Animated Video Production

12 Principles of Animation: Character Appeal

David 05.15.2013

Character Appeal is designing a character’s look in a way that’s real, interesting, and engaging to an audience. Character appeal is difficult to quantify – like trying to gauge “charisma” in an actor. Yet as in live action, star quality is important.

One strategy for creating a likeable character is using symmetry, and smoother curves or shapes in their composition. This tends to create a character that is easier for a viewer to process. Baby-like characteristics, such as large eyes, tend to yield positive results too. And never underestimate the appeal of a smile either!

In contrast, the more complicated a face is to read the less appeal it typically will carry. It should also be noted that the appeal of a certain character does not always mean that the character is sympathetic. While it can be more of a challenge to pull off, the antagonist of an animated story can also have their own appeal. The important thing is that the viewer remains interested enough to keep watching.

Below are a few examples of character appeal from our explainers.

Principles of Animation1

Principles of Animation2

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