“Who Do You Know?” (Games Design & Animation Production Design) Mini-Brief:

Animation/Games Design Mini- Brief 13 – “Who Do You Know?” – Visualisation/Character Design (and limited Environment).

Context: sometimes when given the chance to design a character, whether due to lack of experience or a limited social circle (we often hang out with people we like and who are “like” us to some extent) we tend to either create a “super-powered” version of ourselves, with simple extensions to our character that revolve around our experience, desires, aspirations and perhaps even philosophical moral/ethical models, or something derivative of a character we have enjoyed watching/playing just overlaid with our own perspectives.

As we gain more experience of the world, by taking on various jobs and traveling we tend to broaden our understanding of other more “alien” perspectives, viewpoints and other peoples life roles.

Until then we must use what experience we have to extend the creative range of our concepts and ideas, and tap into some of the potential reference and research resources closer to home that until now we may have overlooked.

And lets face it, when we were all starting out we overlook a lot, and perhaps still do… Below is a starting point looking at creative careers, again which is no where near comprehensive…

aa Creative and Media Careers - CHART BREIF

But to a creative just starting out this small list might be a revelation.


The Brief:

1 – You are asked to make a spider diagram of the people you know (close friends) and live and associate with (including close family) with yourself at the centre; put the people closest to you nearest to you on your diagram, leaving some space beneath each name for further notes.

2 – …under the names you have added, write the job/profession/career that these people do/did (if retired etc.).

3 – …then in a further ring/layer, list people they may have talked about as a wider circle of people around your close circle linking them to their respective associates, and again add their job description; use the web strands/lines of your spider-gram to denote relationships, and their length to denote their distance from you socially.

(see example spider-gram below)

Who Do You Know? - Example Job Spider-gramClick to enlarge…

 4 – Take a D12 dice and roll to choose a theme from the list below.

  1. Pirates
  2. Steam-punk
  3. Sword and Sorcery (Conan-esque etc)
  4. Historical Western
  5. Medieval High Fantasy (Tolkien-esque/WOW)
  6. Lovecraftian/Cthulhu
  7. Space Opera/SF(Star Wars-esque etc.)
  8. Samurai Japan
  9. Docklands/Shipbuilding/ShipBreaking
  10. Historical Napoleonic
  11. Contemporary Urban/Gangland
  12. …if you roll a 12 you can roll again (twice) to create a combo theme. For example “Napoleonic Steam-punk”

5 – take the dice from Ludus “The Roman Game” in The Old Media section (any D6 dice will do to be fair) and roll to add an Additional Bonus feature to your theme/background concept.


6 – Make a separate list of all the jobs you wrote onto your spider-gram and choose just one or two jobs, via “pulling names from a hat” (or getting a peer to do it) or rolling another dice.


So now you should have the job description of one or two characters, the setting in around which they practice their job or have found themselves, and an additional concern (the bonus feature) to integrate into your concept.

Starting with rough sketches, silhouettes, costume designs, posed figure drawings, head-shots, mid-shots etc. and leading up to Photoshop, z-brush, Sculptris or 3DSMax, Design and visualise your characters (with full industry convention character design sheets please) creating and including a back story of no more than 250 words.

TO PRESENT/ADD TO PORTFOLIO/Notes – Preliminary sketches/and final image to be produced in sketchbook. Any colour should be digital, worked over a scan of the sketchbook & posted to your blog.

Plus … a list of influences/artists who you have looked at should be submitted with examples or their work on your blog

~ by hesir on April 24, 2013.

3 Responses to ““Who Do You Know?” (Games Design & Animation Production Design) Mini-Brief:”

  1. […] Art Mini- Brief 013 – “Who Do You Know?…” – Character […]

  2. […] Who Do You Know? […]

  3. […] This brief is a variant of a more open brief called “Who do you know?” which can be found >HERE< […]

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