3D Design

Introduction to 3D Character Design

Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to digital sculpting and how it applies to the character design process as you build your first 3D character. Whether starting from an already existing sketch and taking it into 3D or starting to design in 3D directly, we will cover how to come up with character and creature ideas using digital sculpting and iterate on them rapidly. From facial expressions to shape design, students will learn the fundamental tools needed for great creature and character design.

We will discuss the advantages of starting to design in 3D and how it enables speed and versatility in exploring different angles of the character. This 3D workflow will inform certain aspects of the character design and also improve comprehension of volume and how forms interact with each other in real space.

Software used for the course

Students will have the option to work using a variety of tools, however students may use Blender (free) or Zbrush for this class.


TBD, 2023 – Join waitlist for exact dates


5 weeks

Live Classes

Sundays, 1pm – 4pm PT


$599 (limited offer)

Design an original 3D character in just 5 Weeks

The production process

Thinking in 3D allows concept artists to make designs better suited for 3D production modeling and helps artists understand how their concept art is used in production down the line.

Getting started in 3D Character Design

This class is aimed at someone who is new to digital sculpting as well as already experienced 2D character concept artists interested in adding another tool to their workflow. The aim is to have 3D be a solid start during sketching out ideas and allow more awareness of volume and form that then will be used as a canvas for additional designing in 2D, therefore using the best of both worlds.

Students who complete this course will leave the experience with a finished 3d character and will be prepared for more advanced modeling, the rigging process, and game development.

ZBrush will be used for demos but Blender or other tools can also be used by students.

Classes are hosted weekly, live and online. Added to that, you’ll join for demonstrations, critiques, Study Hall, and Q&A sessions, with weekly homework assignments. Everything is recorded and available on-demand.

Key Takeaways From The 5 Week Course

  • Digital Sculpting

  • Facial expressions and design

  • Finding and working from reference

  • Posing

  • Lighting

  • Character proportions

  • Camera angling

  • Detailing and polishing your character

  • Rendering

Course Outline

Omar Hesham 3d character designer

Meet your class mentor, Omar Hesham

A seasoned pro in character design

Omar Hesham is a 3D character artist who specializes in modeling, texturing, lookdev, and grooming. He has a passion for creatures and stylized characters. Omar is currently based in Los Angeles. After graduating from Academy of Art University in San Francisco he went on to work in TV VFX, film pre-vis, video games, and animation.

His projects and clients include:

Omar has worked in game development, the film industry, and for major commercial clients. His work includes The Mandalorian, Star Trek Picard, The Orville, The Beacon (2018). His clients include: Pixomondo, Nickelodeon, The Third Floor, Github, Salesforce, Dreamlit Games

Select image to view full art credit.

What makes this Mentorship unique?

As a mentorship student, you will gain access to a vast wealth of resources to better your understanding and improve your skills. You will be paired with a high-caliber professional, who will be with you every step of the way.

Live Classes

Every class is delivered live and is fully interactive with lectures, demos, critiques, and guest speakers. Consider this your front row seat.

Connect on Discord

laptop image of zoom art class for illustrators and concept artists

Study Hall

  • 3D creature by Omar Hesham based on concept art by Terryl Whitlatch

    profile 3D creature design by Omar Hesham

Learn-by-doing Assignments

Polish your skills and create a portfolio-worthy character design in just 5 weeks

Students will be tasked each week with practical industry-focused assignments. Over the course of 5 weeks, you each student will complete an entirely unique and polished 3D character design.

TBD, 2023 – Join waitlist for exact dates

Level Up Your Skills

The Power of Understanding 3D as a Concept Artist or Illustrator

From broad concepts to gritty details, it’s no doubt that there is a major competitive edge that comes with understanding 3D design.

VAP Student Testimonials

They meet students where they are at but manage to elicit high-quality results regardless of an artist’s background. Mentors genuinely care about their students’ success and want to help them find where they fit into the Industry. Good people with great insights.

Addie Green

I can not recommend them enough. What I have learned with them is all of the things I wish I had gotten in college and have searched for all my life.

Julia Lynn Powell

There is so much to say l would most likely still not do this organization justice—a fantastic place just to absorb knowledge and compassion towards art creation.

Simbisai Kahari

Payment Installments Available

Even though our courses are the best value, with the high caliber instruction and personalized mentoring, there are finance options available to make the mentorship program financially possible for as many artists as possible. Select Shop Pay or Affirm at checkout to view options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mini-courses are one-off, 5-week long classes that are topic-based. While many of the features and resources, such as personalized feedback and learn-by-doing assignments are similar, the Mentorship courses cover a broader range of topics and place students on a linear development track. Mini-courses take a deep-dive into all the details of a specific topic.

Guest Speakers are mentioned on course pages that feature guest speakers. Comics and Sequential Art does feature a guest speaker, but Foundations of Illustration, Color Theory, and Figure Drawing for Illustrators does not feature guest artists.

Yes! We highly encourage students add Mini-courses to their Mentorship program.

Mini-course class times vary depending on the course. Most of these courses are scheduled during weeknights or on Sundays, depending on your timezone. To view exact date and start times of each mini-course, be sure to visit the about page for the mini-course you are interested in attending.

Need Some Guidance?

We can help you with any questions related to enrollment, portfolio development, and the student experience.