Slide 1

― Degree Pages ―

“We’ll probably be designing dragons.  Because who doesn’t like drawing dragons?” 

— Nick Pill

Introduction to Creature Design

July 2024


This is our first ever creature design holiday workshop!
During this two day holiday workshop, Nick Pill will guide you through his creative process for creature design. This is a fun, beginner friendly workshop that is designed to give students of all skill levels something to focus on. Nick uses a combination of both 2D Sketching and 3D Sculpting in his process and has designed the class so you can follow along with a drawing tablet, pencil and paper, or if you’re keen to explore 3D, you can sculpt your final creature design.

Day 1
The first day focuses on sketching out ideas, developing your design, and includes a quick demo by Nick introducing 3D sculpting in the afternoon.

Nick will cover the following:

  • Research and Gathering Reference
  • Idea Generation
  • Thumbnail Sketching
  • Problem Areas: Horns, Claws, Teeth, etc.
  • Refining Your Design
  • Intro to Sculpting (ZBrush)

Day 2

The second day will show you how to take a 3D Sculpt into photoshop and paint over it to create a final image. Nick’s sculpts will be available so you can follow along, or you can take your own designs (in either 2D or 3D) to a final finish.

Nick will cover the following:

  • Rendering in ZBrush
  • Digital Painting
  • Adding Colour in Photoshop
  • Making Late Adjustments to Your Design
  • Adding Effects: Fire, Smoke, Saliva, etc.
  • Final Presentation

This workshop is perfect for students who are keen to explore their creature design skills and want to peek behind the curtain and see how a professional artist uses digital painting and sculpting tools when working on film projects.

Essential Information

July 4th & July 5th 2024
In Person (Melbourne) & Online
Daily 10:00AM - 4:00PM (AEST)
CDW Studios Melbourne & Online
Nick Pill

Workshop Requirements

Hardware Requirements
    • A laptop and drawing tablet (eg. Wacom and Huion have good drawing tablets) so that you can follow along, as we do not supply any equipment for our workshops.
    • iPads may be used, although they are better suited to using alternative software (see Software List)
    • If you don't have any of the above items, a sketchbook and pencils, markers will be okay, but be mindful that Nick will be using digital rendering techniques
    Recommended Software
      Online Option

        This workshop is available both in-person and online.

        To sign up for the workshop, click the “Register Now!” button above and you will be required to complete a registration form. Full payment is due on registration. Once you have completed the sign up, you will be sent a confirmation email by CDW Studios acknowledging receipt of your registration.

        Link to live stream will be sent out on registration via the confirmation email.

        If you do not receive anything, please email

          Simon Scales
          Nick Pill

          Nick has worked in the Film industry for over 25 years. He started his career at Disney before moving into live action films. Some of his past credits include X-Men, The Hunger Games, The Pirates of the Caribbean & Harry Potter.