The Registration Deadline is Wednesday the 7th of September at 11:59 PM.

FAQ Page

Teacher Artwork by Krist Miha

  1. 1 General School FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 2 Individual Online Classes FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 3 Syn Studio Class Bundles FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 4 Concept Art Diploma Program FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 5 On-Site FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 6 Online Concept Art Program FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 7 Technical Requirements FAQ [ show questions ]
  1. 8 Tablet Recommendations & Requirements For Digital Art [ show questions ]

General School FAQ

What kinds of classes do you offer?

Here at Syn Studio, we offer artistic training that concentrates on exploring technical skills in traditional drawing, illustration and concept art. With the guidance of industry professionals, we teach students how to think through the creative process and how to create intentional designs that evoke specific moods, ideas, and precise concepts to their audience.

While our initial entry-level classes focus primarily on replicating realism through studies, and on developing fundamentals such as anatomy and perspective, as our classes become more advanced we begin exploring broader and broader conceptual and fantastical subjects. There is something to learn at every stage!

How long are these classes?

Each class lasts 10 weeks, and unless otherwise noted, each class lasts 3 hours* with an additional 3 hours recommended for homework assignments per class each week.

*With the exception of Pre-Recorded classes which follow a different format (see below).

What do you offer in your online classes?

Our standard online classes are conducted via live-streamed videos of teachers offering both lectures and demonstrations. During these live classes, students are able to interact with teachers by asking them questions through live chats and audio (if equipped with a microphone).

In addition to this, video recordings of each class are made available online, so they can be re-watched at later times for review and practice. Students who are unable to attend live classes will be able to ask their teachers questions and submit their homework online. All of this allows for greater flexibility when creating your schedule!

Overall, we want to recreate the same experience that you would have on-site; the artistic growth and success of our students continue to be our top priority.

What are your “Pre-Recorded classes with Live feedback”?

Some of our classes are available in a special “pre-recorded” format. This format style offers pre-recorded classes which contain theory and demonstrations following a set class curriculum. Individual class recordings are uploaded a week before their live feedback session.

These live sessions happen once per week at the same time so students have the opportunity to ask the teachers questions regarding the pre-recorded class or the homework. These live feedback sessions are smaller, containing a maximum of 10 students. Live feedback sessions are also recorded so students can watch them later at their own pace. Students also have access to Moodle to ask their teacher questions, which then will be answered in class.

What are “Video Access Only” classes?

Some of our classes are available in a special “Video Access Only” format. Students purchasing Video Access Only will be able to access recordings of live classes as the course progresses throughout the term. While students will not be able to receive direct feedback from the teacher of that class, they will have access to the lectures, lessons, assignments, brush packs, and additional free materials their teacher may include in their lessons.

How long will I have access to my class recordings?

Students will have access to their class recordings for an additional two weeks after their term has ended.

I am an international student outside of Canada; can I still sign up for online classes?

Yes, our online classes can be accessed worldwide! You do not need any additional forms or a student visa in order to be able to attend our online classes. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you would be able to attend our live streamed classes, or even access the class recordings if your time zone differs too greatly from the class’ schedule. Class assignments can be submitted at any point before the start of your next class. Your teacher will provide feedback during the follow-up class, which you can watch via the class recording, which ensures that you receive details even if you are unable to attend the livestream.

Why are your prices listed in USD (US Dollars)?

Since our classes are offered online, and we have many more students enrolling from international countries, we have chosen to advertise our prices in USD as common currency for our international students. Our payment process will automatically convert international currency to the equivalent price.

For our students based in Canada, our prices are displayed in Canadian dollars (taxes included.)

How do I sign up for classes?

If you wish to sign up for individual classes, (anywhere from 1-4 classes per term), you simply need to visit our Online Art Classes webpage, and then click on the thumbnail of the class(es) that you are interested in. Once on that class page, you can click on “Register Now” (after selecting your desired section from the drop-down menu if multiple ones are available). This will add the class to your cart. After you have added all of your desired classes, you must click on “Complete your Enrollment” on our cart page in order to proceed to payment and checkout. You will then have the option to pay with either a credit card or Visa debit card.

How can I pay with Paypal?

