Designing Characters from a Storytelling Approach

Leo M., Story Artist at Walt Disney Studios

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9 Videos (1h 10m)
    • Greetings

    • "Line-work" Approach

    • Inspiration from Life

    • Research Exploration

    • Conclusions

    • Thumbnailing Your Ideas

    • "Line-work" Approach: Rough Pass

    • "Line-work" Approach: Final Pass

    • Final Thoughts


About This Class


Explore how Disney Story Artist and Director Leo Matsuda designs characters from a storytelling perspective.  In this 10 part class series, you'll learn Leo's approach to designing interesting, unique, and memorable characters that stand out.  Focusing on research and exploration, you'll see how your thought process can result in more appealing and complex characters.



55 of 56 students recommendSee All

Great class! Thank you so much. Very well explained and engaging
Laura Sfiat


I think the more world experience you have, the more you can get out of this class. Insightful if you have an internal reference.
I thought it was a decent class to help with finding references and ideas for drawing and a storytelling way. Although I didn't feel like there was enough dialogue regarding the "why" certain decisions are made, I was able to learn by looking. Also, the (I guess) "history" portion was a bit long or it could have just been explained a little better as to why we were seeing it. Overall, I DO recommend this class for people that are looking for somewhere to begin a drawing, if you're out of ideas, or just are looking for a different approach with your illustrations. (bonus points for mentioning Norman Rockwell)
Juan Ayala Jr.

Illustrator for Hire





Leo M.

Story Artist at Walt Disney Studios

I was born in Brazil and grew up in Sao Paulo. I attended Cal Arts, interned at Pixar and then lent my talents to The Simpsons Movie. I joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2008 where I began storyboarding on Wreck-it Ralph. Most recently, I was part of the crew that crafted the story behind the Academy Award-Winner film Big Hero 6. In my role, I was responsible for visualizing and interpreting the director's vision from script to screen. I worked closely with the director, story team and...

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