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Exploring Character Design Paperback – Oct 20 2005

2 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology; 1 edition (Oct. 20 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401862969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401862961
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 20.3 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,377,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

What is Character Design? Sources: Where to Find Ideas. Types of Characters: What is Available? Concept and Construction. Synthesis. Style and Refinement. Expression and Emotion. Anatomy. Locomotion. Prehistoric Resources: An Example of Category Exploration. Not of this Earth: Alien Design. Demonstrations and Illustrations.

About the Author

Kevin Hedgpeth is an artist and educator with more than 15 years of experience in animation and character design. Currently an Assistant Academic Director at The Art Institute of Phoenix, he is also an Animation Consultant for the Puppeteers of America, Inc.

Stephen Missal is an Instructor at The Art Institute of Phoenix. He is also an Illustrator, with clients including: Wizards of the Coast, Winchester Press, Arizona Public Service, Alpha Omega Publications and Gorsuch Scarisbrick- Publishers.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Length: 0:13 Mins
The authors Kevin Hedgpeth and Stephen Missal may have lots of experience in illustration and character design, but intended audience for this book is not clear.

It is way too heavy on the character design theory. That is not a bad thing since the authors understand in depth what they are talking about, things like bone structures, how different animal moves, facial expressions, using basic shapes as guides etc. In fact, it's very detailed about all the things that can be changed in a character.

But the book says it "shows how to create characters and creatures through a step-by-step visual process". I don't see any. Maybe there are there, but I really just cannot see them. Readers looking for an instructional approach will be severely disappointed.

There's no call to action to put pencil on paper until the end of the long chapters. And the exercises I think are a bit generic.

I've also some problems with illustrated examples shown, especially those created out of imagination. Take the character design on the cover for example, what do you think is the context that require for a character like that?

The only consolation for the book is probably the professional artist profiles included, which are unfortunately too few and brief. They talk about real work industry tips, like making sure design looks good in every angle. E.g. 2D Bart Simpson's hair will not well into 3D.

In essence, this book is like watching an academic documentary on character design. This is a textbook, not an instructional art book.

I would highly recommend borrowing over buying.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c6f79d8) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c730438) out of 5 stars Lots of design theory with little hands-on guidance April 25 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The authors Kevin Hedgpeth and Stephen Missal may have lots of experience in illustration and character design, but intended audience for this book is not clear.

It is way too heavy on the character design theory. That is not a bad thing since the authors understand in depth what they are talking about, things like bone structures, how different animal moves, facial expressions, using basic shapes as guides etc. In fact, it's very detailed about all the things that can be changed in a character.

But the book says it "shows how to create characters and creatures through a step-by-step visual process". I don't see any. Maybe there are there, but I really just cannot see them. Readers looking for an instructional approach will be severely disappointed.

There's no call to action to put pencil on paper until the end of the long chapters. And the exercises I think are a bit generic.

I've also some problems with illustrated examples shown, especially those created out of imagination. Take the character design on the cover for example, what do you think is the context that require for a character like that?

The only consolation for the book is probably the professional artist profiles included, which are unfortunately too few and brief. They talk about real work industry tips, like making sure design looks good in every angle. E.g. 2D Bart Simpson's hair will not well into 3D.

In essence, this book is like watching an academic documentary on character design. This is a textbook, not an instructional art book.

I would highly recommend borrowing over buying.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
HASH(0x9c730840) out of 5 stars I would hate to have this as my textbook in a class Dec 7 2015
By Timothy French - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just wanted to get a 1 star review on this as this was a particular waste of a 1/2 hour trying to get something out of this. I was looking for a book on character design that showed me how to generate deliverables. Finally figured out that was a model sheet. Book talked about these on page 164-167 with a smattering of other discussion. The Introduction said the book would provide a step by step approach to character design. I skimmed several chapters on research and the hero's journey and saw the notes that said first you need to be able to draw well. I don't feel this is anything like a step by step approach to tell people to think, have good ideas and draw well. Industrial arts are about producing quality deliverables and, while a top down approach to design can be effective I don't see any methodology for decomposing the design idea to arrive. Also, the book tends to talk around its topic, not use standardized terminology consistently that you need to know and has headings that don't directly match their paragraph content so you need to be fairly sophisticated in the topic before you can sort the jargon. Oh: it also is overly conversational, tells too many jokes in the text, and the index refers to words in text where they are neither defined nor expanded cf. Model Sheet on page 164. I would hate to have this as my textbook in a class, whether advanced or juvenile
HASH(0x9c730f24) out of 5 stars I had both of these authors as teachers at the ... Jan. 9 2015
By Jason Hunken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had both of these authors as teachers at the Art Institute of Phoenix. I bought this book because I learned a lot from them in school and the things I learned I now teach to my students at the Academy of Art.
HASH(0x9c730e10) out of 5 stars Five Stars Feb. 6 2016
By James K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great teachers at my college, Art Institute of Phoenix. Great information.
7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c730978) out of 5 stars I teach Character design and this book leaves a lot to be desired Aug. 16 2007
By John R. Reese - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate this book. The drawings in it are usually really bad. They are trying way too hard to sound scholarly in places where it isn't necessary. I would only recommend this book as a door stop. "Creating Characters with Personality" is a much, much better, and more practical approach to character design.


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