Book Review: Creating Characters for the Entertainment Industry

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This is a rather comprehensive book written for character designers who are interested in working for the entertainment industry, more specifically for animation, illustration and video games.

It's written from the perspective of a company or studio that requires such visual work, eg character designs. If you're an aspiring character designer, you can learn what to expect if you were to embark on this career.

The book starts off by talking about the need for character designs, what happens during a brief, the criteria for designing a successful character and the platform the character will appear on. It even covers how nowadays you also have to design characters so that they can be made into physical toys/figures to be sold.

The rest of the book takes you through the process of designing several characters for various platforms, namely for video games, illustration and animation. The characters to be designed are an adventurer, wizard, dragon and school boy. And the artists who are designing these characters are Devon Cady-Lee, Hollie Mengert and Cecile Carre. This is an interesting format. You get to see the three artists take on the same character and design them for different platforms. There are 12 detailed tutorials total.

Each tutorial will go through the brief, idea exploration and sketches, artist self evaluation, art director feedback, re-designs, final presentation, final evaluation by the artist and art director. It's a step by step learning process where you find out what works or doesn't, and why. The evaluations talk about the considerations when it comes to designing for various platforms. For example what would work for 2D illustration may not work for animation. The feedback is very useful because now you're not just designing characters or making art for fun, you're actually creating characters for an audience.

This is an insightful book with real world application. Great for those who want to get serious with character design.

Creating Characters for the Entertainment Industry is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | AU | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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