This course will introduce students, researchers and digital artists to the recent results in perceptual research on virtual characters. It covers both how technical and artistic aspects that constitute the appearance of a virtual character influence human perception. We will report results of studies that addressed the influence of low-level cues like facial proportions, shading or level of detail and higher-level cues such as behavior or artistic stylization. We will place emphasis on aspects that are encountered during character development, animation, and achieving consistency between the visuals and storytelling. The insights that we present in this course will serve as an additional toolset to anticipate the effect of certain design decisions and to create more convincing characters, especially in the case where budgets or time are limited.