If you wish to pay via Paypal, please reach out to us at [email protected] and inform us of which class(es) you wish to purchase. We will then create a custom invoice for you to complete your purchase.

What are your early, regular and late registration periods?

Our early, regular and late registration periods correspond to different registration periods in which our classes go from highly-discounted (in our early registration period) to full-price (during our late registration period). Our classes also tend to fill up very quickly during the regular and late registration periods. We recommend signing up as soon as possible as our courses are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What if I want to sign up for 5 classes in one term?

If you wish to pursue 5 classes in one term, you may purchase a Syn Studio Class Bundle which will be offered at a lower price compared to 5 separate payments for individual classes.

It is recommended that you purchase the term of your choice at least 2 months in advance, to ensure that you have the broadest range of classes to choose from when selecting the 5 classes you will follow in that term. Once you have purchased your term of choice, we will contact you for some additional details and request that you choose five classes you wish to pursue for that specific term.

To read more about our Syn Studio Class Bundles, please click here.

How do I determine which classes are suitable for me?

We strongly recommend that you check out each class’ prerequisites before signing up for a class. If you require additional information or advice, please write to our team at [email protected]

Why have the class selections changed from previous terms?

Each term, our class list changes according to teacher availability. While many of our core    fundamental classes are nearly guaranteed to return every session, some of our more advanced classes may shift and change depending on multiple factors. Many of our classes do return in following terms. If you wish to pursue a specific class that is not available to you on the term of your choice, feel free to reach out to us to request our best suggestion of an alternate class to take for that term. By discussing this one on one with you, we will ensure that you obtain the best possible experience with us in terms of your artistic development.

The class I wanted to take is now full! What can I do?

As we near the start of a term, many of our classes become full as spots are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In order to retain a small-class experience for our students, and to ensure that each student gets adequate attention, we offer limited space within our online classrooms. Classes that are fully booked have their price and purchase button removed on our website.

If you would like to be added to our waiting list for classes that have filled up , we strongly suggest visiting the pages of the classes you are interested in, and selecting “NOTIFY ME WHEN THIS CLASS BECOMES AVAILABLE.”  After doing so, if a spot should become available in one of these classes before the second lesson of the term takes place, we will notify you via email.

We offer video recordings of previous lessons, and so you will be able to catch up even after having missed the first live class.

If you would like to potentially join the class in a future term, you can join our Newsletter to be notified when we open registrations for each future term intake.

Do I have to take all of the classes in order and follow their level requirements?

The levels indicated on each class page (such as “Beginner/Refresher, Level 1, or Level 3,) indicate the level of technical difficulty and knowledge required to fully-benefit from and excel in that class. A higher level indicates a more advanced course, but this is not by all means a required step-by-step class curriculum to follow, especially if you have taken art lessons or classes elsewhere.

Students may also enroll in classes from different levels during the same term, so long as they meet class prerequisites in terms of skill level and experience. If in doubt, you can send us your portfolio for review and assessment at [email protected]

Will I receive a certificate on completing a class?

Since our classes (whether they are taken individually, or as a package in our Syn Studio Class Bundles) are offered on a private basis and are not accredited, individuals who have enrolled in these courses do not receive any official certificate or attestation that is recognized by the government after completing their class(es). We do however, give students a course completion certificate which simply proves that they have taken the class. These certificates are custom-made for each student, and sent out within a month of the end of their last class.

In what languages do you offer classes?

At this present time, we offer all of our classes exclusively in English. While some of our teachers may be able to offer some limited amounts of English-French translation, our core material remains in English.

Individual Online Classes FAQ

Can I sign up for multiple individual classes in one term?

Yes, if you are looking to participate in our online classes on a part-time workload, you may purchase up to four classes for one seasonal term. If you wish to take five classes per term, you must enroll in our Syn Studio Class Bundles instead.

My schedule doesn’t match with the class/I might miss a day, should I still sign up?

Each of our livestreamed classes are recorded, and then uploaded to a private showcase roughly 48 hours after the class has taken place. Students can re-watch recorded class lectures for up to two additional weeks after the final online class takes place, providing them ample opportunity to catch up on any missed lectures.

What are your prices?

Each individual class is priced at $499 USD, although we often discounts according to our three registration periods. Class materials differ from course to course and students are responsible for acquiring these. In most cases, digital alternatives are accepted should you be unable to obtain the physical tools.

