Monday, 7 January 2013

Character design: Lovely references.

The Big Book of Character Design features a collection of contemporary character design from a plethora of different artists. The amount of different styles is very large and there are several examples which I quite liked:

This example is Charu Chan is one I like the simplicity of, the expression is fun and the design is something different. Visually it's appealing just because it seems as if it's trying to achieve what it is, a cute character.
The addition of the sweets and fruit on the top of her head adds to the cute factor which I think the artist is trying to enforce.

Overall this character shows that minimalism can produce really nice looking characters, in a very similar vein to Hello Kitty, as it looks nice without needing to add tons of detail which I don't really think would make the character as relatable because there would be too much to it.
The fact it's bright also helps because it's a character that's designed to be bright and happy which is something I quite like simply because bright and happy things are cool, simple as.

This character "Kyle" was created by Jared Nickerson, part of the reason that I really like it is because when I first saw it, it took me a few minutes to work out that it was actually CGI and not a toy. The design is quirky and the amount of detail which the artist has went into, right down to the surface texture of the bomb, really makes this character look great. The addition of the mustache is a good addition because it adds to the personality of the character.

I went and looked into some of Jared Nickerson's other artwork and was really pleased with the 2D art which I found the work is again, very bright and colourful but the shading is also really good looking and the work just gives a real air of professionalism.
A lot of the work appeals to me because I'm very much influenced by cartoons and an almost Japanese graffiti style which I'm a big fan of, particularly in the piece he created known as "Atomic Lollipop". I love the bright, vibrant colours of Nickerson's 2D work and to be honest, it's the sort of thing I'd wear on a t-shirt.

Ariefoort is a character designed by Pixelkaiju, and the reason I like his design is the fact that he's a physical model (or... plush) and I like the idea that characters can be designs to be a physical item which can be picked up. This appeals to me because a character which you can pick up adds to the realism of a character and gives it more dimension. It's a nicely designed and the fact it's made out of material and textiles may well be part of the characters design and this is just the natural way the character was intended to be presented, but in an age where everything is drawn or modelled and then presented digitally, it's nice to see a more traditional approach to designing a character. 

The original design of the character is alright, but I would say that a character designed to be a doll hand-drawn looks a litte bit creepy, so personally I think the character looks less unsettling when it's presented as a toy or a doll or a plush.

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