Character Creation for Games and VFX (Evening - 18 weeks)

Course details


Live online

Start date

23rd September 2024


18 weeks

Mode of study

Part time (Monday evening: 7pm-10pm)



First in the world Rookies award icon for production excellence in immersive mediaThirs place Rookies award icon for production excellence in visual effectsTop 10 Rookies award for creative schools in the UK

Course overview

Visualise your own character designs and bring them to life 

Over 18 weeks of evening classes, you’ll get hands-on experience in design, modelling, texturing, rigging and animation, and you'll create your own character from concept to final render – a fantastic asset to add to your showreel. 

This course will allow you to explore different character design techniques, create 3D models using Maya and ZBrush, and then paint and texture your character to give it a distinct look. This course is jam-packed but is designed for beginners – to take you through every stage of the process. 

There will be a focus on creating characters for visual effects and video games, but the basics are the same for all types of characters, so don't let that put you off if you are looking for more traditional animation or motion picture character creation. 

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.

See also MA Character & Creature Creation, Character & Creature Creation (12 weeks) or Advanced Character & Creature Creation (18 weeks)

See more student work

Why choose this course

  • 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 (Fantastic Beasts and Stranger Things), Framestore (His Dark Materials, Thor: Love and Thunder), Rocksteady (Archam) and MPC (The Lion King, Pinocchio) help keep this course relevant  

  • Successful alumni - you'll join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work as Character Technical Directors at some of the world’s top studios including Framestore, MPC and Blacklist Creative

  • Industry-standard facilities - study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Maya and ZBrush 

  • 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 Completion, 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.  

Course modules

  • Photo-bashing/concept art for characters 

  • Sculpting basics 

  • How to use brushes 

  • Interface 

  • Dragon head 

  • Blocking out a character’s pose using Zspheres 

  • Rigging a character for posing in ZBrush 

  • Cloths 

  • Hair 

  • Fur 

  • Making an armour 

  • Making assets 

  • Modelling basics 

  • Modelling assets for characters 

  • Importing assets to ZBrush 

  • Blending shapes for facial expression

  • Exporting models and maps from Zbrush 

  • UVing in ZBrush 

  • Zremesher 

  • Retopo in Maya 

  • Making high and low poly in ZBrush continued 

  • Importing and baking in Substance Painter 

  • Introduction to Substance Painter and texturing painting

  • Procedural texturing

  • Projection mapping for characters

  • Finalising projects

More information

  • ZBrush 

  • Maya 

  • Substance Painter 

  • Photoshop 

To apply, complete the relevant online application form linked below:

Our Admissions Team will get in touch to take you through the next steps.

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.

Minimum requirements

We welcome and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

To study this short course, you must:

  • Be over 18

  • Have a good understanding of written and spoken English

  • Feel comfortable using a computer.

If you’d like to discuss your circumstances before applying, contact us!

Non-UK students

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 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:

  • 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)

  • Note-taking materials

If you have any questions about learning online or if you need help with what to buy, get in touch at


Live online: £1,085

Payment plans

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.

Contact us or visit our admissions page for any questions about fees, funding and payment plans.

“Animation in the UK has a strong track record in character development and storytelling. It also leverages the UK’s global leadership in the artistic and technical aspects of the visual product.” (source Animation UK)  

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!

Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include: 

  • CG Generalist 

  • Character Artist 

Our students have gone to work as both specialist and generalist artists in creative studios, across films, TV, games and visual effects. 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. 

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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.

Meet your tutors

Student showcase