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Character Design

In this 10 week course, you will learn a powerful set of character design techniques so you can create polished and professional level character concepts from scratch

Teacher Artwork by Diana Van Damme

This class is currently unavailable. However, this class might be back in the future, if there is enough interest. You can express your interest and reserve your spot for a future term by clicking on this button.

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Teacher Artwork by Diana Van Damme

Character Design

Do you possess basic digital painting and character design skills but don’t yet have the advanced design knowledge and expertise required to create high quality, polished and professional character concepts? Do you dream of designing iconic and visually appealing characters for the entertainment industry that support the storyline and strike a visual chord with the audience? 

In this 10 week course, you will learn a powerful set of character design techniques that will enable you to create polished and professional level character concepts from scratch for any game or movie. Through a series of lectures, demonstrations and in class exercises, your instructor will guide you through all the steps involved in designing an iconic character, starting with ideation and basic sketching up to final rendering and presentation. You will receive regular feedback and paintovers from your instructor that will help refine your character design process.

You will gain expertise in shape language and become proficient in exploring multiple design options so you can finalize the design direction that best defines your character’s personality and traits. You will develop an in depth understanding of posing and learn how to best render your character’s skin, hair and clothing like a professional. You will gain expertise in modifying your character behavioural traits, emotions and physical features to make them appear more vibrant and compelling. You will also learn how to generate multiple level variations of your character and best present their character turnarounds from different angles to create maximum visual impact.

By the end of this course, you will have learned a powerful step by step process that will allow you to create iconic, original and polished ready for production character concepts that fit and enhance any story or genre. Furthermore, you will have learned to work within a specific design brief and create portfolio worthy character designs that you can be proud of!

  • Course Type Inactive Classes
  • Duration 10 Weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 4
    Level 4

    This expert-level is for students who are ready to boost their portfolio and design process to a professional level.

    This level is about discovering and diving deeper into new tools (such as 3D), further polishing and rendering work and exploring professional pipelines of the entertainment industry.

  • Language English


Note: This class will be offered online only

Term: TBD

Class Timings: TBD

Date of first class: TBD

Duration: 10 weeks

If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.


*Please note that this class' duration is subject to change (to either 1.5 hours or 2 hours) depending on the number of enrolled students.

These shorter class formats are conducted with more of a personalized mentorship style, allowing students to have more time devoted to their assignments' critiques and the ability to ask more questions in class, while still maintaining all of the theory and planned curriculum for the regular class length.



Skill requirements 

To enroll in this course you should have:

If you are unsure of your skill level, please contact [email protected] for additional guidance.


Language and age requirements

You should have at least intermediate level English to take this class. Please also note that Syn Studio’s classes are targeted towards adults and students should be 16 years or older to enroll.

Required Materials

You need to have a laptop or a desktop computer with Photoshop installed and a graphic tablet sensitive to pen pressure (such as a Wacom tablet). Or you need a tablet-computer with Photoshop installed that is sensitive to pen pressure (such as the Cintiq Companion).


Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Syn Studio Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

Course Outline

*Below is the general outline. The detailed 10-week course outline will be communicated to students at a later date.

Part 1: You will receive a design brief with character requirements for a specific existing IP

You will learn to interpret the brief, work within constraints, gather references and create sketches so you can explore character design options and finalize the one best suited for the requirements.

Through continuous feedback at every step of the process, you will gain the ability to give your own twist to your character and add additional details that improves readability and best communicates the storyline.


Part 2: You will create an original character with specific design requirements as well as level upgrades for a new game in a genre of your choice. You will gather references and learn how to best utilize them so you can generate 3 distinct level upgrades for your character.

Your instructor will help you at every step of the process, guiding you and providing you with valuable one on one feedback. You will learn to use advanced digital painting techniques to add features and characteristics specific to each level upgrade. 

You will also learn how to polish and refine your variations and present your character sheet in an appealing manner.

Check out the entire outline

Questions and Assistance

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625

Please consult our FAQ; most of the commonly asked questions are answered in detail there. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to fill out the form below, or, send an email to [email protected]

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