Help for unique and appealing character design class



  • So I’ve just started this class and I’m really excited for it but I’ve hit a small road block.

    One of the first assignments is to make basic character designs based off of shapes. My issues with this is that that’s not really cohesive to my style, I usually think more realistically when I do character design, more on the side of comic book style I suppose. I’m all for getting out of my comfort zone and this class teaches great techniques but since I want to get a portfolio piece out of this class it wouldn’t make sense for me to do something in a style that is not representative of me and my work, right?

    So how would you suggest I go about this class? Stick to the class as it’s taught and not worry about getting a portfolio piece, or use the class as a guideline and mold it to fit me better?



  • I think what you should do depends on your goals.

    I would recommend that if you are trying to really soak in the techniques covered in the class, go through the exercises as they are explained. Do the assignments as they are written, afterwords you can apply parts of what you learned into your own art style.

    If you just want a few tips on character design and are more concerned about getting pieces for your portfolio than exploring new techniques and developing different skills, then change the exercises to fit your current way of designing characters and do what you need to do to get the portfolio piece you want.

    Neither of these ways are wrong but personally I feel like I get a lot more out of a class when I am in more of a practice and learning mindset and focus less on trying to get portfolio-worthy pieces out of the lessons. I find that challenging my current workflow and style biases normally pushes me to make better work in the long run, even if I am not in love with my practice assignments.



  • @Griffin said in Help for unique and appealing character design class:

    So how would you suggest I go about this class? Stick to the class as it’s taught and not worry about getting a portfolio piece, or use the class as a guideline and mold it to fit me better?

    Why not do both?



  • I’d stick to it and think of it as practice, but you might be surprised if you come up with a portfolio piece too . In the early stages of this class, it seems like the characters are going to just be a triangle or square or circle or combo thereof, but you will be surprised at how that’s just your starting point, and your character doesn’t really stay that basic shape when you get to the final. I even did a horse lol! Definitely not a simple shape 😜


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I will second what everyone here has said. Don't worry too much about if it's in your style or not. The key is to try the exercise as is and then use the things it gives you along the way. You will be surprised at how applicable some of the things are, even when going from very stylized to very realistic.



  • @StudioLooong I think you’re right about being in a learning mindset. I’ll stick to the class as is and see what comes out of it and I can always just recreate the characters to better suit my portfolio later if that feels appropriate. Thank you, and everyone else in the comments!


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