Character Concept Process


As you know from last post, Yesenia and I are on the concept art portion of our pitch. Although there is nothing final to show today, I would like to take the time to explain what is going on behind the scenes for this part of our work.

What We’re Going For
Our goal is to have some drawings that not only depict the character’s look, but his or her personality. This means, we’re not going for a full body pose with standard ‘sad, mad, happy’ expressions beside it. We’re hoping to show who the character is 90% of the time.

So, for instance, if it’s a happier person, we might not have ‘sad’ as an expression. Although it’s entirely possible for someone who is mostly upbeat to be depressed, given the right circumstance, our point is not to draw the character in times that test his or her personality, just to show him or her as (s)he is.

Work created by Aurora Damant, used for research purposes only
Yesenia pulled these wonderful references from google search as a guide. This is what we are going for.

Our Process
Our process to get to our final results is as such:

Moodboard > Design > Thumbnails > Rough Sketches > Linework > Color

A Moodboard is a type of poster design that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers and others use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team (thanks Wikipedia!). Our moodboards consist of images and designs we find that remind us of the characters, the types of clothes they should (and sometimes shouldn’t) wear, and things about their personalities. We then use them as reference and inspiration when coming up with the Design.

Top: Gemini's Moodboard (by Yesenia). Bottom: Veil's moodboard (by yours truly).
Images are not owned by us and are for research purposes only
Designing the characters is one of my favorite parts. Not only do Yesenia and I try to visually represent the character, we also think about quirks and movements along the way. I usually do a lot of sketches to get a look that feels right. In the case of Veil and Gemini, whom we’re working on now, we have a lot of the sketching mileage already, and I am focusing on tweaking them to make them seem younger.

This is not to be confused with designing a character for animation production, which requires a turnaround and a lot finalizing. We're going for a tight concept, but not pre-production work.

Thumbnails, Rough Sketches, Linework & Color
During this process, both Yesenia and I reference the designs we come up with and thumbnail out poses and expressions for our characters that we think will best represent their personalities. We choose our favorites and flesh them out into rough sketches, and finish with ink and color.

What's Next
I'm drawing final images for Gemini and Veil now. After they are done, Yesenia and I will focus on Sapphire and Elena, and then we'll pick from the rest of our character cast! 

I look forward to showing you all the artwork when it is complete. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail us, comment here on the blog, or our facebook!

Thanks guys,
- Tracy MacLauchaln (co-creator of Taffetas)
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