Catching up with some posting that was meant to happen sooner than this but it's still relevant.
Here's the first:
As mentioned previously, I was invited to speak at the Kalalmazoo Animation Festival (KAFI) earlier this year in may, where over the weekend I did a couple workshops that dealt with Character Design. Now i'm not the best character designer in the world, but not the worst either and can certainly saw some things about the process. But given that it was geared toward games and gaming made it a bit out side my ken. I was joined in this by Cris Boyer, from Detroit and between the two of us we managed to provide some insight into the subject. There was alot of demo drawing, and it was all about the basics, which apply no matter what you're designing for.
The group was a cross section of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Here were some of my opening topics.
In creating any chareacter, the first important thing is using those visual aids that will communicate an idea to the viewer. So with a simple character, i draw a shape that consists of just a body and a head, legs and arms, but by adding the single diagonal line at the waist, he becomes warrior, because we all see it as a sword. The body silhouette seems to imply a long hemmed tunic, so: samurai warrior. Same with a magician or sorceror, then a king or some person of great rank: the crown says it all.
Wide shoulders, narrow waist, anatomy clear like he 's wearing spandex; back straight, legs apart, chin forward - it's a hero!
Same with a robot, get that silhouette , no doubt what it is. Keep the details in view.
Now more complex; a human character in an action pose, but the first one's not so good because of overlapping- the second one is better, except that in attempting to include a piece of environment , I made that weird crucifix like thingy.
Here I was having fun trying to create a typical video game character. Crazy hair, big sword. I added the long pointy toes last- and it doesn't work because the ends of the toes are in line with the tips of the sword- it makes a box: uninteresting silhouette. NEGATIVE space can do that,too.