Understand the role of a Character Designer in a Production
H.R. Giger, Phil Tippett, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Winston, and Patrick Tatopoulos are all 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 design and creature design are some of the most exciting, creative, and celebrated artistic disciplines. Gaining entry into this field isn’t always easy: this is where our Character Design classes come in. Designed for those already versed in the fundamentals of drawing and design, this track carefully builds on those core skills to give students head-to-toe training in the art of human and creature character design for the video game and other entertainment industries. 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. It’s recommended to have some foundation skills in drawing character/animal anatomy before starting these courses.
As you complete each course you will receive a certificate of completion for that course. In order to qualify for a course certificate of completion, students must complete at least 80% of the class assignment during the duration of the course.
Should you have any questions regarding these courses please contact email@example.com. Additionally, you only pay for the course(s) you take in a given term.
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As you complete each course you will receive a certificate of completion for that course. In order to qualify for an in course certificate of completion, students must complete at least 80% of the class assignment during the duration of the course.
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LEARN FROM AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS WHO'VE WORKED AT TOP STUDIOS AROUND THE WORLD
Bernardo Araujo Machado
Bernardo is a Luso-Brazilian Character Designer/Illustrator based in London UK. He graduated from Arts University Bournemouth in Illustration and Animation Production and has worked in the industry since 2017 in Commercials and Tv Series and has worked with Cartoon Network, Nexus Studios, The Line, Netflix, Blinkink Feed me Light and Ritzy Animation.
Concept Artist and Instructor
Christian Nacorda is a concept artist, sculptor, and instructor starting teaching in 2005 Art Institute Orange County, He currently teaches at Art Institute Inland Empire and Norco College. Previously held a position of a sculptor at Atomic Monkey working on various titles such as Simpsons, Family Guy, Uncharted, Halo, Bioshock, Chicken Little, and Meet the Robinsons.
Illustrator and Instructor
Ron Lemen is a concept artist and art director for the games industry. He currently is a full time freelance artist and has worked with numerous clients such as Blizzard, Lucasarts, Transworld Media, Activision, Upper Deck, Dragon Lance, White Wolf, Time Warner, Wizards of the Coast, Image Comics, Birdhouse Projects, Ride Snowboards, Disney, and more.
Nate Wragg was born and raised in the small town of Davis, California. He took an interest in drawing and painting at an early age. After graduating high school, he studied animation and design at The California Institute of the Arts in Southern California. Nate got his start at Pixar working as a vis dev artist on Ratatouille. He also served as one of the primary character designers on Toy Story 3. As well as designing characters, Nate was also the Production Designer of Pixar's short film Your Friend the Rat and has been involved in designing several main title sequences, most notably the animated end titles for Ratatouille. After Toy Story 3, Nate made the move to DreamWorks and has Production Designed several films including : Captain Underpants : The First Epic Movie, The Croods : A New Age, and Puss in Boots : The Last Wish. Nate is currently working as the Production Designer on the upcoming DreamWorks film Dog Man.
Mike Wiesmeier has been working in the animation industry since 1991. Mike’s production work has included interactive, commercial, games, and feature animation projects, including six features at Walt Disney Feature Animation, work as a supervisor on a traditionally animated feature film in Barcelona, Spain, and most recently on a AAA game, interactive theme park ride, and Netflix series projects in Montréal. Mike’s teaching career began while working at Walt Disney Feature Animation. In the years since he has taught animation, life drawing, animal drawing, and figure sculpture at institutions worldwide including The Art Institutes of California, The Getty Center museum, The Huntington Library, Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Syn Studio École d’Art in Montréal, and Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy.
Costume Concept Artist
Phillip has been working as a Costume Concept Artist/ Production Designer for film, music video and television for the past 11-years. Within the last few years, he has illustrated for a multitude of blockbuster hits including Marvel’s Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers Infinity War, Thor, Man of Steel, Inception, Star Trek 2 & 3, The Justice League, Marvel’s Agents of Shield, The Greatest Showman, and most recently, the upcoming Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson. He has also Production Designed several music videos for artists such as Ariana Grande, The Black Keys, Panic at the Disco, Tiesto feat. Busta Rhymes, Travie McCoy, Fefe Dobson, Hot Chelle Rae, Saint Motel and the UK band The Blackout. Phillip currently lives in Valencia, CA with his lovely wife Jessica, daughter Alina (jellybean!), a cat named Frida Khalo and a miniature Aussie named Cherry.
