10 Best Character Design Courses and Certifications Online

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Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookCharacter design is a crucial aspect of animation, gaming, and the entertainment industry. It involves creating unique and captivating characters that resonate with the audience and enhance the overall experience. With the increasing demand for skilled character designers, many online courses have emerged to provide the necessary skills and knowledge. This article explores some of the best character design courses available online, highlighting their features, benefits, and suitability for different learners. It aims to provide a comprehensive guide for individuals seeking to improve their character design skills or start a career in this field.

Here’s a look at the Best Character Design Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

10 Best Character Design Courses and Certifications Online

1. Character Art School: The Complete Character Drawing Course by Scott Harris (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

Character Art School is a comprehensive video course that teaches users how to draw professional characters for animation, games, comics, and more. The course comprises 10 modules, where students can learn all the core fundamentals and advanced techniques necessary to draw and sketch characters effectively. It is designed to help beginners learn to draw while also challenging experienced artists to improve their skills. With over 400,000 students worldwide, Character Art School has become one of the most popular character drawing courses available.

The course is divided into easy-to-understand modules, making it easy for students to learn at their own pace. The assignments are designed to reinforce the theory and feel rewarding, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Students can engage in the course chronologically and revise each module as they wish. The lessons are clear and well-structured, allowing students to grasp concepts quickly.

The course covers a range of topics, including drawing fundamentals, character forms and proportions, facial expression and emotion, hair and cloth dynamics, character post-production, and more. The modules are designed to help students learn how to draw characters professionally and with confidence. The instructor, Scott Harris, is an expert in character drawing and provides valuable insights and guidance.

Whether a student wants to learn character drawing for games, comics, cartoons, manga, or animation, this course covers all aspects. It is not just about teaching a particular method or way to draw but about helping students become fundamentally good at drawing characters, whether they prefer traditional pencil drawing or draw digitally.

The course has received rave reviews from students worldwide, with many calling it the best art course they have ever taken. The course is also backed by a no-questions-asked refund policy, ensuring that students are completely satisfied with their purchase. With engaging assignments, comprehensive modules, and expert guidance, Character Art School is an ideal course for anyone looking to learn character drawing.

2. Character Art School: Complete Coloring and Painting Course by Scott Harris (Udemy)

The Character Art School: Complete Coloring and Painting course is a six-week guided video course designed to teach individuals how to become skilled at coloring and painting professional characters. The course is divided into five modules, covering all core theory and practical application for professional-level character coloring and painting. The course is suitable for beginners and intermediate learners and aims to advance their current abilities to a professional level in character coloring and painting.

The course is aimed at individuals who wish to color and paint character concept art for films, games, illustrations, comics, manga, Disney style and other styles. The instructor, Scott Harris, promises to provide clear and concise lessons that will enable learners to color and paint with confidence, without fear. The course encourages learners to engage in the assignments, which are designed to reinforce theory and promote rapid progress.

The course consists of six sections: an introduction, followed by five modules covering Light and Color Art Fundamentals, Using Digital Tools, The Character Coloring and Painting Workflow, Coloring and Painting Styles, and Comprehensive Character Coloring and Painting Demos. Each section has been designed to be modular, easy to grasp and learn at a well-paced, structured rate.

The course content is built on the theory of giants and inspired by masters, providing a comprehensive approach to character coloring and painting. The assignments are purpose-built to help individuals rapidly progress and feel rewarding. Individuals who complete the course are expected to be fundamentally good character colorists and painters.

Regardless of one’s preferred medium – games, comics, cartoons, manga, animation, and more – this course is comprehensive enough to cover all bases. The instructor is confident that learners will find the course rewarding enough to offer a no-questions-asked refund if they are not satisfied.

3. The Ultimate 2D Game Character Design & Animation Course by Jaysen Batchelor (Udemy)

The Ultimate 2D Game Character Design & Animation Course is aimed at individuals who wish to learn how to design and animate a character in Photoshop that can stand up as professional work. The course is designed to help participants create high-quality stylized characters and animations for 2D games that can be translated into just about any asset creation for games. Participants will gain skills in the world of digital art creation or their money back. The course is intended to equip participants with the knowledge to create stunning designs and animations for 2D games in as little as one week.

The course offers participants access to all four sections of the course, including a bonus section that shows them where and how to find jobs creating digital art work that they can do from anywhere in the world. They will also gain access to all of the Photoshop files and sprite sheets created throughout the course for their own use. The course offers a full money-back guarantee within the first 30 days of purchasing the course.

Participants will learn various aspects of creating professional digital artwork, including Photoshop basics, the design process, building character assets, sprite sheet creation, animation cycles, and how to find jobs creating digital artwork. The course starts with the basics of Photoshop, moves onto thumbnail creation and inspiration, sketching, building individual components, sprite sheet creation, and animation.

