Environment Design : Syn Studio Art School in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Environment Design

Concept Art and Illustration > Environment Design

    Teacher Information

    Sean Vo is currently a concept artist at Eidos, Montreal where he is working on the upcoming blockbuster Avengers game. During his career, Sean has worked for multiple companies and clients on a variety of projects. Some of these include Powerhouse Animation Studios, Inc. where he worked on visual development and background designs for Netflix's Castlevania animated series, and WB Games Montreal, Inc. where he worked as a concept artist on an unannounced AAA project. Sean is also a Syn Studio alumni.

    Course Outline

    In this class, students will have the opportunity to learn from an expert concept artist about refining techniques to create convincing and well-rendered environments.

    Week 1 - Learn all about the interfaces and thumbnailing in digital format.

    Week 2 -  Use digital tools for important composition and color planning.

    Week 3 & 4 - Gain experience with brushes, textures, shapes and important Photoshop layer adjustments.

    Week 5 - Landscape planning: all about achieving depth and mass.

    Week 6 - Harmonizing foreground and background elements.

    Week 7 - Compelling techniques on re-lighting, finishing and filtering.

    Week 8 - Cityscapes: learn the importance of using mass and shape to imply complexity.

    Week 9 - Create amazing atmosphere and haze without losing details.

    Week 10 - Add final polish to your works and share invaluable insights and feedback.


    Wednesdays from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

    Date of first class: April 10th

    Duration: 10 weeks

    Language: English

    You can register at the bottom left of this page.

    This class is full. Please send an email to [email protected] to be on the waiting list.
    You can also check out our Portfolio Development and Composition, Lighting and Illustration classes. 


    In this course, you will learn how to create stunning environment illustrations starting with the process of brainstorming and moving toward a finished image. Emphasis will be placed on strong compositions and tonal values, as well as dramatic lighting and depth.

    You will learn to find imaginative solutions to the challenges of solid picture making. The goal is to unlock the imagination and use the process of illustration to create fantastical worlds by combining right-brained thinking with time-tested painting techniques.

    You can also bring in your own illustrations for critique and draw-over correction. 


    This class is for people with some experience in realistic style drawing and painting and basic skill in Photoshop. 

    You should have completed at least some intermediate level drawing and basic painting courses (or have equivalent experience in realistic style drawing and painting: use of proper perspective, proportions, shading and colour). If you do not have the required skill in drawing and painting, it is suggested that you take our Foundations of Painting class and Urban Sketching in Perspective.

    This is a class designed for people who have already taken our Digital Painting course or have equivalent experience (you are comfortable painting in Photoshop).

    You also 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). 

    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)


    This is one of our most popular classes and tends to fill up well before the deadline. $470  $430. 

    Late registration still available for this class if there is a "Register Now" button below.


    • Understand the best methods and techniques for designing landscapes and cityscapes
    • Learn to avoid the 3 critical mistakes which diminish the impact of your environment
    • Master the art of creating atmosphere and haze without losing details

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