really like working this way for portraits most of the time. It really reminds me of oil painting which I don’t really do anymore. P:
(Last image has the saturation pumped up to accentuate the color zones as an example. I probably won’t actually work on it at that level because he may look like he’s glowing lol.)
The whole film took me altogether about 5 grueling months (usually 10-12hours a day) to do. I often felt my butt was going to grow into the chair I usually sat at.
Please note that this was simply my way of doing my film to achieve the soft-shaded style I wanted; there are many other ways of doing this and some are a lot faster with different results~! :)
- My film on DeviantArt | My film on Vimeo
- My film gifs on Tumblr
- You can see my storyboard animatic here (although the original had music, but like I mentioned, my placeholder music was by Joe Hisaishi, you know, Miyazaki’s composer, so it’s not really legal to upload it).
This tut differs a bit from my dA version, because tumblr lets me put the combination of gifs and jpegs :D.
Here’s a book that will really help you start animating:
here’s some books that are good for composition, storytelling and colours:
- Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation
- The Art of Pixar: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation
- Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts
I hope these helped
I ask that no one removes the credit or source for this tutorial/guide please. thanks :)
And this is a keeper! No doubt about that! :)
I’m just gonna put this one on standby
for when I start my senior film!
Also check out the rest of their Tutorial gallery section for more tutorials about skin!
Thanks to reflectuousechoes for telling us about this tutorial!
don’t remember if I’ve reblogged this or just liked it, either way have some skin painting tips.
(incidentally, anyone know of any good ones for darker skin?)
oh my fuckign god
YES I NEED
from the back, the ear looks like a diaphragm! (Ask your nanna.)
Drawing from films
Drawing from films is a ridiculously useful exercise. It’s not enough to watch films; it’s not enough to look at someone else’s drawings from films. If you want to be in story, there’s no excuse for not doing this.
The way this works: you draw tons of tiny little panels, tiny enough that you won’t be tempted to fuss about drawing details. You put on a movie - I recommend Raiders, E.T., or Jaws… but honestly if there’s some other movie you love enough to freeze frame the shit out of, do what works for you. It’s good to do this with a movie you already know by heart.
Hit play. Every time there’s a cut, you hit pause, draw the frame, and hit play til it cuts again. If there’s a pan or camera move, draw the first and last frames.
Note on movies: Spielberg is great for this because he’s both evocative and efficient. Michael Bay is good at what he does, but part of what he does is cut so often that you will be sorry you picked his movie to draw from. Haneke is magnificent at what he does, but cuts so little that you will wind up with three drawings of a chair. Peter Jackson… he’s great, but not efficient. If you love a Spielberg movie enough to spend a month with it, do yourself a favor and use Spielberg.
What to look for:
- Foreground, middle ground, background: where is the character? What is the point of the shot? What is it showing? What’s being used as a framing device? How does that help tie this shot into the geography of the scene? Is the background flat, or a location that lends itself to depth?
- Composition: How is the frame divided? What takes up most of the space? How are the angles and lines in the shot leading your eye?
- Reusing setups, economy: Does the film keep coming back to the same shot? The way liveaction works, that means they set up the camera and filmed one long take from that angle. Sometimes this includes a camera move, recomposing one long take into what look like separate shots. If you pay attention, you can catch them.
- Camera position, angle, height: Is the camera fixed at shoulder height? Eye height? Sitting on the floor? Angled up? Down? Is it shooting straight on towards a wall, or at an angle? Does it favor the floor or the ceiling?
- Lenses: wide-angle lens or long lens? Basic rule of thumb: If the character is large in frame and you can still see plenty of their surroundings, the lens is wide and the character is very close to camera. If the character’s surroundings seem to dwarf them, the lens is long (zoomed in).
- Lighting: Notice it, but don’t draw it. What in the scene is lit? How is this directing your eye? How many lights? Do they make sense in the scene, or do they just FEEL right?
This seems like a lot to keep in mind, and honestly, don’t worry about any of that. Draw 100 thumbnails at a time, pat yourself on the back, and you will start to notice these things as you go.
Don’t worry about the drawings, either. You can see from my drawings that these aren’t for show. They’re notes to yourself. They’re strictly for learning.
Now get out there and do a set! Tweet me at @lawnrocket and I’ll give you extra backpats for actually following through on it. Just be aware - your friends will look at you super weird when you start going off about how that one shot in Raiders was a pickup - it HAD to be - because it doesn’t make sense except for to string these other two shots together…
Since I’ve had people asking me about storyboarding and how to learn it or what exercises to do. Emma Coats tells you all you need to know in this post.
An article, to accompany this prompt about character design.
Why is it important that characters be distinctive?
Generally as an artist, you want your audience to sympathize with your characters, grow attached to them, and get to know them. Recognizing each character is step number one in that battle. If everyone looks the same, a piece such as a comic can get very dull very fast- readers won’t be emotionally invested if they can’t keep track of who’s who at all. (Even live action movies can make it hard to differentiate the character’s designs, which can be a recipe for apathetic viewers).
When working in visual mediums, audiences will usually be remembering characters based on their faces, and learning names later. A distinctive face is a memorable face- and memorable is good.
What makes a character distinctive looking?
