Class Syllabus

IMA 79 – CHARACTER DESIGN AND LAYOUT

UNITS: 3

 Syllabus

Instructor: Edwin Gomez

Email: egomez44@ivc.edu or creativeedgomez@gmail.com

Time: Sat 10am-3:50pm

Office Hours: After class or by appointment

Term: Spring 2020

Room: BST 214

INTRODUCTION:  

This is a drawing course that will be teaching the fundamentals of creating characters for animation, games and consumer products.  Students will explore different types of genres, styles, and production techniques to help strengthen their core drawing skills with an aim at producing story-driven character designs. 

Students will explore drawing techniques to help them develop a well-rounded character portfolio and demo reels. Some of the subjects we will explore in class will be anatomy based characters, people characters, animal characters, sci-fi character art, Urban based characters, cartoon characters, and product-based characters.  

In this course, we will be exploring production phases aimed at helping the students gain a better understanding of process-based character design. Students will get introduced to the process of BlueSky design and gain a better understanding of the pipeline based production process.

Students will be working on gestural action based drawing aimed at creating story-driven character studies.  

 There will be lots of drawing & sketching throughout the class to help the students improve and grow as young character designers. 

The coursework consists of lectures, demonstrations, critiques, in-class work sessions, and homework. 

Regular attendance is essential, as is the completion of all assignments. More than 2 absences will result in a lowered grade. Each subsequent absence results in another lowered grade. Roll is taken at the beginning of each class session. If you miss a class it is your responsibility to find out what you have missed. 

A notebook for course handouts, in-class note-taking and sketching are required. No texting, emails, or calls during class. Using your device for accessing reference and personal music (earbuds) is permitted during work sessions ONLY. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  • Learn the art of gestural drawing 
  • Learn the art of construction drawing
  • Learn the process of reference drawing
  • Learn the importance of minimalism
  • Learn process-based character design
  • Learn the importance of story-driven character design
  • Learn the importance of background design for character design
  • Understand mood and color

1. Apply professional conduct through the on time delivery of assignments and attendance. 2. Critically examine the concept designs of professional concept artists and classmates to identify and proactively communicate successful and unsuccessful visual storytelling, layout design, character design, and graphical user interface design. 3. Create layout art for interactive media arts projects by putting color, mood, perspective, composition, camera and light together for a visually compelling layout design that assists in storytelling. 4. Create character designs for interactive media arts projects by combining silhouette and basic shapes, weight, straights and curves, line of action, anatomy, body language and poses, gesture drawing, pushing the action, and the elements of facial expression in to the construction of compelling characters. 5. Create compelling graphical user interface design by combining elements of visual storytelling, character design, and layout design with the seven dialog principles and the quality factors of usability.

Learning Evaluations:

Evaluation of the student will be based upon the following items:

Instructor evaluation of exercises and projects that demonstrate the student’s ability to create character, layout, and graphical user interface designs that incorporate visual storytelling, layout, character and graphical user interface design principles using industry-standard software.

Instructor evaluation of production of creative character design projects that demonstrate mastery of silhouette and basic shape, weight, straights and curves, line of action, anatomy, body language and pose for mood, gesture drawing, pushing the action, and the elements of expression for the face.

Instructor evaluation of creative layout design projects that demonstrate mastery of color, mood, perspective, composition, camera, and light.

Instructor evaluation of creative graphical user interface designs that demonstrate mastery of common dialog principles and the quality factors of usability.

Instructor evaluation of each submitted assignment via a public critique and oral defense on a specific due date.

Instructor evaluation of written reports and critical reviews that demonstrate a student’s ability to research and evaluate contemporary theoretical and technical issues in 2d animation.

Instructor evaluation of a submitted portfolio of concept designs that demonstrate increasing mastery of producing visual storytelling, layout design, character design, and graphical user interface designs using industry-standard software.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Create character designs for interactive media arts projects by combining silhouette and basic shapes, weight, straights and curves, line of action, anatomy, body language and poses gesture drawing, pushing the action, and the elements of facial expression into the construction of compelling characters.

REQUIRED READING MATERIAL:

         * Preston Blair’s book, “Advanced Animation” which can be downloaded for                            FREE by Googling “Preston Blair pdf” (or buy a copy of Cartoon                           Animation for your bookshelf. You really should have it.)

         * Class handouts found on BeachBoard

MATERIALS:

                        Mirror (big enough for the whole face) and (not a phone!)

                        Sketchbook (small and large enough for class assignments)

                        Tracing paper or Vellum

                                   Bristol Board or Comic Book Paper

                        Pencils (HB, 2B, 6B, mechanical, Col-erase blue, Prismacolor)

                        Sharpie, Markers, or Colored pencils.

                                   Good pencil sharpener or exact blade

                                   Portable light table (optional)

                                                                                                      RECOMMENDED READING:

1.  How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by John Buscema and Stan Lee.

2.  Draw The Looney Toons by Frank Espinosa

3. Character Mentor by Tom Bancroft

4. The Art Of Animal Drawing  by Ken Hultgren

5. Any “Art of…” books from your favorite films

6. Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth

7.   Drawing from life by George Bridgman

8. Cartooning the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm

REGARDING ASSIGNMENTS:

         There is a progression of work involved in all projects in this class, and the students must understand that many revisions will be part of each step.    Students will be graded on their class assignments and homework as well as final assignments. Please keep all work produced in a sketchbook or other organized methods to be accessible at all times.

