ArtCenter College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Entertainment Design

There are two individual tracks within the Entertainment Design program.

Your portfolio will vary depending on the track you choose. The Character Animation track will begin in Fall of 2015. Read the instructions below for the track to which you are applying.

Concept Design

Concept Design involves the full range of story-telling, from developing the characters to the architecture, landscape, animals, vehicles, and objects in the world of that story. The task of a concept designer for the entertainment industry is to be able to provide an infinite number of design variations of characters, environments, vehicles and props for stories taking place in the past, present or future.

Your admissions portfolio should reflect this interest and provide an example of your current abilities towards this task. Include examples of your original design ideas created for a story of your invention or an existing story. Your main focus should be in the creation of original designs that are well communicated through drawings and renderings.

Examples of your range of skills in the designing of all four of the major subject topics, environments, characters, vehicles and props should be included in your portfolio. Please include both the early concept design sketches and more finished renderings of your design ideas. It is important to show your thinking process through a range of sketches and renderings that progress from rough to more finished. Emphasis should be placed more on well-drawn original design variations. Sketchbooks are a welcome addition, and can be included as one PDF.

Character Animation (begins in Fall 2015)

The task of a character animator in the entertainment industry is to breathe life into the animated characters that populate the story worlds of feature animation, live action film, TV, commercials, and games.  Character animators are equal parts artists, designers, and performers. Your admissions portfolio should reflect this interest and provide an example of your current abilities towards this task. 

Whether you are presenting your previous work or creating original work for the portfolio, please include the following elements:

  • A short, simple paragraph that details a storyline for an animated narrative.
  • At least two characters associated with that storyline, each presented in a series of emotive sketches and/or renderings that depict the character in critical and dramatic points in your storyline. Use these drawings to convey the movements, expressions, attitudes, and idiosyncrasies that express the character’s personality within the context of the storyline.
  • At least five keyframes from your storyline, depicting your characters in critical, dramatic, narrative moments throughout the story’s arc. These drawings should convey a sense for the aesthetic considerations surrounding the characters, including environments and objects.
  • A one-minute video of you performing one of the characters you have presented. Use your body, gesture, facial expressions, and movement to bring the character to life through your performance. Consider using both wide shots and close-ups, where necessary, to capture your performance. No consideration for costume, setting, or dialogue is necessary.
  • At least 6 figure drawings from a live model that include both gestural and more developed pieces.
  • Sketchbooks are also encouraged and we recommend a limit of 10 to 15 sketchbook pages submitted as one PDF. 

For instructions on submitting your work, follow the submission options in How to Submit Your Work.

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