Learning Character Development and Design

Learning Character Development and Design

The heart of most narrative art lies in the characters in the story. This course will reveal the "secret sauce" that makes a character memorable, beloved, villainous, funny, or celebrated. Mary Jane Begin—illustrator, author, and Rhode Island School of Design professor—explores character design from all corners of the illustration universe, including cartoons, comics, feature animation, gaming, kid's books, and advertising.

Mary Jane explains how the components of good character design can be broken down into concrete elements. She shows how body shape, posture, anatomy, facial expression, costume, color, movement, and abstract aspects like archetypes and environment bring a character to life. The lessons are illustrated with examples from Mary Jane's books, as well as famous, heart-warming characters created by a group of extraordinary character designers.

Topics include:

  • Capturing the heart and soul of a character
  • Using the right tools
  • Relying on archetypes
  • Adding motion
  • Painting shapes and silhouettes
  • Understanding anatomy and proportion
  • Creating easy-to-read facial expressions
  • Coloring your character
  • Designing a cast of characters
  • Making fantasy creatures believable
  • Going from 2D to 3D


  • 英文名称:Learning Character Development and Design
  • 时长:1小时25分
  • 字幕:英语


  1. Welcome
  2. The instant read
  3. Capture the heart and soul of a character
  4. Tools of the trade
  5. Archetypes
  6. Keep it real
  7. Motion
  8. Environment
  9. Shapes and silhouettes
  10. Gesture and silhouettes
  11. Anatomy and proportion
  12. Anatomy and proportion: Demo
  13. Turnarounds
  14. Anatomy and turnarounds: Demo
  15. Facial expressions
  16. Research the details
  17. Color basics
  18. Color your character
  19. Color your character: Demo
  20. Explore a character in a variety of styles
  21. Characters in context: Designing a cast
  22. The art of invention: Making fantasy creatures believable
  23. Sidekicks, villains, and foils
  24. From 2D to 3D
  25. Characters in sequence
  26. Riffing on the classics
  27. Next steps