$5K to $12K
Prices may vary on elective courses taken
Foundation & Design Program or a suitable portfolio submission
$65K to $174K
Based on US job data
Foundations & Design Program overview
Understand the role of a Character Designer in a Production
H.R. Giger, Phil Tippett, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Winston, Patrick Tatopoulos--all are rightly regarded as legends in the entertainment industry. Their visions have helped define popular culture, inspiring thousands of creative minds and entertaining millions worldwide. It’s clearly no overstatement to say that character and creature design is one of the most exciting, creative, and celebrated artistic disciplines. Gaining entry into this field isn’t always easy: this is where our Character Design Program comes in. Designed for those already versed in the fundamentals of drawing and design, this program carefully builds on those core skills to give students head-to-toe training in the art of human and creature character design for the entertainment industries. By the end of the program, students will be ideally placed to make the leap to a character design/concept art position at a film, animation, games, or print-based studio. To enroll in the Character Design Program, students will need either to have successfully completed the Foundation & Design Program or submit a portfolio that demonstrates sufficient core drawing skills and character/animal anatomy knowledge. Enrolling into a CGMA Program is a simple and painless affair. Once you've decided on which program you want to complete, simply register and start taking the classes outlined in your program's block list. That's it! On average, we recommend 1-to-2 courses per term. Additionally, you only pay for the course(s) you take in a given term (so no need to pay for an entire program upfront). And, after completing all the block-courses in a given program, you will be awarded a Program Certificate of Completion.
Foundations & Design CURRICULUM
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Learn from award-winning artists who've worked at top studios around the world
I cannot say enough about Patrick's ability to communicate his process. Patrick was extremely helpful to everyone during the Q&A and took his time with every single critique. I consider Patrick one if not the best teacher I had the pleasure of studying under. He is a true master of anatomy and I cannot recommend his class enough. I hope to one day have the opportunity to study under him again.
One of the best instructors I have ever had. My artwork improved considerably during this course, as did my understanding of the figure. The instructor is extremely sincere, and encouraging while having high expectations for excellence. I wish that he were teaching more courses. I would take them all.
Great job, especially considering it was the first class Patrick taught on the CGMA platform.
All of the instructors should be like him!
Very enthusiastic and engaging. Listening to her lectures and her live Q&A was always a pleasure.
Shannon was very informative and engaged in everyone's work with wonderful feedback.
Very knowledgeable of the content taught within the class. Great at clearly conveying ideas and concepts to the students, even without direct contact or interaction during the lectures.
Awesome instructor! She's really nice and even takes the extra time to post additional resources. Also quite patient and understanding.
Shannon is a wonderful person and teacher. Her love for her craft does nothing but inspire to be better and I will ALWAYS be thankful to her for that!
Shannon goes above and beyond. She visibly puts more time, effort and energy into each student's work and critique than anyone else. Her critique and QAs are always lengthy (in a good way), she explains things in simple terms, and she is constantly sharing resources, whether on the forums or in the QAs or your critiques. Her caring and commitment to her students shows through in all she does.
Fantastic class! Nate is a great teacher and an incredible resource, I'm so thankful for his dedication to teaching!!
The course content is broken down structurally so that it allowed for nice linear progression and growth. I am leaving with a better understanding of character design.
Nate Wragg continued to impress me with his knowledge of the material, and the skills he displayed in demos and in the Q&As! He really knows his stuff, and the fact that he is willing to share that knowledge with us is really great. He is also open and honest about the industry, and what we will face when we get there. Honestly, I feel honored to have studied with him, and hope to work with him in the future.
Really enjoy Nate Wragg's approach to teaching online. It felt authentic and really helpful. This was my second course with him instructing, both times were equally great.
I liked how clear and constructive the feedback was.
Nate Wragg is easily one of the best instructors I've ever had. He seems like a truly caring human being and a top level instructor. I would give him a 20 on a scale of 1-10.
Nate Wragg is an incredible instructor and mentor. He has designed his courses to set his students up for success as character designers in the industry. I was hired for a job as a character designer while taking Art Direction for Character Designers, and I credit much of that to Nate's classes and instruction.
Great personality, very good at explaining things and helping us if we need it, and gives fun assignments.
Nate is one of the best teachers I've had. I really learned a lot and grew as an artist!
