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Would anybody be interested in a Character Design book for AD?

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Hi!

 

My name is Enrique Figueroa, I'm a professional graphic designer.

 

I've started to use Affinity Designer recently and I love it!.  I have some expertise in character design, mascot design and such... I began to write a book about cartoon character design in Adobe Illustrator a few months ago... but it happens that I don't use Illustrator that much anymore (I hate, hate the subscription thing).

 

So I thought that it would be a good idea to re-write the whole book for Affinity Designer only. 

The book is oriented towards people that would like to give life to their ideas, without the pain of going all the way trough DaVinci's academy... the learning method is very simple, for beginners and advanced users alike. 

 

The goal is to help you in the making of all kind of characters within a month or two, so you can even make money out of them (T-Shirt design, vector stock selling, freelance works, etc). Its heavy focused on styling and commercial appealing.

 

I still don't know in which formats will be released.  For now I would really, really appreciate your feedback on this project. It appeals to you?, Would you buy it?, how much would you pay for it?, is this what you need?... any opinion is welcome, my mind is open. You can ask whatever you want too.

 

I have attached a couple of my drawings just to give you an example of the simplicity and look of the characters for this first module (these ones won't be in the book, but they can give you a small idea).

 

I love more and more AD and I think It has great potential as a learning tool.

 

Thanks in advance,

Enrique Figueroa

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Hi Enrique.

 

Go for it! The restaurant picture just screams, PRINT ME! :D

 

As for your own identifiable style, I and the usual suspects (Ronniemcbride, Cartoonmike/Mike, Denironaut/Craig and Eejits/George and mystrawberrymonkey/Alan), will look forward to seeing more of your work.

 

If you PM them, they should be able to help you out with the pricing, styling and other tips etc. All I can do is pass on small nuggets of info and encouragement....

 

peter

 

Ps If I do have one critique, it's this: the sky is too dark/flat. Otherwise well done.


MacBook pro, 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB, OS X 10.11.6

 

http://www.pinterest.com/peter2111

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Thank you!

 

I really appreciate our feedback. I'm planning to release this tutorial books in volumes, all of them independent of each other, this means you can perfectly start to put to work your knowledge from volume 1, that is characters.  Some other topics I'm developing simultaneously are:

 

• Creature Design

• Advanced Coloring

• Introduction to environment design (so your characters can live in their own worlds)

• Dynamic poses and expressions

 

At the same time I'm working alongside with a web developer to launch a website with free content: tutorials, vector packs, brushes, etc. There will be premium content too, but you don't have to buy anything to start learning.

 

If you have questions or suggestions, I'll be checking this post daily. My main concern is to fulfill your needs on this matter as closer as I can.

 

To Peter: Thank you!, I appreciate this kind of feedback, is very important for me.

 

Enrique.

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Sounds a great idea. I would be interested in your books and the website. Difficult to say how much I'd pay. Really depends on how much content there is. If each volume was quite small and therefore cheap, I think I'd be more likely to buy than one expensive book. The books could have links to your site too, so if someone buys the book they can access files, brushes etc that tie in with the examples in the book. Good luck with this. I look forward to seeing future updates on it.

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Sounds a great idea. I would be interested in your books and the website. Difficult to say ...

 

 

Thanks Geordie, that was a very enlightening answer!, I'm building the thing as a whole, but your point of view is very interesting. I will strongly consider your feedback on cheaper chunks of information and premium files, it totally makes sense.

 

I'll be posting some previews as soon as they're available, all critiques good or bad are always welcome.

 

Enrique


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ikarvs,

As you mentioned in your original post that you were undecided on the format(s) for this project, I thought that I might suggest the iBook format for a number of reasons:

 

Those who want to learn Affinity Designer (and even Affinity Photo and the hopefully relatively soon to be Affinity Publisher) are all already using a mac.

 

The iBooks format easily allows for imbedded video and 'slide-show' type of content.

 

The iBooks format allows for you to push updates to your content whenever tools and techniques happen to change in Affinity Designer.

 

The iBooks format would allow for a 'basic' version to be offered free and additional 'books' can be offered which cover further techniques, tools, and topics more in-depth; an iBook which consolidates all of you presently offered iBooks (and future updates) could be offered at a discounted price over the cost of purchasing the books individually. It could work something like below but with your breakdown of volume content, of course:

 

"Learn Affinity Designer"   -    FREE

"Learn Affinity Designer - The Pen and Node Tools: Advanced"   -   €3.99

"Learn Affinity Designer - Boolean Operations: Advanced"   -   €2.99

"Learn Affinity Designer - Gradients: Advanced"   -  €2.99

"Learn Affinity Designer - Brushes and Styles: Advanced Use and creation"   -   €4.99

"Etc., Ad Infinitum"

"Learn Affinity Designer - The Complete collection"  - € (priced at something like (Total number of ibooks - 1) * 0.65)).

 

As you create new content for individual books the consumer can delete their present version and download the newer. If the 'Complete Collection' version was done as a whole then the same would apply for it.

