Spend long enough talking to animators and you’ll start to hear the word ‘appeal’ come up. In terms of animated characters, appeal is what makes an audience see the character as charismatic or realistic. It’s what makes us feel for them, and remember them, even after the animation is over. Creating appeal comes from not just the way a character moves, but the very building blocks of how they are visually designed.
In amongst all of this, it’s imperative to keep in mind the purpose and intended audience of the animated work, and how your character design will fit within that context. It’s especially important to consider character design concepts when creating explainer videos, whose purpose is solely to explain a concept or product in a quick, clear and memorable way.
It’s for this reason we often use exaggeration and simplification in animated videos as a tool for quick recognition. The principles of design (line, shape, colour, etc.) are focussed toward getting across in a short amount of time who a character is, and what they want in the context of the video. Today we’ll be looking at just a few of the main aspects to consider when creating appealing characters, and how they apply to the animated video genre.