In this course you will explore concepts and approaches involved in creating successful character designs that can be applied to video games. Following a first week delving into some foundational concepts for successful character design, each of the remaining three weeks are structured as a master class where you will observe three professional character designers at work in the studio: Andy Ristaino (Adventure Time), Jacky Ke Jiang (Journey), and Robertryan Cory (SpongeBob SquarePants). Each designer will take on two different design challenges on the fly and address the various issues in designing characters for games, such as movement, expression, and technical limitations. At the end of each week you will have an opportunity to try out some of the concepts from that week’s lesson on characters of your own design.
This is a fun and engaging class especially useful for students interested in animation in film and TV as well as games, and is suitable for students of any drawing ability.
Week 1: About Character
In this first week of the course, we will explore some of the major concepts involved in creating compelling, unique, and purposeful characters. These ideas will provide the basis for your assignment this week and lay the groundwork for our visits with professional designers in the coming weeks.
Week 2: Technical Challenges
This week, we visit Andy Ristaino, a character designer who has created many of the ingenious characters for the animated series Adventure Time.
Week 3: Design with Purpose
This week, we visit Jacky Ke Jiang, an animator who has worked as a character designer for both Disney Feature Animation and in video games. Jacky will discuss working in both 2D and 3D modes as he completes his challenges.
Week 4: Find Your Character
This week, we see Robertryan Cory in action. Cory is an a character designer known for his work on shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Ren & Stimpy, and Gravity Falls.