 Assignments are due at the start of class on the due date unless otherwise noted. All late assignments will be given half credit. Students must not be absent for critique unless there is a compelling reason with written confirmation (severe illness, funeral, religious reasons, etc.)

Work turned in on time may be reworked for a higher grade. Reworked assignments are due one week from the original due date.

Occasionally adjustments need to be made to the schedule. If there are any changes to either assignments or due dates, the professor will inform the class in advance.

GRADING:  Here is a breakdown of how project weights:

Project 1: Primitive Characters (Four phase project ) 60 pts.                            

Project 2: Primitives Combined   25pts.      

Project 3:  Features / Expressions 50 pts

Project 4:  Faces 25 pts                               

Project 5:  Character Turnarounds and model sheets 50 pts

Project 6:  Rubber Hose Characters 25 pts                               

Project 7:  Object-Based Characters  25 pts.                                          

Project 8:  Set Design/ /Color   50 pts.                                             

Project 9. Sci-Fi Space  50 pts                  

Project 10. Sea Creatures 50 pts

Project 10. Super Heroes 100 pts

Project 10. Character-Driven Show Pitch/Grimm Fairy Tales 100 pts

Final Project: Character Driven Show Pitch 

Café Sketches:         Extra credit 5 pts per pages

There will also be points given for in-class assignments and also for various stages of projects. Missing more than two classes will result in the loss of 25 points per absence. Grades will be kept current on BeachBoard.

MAKE-UP POLICY: In the event of excused absences (serious issues with documentation) it is the student’s responsibility to find out what coursework was missed, and make arrangements with the instructor to make up work. Please contact me via email and make sure to have contact information for fellow students.

CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM: Artists use other artists’ work all the time for reference and inspiration, whether in the form of drawings, paintings or photographs. However, the work that is created for the class must be original. Using the ideas or words of another person, even a peer or website, as if it were your own, is plagiarism. This is a serious academic offense. Students should read the section on cheating and plagiarism in the CSLUB catalog.

 Semester Breakdown

Week 1 26th-Sept 4th       

Monday, Aug 26th-Sept 4th            

  • Introductions to class
  • Introduction to the  class syllabus
  • Introduction to materials for class assignments
  • Assignment breakdown
  • Introduction to teaching philosophy and procedures
  • Introduction to observational drawing
  • Review of gestural drawing
  • introduction to construction based drawing
  • Student verbal and drawing introductions
  • Goals for the class & our fall semester
  • Review of classwork & homework
  • Expectations from Gomez
  • Review of 1st in-class lecture & assignment

Basic primitives

Week 1-3

Circle

Blue sky babies

Baby characters

Voluptuous, Round, Full

(Reference before we draw)

1-2 pages of blue sky design

This page should contain 

Gesture, Line, Form, and story

Character bg ( always think about who your character is or might be as you blue sky design. This will help strengthen your work)

One Splash Page with final production drawing

Crit Assignment

 Week 1-3

Square Shapes

Blue sky Trees

Tree characters

Box, Rigid, Square, package

(Reference before we draw)

1-2 pages of blue sky design

This page should contain 

Gesture, Line, Form, and story

Character bg ( always think about who your character is or might be as you blue sky design. This will help strengthen your work)

One Splash Page with final production drawing

Crit Assignment

Week.1-3

Triangle shapes

Blue sky Insect Character

Pointy, Edgie, Three-sided

(Reference before we draw)

1-2 pages of blue sky design

This page should contain 

Gesture, Line, Form, and story

Character bg ( always think about who your character is or might be as you blue sky design. This will help strengthen your work)

One Splash Page with final production drawing

Crit Assignment

Week 3

Primitives Combined:

We will work with all three shapes to design underwater creatures.

Think creatures from the black lagoon, meets Japanese folklore monsters,

 Legendary sea creatures.

Assignment number.1 requirement.

1 page of studies from reference

1-2  pages of blue sky design work

Tell me a story: 1- 2 paragraphs per character.

Who is your character, where does he or she comes from, what’s his or her conflict.

Think of the genre and theme that your character will be part of 

1 page of  5 character studies

Crit Assignment

Week 4: 

 Features / Expressions

Eyes, Lips, Noses 

1-2 pages Facial features

1 page of cartoon noses  

1 page of expressions             

Week 5:  

Faces   

1-page quarter size heads with expressions.          

Week 6:

Character Turnarounds and model sheets  

We will focus on creating character-based turn-around sheets

1 model sheet showcasing action and expression poses

5 point character turns

Week 7:

Rubber Hose Characters   

We will be designing characters from the 1930s-1950s

We will be looking at Rubber hose limbs and exaggerated action.          

Week 8: 

Object-Based Characters  

In this section, we will be designing characters that are object-based and come to life. 

Example: Brooms, Carpets, Lamps               

Week 9: 

Set Design/ /Color                

Week 10: 

Sci-Fi Space  

We will look into the film industry and creating characters for feature Sci-Fi film production.          

Week 11: 

Sci-Fi Space             

Week 12:  

Sea Creatures   

We will be looking at the film and video game industry and explore characters from the deep.            

Week 13: 

Continue  Creature Design            

Week 14 

Super Heroes

Bulk up and put on the tights and let’s draw some masked heroes.

Week 15: Grimm Fairy Tales

Creature Transformation

FINAL PROJECT DUE 

Week 16:

FINAL PROJECT DUE 

Week 17:

FINAL PROJECT DUE 

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