To help aspiring animation artists who are designing characters for the APW Character Design Contest, we asked animation professionals – former APW students and friends working in the animation biz to add their character design pointers in the Pro-Tips series. Pro Tip #6 comes from artist, Illustrator, Life drawing Instructor at Seneca and Humber Colleges in the Animation and Illustration programs, Werner Zimmerman. Werner’s advice –  get to know your character.

‘Make your character do things that are totally unexpected.  To bring him/her/it to
life they have to be full of life: make them move beyond your comfort level;
make them feel every emotion you do (especially since you are the main model
for any of them).  Make a list of expressions and portray your character,
your character’s body (gesture) and your character’s face in each expression on your list; do so from every possible angle.

Only then will you know your character. ‘

Pro-Tip 6 Know Your Character 1
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