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Introduction to Character Design (Online Short Course)

Introduction to Character Design (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Shaun McGlinchey


Character design involves creating a character and being able to give it life by contextualizing it in different situations, moods and events. Whether you are a student, beginner or professional who wishes to learn about character design, 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

  • Fundamentals of Character Design
  • Basic anatomy and construction 
  • Developing character personality
  • Posture and implied movement
  • Importance of silhouette
  • Gesture and facial expressions
  • Anthropomorphism 
  • The importance of contrast
  • Introduction to Plastic Design
  • Ageing the character
  • Introduction to the turnaround
  • Standard Production aspects

Although you can use a computer and software to create your characters, please note that this course will not teach you how to use software, but rather teach you hands-on drawing techniques and how to generate compelling ideas and designs.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course you will have;

  • A clear understanding of character design principles
  • Mastered a range of technical skills to create characters
  • Developed the ability to create your own characters with confidence
  • The ability to communicate your ideas visually
  • Demonstrated a good understanding of what makes a good character in various contexts

Who is Introduction to Character Design (Online) for
This course is excellent for anyone wishing to learn how to create and develop a character, whether for comics, illustration, animation, games or advertising. You may be a student looking to expand a portfolio, a professional revising techniques, or a complete beginner who wants to learn more about Character Design
Level: Beginner
Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Why choose a CSM Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include
  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Visit Frequently Asked Questions for further details about preparing for your online course, including any equipment you need.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To compare times, please check World Time Buddy.

Tutor Description

Shaun McGlinchey is a professional animator who has worked for Disney and Warner Brothers to name but a few, and  worked on animated features, adverts, TV series, independent films. He currently teaches at, University of Westminster, Ravensbourne College of Art, UCA Farnham. He is an inspirational teacher, with a huge knowledge of film in general and animation in particular. The course has helped many artists to move into animation or to use animation in their own work.


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • The latest version of Java installed on your device
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

Please bring with you to the first session:

  • HB or B pencils
  • Prismacolour "Col-Erase" light blue pencils (
  • A4 photocopy paper or equivalent (at least 30 sheets per session)
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Kneadable eraser

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.