- Character Design ServedProject Featured On:Character Design Served — 7/7/12
- The A to Z of designing character
- How does he deal with clients?
When he starts a new project whether 2d or 3d cartoon, he has to meet the client or contact with him to clarify certain points.
First, he has to understand clearly what is the project about in details, what is he asked for and what is the concept that the client would like to express. Second, what are the characters attributes (their description) tall, short, African, American, black, white, wide lips, thin lips etc. Exact details about the character of the story to have a full image about the character in mind. This is for the inspiration of the idea of the character. The script is not really his main concern at this point, as thinking of the character idea is the most important thing. He looks at exact details and exaggerations of the characters’ looks, as his own job and the client shouldn’t interfere. The client could tell him specific details if the drama is built on such features (example a crippled person or a hunchback for example). If the client were not clear about his idea or what he wants to show, Ahmed would never reach the clients point or satisfy his needs for the character because his imaginary image would be uncompleted.
Furthermore he likes to have a mixture of features and behavior in his characters’ personality, as he believes that there’s no one just evil or just kind. One character would have different behaviors just like real humans in life.Exaggeration in the character is when you overstate certain things in your drawing but while doing this you still do it by proportions in consideration. Example: if the nose is too big it should still be in proportion to the body.
- The actual designing process
After the long discussion with the client, I reread the script and start imagining how the character may look like. I then start by sketching the character many times with many different styles.After the long discussion with the client, I reread the script and start imagining how the character may look like. I then start by sketching the character many times with many different styles.
The first step of sketching is done using a pencil or poly color, Ahmed finds the lines he likes from all the sketches and goes over them using a normal pencil. “This is where the first check point comes and I show the client my work process so far. I ink my work (going over the lines with a fine liner) whether manually or digitally and then finally I color them.”
Setting the form
“I first start by setting a number of characteristics in the personality of my character and try to show these characteristics without animation. I reach this by deformation, I don’t just exaggerate certain parts but I also have to make sure that these deformed parts fit perfectly with the whole form or character so that it looks very harmonious. I think about how to make the strangest things but they are still acceptable. Any artist needs to know very well about anatomy, one has to know about the bones of the body and how they work, so if I make a very long neck for example I have to think about how they will be connected to the shoulders whether they are very small or very wide.”
“It is important for a designer to do a lot of quick sketches in order to train his hands on drawing quickly and his eyes on catching the whole form of the object or human body. Finally, it would help the designer understanding and analyzing the shape of the body. Only visualizing the main form with no details draws a fast sketch. Your tool is your hand not your equipment because your hand expresses what you have in your mind or imagination. We have to enhance our visual knowledge by watching a lot of things and analyzing/understanding them.”