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Character Creation for Film/Cinematics

Character Creation for Film/Cinematics

A 10-week course for creating highly polished characters with efficient and clean modeling for cinematics in film and games
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Create polished characters for film and games

Create polished characters for film and games
The objective of this class is to understand character creation for film and game cinematics in terms of a characters profile, and its ultimate purpose in a composition or narrative. Each week we will focus on a different aspect of character construction and explore the technical ways of assembling a final character. We will begin by analyzing and assessing various reference materials prior to initial sculpting. Then the class will dive into the fabrication of hard surface components, clothing, and other accessories needed to finish out/polish a high-poly asset. From there, the emphasis will then switch over to surfacing your character using advance painting and shading techniques. These will include look-development of skin, metal, and various other material shaders prior to outputting final renders. Finally, we will end the course with discussions on and demonstrations about color theory, render manipulation, and post processing.
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Jul 17, 2024 - Oct 07, 2024
Course Start
Oct 01, 2024

Course Format


Skills Level



10 weeks


Once a week


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, Q&A, and time on assignments.
Must have intermediate knowledge of Zbrush, Maya, or Max. Recommended course prereqs: Anatomy for Production, Character Texturing for Games in Substance, and Hair Creation for Games
Maya (or equivalent), Mudbox (or equivalent), Arnold (or equivalent), ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter

The more you know, the better.

Reference collection and analysis | Blockout Model

Establish primary forms | UV map the face | Use ZWrap to project TextureXYZ detail | Process and cleanup TextureXYZ data | Apply detail to head mesh

Bridge sculpt between low Subd and High Frequency Detail | Apply additional details to sculpt (scars, burn marks) | Demo displacement extraction to 32bit EXR format | Apply first pass color textures | Setup initial Maya lookdev scene to test displacements and basic textures

Eyeball modeling, texturing and shaders for realistic eyeballs | Align eyes | Add water line | Finalize head textures and shaders | Demo gloss map creation and additional maps | Exploration of dual lobe specular for skin

XGen in Maya | Curve generation, XGen parameters | Modifiers for noise, clumping | Look at shader parameters and how to approach color and variation

Start in Marvelous and push clothing to 50-70% completion | Move mesh out to Zbrush / Maya to create clean topology and UVs | Use new and clean topology to continue sculpting clothing | Model and UV accessories / gear | Demo different modeling techniques with emphasis on creating clean, organized meshes

Pipeline considerations before sculpting | Sculpt and Detail the character in ZBrush | Extract Displacements in ZBrush | Decimate Meshes for Painter | Assemble Maya Scene | Export to Painter

Blockout basic colors and roughness in Painter | Texture Paint different surface types in Painter

Start to assemble final scene | Gather assets, organize scene | Apply shaders and begin plugging in maps | Cloth shader setup | Leather shader setup | Metallic elements shader setup

Look at different types of lighting techniques | Demo of HDRI based lighting | Demo of Studio Lighting using area lights | Discuss light properties (falloff, light size, light distance) | Discuss cameras and camera properties (depth of field, shutter, aperture) | Final render settings | Output final renders | Post processing in Photoshop / Lightroom | Discuss production techniques and how compositing is used even though this course won’t go into render layers and compositing | Discussion on presentation in a portfolio (what to show, what not to show, breakdowns etc)

Unleashing your creative potential

Senior Character Artist
Course Start: Oct 01, 2024
Pete is a Los Angeles based senior character artist with both video game and film experience. His skillset revolves around high to low poly modeling, texture painting and look development. He is currently working at Treyarch. His past work includes all of the titles Call of Duty: Black Ops franchise, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Underworld: Evolution and Night at the Museum. His software of choice are Maya, Mudbox, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Marvelous Designer and Photoshop.

Instructor's Gallery

Game Art
Game Art
Game Art


Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education, these finance options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Jul 17, 2024 - Oct 07, 2024
COURSE BEGINS on Oct 01, 2024
Character Creation for Film/Cinematics

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


The course as a whole helped me improve so much. Learned how to use the tools correctly with efficient workflows and can't wait to continue to work on my art.


There was an incredible amount of technical information crammed into the course and I learned an unbelievable amount in a very short time which was just what I was looking for.


This course was excellent. I have been an environment artist for many years and learning more about the character pipeline was awesome. Character work is significantly different than environment work and the course was very challenging for me.


Learned how to use multichannel textures in Mudbox and also detailed clothing modeling. Also, Pete has a great eye and provided really positive and helpful critiques for submitted work.


It's been the best character class I've taken and I've taken many. Knows the material very well and sets the bar high which helps with my improvement.


Would definitely recommend this course to anyone that has a good experience with 3D Characters and wants to take their skills to an expert level.


This course for me is a whole new level, on certain aspects, such as using interactive grooming rendering in maya and arnold, specially the workflow of of skin detailing process.I have learned so much, I feel more complete as an artist.


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