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Character Design For Animation

Character Design For Animation

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Elroy Simmons


As animation moves away from its traditional roots towards ever greater technical sophistication, one thing remains constant: the need for unique and interesting characters for animators to bring to life. With an emphasis put very strongly on drawing, you will be guided through the fundamentals of character design.

Who should take this course?

Whether you are a student or professional, and regardless of your chosen media, this course will provide you with the skills and working methods to create satisfying and original characters.

Topics covered

You will be guided through all the stages necessary to design characters that may be used for traditional or computer animation, cut-out, stop motion, games, illustration, comic strips or advertising. Topics will include:

  • basic anatomy and construction
  • personality and facial expression
  • acting potential, implied movement and stylisation
  • standard production aspects of pose-sheets, turnarounds and 3-D maquettes.

Level: Beginners

Entry requirements: None

Please note that this is a studio-based design and idea generation course rather than a course teaching computer software.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Online short courses

Did you know we offer a similar course online? UAL online short courses are designed to help creative people master new challenges, develop their skills, get inspired by new ideas and access the UAL learning experience without having to travel to a campus for class.

Character Design for Beginners (Online Short Course)

More online courses

Tutor Description

Elroy Simmons has worked as a Traditional 2D Animator since 1995.  In that time, Elroy has worked on a wide range of projects – from TV commercials, Children’s TV series and animated specials, to independent shorts.   Most recently, Elroy’s work can be seen in two independently made feature length, live-action/animated documentaries; “Doozy” (Director: Richard Squires. LMFYFF. 2018) and “Mansfield 66/67” (Directors: Todd Hughes, David Ebersole. The Ebersole Hughes Company. 2016). Both of these films utilise cartoon animation styles – from the 1960s/70s and 50s/60s, respectively. 
Elroy directs (both his own work and for others) and has substantial experience in both ‘Indie’ and commercial animation.   Elroy has been employed in a range of roles, including; writing, character design/development, storyboarding, animation timing, animation layout, supervising animator and art direction.



Please bring with you to the first session:

  • HB, B or 2B pencils (not mechanical pencils)
  • Light blue pencils (preferably Faber-Castell "Col-Erase" light blue)
  • A4 photocopy paper (one pack of 500 sheets will last the whole course)
  • A pencil sharpener (preferably one that holds the shavings).
  • Putty eraser

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.