What prerequisites do I need to provide in order to be qualified to attend?

As our individual classes are not accredited, there are no additional educational prerequisites. If you’re unsure of which classes you should attend and wish to receive guidance on which classes will benefit you the most at your current skill level, you may send in examples of your recent artworks to [email protected]; we will be happy to help you!

I have no portfolio/I am a beginner artist! Can I still sign up for classes?

Of course! If this is the case, it is strongly recommended to pursue our Foundations of Drawing class as a means of building foundational skills and introducing you to art. This will both introduce you to how we operate as a school, and also give us a better understanding of your current level of skill, so you may be able to pursue additional, more advanced classes in following terms.

Can you reserve a class for me in future terms?

Our individual classes are on a first-come first-serve basis, and we cannot reserve classes. You can, however, join our newsletter to be notified when the following seasonal term classes become available.

Syn Studio Class Bundles FAQ

How does the Syn Studio Class Bundles differ from your individual online classes?

Our Syn Studio Class Bundles program offers multiple benefits to our students, the first being a discount for a bulk purchase of classes for one or two terms!

You will have access to the same selection of online classes that are available individually, but have access to additional online activities which are planned exclusively for these students. These include:

  • A collaborative concept art design project called an Art Jam that simulates a day of working as a concept artist within a team setting! Guest concept artists will be in attendance to act as coaches to each participating team.
  • Talks and livestream interviews with veteran concept artists, illustrators, and experienced professionals from the movie or gaming industry.
  • A free, one-on-one portfolio assessment from an industry professional at the end of the term.

Finally, these students get to have access to our online Discord community, where they may interact with other Syn Studio Class Bundles students or our Concept Art Diploma students.

Ultimately, this option is our most-beneficial option for those seeking rapid development and intensive training in their art. As it is a full-time program, you’ll be among the most passionate and committed of students during that term!

How long is the Syn Studio Class Bundles? Can I maintain a part time or full time job while attending?

The full Syn Studio Class Bundles term is 10 weeks, and unless otherwise noted, each class lasts 3 hours with an additional 3 hours recommended for homework assignments per class each week. With five classes in the Syn Studio Class Bundles, this easily becomes a full-time program that requires roughly 30 to 40 hours of commitment per week! It’s generally not recommended to try and maintain a secondary job during this time, as the workload is rather intensive.

How does the schedule work?

As each Syn Studio Class Bundles curriculum is customized for each attending student, it is very rare for students to share the exact same schedule! These students will be sharing the classrooms with part-time study students, and so the class date and schedule displayed on each class page is the same schedule

Can I register for more than one term?

You can register for one term (10 weeks) or two terms (20 weeks). Purchasing two consecutive terms at the same time also gives you an additional discount compared to registering two two terms individually. Students can choose from start dates in Winter (January), Spring (April), Summer(July) and Fall (September).

You may, of course, enroll in more than 2 terms if you wish to take more classes.

Do you offer grants or scholarships for the Syn Studio Class Bundles?

Unfortunately, since this program is private, not accredited, nor recognized by the government, it is not possible to apply for loans or bursaries in Quebec. For other provinces and countries, you are invited to conduct your own research on funding opportunities for private schooling.

Otherwise, Syn Studio does not offer scholarships or financial aid, and at this time, we are unable to accept funds paid through a third party; you would need to secure private funding that's paid directly to you, such as a bursary or a bank loan.

Do you have any other prerequisites?

There is no legal prerequisite or diploma required before enrolling. You simply need to be a minimum of 16 years of age and demonstrate some basic drawing knowledge and skills.

Concept Art Diploma Program FAQ

When do I send in my application?

Dates to send in your application can be found in the Admission Dates and Tuition section of our Concept Art Diploma Page. You have two opportunities to apply for the program for every cohort; the Advanced Portfolio Review and the General Portfolio Review.

What is the difference between the Advanced Portfolio Review and the General Portfolio review?

The Advanced Portfolio review and the General Portfolio review are essentially the same, however, there are advantages to applying for the Advanced Portfolio Review.

