How to become a character designer?
Character design is the process of creating a character in an illustrated story, which can be a book, movie, game, or various other things. While there are no specific steps to becoming a character designer, acquiring a set of skills and doing certain things will increase your chances in the field, including having a relevant degree, acquiring practical skills, preparing a portfolio, and networking with professionals.
Having a relevant degree
Note that having a relevant degree is by no means a requirement to become a character designer, but it will increase your chances of landing a job in this field. Many character designers have studied in fields such as graphic design, animation and painting.
Acquiring skills and learning character design
Now that you are familiar with the general process of character design, you can make a better decision about learning it. Whether through university or outside of it, you can learn character design and improve your skills in this field.
The first step in learning character design is defining the framework of your project and your goal. Are you planning to learn to design a certain type of character? Do you want to learn out of passion or do you aim to do a specific project? Are you planning to design a 2D or 3D character?
Depending on your answer to these questions, you should choose a design tool. Although you can always start the initial design with pen and paper, in the end you should use one of the software in this field to render and complete the character. At this stage and to start learning, you can use software that is more suitable for beginners and has a simpler working environment.
After choosing the path of design and software, it is time to start learning. You can participate in various online or face-to-face classes to learn character design and become a professional in this field by continuously practicing.
Preparation of digital portfolio
Companies and managers often ask you for a portfolio that demonstrates your artistic skills. Collect your best work and build a portfolio. Also, you can buy a domain to have your artwork in one centralized place online. Be sure to include your best work and pieces that showcase your unique style as a character designer in your portfolio.
Communication with other professionals
Meet other people in the animation industry by attending workshops and related events. These events provide an opportunity for you to talk to other designers, producers and animators about their experiences. They can guide you and provide you with job opportunities in the future.
Character design book
To learn character design, in addition to practicing and participating in various courses, you can also get help from reading related books. In each of these examples, from ideation to design techniques and full development of a character, along with the experience of professional designers, which can be used, is described.
Fundamentals Of Character Design
This book explains how to design characters for various visual works such as books and animation. Why do our favorite characters in stories and games stay in our minds for a long time? The protagonist, villain and supporting characters are all created by talented and intelligent character designers. This practical book, written by professionals in this field, explains everything you need for a successful character design.
Creating Characters For The Entertainment Industry
This practical book for students and character designers teaches you how to adapt your work to the needs of the audience, media and production while creating dynamic, creative and original characters. Also, it introduces you behind the scenes of the animation industry, designing and creating video games to learn and be inspired by the character design process in them.
Sketching From The Imagination: Character Concept
This book will introduce you to the heart of the design process by providing a behind the scenes of the design pages of fifty traditional and digital artists. What inspired these artists, their explanations of the drawing tools and techniques used to turn an initial character idea into a complete design, along with practical advice for enthusiasts, are all included in this book.
Push Your Creativity: Fairy Tales
Professional designers and concept artists are very good at expanding ideas and finding new ways to look at old subjects. In this book, they share their secrets with the reader. How to think creatively, make the audience interested and add elegance and charm to a simple story are only a part of the essential abilities presented in this book.
In this book, you will get to know the different versions of five famous legends and their process from initial design to rendering and revision. Step-by-step tutorials also offer techniques and advice to expand your design abilities.
Necessary skills for a character design job
Character designers use a combination of soft and technical skills in their profession. While they can use their soft skills in other professions, their technical skills remain specific to the profession of character design. Here are the essential skills for character designers.
Creativity: This skill helps character designers create new, unique and creative designs. Creativity is guaranteed that they can continue to make characters with different styles and looks.
Drawing: Character designers use their drawing abilities to create sketches of their characters. Their drawings provide a framework they can use to further develop the characters.
Communication: Communication skills help character designers describe their artistic vision to other people, such as screenwriters and concept artists. Clear verbal communication helps them get feedback on their work and use it to improve the design.
Collaboration: While character designers often work alone, this field requires a lot of teamwork and collaboration. As a character designer, it is sometimes necessary to work alongside an art director and other designers on various projects.
Computer software: The character designer uses various design, photo and illustration software to digitize his designs. This will help them create the final version of their character designs.