Freelance Digital Illustrator
Mélanie Delon is freelance digital illustrator with much experience with clients and publications, they include Spectrum, Ballistic Publishing, Ubisoft, TOR Book, Random House, Orbit Books, Penguin, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, Imagine Fx magazine, and Elixir 1, Norma Editorial, D’artiste Digital painting 2, Elixir 2 2007, Opale 1 2014.
Chris Brock is an art director at DreamWorks Animation and is currently working on "Boss Baby 2". Prior to that he worked as a visual development artist on "Abominable”. Since 2006, Chris has been instrumental in the design and look of many of DreamWorks films such as Kung Fu Panda films 1,2 and 3, Boss Baby, Monsters Vs. Aliens, and Flushed Away. Prior to that Chris worked as a Background Painter on many other projects at Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks and Disneytoon Studios including, "The Iron Giant", "Samurai Jack", "The Road to El Dorado and "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas". Chris studied Illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Rachel Elese Morales
Visual Development Artist and Illustrator
Rachel Elese Morales is a visual development artist and illustrator who is passionate about storytelling, color, and light. She has worked for studios such as Nickelodeon, Dreamworks Animation, and Warner Bros. Animation where she has contributed to developing characters and environments for 2D and 3D productions. Currently, she is working at Dreamworks Animation as a visual development artist on an unannounced series.
Senior Character Concept Artist
Bobby is a freelance concept artist working for video games and film. He was recently recruited by Netflix as a creature designer for a currently unannounced film. Upon being a visual arts teacher for over eight years while teaching fundamental and industrial design drawing, Bobby has worked with such clients as Method Studios, SyFy, 3D Total, and Brightrock Games. Bobby loves being active and playing games.
Concept Artist and Illustrator
Mathias Osland is a professional freelance concept artist and illustrator from Norway. He immediately started working after graduating from secondary school where he picked up work from Volta, Wardenlight Studio, Big Child creatives, and more. Later he pursued an inhouse job and landed a spot in Atomhawk Design in Newcastle, England where he designed characters and creatures for video games. Now he's back in the fjords of Norway, working as a freelancer in a small wooden house.
Senior Concept Artist / Illustrator
Miguel Iglesias is a senior concept artist and illustrator for AAA games, films, and development of new IPs with more than 15 years of professional experience. Some of the titles he has worked on include The Division, The Division 2, FarCry 3 , World in Conflict. Now he works as a freelance artist for clients such as Ubisoft, Games Workshop, and Focus Interactive, to name a few.
Sam Nassour is an Art Director and a Visual Development Artist in the animation and games industries, with experience of working with studios like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Netflix Animation and currently Rovio Entertainment. He loves visual storytelling and creating his own character design and illustration ideas in his spare time, besides working on personal projects like writing and creating a graphic novel.
Lead Character Designer/ Illustrator
David was born in Jersey City and raised in Manalapan, New Jersey. Growing up infatuated with the arts and music, he spent his childhood splitting his time between drawing what he loved and playing his piano and trumpet. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 2010 with a BFA in Illustration. In January 2015, he moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in the animation industry, began as a Prop Designer for Disney Television Animation, and hasn't looked back since. He is currently a lead character designer at Netflix, on an unannounced project. His other clients have included Disney Television Animation, Dreamworks TV, WB, Titmouse, Nickelodeon, and Bento Box, among others. He currently lives in Burbank with his boyfriend and their dog, Banjo.
Sang Jun Lee
Lead Character Designer
Sang Jun Lee received his BFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in California. After graduating, he continued to explore his imagination by specializing in creating style of visual look of character, creature design and Illustration for live action film, feature Animation, commercial and game studios. His clients have included Industrial Light & Magic, Lucas Film, Blue Sky Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Electronic Arts. His film credits include Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars Episode III, Men in Black II, Hulk, War of the Worlds, Dr Seuss' “Horton hears a who”, Rio, Epic, Rio 2, The Peanuts Movie, and Blue Sky’s 2017 feature film release, “Ferdinand”.
