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Build a Fantasy Character with Shape Language

Brian Shepard, 2D Game Artist and Illustrator.

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10 Videos (50m)
    • Introduction

    • Your Assignment

    • First Impressions

    • Body Shape and Silhouettes

    • Minor Features

    • Non Humans

    • Advanced Shaping - Objects

    • Surrogate Features

    • Style Components

    • Design Your Hero


About This Class

Have you ever wondered what makes a character look strong? Or how you can just tell who the villain is at first glance?

Characters make up a huge part of our favorite video games, cartoons, and all sorts of fantasy worlds. Just how are they made? This class explores the importance of shapes in character design, and it will teach you to use them intelligently in your own creations! Through a series of hands on exercises and studies of various characters in fiction, we'll expand our knowledge of shapes and how to read them.

This is a class for artists and art-lovers alike who appreciate the unique, quirky, and flat out weird characters that pervade fantasy worlds, who come in all shapes and sizes. The course is less about learning to draw a character's realistic anatomy in perspective, and more about studying how basic shapes can tell us a character's personality at first glance. Learning to use meaningful shapes in characters is something that you can do with a No. 2 pencil and printer paper, or a Wacom drawing tablet and Adobe Photoshop. All I require of you is a little time to explore these concepts and use what we've learned to create a fun character you can be proud of.

157 of 157 students recommendSee All

awesome, informative, and intelligently-paced class. offers lots of examples to allow you to actually see the way in which the principles he describes affect the characters we see.
This class is great! Really fun and engaging! Keep it up!
Great format for teaching conceptualizing and seeing. Brian helps the student see for themselves with engaging exercises and not parrot his technique or methods. That's a plus





Brian Shepard

2D Game Artist and Illustrator.

A slightly-above-average illustrator and character designer for video games. Trying to improve my understanding of character design, storytelling, and how we culturally respond to visual cues like shape and color in everyday situations. Making an effort to help anyone else who wants to learn the same things!

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