Creature Design for Film and Games

An 8-week course structured like a studio and freelance workflow focusing on creature design

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Dream up believable creatures

This course will teach you how to design your own creatures by using Earth’s animals as a guideline. Nature is a powerful tool when sketching ideas and Creature Design for Film and Games will show you just how to use real life references in your creations. We will begin with rough and quick sketching to generate ideas and then slowly refine these ideas into a polished portfolio piece. Students will learn how to design creatures using basic forms, how to really see the design and function of the creature, and the importance of anatomy. Materials Needed: Drawing pencils (4B, 6B preferably) Kneaded or Mars Plastic Erase Drawing paper ( Preferably 11 x 14 Graphics 360 because of the transparency) Black Prisma color pencil (5-10 because they can wear out quickly but offer excellent dark lines) Photoshop Scanner Wacom Tablet


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-Recorded
Feedback:   Individual Recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Photoshop (or equivalent) Sketchbook, Paper, Pencils, Pens, Brushes
Skills level:   Beginner to Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Analytical Figure Drawing (recommended) Animal Drawing (recommended)

Environment design WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Students will gather reference images of animals that coincide with the creature description given by the client. This will teach them the importance of gathering and using reference and show them the importance of observing the real world. They will generate very quick thumbnail sketches (1 -3 minutes each) from any images they choose.
Using rough, quick gesture sketches and basic shapes, the students will begin exploring creature shapes. This stage is meant to be quick and dirty and will help loosen them up to help alleviate the stubborn need for immediate details.
Students will learn how to narrow down their selections and will begin fleshing out their creatures using the references gathered and their imaginations. Since anatomy is vital in making the creatures believable, they will study the skeletal and muscle structure of the referenced animals they chose. The students then will begin to sketch the skeletons and muscles of their creatures.
Students will make head and face studies while putting emphasis on the eyes of the creatures, since the eyes tell a lot about the creature’s attitude. They will make a detailed sketch of the creatures’ skulls in the process using the animal reference images to make it believable.
Students will begin sketching their creatures in action poses while giving them at least one major function. This could be a defensive function, offensive, feeding etc. Each function has to be unique to the individual creature and cannot be repeated among the other choices. By using the animal reference images, the students will have a good idea of how their creatures might move and they will use those images throughout this stage.
At this stage, the client has narrowed down his or her choice to one creature and needs the creature fleshed out and rendered. This is when the students begin learning to put it all together. They will determine final stances with both front and rear poses plus one head shot. Sketches will be done in a more refined fashion but not fully rendered yet. Sample sketches will be shown.
Students will begin making final design choices on the face and sketch a detailed head shot. By doing so, it will become easier for them to implement the head on the full body sketches.
This stage is vital in showcasing what the client wants. The students will have a detailed head shot, a front and back ¾ view of the creature, and call-outs showcasing skin textures and materials as well as an important and unique function.

Igniting your imagination

Bobby is a senior concept artist working in the game industry. Upon being a full-time drawing instructor at the world renowned college of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio for four years, Bobby was the lead character concept artist for Subterranean Games’ War for The Overworld. Bobby is now a creature and character sketch artist for the television show Face off on the SyFy Channel. His client list includes: Mission Control Media (Face Off), Zojoi, 3D Total, Subterranean Games, Andromeda Entertainment Inc.

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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