Character Design For Animation

An 8-week course designing characters with an industry-experienced character designer; develop a strong understanding of the elements that make strong, compelling characters

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Bring your characters to life

This course will cover a lot of reference and breaking it down into the importance of things to consider regarding animation design. Allow your imagination to push what we can do in design and to push our boundaries in what we are comfortable with and what we feel we can do in animation. Beginning by using shape as a building block for building characters, we will start with simple shapes and push the design to its limits. We will also discuss what it takes to become a professional designer.

Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Photoshop (any), wacom tablet or equivalent
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Foundation & Design Program or good understanding of analytical figure drawing

Character Design For Animation WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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The relationship between shape and character design | Focus on building our designs from simple shapes | How shape affects our designs
The importance of character silhouettes: how clear silhouettes in design and character posing can help shape our character designs and make them stronger and more functional
How shape and silhouettes are important to creating a unique and strong character line up
How to bring an individual identity to a character's face
Designing contrasting characters and placing them in a story telling moment
As a designer, every film you will work on will have a style linked to the way it's designed. It's our job as designers to be adaptable and flexible enough to design in whatever style we are asked to design.
Designing an animal using simple shapes, much the way we started with characters in the first week
Transitioning into what we will be covering in the next course (Character Design for Production): what a character turn around is, why it is important in character design, and how it is applied in designing for a production

Taking your skills to the next level

Nate Wragg was born in Davis, CA in 1983. He took an interest in drawing and painting at an early age. After graduating high school, he studied animation and design at The California Institute of the Arts in Southern California. Since then, Wragg has gone on to work as an illustrator and designer on various projects-including Ratatouille, Toy Story 3 and Puss in Boots. He was one of the primary character designers on the Pixar Feature Toy Story 3. As well as designing characters, Nate was also the Production Designer of Pixar’s short film Your Friend the Rat and has been involved in designing several main title sequences, most notably the animated end titles for Ratatouille. Most recently he was the Production Designer on Captain Underpants.


April 21st!

spring TERM Registration

Feb 11, 2019 - Apr 26, 2019




April 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

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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Show us your skills

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