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MattSimpson

Good 'how to' books on creating 2d game graphics, character design & animation?

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Maybe you could narrow it down a little - are you looking for a book on anatomy, a book an anime style, a book on facial expressions, a book on western cartoon style, a book on drawing techniques, a book on inking techniques, a book on shading and the physics of light, a book on how to pick a colorscheme, a book on perspective drawing, a book on techniques of using a particular art program, a book of photo references of how people or animals move...?

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2d game graphics: get yourself a book on photoshop and a drawing tablet.
character design: no clue, really.
animation: 'the animator's survival kit' by Richard Williams.

np.

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Game graphics, generally, are no longer different than general-purpose images, so instead of looking for game-specific resources, look for general resources on creating images and then transfer that to games. As a side benefit, your knowledge will remain relevant even as the technologies change. (Retraining in new technologies is inevitable. Embrace it now as part of what you do.)

Character Design: I'm not a big fan of manga character design, so if that's what you're looking for then I can't help you. What I can tell you is that designing characters is about communicating attributes and intent visually, using established signifiers. I don't own any character design books, but I have a background in film studies so I have a basic competence in this area - plus I've been focused on the mechanical aspects of illustration and animation production much more. Maybe as I start to publish material I'll swing back that way.

Oh, wait! I do own a character design book: Force: Character Design from Life Drawing. It's a little specific, but I picked it up because of how much I enjoyed Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, by the same author.

You're going to find that some books will work for you and some won't. Research them heavily (I spend a ridiculous amount of time poring over Amazon reviews and using the Look Inside feature; I also spend a lot of money on art books). Take advantage of Borders and Barnes & Noble, if you have them near you, to go read through parts of books you're interested in and see if you like the way the author writes and the visual examples s/he uses.

Animation: Another vote for The Animator's Survival Kit, but also an encouragement to take advantage of the internet. There's a ton of free resources out there on blogs and personal websites. Looking at a wide range of work from animators all over the world will inspire you and, over time, sensitize you to little nuances that can make a huge difference. I've visited tons of these sites over the years, but now I pretty much just visit Drawn! and Cartoon Brew regularly. (If I maintained a linkroll or blogroll I'd have a ton of stuff to share, but I'm not a big RSS user.)

Good luck!

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Quote:
Original post by tonyg
I found Creating Characters with Personality good for character design...

Hmm. I took a look at it, poring over the reviews (overwhelmingly positive) and then looking inside. For some reason I wasn't convinced it was worth the money at the time - the excerpts didn't impress me.

Why would you recommend it?



As an aside, Washu has been encouraging me, and I agree, to start reviewing the ton of art books I've bought as I read and work through them. If I do go through with it (if I can find the time in my already crammed-to-the-brim life), I'd want to "host" it in this section in some way. I think many of us could benefit from exchanging experiences and insights on self-directed learning. [smile]

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I wrote the review on the amazon.co.uk link which should explain why I liked the book but you're right... the 'Look inside' isn't very insipring.
The running theme is the creation of a cast for a cartoon western where the hero is "Lazy but brave..." etc. The author explains the thinking and gives tips on how to create each cast type : Hero, sidekick, love interest, baddie, thug etc.
Lots of examples are used with the most interesting, for me, being the same character drawing with different personalities. In between each chapter are the results of the same 'Lazy but brave' description to a number of cartoonists including how the came to the design.
.
The process followed and the examples on how to imbue personality in the characters made the book most useful to me.
Hope it helps.

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Quote:
Original post by tonyg
I wrote the review on the amazon.co.uk link which should explain why I liked the book but you're right... the 'Look inside' isn't very insipring.
The running theme is the creation of a cast for a cartoon western where the hero is "Lazy but brave..." etc. The author explains the thinking and gives tips on how to create each cast type : Hero, sidekick, love interest, baddie, thug etc.
Lots of examples are used with the most interesting, for me, being the same character drawing with different personalities. In between each chapter are the results of the same 'Lazy but brave' description to a number of cartoonists including how the came to the design.
.
The process followed and the examples on how to imbue personality in the characters made the book most useful to me.
Hope it helps.

Interesting.

Trying to take a break from buying books (I have a carton full of art books I haven't read), but I'll give it another look if/when I come back around. Thanks for sharing.

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