Visual Development for Games

Concept Art and Illustration > Visual Development for Games

    Teacher Information

    Xavier Etchepare is a senior concept artist at Ubisoft Montreal, where he is working on an unannounced AAA project. Xavier has over 10 years of industry experience and has worked on titles such as Far Cry Primal, For Honor and Just Dance 4. Xavier is also an accomplished illustrator, matte painter, 3D artist and graphic designer, and his work has been featured in music videos, animated films, advertising, live events and multiple issues of 2d Artist Magazine.

    Course Outline

    Week 1 -  Gain knowledge required to define the genre of your game and its stylistic direction. Learn how to research competing IPs and create a mood board specific to your idea.

    Week 2 - Understand how to craft a main playable character with an interesting back story. Develop the skills needed to explore the different shape languages that fit your world.

    Week 3 - Become proficient in creating preliminary mood concepts to brainstorm possible environments and locations based on the narrative for your character.

    Week 4 - Understand how to design the main antagonist and key NPCs to fit your art direction and story.

    Week 5 - Acquire the skills needed to develop two major locations while keeping level design constraints in mind.

    Week 6 - Learn how to develop alternate lighting/weather conditions for the major locations.

    Week 7 - Understand how to finalize the design of the characters. Learn how to find a balance between uniqueness and harmony.

    Week 8 - Gain proficiency designing props and equipment that fulfill specific game-play needs.

    Week 9 - Develop the skills necessary to polish your artworks based on feedback and create a consistent whole.

    Week 10 - Learn how to create a powerful and iconic branding and a graphic identity for your project.


    Saturdays from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM

    Date of first class: October 6th

    Duration: 10 weeks

    You can register at the bottom left of this page.


    Do you want to be a concept artist in game development? Do you feel that you do not yet possess a first-rate portfolio that showcases top-notch design skills? Visual development is the process of designing and developing the look of a game. Concept artists are an essential part of the visual development and production process. They have to be able to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with characters, props, architecture and locations, while ensuring uniqueness and fit with the story and art direction. In addition to this, they need to be able to effectively communicate and pitch to the production team so as to ensure that there is no gap between their ideas and the actual game visuals that are being developed. 

    In this advanced visual development course, you will gain the tools, knowledge and skills required to bring an imagined world into existence. Through lecture, demo, in-class exercises and consistent feedback, you will acquire the skills to effectively communicate your designs in a visually appealing manner. You will learn how to create unique and interesting characters with compelling story-lines while ensuring that these fit with your games' art direction. You will then be guided through a process of designing props and equipment for your characters that fulfill game-play needs. As the next step towards completing your vision, you will gain the tools required to design locations and develop lighting and weather conditions for them. Finally, you will learn to create a credible branding to provide your project with a unique visual identity.

    By the end of this class, you will have the skills necessary to build a successful concept art portfolio. In addition to this, you will also have the necessary tools to be able to pitch your ideas to the production team while ensuring that nothing is lost in translation.


    This an advanced level class for people with concept art knowledge and experience in Photoshop who want to learn from a master concept artist and illustrator.

    You are expected to possess concept art knowledge and digital painting/illustration experience. If you do not have the required skill in drawing and painting, it is suggested that you take our Digital Painting course.

    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).

    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)


    Due to popular demand, we expect this class to fill up very fast! $470  $430

    The Early Registration Deadline is Wednesday the 15th of Aug at 11:59 PM.


    • Develop the skills that are required to create characters and props that suit specific game-play needs.
    • Become proficient in developing environments with varied lighting and weather conditions for them.
    • Take a giant leap towards realizing your dream of advancing your skill-set and building an effective portfolio.

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