Intro to Environment Design
A 10-week course where you learn an array of tools and techniques to create immersive and visually appealing environments
Student Artwork by Samuel Couture
Intro to Environment Design
Do you want to be able to create environment designs for the entertainment industry? Strong design fundamentals are essential for creating environments that enhance the visual experience.
Expert concept artists are adept at designing environments for games, movies, television and theatre that suit the mood of the scene and enhance the storyline.
In this course, you will be introduced to the fantastic process of designing stunning environment concepts for different scenarios. You will understand the design processes that concept artists employ to amplify the story experience and learn how to apply them through a series of case studies, demos and in-class assignments. The class and assignments simulate the industry environment with your teacher acting as your art director, guiding your design decisions and iterations.
Any movie or game setting has central characters who possess specific attributes and qualities. You will gain expertise in designing environments that emphasize the full potential of these characters and support the storyline, thereby enhancing the overall audience experience. You will learn how to best control the lighting and level of detail so as to direct the viewer’s attention to the specific areas that drive the story.
By the end of this course you will have all the tools to create breathtaking environment designs for games, movies, television and theatre that amplify the viewer’s experience. You will stunning new portfolio pieces and your improved sense of design will give you the confidence and ability to create further breathtaking designs in the future.
- Course Type Concept Art and Illustration Courses
- Duration 10 weeks
Level 3Level 3
These courses are for people who can already draw and paint realistically, and can create complete digital illustrations.
Level 3 classes will help students to give a new edge to their images, properly render their digital work, and bring them to a professional level.
- Language English
Note: This class will be offered online only
Class Timings: Thursdays from 6 PM to 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC -4 h)
Date of first class: July 9th
Duration: 10 weeks
If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.
This class is for people with some experience in realistic style drawing and painting and basic skill in Photoshop. To take this class you need to have equivalent experience or completed our Digital Painting course.
Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher will use many visual examples and there will usually be students in the class who speak French and can help you if you don't understand something).
You need to have a laptop with Photoshop installed and a tablet sensitive to pen pressure (such as a Wacom tablet). Or you need a tablet-computer with Photoshop installed that is sensitive to pen pressure (such as the Cintiq Companion).
Photoshop and the free software PureRef must be installed and working properly BEFORE the first class, as well as your Wacom tablet. We will not have time to resolve technical issues in class
Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes
- A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
- A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
- Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
- Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome
- Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10
Syn Studio Recommendations
- A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
- Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
- High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
- Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.
*Please note that this outline is from the last time we held this class and we may make some updates and improvements for the coming term.
Week 1: Learn how to design your environment based on the constraints of production you are working with so your concepts will fit with the story, characters and art direction.
Weeks 2&3: Understand the importance of themes in the design process so you can create environments that emphasize the full potential of the characters and enhance the overall story.
Week 4: Learn to avoid the common pitfalls during the design process so you can create designs that are not only functional but also visually spectacular.
Week 5: Gain proficiency in the top down navigational design method for games so you can create designs that maximise game play opportunities and optimize the player experience
Week 6: Develop the skills required to plan and set up navigational landmarks so you can create locations that your audience can easily navigate and understand.
Week 7: Acquire a powerful iterative method so you can improve your design through feedback and speed up the time to completion.
Week 8: Learn the skills required to effectively use lighting and mood in your design so you can direct the player along the golden path.
Weeks 9&10: Become proficient in implementing focused detail so you can direct the audience’s attention to critical locations in your environment. Get invaluable advice on your term work from an additional senior artist so you can further improve your designs and develop them into stunning portfolio pieces.
"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."