The course is designed to take participants from having little knowledge in Photoshop to creating professional characters and animations. The course is supported with over 4.5 hours of clear content that the instructor walks participants through each step of the way. Participants will also receive personal contact with the course tutor, lifetime access to course materials, and a bonus section on how to become a freelancer. The course is available on an easy-to-use platform, and participants will receive fast, friendly, responsive support on the Udemy Q&A section of the course.

4. Character Art by Jaysen Batchelor, Quinton Batchelor (Udemy)

The Character Art Course, taught by Jaysen Batchelor and Quinton Batchelor, is designed to teach students how to draw and design characters for animation, cartoons, and video games. With a self-guided approach, students can progress at their own pace through the 12 sections and 95 lectures, which cover drawing fundamentals, story-telling, body proportions, poses, expressions, and character design styles like anime, Disney animation, comics, and Pixar.

The course offers a preview of section 12, which features a two-part film that demonstrates the character design process from start to finish. Students will gain access to a Facebook group, downloadable resources, and Q&A support throughout the course. Additionally, students receive student discounts to future courses, and a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days of purchase.

Section 2 starts with hands-on character drawings to get students involved from the beginning, followed by a section on the fundamentals of character design. Section 4 focuses on drawing boot camp, which strengthens drawing abilities including pencil control, muscle memory, speed control, and pressure control. Section 5 covers drawing the human form, and section 6 focuses on creating dynamic and attitude-filled poses.

Section 7 delves into the importance of storytelling through character expressions, followed by a section on hair and costume design to make characters iconic and memorable. Section 9 teaches students to draw characters in different genres like anime, Disney animation, comics, and Pixar. Finally, section 10 demonstrates character design from start to finish, with a two-part video of a dragon slayer character being developed.

The course is developed by Jaysen Batchelor Education, which is committed to creating courses that exceed expectations and provide value above and beyond the cost. The course is conveniently available on one platform and provides fast, friendly, and responsive support through the Udemy Q&A section or direct message.

5. Manga Art School: Complete How to Draw Anime & Manga Course by Scott Harris (Udemy)

Manga Art School is a video course aimed at teaching individuals how to draw Japanese Manga and Anime character stylization. The course is designed to be comprehensive and covers both core fundamentals and advanced stylization and proportional knowledge. The course is divided into six modules and is suitable for both beginners and intermediate learners. The course is structured in a way that allows learners to progress at their own pace and each module comes with an assignment that is designed to reinforce the theory taught.

The course covers a range of genres, including Shoujo, Shounin, Bishoujo, and Kodomo manga style characters, and teaches learners how to draw in a true manga style. The course aims to teach learners to draw an authentic manga style well, without fear. The course is designed to be clear and easy to understand, with information presented in a logical and coherent way.

The course covers the foundational stylistic rules for drawing Manga and Anime characters, allowing learners to create their own style that is still true to the original Japanese principles. The course is not a ‘method’ or a ‘way’ to draw the styles, but rather a way to become a fundamentally good Manga and Anime style character artist.

The course is modular by design and covers six modules, starting with Fundamental Manga Proportions and ending with Complete Manga and Anime Style Drawing Demos. Each module comes with an assignment that is designed to reinforce the theory covered in the module. Learners can engage with the course chronologically and revise each module at their leisure.

The course is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice and aims to help learners rapidly progress. The course promises to be rewarding and engaging, with assignments that are designed to be both fun and challenging. The course creator is confident in the course’s effectiveness and offers a no-questions-asked refund if learners are not satisfied.

6. Ultimate Guide to Drawing Animated Characters by Austin Batchelor (Udemy)

The Ultimate Guide to Drawing Animated Characters course, taught by Austin Batchelor, teaches students how to design professional-looking characters for TV and film. The techniques taught in this course are suited for use in any program, from Photoshop to Procreate. Upon completion, students will have developed the skills needed to build a portfolio of likable character designs and concept art, whether for their own portfolio or client work.

This course is intended for beginners looking to gain knowledge in character design, and it promises to take students from basic sketches to appealing and enjoyable character renderings in as little as one week. The course covers topics such as the basics of character design, anatomical differences, anthropomorphic characters, technical aspects, and redesigning The Little Mermaid.

Upon enrollment, students will have instant access to all course materials, and the course is designed to take students through the process of designing awesome characters step-by-step. Instructors provide fast, friendly, and responsive support via the Udemy Q&A section of the course or through direct message.

By the end of the course, students will have acquired the knowledge necessary to create stunning characters and concept art.

