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Fundamentals of Character Design

An 8-week course for building foundational skills necessary for the design of appealing characters in film, games, animation, comics, and more

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Design your character's personality

The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation in theory and practice to illustrate and design characters for various industries. This course will cover gesture, basic anatomy, shape design, expressions, storytelling, as well as different thematic choices for your characters. The content in this course can be applied to live action, feature animation, 2D characters, 3D characters, and much more. Understanding the foundations will guide you towards creating stories that feel alive. *DISCLAIMER: This class requires students to be at least age 18 to participate. If you are under age, you must provide parental written consent to take our courses. You may send us this request to registration@cgmasteracademy.com.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Photoshop (or equivalent) and Wacom tablet (or equivalent), OR sketchbook (6x9 or bigger) / pencils (at least 3 different mediums ex: ballpoint pen, red Col erase pencils, black brushes), and scanner or camera to scan or photograph homework assignments
Skills level:   Beginner to Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Dynamic Sketching 1 & 2 and Analytical Figure Drawing, or drawing portfolio review required

Fundamentals of Character Design WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Introduction to the course will cover a range of topics. What is character design? What different types of character design exist? There will also be an overview of what to expect from the course in terms of content and assignments.
Covering the building blocks (cubes, cylinders, and spheres) for basic anatomy. This can be done in 2D if 3D/form is not your strength. We will discuss proportions (Extremes! Go too far, go too little, and find a sweet spot.)
We will cover the basic shapes regarding triangles, circles, squares and will discuss meaning behind each shape and how to apply that to characters and figures.
This will cover interior shapes as a contrast to outer silhouette of each character. This provides a unique balance of shape contrast that can have a profound impact on your designs.
This will cover the range of basic expressions and why it's important to convey emotion/story in character designs; we will go over how to indicate these on a basic level, as well as complex (grab a mirror!).
You can create and start telling stories through your characters. Make people feel something through your character. Regarding personality; you can base your characters off of people you know! Don't just copy existing characters.
This will cover the nature of themes as appropriate for any given story, it could range from fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, or anything you could think of.
Final discussion regarding the power of character design, and use everything learned in this class as a starting point. It is up to you to keep learning as much as you can, by putting a ton of focused mileage in the directions taught in this class.

Bringing out the best in talent

Lectures by Ahmed Aldoori

After asking to be a drummer to his mother at an early age, Brett Bean was handed a piece of paper and a pencil because, It was more quiet, thus starting his slow descent into the seedy underbelly known as character design and visual development. Since those fateful years he's contributed to Film, TV, games both digital and analog, pitches, manuals, and books. With a passion for travel, caffeine, volleyball, Tom Waits, and speaking in the a 3rd person vernacular, Brett currently free-lances, teaches, and lives with his wife Julie, a brilliant jewelry designer, in Pasadena, CA. His Client list Includes: Disney TV, Nickelodeon, Nerd Corps., Wizards of the Coast, Speakeasy, Space time Studios, Leap Frog, Rumble Inc., Gazillion Entertainment., Wowwee, Imagine FX and More.


July 21st!

winter TERM Registration

May 14, 2019 - Jul 23, 2019




July 21st!

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

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