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Character Design For Animation

Character Design For Animation

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Vincent Woodcock


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

Tutor Description

Vincent Woodcock learned animation from Richard Williams and Art Babbitt, co-directed Disney's "Duck Tales The Movie", sequence-directed on "The Tigger Movie", and was an animator and character-designer on "Space Jam". His idents and promo's for Cartoon Network have won Promax awards, and he has designed characters for many theatrical and TV animated productions. His cartoons and illustrations have appeared in magazines such as Time Out and Fortean Times, and he is the author and illustrator of "How To Draw And Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters". He is currently working on his own graphic novel.

Read an interview with Vincent on the Short Courses blog here.


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