How to be a Character Designer

Being a character designer is such an exciting and intriguing job. In case you’re not sure what it is that a character designer does, they basically come up with the idea of what a character in an animated movie or series will look like, how they will behave and how these characteristics will come through. Basically, it’s their job to make the creator’s and director’s dreams of the given character come to fruition on the screen.

That was the description in a nutshell. However, this particular job has a lot of factors to it, and requires a certain set of skills that are not easy to come by. It’s hard to put into words exactly what a character designer is, because the responsibilities they take on can be quite a lot and also complex.

But with enough research you’ll be able to get the idea down pretty well. Keep reading to discover how a person can become a character designer.

How to be a Character Designer

Have basic fundamental skills

To get into the world of character design, it’s absolutely crucial that you understand which fundamental skills are necessary. You need to be able to master these before you can venture into the field and even stand a chance of success, as it is very trying and competitive. You need to be on top of your game in terms of illustration and attention to detail. The next step is that you need to know what it takes to be able to animate these illustrations, and of course, have the knowledge of how graphic design works. It doesn’t hurt to be well versed in certain animation softwares as well, because this is the only way you’ll be able to become a character designer.

Research the field

In order to be able to know where to focus your skills, you need to stay up to date with the market and the trends in terms of what is popular at any given time. Find out what art directors are looking for and what kind of details they would like to have within their characters. Pay attention to what the masses enjoy, which genres are popular and what kind of games and movies are gaining a lot of attention. Try to understand what different age groups and demographics are interested in, so that you are more intricate in the decisions you make when creating a character for a certain project.

How to be a Character Designer

Be unique

It’s no secret that it is a competitive area to be working in. And this is why it is of the utmost importance that you stay true to your style and keep it as unique as possible so that it stands out from a sea of character designers. Widen your scope and try to expand your skill set. Focus on 2D, 3D characters, as well as computer game design as well. Character design software is consistent being upgraded, so be sure that you stay on top of that as well, so that you are able to design comfortable with the latest options.

Attention to detail

It’s very easy to become immersed in the character and forget about the small details that actually give the character more dimension and actually bring it to life. Always pay attention to silhouettes, the background, and the colors that symbolize different feelings and settings. Don’t forget the majority of the time there will be music accompanying the movement of these characters, whether it be in a TV show, a movie, or even a computer game. Having the small details, whether it be within the character’s physical features, their movements or their surrounding environment will be able to really help you create a complete and well rounded character.

Get feedback

There is nothing more relevant to being able to grow in the field of character design than taking on feedback in a way that is constructive for you as an artist. You need to learn how to take criticism and how to filter certain opinions out so that you are able to still stay true to your style and your creations. Surround yourself with people and professionals that understand the field and that you look up to and have them look at your work, and take their opinions with a grain of salt while considering different perspectives.

How to be a Character Designer

If you are able to keep the points mentioned above in mind when pursuing a career as a character designer, you are already on the right track. It’s important that your core skills are always kept strong and up to date, and always expanding so that you are able to stand out.

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