3D Character Design


  • N140,000
  • 6 weeks
  • Software: Autodesk Maya
  • Time: 9am-11am, 11am-1pm, 1pm-3pm, 3pm-5pm, 5pm-7pm(evening)
  • Study mode: Full Time (Weekdays  9am-5pm) or Evening (5pm-7pm) and Weekend (on request 10am-4pm)
  • Requirements: 3D Jumpstart course or basic knowledge of Autodesk Maya
  • Calendar: Jan 23-Mar 3, Apr 17-May 26

Design your own 3D character in 6 weeks

In this intermediate level course, students will learn how to design and model their own character in 3D. Once this is established, students will be taught how to texture and rig. Finally, you will create simple animations like walk and run cycles on your character realistically while applying the principles of animation. Next students are taught 3-point lighting set up and how to render out their animation to video. The course is practical oriented with lots of homework and one-on-one help from the instructor. The last week will be devoted to completing their final projects and production of a 15 second animation reel.

Download 3D Character Design Brochure

Who is this course designed for?

This course is designed for students who have either completed our “3D Animation Jumpstart” course or have basic level knowledge of Maya.  This class is appropriate for novice users of Autodesk Maya or for those working or wishing to work in the animation field, or for beginners wishing to expand their skills. It covers the core concepts and as well as some advanced approaches and techniques in 3D character animation.

What system configuration will I need?

Students should bring their laptops which should meet or exceed the following hardware configurations.

  • Windows® 10, Windows® 8, Windows® 7 or Mac OS
  • 32-bit/64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor
  • 2 GB of RAM minimum (8 GB recommended)
  • 16 GB of free disk space for installation
  • Qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL® graphics card
  • 3-button mouse

Will I get a certificate at the end of my training?

Students will qualify for a certificate of training only if the pass the assessment exam at the end of the training course. Final score is based on attendance (10%), tests (30%) and a final examination (60%) based on the standard grading system.

Letter Grade Percentage
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • F
  • 70-100
  • 60-69
  • 50-59
  • 40-49
  • 0-39


This course is a great start for students who are already very familiar with Maya. We adopt a simple production-based training methodology and our students gain valuable inside knowledge from our years of hands-on experience in 3D animation.

• Story Lecture: Once upon a time… Story is King
• Three parts of a great story (Introduction, Build up and Resolution)
• Storyboard
• Art Lecture: Importance of Pre-Production Art
• Production Pipeline

• Introduction to character design and modelling using polygons
• Project Start- Modelling the low poly character
• Setting up photo references and Image planes
• Modelling Techniques (box method vs edge loop method)
• Introduction to Maya’s polygonal and surface modelling tools – Extrude tool, Vertices, Edge and bridge, Split poly tool, Combining, Smooth, Sculpt geometry tool etc
• Modelling with symmetry – Mirror Geometry, Merge vertices
• Edge Loops, Clean Topology using quads and few triangles and n-gons
• Development of form and detail (low poly count, surface quality, hard and soft edges)
• Using the Insert Edge loop Tool
• Homework will be graded on creativity, usage of tools, and complexity
• Homework – Students will create a low-poly character and Instructor to review

• Purpose and applications
• Types of UV Mapping (planar, cylindrical, spherical etc)
• Unwrapping UV and proper UV mapping on models
• Unfolding and stitching UVs of objects
• UV Snapshot for exporting UV to image files
• Homework – Student will create UVs for their character

• Introduction to Shaders/Materials
• Mapping texture to Shaders (fractal, noise, wood, file textures etc)
• Diffuse and bump map
• Reflections and transparency
• Painting textures directly onto 3D surface which includes skin and clothing’s and props in Maya using 3D Paint Tool
• Introduction to texturing with Mudbox
• Toon Shaders
• Glow textures
• Paint effects
• Background colour and picture
• Homework – Student will create Shaders/materials and texture their character

• Create facial expressions using blendshapes
• Set up and rigging a character using Human IK or a simple manual rig
• Adding joints to characters
• Skinning the character, adding IK/FK, constraints and controls
• Painting Skin weights
• Homework – Student will have completed the rig of their character

• 12 Principles of Animation (Overshoot, anticipation, secondary motion etc)
• Introduction to Timeline and range slider
• Setting up basic key frame
• Animating simple objects
• Playblast for review
• Using graph editor to perfect motion
• Path animations
• Working with Deformers on simple objects – Twist, Lattice, Flare, Bend, Flare
• Homework – Students will practice the basic principles on simple primitives

• Introduction to character animation
• Scene referencing and working with passes
• Walk/run cycle animation starting with the blocking pass
• Doing additional animation passes
• Basic Facial Animation
• Final polishing of animation with focus on the principles of animation
• Homework Student exercises include walking and run cycle and basic facial expression

• Free and Aim Cameras
• Types of lights (point, spot, ambient and area lights)
• Creating Shadows
• Light special effects (flares)
• Three (3) point lighting (Key/Fill/Rim)
• Homework – Student will light their Character Model

• Render Setting
• Render Engines – Maya Software, Hardware, Mental Ray
• Mental Ray in general: Motion blur, depth of field, Ambient occlusion, Final Gather, HDRI, Sun and Sky
• Resolution film and resolution Gates
• Batch rendering an image sequence
• Reviewing renders with FCheck

• Putting It All Together/Work Day using Premiere Pro
• Adding Sound Effects and music
• Finishing and exporting the final 15 sec video
• Final Exam – Student must work on their character Project to finish their animation reel development for final Assessment. Instructor will review the finished piece for their personal portfolio and student will be graded.

FINAL VIEWING PARTY! Kick back, relax, and watch student reel