Character Creation for Animation: Shapes, Color, and Expression

A course by Laura Ewing Ferrer
Illustrator and Storyboarder. Madrid, Spain.
Joined May 2020
, Illustrator and Storyboarder

Reveal your character’s personality by working on a concept and illustrate it using Photoshop

  • 100% positive reviews (217)
  • 5077 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Reveal your character’s personality by working on a concept and illustrate it using Photoshop



  • 100% positive reviews (217)
  • 5077 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 22 lessons (4h 39m)
  • Available on the app
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course


Creating a unique character design full of personality demands practice, imagination and—ideally—an experienced teacher in the field to show you the ropes. Illustrator and storyboard artist Laura Ewing has mastered the process of character design for animation. She most recently worked on Madrid 2120 as a storyboard artist, which received this year’s Goya award for best short animation.

In this course, Laura shares the secrets and methodology that has led to her success as a storyboard illustrator. Use Adobe Photoshop to build your character, learn how to draw emotive expressions and striking poses, and create a professional turnaround of your character to add to your portfolio.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation
  • U3
    U3. Production (part 1)
  • U4
    U4. Production (part 2)
  • U5
    U5. Post Production
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Get to know Laura, her passion for animation, and her vast experience in the field. She shares some of her favorite artists and animations that inspire her work.

Start off by learning how to prepare and research before creating your character. Develop a brief and see what makes a good brief to facilitate your illustration process. Then, create a mood board of all the elements you need to start visualizing your character.

Next, it’s time to get creative! Work on the basic shapes, looking at how your character’s personality influences the shapes and lines you choose, and work on refining its structure with Laura’s guidance. Bring life to your character by working on expression lines, body language, and facial expressions.

See the best way to present your character, adding color, lights, and shadows. Create your character’s main poses and its turnaround, used for 3D modeling.

Laura finishes the course by giving her professional tips and advice on how to crack the animation world. See how to grow your followers on social media, where to find job opportunities, the ideal way to pitch your project, and more.

What is this course's project?

Create a character design based on your own brief and time in history, working on dynamic poses and a character turnaround, ready to present to an animation studio.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for illustrators of all levels who want to polish their character designs in the context of animation.

Requirements and materials

You will need basic illustration skills and notions of how to draw the anatomy of a character.

As for materials, you will need a computer with Adobe Photoshop or another digital illustration software that allows you to work in layers.


Reviews

5077 Students
217 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Laura Ewing Ferrer

A course by Laura Ewing Ferrer

Teacher Plus
Illustrator and Storyboarder

Laura Ewing is a freelance illustrator and storyboarder with a passion for animation. As a young girl, she would spend hours watching documentaries and DVD extras of her favorite animated films, in disbelief that creating these stories was a real job.

She went on to study Graphic Design, with a specialization in illustration, to then study Fine Art at The Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and obtained her Master’s degree in storyboarding at Lightbox academy.

Her diverse experience in the industry includes working in-house at Smile and Learn, as well as working as a freelance artist for documentaries, pilot series, and publishing houses. She most recently worked on storyboard artist for a live-action movie, which will be released in 2021 and for Madrid 2120 as a storyboard artist, which received this year’s Goya award for best short animation.


Content

  • U1

    Introduction

    • My Influences
    • About Me
    • What We Will Do in the Course?
  • U2

    Preparation

    • Mood Board
    • Interpreting a Brief
    • Researching References
  • U3

    Production (part 1)

    • Selecting Shapes for Characters
    • Trying Out Different Combinations of Shapes
    • Refining The Structure 1
    • Refining The Structure 2
    • Line of Action 1
    • Line of Action 2
    • Body Language 1
    • Body Language 2
    • Facial Expressions
  • U4

    Production (part 2)

    • Tricks and Checks
    • Color and Presentation 1
    • Color and Presentation 2
    • Lights and Shadows
    • Turnaround
  • U5

    Post Production

    • Professional Tips on How and Where to Showcase Your Work
    • Bonus Work for Clients
  • FP

    Final project

    • Character Creation for Animation: Shapes, Color, and Expression

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and an easy-to-follow method. You set your own timetable.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each teacher imparts what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Earn a certificate with every course
    New

    Get a personalized and signed certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


FAQs

Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they are published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks, and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, and share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

When you complete a course you'll get your personalized certificate instantly. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Character Creation for Animation: Shapes, Color, and Expression. 3D, Animation & Illustration course by Laura Ewing Ferrer

Character Creation for Animation: Shapes, Color, and Expression

A course by Laura Ewing Ferrer
Illustrator and Storyboarder. Madrid, Spain.
Joined May 2020
  • 100% positive reviews (217)
  • 5077 students