Character Design with Personality: 4 Core Concepts for Creating Better Characters

Tom Bancroft, Author/ Character Designer/ Animator/ Director

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5 Videos (1h 10m)
    • Introduction and Discussion of Tools

    • Shape Variety

    • Creating Depth With Your Final Line

    • Taking One Last Look

    • Using Photoshop to Finalize Your Artwork


About This Class

Tom Bancroft, former Disney Supervising Animator/Character designer/ Author/ Director, gives you 4 tips based on his day to day work flow, questions asked through the years by animation students and lessons he learned from classic Disney Master animators while working on films like "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", and "Mulan".  Each "Tip" builds on the next so that you can apply them to your next character design - and improve your drawings now!  These tips are great for anyone that works with characters: Comic book artists, Comic Strip Artists, Animators, Children's Book artists, and Video game designers.  And, of course, for anyone that loves to make fan art.  An assignment is given at the end so you can apply the tips learned here and upload your own character design based on an original description. 

196 of 201 students recommendSee All

Great class. Really enjoy Tom and looking at his work often! Great class, Tom! I'll be using all of this for sure!
Isaac Ramos

Animator. Artist. Husband. Teacher.

I have his books and its really good to see it in movement and actually "feel" the process.
Tagori Vilela


Fantastic and easy to learn!
Isa Bel

Children Illustrator





Tom Bancroft

Author/ Character Designer/ Animator/ Director

Tom Bancroft has almost 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature Animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He has been nominated for Annie and Rueben awards, spoken at the Kennedy Center and awarded an entry into the Chicago Children’s Film Festival.

While at Disney, Bancroft had the opportunity to contribute his talents to 10 animated feature films, five animated shorts, and numerous special projects and commercials. Among the classic films on which he worked are, “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan” and “Brother Bear.” He was also a character designer and director for Big Idea Productions, makers of the family-friendly “Veggietales” video series.

In 2005, Bancroft had his popular art instruction book “Creating Characters with Personality” published by Watson-Guptill Publishers. It has become the most recognized book on designing characters for animation, video games, comic books and cartooning, and is a required textbook at many art schools around the world. In 2012, Focal Press published his second book, “Character Mentor” and it is already one of their best-selling art instruction books. He has also illustrated over 50 children’s books, art directed a major children’s educational website (, wrote and illustrated multiple comic book series, and created character designs for TV, Film, and Video games for clients like Lego, Disney, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, CBN, Random House, Big Idea Production, Marvel, and more.

Presently, Bancroft is the Head of Character design for the animated TV series, “Superbook”, Seasons 2 to 4 for Christian Broadcasting Network, President of his online art instruction website (, Artist in Residence for Lipscomb Univeristy, speaks at video game companies and art schools all around the world (EA Entertainment, SCAD, Ringling, Nemo Academy-Italy, etc.) and creates characters and art direction for clients all over the world.