Birth By Sound:
Auditory Stimulus in a Character Design Pipeline
"Birth By Sound" is an experimental design pipeline created to allow for personal visual development of characters. Instead of sourcing inspiration by looking at other visual works or references, this process has the user listen to music and translate that information into visual building blocks. While the user does eventually reinforce their ideas with visual references and inspirations, the core emotional idea remains a unique relationship between the music, the user, and the page.
Music has always had a strong impact on me. It can help to clear my head, drive my mood, solve problems, or just relax. In fact, the idea for this project came from listening to music while brainstorming thesis ideas. I wondered if there was a way to formalize the use of music with my artistic passion, character design. Sources of inspiration can become derivative and repetitive, which limits the range of ideas we are sourcing from. I wanted to develop something that would be more personal, getting at the heart of the character and remaining individually driven, rather than grabbing ideas piecemeal from other works.
The result is this project: a synesthesia-like marriage of music and visual to create a truly original idea. With this method, the origin of the design becomes internal, emotional. At the same time, the endless realm of color, shape, and value that the digital age has opened us to is directed towards an end goal. It must be stressed that none of the results of this pipeline are ironclad rules that must be adhered to for a given project, but rather a starting off point-- a place to begin your explorations from, and see where you go.
I hope that you enjoy and find use in this project. If you have any feedback, or would like to share your experiences, please submit a feedback form in the link above.
Download the Instruction Pack!
Check out some demo characters below!