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A Study of Facial Features of American and Japanese Cartoon Characters

by 1,2, 1 and 3,4,*
College of Creative Design, Asia University, Liou Feng Rd. 500, Wu Feng, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
College of Fine Art and Design, Quanzhou Normal University, Dong Hai Rd. 398, Feng Ze, Quanzhou 362000, China
Department of Photonics and Communication Engineering, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2019, 11(5), 664;
Received: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
Many researchers think that the characters in animated cartoons and comics are designed according to the exaggeration or reduction of some features based on the human face. However, the feature distribution of the human face is relatively symmetrical and uniform. Thus, to ensure the characters look exaggerated, but without breaking the principle of symmetry, some questions remain: Which facial features should be exaggerated during the design process? How exaggerated are the faces of cartoon characters compared to real faces? To answer these questions, we selected 100 cartoon characters from American and Japanese animation, collected data from their facial features and the facial features of real people, and then described the features using angles, lengths, and areas. Finally, we compared cartoon characters’ facial features values with real facial features and determined the key parts and degree of facial exaggeration of animated characters. The research results show that American and Japanese cartoon characters both exaggerate the eyes, nose, ears, forehead, and chin. Compared with human faces, taking the eye area as an example, American animation characters are twice as large compared with human faces, whereas Japanese animation characters are 3.4 times larger than human faces. The study results can be used for reference by animation character designers and researchers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cartoon character; facial features; exaggeration; symmetry cartoon character; facial features; exaggeration; symmetry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, K.; Chen, J.-H.; Chang, K.-M. A Study of Facial Features of American and Japanese Cartoon Characters. Symmetry 2019, 11, 664.

AMA Style

Liu K, Chen J-H, Chang K-M. A Study of Facial Features of American and Japanese Cartoon Characters. Symmetry. 2019; 11(5):664.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Kun, Jun-Hong Chen, and Kang-Ming Chang. 2019. "A Study of Facial Features of American and Japanese Cartoon Characters" Symmetry 11, no. 5: 664.

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