Realize the importance of Foundation & Design
As the world-renowned realist artist Ken Danby once noted- Without good drawing, the foundation of a painting will collapse. It’s a tenet that still holds true in the age of digital art, where the power afforded by modern design tools actually makes the need for a strong grounding in the rules of art and design more important than ever. Whatever your likely career path and desired endpoint in the field of entertainment design–be it in character design or environment design, visual effects, or another one of the many specialist 2D and 3D roles available–it is essential to gain a strong and balanced understanding of the fundamentals of good design, as well as the principles, techniques, and best practices that make up the bedrock of the entire industry.
As you complete each art fundamentals course, you will receive a certificate of completion for that course. In order to qualify for a course certificate of completion, students must complete at least 80% of the class assignment during the duration of the course.
Should you have any questions regarding these courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you only pay for the course(s) you take in a given term.
Broad based by nature, this track is designed to suit a wide range of abilities, interests, and career paths. Choosing from a range of courses, electives, and studio courses, students customize their own learning experience with 10 or more courses across a variety of sketching, painting, and design disciplines in order to create an individualized yet comprehensive learning experience.
Get a better sense of our courses.
As you complete each course you will receive a certificate of completion for that course. In order to qualify for an in course certificate of completion, students must complete at least 80% of the class assignment during the duration of the course.
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Oct 12, 2023 - Jan 29, 2024
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Feb 06, 2023 - Apr 24, 2023
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Apr 25, 2023 - Jul 17, 2023
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Jul 19, 2023 - Oct 09, 2023
LEARN FROM AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS WHO'VE WORKED AT TOP STUDIOS AROUND THE WORLD
Yves Yumol is a freelance concept artist and art instructor based in Los Angeles, California, working in the entertainment and game industry. He has taught at a variety of private art schools and currently co-instructs at Concept Design Academy in Pasadena, California. In his spare time, he enjoys sketching outdoors and plein-air painting. His clients range from video game and visual FX companies such as Swihart Studios and various indie developers.
Concept Artist and Illustrator
Poe Tan has worked for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Warner Brothers Animation , Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Fox Animation, Sony, and many others. He has done designs for hit shows Ben10, Rugrats the Movie, Johnny Bravo, He-Man Masters of the Universe and many more. Areas of expertise include background design both relating to animation and game design. Poe has received his MFA in 2014 from Academy of Art and has been teaching at many famous art institutes including Art Center since 2008.
Robert St Pierre
For over 22 years Robert has worked as a Production Designer, Vis. Dev. Artist and an Environment Designer. Robert has worked for Disney Feature Animation, Direct to Home Video and Television divisions, Warner Brothers Feature Animation and Video division, Focus Films and many more. His credits include Production Designer on "Mulan 2", "Lady and the Tramp 2", Background Layout Artist on Disney's "Winnie The Pooh", "Princess & The Frog", television series, including "Sofia The First" and "Phineas & Ferb". He has also lectured at the Disney Studios, and is currently an Assistant Professor at CSU Northridge.
Jon Messer is an illustrator with 30 plus years of architectural rendering, illustration, visual development and painting experience. He has produced award winning renderings for architects, urban planners, developers and has produced illustrations for advertising, print, and children’s books. He works in watercolor, pen and ink and digital painting.
Illustrator/ Concept Artist
Asa Enochs is a freelance illustrator, concept artist and art director with over 15 year of experience. He has worked for large and small companies, from EA and Sony to small 7 person teams. Asa has also spent the last 10 years teaching students to create illustration and entertainment art and enjoys helping future designers on their path.
Scott Caple has been working in the animation industry for 30 plus years as a designer, layout, and story artist for such companies as Lucasfilm, Don Bluth Productions, Disney, Pixar, Blue Sky, SPA among others, with credits including: Klaus, The Little Prince, The Incredibles, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Legend of Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia 2000, Atlantis: The Lost Continent, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Inspector Gadget, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek II, plus game design for THQ for The Incredibles, The Incredibles:Rise of the Underminer, Ratatouille, and Wall-E, The Little Prince.
Other interests lean to such as calligraphy, painting, drawing, modelmaking, history and many things that require a lifetime to even begin to learn - sailing, fencing, arms and armour, movies, not to mention all these new things being served up by our digital age. In all of this he has learned that good reference is indispensable to creating good art.
Dmitry Sorokin is a freelance concept designer working on video games. Dmitry holds an engineering degree in oil & gas industry. And after 10 years career in that field he switched gears completely to pursue his passion - creating worlds. After acquiring Entertainment Design diploma in 2014 he worked with several video games and concept art companies including Arkane Studios, Bethesda, Bohemia Interactive and West Studio; and participated in production of several games with PREY being among the others.
Layout / Background Designer
Pat Marconett is a background design / visual development artist based out of Los Angeles. He loves drawing old architecture and historically inspired things. Currently he is working on Big Hero 6 at Disney TV Animation. In the past he worked on Sofia the first, Wingfeather Saga, Be Cool Scooby Doo, Veggie Tales and several others. He has also been developing his own children's book series.
