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Exploring Character Design [Paperback]

Mr. Kevin Hedgpeth , Mr. Stephen Missal
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 89.95
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Book Description

Oct. 20 2005 Design Exploration
Seasoned character creators Kevin Hedgpeth and Stephen Missal, drawing on the concepts examined in their previous book, Exploring Drawing for Animation, present a definitive guide to designing and developing characters for visual media. Exploring Character Design covers the entire character-creation process, from concept to final product-including research, conceptualization, synthesis, and refinement. Laying out a step-by-step analysis of character construction in accordance with standard industry methodology, Hedgpeth and Missal lead the reader on a fascinating journey into character design theory and practice to show how strong characters are actually built.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of design theory with little hands-on guidance April 25 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
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: 2.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 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.)
7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 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.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character Design May 12 2009
By Emily Price - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is an excellent read, It definately reflects the authors. And I would know, I am currently being taught by both of them. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to know about Character design and building characters.
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