design is not that simple as it looks in cartoons, movies and
animations. It takes long hours of designers to create a character for a
particular story. Character designing may have complexities, but the
designers always aim to keep them simple. It’s more than just readable
features, clean lines that are needed in a character. It is also about
where to emphasize and where to downplay based on the personality of the
character in the story. We have seen Disneyland cartoons, Tom &
Jerry, Ice Age movies, Jungle Book and so many more, and each
personality in each one of the afore mentioned has made a strong
influence in our minds to remain alive forever. To start creating a
character is very complicated but if one has the idea of the character
in the mind then following tips would be helpful.
01. Know the Audience
audience of the any creative project is important in determining its
framework. It should be the most significant step on the way to
designing characters. The characters designed for kids are brighter in
colours and have got very basic shapes. If one is working for clients
projects then you need to follow the character specifications shared by
02. Know the Positioning
which position and how the character will be introduced in the story
also plays an important role in character designing. In what medium
character will be seen also has a part to show here. Generally small
mediums like mobile phone do not need intricacies in the characters as
the big screens need. Besides, whatever the medium is, character
designing always starts with paper, pencil, lots of sketches, ideas and
03. Analyse Other Designs
make an analysis of why some characters are successful and some are
not. Do a proper research and through study of the various characters
appearing in cartoon channels, animation movies, advertisements, etc.
04. Your Character should be Unique
its shape, its personality, its attire or its colour, animation
characters must be unique to stand out in the crowd. It could be an
animal or a human or beast, the character designs need to be interesting
to draw the attention of the people.
05. Drawing Line and Styles to Emphasize
whether thick or thin line should be even and easily sculpted to create
a personality that is cute, approachable and influencing. People demand
for accuracy in the creation and have become very watchful of the
perfection of the personality that is projected in the stories.
06. Magnify the characteristics
the characters area magnified then it captures the attention of the
viewers as it appears larger than life. It also helps audience in
identifying the character and recalling it forever besides enhances the
personal traits of the character. It could include – big nose, bulging
eyes, hands with 2 fingers, big head sizes.
07. Colours Make a Big Difference
colours carefully; as colours make a big difference and help your
creation become noticeable in the crowd. Colours like black, blue, grey
projects negative intentions, while light colours – white, blues, pinks
and yellows describes innocence and purity.
08. Attire and Accessories
and accessories speaks about the traits of the character in the story,
besides also about its social status. Lots of diamond and jewelleries
stands for riches and untidy and messy cloths indicate poor lifestyle.
Besides accessories like swords, flying tools just adds to the
personality and the role of the character.
09. 2D or 3D?
need to decide how you want to project your character and how it should
look from different angles. 2D or 3D features adds a completely new
look to even a flat picture. If your creation is going to run on 2D or
3D platforms then you need to plan the height, weight and shape of the
character very carefully as even a small mistake would change the shape
of the character and make it look very different from what you
10. Personality & facial expression
of the character is a very important rule to follow while creating it.
How it reacts in different situations, how it changes its expression
reveals the role of the character. Whether the character is dull or
sporty or a genius or a friendly one or has a destructive and villainous
nature. Facial expression says it all. Movement of eyes, nose or lips
can tell whether one is explosive, irritating, jealous, sad, happy,
worried or scared. One can read the emotions from facial expressions
depending on its temperament.
11. Character with goals
one is watching a movie, reading a story or watching an animation, the
goal of the lead character is the driving force behind a character’s
personality. To create a dramatic angle to the story, character should
be given goals like – solving mysteries, helping needy people,
protecting people from evil characters.
12. Creating a background
story to back the character makes it more interesting. Where it came
from, what are the life changing events in his life, what made it think
about takin up a challenging goal, etc. can add interesting and
inspiring angles to the story.
13. Investigate and learn
is not necessary to follow the rule book every time. It also depends on
the mood of the artist how the personality of the character will be
created. You should be open to experiments that can lead to interesting
14. Using paper and pencil is not a bad idea
is always good to draw your character on paper first. Most of the
interesting characters of yesteryears were drawn when drawing with the
help of software was a distant dream. While working on paper many
interesting things happen, this may not be possible on computers.
Besides, it gives a good feel to the artist of creating something with
one’s own hands and a feeling of giving life to a picture drawn on
15. Let people share their thoughts
will help you in understanding if you character is able to interact
with the audience or if you are able to put the personality you wanted
to in your creation. Whether the character is able to express its traits
16. Think beyond your plans
is necessary as an artist to envision your creation on different
platforms. How it would look on 2D and 3D platforms. Which platform
would enhance the traits better and on which platform audience would
love to see it?
17. Right environment makes it popular
in which the creation dwells and interacts is important to make
audiences feel the character. It strengthens the life of the character
in the viewers mind.
18. Breathe life into the Characters
Your creation should look a real life character. Its facial expressions, the environment it lives in and the personality traits in every situation that is close to real world characters make it accepted by the audience.