Our Early Registration Discount is available until Wednesday the 29th of May at 11:59 PM.

Intro to Creature Design

A 10 week course where you learn the tools and techniques required to create dynamic, realistic and visually appealing creature concepts from scratch

Teacher Artwork by Sally Gottschalk

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Teacher Artwork by Cynthia F. G.

Intro of Creature Design

Do you lack the ability to design high quality production ready creature concepts for entertainment? Do you wish to create original and convincing creature designs that drive the story-line and strike an immediate chord with the audience? Top concept artists are highly proficient at creating iconic creatures that evoke the desired emotions while integrating seamlessly with the overall art direction. 

In this 10 week course, you will learn a step by step method to create realistic, dynamic and compelling creature concepts from scratch for any movie or video game. At every step, you will receive feedback from the instructor to help refine your creature design process. You will gain expertise in observing and analyzing real world animals like a professional concept artist so you can gather references and use them as inspiration during your creature design process.

You will learn how to properly identify and work with the story and design requirements so you can ideate and design fantastic creatures that are not only visually pleasing but also that fit the narrative and client mandate. You will then learn to create a series of rough silhouette thumbnails so you can explore shape language, generate multiple design ideas and identify the design options that best communicate your creature’s core personality traits. You will gain a thorough understanding of posing so you can establish your creature’s signature pose and lay the groundwork for a jaw-dropping beauty shot. You will then learn to apply photo texturing techniques and refine and polish your image so you can generate stunning and detailed creature concepts and present them in the most appealing and professional manner. Finally you will apply all that you have learned to create a full production-ready creature design deliverables package that meets industry standards.

By the end of this course, you will have learned powerful methods and techniques for creating believable, iconic and original creature concepts for any video game or movie. You will have become proficient at designing creatures that fit design constraints, follow the art direction and wow your client or art director. Furthermore, you will have impressive production-ready creature design in your portfolio that you can be proud of.

  • Course Type Online Concept Art Classes
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 3
    Level 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 closer to a professional level.

  • Language English

You can now combine 3, 4 or 5 classes to avail a 5, 10 or 15% discount on your purchase!


Note: This class will be offered online only

Term: Summer 2024

Class Timings: Mondays from 1 PM to 4 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC-4h)

Date of first class: July 1st

Duration: 10 weeks

Please note that our classes times are listed as EDT (GMT-4) but that starting on Sunday, November 3rd, 2024, all class times will go into EST (GMT-5).

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.

*Please note that this class' duration is subject to change (to either 1.5 hours or 2 hours) depending on the number of enrolled students.

These shorter class formats are conducted with more of a personalized mentorship style, allowing students to have more time devoted to their assignments' critiques and the ability to ask more questions in class, while still maintaining all of the theory and planned curriculum for the regular class length.



Skill requirements 

To enroll in this course you should have: 

If you are unsure of your skill level, please contact [email protected] for additional guidance.


Language and age requirements

You should have at least intermediate level English to take this class. Please also note that Syn Studio’s classes are targeted towards adults and students should be 16 years or older to enroll.

Required Materials

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).


Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • 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.

Course Outline

*Please note that the following outline is subject to change slightly at the teacher's discretion.

Week 1: Learn a powerful time-tested process for creating a believable creature design from scratch. 

Understand how to do first-rate world building and reference gathering so you have a solid foundation for a credible design.

Week 2: Acquire the skills required to create interesting and readable silhouette sketches, focusing on shape language, so you can iterate and explore multiple ideas and identify the design options that best reveal your creature’s personality.

Week 3: Become skilled at efficiently creating colour and tonal studies so you can generate multiple variations as you flesh out your creature and push the emotional impact of your design.

Week 4: Understand how to present your image in the best way to sell your design and make it look appealing. Gain proficiency using custom brushes and basic photo textures and learn how to bring your creature concept to a finished level of quality.

Weeks 5 and 6: Acquire proficiency using custom shapes, photobashing and other techniques to generate interesting and original creature designs and speed up your workflow as you begin reference gathering and thumbnailing for your final project.

Weeks 7 and 9: Understand how to apply the most effective methods for refining your creature design and posing your creature so you can generate rough action poses that can be used to thumbnail final designs for an epic beauty shot. 

Gain the skills required to produce a production-ready creature design package of deliverables including a stunning beauty shot where your creature is properly posed and believably integrated into a suitable environment with great lighting and a camera angle that delivers the desired emotional impact.

Week 10: Learn some cutting-edge post-processing techniques as you add the finishing touches to your beauty shot to bring it to a production level of quality.

Check out the entire outline


You can now combine 3, 4 or 5 classes to avail a 5, 10 or 15% discount on your purchase!

This class is being offered at
USD $429.00
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*All Prices Shown are in USD Dollars
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Questions and Assistance

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625

Please consult our FAQ; most of the commonly asked questions are answered in detail there. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to fill out the form below, or, send an email to [email protected]

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