Isaac is a character designer who works in animation and children’s illustration and teaches 2D Character Design at U-TAD. His clients include Disney+ and Nexus Studios.
Do you ever marvel at the ability of some artists to design awesome characters? You can’t help but wonder where they get their inspiration from? Do they possess some mysterious superpower that separates them from us, mere mortals?
Believe it or not, even professional designers with years of experience encounter creative block. The difference between them and the average Joe is they know the secrets, the methods, and the tricks to get their creative juices flowing again when they’ve run into a brick wall.
Wanna hear the good news? Those skills are all learnable… and it’s not nearly as hard as you think! In this beginner-level course, Isaac shows you the exercises he and other character designers use repeatedly to expand their imaginations, tossing aside the thought patterns and rules that cage their creativity.
You will learn how to use tried-and-proven tools to develop interesting characters, working through fun, easy assignments that you can do anywhere with just paper and pencil. Isaac will teach you the importance of shape language and how to use it effectively in your artwork. You’ll also understand the key role a strong silhouette plays in storytelling, ensuring your characters give a great first impression not a mediocre one.
Once you’ve grasped these simple concepts, you’ll be designing cool, original characters from your imagination in no time—the kind others can only hope to create. The world is your oyster!
Welcome to the course!
In this introduction, you’ll get to know a bit about Isaac, your teacher, and his journey to becoming a professional character designer. You’ll also learn about this course’s focus and what you can expect to learn.
Isaac will also give you a mini-tutorial of the software he will be using, Autodesk Sketchbook and its essential tools (however, you can follow along with the software of your choice, or even just pencil and paper!)
The viewer’s first impression plays a big role in how they perceive your character, before they even act or speak! Therefore, character design is extremely important to tell a good story.
There are four major aspects of character design that Isaac will go into here: Physique, Psychology, Dialogue and Actions/Gestures. You’ll also discover the essential concepts of good design, so you know what to focus on and why.
Jump into the fascinating world of shape language and how to use it to create unique and fun characters. Isaac will teach the significance of shapes in design and our everyday life and discuss the major shape categories and characteristics.
Not only will you learn the basic theory in this lesson, but you can follow along with Isaac in two fun assignments using geometric and abstract shapes to fuel your creativity and exercise the left side of your brain.
You’ll be happy to know that these assignments have no set rules to follow, such as anatomy, proportions, etc. All you have to do is draw freely, unhindered, and have fun doing so! YAY!
More fun exercises are coming your way! You’ll learn two very easy and handy techniques to ensure that your characters don’t look lopsided or disproportionate. Hurray!
Isaac gives a couple of clear demonstrations that you can follow along with PLUS he provides exercise files so you can continue practicing on your own after the lesson. You’re really gonna love it!
Characters are hidden all around us and we just have to hone our observation skills to find them. Pareidolia is the ability to see shapes or meaningful images out of random or ambiguous patterns and objects.
Isaac shows examples of finding characters in everyday objects and gives you practical tasks to stretch your imagination and expand your creativity.
Bid farewell to Isaac in this final video.
He’s really looking forward to seeing the artwork you come up with from the course assignments. So, be sure to tag him on social media, when you post them!
Isaac is a character designer and visual developer who works on animation, children’s illustration, and advertising projects. He also teaches 2D Character Design and Development at U-TAD, a university specializing in animation and video games. His clients include Disney+, Nexus Studios, Thinklab, and Premise Entertainment.
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