Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Character Design: Student Showcase

Cat by Aimee-Rose Schiele
Last year we ran our first four week character design class, taught by London-based character designer Sam Nassour.

Sam taught our intensive four week character design class, which ran for one month in September 2019, with excellent results.

Sam is an experienced visual development artist and character designer, lately working at Blue Zoo animation in London. Sam's work exhibits a range of styles with great versatility, and he passed on these skills to our students at Escape Studios.

"Damon" by Sole Westlake
Character Design with Sam Nassour
Sam's character design class was all about designing characters for different media, with a strong focus on industry relevance.

Our four week character design class is an intensive summer course designed to take artists through all the stages necessary to submit polished character design work to studios, whether for TV, feature films, games or new media.

Tutor Sam Nassour
Originally from Syria, Sam Nassour was the lead tutor for this class; he lives and works in London, and specialises in art direction and visual development. As with all our classes at Escape Studios, it was taught by an experienced industry tutor and is focused on industry-relevant outcomes. You can see Sam's website here.

Character design by Jamie Southwell
Course Content

Week 1 - Introduction to Character Design.
Week 1 began with introductory exercises, exploring creativity, ideas and finding inspiration for stories.  Students will also learned gesture drawing, fast sketches, and ways to research characters.

How do students create designs which have character? And how can this character be captured in a single, still image? Sam will also explored character situations and character-driven scenarios.

Character design by Rafaella Colasuonno
Week 2 - Industry Character Design Process.
In week two students took a look at the work of some leading character designers and how they work. Week 2 included an exploration of art direction, and principles of design and visual development.

Week 3 - Character Design Technique
This week included techniques to designing animal characters, and how to base designs on real life, including animal anatomy, staging and character. Students looked at how to design human characters, including life drawing, human anatomy, gesture drawing and character poses.

Spirit Animal by Seta Kendir
Week 4 - Turnarounds and Model Packs
Character design is very much about making your work industry-ready, so that it can be used within the studio pipeline. This final week included character Situations, the interaction of character with story, model packs, turnarounds, blend shapes and rigging studies for the CG dept. The final week culminated in an industry briefing, mirroring a live studio brief.

Sign up
To sign up for this year's course, follow this link to the official site. You can see Sam's website here.

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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