The skill to create an animated explainer video is an excellent asset for any business. One survey reported that 93% of companies who used explainer videos in their campaign were able to make customers understand better about their product/service.
One can use an animated explainer video for both business and social cause. Check out one of our amazing explainer video for Uber. It helped them increase their subscribers for Inter City rides and got 800k views in a single week.
One of the vital skills that you need to acquire for creating a mind-blowing animated video is animation character design. It is a challenging task to come up with compelling characters for your video. Thankfully, you have a lot of resources available like this one to help you out on your journey.
Step-by-Step guide to design awesome characters
Whether you are interested in 2D animation character design or 3D animation character design, you will find this article helpful. The steps in this article are useful for all types of animated characters design. Here are the steps you need to follow for designing animated characters:
Ask some vital questions to yourself
Doing some research about a project is necessary, whether you are creating a housing architecture or an animated character. Here are some questions that you need to ask:
- What kind of audience am I targeting? Does my targeted audience prefer funny, serious, or some other types of characters?
- What kind of characters matches the persona of the brand?
- What kind of lead character will best serve the purpose of the business? Should I go with an icon, a symbol, or some average person on the block.
You must have a clear answer to these questions before moving ahead. The answers to these questions will tell you how to move forward, and these answers will also decide the nature of the project. After noting down the answers to the questions, you should write down the types of characters that you want in the video.
Understand the types of animated videos
With a firm understanding of your need, you can now move to the next steps. Now, you should know the popular types of characters design for the animation to decide what best serve your project.
The iconic animated characters are less fancier. These characters are usually faceless and blocky. With that said, these characters are also impressive. It can penetrate the mind and heart of all sorts of people, regardless of their class, gender, religion, and so on.
Image Source: Pinterest
An iconic video is excellent for a corporate video that aims to inform complicated concepts to the audience. This type of video communicates the information without any specific characters getting the limelight.
Editorial Style characters
The type of characters that I’m talking is those we usually see in publications like “The New Yorker.” These characters are clean, realistic, and highly stylized. An editorial style characters are useful if you aim to portray elegance and a sense of presence.
Pop Style characters
We commonly find pop style characters in comic books and cartoons. These characters are expressive. These characters are for catching the limelight and dominating the screen. The audience feels the energy within them while watching them in action.
Check out our amazing comic book video.
If your brand is associated with fashion, entertainment, and humor, using these characters can be great for positioning your brand among your targeted audience.
Start sketching and experimenting
Now that you know about the popular types of animated characters and how to select the best kind of character for you, you should start experimenting. Use a pencil and paper or use software to sketch the attitudes and expressions of those characters. However, you must never be emotionally attached to those characters.
Use the characters that you have sketched and try to fit into the story. Get some feedback. If it does not match, get over it and start experimenting again. Even great designers go through trials and errors phase before coming up with a masterpiece. You must make sure that every character serves the motto of the video.
The study shows that more than 75% users prefer sharing branded videos if they find it entertaining.
Come up with crucial poses for your characters
You’re dealing with the character in many phases of the story if you are designing characters for a video that exceeds the length of 10 minutes. Draw your characters, portraying various emotions that they need to represent in different stages of the video. These images should breathe life into the video.
There is a chance that some characters may not fit in many scenarios of the video. If you find so, try adjusting, or you should consider opting for an alternative personality.
Animate your characters
The final task in your hand is to animate your characters. You need to perform motion tests to approve your characters. You will be amazed to see how much you can learn by observing the movement of your animated characters. You can also give life to your characters using character animation after effects tools.
Don't miss to see this complelling 2D Character Animation Explainer Video for Remote Office by Webdew.
Thankfully, there are plenty of great pieces of software in the market that can help you do 2D and 3D animation. You can see some tutorials and start using these software.
For 2D animation, here are some of the favorite tools that you can use for animating 2D characters:
- Animate CC: Animate CC is a simple tool that allows you to get started right away. It is a great software for beginners as the learning curve is shorter than other pieces of software.
- Toon Boom Harmony: This software caters to the needs of advanced animators who want to do some complicated animations. It is capable of doing almost all things that 2D animators want to do. With that said, beginners can also enjoy this tool and play with its essential features.
- Adobe After Effects: It is a popular tool for character rigging, lip sync, and so on. You can start using After Effects after spending some time learning its basics. There are third-party plugins that you can integrate with this software to enhance its functionality.
Here are some decent pieces of software for 3D animation:
- Blender: Blender is an open-source and free software that is capable of modeling, video post-processing, animation, lighting, and more.
- Autodesk Maya: Autodesk Maya is a powerful piece of app that works great for professional animators. You can use it for motion graphics, modeling, 3D animation, rendering, virtual reality, and more.
Check out our Character Animation detailed blog to know more about it.
Take this guide as a blueprint to creating a fantastic animated character. It does not reveal every single detail that you need for designing animated characters. However, I’ve shown you what kind of knowledge you should have to move to an advanced level of character design and animation.
I hope you have found valuable information in this article to clear up your confusions. Make sure you leave your thoughts below in case you want to add some more insights to this material.
If you are really in a hurry for an animated explainer video, you can always outsource the project to a reliable agency like webdew that can do the task for you.