Creating a character, opinions would be appreciated

  • I've never really designed a character before so I would appreciate some advice. For now I just want something I can use when I have an idea for a situation but don't have any particular character in mind, but I would like to create something that I could use for future projects like web comics or possible short animations.

    Anyway here's the development so far,
    A bit about the character:
    Name: (don't have anything yet, I'm no good with names.)
    Gender: Male
    Species: Unknown, (I kind of want it to be unclear just what he is, although I think it leans more towards a cat, maybe a bit of monkey with a hint of rabbit.)
    Personality: In a word anxious, always worrying about something (maybe it's the rabbit in him). kind of a pessimist, but a good guy generally.(I do want to keep it flexible though, so that I can use him in many situations.)

    That's about all I've got so far, as for the design, I would like something that appeals to children and adults (well the adults that like cartoons anyway). like I said earlier I would like to keep the possibility of animating the character open, so it needs to be simple and 3-dimensional. My main inspirations are Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch", Felix the Cat( the 1920s and 30s one), and a tiny bit of Timon from "The Lion King", all this mixed with what just feels natural for me to draw. I don't really know how much of that shows in the design though, and of course I'm always worried that I'm subconsciously copying something I've seen before but don't remember.

    OK that's my thought process on this character. Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    I like him. He has quite a few triangular qualities, but mostly he comes across as soft and curvy which makes him instantly likeable to me. I think you could easily make him scared or angry or anxious by posing him with some stiffer lines (bringing out the triangles more sharply). Looks like it wouldn't be too difficult to carry any emotion through him.

  • Thanks @Pamela-Fraley I'm glad you like him, and I'm glad you think the triangular parts work, that's one part I was a bit worried about, I don't want him to be too round but I was afraid it might go too sharp as well.

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    @Damien-Rambacher I think you got it just right. Nailed it. I especially like the sketch of him pointing. Its like his resting face is a sad cute puppy dog face, but he can do adventure and fear and happy, etc. too.

  • I like this creature-character, his expressions are fun! I hope you keep developing him! The only thing i'd say is that in proportion between head, torso and legs the height of each seems to be close to equal and you could stretch it a little more.

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    @Damien-Rambacher Great idea and I think he is appealing 🙂 He reminded me of Stitch before I read your comment so that does come through, and now you mention Felix the Cat I can see that too…

    My favourite piece from your sketches is this one, for what it’s worth…I think he has nice expressive eyes here..


    And I like the S curve shape of the body that’s developing in these two..

    character4.jpg character3.jpg

    The main thing that I’m wondering about now (because the head is really good!), is where you are going to take the body and legs/feet. At the moment he has big flat feet, almost Sonic the Hedgehog style…and if that’s where you want to take it that’s a perfectly valid choice.. but if you do that I would try to avoid it looking like he has one big head, a stick thin body, and massive feet…maybe he’ll need a chunkier body/legs if you go that route…

    ..the other thing I was thinking of, was if you did slightly more animal legs/feet, the tip-toe look. I know this might seem like a far-out crazy comparison, but while looking at your sketches the big head + pronounced chest leading to swirly tail slightly reminded me of MewToo from Pokemon…that character has an S curve too and although the thighs are annoyingly chunky, I like the way the feet finish the body.

    You said that he is a mix including cat and rabbit, perhaps you could look at cat/rabbit leg shapes, because they both have interesting shapes to work with… and work that more into the bottom half of your character? Just an idea though 🙂 Good luck with developing him more, keep us posted!

  • Thanks @bharris, I bumped the proportions up to 4 1/2 heads and played around with the sizes a bit. And thank you @Dulcie, I actually had a few of those ideas already, it's good to know you thought the same. About the big feet and thin body, I want him to look kind of scrawny, and the feet are big to counter balance the large head so he doesn't look too top heavy, but I do think it was a little too extreme.

    Anyway here is what I've got now, I'm trying to figure out the rest of the body,Character_02.jpg

    I haven't decided if I like him hunched over or not, I think it fits his character more but I also love the simple lines I got in the bottom right drawing. I'm also thinking of giving him a robot sidekick because why not, and I think I'm coming up with a bit more of a story the more I work on this, hopefully I can eventually turn this into a larger project.

  • Much better!

  • Thanks @bharris.

    Tried drawing him from front, side, back, and 3/4 views today. also started working on a robot character to go along with him.
    There are still a few things I don't like about the creature character's design though especially from a 3/4 view, I think the legs are just a bit too long compared to his body, or maybe they are just too thin. The arms seem to get lost in his body and create a lot of potential tangents so I may have to rethink them. As for the robot, I'm still working on it's design, I want a crab look to it, and for it to be small enough to be carried by the creature character (I really need to come up with a name for him).

  • Maybe his shoulders ought to widen out...? Would he still be scrawny? Gorilla forearms! Lol! Keep playing and having fun with it!

  • Thanks @bharris, I worry that if I widen his shoulders too much it will ruin the silhouette of his head.

    Now I'm thinking he might be a little too tall so I tried out a few different proportions.

    I think I like either 3 1/2 or 4 heads best, 4 1/2 just gets a little too close to looking like a weird human. I notice when I sketch him quickly I always seem to draw him at around 3 1/2 heads.

  • I tried some expressions today using Preston Blair's animation book as reference. Some turned out well, others did not.
    I think I'm being a little too conservative with the squash and stretch though.

  • 3 1/2 looks right to me too. He's is coming along really well!

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