We are currently offering only 2 classes onsite for the Fall. Many other classes are available online. Please visit our Online Art Classes page for more info.

Sci-Fi Concept Design

A 10-week course where you learn the advanced skills and knowledge to efficiently create jaw-dropping sci-fi concept designs

Teacher Artwork by Nicolas Vallet

Teacher Artwork by Nicolas Vallet

Sci-Fi Concept Design

Do you possess good concept art fundamentals but don’t yet have sufficiently advanced skills and knowledge to efficiently produce truly stunning and original professional-level concept designs? Do you dream of creating jaw-dropping sci-fi concept designs for movies and video games? Top concept artists are proficient in a variety of cutting edge concept design methods that enable them to quickly and efficiently find the best new ideas, create masterfully designed concept art pieces and succeed at any design challenge they encounter on the job.

In this 10-week course taught by senior concept artist Nicolas Vallet, you will acquire the design knowledge and skills of a top sci-fi concept designer and use them to generate stunning professional-level concept art. Starting with a thorough understanding of the sci-fi genre, you will become proficient in interpreting any brief, gathering references and establishing keyframes that best convey the mood and theme of your concept.

You will learn to create a series of rough 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. Finally, you will learn to block-in your shapes in 3D to create rough forms of your design, paint-over in Photoshop and add credible details so you can create realistic, convincing and functional sci-fi concept designs.

By the end of 10 weeks, you’ll have a thorough understanding of a powerful cutting-edge concept design process that will improve your design thinking, creativity and productivity so you can become a successful sci-fi concept artist. You will have developed the knowledge as well as the ability to create stunning sci-fi concept art pieces from scratch and have a brand new stunning sci-fi concept that can serve as the basis for an amazing portfolio piece.

  • Course Type Concept Art and Illustration Courses
  • Duration 10 Weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 4
    Level 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

The Early Registration Deadline is Wednesday the 12th of Aug at 11:59 PM.

$499.00 (save $124!!) $375.00USD


Note: This class will be offered online only

Class Timings: Thursdays from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC -4 h)

Date of first class: October 1st

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 is an advanced class. You should have a decent knowledge of perspective and you should have completed our Digital Painting and Intro to Concept Art as well as some more advanced courses or have equivalent experience.

If you do not have any prior 3D knowledge, to prepare for this course, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the free 3D software Blender by making some simple blockouts and watching some YouTube tutorials and playing around with the software to get the basics at least a few weeks before starting class.

Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher is bilingual and can explain concepts and give feedback in both languages).


Required Materials

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). And you need to have some basic skills in Photoshop and be comfortable drawing and painting in Photoshop and know how to use layers and the basic tools (all things you can learn quickly with free tutorials online).


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

Below is the general outline. The detailed 10-week course outline will be communicated to students at a later date.

Week 1

Gain an in-depth understanding of the sci-fi genre and understand how to gather good sci-fi references so you have a solid foundation for generating a credible design.
Become proficient in identifying and establishing keyframes that best define the theme and mood of your concept.

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 quickly and identify the design options that best suit your brief.

Weeks 3 - 4

Learn to quickly and efficiently block in your design in 3D and then import it into Photoshop to continue exploring and refining your concept.

Weeks 5 - 6

Gain a deeper understanding of the functional aspects of your design so you can effectively add realistic details and take your concept to a more finished level. Learn to create readable schematics of the exterior and interior of your sci-fi concept so you can create production-ready concept designs.

Weeks 7 - 10

Use what you’ve learned to create a brand new sci-fi concept design that can serve as the basis for an amazing new portfolio piece. Learn additional 2D-3D techniques, tips and tricks to create strong well-executed concept designs so you can gain an edge in this competitive industry.

Check out the entire outline


Syn Studio offers the highest quality education at the most affordable prices.

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

The Early Registration Deadline is Wednesday the 12th of Aug at 11:59 PM.

This class is being offered at
$499.00 $375.00 USD
for a limited period of time (save $124!!) *All Prices Shown are in US Dollars
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