in my video last week about appeal I cited several examples of some appealing and not so appealing characters namely bumblebee from Transformers toothless from How to Train Your Dragon and na but there are two huge sources of appealing characters that I intentionally left out of the video last week did you figure out what they are I mean did you just see the thumbnail there's so much to say about appeal that I figured a part two was in order now last week we talked about how appeal means different things to different people and an appealing character to one person is subjective it's not necessarily appealing to someone else overall though we talked about how appeal means making a character visually appetizing and personally my definition for appeal has to do with the flow between the various shapes in a character and how that contributes to their overall unity we also established that a cute looking character is not the only kind of appealing character but those are going to be the bulk of our examples in this video the examples that we're pulling are going to be from two big sources of appealing characters Disney and Nintendo both of these companies have a history of designing extremely appealing characters the standard if you will for simple and cute so I thought I'd take a little bit of time to explore some of the methodology behind them part of appeal is the simplicity and clarity of a character the faster we can visually digest a character and understand them the faster we can form an opinion about them and the interesting thing about this is in the inverse the longer it takes for us to form that opinion or register the character it's more likely that our opinion is going to be less than positive it's the opposite of how we feel when something is creepy or unsettling maybe it's taking a lot longer for us to register something because it isn't clear to us or something is hidden and therefore possibly a danger now neither of these examples is necessarily creepy but most of you will be instantly drawn to one of these two characters because of the simplicity the clarity and the appeal now one of these two characters is just a piece of construction equipment but I hope it makes sense the shapes and the makeup of a face and body are all quickly readable when we're able to grok that character we're able to feel for them hear what they have to say or route for them that much easier another advantage of simplicity is that it actually leaves more room for the imagination personification is the act of giving something that's non-human human qualities that includes fictional and created characters even human ones when we personify a simple and appealing character we actually fill in some of the blanks mentally and might even assume the best now this is similar to how sometimes we'll prefer the book to a movie because we prefer the visuals that were in our head versus the ones that we saw on-screen an appealing clear character is one that we project on to on a personal level I won't spoil a moment from Incredibles too because it just came out and you should definitely go see it but there is one moment where a character sees themselves in someone else and on a fundamental child-raising level it just makes sense that they would then care more and be more invested that's the main point with a lot of this too is that an appealing character tends to come off as a non-threatening so oftentimes when you see an appealing character it's meant to tell you that everything is fine so when Disney and Nintendo create broadly appealing family entertainment the assumption that some people make is that it's just for kids and yeah some of what they make is specifically aimed at young children but the reason that it's relatively okay for kids or sometimes assumed in general to just be for them is again in part because it's non-threatening little kids don't want to be threatened and their parents also don't want them to be threatened or to grow up too fast so when they see a character that's cute or appealing that means that it's safe part of this appealing design language was born out of necessity it's simply faster and easier to animate a character who is simple in their makeup this appeal factor causes some people to become cynical though and maybe it has something to do with saturation yes we get it going to Disneyworld is expensive you're breaking new ground there Copernicus and some people are just generally weary of appealing looking characters in general for whatever reason and in a bizarre twist they've become threatened by something that was initially meant to be non-threatening this comes back to something that we talked about last week the comparison to food appeal is making something visually appetizing food can be visually appetizing but food that looks appetizing doesn't necessarily mean that it tastes good or is good for you appeal is simply a tool and tools can be used for good or for bad plenty of imitators both in visual storytelling and elsewhere have caught on to creating disney-esque characters to sell you on something that either doesn't match the original quality or straight-up lies to you about being threatening hide under your desks from the atomic bomb just like this cute turtle kids everything's fine I mean imagine how unethical it would be to put a cute appealing looking character on a can of rat poison or a book of matches a lot of other visual storytellers adapt ideas from Disney and Nintendo that aren't necessarily exclusive to them how did minions become so popular I don't know maybe we're just lacking for animated features in 2010 oh oh even the minions were born from a need to create characters that were easy to model and to animate due to budget and time constraints at this point characters who are designed with a lot of the same disney-esque methodology are commonplace and sure people can get cynical about them but Disney and Nintendo are leading their industries for a reason the things that they're making are resonating with the most amount of people which is kind of doubling down on our lesson from last week no you don't need to straight-up copy these companies in order to make good characters but scoffing at the idea of appeal and making appealing characters and insisting on making something obtuse is well being obtuse you don't have to aim for the broadest possible audience but understanding what things people already like breaking down why that is and incorporating some of it into your own work isn't a homogeneous ation a die lucien or an erosion of what you're making you're simply learning how to best use a tool that's it for me today I'm making new videos every week on character design forge subscribing on YouTube lets you know when new videos are made available if you'd like to follow me on other platforms i'm mangle denizen on Twitter Instagram and twitch if you'd like to support me in this channel you can go to 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There’s so much to say about appeal that I figured a part two was in order. We established that a cute looking character is not the only kind of appealing character, but they’re going to make up a lot of our examples in this video, and those are from both Disney and Nintendo. Both of these companies have a history of designing extremely appealing characters, the standard if you will, for simple and cute. And I want to talk about some of methodology behind them.
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