Character Design

I admit I committed the cardinal sin of design and bypassed the sketching stage when I was working on how this would look. After my initial research I knew I would be using a style of animation that involves very little traditional animation techniques, like rotoscoping or tweening. Instead, I would use illustrations that are layered so that parts of them could be moved or rotated or shaken or whatever the script called for them to do. I made this choice because firstly I really want to learn more about After Effects and secondly I don’t really want to learn traditional animation.

With this method, I had several choices to make – paper cut out, sketched cut out, photo collage or computer illustrated graphics. I immediately ruled out paper cut out because I’m using it for another college project and didnt want to over do it. The same went for photo collage, I would have to ask people to be part of my project and I’m already using people for another project. While they have been really accommodating, they’re busy too and it would be unfair to ask twice! So that left sketch cut outs and computer illustrated graphics. CIG won for two reasons. My draughtsmanship isn’t very strong – I know illustrations dont have to be highly polished but I felt I’m not practised enough to be satisfied with my scratchings and I’d waste too much time on that part. Also, when I researched this project initially, I found that most info-graphics are presented in a kind of ‘icon’ style. I think this is for good reason too. Infographics main function is to relay information and I think there is a certain expectation when ‘learning’ new things. Although I do feel they can be highly decorated, I’m new at this particular field and I’d like to learn to do it really well before I start experimenting.

So I began messing around in Adobe Illustrator with basic shapes and some reference images. It took a few goes but I eventually stumbled upon ‘Guy’ and he has been the basis for all the other elements. Below are some of the early drafts.

I would like to experiment more with illustration styles for this basic type of animation in the future but even this far into the project, I’m glad I stuck with this option because I have learned loads about info-graphics and preparing work for After Effects.

Print  guy2


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