4 Original Character Pitfalls

by: Brookes Eggleston - Character Design Forge

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hi this is Brooks with character design Forge you know sometimes you guys teach me something or at least make me more aware of something you know I started this channel from a place of designing characters for a purpose so whether that storytelling or marketing it's always meant to be for an audience I started to realize those through some of your comments and questions looking through some of your art that there is this very large culture of original characters and for clarity's sake I'll keep the phrase original characters in quotation marks so generally these are characters that people will create as an avatar of themselves perhaps a self insert into a fan work and most of the time these are characters designed without a purpose and at times they are a little bit on the self-indulgent side now before I was really only partially aware of things like original the character the Tyson Hesse name and a few other sonic atrocities and I'm not really coming out against original characters here really as an idea it's not that far off from what myself and other character designers are doing when they create characters and stories instead I wanted to go over a few things that could possibly be problematic for you as you're creating your own characters in this quote-unquote original character arena so here are a few things that might be able to help you the first thing is something I'd like to call the originality dilemma and this is where from the outset you're trying to create something that has never been done before and in so holding this uniqueness of your character as its most important value you can sometimes create something that's completely obtuse or unnecessarily strange the thing that's helpful to realize and honestly a little bit relieving is that a lot of good ideas have been repeated and sometimes all it takes is filtering one thing or a few things through yourself and perhaps putting your own spin on it now this isn't me advocating plagiarism but take for example the characters in Zootopia these are characters based on real animals and plenty of and rabbits have been done before but this was the creators of this movie taking those things filtering them through themselves putting their own unique spin on it and honestly in the end no one's complaining chances are that something or everything that you have in mind to create has been done before but that isn't necessarily a problem so don't try so hard and struggle so much with making something unique that it comes out obtuse and perhaps you forget about the principles of good character design that make people like a character in the first place the second thing that I see a lot is an over complication of characters and simplicity is really a tenant of good character design it's been said that perfection isn't achieved when you can't add anything more but when you can't take anything more away so if in an effort to make your character different you've given them four horns three different colors in their hair two belts a cape a chainmail a monster arm really try and think what it is that all of these crazy amalgam of elements actually add to your character instead think about what things you can boil away and usually this comes down to finding the essence of the character really figuring out their story and their personality the next thing is a lack of context but first I'm really excited to unveil to you my new character common

dear diary I'm for Lauren to discover that literally no one cares about my baby boy Tommy if you want people to care about a character the design or an illustration of them might be enough to get them intrigued but it's not enough to make them care about it especially not at the level that you might this makes sense if you think about simply walking down the street you're passing a lot of people that you've never met before and a few of them might look like interesting people but you won't necessarily care about them as inherently as you do the people in your lives that you know more about the solution of course is to provide some context for your character but one thing that you probably want to avoid is something I see a lot which is this sort of biography style description of the character so Tommy is an ice cream juggler and he's got a really Spitfire personality and the fate of the world on his shoulders he's always there for his friends and a clinch you know that kind of thing can be helpful for yourself figuring out the character and its personality but honestly in order to publish that and put that along with your character really doesn't help the audience much and comes across a little bit amateurish and self-indulgent instead if you're really invested in a character and you want others to be invested in them too we need to provide this story kind of context either an animation or a comic or a game there's really very few characters out there who are broadly loved that don't have a context like this and of course it's fine to share artwork individually that doesn't necessarily need all of that context but if you want a character to really stick you need it I know that for myself at the moment I am working on a few different projects that I'm not fully ready to reveal all of the aspects of so I'll share some standalone stuff without that context but by the same token what I'm not going to do is start selling Jacqueline pins or parcel or wander lumen t-shirts because I know there's no way for you to possibly care about these things without seeing the bigger picture that they inhabit a final thing that's probably pretty obvious but if your character is simply a recolor or something that's heavily based on or meant to exist in an existing universe or property the character doesn't necessarily have very long legs and it's always going to be anchored to this thing that you don't own the rights to again if your reason for creating art and characters is purely for your own enjoyment all the more power to you but if you are interested in making people care about your characters possibly having a career based around this these are a few things to avoid and of course along with this you'll want to continue trying to improve the quality of your artwork and drawing better I did my best not to unduly express an over opinionated view toward these things if anything I said was offensive towards a way that you enjoy and create characters and artwork I do apologize these are just some things and tips to keep in mind if you have the same goals or similar goals to me of creating professional art or having a creative career and of course I end all of these videos with have fun creating so of course make sure that you are enjoying the process of making these characters that's it for me today I'm making new videos every week at character design forge subscribing on YouTube lets you know when new videos are made available I am a freelance character designer along with illustrator and 3d modeler available for some contract or Commission work so head over to Brooks Eggleston comm slash contact to get started if you're interested in any of that if this or any of my videos have been educational or entertaining for you please consider backing me on patreon comm slash bagel den ism I'm super grateful for those who are currently doing that it really helps the quantity and quality of these videos my course learn character design is a comprehensive character design curriculum at over to learn character design calm to find out more I actually have an addendum course called designing game characters coming out soon that will be absolutely free for existing learn character design students but it will be available standalone as well thank you for watching and have fun

More from this creator:
The Learn Character Design Course: http://learncharacterdesign.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/bageldenizen

"Original Characters" are often created for the artist's own personal satisfaction, and not much else. What things can you do to create better original characters, and avoid common pitfalls that come along with them? On Social: http://brookeseggleston.com



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