Character Designer Portfolio | How To Make A Character Design Portfolio

Laura Price

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How To Make A Character Design Portfolio

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You’re my favorite characters on this blue sketches as requested, today’s video is how to make a character design portfolio for animation. This is a follow up to my how to make a visual development portfolio, which I will link down below if you’re confused about the difference between a character design portfolio and a Digital development portfolio or what visual development is. Watch that video first and then watch this one, I personally have both visual development and character design in my portfolio because I do both. But this video is specifically for aspiring character designers. A character design portfolio does not need environments or props. It can be all characters, so let’s get into it for a great character design portfolio. You need great draftsmanship! I always say this in my portfolio videos. Draftsmanship is so important and by great draftsmanship. I mean, being able to draw well. You should be able to draw humans and animals that are anatomically correct, so go to figure drawing classes. Go to the zoo and draw animals from life. Take a few of your best figure drawings and animal drawings and put those in your character design portfolio. It really demonstrates that you have drawing skills also for a character design portfolio. Remember that story is? Kane designing characters for animation, is all about story. Your characters should tell a story you can design characters for any kind of story. You want you can create a story or you can do a creative retelling of an existing story when you’re actually working in the animation industry, you won’t get to choose this story, so just have fun with this part. Choose a story that you’re passionate about, and you really want to design characters for by always thinking about story. You’re gonna know your character’s histories, their personalities, their wants and needs why they do what they do which will make your character designs a lot stronger, also show exploration, put your exploration sketches in your portfolio by exploration sketches, the process you took to get to a final character design so like your first messy sketches, studios want to see your thought process and how you get to a final character and you should have a lot of exploration sketches because you shouldn’t design a character just once don’t settle for your first drawing of a character. If you want to make a great design, you’re gonna want to do several versions, and that’s how it is working in a studio. – you’re gonna have to draw characters multiple times when I’m designing a character, I might draw that character Ten different ways before deciding which direction to go in, and that’s just for my first pass and a lot of characters on your straw way more iterations than that and keep your exploration loose and sketchy. This exploration will help you decide your characters shapes and proportions, based on their personalities, which brings me to my next topic shapes, push shapes and proportions and your character designs. Your portfolio needs to show that you understand shapes that you use a variety of shapes and that you understand how to use those shapes to demonstrate who your characters are also use straight against curves to create contrast and points of interest in your designs in general, your characters should all look very different from one another show that you can draw a variety of people so show a range of body types, age groups, genders and races and ask yourself what do each of their shapes and proportions say about their personalities also look at their silhouettes. Do they read well? You can show some of this with character costuming to think about the classic animated Disney character Aladdin. You might have heard of him. Aladdin’s pants are a huge part of his silhouette. Also, his pants have a patch on them. This might be a small detail, but telling of Aladdin as a character, he is poor. He lives on the street. He steals food to survive. He can’t afford nice clothes. There’s history and even a small thing like a patch on his pants. What happened. How did he tear his pants? We can presume that he got a tear in his pants somehow. Maybe when he was running away from the guards after he stole food, but he couldn’t afford to replace these pants so they were patched instead did. Aladdin, sew his patch on his own pants. Can he so who patched? Aladdin’s pants! See how there is, storytelling, even in the really small details. And now I’m really wondering who patched a lot of his pants. The point is, you can get a look at who. Aladdin is from his character’s line. Even if he’s just standing there, but you shouldn’t just draw all your characters just standing there. And that is where character acting comes in, which is another great way to show your character’s personalities. Your character’s line portfolio should contain dynamic character poses using those straights and curves, character expressions and interactions between characters also. Make sure you have a reason for what your characters are doing. This is a mistake that I see a lot in portfolios. When you can kind of tell, there’s no thought behind the characters. If you draw your character pointing at something with an angry expression, you need to be able to answer why. Why is that character pointing? Why are they angry? What are they pointing at? How does that work into your story? If you just drew your character jumping in the air just to show that you can draw a dynamic jumping pose. That doesn’t really tell us anything about your character. It’s just not that interesting because there’s no storytelling there remember, story is? King story will make your character design stronger. There should be storytelling in expressions, character poses and character interactions for character interaction. You should know how your characters feel about. Each other. The interactions between characters are what drive films and TV shows next is versatility in your portfolio. Show that you’re versatile and can adapt to other drawing styles because you’re not just going to be working in one drawing style if you enjoy working in a feature style as well as a more graphic TV style show, both of those. You don’t need to go crazy here. You can just show two to three styles that you enjoy doing but are still very you and not will let. Studios know that you can adapt, but still show that you have a unique voice and that you can bring something new to the table. Don’t just work in the styles of existing TV shows that doesn’t show creativity and what you’re gonna bring to the table and part of being unique in your designs is not trying to replicate the styles of other artists. If you’re just trying to draw like shewn Kim, who is an amazing character designer? Why would they hire you when they could just hire shewn? Instead, you feel me. Your character design portfolio has to have something that nobody else has so be unique but also be able to adapt next is turn around. I have mentioned turnarounds in a past portfolio video. It’s a good idea to show that you can do. The technical part of character design put one or two turnarounds in your portfolio just to show that you can do it. A six point turnaround is usually not for your portfolio or you could do up to an eight point turnaround for a non symmetrical character. Don’t go overboard with turnarounds. Studios are way more interested in seeing your creative ideas, but a couple turnarounds can be a great addition to a character design portfolio. Next template doesn’t matter. A lot of you guys asked me for the proper template for laying out the pages of your portfolio. The thing is, there is no perfect formula for making a character design portfolio and should be the least of your worries, plus if there is just one template for everyone’s character design portfolios, everyone’s would look the same and that would be boring. You guys are artists. Be creative with your portfolio pages. Don’t copy the formula of someone else’s portfolio. I’ve seen people copying the formula of my portfolio. You want to stand out from the crowd of applications and play to your strengths just because another artist has. Xyz pages in their portfolio. Doesn’t mean that you should have those same pages in your portfolio. You guys are different artists. You have different things going for you. Just try to keep your portfolio unique, so your portfolio doesn’t look repetitive among the sea of applications instead of focusing on the arrangement and trying to design characters for a pretty page create as many great characters eyes as you can and then choose your best ones. And then you’ll figure out how you’ll arrange them into a portfolio later. Arrange them on a page that you like that. You think highlights your skills? Put what you consider your strongest image first and end on something strong, too, because that will be the last impression. Follow your gut If you have a ton of character exploration sketches on one page, maybe the next page can just have one single finished design that way. Whoever is looking at your portfolio doesn’t get overwhelmed with too many designs at once all over the place. I don’t know, and if you have a bunch of characters from one story, maybe order the pages in a way that kind of tells that story it’s really up to you for my last piece of advice. Painting isn’t required. A character design portfolio doesn’t need painting. A lot of character. Signers will fill in some flat colors on their designs or maybe just one of their designs to show what the character will look like in color, but the designs themselves are way more important. If you enjoy painting and that’s something you want to do you want to make rendered versions of your characters for your portfolio, then go for it, but you don’t need to for a character design portfolio, and that is my advice for how to make a characters. I’m portfolio for the animation industry. I hope this video is helpful. If you enjoyed it, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel for more videos stay. [MUSIC] [Music]!