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Dynamic Characters - Chapter 1

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Date Added: 4th December 2012
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In this case, I also increase the resolution to 1221 pixels by 657 pixels, so that I will be comfortable while adding the details. I'd also like to mention that in most of the concept art positions I have worked in, the bulk of this kind of work is done as a rough guide for the 3D artists who tend to work with dual monitor set ups, so print versions are not really required. If, however, you need to generally print off your work, stick to working on at least A4 as this will allow you sufficient detail to print off on A4 sheets.


Like everything else in art, ideation is a fluid process that does not always take the same route. Indeed I would even go as far as to encourage you to occasionally venture upon the path less travelled in order to derive new processes, new styles and new ways of thinking.

Creating silhouettes are simply another form of visual shorthand, a tool that can be used as a fore-runner to a fully fledged design besides line and tonal sketches.

Silhouette Design - As you can see from Fig.04, creating a silhouette is designing the character from the outside inwards; you are determining the features that directly influence the extents of the character and blanking the rest, leaving your imagination to fill in the details.


In the example you can again see the use of duplicates, allowing me to fill a page of silhouettes very quickly by using the copy-paste method. This will free up your time to work on making sure that each silhouette receives your attention, regarding their individuality and unique qualities.

Adhering to the principles of creating silhouettes is important for a number of reasons:

? It removes the temptation of spending too long on the minutiae - not being able to putter away endlessly on infinitely small details expedites the process and forces you to think of the big picture.

? It enhances the amount of thought given to an object's recognisability from a distance, so a character is easily recognised from far away.

? It lets you concentrate on one aspect of design at a time - you don't need to worry about anything else other than the overall shape of the silhouette, the emotional response from the viewer and whether that response is the desired effect based on the design requirements.

Of course, once the external shape of the character is agreed upon, it's time to fill in the internal details. This involves the reconciliation of external shapes, with associated internal objects which also serve a functional purpose for the character in question. There's no real 'right' way to go about this, but a good rule I try to keep is to concentrate on the larger shapes before going into the minute details; it's a very fluid natural progression when you think about it.
Silhouette Detailing - So here is an example of how a character's silhouette is taken from an abstract silhouette, to a fairly well fleshed-out concept (Fig.05a - b).



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