Perry Hull is a professional industry 2D animator at Bento Box Atlanta. Graduating with a BFA in Media Arts and Animation from The Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati in 2015, Perry has worked on many different projects for Disney, Marvel, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Netflix, Apple and PBS. Perry is currently making personal cartoons on Newgrounds, he has gone on to help storyboard and animate with Rooster Teeth, Hazbin Hotel, Flash Gitz, Studio Yotta, One Plays and Game Grumps.
Illustrator and Concept Artist
Ognjen Sporin is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He studied illustration in college, but dropped out to start pursuing professional art full-time 3 years ago, and never looked back. He currently lives in a small village in Serbia and mostly works on fantasy projects and his personal art. He's done illustration, concept art and visual development for video games, animated movies, books and tabletop games, and his notable past clients include Netflix, Wizards of the Coast, Marvel, NetEase and Volta.
Patrick J. Jones is an award winning artist, author and teacher. He has worked as a concept artist and book illustrator for many publishing companies and his work has featured in major U.S. exhibitions, both in NYC and Pennsylvania. His oil paintings and drawings reside in private collections worldwide.
Patrick is the author of four best selling art technique books: ’Oil Painting: Masterclass' and ’Sci-fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques’, ‘The Anatomy of Style' and ‘Figures from Life’. His work has also been collected in a hardcover volume, ‘The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J. Jones’. His next book ‘The Lying Eye: Drawing from Photos’ will be released via Korero Press in 2022.
Comic Book Writer and Artist
ILYA is a 30+ year veteran of the comic industry. He has been published internationally by Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse in the USA, in Japan by Kodansha, across Europe and by independent companies worldwide.
His books include the award-winning graphic novel series THE END OF THE CENTURY CLUB (Best Graphic Novel, the UK Comic Art Convention 1997), SKIDMARKS, ROOM FOR LOVE, TIME TRAVELLER, noir anthology IT’S DARK IN LONDON, the MANGA DRAWING KIT, HOW TO DRAW COMICS, HOW TO DRAW ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, and a daring Native American (First Nations) adaptation of KING LEAR for Manga Shakespeare.
He is also author of critically acclaimed prose novel, THE CLAY DREAMING and artistically collaborated on DEADFACE/BACCHUS with Eddie Campbell, and KID SAVAGE with Joe Kelly. ILYA is currently Cartoon Historian for New Internationalist magazine (15 episodes and counting).
Polly Guo is a Storyboard Artist/Writer and Comic Artist. Her credits include “Adventure Time”, “She-Ra: The Princess of Power”, “Tig N’ Seek”, and “The Great North”. She’s also the creator of the critically acclaimed “Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight”, which appears on The Beat’s “Top 100 Comics of the Decade”.
Ainsley Dye is a Storyboard Artist who has worked for studios such as Dreamworks TV, Nickelodeon, and Disney TV. Her credits include “Trollstopia”, “Madagascar: A Little Wild”, “Big Nate”, and currently, “Primos”. A graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, with a BS in Entertainment Design/Character Animation, Ainsley’s professional experience has spanned from sitcom style comedy to cinematic comedy to musicals, for both family and kids' content.
Saul was born in San Antonio, Texas. For the most part, Saul is a self-taught artist who has been drawing since the age of seven. Saul's passion for the arts has lead him to pursue an interest in music as a drummer for a variety of percussion ensembles, various forms of martial arts, dance, and of course drawing. Saul continued his artistic journey in college where he rediscovered his true passion in Animation. Saul received his BA in Strategic Management at the University of North Texas and later moved to San Francisco where he completed his MFA in Animation at the Academy of Art University. Saul currently teaches Animation at the Art Institute of San Antonio and is in production of a short animated film and a children's book.
Carlos Grangel has been working as a Character Designer for the past 30 years, having helped design 18 feature films, including: The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Madagascar, Corpse Bride, Kung-Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Pirates, and Hotel Transylvania. He has also helped develop film shorts such as The Periwig Maker, Alma, and Nina, The Little Bulldozer. His work has been exhibited at LACMA (LA), MoMA (NY), Katzen Arts Center (DC), ACMI in Melbourne, the Toronto Bell Lightbox, The Seoul Museum of Art, and La Cinematheque Française in Paris.
