How to make templates! Some information on Tumblr photosets.
Oh this is handy~ *saves*
Do you also want to create ALL THE ARMOR? I’ve released a book!
5$ and I’ll teach you everything you need to know! :)
Learning how to make armor from the grand prize winner at this year’s Blizzcon? oh hell yes.
Oh my god, I’ll totally buy it.
i just made some sort natural of mp3 player charger??? using only fruits and copper and and it worked
look at this fucking thing
you’re either a complete genius
you should be burnt at the stake…
Does this mean that when the apocalypse hits we’ll still have ipods and cell phones?
bookmarking for the apocalypse
the potato alarm clocks and shit will have uses beyond their intial means
wow, this had 132 notes last i saw. i’m so glad everyone finds this useful! you’re welcome!
I NEED TO HEADCANON SOME HORN SHAPES AND CASTE POSITIONS, STAT
All of these symbols are far better than most fantrolls’ I’ve seen
u okay there friend
Character design and drawing are tome-sized topics and even if I had all the answers (I don’t - I have a lot to learn), I’m not sure I could communicate them effectively. I’ve gathered some thoughts and ideas here, though, in case they’re helpful.
First, some general things:
- Relax and let some of that anxiety go. This isn’t a hard science. There’s no wrong way, no rigid process you must adhere to, no shoulds or shouldn’ts except those you designate for yourself. This is one of the fun parts of being an artist, really - have a heady good time with it.
- Be patient. A design is something gradually arrived at. It takes time and iteration and revision. You’ll throw a lot of stuff away, and you’ll inevitably get frustrated, but bear in mind the process is both inductive and deductive. Drawing the wrong things is part of the path toward drawing the right thing.
- Learn to draw. It might seem perfunctory to say, but I’m not sure everyone’s on the same page about what this means. Learning to draw isn’t a sort of rote memorization process in which, one by one, you learn a recipe for humans, horses, pokemon, cars, etc. It’s much more about learning to think like an artist, to develop the sort of spacial intelligence that lets you observe and effectively translate to paper, whatever the subject matter. When you’re really learning to draw, you’re learning to draw anything and everything. Observing and sketching trains you to understand dimension, form, gesture, mood, how anatomy works, economy of line; all of the foundational stuff you will also rely on to draw characters from your imagination.
Spend some time honing your drawing ability. Hone it with observational sketching. Hone it good.
- I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do this sort of thing better than Claire Wendling. In fact, character designs emerge almost seamlessly from her gestural sketches. It’d be worth looking her up.
- Gather Inspiration like a crazed magpie. What will ultimately be your trademark style and technique is a sort of snowball accumulation of the various things you expose yourself to, learn and draw influence from. To that effect, Google images, tumblr, pinterest and stock photo sites are your friends. When something tingles your artsy senses - a style, a shape, a texture, an appealing palette, a composition, a pose, a cool looking animal, a unique piece of apparel, whatever - grab it. Looking at a lot of material through a creative lens will make you a better artist the same way reading a lot of material makes a better writer.
It’ll also devour your hard drive and you will try and fail many times to organize it, but more importantly, it’ll give you a lovely library of ideas and motivational shinies to peruse as you’re conjuring characters.
- Imitation is a powerful learning tool. Probably for many of us, drawing popular cartoon characters was the gateway habit that lured us into the depraved world of character design to begin with. I wouldn’t suggest limiting yourself to one style or neglecting your own inventions to do this, but it’s an effective way to limber up, to get comfortable drawing characters in general, and to glean something from the thought processes of other artists.
- Use references. Don’t leave it all up to guessing. Whether you’re trying to design something with realistic anatomy or something rather profoundly abstracted from reality, it’s helpful in a multitude of ways to look at pictures. When designing characters, you can infer a lot personality from photos, too.
And despite what you might have heard, having eyeballs and using them to look at things doesn’t constitute cheating. There’s no shame in reference material. There’s at least a little shame in unintentional abstractions, though.
Concepts and Approach:
- Break it down. Sometimes you have the look of a character fleshed out in your mind before putting it to paper, but usually not. That doesn’t mean you have to blow your cortical fuses trying conceive multiple diverse designs all at the same time, though. You don’t even have to design the body shape, poses, face, and expressions of a single character all at once. Tackle it a little at a time.
