Professional Modeling of 3D Cartoon Characters Domestika

Learn to design characters for animation with ZBrush and 3ds Max

Character modeler Juan Solís has dedicated his career to creating countless 3D cartoon characters over the past two decades, working for top studios like Disney Animation, DreamWorks, Ilion Animation Studios, and Blur Studio on high-profile projects such as FrozenTrollhuntersSpiderman, and Tadeo Jones.

If there’s one thing he’s learned through experience, it’s that there are notable differences between modeling 3D characters for a personal project and doing so for a professional production. In this course, Juan teaches you how to model characters in collaboration with the art department and prepare them to star in an epic animated production.

What will you learn in this online course?


  • U1Introduction
  • U2Charge
  • U3We start modeling!
  • U4Final modeling and delivery
  • FPFinal project

Get started by exploring Juan Solís’s work and his influences as he gives you a tour of the projects and artists that have inspired him.

Learn to analyze a brief and search for references to define the look and feel of your project and sketch out a first draft of your character.

Next, start modeling by blocking in your character’s basic shapes, ensuring its proportions are correct. Move on to the sculpting phase to add detail to your character and shape its pose.

Once you’ve finished this first stage, prepare a presentation for your client with a turnaround animation and various stills depicting the character from different angles.

Then take a deep dive into more technical aspects, making corrections to the character’s topology and UVs to prepare it for painting.

To tie everything together, Juan Solís provides some tricks you can apply to model your 3D cartoon characters in a more professional way.

What is this course’s project?

Model a 3D character, from the initial concept to its final pose, and prepare it for an animated production

Who is this online course for?

Character designers and creators with prior modeling experience who want to master the workflow involved in creating 3D characters for any type of professional production.

Requirements and materials

You need a computer with 3D modeling software (such as 3ds Max, Maya, or Blender) and ZBrush, as well as a basic working knowledge of these programs. A graphics tablet is also recommended.