Whether they are animated or illustrated, princesses are at the center of the greatest stories in film and books. Designing a princess well is critical to making a story come alive. In this character design course, Tom Bancroft, character designer and animator on some of your favorite Disney films, walk you through the process of designing a princess character. In this character design class, you design a princess based on yourself, your friend, or a family member.
Tom Bancroft is a Disney animation veteran and author of the leading books on character design. He takes you through beginner and intermediate lessons step-by-step so you can learn simplified anatomy, flow in your drawing, facial elements, drawing different races, hair and clothing, and posing your final character design. The resulting project is a perfect surprise for a friend or loved one – a version of them as a animation-style Princess.
Character Design: Creating Princess Characters Course Outline
Introduction to Designing Princess
In this introduction, Tom describes his background and experience and provides an overview of what will be taught in this online character design class.
The Odd 8 Body Shape in Character Design
In the first lesson, Tom Bancroft describes creating the basic frame and use of his process for designing a characters body shape. Tom shows how to use his new approach to character body shapes which he calls the “odd eight.” He also teaches about twists, tilts, balance and the use of basic shapes in design.
Female Facial Structure in Character Design
Tom Bancroft discusses the shape and structure of the face when designing animated style characters in the second lesson. He touches on how shape and structure is affected by ethnicity and the importance of subtle differences to ensure you create an attractive and believable female face.
Hair & Clothing Design for Princesses
In the third lesson, Tom emphasizes the use of reference materials for the hair and clothing of a princess character. He also discusses the importance of simple lines when creating a princess in the traditional animation style.
Putting It all Together
Finally, Tom puts all the pieces together to create the final design and walks you through the steps he used to create a princess character based on his daughter.
Princess Character Design Assignment
What friend or family member wouldn’t want to see themselves as a Animated Princess drawn by you? Your assignment is to pick one of your female friends or family members, a prop that is “iconic” to them, and a dress that is elegant but based on colors or themes that help describe them also. This is the chance to create a completely unique animated princess based on someone you know and then post it all over social media to surprise them! Just make sure you make them pretty, you don’t want to lose a friend over this! Think simplified, maybe even generic faces, so its not too realistic looking. Remember, this is the animated version of them, so it just needs to resemble them, not be a portrait or caricature.