Peter Han is an entertainment and concept designer who graduated from Art Center College of Design. His client list includes Sony, Konami, Cheyenne Mountain, Trion, Vivendi Universal, and many more. His titles include Warhawk, Spyro the Dragon, Stargate Worlds, Silent Hill Experience, and Defiance.
Mexican artist Sergio Castañeda is part of the One Pixel Brush team, creating concept art for titles like Last of Us Part 2, Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor, among others. Starting his career as a 3D technical artist, he decided to jump into the professional concept art world in the last years starting from scratch. He is constantly looking for new tools and techniques that allow him to move quickly and get the job done in a short time. Always searching for the best way to tell the story in every single image. He enjoys challenging projects but also family, movies, music, and dogs.
Concept Artist / Illustrator
Axel Sauerwald is a freelance concept artist and illustrator, currently living and working in Germany. While being a part of the team at Atomhawk Design in Newcastle he had the chance to contribute to games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Age of Empires 2:DE and various other unannounced projects, mainly creating character and costume designs, illustrations and marketing art.
Asia Alfasi is an award winning British Libyan graphic novelist. Born in Libya in 1984, she spent her formative years first in Tripoli, and then in Glasgow, Scotland where she migrated with her family. Growing up with Arabic-dubbed classical anime as a child, she later discovered its manga form and fell in love; devoting time to learning the craft, and in the process, realizing its immense potential of humanizing people and furthering understanding. Ever since, she has represented the Muslim and Arab voice through her work, whether it be animation, graphic novel work or exhibitions; with the ultimate aim of harnessing the medium as a tool for cross-cultural dialogue and societal creative exchange.
Anthony Christov has been an industry professional for over 30 years. Starting at Disney on "Rescuers Down Under", working on various projects through the 1990s, his career culminated with art directing for Pixar for the last 18 years. Anthony has art directing credits on films like "Finding Nemo", "Wall-E", and "Incredibles II," as well as countless legacy shorts and roles on many of the well-known Pixar hits. Through the years, he has witnessed the industry change and evolve with technology, and as such he brings invaluable experience and perspective to the students at CGMA.
Art Director and Concept Artist
Mauricio is a former scientist turned concept artist living and working in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Molecular Biology before studying Illustration and Entertainment Design at the Art Center College of Design.
Since then Mauricio has worked on a variety of projects in animation, film, video games, children's books, theme parks and more with notables clients such as the Walt Disney Company, Ubisoft, Games Workshop, Simon and Schuster, and more. He's also taught classes in illustration and concept art for the LA Academy of Figurative Art and Brainstorm.
When not working at work he can be found working at home on his own author/illustrator projects which include two well-received animatic short films, a successfully Kickstarter-funded children's book and a whole assortment of fun whimsical illustrations for the imagination. When not doing any of those he's probably thinking of pizza.
Alejandro is an experienced full cycle Recruiter with demonstrated history of working in the computer games industry. He uses his hands on game development experience, in-depth AAA industry training, and holistic approach in developing and executing hiring strategies to build world class teams.
Liza is great. She's very accommodating and friendly and her critiques were very constructive.
Was a great guy overall that explained stuff clearly
Liza was fantastic! She was incredibly attentive and helpful, always going above and beyond for us. I would absolutely take another course taught by her again.
[Louis is] awesome. He really wanted to share all of the tips and good technices to deal with real cases of simulation tasks for production.
Chris was great. I'm glad he's not only close with the Clinton, but shares the same overall passion for the industry.
She did it perfectly. I dare to say that she very experienced with speaking in public. I'm not just glad to go through the course under her guidance, I am proud of it.
Adam was fantastic! He always took the time to answer my questions and help me improve my project. I truly appreciate his advice, expertise, and instruction.
Oh, Im so happy that someone so experienced like him gave me feedback. Plus he is a great person with passion about sharing 3D modelling/ texturing tips.
Jared is a great teacher!
Sophie was great and really helpful through the whole course. Any questions were always answered with clarity, and showing us different approaches helps develop the way of thinking required for Houdini
I learned a lot about the Houdini FLIP (fluids) workflow, of which I knew very little about before.
