The Ultimate Character Design School – Beginner to Advanced: 7 Art Courses to Consider if You Want to Create Cartoons | The Fan Carpet

The Ultimate Character Design School – Beginner to Advanced: 7 Art Courses to Consider if You Want to Create Cartoons


30 July 2021

If you ever told anyone you want to create cartoons, you’ve probably heard this: “You’ll outgrow this pipe dream soon.” Or this: “Alright, but how are you going to earn a living?”

You probably even got talked into pursuing a “more secure” degree, like in communications, law or medicine. And you probably are drowning in homework that you find boring or outright despise – because it’s not your cup of tea.

But here’s a thing about those papers and assignments. No one cares about them – in the real world out there, your skills matter more than the grades you get.

So, if you ever wondered, “Can I pay someone to write my paper?”, the answer is yes. And once you free up some of that precious time, invest it into building up the skill set for the job you dream of. It’s you who’s going to live your life – not your family or friends.

And in case you think creating cartoons is your one true calling, here are 7 art courses you can take to start working on your skillset.

 

 

The Ultimate Character Design School - Beginner to Advanced

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Pricing: $110 (new student discounts and 30-day money-back guarantee available)
  • Level: beginner

 

This is one of the most comprehensive courses on character design – and it’s worth its somewhat hefty fee. It’ll help you explore all the necessities: anatomy, facial expressions, shading, hair and costume design, and more.

So, even if you have never tried creating your own character before, this course will still be a great match for you. By the end of it, you’ll boost your skills to that sweet level labeled ‘advanced’.

Cartoon Drawing: For The Absolute Beginner!

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Pricing: free
  • Level: beginner

 

In case the $110 fee is too much for you, this is a free alternative to the course above. Yes, it’s shorter – it has just one and a half hours of video material. But, it’ll take you through the very basics of drawing a character. All you’ll need to do after it is practice, practice, practice.

Character Art School: Complete Coloring and Painting Course

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Pricing: $130 (new student discounts and 30-day money-back guarantee available)
  • Level: beginner

 

If your drawing game is good but your coloring skills aren’t that great yet, this course will help you fix that. With 19.5 hours of material and plenty of assignments for practice, expect to be working hard – but it’ll definitely pay off.

What’s also great about this course is that it accommodates a variety of styles and mediums. So, you’ll have an opportunity to experiment and find your own distinctive visual “voice”.

Introduction to Typography

  • Platform: Coursera
  • Pricing: free
  • Level: beginner

 

Typography might not be the first thing on your mind, but you still need to create the intro and credits, right? Plus, you’ll probably have bits of text scattered throughout the cartoon here and there.

So, don’t pass on this course. It will come in handy sooner or later. Besides, it’s created and maintained by Caltech itself!

Cartoon Character Design for Animation

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Pricing: $50 (new student discounts and 30-day money-back guarantee available)
  • Level: beginner

 

Drawing characters for print and for cartoons isn’t the same. For one, you need to take into how you’re going to animate different body parts of your puppet. And you need to work with vector software instead of Photoshop. Plus, you have a certain style to maintain.

This is where this course comes in. Although it’s designed to accommodate complete beginners, it won’t go in vain for you if you have some experience in drawing in general. And if you fall under the “complete beginner” category, that’s all the more reasons to take up this course.

Easy Cartoon Backgrounds for Animation

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Pricing: $50 (new student discounts and 30-day money-back guarantee available)
  • Level: beginner

 

Characters are crucial for the storytelling, but the environment is no less important either. After, how you portray it will be vital for your world-building – and the story itself, of course.

This course will guide you through this often overlooked part of the job: creating awesome cartoon backgrounds. No previous experience is needed, but if you already know your way around vector illustrations and Inkscape itself, it’ll definitely help you out on your journey.

Fundamentals of Adobe Character Animator CC

  • Platform: CreativeLive
  • Pricing: $29 per course or upwards of $13 per month (subscription fee)
  • Level: beginner

 

Adobe Character Animator is among the de-facto standard tools for bringing cartoon characters to life. And it’s for a good reason. Once you have a grasp of the basic ideas, like rigging, lip-sync, tracks, and timeline, you can use your computer’s camera to animate your characters in real time.

So, in case you’re ready to bring your puppet to life in a fun and effortless way, this is the course for you. It’ll guide you through all the important steps in using Adobe Character Animator: the character’s components, building up scenes, and recording.

 

 

In Conclusion: How to Make the Most Out of Your Learning Process

Ever signed up for a course and then abandoned it in a couple of weeks? Well, no one is immune to that. With online courses, you don’t always have that sense of deadlines getting closer or personal responsibility to ace the assignments.

So, here are 5 tips on making online learning work for you:

  1. Schedule your study sessions. This is how you mitigate the biggest drawback of self-paced learning – putting it off again and again until you give up on it completely.
  2. Have a dedicated study area. Think of it as your own home office, but for studying. It means no procrastination or rest while you’re there. When you take a break, go somewhere else.
  3. Go beyond the given material. Most courses will only help lay the groundwork. It’s up to you to expand upon these basics.
  4. Practice, practice, practice. Watching pre-recorded video lectures isn’t the most important component of your learning. It’s how you put that information to work.
  5. Remind yourself why you signed up. You can even write out those reasons on a post-it or a piece of paper and hang it up in your study corner.

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