Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cartoon Character Design: Six Steps

"How to Design a Cartoon Character"
Ryn Gargulinski, eHow

"Designing a cartoon character is similar to giving birth, since you are creating a whole new being, but it’s different because you get to pick all the character’s traits, personality and looks. You also have complete control over what the character does and does not do. You can design a cartoon character with a dose of imagination and a few helpful tips...."

That "similar to giving birth" phrase just about cost this how-2 its credibility for the Lemming. This blogger was present for each birth: and it didn't take a brilliant observer to note that what the Lemming's wife experienced was significantly different from the process of creating a cartoon character.

That said, Ryn Gargulinski put together a pretty good - and mercifully brief - set of guidelines for creating a cartoon character. They're numbered, and the Lemming will get back to that:
  1. Envision the being
  2. Pick its personality
  3. Sketch a rough draft with the personality in mind
  4. Give your character a few obvious attributes that are easy to reproduce
  5. Be unique
  6. Name your character.
Ordered lists like that are really good for instructional material. In this case, though, the implication that steps one through six should be taken in that order are - in the Lemming's opinion - debatable.

Particularly since step six might precede step one. Sure, someone would probably decide that a character would be a child before deciding on the name "Baby Stubly." But in principle: a name might come first.

Nitpicking aside, it's a pretty good introduction to character design. The "Tips & Warnings" section, below most of the content, is worth reading too. In the Lemming's opinion.

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