Character Design for Animation

Character Design for Animation

  • Price: $699 | Pay with installments.
  • Pre-Reqs: Foundation & Design Program or good understanding of analytical figure drawing.
  • Materials: Photoshop (any), wacom tablet or equivalent

Course Description:

In this course, students will be exploring the various and important aspects that go into designing characters for animation. Students will be exploring how shape language relates to the characters personality. They will dissect how one adapts to designing characters in various artistic styles, and they will ll begin to discuss what it takes to mold themselves to becoming a professional designer.



  • Week 1:Shape Language - The Relationship between shape and character design. Focusing on building our designs from simple shapes, and discussing how shape affects our designs.  
  • Week 2:Design Silhouettes - 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.
  • Week 3:Character Line Ups - How shape and silhouettes are important to creating a unique and strong character line up.  
  • Week 4:Character Faces - How to bring an individual indentity to a character's face.
  • Week 5:Character Story Moment - Designing contrasting characters and placing them in a story telling moment.
  • Week 6:Matching a Style - 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.
  • Week 7:Animal Design - Designing an animal using simple shapes, much the way we started with characters in class one.
  • Week 8:Character Turn Around - Transitioning into what we will be covering in the next course (character design for production): What is a character turn around, why it is important in character design, and how it is applied in designing for a production.

Feb. 5th, 2017 - Apr. 4th, 2017 + 2 weeks for content review

Nate Wragg has gone on to work as an illustrator and designer on various projects-including Ratatouille, Toy Story 3 and Puss and Boots. He was one of the primary character designers on the Pixar Feature Toy Story 3.

Instructor's gallery:

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