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18 September 2023

Joy, fright, excitement, anger, surprise – all these emotions are key to a person’s character, their condition. And in the world of CG, emotions are important for portraying characters, they help to reveal personality and role in the story, to tell the story.

In cartoons, emotions are intentionally exaggerated to make them easy to read.

How do you draw emotions authentically to emphasize a character’s personality?

Three helpful tips for aspiring artists from Valeria Lugova, author of the Skills Up School course Character Design in Animation.

1. It’s important not to lose the character construction and facial features, so that it doesn’t turn into different characters from different emotions. To do this, we need to draw the midline and horizontal vectors. They pass through the eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth. And even if the facial features are deformed when you emote, they should stay in place.

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2. Eye design is very important! The eyes are the point of focus on the face. If they have a super complicated shape, it’s not easy to make a natural emotion. Therefore, in animation, the character’s eye design has a simplified rounded shape, or a leaf shape.

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3- Don’t spend a lot of time looking for photo references of emotions on the Internet. You will definitely have a mirror and a camera (camera in your phone) – just give yourself the freedom and squirm! And in the process, pay attention to a few things:

  • What position the extreme points of the mouth, eyebrows, eyes take (hint: for example, when happy they move upwards, and when sad they move downwards);
  • How eyelids work;
  • How emotion changes with different eyebrow positions.

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Admit it, when you read the last tip, did you frown, smile and move your eyebrows? Here come the students of the online course
Character Design in Animation
do the same while working on a character emotion assignment.

In addition to emotions, in the course students learn the language of forms, movements, gestures, understand the symbolism of costumes, create a series of dynamic poses, and learn how to make a character twist. The knowledge gained in the course is not only necessary for those who work in animation studios, but also for anyone who wants to create colorful characters for games, book illustrations, comics and personal projects.

You can find out more details, the nearest start date and sign up on the course page.

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