Character Design – Week 7 & 8

The last couple of weeks we have been thrown into the world of character design. This process is very important for the industry. With this process helps the people working on a movie to get a feel of a character within the story. The brief for the two weeks was:-

  • Research, conceptualise and design a character for animation.
  • Construct and moel a three dimensional macquette from a set of design sheets.
  • To understeand the significance of character deisng and realisation in relation to the animation process.

A macquette is basically a sculptured model, made from steel wires (as the core), foam (polstering), and plastasine/clay on top.

The difference between our assignment and the industry’s process is the purpose of the character. In the industry the character is made for a motion picture, and conceptualized from the story of the movie. While our character has no concept relation, except for our imagination. This turned out to be the biggest problem!!
To brainstorm an original character from nothing, is harder than you’d think. Actually the idea of a completely original character is impossible. The character will always have some kind of realation to something on this earth, cause this is where our inspiration comes from. The brainstorm consisted of listing columns of form, personality, profession, and time. After this the different elements from the columns gets stitched together randomly, eg. form=lamp, personality=depressive, profession=doorsalesman, time=present day. So that’s a lamp that goes around trying to sell light bulbs to people, but cant because he’s depressed and doesn’t shine himself.
Now these random characters are just to spark some creativity, some do without this and just throws ideas around in a group. The next step is to determine wether the character works, and doing some first concept art on it. This is were my weakness comes in; drawing. Damn that hand-mind coordination, would love the one inventing a pencil you just plug into your mind. Enough selfpetty, practise instead!!
In the process of delevoping the character you’ll have to do some research, which could be lamps and doorsales men. Along with the development and research, theres action-, expression-, model- and in situation sheets. All this can be viewed in the final presentation, click the picture to continue to the presentation:-


The design developement was mentally hard work. Creating a background for the character and understanding why the character acts the way he does. All the development work was done the first week, the second week was reserved for the macquette.
Doing the macquette was great fun!!! I really like the sculpting phase, and painting the macquette reminded me of the days when I used to paint Warhammer characters. Funny how all this takes me back to what I did as a child. The drawing, using my imagination, painting is all things I used to do when I was a child, and loved doing it. Though I lost my patience as I grew up, and lost interest in those things. Maybe I’m destined to this line of work, just had little detour of growing up?? Spooky stuff:-)
Aaaahhh, nostalgic and philosophical moments. Moving on to the macquette, heres some picture of finished model:-


Final thoughts on this project is properly that I learned how much I like sculpturing, and will properly invest in equipment to do personal sculptures in the future.

On others things the last two week i got to mention our lifedrawing class in week 8. The class was about artistic inspiration and expression. The teacher (Nick Price) brought music in, and played different genres for the class. Our assignment was to associate the music with our drawing of the model. This was the most fun lifedrawing class I done so far, and heres some of the best ones I did:-

That was the words for last couple of weeks, hope you enjoyed the reading…

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~ by Toke Jepsen on November 10, 2007.

2 Responses to “Character Design – Week 7 & 8”

  1. As IF your destined to do that, just because you had certain interests in drawing and painting as a kid?! Just like the millions of other people have when they’re kids… no no no! I remember that you had a special interest in things small and unseen. When you were a kid and while all the other kids went out to play hide and seek, you would often go by yourself trying to find the smallest rocks imagining that they would automatically self-assemble into tiny robots and start constructing other tiny robots!!! NOW THAT’S A SPECIAL INTEREST AND SOMETHING DESTINED FOR SOMETHING ELSE THAN SCULPTURING!!! wake up dude, and come back and study something that will make your childhood fantasies seem primitive ;-)!

  2. Dearest Toke, how maravellous you are doing a fantastic job out there, I am pround of you as much as your mom is.Lots of loveMaria IsabelI will send this link to Anton

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