Mastering Character Design
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Learn to create 2D characters with this 9 week online course. Starting with a foundation in basic draftsmanship and progressing to figure drawing, we will take a multi-week journey in exploring this discipline. Learn the fundamentals of character design and hear from the world’s top character designers at Disney Animation Studio.
Visual Storytelling & Illustration Techniques
Learn the fundamentals of character design
Course Format: On-Demand Training
Skill Level: Beginner
Software: Adobe Photoshop
Duration: ~4 hours
Assignment: Character design exercises
Learn From The Best
Bobby is an artist at Disney Animation Studios and studied at Ringling College of Art & Design. He has a solid grasp on the highest standards of character design. This comprehensive course covers everything you need to know to master character design.
Interview series w/ Top Artists
We interviewed a series of Disney artists who gave their take on what makes good character design. Their insight is valuable for designers and animators a like. Including live drawing demo’s from a few of the artists.
Learn Solid Draftsmanship
This course includes a lot of drawing instruction. There is simply no way around the need for solid draftsmanship in a successful character design. Learning to draw is an important part of this process, and this course goes in depth to help you improve your drafting abilities.
What you'll learn
We've broken this massive amount of information into comprehensive modules. Going over the fundamentals needed to master character design takes time. This course is not a live mentorship course, but rather an e-course that will guide you module by module.
Welcome to the first module of Mastering Character Design. In the following videos and posts, we will discuss what makes good character design. We will also examine specific technical concepts like perspective, lighting, and drawing exercises.
The goal of the first module is to introduce you to these ideas and get your pencil moving through a series of drawing assignments.
So grab your sketchbook and pencils and let’s get started!
In this module, we will move past simple drawing exercises and dive right into a discussion of figure drawing.
We will start simple, by deconstructing the human form into its simple shapes and give you a series of drawing assignments designed to help you understand how figure drawing works.
In this module, we will continue our focus on figure drawing. This is a big subject and we wanted to take a few modules to tackle it.
We will also challenge you to push your drawing into gestures. This process should be fun and challenging.
In this module, we will focus on character types and shape language.
We will also examine workflows for developing your character concepts by sculpting silhouettes and basic shapes. If you can begin to master these processes you will be well on your way to designing original and appealing characters.
In this module, we will focus on character bio’s and shape exploration.
We will also examine a series of concepts that are essential to consider before moving forward in finalizing your shapes for a design. Considering the role of straights and curves, shape weight, and pushing forms.
In this module, we will focus on refining our designs, based on character types.
We will also examine concepts of doing your line work. We want to establish the forms and details of our characters.
In this module, we will focus on color and turn-arounds.
We will also examine basic shading on our character while we work through the color and poses of our character.
In this module, we will focus on expression boards.
This process goes to the heart of your character’s personality and shows them with different facial poses. This helps to build a character that can display a full range of emotions.
In this module, we will focus on a personality pose and background.
This process allows for a final shot of your character to be enhanced by adding a simple environment.
This bonus module will focus on caricature with the participation of Disney Animation Studio artists.
Sneak peek of the course
Doing a caricature is a great exercise for character designers. It gives you a human reference as a starting point from which you can exaggerate and emphasize features.
During the production of our interview series we put a few guys on the spot and had some fun. We asked Trent to caricature Bobby. He came up with a great first draft and dropped some great pointers along the way.
Trent’s example shows the need for both solid technical skills and design principles to create appealing designs. In this course, this will be our emphasis. On being solid with our technical skills and starting to master the principles of strong character design.
What do our students say?
This workshop has helped hundreds of motion designers improve as artists.
Artist & Animator - Walt Disney Animation Studio
Robert Huth is an animator and artist currently working at Disney Animation Studios in Burbank CA. He has animated on films such as Wreck It Ralph, Frozen and Moana. In addition to this, he’s had experience as an Animation Supervisor for Zootopia and Wreck It Ralph 2 working along-side the character design, modeling, and rigging team to produce many of Disney’s memorable characters. He has a BFA from Ringling School of Art & Design and has been working in full-time feature film production for the last 10 years.
Robert lives in Burbank with his wife Christal and their son Caleb. He is passionate about art and design and hopes this course can serve as a valuable resource for you.
Join a supportive community
When the video training ends, the conversation continues on our Discord Server. This platform allows us to engage with you while you’re working throughout the workshop.
Save by grabbing the Character Bundle
Character Design & Animation Bundle
All the techniques, workflows and processes needed to start from the ideation of your original character, all the way through to a fully animated shot. We are combining two of our most popular workshops and offering this bundle at a discounted rate.
We hope these courses will help you create appealing characters and animations.
Sign Up Any Time
Highest Quality Training
Clean and concise training
Project case studies
Lifetime access to the Discord forum
Mastering Character Design with Robert Huth
Hands-on character design course with Disney Animation Studio artist.
Fundamentals of Character Design
Interviews with Disney Artists
In-depth techniques review
Why take Mastering Character Design?
This course serves as a roadmap for understanding the discipline of character design. Starting with a foundation in basic draftsmanship and progressing to figure drawing, we will take a multi-week journey in exploring how to create good character design. You will learn basic drawing techniques and hear from the world’s top character designers at Disney Animation Studios.
Is there homework?
Each modules comes with a series of assignments or prompts. This is designed to put concepts into practice and give you experience with drawing, observation and design.
What will I know by the end?
The process of designing original characters and an understanding of how to improve your work over time. People spend a lifetime mastering this discipline, but starting with a focus on the proper techniques can dramatically improve your designs.
When does it start?
Right when you sign up! This is a self-paced course with training materials and assignments. Working through each module gives you time to truly understand concepts in the proper order.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
What level do I neeD?
This Mastering Character Design course is dedicated to beginners who want to learn the principles and techniques to create good character design.
You don’t need to have prior experience in the discipline to follow this course.