MA Character and Creature Creation

Escape Studios
Course summary
Postgraduate Education
1 year
15,450 - 17,995 GBP
Full time
Postgraduate Education
Course Dates
Online courses
15,450 GBP

17,995 GBP

Course description

MA Character & Creature Creation

Master the art of character and creature creation 

This postgraduate qualification is designed for students who want to learn how to master the pipeline for the creation of characters and creatures. 

This MA course will teach you how to design and create your own characters and creatures, and bring them to life. Over the course of the programme, you will learn how to design, model, texture, rig and animate your own characters.  

At the end of the course, you will have earned a postgraduate qualification, have a showreel of character and creature creation work, a thorough understanding of the animation and VFX industry, as well as the skills and connections to kick-start your creative career. 

You will be encouraged to apply for a position as a CG Generalist or Character Artist within a studio, providing a "one stop shop" for the design and creation of characters and creatures.

Suitability - Who should attend?

An undergraduate honours degree in a related discipline with a significant component in the field of art and design (e.g. Computer Graphics, Fine Art, Graphic Design, etc). 

Applicants without a degree who have significant industry experience in character and creature creation or related creative subjects will be considered.

Suitable applicants will be asked to submit a creative portfolio.

English Language requirements

If your first language is not English you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree. All our courses are taught in English.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

Training Course Content

Our MA Character & Creature Creation involves 5 key modules:

MODULE 1 – Character and Creature Design (30 CREDIT MODULE):

Assignment 1 ‐ Character Design Assignment

Assignment 2 ‐ Retrospective

Assignment 3 ‐ Individual Presentation

Weeks 1 – 6:

  • Week 1 ‐ Character and creature design Theory (Moodboards and the importance of research, body language and expressions)
  • Week 2 ‐ Tools and techniques for creating character and creature concepts (Colour and BG. Beat boards. Light and shadow)
  • Week 3 ‐ Using anatomy of characters and creatures in design choices
  • Week 4 ‐ Analysing an established style to create character and creature concepts
  • Week 5 ‐ Functional fashion in character and creature concepts. (Costume design and costume language)
  • Week 6 ‐ Establishing new styles (How to prepare a character or creature design bible for animation, outsourcing and videogames, and a pitch for comic publishing)

MODULE 2 ‐ Character and Creature Modelling/Presentation (30 CREDIT MODULE):

Assignment 1 ‐ Character Presentation Assignment

Assignment 2 ‐ Retrospective

Assignment 3 ‐ Individual Presentation

Weeks 7 – 12:

  • Week 7 - Introduction to Zbrush (Character and creature anatomy, high-detail sculpting)
  • Week 8 ‐ Introduction to Maya (How Maya works, retopology, anatomy and asset setup)
  • Week 9 ‐ Introduction to texturing (Introduction to Substance Painter and Mari)
  • Week 10 ‐ VFX and Games pipelines (Differences and similarities)
  • Week 11 ‐ Lighting and Rendering (Rendering in Arnold and Unreal)
  • Week 12 ‐ Presenting characters and creatures for portfolios (Introduction to rigging for creating character poses, directed project time)

MODULE 3 ‐ Character and Creature Technical Direction (30 CREDIT MODULE):

Assignment 1 ‐ Character Technical Direction Assignment

Assignment 2 ‐ Retrospective

Assignment 3 ‐ Individual Presentation

Weeks 13  – 18:

  • Week 13 - Character Rigging in Maya (Creating advanced character rig setups, introduction to python, how Maya really works)
  • Week 14 ‐ Creating cloth and soft surface simulations in Maya and Houdini (FEM and Vellum workflows)
  • Week 15 ‐ Creating muscle systems in Maya (Advanced anatomy, CharacterFX pipelines)
  • Week 16 ‐ Fur and hair groom (Long and short hair/fur with dynamics)
  • Week 17 ‐ Creating character cycles for presentation (walks and runs ready for final showreel presentation)
  • Week 18 ‐ Project catch-up week

MODULE 4 ‐ Studio Project (30 CREDIT MODULE):

Assignment 1 ‐ Collaborative Project

Assignment 2 ‐ Group presentation

For this module, you will be required to work in a small team working on an industry brief or creating your own brief. This project will allow you to use the tools and techniques you’ve learnt but it will also prepare you for the real world by working in teams.

MODULE 5 - Character and Creature Production Project - (60 CREDIT MODULE):

Assignment 1 ‐ Production Project

Assignment 2 ‐ Retrospective

This is the major project where you will work independently and develop your own brief. You will refine and produce a substantial Character and Creature project that will showcase your in-depth critical awareness of the area and the highly developed practical skills to deliver a complex project on time.

Why choose Escape Studios

In 2020 over 80% of VFX, 100% of Animation and over 80% of their Game Art undergraduate students have had their student projects nominated for awards.

36 Escapees (alumni) worked on No Time to Die, 47 worked on Avengers: Endgame, and 24 worked on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

In 2021, they hosted over 70 mock interviews with the likes of MPC, DNEG, Aardman, Blue Zoo and Creative Assembly.


  • Tuition fees for on-campus: £17,995 per year
  • Tuition fees for live online: £15,450 per year

Continuing Studies

On completion of the course you will graduate with a postgraduate qualification validated by the University of Kent. Degree validation means that our academic partner judges your degree to be of an appropriate quality and standard to lead to an award from their institution. Having this masters level qualification along with a killer showreel, industry standard skills and knowledge of how the industry operates will help you break into the games world and make an impact.

Roles you could apply for include:

  • CG Generalist
  • Character Artist

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About provider

Escape Studios

Escape Studios offers undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in Visual Effects (VFX), Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics. Whether you are looking to take your first step into the Creative industries, develop your professional skills or give you that much...

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Escape Studios

190 High Holborn
WC1V 7BH London

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