The cartoony, googly eyed style was pre-established for this simple mobile game character, but I still broke it into phases. Start with concepts, filter out what you like until you arrive at a look, experiment with colors, gestures and expressions.
- Start with the general and work toward the specific. Scribbling out scads of little thumbnails and silhouettes to capture an overall character shape is an effective way begin - it’s like jotting down visual notes. When you’re working at a small scale without agonizing over precision and details, there’s no risk of having to toss out a bunch of hard work, so go nuts with it. Give yourself a lot of options.
Here’s are some sample silhouettes from an old cancelled project in which I was tasked with designing some kind of cyber monkey death bot. I scratched out some solid black shapes then refined some of them a step or two further.
- Here’s an instructional video by Feng Zhu about doing much the same thing (only way better).
- Shapes are language. They come preloaded with all sorts of biological, cultural and personal connotations. They evoke certain things from us too. If you’ve ever stuck about where to go with your design, employ a sort of anthroposcopy along these lines - make a visual free association game out of it. It’ll not only tend to result in a distinguished design, but a design that communicates something about the nature of the character.
Think about what you infer from different shapes. What do they remind you of? What personalities or attitudes come to mind? How does the mood of a soft curve differ from that of a sharp angle? With those attributes attached, how could they be used or incorporated into a body or facial feature shape? What happens when you combine shapes in complementary or contrasting ways? How does changing the weight distribution among a set of shapes affect look and feel? Experiment until a concept starts to resonate with the character you have in mind or until you stumble on something you like.
If you don’t have intent, take the opposite approach - draw some shapes and see where they go. (It’s stupid fun.)
- You might also find it helpful to watch Bobby Chiu’s process videos in which he feels out his character designs as he paints.
- Cohesion and Style. As you move from thumbnails to more refined drawings, you can start extrapolating details from the general form. Look for defining shapes, emergent themes or patterns and tease them out further, repeat them, mirror them, alternate them. Make the character entirely out of boxy shapes, incorporate multiple elements of an architectural style, use rhythmically varying line weights - there are a million ways to do this
Here’s some of the simple shape repetition I’ve used for Lackadaisy characters.
- Expressions - let them emerge from your design. If your various characters have distinguishing features, the expressions they make with those features will distinguish them further. Allow personality to influence expressions too, or vice versa. Often, a bit of both happens as you continue drawing - physiognomy and personality converge somewhere in the middle.
For instance, Viktor’s head is proportioned a little like a big cat. Befitting his personality, his design lets him make rather bestial expressions. Rocky, with his flair for drama, has a bit more cartoon about him. His expressions are more elastic, his cheeks squish and deform and his big eyebrows push the boundaries of his forehead. Mitzi is gentler all around with altogether fewer lines on her face. The combination of her large sleepy eyes and pencil line brow looked a little sad and a little condescending to me when I began working out her design - ultimately those aspects became incorporated into her personality.
- Pose rendering is another one of those things for which observational/gesture drawing comes in handy. Even if you’re essentially scribbling stick figures, you can get a handle on natural looking, communicative poses this way. Stick figure poses make excellent guidelines for plotting out full fledged character drawings too.
Look for the line of action. It’ll be easiest to identify in poses with motions, gestures and moods that are immediately decipherable. When you’ve learned to spot it, you can start reverse engineering your own poses around it.
- Additional resources - here are some related things about drawing poses and constructing characters (click the images for the links).
- Tortured rumination about lack of ability/style/progress is a near universal state of creative affairs. Every artist I have known and worked with falls somewhere on a spectrum between frustration in perpetuity and a shade of fierce contrition Arthur Dimmesdale would be proud of. So, next time you find yourself constructing a scourge out of all those crusty acrylic brushes you failed to clean properly, you loathsome, deluded hack, you, at least remember you’re not alone in feeling that way. When it’s not crushing the will to live out of you, the device does have its uses - it keeps you self-critical and locked in working to improve mode. If we were all quite satisfied with our output, I suppose we’d be out of reasons to try harder next time.
When you need some reassurance, compare old work to new. Evolution is gradual and difficult to perceive if you’re narrowed in on the nearest data point, but if you’ve been steadily working on characters for a few months or a year, you’ll likely see a favorable difference between points A and B.
