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Question: What would you include for a character design?

stellatae

Member
Hello again!

I'm back again but before I get into my question I wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post as well as everyone on this form. I'm on a few different art-related websites and I've come across the kindest, most understanding people here. Y'all gave some amazing incredible advice while not being mean. Thank you.

On to the question!

I recently got commissioned to do a character design for someone and I am so excited. However, I'm not entirely sure what exactly should be included and if there is a general look, and I want to give my customer the best I can.

I have been given the looks (hair, clothing, accessories) and how they imagine their character but I'm wondering if there is more to character design. I hope I made some sort of sense here and thank you for taking the time to read this :)!
 

snowsketches

Active Member
Very nice!

Well, ideally you want to set out the scope before you agree on a commission with a client. Character design work can range anywhere from doing dozens of thumbnails and then moving onto a few clean sketches and trying various different outfits and hairstyles, to just one full body image based on a description. Of course, the former is far more common in actual studios, but character design can mean different things to different people. Some people like doing a full sheet with some expressions, some people like to do a couple of different outfits, some people will do some poses, some people will do a front/side/back for something that can serve as reference for a fursuit or animation later, some people will offer some alternatives for hairstyles, etc. It depends on what you're offering as a commission, and if they reached out to you out of the blue and weren't basing themselves off of a commission type you described, it's best to ask them what they're looking for before agreeing on a price. Pricing a turnaround with a couple of outfits and some expressions will look very different than pricing just one full body, and it would suck if you came up with something wonderful and they informed you after the fact that they were looking for more.

Examples of how character design can really have a wide range in terms of what people do (some are more pose focused, some are expression focused, some are clothing focused, some focus on variety while others focus on detail, etc): (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13)

In this case, if it was just a full body commission that someone had no visual references, I'd just treat it as a full body commission! But if they want a full design, it's important to clarify before you agree on a price for something like "1 pose, 2 outfits, 3 expressions" or "front and back, color scheme, 3 expressions" or whatever it is that they're looking for and you're willing to do. Best way to know is to ask!
 

stellatae

Member
Very nice!

Well, ideally you want to set out the scope before you agree on a commission with a client. Character design work can range anywhere from doing dozens of thumbnails and then moving onto a few clean sketches and trying various different outfits and hairstyles, to just one full body image based on a description. Of course, the former is far more common in actual studios, but character design can mean different things to different people. Some people like doing a full sheet with some expressions, some people like to do a couple of different outfits, some people will do some poses, some people will do a front/side/back for something that can serve as reference for a fursuit or animation later, some people will offer some alternatives for hairstyles, etc. It depends on what you're offering as a commission, and if they reached out to you out of the blue and weren't basing themselves off of a commission type you described, it's best to ask them what they're looking for before agreeing on a price. Pricing a turnaround with a couple of outfits and some expressions will look very different than pricing just one full body, and it would suck if you came up with something wonderful and they informed you after the fact that they were looking for more.

Examples of how character design can really have a wide range in terms of what people do (some are more pose focused, some are expression focused, some are clothing focused, some focus on variety while others focus on detail, etc): (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13)

In this case, if it was just a full body commission that someone had no visual references, I'd just treat it as a full body commission! But if they want a full design, it's important to clarify before you agree on a price for something like "1 pose, 2 outfits, 3 expressions" or "front and back, color scheme, 3 expressions" or whatever it is that they're looking for and you're willing to do. Best way to know is to ask!

You are my saviour! Thank you so much. You put into words exactly what I was trying to express but I couldn't figure out the correct wording. The examples are also a life saviour as I can show them and see what they want. I really can't express how much you just made my day (it was starting to be not so good) and this just put a smile on my face!
 

snowsketches

Active Member
You are my saviour! Thank you so much. You put into words exactly what I was trying to express but I couldn't figure out the correct wording. The examples are also a life saviour as I can show them and see what they want. I really can't express how much you just made my day (it was starting to be not so good) and this just put a smile on my face!
I'm so glad it helped! I know these things can seem very intimidating at first, but communication with a good client always does wonders in terms of reassuring us that we're giving them the results they want. :D
 
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