He is a perfect mentor and I really enjoyed the learning path with Nate Wragg. I learned so much and he is really motivating in keeping up
I had a phenomenal time in this class, and I'm so sad it's ending. The instructor is funny, personable, knowledgeable, and is always responsive an attentive in and outside of the classroom. He puts a lot of effort and care into critiques and genuinely cares about the improvement of his students. I can't express enough what a positive experience this was!
This has been a fantastic experience! Mitchell has been an incredible teacher. He takes the time to give each student detailed feedback. He is easily available if we have any questions or are struggling with an assignment. His lectures were extremely helpful and I learned so much. I am so grateful for this experience and would love to take more classes in the future!
The classes were really full of knowledge, and I learned a lot!
Janna Sophia Koppenwallner
Thank you for the great class!
Laurie M. Satizabal
Bobby was a terrific professor, I will definitely take his class again!
Bobby was very thorough and constructive with his feedback. He was also very encouraging.
Phil was an absolutely phenomenal teacher. He was very engaging in our Q&A sessions, and really went the extra mile to help us. I got a lot of valuable feedback from him, and would love to learn more from him in the future.
Absolutely fantastic. Phil always spent enough time talking to everyone about their work and teaching a few new techniques. Also always very positive and encouraging.
Great instructor. Sometimes an online course can be very detached from the real experience of a classroom, however Nate really engaged us as students through his lectures and fast and useful critiques, which made the whole experience more effective and real.
Nate is one of the best instructors I have ever had—he communicates concepts in a very clear way that is easy to understand and put into practice. His feedback is always very specific and he communicates both what IS working and what is NOT working, and as a result gives students a clear path forward in their work.
Nate is a great instructor with very professional approach. Many thanks for his thorough feedback and always being there to help.
Nate is one of the best instructors I've ever had! The way he explains and demonstrates things is so clear—he makes it easy for students to implement what he is teaching into their own work. I know my own work improved by leaps and bounds over the course of just 8 weeks, and I saw improvement in the work of my fellow students as well! Basically, I loved everything about Nate's course.
Mei-li Liezl Buenaventura
Really impressed with Ron and happy I took the class with him. I am definitely a better artist now than I was six weeks ago, and as someone who already has a BFA (and has taken many many figure drawing classes in the past), I was really happy that Ron was teaching such a technical way of approaching the subject matter. In our first lesson he mentioned gesture drawing and how frustrating he found it to be as it did not yield a usable mannequin, and as someone who learned the "old way", I can definitely agree. Really, really useful class, taught by a great artist!
A great teacher, Ron was able to be stern in his critiques while never seeming hostile or combative. I always felt that my improvement was his first priority.
Lemen is a great teacher who clearly cares about his students’ progress and takes the time to give thoughtful feedback.
Ron Lemen is an excellent teacher, very communicative and invested in his students' improvement. Ron's Q&A sessions were always informative and enjoyable. He encouraged discussions and answered students' questions in-depth.
I truly was impressed by his skill. He dragged us from simplicity to complexity using a very simple method. I really liked the class. BRAVO!
Love your digital portrait class, miss Melanie. I think I'll miss you!
She's not afraid to repeat the same feedback where necessary, I appreciate her patience.
Melanie is amazing and I learned so much from her. I am so grateful for all the time she spent coaching me and helping me improve. Wonderful teacher!
Mélanie is by far the best instructor I've had at CGMA so far. She is an amazing artist and shares her knowledge! And she also gives helpful feedback, like really telling you what does not work in your drawing and why.
Melanie is a very nice and helpful person—she actively participated on the forum, answered every question, and her feedbacks were great. She really cared about her students and helped us to improve.
He is a very personable guy—his spirit makes learning this content fun. He is good at not only finding the students faults, but also remembering to point out the things the student has done well.
He has a great personality that shines through in the lectures. His lectures are always funny, interesting, and informative. I enjoyed watching all of the videos and participating in the live Q&As.
My instructor was incredible, one of the best teachers I've ever had in my life—I want to take all of his classes! He has been such a fantastic help to my growth as an artist.
Great teacher and always made the class enjoyable.
Christian was a great instructor.
Mauricio was awesome! He really engaged with us and answered every question that was asked - pretty amazing!
Really good mentorship and instruction from Mauricio.
The instructor is clearly passionate about his profession and he demonstrated his enthusiasm throughout the assignments. He always managed to bring out the best points in any of the students' work, improving them but preserving the student's initial idea.
Nice guy. Clearly put a lot of work and dedication into the feedback, which he posted like clockwork.
This was a great course, I learned a lot!
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