Most of all, don’t dwell on achieving some sort of endgame in which you’re finally there as a character artist. There’s no such place - wherever you are, there is somewhere else. It’s a moving goal post. Your energy will be better spent just enjoying the process…and that much will show in the results.
holy shit dude
If you don’t know Alex, I suggest you read up on him. Because yeah, sure, any parrot can mimic, but Alex was one of the first to prove on many occasions that he understood the meaning behind the words he said.
With that in mind, just think about what he said for a sec. Alex had to understand on some level that death means leaving. That’s fucking mindblowing.
Alex also was shown to have the intelligence of a young child, anywhere from 3 to 5 years old. He could do basic addition and subtraction, and independently taught himself the concept of zero (something that most CIVILIZATIONS couldn’t do!) He had a vocabulary of thousands of words, some of which he made up himself, and had deep interpersonal bonds with many scientists and trainers, as well as other parrots.
Alex the parrot is basically the coolest bird ever.
animals are often smarter than you think. There is/was a gorilla they taught sign language to. And one day she asked for a kitten. they gave her a stuffed animal but she signed sad. She wanted a real one. She was allowed to choose one from a litter.
She named it All Ball and she loved it.
Except one day All Ball escaped from the cage and was hit by a car. And this shows you just how much animals can understand. They signed what had happened but didn’t think the gorilla would understand. But she started making weeping, howling/crying sounds and the signs for bad, sad, etc.
And then “Sleep, cat”. She understood death.
She’s had two kittens since then.
Animals understand more than you think. Depends on the animal, yes.
DO YOU LITTLE SHITS KNOW WHAT THIS IS?
THIS IS THE ANSWER TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.
DO YOU HAVE ANXIETY, OR EVER FIND YOURSELF IN NEED OF AN ACTIVITY THAT DOESN’T REQUIRE TOO MUCH CONCENTRATION, BUT KEEPS YOUR HANDS BUSY?
FUCKIN’ BUY ONE OF THESE FUCKERS.
Or… y’know… make a kit yourself.
ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR FINGERS, AND FABRIC TO MAKE ONE OF THESE BAD BOYS. THE END RESULT? A BAD ASS, HOMEMADE BLANKET, OF ANY SIZE(and colour, if you choose to make it all yourself), THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD TO WHEN YOU’RE FEELING STRESSED.
THIS HAS BEEN A PSA FOR MY FELLOW ANXIOUS HOMIES. LOVE U GUYS.
HOLY SHIT. I LOVE IT.
This could be awesome for a long term spell, especially for protection or self love.
THE NINE CHOIRS OF HEAVEN. An info-graphic for my editorial class and god am I thankful it’s done. Way too much went into this than what I had time for, but hey… I actually kind of like it?
Now excuse me, I must return to my fashion major lifestyle and go sew a coat u_u
EDIT: Re-uploaded with easier viewing!
I’M CRYING THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL COMPLIMENTS AND WORDS OF ADVICE. You’re all so sweet and great and just thank you this took forever <3
Go there, and do as the instructions say.
When my art was stolen, I got the post reported, and it was taken down. Don’t worry, it doesn’t just take down the sources post, but it takes down all the reblogged posts too.
Please give this a reblog, many artists out there may not know this is here.
And remember, ask permission before sharing, or don’t post it.
FUN WITH PHOTOSHOP BRUSH SETTINGS is a set of tutorials I’m making, because I realized there’s a lot I don’t know about brush settings :D. I’ve learned so much so far, I hope you guys find them useful as well!
Making more of these as we speak,
- Brush tip shape & Brush Pose (which was supposed to be part 1 but I finished this one first :D) STAY TUNED!
Literary techniques explained by Disney - from Buzzfeed
But remember, nobody ever learns anything on tumblr and stating that you do insults teachers or something idek.
A little table to how to get rid of all that negative self-talk. We have to learn look at the good in situations too, instead of dwelling on things we can’t change- because you know what? We may not be able to change what is happening but we CAN change how we view it!
I’ll say what my psychiatrist once said to me: you can’t control your feelings, but you can control the thoughts behind them. It’s hard—VERY HARD—but sometimes even a simple adjustment of your thinking on a subject can really brighten your mood and overall outlook. Taking chances is scary, but everyone was new at something once and it’s okay not to be perfect every time!