Animation Studio 1 – 03 – Character Style Analysis


To further understand the elements of design and make my own character design more successful I have been tasked with analysing the style of a character from the show my group chose. I have chosen Li’l Gideon from Gravity Falls, he is a child psychic that craves power, he’s the main antagonist in the first season of the show. He is short with large hair and always use a suit with american flag pin, he likes to trick and manipulate people and is upset when he doesn’t get what he wants.

Gideon from the show Gravity Falls

Gideon from the show Gravity Falls


There a few points on Gideon’s design including the buttons on his suit, nostrils, pupils and freckles. Most of the points are gathered around the centre of his face which when contrasting with the mostly empty space of his hair and face actually makes the middle of his face the focal point of his design. His outfit has many lines within the outline so it doesn’t have the same empty space as his head and hair.


This character and others in the show have varying line weights within their design and even within the same continuous line. The clearest example of this is the outline of Gideon’s hair that although being one continuous line it varies in thickness at certain parts. The lines on his body are generally thinner and more consistent in thickness. The details within his outline are drawn with thinner lines except for the division between different parts of the body, and the lines that indicate the way his hair is moving are a light grey while all the other lines are black. Many of the lines taper of at the end especially the ones that are indicating folds within the clothing.


Gideon is based of three major shapes as far as I can notice, a circle for his hair a kind upside down muffin shape for his head that can be broken down into two circles and a trapezium for his body. The shapes than make up his hair and head are soft shapes that indicate he is a friendly character or at least appears to be. In contrast the shapes that make up his body have hard edges although they are drawn soft. This contrast of shapes indicates that is something wrong with this character, which suits Gideon’s deceitful personality.


It’s hard to talk about form with a 2D character, but with Gideon there are a few elements in his design that indicate form. The most important indication of form, that is part of any effective 2D design, is that the elements such as his facial features , button and tie follow and an intersecting line. The lines on his hair indicate the way it is combed and its volume, also some of the overlapping elements indicate that some elements are in front of each other in a third dimension. The folds in clothes are indicated by certain lines, for example the lines on his pants show that they are perfectly cylindrical but that they actually have a slight crease in the middle.


There isn’t much to talk about with textures there is many in Gideon’ design, they are either indicated through the use of line or highlight. The lines on his hair indicate that it is well slicked back and probably has gel in it. The folds on his suit indicates that it is a soft material and finally the highlights on his shoes indicate that they are shiny and well polished.


In general Gideon’s light and dark values are leaning toward the light side, with the exception of his shirt and shoes are very close to black. This gives him a cute and vulnerable look which is interesting as although he is physically weak and unimposing he is the one that is doing the harm.


His main colours are white, a very light red (pink) for his skin tone and a medium light blue. The details on his suit are easy to see as they are contrasting colours, such as his dark grey shirt and his blue, white and red flag. The light colours give him an innocent look. Different colours for the freckles and the lines of his hair bring more interest to empty areas of the design.


This style is simple enough to emulate with the hardest part being to hold back on adding to much detail and in replicating the varying line thicknesses. There isn’t any shadows in most cases and highlights are rare, but still this style is still very good at indicating form and it is really easy for me to see how I could make this characters into 3D models.


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