Expression in Character Design

by: Brookes Eggleston - Character Design Forge

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hi my name is Brooks with character design forge in my video called how to be a character designer we talked about some important qualities that contribute to a good character design and this week we're talking about expression now we talked about how clarity is the effectiveness of your communication but expression makes up an even more important part of communicating see design is all about communicating something so when you're designing characters they are either emulating people or personifying something and the expression that we use has to be innately human expression in character design is largely emotional it's conveying motivation feelings and actions a staple of character design and animation is the expression sheet and you can actually get one in my character design Survival Guide and that's where you lay out how a character expresses happiness sadness joy anger any variety of feelings going along with another quality viability your character is going to need to express the full gamut of emotions that you require it to but how your character goes about expressing those things has largely to do with tone stage plays going back to Shakespeare had actors enunciate aloud Lee just so that audiences could hear them at the dawn of cinema there was no sound and no spoken dialogue people were blobs of white and black so in order to express something acting was really hammy it was huge flailing reactions and cartoonish double takes that was the standard for acting then and so was the tone but can you imagine a modern film trying to convey a mature and deep story with actors doing the same thing I've actually kind of liked to see that but Leo didn't get his Oscar by acting that way as technology progressed in the variety of genres and ways that we can create stories on film grew the opportunity for more subtle acting and a different tone arose the characters that you design whether it be for animation or something else will need to use expressions that fit that tone exaggerated and spastic Looney tune or John crow false kiosk expression fit well in that tone but more subtle expression is more suitable for a more realistic tone here's a principle and practical tip to improve your expression as characters like grommet from wallace and gromit and marvin the martian among others have shown expression is best shown through the eyes sometimes without the need of a mouth or otherwise the same can be said of the way poses posture and body language can tell us what a faceless character is thinking even one that doesn't resemble a humanoid so as an exercise draw an expression sheet showing off a variety of emotions and feelings and omit the nose and mouth from your character restrict yourself to only showing it a feeling through the eyes and the pose of your character not only are you improving how clear your expressions are but at times I think a character with only these things and neatly shows a better expression in the late spring early summer I'm launching my course learn character design which is a comprehensive character design education when you sign up at learn character design comm you will receive my free ebook called the character design Survival Guide which can help you with a character that you're just starting out with or one that you're struggling with if you're ready for an instant growth spurt in your art or drawing skills or you simply need some feedback on where you are or where you'd like to be head over to Brooks Eggleston comm slash one-on-one that's where I'm offering coaching and tutoring and I've already had a few people that have done sessions with me and I loved how excited they were at the end of these sessions I really think that they can help you next week we're talking about balance in character design thank you for watching

More from this creator:
Design is communication, so use expression to communicate your character's feelings and actions! How can you get the best expression out of your character?

Signup to be notified when the Learn Character Design course launches, and get the free Character Design Survival Guide!

Tutoring and One on One feedback on your art and character design! Shownotes for this episode: On Social

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