Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Character Design at Escape Studios in October

character design by Ronnie Kaye
Character Design is coming to Escape Studios! Our brand new course starting in October is an 8 week classroom introduction to the art and craft of character design. As with most of our evening classes, this is a part-time course, designed to fit around jobs and families, taught by industry professionals.

Character Design is one of the most rewarding parts of our industry - and also one of the most competitive. As with everything we do here at Escape, the class will build up to a live industry brief, with the final project mapping as closely as possible to the experience of working in an industry environment.

Students will attend an evening class one night a week, and will be set simple projects to do in-class, and  more complex ones to complete by the following week.

There will also be an 8 week period of online mentoring and aftercare, in which students can polish their skills in a virtual classroom and receive ongoing feedback and support.

The course has been designed after consultation with industry, with individual classes being delivered by character designers working in the animation industry, such as the very talented Vince Woodcock, author of How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters: Create Original Characters with Lots of Personality.  Vince was a character designer on animated hits such as Space Jam and the Tigger Movie.

Below is some more detailed information on how the course is likely to break down:

Part One – Introduction to Character Design

Week 1 General Introduction to Design.
Introductory Exercises. Creativity, ideas and inspiration for stories. Gesture drawing, fast sketches, and research

Week 2 Creating designs which have character.
Single images that illustrate personality and character. Design drawings. Situations and character-driven scenarios.

Week 3 Industry character design process.
A close look at the work of some leading character designers and how they work.

Week 4 Art Direction.
Introduction to the principles of design and visual development.

Part Two – Character Design Technique

Week 5 Designing animal characters.
How to base designs on real life. Animal anatomy, Staging and character

Week 6 Designing human characters.
Life drawing, human anatomy, gesture drawing and character poses.

Week 7 Character Situations
The interaction of character with story. How do our characters fit into the overall story?

Week 8 Model Packs
Turnarounds, Blend Shapes and Rigging Studies for CG. Industry briefing.

Part Three – Online Mentoring and AfterCare

Online mentoring and aftercare will continue for a further 8 weeks. Students will be set a series of projects for delivery, using a Facebook Group as an online virtual classroom. Tutors will provide online mentoring and individual feedback.

Recommended Reading
We recommend these two books. The first is by our very own Vince Woodcock. The second is by the awesomely talented Tom Brancroft, who animated Mushu on Disney's Mulan.


1. How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters: Create Original Characters with Lots of Personality Paperback – March 1, 2007 - by Vincent Woodcock

2. Creating Characters with Personality: For Film, TV, Animation, Video Games, and Graphic Novels by Tom Bancroft.

We'll also be bringing in the very able Andrea Torrejon for some of the sessions. You can see her work here.  Between Vince and Andrea our students will be in capable hands!

To see the official course page, follow this link.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link.  To apply for our storyboarding evening class, visit this page here.  For the next 12 week animation course, click here. And to apply for the next evening class in Producing Animation, see this page.  
 

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