Character Design Lab

Develop characters for your story with help of a leading character artist

The lab is focused on mastering the creative process of the development of the design of characters within the context of a story.

You will collaborate on the development of character design with a leading character artist, who will share his experience of particular creative approaches and design processes for animated film. This will benefit your own work on an animated film/series or a game, without regard to a specific style or animation technique.

On completion of this lab you will

  • research and develop character design with regards to the profiles and story
  • enhance your art team-development processes and workflow
  • enhance your visual art skills for storytelling
  • gain valuable feedback from our board of experts and professionals through sales and distribution
  • get a stamp of credibility for your project in the eyes of potential co-producers

30. 8. - 10. 9. 2021
5 projects
10 days
intermediate drawing skills
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

How it works

In the residential lab you will start with characters based upon your own project, and go through the process of exploring and developing their personalities, refining how they look individually and as an ensemble.

You will help you to explore, refine and ultimately enhance the unique flavors of your characters and how they will best support and reinforce the stories that they are telling.

The lab includes

  • Character design and development lectures by an accomplished animation professional
  • Lectures and one-on-one consultations with the guest supervisor
  • Professional supervision, consulting and art direction of your project
  • Team collaboration between your colleagues and the mentor as the most essential learning experience


Lesson plan


Staying loose and rough we begin the journey of discovering who your characters are and what they may look like.

  • Day 1: Overview – Introduction – Basic shapes & shape language – Blocking forms
  • Day 2: Silhouettes and poses
  • Day 3: Personalities and expressions – Archetypes
  • Day 4: Caricature (pushing and exaggerating shapes)
  • Day 5: Reference and Casting (working characters off of one another)


Developing your characters further and enhancing them through color, costume, and style.

  • Day 1: Style and Advanced shape language (creating a consistent world)
  • Day 2: Color (using color to support the emotional & psychological personalities of your characters)
  • Day 3: Costume (further enhancing your characters through wardrobe, hairstyle, etc.)
  • Day 4: Putting it all together (refining and finesse)
  • Day 5: Final touches – Presentation – Re-cap

Who is it for

The lab is aimed at both beginner and advanced visual artists – illustrators and designers. You should have drawing skills already at an intermediate level and bring your own projects to the lab to boost both skills, workflows and project.

Team collaboration is essential. We strongly recommend to apply as a team of 2 artists with a project.


In order to be eligible for the lab, you need to submit your project idea as a synopsis no more than 500 words max. or character profiles along with your registration.

Participants bring their own materials, computers with Photoshop and projects to work on.

Selection criteria

  • Portfolio to demonstrate expertise and experience in the field of visual art
  • Motivational letter
    Emphasis on career motivation and vision for a project
  • Own project
    Participants’ involvement is conditional on their having a project of their own
  • Own creative team
    Teams of at least two or more will receive priority
  • Participation in both Story & Art workshops

Fees and funding

Single Lab

2 900 EUR per project in the Character Design Lab.

The price is for minimum of 2 participants, max. 3 participants working on a project.

Complete Film Development

7 700 EUR per project in the Story Lab, Character Design Lab and Concept Art Lab

The price is for minimum of 6 participating artists in the whole incubator’s program, minimum of 2 participants, max. 3 participants working on a project in each lab.


General conditions

  • Possibility to pay in instalments.
  • We advise participants to apply for scholarships for participation fees and/or travel costs in their countries, as many public film funding bodies are usually supporting such training costs.
  • The fee covers the fee of the course. The fee does NOT include accommodation, board and tuition during workshops and travel.
  • Approximate living costs during your stay in the Czech Republic:
    • Accommodation at the venue: 25 EUR / night
    • Breakfast at the hotel – 5 EUR
    • Restaurant meal between 5 – 10 EUR
    • Grocery in general – 50 EUR per person a week

Funding for Czech employees and freelancers

Czech Labour Office (Úřad práce) offers to cover up to 85% of the course fee within the so-called POVEZ II project (Support of Vocational Training for Employees II). See the details and conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

The fee of 30% off the course price applies when canceling 45 days before the start of the course into which one gets accepted.

Direct interaction
with seasoned

Our mentors

Our incubator
boosted dozens
of projects

Show all projects

1 900 EUR

per artist

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