Animate Great Characters

You don’t have to be Walt Disney or Seth MacFarlane or the South Park animators to make memorable characters. No matter how old you may be, I bet you know enough cool, weird, and funny people to fill ten animated films. Or maybe YOU should be the star of YOUR OWN!

In this chapter, you will create a unique cast of characters using vector drawing tools and learn a few design techniques to help bring them to life.


Keep It Simple, Stupid

When I was younger, I learned KISS means more than just smacking your lips into somebody. It can stand for Keep It Simple, Stupid. The more complex your characters are, the harder it is to animate them. So keep your character design simple, dummy!

If your goal is to create simple characters, doesn’t it make sense to begin with a few simple shapes? When designing a new character, I often start with just three circles.


What do you see? A face, right? Now what happens if I move the eyes around?


Although the three circles are the same size, placing the eyes in different locations already begins to suggest three different characters. Add two smaller circles to each set of eyes …

… draw a simple line for a mouth ...

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