The instructor was great and delivered what was promised of the class. Besides this, it was great to received feedback from someone with so much experience in the industry.
Just awesome. So many tips and even if a question couldn't be answered in the live QnA -they were for sure answered in the class questions afterwards. Provided great and useful feedback. Great
explanations, nice, helpful, etc.
This course has challenged me and many different ways that I otherwise would not have been able to. Nate was excellent at explaining things in ways I've never thought before and had done so in very clear, concise manner.
It develops your eye and attention to detail. This is an excellent course. Walking my instructor through my grooming scene in Houdini and getting real time feedback on things was perfect, I loved that. Having your work reviewed by such a talent really made me want to push the hard work for me. I'm grateful for that because you feel always motivated.
Jane S. Kim
Janneke van den Biggelaar
Ethan it's an awesome teacher, the way he answered all of our questions was super clear, and even if he came across a problem he doesn't know 100% he looks into it to teach us the way to solve it
Diego is awesome! He's very friendly and easy to talk to; he was always happy to answer our questions and extremely encouraging about continuing to learn and grow as artists. He provided a lot of great demos in the Q&As and always gave detailed and thoughtful answers to both specific technical questions and general career related questions. It was a truly great experience to have Diego as an instructor; his enthusiasm for his craft really comes through and his willingness to share his own career experiences and anecdotes is greatly appreciated.
Chris is a great teacher who was always very positive and encouraging, and gave helpful feedback.
Adam was an excellent instructor and offered very insightful critiques and alternative processes that spoke to our individual designs. Always in a thoughtful, patient, and professional manner. As an instructor for almost 20yrs, I'd say you have a winner in Adam Beardall.
Ashley was extremely thorough in her answers to questions and feedback advice, as well as in providing links to external resources related to the questions and feedback.
Diego is awesome! super patient and encouraging.
It really helped me understand some of the intricacies about the pipeline for animated grooms. The reviews were also really helpful.
Ed really showed me great techniques to make sure I got a realistic water simulation. Amazing course!
She is amazing! I'm really happy to have signed up with Ashley, her feedback was very constructive and supportive and I really appreciated that as a beginner.
Seemed like she was very knowledgeable about the software.
Liza was an awesome instructor. She always provided good feedback.
Chris was an absolutely amazing instructor. You can tell he is a very nice guy who is passionate about what he does.
I love how close of a conversation you can have with him. How he seems to have a working example for nearly everything, it's really helpful to visualize if a specific question is more technical.
Really helped me get a better emphasis on material definition as well as gave me the confidence to do something like texture a face from scratch
Instructor was great, gave real world production examples and treated all students respectfully
I now know how to use substance painter, texture a face, and render a scene in marmoset. Incredibly useful.
Nate is an exceptional teacher. It changed my way of taking on new projects and opened up new opportunities and horizons as a freelance artist. I cannot thank him enough for how valuable it was to take Nate's class.
The course helped answer many questions I had coming in, both about the industry and about MAYA. I learned new ways to model things that I wouldn’t have been able to before.
It was great to have an instructor with such a wide background in animation as well as a concentration in one specific aspect.
Ethan is a great artist and also a great instructor, he helped with every problem I had even when they were not related to groom so that was great.
Emiel was simply perfect. He is easy to listen to, he has a mountain of knowledge, he teaches really well, doesn't overwhelm with too much information. I would personally prefer the course to be 2 or 4 weeks longer and taught exclusively by Emiel.
Ashley is the most inspiring Zbrush mage! Her live QAs are super fun and get us hyped about trying something new in the software and in our designs! Found my love for Zbrush with her demos and feedback and hope to learn more :D
Student testimonial here
Student testimonial here
I gained a much better understanding of the project flow for game asset creation and how UVs are handled for video games.
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Magnificent transformation--strongly recommend Louis and his course to every person who wants to advance their skills.
I really enjoyed learning from Emmanuel. He was very humble and knowledgeable. I can tell he put a lot of thought and time in using our face to face time wisely by addressing as many overall issues the class was having with their projects via his demos and lectures. He also made himself available for industry based questions that are so important, yet outside of the realm of just learning how to create.
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