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What does a Character Artist do?

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A character artist is responsible for creating the look and feel of the characters in a game, film, or other visual media. They work closely with the art director to ensure that the characters fit the overall tone and style of the project. Character artists create concept art, model and texture the characters, and animate them.

Character Artist job duties include:

  • Modeling characters in 3D software
  • Sculpting characters in 3D software
  • Texturing characters in 2D or 3D software
  • Rigging characters for animation in 3D software
  • Animating characters in 3D software
  • Lighting and rendering characters in 3D software
  • Compositing characters in 2D or 3D software
  • Creating concept art for characters
  • Researching reference for characters
  • Collaborating with other artists on the development of characters

Character Artist Job Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a character artist, although most have at least a bachelor's degree in fine arts, computer science, or a related field. Many character artists begin their careers as 3D modelers or animators and learn the necessary skills on the job. Certification is not required, but completing a professional certificate program can give job seekers an edge in the competitive field. Most character artists have several years of experience in the gaming or movie industry before landing a lead role.

Character Artist Skills

  • Modeling
  • Sculpting
  • UV Unwrapping
  • Texturing
  • Rigging
  • Animation
  • Lighting
  • Rendering
  • Compositing
  • Concept Art
  • 2D Art

Related: Top Character Artist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Character Artist

There are many ways to become a character artist. One way is to take an art class that specializes in character design. Many colleges and universities offer these types of classes. There are also many private art schools that offer character design classes.

Another way to become a character artist is to create your own characters and post them online. There are many websites that allow you to upload your artwork, such as DeviantArt or Tumblr. You can also enter online contests or collaborate with other artists to create characters.

If you want to work in the video game industry, it is important to have a strong portfolio of characters. You can create a portfolio by taking screenshots of your characters in various poses and angles, or by recording yourself playing a video game and including the footage in your portfolio. Many video game companies use online portfolios when hiring artists.

It is also important to stay up-to-date on the latest software and technologies used in character creation. 3D modeling software such as Maya or ZBrush can be used to create realistic or stylized characters. These programs can be expensive, but there are many free trial versions available online. There are also many free online tutorials that can teach you how to use these programs.

Becoming a character artist requires both talent and hard work. However, if you are passionate about creating characters, it can be a very rewarding career.

Related: Character Artist Resume Example

Related: Character Artist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)