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CGMA – Fundamentals Of Character Design

CGMA – Fundamentals Of Character Design with Ahmed AldooriFundamentals Of Character Design


Fundamentals Of Character Design with Ahmed Aldoori : An 8-week course for building foundational skills necessary for the design of appealing characters in film, games, animation, comics, and more

Design your character’s personality

This is a beginning character design course with an emphasis on creating memorable characters with interesting personalities & shapes to tell a story. The goal is to visually communicate our characters from life observations, reference, and our imaginations. As we continue the course, the students will get used to the idea of iteration and refinement in designs, better serving the story and direction. Exploration, getting out of your comfort zone, and visually communicating through drawing will be major components to our class.


LECTURE TYPE: Pre-recorded

FEEDBACK: Individual recordings

DURATION: 8 weeks

MATERIALS: Photoshop (or equivalent) and Wacom tablet (or equivalent), sketchbook, pens & pencils, and scanner or camera to scan or photograph homework assignments

SKILLS LEVEL: Intermediate

PREREQUISITES: Dynamic Sketching 1 & 2 and Analytical Figure Drawing, or drawing portfolio review required


The more you know, the better.

Week 1 | Creating Volume and a Solid Foundation

Tools for the class: Your Brain, your attitude, and art supplies | Sketchbook as a journal and methodology (look draw) | Brief overview of the keys to drawing with volume. | Foreshortening, placement, shading, surface, size, contour, overlap, density, horizon, shadow, You-nique, Practice, and attitude.

Week 2 | Finding the Character Through Gesture

Character-gesture | What is a gesture, how to go about finding one, and why it’s important to your character.

Week 3 | Design and the Language of Shapes

The idea behind shapes | How shapes define silhouettes | Understanding how the outside shell reflects what’s inside the character.

Week 4 | Balance in Design

Line Weight | Symmetry vs. Asymmetry | Flow of Lines | Busy to Simple | Balance in Contrast | Balance in Color | Actual Balance | Artist Balance

Week 5 | Building Relationships

How design decisions relate to each other. | To story, to self, to shape, to page | Positive negative space, props and cloth, archetypes

Week 6 | Expressive!

Expressing yourself, hands, feet, eyes, and mouth

Week 7 | Tonal Focus

Finding the Values in your Art | When thinking about contrast, visual communication is key | How do you show your design off in the best way possible?

Week 8 | Colors

Color Theory and design decisions for your character | Remaining conscious of your color choices to reflect your characters’ feelings and how you want your audience to react to them | Thinking in Local colors first

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