Character Design Mentorship with Carlos Grangel | CG Master Academy

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Character Design Mentorship with Carlos Grangel

A 4-week intensive character design mentorship under the guidance of a renowned industry veteran. (Application required—see overview for details.)

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Learn from the best!

In this course, students will be mentored by award-winning character designer Carlos Grangel as he shares the methods he has developed over 30 years in the industry. Carlos won an Annie Award for his character designs for Spirit at Dreamworks Animation, and he has worked on several Oscar and Annie Award nominated projects--including Hotel Transylvania, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. In this limited-seat mentorship, students will begin by determining, under Carlos' direction, what art style and shape language best tell the story. With Carlos' guidance, students will then explore their characters through rough sketches, expressions, and poses, and then take their designs all the way to a finished presentation and model packet. This is a rare opportunity for students to work closely with an industry veteran to craft memorable characters while developing a style that suits their storytelling goals. PLEASE NOTE: An application is required for this course.


Course Format:   Live format
Lecture Type:   Live (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)
Feedback:   Live (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)
Duration:   4 weeks
Assignment:   Ongoing work each week (Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk)
Q&A:   Live (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)
Materials:   Photoshop (or equivalent) and Wacom Tablet, plus student choice to explore ideas: paper and pencils, markers, gouache, watercolors, etc.
Skills level:   Intermediate to Advanced
Prerequisites:   Students should have a good sketching and drawing foundation, and basic knowledge in color techniques. Course prerequisites: Character Design for Animation, Character Design for Production.

Character Design Mentorship with Carlos Grangel WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Develop the characters: Introduction to Carlos' method for beginning to explore the character design for a film or any project. Focus on the 3 essentials: passion, imagination, and discipline. How to utilize nature and art as the main sources of inspiration. Start on rough character designs
Focus on one character to explore further: How a character designer fits into a production environment; Effectively using the story, script, and director's notes to create the best possible design to reflect the character's personality. Finding main characters, secondary characters, and miscellaneous or incidental characters.
Give life to your characters! Think about acting, movement, and staging. Explore the full range of facial expressions and dynamic poses for the main character.
Great work deserves great presentation: Cleanup, turnaround, color, and final presentation. Put together a model packet that's ready to present to the production team!

Prepare to meet your master.

Carlos Grangel has been working as a Character Designer for the past 30 years, having helped design 18 feature films, including: The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Madagascar, Corpse Bride, Kung-Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Pirates, and Hotel Transylvania. He has also helped develop film shorts such as The Periwig Maker, Alma, and Nina, The Little Bulldozer. His work has been exhibited at LACMA (LA), MoMA (NY), Katzen Arts Center (DC), ACMI in Melbourne, the Toronto Bell Lightbox, The Seoul Museum of Art, and La Cinematheque Française in Paris.


October 17th!

spring TERM Registration

Feb 10, 2020 - Apr 29, 2020




October 17th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

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