When I say distinctive, I mean that if I, within the context of talking about a work, said ‘sideburns guy’, everyone would know exactly who I meant without elaboration. ‘Distinctive looking’ means that their character design does not (or would only intentionally) overlap with the other characters. Within the group they stand out, and if you made a ‘cast on bleachers’ picture, followers of your work could label them all off without too much trouble (if you’ve read or watched Fullmetal Alchemist, take a look at the picture up top, and see who you can name. FMA is a great example of a large, varied, and recognizable cast).
What keeps characters from looking distinctive?
Usually, when someone learns to draw, say, a nose, they learn to draw it one way, and that becomes ‘how to draw a nose’. Additionally, artists often end up drawing characters that look to some degree like themselves. It’s not usually out of vanity- it’s just that your own face is familiar, and easily available whenever a reference is needed, as long as there is a mirror/photobooth/side of a kettle on hand. Sometimes, this can result in all their drawings resembling themselves, which doesn’t make for a very distinctive cast. The best way to remedy this is to study different people’s looks, by looking at varied images, drawing from models, and to practice drawing the different looks. Make yourself some ‘features banks’ that you have down, to draw from when creating new characters. If you notice that two characters are a little similar, make a side-by-side comparison chart, highlighting their differences (and adding some, if you need to).
There are times when you are going to want certain characters to resemble each other. For example, you might want a family to have similar facial structure, or maybe you want a new character to remind someone of a person that they used to know. This is much, much easier if the rest of the cast is varied. Two people with the same eyes are noticeable in real life and in works with varied casts. It will be ignored if one or two eye shapes are the norm throughout the cast. If the resemblance is clearly deliberate, it will be picked up on by the audience.
It’s also possible that you have Important Artistic Motives behind why your cast lacks variation- again, as long as it’s very intentional, you’re fine.
Challenges In Distinctive Features
You may want to pick your battles with varied features, based on your media. For example, if you are writing a comic, having leads that are 5’0” and 6’4”, respectively, could pose a problem- they won’t fit in frames together. Therefore, certain similarities are definitely allowable if practicality demands it. Likewise, if you have to draw a character repeatedly, intricate tattoos or very complicated patterns will result in you weeping rivers of tears after four pages. Decide what is best for how you’ll be working.
A few ways in which characters are typically differentiated:
- Hair style or color: While people will naturally categorize things by color, color of hair often isn’t quite enough to differentiate people if they have similar faces (especially if a viewer can’t see the full spectrum). Additionally, there are only a few basic hair colors that humans have without the aid of dye. And if you work grayscale… you have black, white, and tone. Style can help, but you should still have different faces for your characters. Basically, hair has a lot of options for variants- so use that for all it’s worth, but mix up other traits too.
- Eye color: Again, color only gets you so far. Eye shape on the other hand will alter the whole look of the face, and can be seen from a greater distance.
- Accessories: If something is worn perpetually, it can be a big help- glasses, for example. Piercings can set someone apart a bit. As a general rule, though: Don’t rely on it if it comes off.
- Clothing: If someone has a permacoat, or always wears a hat, it can really mark them out, particularly if you work in color. If they will only wear one outfit, go ahead and make those really distinctive. If the clothes will ever change, run the Shaved And Uniformed test.
- Body Type: Why is body type not used more? My guess is the artists haven’t seen enough naked people. Go check out different body types. There are more shapes out there than you might think. ‘Muscly’ does not mean only one look. ‘Curvy’ does not mean only one look. Have some height variation, have some weight variation. Having differing body types will help you so much.
- Facial Structure: I’m talking eye shapes, noses, mouths, the shape of the head and face. There are fourteen kinds of nose, there’s no excuse for everyone in your cast to wear exactly the same one unless it’s An Important Stylistic Decision.
- Expression: Facial expressions can be a big part of character! Try putting a sappily cheerful grin on a habitually grim character- the effect is unsettling, isn’t it? In addition to the ‘resting’ face structure, your characters probably have a few default facial expressions- one is more prone to scowl, one is more prone to smile. People’s faces move differently, based on their structure- someone with a naturally downturned mouth won’t smile the same as someone with one that goes up, and expressions are often colored by the defaults.
- Ethnicity: If you have a large cast, and no reason why they need to be of the same ethnicity, I don’t know why you wouldn’t vary your cast’s ethnicity.
- Body language: Similar to expression and posture- what sorts of gestures are typical of your characters? Maybe one moves their hands a lot when they speak? Maybe they nod a lot. Habitual gestures can be used as markers for particular characters.
- Posture/lines of action: Does your character slouch, or stand up military straight? Are they floppy or rigid in their movements? Are their lines of action angular or curved? Try reducing the character to a stick figure, and check out how they stand and move.
Ways to test your cast’s distinctiveness:
- Draw them with shaved heads and in similar outfits/naked. Can you still tell them apart?
- Draw your cast as silhouettes- can you still tell them apart? Is each character recognizable from a silhouette alone?
- Get other people to review your character designs, and find out how easy it is for them to recognize characters. This will vary based on how good your subjects are with faces (some people aren’t good with them at all), but it will remove the familiarity that you have with your cast.
- If you work in color, put everything in black and white.
- If you work in color or grayscale, I hereby reduce you to outlines. Can you still tell them apart?
-This has been Evvy, at FYCD.
^ (Where I retrieved the image used as an illustration at the top).