Book Review: Creating Stylized Characters

May 12, 2018 at 01:46 am by nickcharles

Delve into the vibrant, exciting world of character design with Creating Stylized Characters! Join professional illustrators, animators, and comic artists as they demonstrate how to exaggerate form and proportion. Sharing in-depth and industry-informed knowledge of creating fun and memorable characters, this book teaches essential creative skills that are applicable to both digital and traditional media. Learn how to design exciting heroes, villains, and monsters, as well as about key concepts such as gesture, color, poses, and expressions.


Product details
Softback 264 pages
Dimensions: 210mm x 260mm
Paper quality: Full colour premium paper pages
ISBN: 978-1-909414-74-7

Think of some characters that stick in your memory, whether from childhood or what you see today. What makes them instantly recognizable? What features in those character designs really stand out? Being able to create and stylize a character that grabs attention requires work and a knowledge of some fundamentals. This is the aim of a new and exciting book from 3dtotal Publishing - Creating Stylized Characters.

Most character artists begin learning by copying others, eventually developing their own style which will carry into their own unique creations. But, it's good to have available a resource that explains what makes a good character design. Creating Stylized Characters does that and more.

With an extensive first section on getting started, the fundamentals are well detailed with plenty of pictured examples and explanations. This section covers pose and gesture, faces and expressions, the stylization process, and even a good look at color theory as well.

The largest chunk of the book is dedicated to character projects, which will have you following several skilled artists through their process. Each project starts with the idea/concept, followed by research, beginning thumbnail sketches, basic shapes, expressions, color/value, and final design.

There are six character projects, each led by a different artist. The projects include concepts such as an alien explorer, a teacher, a heroic spaceman, and fantasy warrior. The coolest part, though, is that each project also covers three variations on the core character concept.

The final section is the Breakdown Gallery, which is fairly short, but comprised of several artists showing their unique processes to give you more ideas. And an index of the contributing artists closes the book, giving you a little info on the artists, as well as their websites for further exploration.

Creating Stylized Characters is an excellent book, bursting with info and inspiration. And, as always with 3dtotal books, the print/quality is incredible.  If you have an interest in character design, you do not want to miss this book.

3dtotal was founded in 1999 as a simple 3D resource website. Since then, the site has evolved into one of the premier CG art websites in the world, offering inspirational and educational resources for digital artists of all levels. Now also a publisher of over 40 successful art books and other invaluable art products, we are proud to have expanded into the traditional art sector as well with popular sketching titles and tools, aiming to make art accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try.


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