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Intro to Character Design

This course will introduce you to the basics of creating characters, and drawing digitally. It is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed that stu­dents with min­i­mal dig­i­tal draw­ing and design expe­ri­ence start with this course. This course is a pre­req­ui­site for our more advanced cours­es includ­ing Char­ac­ter Design 1, 2D Ani­ma­tion, and Crea­ture Design.

A char­ac­ter design­er cre­ates the look and feel of characters for video games, film, ani­ma­tion and illus­tra­tion. Strong draw­ing skills and fun­da­men­tals are required to cre­ate any type of real­is­tic or stylised char­ac­ters. At CDW Stu­dios there are many workshops that use the principles taught in character design. Top­ics include per­spec­tive, anato­my, draw­ing con­struc­tion, draw­ing sim­ple forms in 3D space, colour, design prin­ci­ples, sto­ry­telling and draw­ing in Photoshop.

This cours­e is aimed at begin­ners and will give you the per­fect foun­da­tion for your art career.

Each week you will watch a live demo by the instruc­tor, where you are wel­come to follow along with the instruc­tor and ask ques­tions. After each class you will receive your home­work assign­ment for the week, and at the begin­ning of each class you will receive feed­back on your work.

Topics that will be covered throughout the 12 week workshop:

  • Construction, and drawing forms.
  • Drawing poses, faces and hands.
  • Communicating feeling through gesture.
  • Shape design and style.
  • Archetypes.
  • Basic rendering with colour to create a finished character.

The hardware requirements for the workshop are:

  • Laptop (MacBook Pro or i7 PC laptop with 16GB RAM are recommended).
  • Wacom tablet. Any size is good.
  • Notepad and pens/pencils for note-taking.

Software requirements:

  • Photoshop
Additional Semesters TBA

Essential Information

Semester Dates

Course Dates TBA

Class Delivery


Feedback Sessions



Peter Yong



Instructor Bio: Peter Yong

Peter Yong is a storyboard artist and character designer who has taught both character design and storyboarding at CDW Studios. Currently based in Brisbane, he has studied animation at the Queensland College of Art, but has gained extensive knowledge from working hard on the job, and learning from many great artists he has worked with.

Peter has worked in both animation and game production and feels his most memorable work was for the platform video game 'Deblob 2'. He has worked for companies such as Disney Toon Studios, Cartoon Network, Pandemic, Defiant and Blue Tongue Entertainment.

Peter has a strong work ethic and credits comic artist Mark Bagley for telling him to always assess your improvement every 6 months. "If you haven't made significant improvement you need to change what you are doing (do classes, dedicate more time, whatever it is)...Easier said then done, but it has helped me over the years."