Character Design Assignment

Final project – step 1: Character Design

This week, you will design the character you will animate for the rest of the semester.

Start by brainstorming ideas and sketching them out. You may use pencil/paper or a tablet. These sketches can (and even should) be rough but there should be plenty of them. You will be working with this character for several weeks – don’t settle for the first idea. Explore different possibilities before making a final decision. Gather visual references for your final design (i.e: if your character is a cat-version of your favorite singer, gather images of cats and of the celebrity the character will resemble).

Write a biography for your character. This doesn’t need to be long – just a short paragraph including its name and essential traits (see example above).

Once you’ve decided what you want your character’s essential traits (design and personality) to be, create a character turnaround. You may use pencil/paper or a tablet.: this is a document often used in animation showing different views of a character on a single sheet of paper. Make sure you include its front, side & back. Start with the front view and draw horizontal lines at the height of each important elements (i.e: top of head, chin, feet, hands etc.) across the width of the sheet of paper to align all views).

Examples of the sketches, bio, and turnaround are on this page.


The sketches and turnaround should be exported as JPGs. The biography should be typed up.


Create a new post on your OpenLab portfolio. Your post should include your sketches, bio, and turnaround as well as a short description (reflections on your process, challenges, goals etc. are also welcome).

This assignment is due next week. Submit the following files on the following platforms:

  • Blackboard: jpgs or pngs of your sketches, model sheet/turnaround and the bio as a word doc or pdf. A link to your OpenLab post.
  • OpenLab portfolio post and discussion board: Reply to the “Character design” discussion post with a link to your OpenLab post

This is the first step of the final project. It will be taken into account in the final grade for the project.