Environment Sketching | CG Master Academy


Environment Sketching

An 8-week course focused on the basics of environment design sketching fundamentals for concept art for film, games, and animation

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Sketch out the world you envision

This class will focus on creating compelling environments with a strong and consistent design language. Students will learn a process from start to finish that will enable them to generate and iterate on their ideas to find the best image for the story. Topics that will be covered include visual storytelling, composition, and perspective. Developing a visual language and creating strong mood through the use of values and lighting will also be discussed. This important fundamental class will enable students to think, create, and design quickly and with confidence. In the first half of this course we will focus on line drawing and basic fundamentals. The second half of the class will introduce another approach of generating ideas, black and white speed painting. Then we detail and finish a portfolio piece. There will review on perspective and composition as you complete the assignment.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Photoshop (or equivalent), Wacom tablet (or equivalent)
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Perspective, Dynamic Sketching 2; OR good drawing foundation & strong knowledge of perspective

Environment Sketching WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Create focal points and dynamic shots | Focus on leading the viewer’s eye and avoid common design mistakes | Working only in line and using simple shapes and forms for a good foundation to build upon
Establish believability in your design | Overcoming common mental blocks in the creative process | How to define shape language and visual library | Silhouette studies and learn how to gather and use reference properly
Use your sketches to reinforce a specific narrative and find the best shot to convey the appropriate emotion and feeling | Storytelling elements such as what the image is about, the focal point, the mood or feeling of the image, what elements are contributing to the idea, what can we edit out, etc.
Reinforce the believability and correct scale in your scene by understanding and indicating the necessary details | How to use small details to establish scale and reinforce believability | Areas of interest and areas of rest | Hierarchy of shapes
Establish a strong read and reinforce the believability by using values to build up depth and contrast | Separation between foreground, middle ground, and background | Aerial perspective and organize to unify your compositions
Use your creativity, value block-ins, pattern recognition, and abstract design to create compelling images and discover new ideas | Use shapes and values to generate quick idea sketching | Create quick, strong compositions through mileage in sketching
Create a strong mood or emotion using interesting and dynamic lighting that reinforces the narrative | Lighting and it concepts/theories | Determine your lighting on forms and objects to better understand how light works | Establish strong reads through light to maintain emotion
Streamline your creative process and workflow for efficiency and presentability from start to finish | This final week we will take our theme and apply all our knowledge to creating a final piece

Bringing out the best in talent

Dzu Nguyen
Dmitry Sorokin


April 17th!

Spring TERM Registration

Feb 8, 2021 - Apr 26, 2021




April 17th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

Need guidance?

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review / course recommendations!