DATE: 27, 28 and 29 May, 2022.
Me boring you with theory:
Who am I and how did I get where I am.
I will give you a brief (hopefully) run through what has been my career and how I got started in this industry, while giving some hints as to what I believe were important moments and decisions I took along the way.
Theory: What is character design
A small introduction about the place of character design within a production. What is exactly your role, how to be valuable for a production. etc.
History: Stepping on the shoulders of giants
I want to give you guys some context about character design. It has a very rich history and I think it’s important to start by setting some fundations; throwing some names around, talking about important shows and films that changed character design trends, etc.
How to tackle an assignment
I will present you with an assignment* for the weekend. Designing two characters for a film. But first, I will show you how I tackle an assignment, the kind of questions I ask directors and producers to try and understand what they need, etc. (tone, story, subject matter, etc)
You see me do the work and cry under the pressure:
Research and Ideation (demo)
Research is something that sometimes gets overlooked. I will show you the types of images I look for and why. How to read references is as important as knowing how to read a script. (street photography, actors, paintings)
First step, loose sketching (demo)
Take all of what we have talked about and start sketching and studying your reference. Don’t focus on style, just on observation. Try to capture the reference, an eye, a look, a shape and start forming an idea in your head about how to tackle the character
First approach to our protagonist (demo)
I will do the first drawing of the character having applied all the stuff we have talked about. This is not intended to be final, just a first approach to crystalize our ideas.
Looking at your work (demo)
I will ask some of you to share your work so we can have a conversation about the process and answer any doubts you have.
Designing a character vs. designing a cast of characters
Understand the place of your character within the story and where he/she stands against all the other characters in the story.
How to emphasize a character’s personality through its silhouette and start making design choices accordingly
Shape language and style (demo)
Some reminders about the importance of shape language and how style is defined by the project. We are going to start making some conscious decisions about our characters. I will deconstruct my choices so you can understand my thinking process.
Time to draw
I will leave quite a bit of time here for you guys to spend some time drawing and digesting everything we have been talking about. By the end of this session I want you to have a proposal for two characters.
I will spend the last bit of the class looking at some of you work to illustrate concepts that might help you out.
Character that have to perform
I am going to talk about the importance of movement, acting and expressions and how those affect our design choices. Characters in films are never static, so it’s important that we understand how they are going to move.
Close up. Faces and how to make them unique
I want to talk a bit about the art of caricature and how to observe the human face. How it deforms, how it communicates emotion and how we can use it to push performance.
How to use them in a way that they are not distracting. Attention to detail is important to sell our characters and who they are. They can tell us things about their personality, upbringing, current situation, etc. I will go through some examples but also through some of your work and see how we can push it to the next level.
I will ask you to choose one of your character designs and explore some acting scenarios to test your design. I will ask for expressions to see how you move the face of your character.
Review of your work
I will take time reviewing your work, looking at some of the face expressions but also at the overall work done over the weekend to try and nail some final conclusions for you and answer any questions you might have.
* I will follow up this letter with a document giving you some assignment options based on popular culture alongside descriptions of the characters.
REQUIREMENTS. Recommended materials.
You can use any tool you want, as long as you can present it on your screen and send me high res .jpegs I will be happy.
I do recommend having a proficient level of drawing before coming in, I am going to speak about design ideas and methods that could be a bit confusing for beginners. Still, I will try my best to make sure that all of you learn something.
And lastly: Passion for film, passion for drawing and patience.
What happens if I cannot see the classes live one day?
• No problem. All classes are live but they will also be recorded and posted on our platform. So that you can see them whenever you want throughout the duration of the course. This means that if you cannot attend your class live at the stipulated time, you will be able to see them on the platform until the course ends. These video-classes posted on the platform can be viewed unlimitedly for the duration of the course but they cannot be copied or downloaded. They can also be viewed for 20 days after the course is over.
When can I see the classes that I did not attend live?
• 24-hour access to the virtual platform where you can consult all the information or documentation of the course, access all the classes that have already been taught or the proposed exercises. When, where and at the pace you want.
Will there be tutorials or monitoring with the teacher?
• Daily tutorials in each of the sessions given daily.
• Individualized follow-up by the teacher to the students in order to resolve doubts and ensure the acquisition of skills and knowledge determined for each block of theoretical-practical content.