For both the Advanced Portfolio review and the General Portfolio review, you will submit a digital portfolio to the email address provided in the Application Guide (you receive when you sign up for the admission application form located at the bottom of our Admission Dates and Tuition page). Your portfolio will be reviewed by a concept artist currently working in the industry, and you will receive the feedback from them.

We will only make our final decisions on who will enter the program after the General Portfolio Review. This means that if you apply for the Advanced Portfolio review, you will have the opportunity to update your portfolio application based on the feedback provided by the concept artist that reviewed your artwork.

What diploma do I obtain from the Concept Art Diploma Program?

The degree given is an Attestation of College Studies (ASC/AEC Attestation of College Studies) and is an internationally recognized professional degree. Receiving the diploma signifies that the student is ready to enter the job market as a concept artist.

As an international student, am I eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit after I complete my studies?

Yes! All international students who complete the Concept Art Diploma program are eligible to receive a Post Graduate Work permit for up to 3 years.

Are the classes taught in English?

All classes are taught in English for our Diploma Program.

How many hours per day do the classes last and how many days per week?

Each term will normally have 5 classes per week. Classes are typically 3 to 5 hours long and classes can be scheduled any day of the week.

Do you offer financial aid or scholarships?

The school itself does not provide financial aid. You can look into student loan programs and bursaries from your home country, however keep in mind that we are not able to accept funds from a third party, so any loans you're qualified for will need to be disbursed directly to you.

If finances will be a barrier for you, you may be interested in our Syn Studio Class Bundles which accepts students at all levels, has flexible start dates and does not require a study permit because it is not accredited and lasts for less than six months. If you would like to learn more, you can check the link here: Syn Studio Class Bundles.

Do I need a student visa to attend the school’s Concept Art Diploma Program?

Any student who is not a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Naturalized Canadian Citizen will need to apply for a CAQ (Quebec Acceptance Certificate) and a Canadian Study permit to be able to attend the Concept Art Diploma Program. If accepted into the program, we will help guide you through the application process.

Is IELTS mandatory for Syn Studio?

Syn Studio does not require an IELTS exam for admission into the Concept Art Diploma program. After the General Portfolio review, we will set up zoom interviews with the top applicants and assess their English ability at that point to make sure that the student will be able to understand the lessons provided.

There is a possibility that the Canadian Government will request an IELTS exam during the application process of your Canadian Study Permit however.

On-Site FAQ

Do you offer on-site classes at your school in Montreal?

We do not offer any onsite classes aside from those in our Concept Art Diploma program. We do, however, offer our classes online; these are accessible worldwide from the comfort of your own home. You may view our current selection of online classes for this upcoming term here.

Online Concept Art Program FAQ

What is the Online Concept Art Program?

Our online Concept Art Program is currently in development. This program will be an intensive online training program meant to help students create an industry-level portfolio that can help them break into the industry. It will be accessible entirely online, and allow international students to apply without the need for a Visa or additional charges. A study permit will not be required.

Is this program accredited?

This program is non-accredited and is intended to help students build an industry-ready portfolio. Students will benefit from professional training in artistic techniques, workflow optimization, and come to understand what industry-standard expectations are in the world of Concept Art.

How do I apply?

Students will need to submit a portfolio of their best work. Only 25 students will be accepted world-wide per cohort, to ensure a small-class experience and optimal individual attention for each students’ development. We will be accepting submissions once the program is ready for public release.

When will it be ready?

This program is currently under development; more information will be released on our website soon!

Technical Requirements FAQ

What are the Technical Requirements for your online courses?

Our online classes use ZOOM video conference for all of our live sessions. If your class involves Digital Art, you will additionally require a drawing tablet, and a digital art program such as Photoshop (which is the industry standard and the default program used at our school) or an alternative program such as Procreate, Krita, or ClipStudio Paint.

Please note that your instructors can only offer technical training in the programs utilized in their class; they will be unable to offer technical advice specific to other art programs.

What are the minimum hardware requirements?

Processor:

  • 2.2GHz or higher. We recommend an Intel i5/ AMD Ryzen 5 series chip.

Memory:

  • 8GB Ram strongly recommended (as any less risks the chance of Photoshop lagging/crashing) 16GB is better; it is more expensive but most widely-used and recommended in this area/industry. If you are thinking of eventually using 3D software, on top of Photoshop, 16 GB is a must.