I am sure there are other advantages to the iBooks format which could benefit both you as the content creator and the content consumers. Likewise there may be some disadvantage to this format which I am unaware.

 

But, if the consumer finds the content useful, clearly presented, reasonably priced, and (to some extent) entertaining in the first free 'book', then you could be on to a winner.  Looking at the two files you provided has piqued my interest and I would certainly download the first free book - whether I or anyone else would pay for more from the rest would obviously depend only upon your creativity, talent and teaching method.   :rolleyes:

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ikarvs,

As you mentioned in your original post that you were undecided on the format(s) for this project, I thought that I might suggest the iBook format for a number of reasons:

 

Those who want to learn Affinity Designer (and even Affinity Photo and the hopefully relatively soon to be Affinity Publisher) are all already using a mac...

 

Hi, justwilliam!

 

Thank you for your detailed and insightful answer, I really appreciate it!.  Your point of view is very interesting. I think there can be some cool advantages using the iBook's interactivity. Definitely the way to go would be with smaller and cheaper volumes, I'd like to include downloadable content with every book (background elements, brushes, expansion sets, etc) and perhaps the premium version can have a larger collection of downloadable material or extra tips on composition, color theory, preparing your art for sale, etc.

 

Of course I'm working hard on building good content, without it, the idea is nothing.

 

Thanks again guys, I'm very grateful for your help!

 

Enrique

 

P.S.: I'd like to ask, which topics regarding character creation keeps you struggling the most?, what's the most difficult part of it? (creating variety, expressions, developing your own style...)


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Enrique,

Perhaps the iBooks format’s possibilities for ‘interactivity’ are one of its strongest suits; not only for video (screen recordings?) and slideshow (small series of perhaps 3-7 images showing progression of a specific stage in design?) embedding, but also in the layout and tools available. For one example, many newbies (myself included) were faced with an enormous number of terms which are quite new to them and Apple’s built- in ‘define’ tool can come in handy or you could provide links in the text so that clicking on a term takes you to a glossary which you have created just for each volume. This way no one needs to learn each and every term but has the ability to learn those which are relevant to the lesson at hand. You can also provide ‘links’ to the ‘extras’ available on your website (specialty brushes, palettes, styles, fonts, etc., which you have on offer). You would be able to promote another volume of your ‘collection’ right in the text of the volume currently being used; i.e., “to learn more about facial expressions, download Volume 4: Facial Expressions”, if you see what I mean. Altruistically speaking, the iBook format would allow you to help a huge number of people along the way to learning both Character Design and (by default) Affinity Designer (without the usual associated high cost). Financially speaking, the iBook format also provides you vast marketing potential. Hopefully you will find a balance between that of honestly helping people to learn Character Design for a fair and reasonable price and that of creating an income source for you that is enjoyable for you.

 

I have a small book on photography which I have been working on for a couple of years that is nearly complete and two follow-up books with more advanced information which are nowhere near complete. When Volumes 2 and 3 are nearer to readiness I have already planned to offer the first volume as a free iBook and then wait to see what reaction it gets before offering the other two (at a price point of about €2.99 - €4.99). I started this process more as a challenge for myself and since I learned all that which I know through the kind help and example of others (and some through ‘happy accidents’) I want to give away the bulk of my work for free. In effect, holding back, and charging for, some more advanced tips and techniques for the subsequent volumes is just something which I feel will provide a way for anyone who felt helped by the first free volume to make an ‘after the fact donation’ for it. Silly me.

 

I assume that you asked your last question (in your post script) to the forum at large. My answer would be the obvious one: “developing one’s own style”. Most of what  any of us has learned in life we have learned through imitation (language, for example); a small part we have added to this through some ‘eureka!’ moments here and there. So, creating variety or expressions we can easily learn from another; but to develop our own style is something that but few achieve. Musical or comedic improvisation is not at all ‘improvisation’ but rather it is calling upon what one already has and adapting it to a new situation. Eminem, BB King, Prince, Robin Williams, Beethoven, Maxfield Parrish, Van Gogh, Bob Dylan, etc. developed their own style - was that something that they learned? However the more differing styles that we each see and learn the more likely we each are to have those ‘Eureka!’ moments and, possibly, develop our own unique style. (Peter provided you with a very abbreviated list of some of the very people who have done so who also happen to be on this very forum.)

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Enrique,

Perhaps the iBooks format’s possibilities for ‘interactivity’ are one of its strongest suits...

 

justwilliam, I cannot thank you enough for your feedback, that was brilliant!. I just downloaded the iBooks Author app and gonna give it a try as soon as I can. It sounds like the perfect match for the project.

 

I started to draw pretty early in my life, about 26 years ago (I'm 30) and since elementary school my friends have always asked me to draw for them; Looney Tunes, Marvel characters, Spongebob... you name it. So when I went to high school I decided to take the Graphic Design course. I noticed I had some advantages over other schoolmates, since fundamentals of Graphic Design are pretty much the same as drawing fundamentals.  

