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Fundamentals of Character Design

Fundamentals of Character Design

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Fundamentals of Character Design: How to create engaging characters for illustration, animation & visual development

Why do the characters in our favorite books, animations, and games stay with us long after the final scene? The heroic protagonist, evil villain, comedic sidekick - even the supporting cast – have been crafted by clever character designers with incredible skills at their fingertips. This comprehensive character-design toolkit, written by industry professionals, includes everything you need to design successful and compelling characters.

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More about this book

What is it about the characters we see in our favorite books, animated films, and games that make us laugh, cry, and respond to them? How do character designers develop ideas that are unique, memorable, and captivate us as an audience? This book answers these questions and more, taking a comprehensive, visual, and analytical approach to discover just what it is that makes a character appealing.

Understand key principles like shape language, proportion, and exaggeration, and learn from talented professionals who share industry secrets for getting the most out of anatomy, gesture, expression, and costume. Uncover ways to convey relationships and interaction between multiple characters, and how narrative fuels authentic and engaging characterization.
With hundreds of lively illustrations to inspire and study, and tricks of the trade from celebrated artists, this thorough and insightful volume is an essential library addition for anyone interested in character design.

• Understand the role of the character designer and how they help to tell a story
• Embark on targeted research and ideation to establish your character right from the start
• Master and implement key character-design principles with guidance by industry experts
• Explore extensive reference libraries packed with inspiration for poses, expressions, costumes, and props
• Create multiple characters who interact to capture special story moments with a series of case-studies
• Infuse your creations with the unique, memorable characteristics that engage and enchant an audience

Product details
Softback 312 pages
Dimensions: 297mm x 225mm
Paper quality: Full-color premium paper pages

Contents and contributors


How to use this book

What is character design?

Research & ideation

Key design principles

Figure basics

Pose, movement & gesture

The face



Putting it all together

Working with multiple characters

Working in character design

Ideas grid




Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Positive review

One of my favorite books about Character Design now. It’s written interestingly and clearly, with good picture samples. No water, only useful information. Loving it.

Great Book With Some Errors

Nice book, well explained, nice drawings, good references and the quality is also good.

Sadly some errors, i know it can happen the best :)

page 146/147

Sitting Bored
right hand incorrect

Walking Looking Over Shoulder
both hands are incorrect

other artists should check the drawings.

Well spotted! Thank you for pointing these out.

Awesome book

I love browsing through this book for inspiration but it also gives some really helpful advice for all those who want to dig deeper into the whole concept of character design. I can only recommend it for every level of skill, the fact that several different artists are featured gives you a unique idea of different styles and the individual approach artists have.

So great, I bought it twice

This book is filled with amazing creative tools and techniques, all the things you wonder how they did it it when you see great art online. I bought another copy for a friend I frequently share books with because I knew he wouldnt want to return it because its so great.

Character book of 5 Gold stars

This book is full of information for character development and with a few surprises along the way. You will be referring back to this book time and time again. A must have in your creative bookshelf.

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