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5 steps to creating a character design for video

Some of the most memorable brand campaigns have a mascot or character. Take The Jolly Green Giant from B&G Foods, Colonel Sanders the real-life founder of KFC or perhaps the Meerkats from Compare the Market insurance. These characters help us relate to the company and enjoy and remember their adverts and content.

Jane character representing an end user developed for tech software firm

'Jane' a character representing an end-user of Zegami software

Using an original mascot or character is not only relevant for B2C companies but can work equally as well for B2B businesses. Find out more about the benefits of developing a character animation.

Sometimes business or tech can be a bit dry and impersonal.  Creating a brand mascot can make your brand accessible while being a protagonist for a story that carries your business message. 

Character design for B2B animation and video - 5 steps

1) The ideal customer

Often when we are developing a character for a business we are basing them on a personification of the brand or an ideal buyer persona. This is where we start. Defining this person involves considering cliches, stereotypes, archetypes and also issues of diversity so as not to offend or alienate.

2) Brainstorming and developing ideas

Once we know who we are trying to reach and what they need to know, we can sketch out rough concepts for stakeholders to review before refining. This can be very subjective so it’s important to keep reflecting on the brief. Once the details have been finalised it is developed into a finished model.

3) Rigging

Static artwork isn’t animation ready. It has to be prepared to be made suitable for animation. This process is called rigging and involves connecting all the parts of a character's body together so they can be made to move in a way that looks reasonably natural.

4) Environment

Characters rarely exist in isolation. They will probably interact with scenery and props which need to be designed and illustrated too.

Tony, representing a Factor Manager and end user for consulting firm software

'Tony' represents a typical factory Manager for consulting firm, Mimo

5) Animation

Only when the steps above have been completed is the character ready to be brought to life in their world. This is actual animation but as you can see the process starts before this. It’s risky undertaking an animation project if you haven’t factored these steps in because the results may be inferior or delayed due to poor project management.

Some vendors claim to be able to automate some or all of the steps above. The results are usually primitive and or generic because they are based on asset libraries and automated processes. This may not be appropriate if quality or distinctiveness is important to your brand. All our character designs are original and unique to your brand so it stands out from the rest. 

If you would like more information or to discuss your project please connect with us.