Character Design Basics for 2D Animation

 Character Design Basics for 2D Animation

Drawing characters can be tough. It can be even more challenging designing characters for animation. With many different styles of animation ranging from stop-motion to hand drawn traditional, 2D puppet to 3D animation, creating characters for these various styles requires specific design methods to achieve the look and feel that successfully helps support the animation style efficiently.


In this class, I will be focusing specifically on designing for 2D animation using free software called Autodesk Sketchbbok. However, you can follow along with any software of your choice, or even just use pencil and paper. It's highly recommended that you use a drawing tablet if you are working digitally. There are many ways and methods to designing characters. There is no right or wrong way. I will simply be showing you my method of character creation.

Class Outline

  • Tools. A brief overview of the tools used in this class.

  • Warm up. Warming up before you start, so you can perform more efficiently.

  • Quick sketching. Before we dive into drawing a refined character, we will quickly sketch out a very rough character to layout the ground work for clean up.

  • Constructing the head. Using simple shapes to construct the head and facial features of our character.

  • The torso. Using simple shapes to create the characters torso.

  • Arms and hands. Simple shapes to define arms and hands.

  • Legs and feet. Using shapes to create the legs and feet and using simple stylized design solutions for details.

 Character Design Basics for 2D Animation

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