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MARCH 23 - 25, 2018



Character designer for clients such as :Disney Interactive, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Blue Sky Studios, Paramount, Headless Studio, The SPA Studios, and Sony Pictures Animation. Taylor’s most recent work can be seen on the Disney Channel for Tangled the Series. He currently works for Illumination Entertainment on a feature film in development.

Taylor Krahenbuhl has worked as a character designer, concept artist, and illustrator for the last ten years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University's animation program in 2009. He served as a judge for the 44th Annie Awards in 2017 and was a Motivarti mentor in 2016. Previous clients include Disney Interactive...

This course will be centered around the fundamentals of character design in the animation, gaming, and illustrative industries. The beating heart of a character revolves around harnessing the principles of design to reinforce the personality and story of each character that makes it onto the big screen. Knowing how to manipulate the principles of design by exaggeration, composition, and color will bring appeal to your characters. Being a positive professional is the key to a successful journey in the entertainment industry.


Day by Day Program: * note at the end of each day portfolio reviews will be given if requested

Class Participation, questions, and demos will be a large part of this workshop


DAY 1: The Building Blocks of Character Design – Story, Research, Inspiration, and Shapes

  • Sketching with a Purpose – Observing life, memory sketching, and adapting what you see with stylized sketching

  • Words Matter – Creating a character with a clear description from literature and imagination – the heart of storytelling

  • Research – Costume design, color palettes, and subject matter

  • The Power of a Strong Silhouette – Drawing with shapes, blocking in ideas, variation in shape making. They tell the visual story of the character. We must use this to our advantage as artists.

  • Laughter – Life is short, let’s make people laugh through charming characters that will stand the test of time

  • Photoshop/ Sketching Demo – Sketching from the description of a character in literature

  • Q & A and Portfolio Reviews

DAY 2: Creating Appealing Characters for Film – Thinking Outside of the Box and Knowing Your Audience

  • Listen and Observe – Aardman Animation is superb at this with Creature Comforts

  • Child – like sketching – sketching with instincts, gut reactions, and a playful attempt to capture magic

  • Contrast - Contrast is King! Utilize it when applicable

  • The Lines we Use - Line can be used as a sculpting tool – seeing line in a different way can inspire new shape making in your toolbox

  • Engage Your Audience - Telling stories in your character designs gives your illustrations purpose and allows the audience to empathize and relate to your work

DAY 3: The Mood and Personality of a Character – Applying color and refinement of your design can give artists and executives a sense of what you are conveying in your designs.

  • Entertain! – Our job is to entertain audiences: our ideas, storytelling, and draftsmanship need to convey value

  • Transitions – The flow of a gestures design and unifying a characters proportions through appealing transitions

  • Objects - Using objects on and around a character will help create rich compositions and draw your eye to a focal point – this is accomplished through color, values, and the objects shape and placement within the composition – Lead the viewer’s eye

  • Posing - Dynamic posing vs. posing for the sake of humor (Action lines vs. flat staging)

  • The Reality of the Animation Industry – Showing directors and show runners what they want with strong designs

  • Being a Professional – Tips on growing as an artist in a fast pace industry

  • Keep Yourself Inspired – Enriching your life by stepping out of your front door

  • Photoshop/ Sketching Demo – Visually contrasted characters that work together for a unique story purpose

  • Q & A and Portfolio Reviews             


Cost: € 399,00 VAT included. For more info on discounts and promotions visit the FAQ page

Time Schedule:

Friday 14:30-19:30
Saturday and Sunday 10:00–13:00 14:30–19:30


Course language: English

Availability: 20 people

Required tools: notebook with graphic tablet, photoshop

General requirements: N/A

Notes: An interpreting service will be available for a minimum of 5 requests.


Courses organised by IDEA Academy have a limited number of students. By enrolling to IDEA Academy's courses, participants give their consent to the cancellation and refund policies. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS


Courses can be booked:

The booking is not binding and it turns into a real enrollment only after paying the enrollment fee. In case of payment through bank transfer, students have to send the TRN code via email to

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