Now we have to create our own interactive story. We have the next two weeks to do it. This week is manly about character design. We have to choose a specific style for our story and then create at least 2 characters. I chose Manga as style and a panda and cat as my characters (yes I do love animals). I actually drew Manga when I was younger, but I must admit I have not done it in years. Anyway I got nostalgic when I heard Mange was one of the style options we could choose from.

We watch videos on youtube describing the 12 Basic Principles of Animation by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston. I would truly recommend for anyone whos is interested in animation, but still has not reached Disney-animator-level to watch them! Afterwards I threw myself into the task and started drawing.

Hand drawing

First I hand-draw my 2 characters, which is what you can see below.
I tried to use what I have learned about character design from the 12 Basic Principles of Animation. I tried to use solid drawing (the helping lines are still visible somewhere on the drawings). Furthermore I tried to make the 2 characters more appealing, by making their faces more like baby faces and making their eyes big. Luckily that is also in the nature of Manga drawing and thus my style helped me half way.

Drawing in Illustrator

I had no experience with Illustrator when I started this task. I soon realized that I needed a computer mouse and hurried out to get one. Then I watched som tutorials to learn some basic skills. I choose to draw with the pencil tool, where I turned up the smoothness, so that I did not create an anchor point everytime I moved my hand just a little bit. I really like that feature! But what really frutrates me with Illustrator is how you can only fill out a closed shape… That i why my Illustrator drawings are not that colorful so far. I know I have to improve my skills in that area before I start creating the actual interactive story.

One thing I really learned to focus on is that every part of the character needs to be the same size no metter which angle the character is seen from. I know it sounds really basic – and it is! But when I realized it, my cat became so much more recognizable even though it was suddently standing up. That really improved my charcter design skills!

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