Prop and Vehicle Design
A 10 week course where you learn a powerful process to create interesting props and vehicle designs that enhance the visual experience and drive your story
Teacher Artwork by Miguel Méndez
This class is currently unavailable. However, this class might be back in the future, if there is enough interest. You can express your interest and reserve your spot for a future term by clicking on this button.
Prop and Vehicle Design
Do you have an eye for interesting and unique design? Do you still need some additional methods, tools and techniques to properly translate your ideas into unique and iconic concepts?
In this 10 week course, you will learn the most powerful methods used by today's top concept artists so you can create professional-level prop and vehicle designs.
During the course, you will learn a powerful design process as well as specific techniques so you can create interesting props and powerful vehicle designs that wow the audience, drive the story and perfectly blend with the overall art direction. The in-class work and homework assignments simulate the industry environment with your instructor acting as your art director and guiding your design decisions.
You will learn how to properly identify and understand the design requirements so you can create prop and vehicle designs that are not only visually appealing but also fit the mandate and please your client/art director.
You will then learn to do proper research and iterate through a series of rough thumbnail sketches, focusing on silhouettes and basic shape language, so you can explore and evolve multiple ideas quickly and identify the design directions that work best. You will gain expertise in creating detailed linework or painted sketches of your strongest silhouettes, highlighting the material breakups with simple shading differences so you can create functional ¾ view design drawings that meet industry standards. Finally, you will learn how best to polish and present your designs by creating a beauty shot and a production model sheet so your final design is fully finished and industry-ready.
By the end of this class you will be proficient in a powerful process and pipeline for creating visually appealing and functional props and vehicles. You will have taken your portfolio and skills to the next level and you will have acquired a design language, method and skill-set that will give you an edge over many industry artists!
- Course Type Inactive Classes
- Duration 10 weeks
Level 4Level 4
This expert-level is for students who are ready to boost their portfolio and design process to a professional level.
This level is about discovering and diving deeper into new tools (such as 3D), further polishing and rendering work and exploring professional pipelines of the entertainment industry.
- Language English
Note: This class will be offered online only
Class Timings: TBD
Date of first class: TBD
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.
To enroll in this course you should have:
- Intermediate drawing and digital painting skills (use of proper perspective, proportions, shading and colour).
- Proficiency in Photoshop.
- Some 3D modelling experience in either Blender, Maya, Modo, or 3ds Max.
- Ideally completed our Digital Painting, Intro to Concept Art,and Analytical Sketching classes or have equivalent practice/experience.
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.
You need to have a desktop computer or 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.
This 10-week course* is roughly divided into 3 parts and the exact timing of each part will be determined by the speed of the students.
Part 1: Design Divergence
Become proficient in properly identifying, analyzing and understanding the design requirements so you can create prop and vehicle designs that are not only visually appealing but also fit the mandate and please your client/art director.
Learn how to properly gather, analyze and organize your references so you can gain inspiration and ground your design in reality, making it feel believable and convincing to your audience.
Become skilled at creating and iterating through a series of rough thumbnail sketches, focusing on silhouettes and basic shape language, so you can explore and evolve multiple ideas quickly and identify the design directions that work best.
Part 2: Design Convergence
Learn to identify your strongest silhouettes and highlight material breakups with simple shading differences so you can create fully functional ¾ view design drawings that match industry standards.
Acquire the skills to quickly create a variety of interesting value and colour studies of your design.
Understand the core principles by which you can narrow down your selection and choose your strongest design.
Learn how to effectively incorporate 3D into your concept art pipeline so your designs appear realistic and visually appealing. (Students are highly encouraged to try this process using any 3D software like 3d-coat, Blender, Modo, Max or ZBrush)
Part 3: Finalizing, polish and industry-ready deliverables
Become proficient in combining the strongest elements in the best ways to finalize your design.
Become skilled at creating a production-ready model sheet featuring the front, back and side view of your design.
Learn how best to polish and present your designs by creating a jaw-dropping beauty shot that sells your concept and gives you a professional looking portfolio piece that you can be proud of.
*Please note that this course outline is currently being updated and a new, more detailed outline will be sent to students before the start of the course.
Questions and Assistance
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]
"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."