Sunday, September 13, 2009

Character Design with Chris Oatley

Aloha, this week I had a blast recording a podcast episode with DTS artist Chris Oatley of Chris Oatley's Artcast. If you haven't checked out his show... shame on you, . We talked shop about continuing artistic development, networking strategies for the entertainment industry, and character development technique. I'm constantly learning from the great talents everywhere, here are some things I picked up recently. Feel free to leave your own criticisms and suggestions.

I started developing some sketches for a Sci-Fi concept. Chris took one look and sent me to a great resource The Skillfull Huntsman, the book that takes a Grimm Bros Fairytale through early concept development as if it were a real production. Here's my first sketch (1.25hrs) and some areas that instantly stood out for improvement after picking up the book.

I wanted to try some of the exercises mentioned in the book. Here are a couple of the principles The Skillfull Huntsman put forward:

Compare Apples to Apples-Using the same basic pose and create various designs varing scale, pattern, positive and negative space, etc. Here are a two of mine using one pose.
A good silhouette holds endless possibilities-After I was satisfied with the outline of a character, I try to see the different possibilities within the one form. By imagining a different place, time, gender, technology, etc. I came up with these two drastically different characters, each one has a different story & personality. What character do you see?

Did you know Luke Skywalker started out as a girl in Ralph McQuarrie's drawings and evolved into the character we know today. The initial design process is to mine the creative depths of an concept; establish a strong appropriate silhouette and build from there. Avoid jumping to the details like I did in my first drawing.

Check out these great character designers- Awesome forms. Joe Olson, Nicolas Marlet (Kungfu Panda), and Peter de Seve
More to come as I explore this world and other projects.


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