Character Design For Animation

An 8-week course designing characters with industry-experienced character designer; develop strong eye and mind for understanding the elements of what makes strong compelling characters

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Bring your characters to life

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.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-Recorded
Feedback:   Individual Recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Photoshop (any), wacom tablet or equivalent
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Foundation & Design Program or good understanding of analytical figure drawing

Environment design WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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The Relationship between shape and character design. Focusing on building our designs from simple shapes, and discussing how shape affects our designs.
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. of character silhouettes. How clear silhouettes in design and character posing can help shape our character designs and make them stronger and more functional.
How shape and silhouettes are important to creating a unique and strong character line up.
How to bring an individual identity to a character's face.
Designing contrasting characters and placing them in a story telling moment.
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.
Designing an animal using simple shapes, much the way we started with characters in class one.
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.

Taking your skills to the next level

Nate Wragg was born in Davis, CA in 1983. 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. Since then, Wragg has gone on to work as an illustrator and designer on various projects-including Ratatouille, Toy Story 3 and Puss in Boots. He was one of the primary character designers on the Pixar Feature 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. Most recently he was the Production Designer on Captain Underpants.

May 14th - July 23rd

Summer TERM Registration



Classes Begin

July 21st!

Pricing & Schedule

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.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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