Online course
Character Modeling for Production

The hardest part of this industry, like most, is finding your first job. But there’s also the difficulty of keeping that job in a competitive market.

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Character Modeling for Production

The hardest part of this industry, like most, is finding your first job. But there’s also the difficulty of keeping that job in a competitive market.

The vfx/animation industry has exploded in the past decade; an influx of international visual effects movies are being made every year by more and more smaller companies which has created this boom in our field. It’s a fast paced and exciting industry to be part of and in this class I want to share with you some techniques and tips that I’ve learned not only to help you learn the basics but also to push you further in your career path.

I want to treat this course as if it’s the first day on the job so you understand how modeling is done as a professional but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an advanced modeler to take this class as this can also be excellent for beginner level modelers.

With more and more people entering the field every year, how do you stand out? Thomas Jefferson said, “I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” In this course I’ll go over modeling in a production pipeline and go over some common characteristics of successful artists that I’ve noticed in my experience that make them succeed and continue to thrive.

Modeling is much more than just making something look “cool.” Your model has to be functional, believable, economical, appealing and practical for other departments to work with. Working in production isn’t like working on your own personal projects; you don’t have the convenience of being the only one working on the asset, you have to be aware of how your artistic decisions affect the rest of the departments in the pipeline. I’ll go over some do’s and don’ts with you to make you understand this process more easily. To name a few: you’ll have to juggle nailing a design from someone else’s vision, handle tight deadlines, multiple supervisors' feedback, manage long hours, work within a team environment, handle criticism and indecision, make rapid changes and present your work well, with confidence. The big key to all of this, I’ve found, is maintaining a positive attitude. Remember, people have to want to work with you. “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks

At the end of this course I hope you will have learned a lot about making a successful character model for production, how to improve your own workflow to increase your skills and efficiency, and lastly, I hope that you now have a solid understanding of what it takes to excel in the vfx/animation industry as a successful Digital Artist.

Course data

  Course duration: 3 months

  The course starts every 3 months:
June 1, September 1, December 1, March 1

  Price for Independent Studies:
3 monthly payments for the course $199 USD each
or 1 full course payment $597 USD

  Prerequisites: None

  Recommended software: Pixologic ZBrush, Autodesk Maya

 Additional animation tutorials:
CGTarian Masters Animation Workshops

Course instructor and animation mentor Shannon Thomas
Course mentor:
Shannon Thomas

Course starts in:


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Lecture previews

The best way to learn what this course is about and get an insight into it!

Course Syllabus

Lecture preview

What are the goals of the course? What should modeler expect working in a pipline? What need to pay attention the most? Shannon answers.

Hands Anatomy

Lecture preview

Sculpting hands can become a real challenge. Shannon uses his experience and knowledge to make this process much easier and explains why knowing anatomy and proportions is vitaly important while modeling.


Lecture preview

Why topology is so important to learn? Giving some pratcical hints to work on topology of your model.

All that you need!

Content developed by professionals, challenging assignments and mentor's assistance is your way to success!


3 months of intense studies! Comprehensive modeling course!


12 online meetings with your mentor and video reviews of your work!


More than 20 hours of video lectures and tutorials!


More than 50+ recordings of QnA sessions and video reviews available!

Students’ feedback

The best course and personal progress evaluation is students’ feedback.

Ernesto Arrieta
Shannon Thomas has enlighten me and taught me so much about the production process of character modeler including a ton of helpful tips on how to be more proficient in our industry.Shannon Thomas is a truly a one of a kind professional and I give his Character Modeling in Production class "FIVE Stars" !!!!!
— Ernesto Arrieta
Paul Adams
Honestly, I felt you went above and beyond your duty with some of the stuff and often went into explanation and details that you could have brushed over during some of the reviews (and my email side Q's) so it's sincerely very much appreciated. Overall really an awesome course!
— Paul Adams
Duancharus Chandrapunth
He is really passionate on modeling. The details on each chapters is clear and easy to understand.
— Duancharus Chandrapunth

Full list of student feedback you will find on "CGTarian Students' Reviews & Testimonials" page.

Full list of student reviews you will find on this page "Student Reviews".


100% risk-free, 14-day money back guarantee.

Independent studies
Monthly payment

3 monthly payments for the course
209 USD
Simple and convenient payment schedule.
Possibility to switch to one payment schedule.

Independent studies
Single payment

One full course payment
597 USD
In case of a full payment the price is reduced by 30 USD

Attention! This course is provided at a reduced price meaning independent studies without mentor's assistance, no online meetings or video reviews of your assignments. However, recordings of QnA’s and video reviews of previous groups will be available for your reference.

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Where do our students work?

Many of our students got employed in world famous studios working on top level projects. Below you can find some of them:

Маша и медведь
World of WarCraft
World of Tanks