Introduction to
3D Character Modeling

Introduction to 3D Character Modeling

12 Week Workshop

Course Length: 12 weeks with Live Q&As
Start Date: Week of June 28, 2021 (Summer 2021)
Introductory Price: $1,299 *

*Includes a non-refundable $100 registration fee
Seats are limited

Register Now
hong chan lim - female head variants

The Art of Character Modeling - Maya to ZBrush

Whether you’re watching your favorite animated film, enjoying the next VFX blockbuster, or playing an action-packed video game, every character on your screen was created by a talented group of artists. It’s easy to overlook the incredible skill and hard work that goes into designing and realizing these characters, but there’s no doubt of the impact these artists have within the entertainment industry.

Studios need character artists with a strong understanding of polygon modeling workflows, digital sculpting techniques, and clean topology for downstream departments. Whether you’re carrying out an Art Director’s vision or bringing your own unique design to life, it’s thrilling to be part of that process.

hong chan lim - mechanical characters

Modeled by Hong Chan Lim

What is Character Modeling?

Character modeling is the process of transforming a concept, essentially an idea, into a three-dimensional model. The character artist builds the model from the ground up using tools such as polygon box modeling, hard surface modeling, and digital sculpting techniques.

Think of it like the traditional art of sculpting a statue. In classical art this was done with clay, marble, and other materials. The artist would start with a large block of material and use additive or subtractive techniques to create their vision.

In our modern digital workflows we use software like Autodesk® Maya® and Pixologic's ZBrush to get that same effect. This combination of tools is like working with digital clay—we are able to create a base model of the design and then sculpt on more complex details and anatomical notes. Once a character model is finalized it’s ready for rigging and the rest of the animation pipeline. This art of modeling and sculpting characters is a wonderful blend of the technical and creative sides of the brain and a highly rewarding profession.

Hong Chan Lim - demon
Hong Chan Lim - demon-wildstar
Hong Chan Lim - mech
Hong Chan Lim - hero
Hong Chan Lim - alien
Hong Chan Lim - robot woman

Modeled by Hong Chan Lim

What this Course Teaches

Introduction to 3D Character Modeling teaches beginner and intermediate modelers the best practices and workflows every character artist needs to successfully develop their skill set and portfolio of work. Students will develop core skills within the character creation pipeline, from base mesh to character sculpting, UV character mapping, functionality, texturing, and basic rendering for presentation. Register for this workshop and create your own high quality character model!

What is the best software for character modeling?

Maya and ZBrush are the industry standard choices, so we focus our workshop on the workflows, best practices, and modern techniques used within these software packages. To succeed in this workshop, students should have a basic understanding of prop modelling within Maya. ZBrush experience is welcome but not expected; we will teach you everything you need to know!

hong chan lim kim wildstar

Modeled by Hong Chan Lim

Industry Professionals Mentor You to Be Successful

Animation Mentor mentor Hong Chan Lim
Hong Chan Lim

Hong is a Senior Character Artist at Blizzard Entertainment working on Overwatch. Hong Earned a BFA in 3D Graphics and Technology at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Hong started his career making Superman Returns NDS at SCG for Electronic arts back in 2005. After Shipping three console games, he moved his career to NCsoft Corp. (Carbine Studios) to help build the MMO project Wildstar as a Senior Cinematic/Marketing Artist. After shipping Wildstar, Hong’s main objective is to assist a core group of developers in the creation of quality 3D Design with a distinctive and impressive artistic style. Hong specializes in 3D modeling and texture painting, posing, lighting, rendering for games, cinematics, and marketing. To be successful, he believes an artist should always strive to improve their art, be a team player, and learn to take constructive criticism.

Wednesdays | 7:00 - 9:00 PM Pacific Time
Register Now for Hong’s Class

This Workshop is for Artists...

  • Looking to model and sculpt their own designs
  • Wanting to learn how to translate an existing character design into a 3D model
  • With a desire to learn modern character modeling and sculpting workflows
  • Interested in how to blend organic and hard surface modeling concepts into a cohesive design
  • 3D modelers with a basic understanding of prop modeling

Workshop Format

  • 12-week online workshop so you can learn at home on your own time
  • This workshop meets for one weekly, live lesson with your mentor
  • Each week, you’ll get a recorded video critique of your assignment so you can refer back to it anytime
  • There are no grades for this workshop
  • Project-based learning with demos and exercises to help you learn by doing


  • Be 18 years of age or older on the first day of class
  • Have a good understanding of the English language
  • Have intermediate software computer skills, and meet the minimum computer system requirements
  • Our demonstrations use Autodesk Maya. You are welcome to use any other equivalent software if you choose
  • Pixologic ZBrush or ZBrush Core
  • Adobe Photoshop or equivalent
  • Other optional software includes Substance Painter, Marmoset, Quixel Suite, and 3D Coat

What Students are Saying

Hong Chan Lim Black Widow

Hong worked hard to foster a productive and professional environment for learning. He encouraged us to ask for help whenever we needed it, and to encourage us to learn from each other.

I enjoyed the time Hong took to improve our models in real time. It was really nice to personally see someone proficient in ZBrush/Maya build off what we did in class.

My mentor really cared for his students and tried to push us to reach our potential. He is amazing! He always answered our questions, explained everything, and was very patient with us beginners.

See Course Breakdown

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