 

I observed pretty close the drawing teaching methods of my teachers and always though that they were very complicated and people ended up very confused after classes. I understood very early the principles of drawing, by spending hours and hours, filling sheets and sheets of paper, alone in my room.

 

I know a lot very creative people that struggles to make decent drawings, I'm not talking about 'pretty' drawings, I'm talking about communicative drawings, images that would let them express their ideas more clearly.  I think I can help people that already have great ideas, by making their drawing learning curve more easy, less time consuming and more effective from their fundamentals. 

 

Because there's a lot of people better than me out there teaching the academic way of drawing, I want to focus on the more commercial and easy-to-learn side of it: cartoons. I think that everybody can learn faster within their computers, manipulating simple shapes, using libraries, color tools and such... then it will be more easy for them to scale up a bit more and learn movement, dynamics, advanced body language, colouring...all if they want.  But my goal is to help people from day one, to turn their ideas into finished commercial products or simply expand their communication skills with the beauty of simple expressive cartoons.

 

P.S.: justwilliam, I'd love to see your book on photography, I'm an amateur one an always eager to learn some tips!

 

Sorry for the long post, but I feel very passionate about this subject :) Please keep commenting, I'm taking notes from each comment!

 

Enrique


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Ooooooo. Hell yeah, I'd be interested in this!! I'll buy anything about Character Design but if it's explicitly tailored towards AD then I'm eager to snatch it from you and gobble it up.

 

I seem get to a point in software where I plateau. I like what I can do with it but never really push the software or my skills further. Any help in this department would be great

 

As for format, iBooks would be great but a physical copy might be worth considering too......

 

Looking forward to any updates and of course the book(s)

 

WoOhoO!!!!!

 

George
 


eejits: a curious collection o' creatures - www.eejits-online.co.uk 

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...

I seem get to a point in software where I plateau. I like what I can do with it but never really push the software or my skills further. Any help in this department would be great ...

 

Hi, eejits,

Your comment has been saved in my annotations Pages document!... that specific plateau thing is one of my biggest concerns indeed, I'm writing some notes on how to self-improve every time you reach your highest level. Very tought subject, but challenging at the same time!

 

Thanks for all your insights!

Enrique


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Hi. I have only just joined and have also recently made the switch to Affinity Designer (from earlier versions of Adobe Illustrator / Photoshop).

 

I love the fact that I can get good results intuitively and fast in AD compared, even without a lot of hours under my belt. 

 

Nevertheless, the prospect of a dedicated book or a series of tutorials sounds very appealing, particularly if the focus is on Character / Mascot Design, creating vector landscapes, backgrounds etc.. In this way, not only will we master the tools but also gain valuable skills that can be put to use immediately on real projects.

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Hello everybody, how is it going? :)


 


Long time with no updates on this topic. Looks like I totally gave up isn't it?… nope!, I'm still working hard on it, but -as always- it’s impossible to foresee the amount of work that takes to create several character design tutorials until you get your hands on the thing.


 


So... here is a list of updates that sums up (pretty much) what’s been going on with the AD character design project the last couple of months:


 


1. The project has an official name: Frankentoon (already registered wohoo!)


2. I have a website mockup, ready to be translated to HTML5 by a fellow programmer. The domain is already bought and a plain landing page is up: www.frankentoon.com 


3. I have 4 full tutorials already written and ready to be published.


4. Still haven’t figured out the format of the premium products... but the website will be launched as a free tutorials platform.  


5. I’m working on a secret vector pack for our first time visitors... ohh mystery :o  (the pack will be free of course)


6. I’m already promoting the name Frankentoon in social media, you can find us at instragram and twitter as @frankentoon (lots of cool cartoon characters made with AD have been already added)


 


Probably I forgot something, but those are the most important points in the roadmap.


 


Website is planned to be up and running by the 1st of may (fingers crossed). By now I have to change the premium iOS ibook strategy entirely, because of the upcoming Windows release.  This cross platform thing opens up new possibilities so I want to have the right product for both windows and mac users.


 


I think this is all for now... just one more thing :)  attached you’ll find some instagram screenshots of the official Frankentoon account, follow it if you please (please, please! :D), some of those characters have their tutorials written already :o


 


If you have questions or suggestions they are always more than welcome. I want to know all of your suggestions and opinions (good or bad!)


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Oh, that sounds really great, Enrique. In fact, I was in fear that you had given up the entire project, since you were so silent during the last months. But now I am really excited to see what you hatched up all this time … and your new designs look just wonderful … wow …  :D

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Oh, that sounds really great, Enrique. In fact, I was in fear that you had given up the entire project, since you were so silent during the last months. But now I am really excited to see what you hatched up all this time … and your new designs look just wonderful … wow …  :D

 

Wow, really appreciate your words, thank you! :D


• Frankentoon - Tutorials and Resources for Affinity Designer

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Im Just waiting for you to publish them to buy them! I need to learn a lot about AD and the whole Graphic Designer stuff... Thank you for taking your time to think in people like me, who are completely new to all of this.

 

Thanks! 

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