Do you want to make your characters come to life?
2D Character Design is one of the most rewarding parts of our industry and also one of the most competitive. As with everything we do here at Escape Studios, the class will be based on industry-standard briefs.
The course is very hands-on – you’ll be set a project and have various tasks to complete in your own time before each class. Covering anatomy, colour theory, gesture drawing, expressions and more, you’ll learn how to create a suite of contrasting characters for a same narrative.
The course has been designed after consultation with industry, with individual classes being delivered by character designers working in the animation industry, such as the very talented Steven Sole.
Why choose this course
Based in London - home to some of the best animation and visual effects studios in the world
Industry briefs - work on industry-standard briefs and experience real-life scenarios, just like in a professional studio
Professional input - our advisory board of experts, from the likes of DNEG (Avengers: Endgame and Oscar-winning Dune) and MPC (The Lion King and 1917), help keep this course relevant
Successful alumni - join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios. 47 Escapees worked on Avengers: Endgame, 36 on No Time to Die and 16 on Stranger Things
Industry-standard facilities - study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software and techniques
Online mentoring and individual feedback will be provided by your tutor for a further 8 weeks after the course. You'll be set a series of projects
Fast-track learning - studying a short course allows you to learn new skills quickly, in a fast-paced environment, so you can start applying for jobs as soon as you’ve completed the programme
Intensive training - we pack a lot into a few evening classes, and we recommend that you work outside of classes for an extra few hours per week to complete your assignments
Flexibility - study live online and in the evening to fit the course around your professional and personal life and other commitments
Strong portfolio - along with an Escape Studios Certificate of Achievement, you'll leave with strong creative and technical skills and great pieces for your portfolio
Small class sizes - a convivial environment allows students to assist and inspire one another and benefit from personalised feedback from tutors.
Introduction to main project
The importance of research and references
The role of a Character Artist within the animation pipeline
Using simple succinct design, shape language, ‘cognitive bias’ and colour theory to create a character’s 'hero pose'
Principles of life drawing
Understanding anatomy to subvert it well for design
Highlighting a character's weight and volumes
Carry a character’s specifics onto a turnaround
The importance of a solid line of action drawn through the pose
Using contour lines for a clean and clear silhouette
The basics of colour theory
Finding the right colour and tone to best reflect the personality of our characters
Tips and tricks
‘The Mask’ technique
Identifying angles of the skull to place the head in space
Eyebrows (not a makeup lesson)
Presenting your character pack
Discussing your own character-based project
You’ve now established a style for one of your characters. See how this treatment can be employed in a new character from the same narrative and place the two together in a situation, employing many of the skills learned earlier in the course.
Online mentoring will continue for a further 8 weeks via the Discord group introduced in week one. You will utilise techniques taught across the previous lessons in order to explore your own ideas and flesh out your portfolio.
Call our Admissions Advisors on +44 (0)203 441 1303
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reach us on chat Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm
Be over 18
Have a good understanding of written and spoken English
Feel comfortable using a computer.
Gov.uk - Check if you need a visa
Gov.uk - Standard visitor visa
Gov.uk - Caseworker guidance
UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) - Information for visitors
A strong internet connection
An external hard drive (minimum 2TB) to back up your work during the course
A three-button mouse (or optionally graphics tablet)
A computer microphone (and optionally a webcam)
To apply for this course, or if you have any questions about your application or our entry requirements, get in touch!
As part of the application process, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.
We welcome and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
To study this short course, you must:
If you’d like to discuss your circumstances before applying, contact us on email@example.com or +44 (0) 203 441 1303.
We accept international students for our short courses, with no difference in course fees or administration costs.
The Standard Visitor visa allows students to come to the UK to study for a course of up to six months at an accredited institution. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a standard visitor visa prior to departure from your home country. For more information visit:
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)203 441 1303 for any questions.
We can provide remote access to our workstations during teaching time. Due to availability restrictions, we highly advise you to have your own set up at home to study in your own time.
More things you’ll need:
If you have any questions about learning online or if you need help with what to buy, get in touch at email@example.com.
Live online: £796
We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses. Following an initial deposit at registration stage, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining fees into up to six equal instalments, to be paid over the course length.
You’ll leave with an Escape Studios Certificate of Achievement, along with strong creative and technical skills and some great pieces of work for your portfolio. Ready to apply for jobs in the industry!
In addition to the soft skills that you will learn and enhance, working in a professional studio environment will give you the edge when applying for jobs in a highly competitive industry.
Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include:
Our students have gone to work in many areas of the industry, including animation, films, TV, video games and visual effects, at companies including Pixar, Blue Zoo and Framestore. Read some of our Escapee success stories.
Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.
We pack a lot into each class of our evening courses, to be able to offer a learning option that is more flexible and fits in with your personal and work life. This means that contact time with your tutors will be intense learning and hands on. To make the most of this course, we recommend that you spend at least 10 hours working on your projects or practising your new skills in your own time each week.
Meet our industry-experienced tutors
They all have industry experience and are experts in their fields, including certified trainers for Unreal Engine, Autodesk and Houdini. They've worked at studios such as Walt Disney, EA and Framestore, on credits including Doctor Strange, Kingsman and Bond: Spectre.