Hard Drive:

  • Photoshop produces large files and requires a good amount of space; a large hard drive, external hard drive/multiple drives are needed. If purchasing a laptop, we recommend purchasing a laptop with a SSD, as they are quicker and more reliable than HDD’s.
  • We also recommend either having a flashdrive or external harddrive handy to backup your larger files- you can never be too safe!

Graphics Card:

  • Minimum 1GB dedicated video card, 2GB+ dedicated video card recommended.

Windows

  • 2GHz or faster processor with SSE2 support; dual-core processor required.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (recommended versions 1809, 1903) or Windows 8.1 (Windows 7 not supported); 64-bit versions only (32-bit not supported)
  • 7.4GB of available hard-disk space to install applications; additional 12.4GB to download all optional content (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)

MacOS

  • 64-bit multicore Intel processor
  • macOS v10.13 through v10.15
  • 10GB of available hard-disk space to install applications; additional 12.5GB to download all optional content (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)

How do I acquire Photoshop?

If you need to acquire Photoshop CC, you can do so from the Adobe Creative Cloud site here (we recommend the Photography plan which includes Photoshop and is only $9.99 USD per month, versus the Photoshop plan which is $20.99.)

Do I have to use Photoshop?

As you may have seen from the material lists and course descriptions on our website, our digital classes are specifically built around the tools and features of Photoshop. Other painting programs such as Krita, and Clip Studio Paint Pro, could suffice, however, please note that our teachers may not be familiar with these programs and so they will not be able to assist you if you encounter any technical difficulties with these programs. It is up to you to figure out what the equivalent tools and features are in your program.

Can I use an iPad Pro?

As stated above, our digital classes are specifically built around the tools and features of Photoshop and students are required to use a laptop (or desktop computer) with Photoshop installed and a graphic tablet with pen pressure sensitivity (such as a Wacom tablet). Otherwise, they can use a tablet-computer hybrid with Photoshop installed (such as the Cintiq Companion or Surface Pro).

The main reason we ask for these material prerequisites is that our school focuses on training concept artists who would like to work in the film or video game industry. Knowing Photoshop like the back of your hand and using a computer and a graphic tablet is the industry standard.

Also, in case of technical difficulties with your iPad and apps like Procreate, our teachers will sadly not be able to help you since they might not be familiar with the iPad’s interface, and these programs’ specific tools, brushes, filters, etc.

That said, iPads now have a unique version of Photoshop that is available for download, so if a student does not have a computer of her own to run the full desktop version of Photoshop CC, this is their second-best option. Please take note of the compatible Apple products here.

Please keep in mind that the iPad version of Photoshop (Photoshop Fresco) does not contain all of the features of Photoshop CC, but that for the purposes of a class such as Intro to Digital Painting and Digital Painting, it should suffice. That being said, our other digital classes, being more advanced, sometimes use other programs in addition to Photoshop and require a full computer in order to make efficient use of your time work-flow wise.

Alternatively, if you already have a laptop or desktop computer with Photoshop CC installed, there are apps that can be downloaded to turn an iPad into a drawing tablet. Here they are listed below:a

Please note that we are simply providing the above solution in case you do not wish to purchase a whole new graphic tablet. However, for the least complicated/smoothest workflow, we do recommend buying a regular graphic tablet (see below).

Tablet Recommendations & Requirements For Digital Art

For classroom and at home use, an inexpensive art & graphic tablet can be used for class. While the vast majority of our students are equipped with a Wacom tablet and the brand is still recognized in educational and professional settings, there other more affordable options on the market that have garnered solid reputations as well. For example, the Chinese brand Huion makes drawing monitors that are becoming increasingly more popular and the company as a whole has an excellent reputation in terms of customer service.

Commonly used tablets:

  • Intuos (Wacom): This series of Wacom tablets is commonly used by professionals and students alike.
  • Cintiq (Wacom): These models are tablets that also function as monitors; they are the priciest option, and are often too bulky for travel.
  • Huion tablets: Affordable, and with a wide range to select from, there is bound to be one brand of tablet that fits your preferences.

We highly recommend doing more research on various graphic tablet products and reading their reviews before committing to a particular model!