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Character Mentor

Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life

By Tom Bancroft

Focal Press – 2012 – 164 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $24.95
    978-0-240-82071-2
    April 24th 2012

Description

You've researched your character extensively, tailored her to your audience, sketched hundreds of versions, and now you lean back content as you gaze at your final character model sheet. But now what? Whether you want to use her in an animated film, television show, video game, web comic, or children's book, you're going to have to make her perform. How a character looks and is costumed starts to tell her story, but her body language reveals even more. Character Mentor shows you how to pose your character, create emotion through facial expressions, and stage your character to create drama. Author Tom Bancroft addresses each topic with clear, concise prose, and then shows you what he really means through commenting on and redrawing artwork from a variety of student "apprentices." His assignments allow you to join in and bring your drawing to the next level with concrete techniques, as well as more theoretical analysis. Character Mentor is an apprenticeship in a book.

Professional artists from a variety of media offer their experience through additional commentary. These include Marcus Hamilton (Dennis the Menace), Terry Dodson (X-Men), Bobby Rubio (Pixar), Sean "Cheeks" Galloway (Spiderman animated), and more. With a foreword by comicbook artist Adam Hughes, who has produced work for DC, Marvel Comics, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Pictures, and other companies.

Reviews

"You've researched your character extensively, tailored her to your audience, sketched hundreds of versions, and now you lean back content as you gaze at your final character model sheet. But now what? Whether you want to use her in an animated film, television show, video game, web comic, or children's book, you're going to have to make her perform. How a character looks and is costumed starts to tell her story, but her body language reveals even more. Character Mentor shows you how to pose your character, create emotion through facial expressions, and stage your character to create drama. Author Tom Bancroft addresses each topic with clear, concise prose, and then shows you what he really means through commenting on and redrawing artwork from a variety of student 'apprentices.' His assignments allow you to join in and bring your drawing to the next level with concrete techniques, as well as more theoretical analysis. Character Mentor is an apprenticeship in a book."--CartoonBrew.com

"If, like me, you are always looking to push yourself as a character artist I cannot recommend this book enough… Each chapter is a lesson on a specific topic, ranging from Posing to Shape-based composition. At the end of a chapter [Tom] sets you homework followed by examples of completed tasks by fellow students. Tom himself has gone over each example, annotating and thoroughly explaining each one in order for you to see how to bring your own work up to scratch…The best thing about this book for me, however, is that it doesn’t end. You can never be truly finished with it as the teachings within are always relevant…it’s like having a teacher on your shelf that will never be too busy to help you out and will always give you good advice."--Robin Liebschner, Skwigly.com

Contents

Chapter 1: Now What: Drawing basics for Posing and Expressions (Assignment #1: Character design: Elroy and Kirby); Chapter 2: The Face: Breaking down the elements of expression (Assignment #2: Drawing "Emma" with different expressions ); Chapter 3: Posing your character: what are you trying to communicate? (Assignment #3: Drawing "Tommy" in three, distinct poses); Chapter 4: Acting: Characters acting and reacting the way you want them to (Assignment #4: Thumbnail sketch a series of poses of "Tommy" to best describe a specific action); Chapter 5: Staging your scene: Using the elements of your scene to create a composition (Assignment #5: Illustrate the same scene from two different points-of-view); Chapter 6: Leading the eye: Prioritizing by design (Assignment #6: Illustrating a specific scene, using the designs provided); Chapter 7: Putting it in action: creating an illustration from start to finish

Author Bio

Tom Bancroft is a 30 year veteran of the animation industry. In his artistic career he has specialized in children's character designs, animation, video game development, and comic books. Formerly, he worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation for twelve years, animating on new Disney classics, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, Brother Bear, and more. He is the author of the popular character design book Creating Characters with Personality: For Film, TV, Animation, Video Games, and Graphic Novels.

Related Subjects

  1. Animation
  2. Drawing

Name: Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life (Paperback)Focal Press 
Description: By Tom Bancroft. You've researched your character extensively, tailored her to your audience, sketched hundreds of versions, and now you lean back content as you gaze at your final character model sheet. But now what? Whether you want to use her in an animated...
Categories: Animation, Drawing