Character Design for Film and Games

  • Price: $699 | Pay with installments.
  • Pre-Reqs: Analytical Figure Drawing, Head Drawing & Construction and Costume Design classes or a strong understanding of human anatomy and gesture.
  • Materials: Photoshop

Course Description:

This course will teach you basic as well as advanced techniques in character creation. Students will explore the essence of a character by developing their attitude, and digging deep into what makes them feel real and grounded. Visual storytelling is key in the video game and cinematic world, and students will learn how to portray all aspects of a character in their attire as well as the small details, such as pose, attitude, and flavor. Students will learn how to execute a powerful character from start to finish, with focus on details, lighting, communication, and clarity.

Character Design for Film and Games


  • Week 1:R&D (Research and Development) stage
    Working from a character description, students will begin collecting references as well as creating their first page of sketches. In order to get ready for the further weeks, students will be practicing rendering forms, lighting and materials.
  • Week 2:Creating the first round of sketches for a client
    - How to make a legitimate page of sketches for a client, whether on paper or on screen.
    - How to use lighting and basic rendering techniques to create a readable and concise thumbnail image.
  • Week 3:Narrowing down the selection and making your sketches believable
    Students will learn about the process between client and artist, and learn how choices will be made about narrowing the selection to one or two sketches. Students will take two of their chosen selections and use the information given about rendering, choosing a light source, and making their sketches believable.
  • Week 4:Head explorations: What makes a character have character?
    Here we will go over the basics of head and face construction, and how the head of the character can adequately describe the mood of the character.
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  • Week 5:Character through gesture
    Students will take their chosen characters and begin working on a pose that shows what the character is about, as well as create the base sketch for the final render of their character. They will learn how to add items to their character to tell an adequate story.
  • Week 6:Final glamour shot
    Students will learn how to go from a thumbnail sketch to the first pass of a glamour shot of their character. They will be working on a larger version of their image and implement different materials and facets to the character’s silhouette to make the design adequate for handing to a 3D modeler and refine the character’s face.
  • Week 7:Pulling it all together
    Students will keep refining their image and begin implementing the head from previous weeks. They will also work on making the face pretty through polish and attitude.
  • Week 8:Revision, polish and submitting your final to your client
    Students will learn to submit their finals (in color or black & white) to the client. They will add notes and clarify ideas for their client, by neatly attaching reference images, texture swatches, and callouts.

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

Marco Nelor is from a small town called Shreveport, Louisiana. After attending college for 2d studio art, he furthered his art education at the Massive Black Safehouse Atelier. Shortly after, he was recruited to Ensemble studios where he worked on his first video game, Halo Wars. Upon closure of Ensemble studios, he fled to Netherrealm studios, where he would work on his dream game, Mortal Kombat. During the weekends, Marco freelances for Magic the Gathering, creating card art, and is an avid foodie and gym goer.

Instructor's gallery:

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