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Character Art Mentorship

With Matthew Kean


Character Art Mentorship

In this month long Mentorship, the artist will be mentored on how to approach creating characters with depth and feeling, utilizing clean forms, simple techniques and easy to manage material workflows.

We will start off the month long Mentorship by assessing your goals and current skill-set. From that jumping off point we will create a plan of attack that will elevate the specifics aspects of character art you are looking to grow in. Depending on your goals and your project’s specific needs, we will look at approaching the modeling and UV layout of an efficient in realtime  character, discuss high to low poly baking processes, understand the rich variety of that could be used to bring your character to life and how to create those materials and color layouts in substance painter. We could also take a pre existing character you have and attempt to bring it up to the next level! At the end of the mentorship the artist will have explored workflow concepts and tools used by current AAA artists to create a high quality characters AAA games. Presentation of the characters will be handled in Marmoset Toolbag, where we can go over making a simple and clear presentation for your character to be placed in your portfolio.  

Mentorship Details

  • Duration - 1 Month
  • Feedback - One On One Calls + Discord Community
  • Skill Level - Beginner To Advanced
  • Prerequisites - Some basic knowledge of 3D Modeling, PBR principles, Substance Painter, Photoshop, ZBrush, Marmoset.


  • Stylized & Realistic Character Creation
  • High & Low Poly Modeling / Baking Techniques
  • Realistic Texturing In Substance Painter | Photoshop
  • Highly Optimized Game-Ready Meshes With Efficient UVs
  • Marmoset & Portfolio Presentation

Tools Used

  • Maya
  • Zbrush
  • UV Layout / Topogun
  • Photoshop / Substance Painter
  • Marmoset Toolbag / VRay / Arnold

Mentor Bio

Matthew Kean | Lead Character Artist

Coming from a background in film and commercials, Matthew quickly found a home in games.  With several years of experience as both a Principal and Lead Character artist Matthew has had a hand in almost every part of the pipeline.  Working currently at Firaxis Games, he helped usher in a new PBR standard in Civilization VI where he reworked their character and material/shading pipelines to be much more animation focused and friendly. His techniques carried over to many of the other titles in house lending a hand on Xcom 2 and Xcom 2: War of the Chosen as well as a few others.

His focus is always on characters that feel alive and are easy to read. His character art has landed him in quite a few publications such as 3D Artist Magazine, and has had several of his pieces selected as editor’s choice on a number of prominent CG sites including Artstation, CGfeedback, and others. It's his passion is to help level up those around him, having himself learned much of what he knows from the cg forums of old.  


Mentor Gallery