View Full Version : Mr. Nervous! - character development (2D)

01 January 2005, 11:01 PM
Hi Everybody,
this time I want to introduce you to Mr. Nervous! This is the latest version:

Mr. Nervous is the main character of a never finished 3D animation project. He is the owner of Mr. Fat Cat - a picture I allready finished some days ago - that can be seen under the following WIP thread: Mr. Fat Cat! (

Comments and critique are most welcome!

Best Regards

latest edit:
thank you all for critique & comments. as you can see I started coloring.
Spex84: you mentioned some very good ideas! I reworked the hand pose another time.

c u soon

01 January 2005, 11:10 PM
I dunno.. he doesn't look that nervous to me.. maybe add more vibration lines and the other hand holding a cup of coffee with coffee spilling out from the shaking.

01 January 2005, 11:34 PM
looks cool, maybe show his teeth chewing on his lip or something

01 January 2005, 11:37 PM
with this Thread I want to invite you to be part of the design process at a very early time. It would be interesting for me to read what you guys think about what to do next. So I took a very old scribble out of one of my sketchbooks, scanned it and worked on it for some time with my Wacom to find a new form (right) for an old drawing (left):

After that, when I thought I had found the form of the charcter, I redrew the charcter on top of the layered references to have a clean and smoother outline. Next step for me would be to do some color and lighting tests to find a dramatic light situation. I thougt about using acrylics this time. Any suggestions?


01 January 2005, 12:48 AM
maybe hunch him over a bit, he seems too confident to be nervous, too upright. he matches the styly of the cat well, though.

01 January 2005, 10:35 PM
Hi Guys,

thanx for c&c... It seems that I am not very lucky with the names of my characters. Mr. Fat Cat being not fat enough and Mr. Nervous not nervous enough. I don't know... he's nervous enough for me. I mean: he never sleeps and does not even have eyelids. He smokes all the time and makes fast end hectical movements. OK... I see him move in my head - and you just have the still picture that is not moving at all.

Is it necessary for a character to be identified very easily by his/her appearance that everything is clear and there are no questions any more? This is what they tought me at animation school but I'm still not sure.. a cup of coffee would definitely be to much. It's too obvious. Like: "describe a nervous character..." answer: "coffee"... see?

Well, I like the sketch though. I will use it as a base for the painting. It will change during painting process anyway. What I did today after work, was some thinking about the light situation. Here is what I came up with:

What do you think? Which one is best? Or do you have a totally different idea? I am very interested to know, because I don't want to go further into details before I'm not sure about the lighting situation.

Best Regards

01 January 2005, 10:49 PM
Hi Guys,

thanx for c&c... It seems that I am not very lucky with the names of my characters. Mr. Fat Cat being not fat enough and Mr. Nervous not nervous enough. I don't know... he's nervous enough for me. I mean: he never sleeps and does not even have eyelids. He smokes all the time and makes fast end hectical movements. OK... I see him move in my head - and you just have the still picture that is not moving at all.

Yeah that cat is not really fat..

I mentioned motion lines earlier and that would go far to imply the motion you are seeing in your head.. we the viewer can't see inside your head.

I know this may be a concept drawing for something ultimately that will be animated but anytime you find yourself saying things " like well he's supposed to.. or.. in my head he's" then you are losing the pitch and idea is not getting across.

For me none of the color really do anything to support the idea that he's nervous. He's just a skinny dude smoking looking slightly intense about doing so... but not in the least nervous.

As for the coffee cup.. does he drink coffee.. again he could be holding a cup of cofee and not be nervous.. if he's so nervous that coffee is spilling out of the cup then that woudl eb a better indicator of how nervous he is.

If you character was called Mr. Coffee man would you draw him in a pose without coffee and expect people to understand why he is Mr. Coffee man? Really if this character was visually described well then you might know what his name was without being told.

02 February 2005, 09:44 AM
i think this nervous thing is more subtle, at least its clear that he pretends to be cool.
i like the ill mood of the colors, but suggest to develop the colors over a grey or brownish background. maybe an "evocative" background can be helpful also for the story, like a blurred desaturated photo etc..
i prefer the middle one over the left and right ones they look too threatening, because of the shadows on the face and the body

02 February 2005, 02:51 PM
he's a really cool character, but his pose looks relaxed and confident to me - sorry. i love the 3rd colour scheme, but it looks a bit menacing, as someone else said (probably why i like it)

02 February 2005, 08:43 PM
Here's some thought soup -- everything into the pot!

His pose and articulation is great -- the curve of his back, the tapering of his jeans at the knee and how they curve at his calf. Nice eye for details. He's got a Huck Finn confidence to him which really doesn't suit his name.

His body being so articulated and his face lacking similar detail make him look like he's wearing a Halloween mask.

Ideas for making him look nervous without caffeine :)
Bags under his eyes -- he sleeps fitfully
He's losing his hair -- either falling out or he's pulling it out
Eyes darting left and right -- somebody might be following him. . .
Razor stubble -- who's got time to shave?
Oversized suit -- lose weight through nervous energy!
Jumbled fingers and stooped posture -- only confident people stand up straight.

02 February 2005, 06:44 AM
man that would burn the eyes if some1 smoked and didn't have eye lids. good thing i dont smoke, and have eye lids. im 2 steps ahead, lol. anyway if you want him to seem more nervous maybe you should make a short animation of him, or you could change his body language subtly to make him seem nervous, but he's still trying to look cool.

02 February 2005, 09:31 AM
Hy guys,
on top of this thread I uploaded the newest version of Mr. Nervous!.To let you compare it to the version before, here is the OLD VERSION:

what do you think about my edits?


02 February 2005, 10:45 AM
cool, cool,
he is so nervous, that his match doesnt hit the tip of the cig. some ash could fall down.
i wouldnt make the border of his eyes too black. he could look to the side, but it would be more subtle to make very small pupils staring to the viewer (or leave them away).
in comics smoke often has the shape of the thing the smoker dreams of, or fears, maybe you can do something with it (the reason for his nervousness)

02 February 2005, 02:30 AM
Now that you've made his pose more tense and nervous, how about his hands? That free hand looks like it's reaching for something we can't see. What is it? It could be more tense,/contorted, tapping or twitching, letting us know that this fella has things on his mind.
How about angling one of those hair spikes differently from its neighbors? Then he'd look slightly more crazed, like he hasn't slept in a while.
He looks contemplative as he lights up...maybe he could be furtively glancing to the side instead. Could the hand with the match be shaking somehow?
Very cool, Looking forward to the next installment!

02 February 2005, 05:43 PM
Hi Everybody,
I updated the first post of this thread with the actual version of Mr. Nervous. Her is the OLD VERSION for you to compare, and what I wrote to it then:

thanx everybody for critique & comments. your posts are the reason why I reworked the drawing another time, instead of going on with the color. I think he looks much more nervous right now, thanks to your suggestions.

Ilikesoup: so many good ideas from you! I used several of them as you can see...

gmask: thanx for your ideas. I didn't want to sound pissed. As you can see your critique was part of bringing me to rework the sketch again. Not as much as you suggested but in the right direction I hope.

antweiler my friend: yes, I will work on a colored background, as soon as I start painting again. Good idea!

c u soon

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