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Character Design for Film and Games

Character Design for Film and Games

An 8-week course structured like a studio and freelance workflow focusing on character design
cover image

Develop what makes a quality character

Develop what makes a quality character
This advanced course will explore the key aspects of creating character concept art within the games and film industries. Beginning with principles of design and the iteration process of generating ideas, the course focuses on exploring the essence of a character by developing that character’s attitude and digging deep into what makes the character feel real and grounded. The course will explore a range of techniques and methods so students can experiment with different software and adapt it into their individual workflows.

By the end of the course, students will understand the standard pipeline used in the entertainment industry for creating character concept art, and learn how to execute a powerful character from start to finish–with focus on details, lighting, communication, and clarity. At the end of the course, students will be able to show completed work for the full design process, resulting in a final character concept for their portfolios.

NOTE: Students should already have a strong foundation in anatomy, drawing, and digital painting. (Course outline for each instructor may be different; for specific outline information, please select the instructor and click on “Request Syllabus” below. )
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
Course Start
Jul 07, 2024

Course Format


Skills Level

Intermediate to Advanced


8 weeks


Once a week


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Deadlines each week
Analytical Figure Drawing, Head Drawing & Construction, Costume Design and Creature Design for Film & Games classes or a strong understanding of human anatomy and gesture and digital painting
Photoshop (or equivalent), Wacom Tablet (or equivalent). Optional: Pure Ref, Blender, Keyshot

The more you know, the better.

Class introduction | Students will be given a story prompt and develop a character bio | Discuss the differences between creating characters for games and film | Best practices for gathering reference | Create a reference/mood board
Explore rough ideas based on character bio from week 1 | Focus on exploring form, value and pose to sell the idea | Using character archetypes to tell a story | Importance of creating distinct ideas vs noise
Narrowing focus and choosing 2-3 ideas to refine | Importance of moving forward | Identifying technical challenges
Choosing a single direction to refine | Explore different rendering techniques based on project
Further refinement of design | Using photos, 3D assets, and 2D textures to support the concept
Parts of a concept often require more detailed information to hand off to a modeler or animator | The instructor will identify these items and students will provide support drawings or studies | Some examples of these can include detail drawings of weapons or gadgets, construction of gear, or range of motion studies.
Branding is a huge part of creating an identity for your character | This can include decals, insignia, tattoos, color palettes and even materials | Students will provide detail drawings or callouts to support these items based on instructor feedback.
Students will put together there final presentation package for the client in form of callouts, notes and reference materials.

Real heroes don't wear capes they teach

Concept Artist & Illustrator
Course Start: Jul 07, 2024
Inka is a Concept Artist and Illustrator with a passion for anything dark fantasy, medieval, and macabre. She is currently based out of Seattle as a Concept Art Outsource Supervisor at Blizzard, working on Diablo IV. While she grew up in Germany surrounded by the Alps and Fairytales, she finalized her education in the US and got her BFA in Illustration with a minor in Visual Development at Ringling College. She also has an education in Medieval Warfare, which she likes to incorporate into her work. Inka has worked as a Concept Artist at Adept Games, followed by ample freelance illustration work for Magic: The Gathering at Wizards of the Coast. Her other clients for both concept and illustration work include Volta, Creative Assembly, and Darrington Press. Inka is dedicated to using her tapestry of experiences and ideas incorporated into design work, blending timeless tales with modern creativity.

Instructor's Gallery

Concept Art
Concept Art
Concept Art


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.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
COURSE BEGINS on Jul 07, 2024
Character Design for Film and Games

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


Mathias has provided excellent constructive feedback with each lesson and I feel like I’ve already improved as an artist because of it.


I learnt a ton about everything! Mathias was really good at explaining design fundamentals, and even though I already have been taught them, I feel like I understand them much better now. His analyses of big, medium, and small, detail placement, and colour theory, were super useful…. The feedback was super good and Mathias was very honest whilst being very constructive and fun with it.


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