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The principles of character conceptualization

  • Class 15
  • Practice 30
  • Independent work 75
Total 120

Course title

The principles of character conceptualization

Lecture type


Course code






Lecturers and associates

Course overview

The objective of this module is to enable students to learn the:
• principles of character conceptualization and text translation, notes and mood board creation for realistic fleshed characters in as iterative manner
• complementary knowledge and insights to all other modules where character conceptualization of any creatures is present in the artworks being created

This module teaches students to understand the conceptualization vertical in the programme. It builds upon knowledge and skills of 3D modelling, sculpting, texturing, illustration, and anatomy. The module is set up in a way that students work in groups and is vital for the development of students as professionals giving them the experience to deal with the challenges of creating conceptual art in today’s business environment.

This module creates primarily concept art focusing on exploration and working with a team and clients as in the real business environment. This module is project-based, with an emphasis on working according to feedback and artistic solution exploration. It combines many of the knowledge and skills learned in the study and builds upon them. The projects in the module develop student’s proficiency in working according to feedback and briefs and in teams. It also further enhances their conceptualization and creative abilities.


Essential reading:
1. Gurney J. (2009) Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist, Kansas City, Andrew McMeel Publishing

Recommended reading:
1. [Anon.], 3D Total Publishing (ed.) (2015) ZBrush Characters and Creatures, Worcester, 3D Total Publishing
2. Whitlatch T. (2015) Principles of Creature Design, New York, Design Studio Press
3. [Anon.], 3D Total Publishing (ed.) (2015) ZBrush Character Creation, Worcester, Manimal 3D Total Publishing

Download student guide

Minimal learning outcomes

  • Present a suitable methodology of creation of conceptual characters based on ones own work.
  • Identify, prepare and link good quality references and materials and create a quality mood-board and sketches as a basis for creation of individual concepts.
  • Create ones own conceptual art solutions for application in various narratives, media, and environments where the synthesis and the deepening of the knowledge and the acquired methodology of creating characters to date, is clearly visible.
  • Create presentations of conceptualized characters in an appropriate style and environment in regard to the task.

Preferred learning outcomes

  • Evaluate and justify a specific methodology of creating characters in relation to the specific problem.
  • Evaluate and elaborate specific elements of the mood-board and sketches made as preparation.
  • Self-evaluate how ones own art solutions synthesize the knowledge to date and how well they solve the problem in regard to the demands of the client, the narrative, the media and the environment in comparison to other solutions.
  • Critically evaluate and defend created presentations of the conceptualized characters.
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