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Creating Characters with Personality: For Film, TV, Animation, Video Games, and Graphic Novels [Paperback]

Tom Bancroft
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Feb 2006
Animation designer Tom Bancroft brings his knowledge and experience to this fun and accessible book on character design. From Snow White to Shrek, from Fred Flintstone to Sponge Bob Squarepants, it is the design that communicates a character's personality even before a single word of dialogue is spoken. Bancroft, who designed the character Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy, in the Disney animated feature film, "Mulan," begins the book with time-tested design concepts, then explains how to work with a script, about character hierarchy (treating important characters, and lesser characters differently), how to maximize a pose and expressions, and ultimately, how to finish a character that sparkles. At the end of each chapter are exercises to help the reader hone his skills. Bancroft also explains how these lessons can be applied to different industries: film, TV, video games, and graphic novels. The book will include practical advice from professionals in each of these industries, including Mark Henn (director of animation, Disney's "The Little Mermaid"), Peter DeSeve (character designer, "Ice Age"), J. Scott Campbell (Wildstorm/DC Comics), Rob Corley (feature animator, "The Lion King", "Aladdin", "Lilo and Stitch"), Butch Hartman (creator, "Fairly Oddparents"), Jack Davis (MAD magazine), and Bill Amend (cartoonist, "Fox Trot". The introduction is written by Glen Keane (Walt Disney).

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Creating Characters with Personality: For Film, TV, Animation, Video Games, and Graphic Novels + Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications Inc.,U.S. (18 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823023494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823023493
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 21.6 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

TOM BANCROFT has worked in traditional animation for 15 years, spending most of that time at Disney Feature Animation, where he was supervising animator for the character Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy), in the movie "Mulan." He has also worked for Big Idea Productions on the popular "Veggietales" series as a character designer, CG animator, storyboard artist, and director. His most recent work was on Disney's feature film, Brother Bear.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting stuff. 22 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The specific purpose of this book is to demonstrate how the use of different shapes and construction can produce characters with different personalities. To that end it is superb. Running alongside the chapters to do this (facial spacing, body shape etc) is an ongoing assignment given to cartoon professionals to produce a lead character with a specific personality. The results are interesting as each is very different yet displays the character traits specified. The book goes on to show the design process for the entire cast from sidekick, to sweetheart, to thug, to villain. The book hasn't improved my drawing (I think it assumes you have some talent already) but has highlighted why some of my computer characters look out of places alongside others.
Overall delivers very well the narrow brief it describes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Character Design with added flavour 7 Mar 2014
By M Carr
This book captures character design with colour, vitality and an obvious passion for the subject. While I would recommend this book to understand characters it isn't a book to specifically learn how to draw characters but explains the drawing process, how to follow it and how to improve your own. This isn't a bad thing and as someone who teaches video games concept art this was a book to consider for my course and I found it engaging and covered a surprising range by considering career roles and bringing in other experts in the field. It also set 'homework' with assignments linked into the book and so is a nice touch for use by students. The only thing I think would have enhanced this would have been video tutorials where the author showed the steps (possibly an online website or YouTube.). The highlight of the book is the feeling of expertise from the author as these are steps he follows not simply talks about. A book with personality!
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome 16 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for aspiring animators and cartoonists, is very well illustrated and very informative and very useful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really Helpful! 9 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A really helpful guide to character design from a collection of amazing artists. It filled in a lot of the gaps that my university failed to mention and sparked a previously lacking enthusiasm. It is written in a very one-on-one talk kind of way that makes it feel like you're learning from an artist rather than just sitting reading a book. It also provides fun and educational exercises to keep you active - art is an active thing, after all!
For all future character designers who are serious about perusing a career - read this book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Basic 27 Jun 2012
By Raul
It's not a bad book, the author really has a long career on the field of animation, that is why the book disappointed me a little. It covers everything superficially, and it feels like the content could be treated in more depth.

I would recommend it for a quick overview about character design, but not if you are looking for something else
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