In a model sheet you can find
the respective character in different poses like side, back, front and three
Animating any character without
a model sheet will produce animations with major problems like non-consistency
of character. Even an experienced animator will find it hard to conceive how a
character looks in different poses, so it is best advised to start animation
with a proper model sheet.
Character Model Sheets:
Character Model Sheets are the
templates of the characters used by the animation staff. They provide the
construction, structure, proportion, design, etc. for each character. Usually,
several models sheets are needed for each character to show the physical and
design nuances. Each animator, artists have their own style of drawing. The
model sheet guides the 300 or so artists working on the production toward making
all the characters look “ON MODEL”. “ON MODEL” means the model sheets have been
followed to perfection as if one artist (instead of over 300) has drawn the
character. Below is a Model Rotation – its purpose to show the character from
Notice how the character is
drawing in the front, profile (side), 3/4 and back views. This is called a
CHARACTER ROTATION. For this, we use a simple shaped character. A simple
shaped character uses one basic shape or FORM for the main body of character.
Below are three options you
should consider for your character design. They are: a ball, a triangle (or
cone) and a combination – a ball and a cone. Please keep in mind the dimensional
aspects of your drawing – in other words what appear to be shapes are really 3D
A character rotation
should include a front view, back view, 3/4 view, and profile view of the
character. These views help the animator (s) understand the character’s
construction and proportion. The rotation also insures the character design can
be turned. The ability to turn a character is an element of animation that
increases the character’s believability.
The easiest and best way to
draw out a Rotation is to break down the character into its simplest forms. Then
you just rotate the forms. Here the model sheet of Matt is distilled into simple
forms. (Pads for the hands and feet, cylinders for the arms and legs, a ball for
the body and a ball for the head)
Remember that the head (and
neck if seen) are ALWAYS on the FRONT side of the body.
Once the basic forms are drawn
- the details are drawn over top the forms.
Remember that the hair and fur
are like carpeting over the form. Try to simplify the details and apply basic
rules of design. (Check to make details, asymmetrical and pay attention to your
positive and negative space)
The next page of the model
sheet involves a close-up with the details, proportions and structure of the
Use the same procedure for the
construction of the head as you did with the body. Begin with the simple forms,
then add the eyeline and centerline and then layer the details over top.
The eyes are anchored on top of
the eyeline the nose or snout is anchored below the eyeline.
The third page of the
Character Model Sheet is a page of 5 or 6 action poses of your character.
This page is pure play! Its purpose to make sure the character works in action.
Also, think about who your character is. The character is always defined by his
or her or its needs and those needs are reflected in his or her or its actions.
If you are not sure write a short bio of your character.
The concept of character
model sheets is to provide enough information about the character,
structure, and proportion so others can draw it. In fact, a good test is to give
your MODEL SHEET to someone else to draw and see if they can draw your character