7. Character Design for Beginners by Rich Graysonn (Udemy)

The “Character Design for Beginners” course, taught by Rich Graysonn, teaches students how to design characters for various mediums such as games, comics, and illustration. The course offers an updated section on basic figure drawing and uploads new videos weekly. It is designed for those who want to learn the process of character concept design and not just watch someone else draw. The course provides ample knowledge and techniques for creating characters for video games, comics, and animation. Upon completing the course, students will have a solid workflow, new skills, and confidence to create their characters.

The course is not an illustration course, but students will be drawing a lot. The aim of the course is to provide a process and workflow for designing characters. It covers topics such as the introduction to character concept design, using and understanding basic shapes in design, archetypes, thumbnailing, turnarounds, and background players NPC’s. Other topics covered are how to use reference, refining thumbnails, drawing wrinkles and folds, designing superhero and fantasy armor, and pushing designs further. The course also provides new lessons weekly on figure drawing for character design.

In addition to the course content, students receive access to an exclusive student Facebook group. The course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of character design and not just a tutorial on how to draw. The course promises to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to design characters for various mediums.

8. Complete Guide to Realistic Character Creation in Blender by Victory3D LLC (Udemy)

Victory3D LLC offers a course titled “Complete Guide to Realistic Character Creation in Blender,” instructed by experienced artist, Corazon Bryant. The course aims to teach intermediate artists how to create a professional full-body 3D character using Blender software. The course consists of eight sections, including an introduction and a conclusion.

During the course, students will begin by sculpting their characters from scratch using Blender’s sculpting tools. They will then move on to retopologizing for a clean mesh, and unwrapping, optimizing and organizing their UVs for better quality resolution textures. Students will learn how to hand paint their character’s skin and clothing using Blender’s built-in paint mode. The course will also cover the baking process to create normal maps for the character and creating realistic hair using Blender’s particle system.

Additionally, the course includes modeling a medallion and sword to serve as props for the character. The final section covers extra tweaks, rendering, and compositing to produce a stunning image for the student’s portfolio. The course is designed for intermediate artists with a basic understanding of Blender.

The course aims to teach students how to produce a 100% Blender-made character by covering sculpting, 3D modeling, unwrapping, texturing, baking, lighting, rendering, and compositing. The course promises a significant improvement in the student’s skills and an opportunity to go beyond portfolio requirements. Victory3D LLC, along with experienced artists, aims to provide an affordable and effective learning system that can lead to a job in the 3D industry.

9. Character Design For Animation in Illustrator by 2D Animation 101 Courses (Udemy)

The “Character Design for Animation in Illustrator” course, offered by 2D Animation 101 Courses, teaches students how to create memorable, unique characters for animation. Through the use of theory and practice, students will learn how to develop characters with strong personalities that communicate emotions effectively.

The course covers various topics, such as the theory behind character psychology, the basics of concept art, and how to define attitude through the use of different shapes. Additionally, students will learn how to prepare their characters for animation using Adobe Illustrator, including the tracing of each part of the body and how to rig their characters in After Effects.

The course is divided into several sections, including an introduction to the course and character design, character psychology, concept art for character design, explanation of a character for rigging, tracing the character, and setting up for replacement animation. Students will also have access to a tutorial that guides them through the process of assembling a character named Brad, part by part.

Enrolling in this course will provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to create memorable characters for animation and prepare them for use in various animation software programs.

10. Create Game Characters with Blender by Darrin Lile (Udemy)

This course, titled “Create Game Characters with Blender,” is intended to teach users how to create their own game characters using Blender 3D. The course covers topics such as 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation, as well as the process of bringing the character into Unity and setting up a character controller for movement.

The course is designed for intermediate Blender users, and provides a step-by-step guide for creating a game character from start to finish. This includes sculpting the character using box modeling techniques, using the Blender Retopology Tools, creating UV maps and baking texture maps in Blender, using texture painting tools, rigging the character with the Rigify Add-on, animating game cycles, importing the character into Unity, and setting up a character controller.

The course emphasizes the potential that learning to create game characters can have in opening the door for creating video games. Blender is a free tool that has been used extensively in the animation and visual effects industry since 1995, and provides an affordable way for users to learn the fundamentals of 3D modeling, texturing, and rendering.

The course is broken down into sections that cover each step in the process of creating a game character. In the first section, users will create a character using sculpting tools in Blender, followed by using the Blender Retopology Tools to create a low resolution version of the high-resolution sculpt. The course also covers UV mapping, texture painting, and rigging the character with the Rigify Add-on.

Finally, the course teaches the basics of animation cycles for a game character in Blender, before ending with instructions for bringing the character into Unity and writing code for movement. The course comes with reviews from satisfied users who appreciate the quality and accessibility of the tutorials.