Character Modelling for VFX 1001

Learn how to create an industry-standard character sculpt and retopologised model with UVs.

Course Schedule
Jonathan Reilly
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Explore and learn how to create a CG character sculpt and model


This course will take you through the process of creating an industry-standard character sculpt and model, ready to be rigged and textured. The course will begin by taking a concept that has been designed by the Art Department, gathering reference and seeing how the design can be pushed for story purposes. We’ll then look at creating a concept sculpt in ZBrush before moving on to building the retopologised mesh with UVs. Finally, we’ll set up some production-quality turntables to make our asset ready for review and sign off.

Course Details

  • Type: Online
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Duration: 08 weeks
  • Format: Pre-recorded videos and weekly live sessions
  • Assignments: Weekly & 1 final
  • Tools: Maya, ZBrush, WrapX
  • Prerequisites Basic Knowledge of Maya and ZBrush
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

Learn the tools and techniques to create a realistic character model

Industry partners

Lessons in this course

  • 01. Analysing the concept and gathering reference

    In this lesson, we'll break down the concept, start gathering reference, and look at how we'll approach the creation of our character.
  • 02. Blocking out the primary forms

    This lesson will cover how to go about blocking out the primary forms in ZBrush for our asset.
  • 03. Blocking out the costume

    With the main forms blocked out, we'll start layering on the costume.
  • 04. Refining the overall shapes

    Now that we have the body and the costume blocked out, we'll start refining the overal shapes.
  • 05. Retopologising the body and face

    In this lesson, we'll look at taking the process of manually creating the topology for our character.
  • 06. Working from a base mesh to create our topology

    In this lesson, we'll look at an alternative method of creating our topology by using the CAVE base mesh taking advantage of WrapX to get the core features lined up.
  • 07. Retopologising the costume

    In this lesson, we'll look at some tools and techniques to retopologise the costume to make it suitable for deformation and simulation.
  • 08. Creating the UVs and finalising the asset

    This lesson will go through the steps of creating the UVs for the costume and preparing them for use in texturing. We'll ensure the asset completes the initial design brief and fix any outstanding technical issues.

Tutor: Jonathan Reilly

Character Art Director

With a professional career spanning roughly 2 decades, Jon is a well-established and versatile character artist. His roles have found him working on some of the most iconic characters in cinema such as Shere Khan for the Jungle Book, and Proxima Midnight for Avengers: Inifinity War. Jon has also sculpted numerous Street Fighter favourites for collectibles, and has also worked on multiple award-winning video games. Jon has been a guest speaker for both higher education institutes and industry shows and continues to share his experience and knowledge to the next generation of artists. So, if you want to know how to sculpt a character, Jon is your guy.


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