2020 | Summer Term - 2 Weeks Left to Register

Just a reminder that registration for our Summer Term ends in 2 weeks!

3D Environment Arts Program

Master the concepts, techniques, and tools required for a career as a 3D environment artist

Courses start on Jul 11, 2020


24 months


Basic understanding of 3D modeling and texturing

Foundations & Design Program overview

Program Overview

Understand the role of an Environment Artist in Games

The environment artist’s role is that of world builder. The mission is nothing less than to craft the spaces that will create a sense of immersion, help tell a story, and work hand-in-glove with level design and gameplay. Environment artists work at the vanguard of game development, typically collaborating closely with level designers to visualize, build, and refine the 3D content that helps define aesthetic as well as gameplay flow. In addition to providing students with an inroad to the games industry, this program also acts as an ideal primer for artists looking at more specialized hard surface modeling or digital matte painter roles in the film and animation industries.

Enrolling into a CGMA Program is a simple and painless affair. Once you've decided on which program you want to complete, simply register and start taking the classes outlined in your program's block list. That's it!  On average, we recommend 1-to-2 courses per term. Additionally, you only pay for the course(s) you take in a given term (so no need to pay for an entire program upfront). And, after completing all the block-courses in a given program, you will be awarded a Program Certificate of Completion.

In order to qualify for a program certificate of completion, students must enroll in least 11 courses in this program and complete 11. This can be some combination of the program's standard block courses, (0-7) and up to 1 electives as part of the total courses enrolled. 

Prerequisites Basic understanding of 3D modeling and texturing



Look development is the visual starting point for any production, regardless of platform. Working to develop themes, moods, and tone, this phase includes the creation of concept art and reference style libraries. Ultimately this crucial phase helps determine what the whole world will look like and how all the story elements integrate with this environment. While environment artists will sometimes get involved in this stage, studios now tend to favor a more specialized workflow, with one or more dedicated artists focusing on concept design.
Level Design

Level Design

The role of the level designer is to construct the playable world within the game engine. This will ultimately work together with the environment artwork in the service of the game’s narrative thrust, while also dealing with the countless gameplay interactions and permutations available to players along the way. This stage typically begins with a block mesh phase, then close collaboration with environment artists to revise and flesh out the levels as modeling work and game development continues. In some studios, the environment artists will be more closely involved in the level design process.


This is the key asset development phase; it encompasses the design, blocking, creation, and piecing together of all the building blocks necessary to flesh out a game environment. Working with a variety of sculpting and modeling tools, artists build on the foundations of the level design to create a cohesive look as they finesse everything from blades of grass to key props and ultimately whole scenes.


The second part of the asset creation phase involves the addition of the surfacing detail that turn lifeless geometry into immersive game art. Whether working on stylized or more realistically-based content, this stage requires a mastery of materials creation, plus an understanding of how the game art fits into the overall pipeline and integrates with the game engine powering the project’s visuals.

Foundations & Design CURRICULUM


Get a better sense
of our curriculum.

In order to qualify for a program certificate of completion, students must enroll in and complete at least 11 courses in this program. This can be a combination of all of the program’s standard block courses. Student's can have 1 elective as part of the courses enrolled.

Need Options? Let’s talk pricing & schedule.

Speak to an advisor

Need guidance or course recommendations? Let us help!

Have you taken a course with us before?

Show us your skills

Not sure if you have the skills, or are you proving you do? Show us.

Have you taken a course with us before?