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The book Character Design from the Ground Up published by Focal Press provides a complete overview of character design, which has become a distinct discipline within the entertainment industry whether it be for films, games, or comic books.
Illustrator and character designer Kevin Crossley starts with the basics of materials, equipment, and software, and goes on to explain the processes professional character designers follow to develop characters for film, games, and illustration. From ideas and thumbnails, anatomy and reference, through effective drawing, 3D mock-ups, and full turnarounds, this book covers how a character designer works to achieve professional results.
Part 1: The Basics
A Frame of Mind
Equipment, Materials, & Software
Building a Reference Library
Keeping a Sketchbook
Basic Drawing Skill
Anatomy in a Nutshell
Character Design Templates
The Job, the Client, & the Brief
Part 2: The Process
Ideas, Thumbnails, & Sketches
Developing Thumbnails into Characters
Drawing: Paper versus Photoshop
Turnarounds & Lineups
Part 3: Projects
Dystopian Future: Judge Dredd
Manga: Post-Apocalyptic Robot Girl
Steampunk: ABC Warrior Mek Quake
Let's Get Mechaphysical: Easy Mecha Design
Twisted History: ABC Warrior Deadlock
Cartoon Style: Little Acorns & Robots
Sci-Fi: Manga Maiden
Sci-Fi Horror: ABC Zombie Warrior Hammerstein
Fantasy: Goblins & Orcs
Horror: Judge Death
Table of Contents
Overview of animation character design
Focal Press Book: Character Design from the Ground Up Review