Patrick Ballesteros is a designer based in Los Angeles, California. He works as a freelance illustrator/concept artist for the film, game, and animation industries. He also conducts workshops, guest speak, and teaches at the Concept Design Academy in Pasadena, California. Some of his clients include High Impact Games (Jak and Daxter the Lost Frontier), Magic Pixel Games (Carnival Island),
Illustrator & Concept Artist
Margaret Koo is a Visual Development Artist and Layout/Background Artist who is currently working in animation at Alane Adams Studios. Her background also includes industrial design, concept art for videogames, and traditional painting. She has also taught for a variety of art and design schools including Concept Design Academy, among others. As an artist who loves the outdoors, she enjoys sketching and painting from life at any moment possible and discovering new ways to incorporate learning from the natural world around her.
Dzu Nguyen is a freelance concept artist and illustrator currently working the in video games and entertainment industries. In addition to freelancing, he also teaches at the Art Institute of California. Some of his past video games projects for Sony Computer Entertainment include Warhawk, Resistance: Burning Skies, "Sorcery", Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and Destiny of Spirits.
Illustrator and Instructor
Ron Lemen is a concept artist and art director for the games industry. He currently is a full time freelance artist and has worked with numerous clients such as Blizzard, Lucasarts, Transworld Media, Activision, Upper Deck, Dragon Lance, White Wolf, Time Warner, Wizards of the Coast, Image Comics, Birdhouse Projects, Ride Snowboards, Disney, and more.
Illustrator and Instructor
Rey Bustos teaches anatomy through ecorche' and life drawing at his Alma Mater The Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, California State University at Los Angeles and at Disney Feature Animation. He also has a private teaching business "Go For Baroque" where he teaches art to kids(of all ages) at their home. He recently finished publishing his own anatomy book, "Rey's Anatomy" by Design Studio Press, available through his website. In his spare time he prepares for his classes and has a sandwich.
Lanny is a freelance storyboard and concept artist working in the advertising and film industry. Developing an interest early on in the work of the golden age illustrators, he set his focus on figurative drawing and painting, and creating art as a means of visual storytelling. After graduating from CSULB with a BFA in illustration, Lanny moved to New York where he is currently represented by Famous Frames. Aside from working as an artist, Lanny continues to study at various art schools, create personal work on his own, and is about to release his first instructional drawing book “Mastering Realism”.
Concept Artist and Instructor
Christian Nacorda is a concept artist, sculptor, and instructor starting teaching in 2005 Art Institute Orange County, He currently teaches at Art Institute Inland Empire and Norco College. Previously held a position of a sculptor at Atomic Monkey working on various titles such as Simpsons, Family Guy, Uncharted, Halo, Bioshock, Chicken Little, and Meet the Robinsons.
Patrick J. Jones is an award winning artist, author and teacher. He has worked as a concept artist and book illustrator for many publishing companies and his work has featured in major U.S. exhibitions, both in NYC and Pennsylvania. His oil paintings and drawings reside in private collections worldwide.
Patrick is the author of four best selling art technique books: ’Oil Painting: Masterclass' and ’Sci-fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques’, ‘The Anatomy of Style' and ‘Figures from Life’. His work has also been collected in a hardcover volume, ‘The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J. Jones’. His next book ‘The Lying Eye: Drawing from Photos’ will be released via Korero Press in 2022.
Mike Wiesmeier has been working in the animation industry since 1991. Mike’s production work has included interactive, commercial, games, and feature animation projects, including six features at Walt Disney Feature Animation, work as a supervisor on a traditionally animated feature film in Barcelona, Spain, and most recently on a AAA game, interactive theme park ride, and Netflix series projects in Montréal. Mike’s teaching career began while working at Walt Disney Feature Animation. In the years since he has taught animation, life drawing, animal drawing, and figure sculpture at institutions worldwide including The Art Institutes of California, The Getty Center museum, The Huntington Library, Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Syn Studio École d’Art in Montréal, and Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy.
Concept Artist and Illustrator
Tyler Edlin is traditionally trained with a Bachelor of fine arts and certificate of illustration from The Art institute of Boston. Notably he has worked many indie projects like Fall From Heaven and the Therion Saga to the larger productions of Tinkerbells Fairies from Disney Interactive and Chivalry: Medieval Warefare from TornBanner studios. Tyler has worked with studios including Disney Interactive, Hitpoint Studios, Studio Virty's, Fantasy Flight, Paizo Publishing, StarDock Industries, Tornbanner Studios, and Activision.
Bernardo Araujo Machado
Bernardo is a Luso-Brazilian Character Designer/Illustrator based in London UK. He graduated from Arts University Bournemouth in Illustration and Animation Production and has worked in the industry since 2017 in Commercials and Tv Series and has worked with Cartoon Network, Nexus Studios, The Line, Netflix, Blinkink Feed me Light and Ritzy Animation.
Arne Billen is a concept art teacher at Syntra AB Belgium as well as a freelance game concept artist. After finishing his master's degree in physiotherapy he decided to take a new turn in life and pursue his passion for art. He has made over 1200 paintings and has become a part-time lecturer on figure drawing and anatomy, digital painting and set & prop design. He loves to explore new methods of creating art and is still hard at work at getting better every day.
Lead Background Designer and Painter
Originally from New York, Kevin Scarborough is a background designer/painter currently living in Los Angeles, CA. His primary role has been Lead Background Designer and Painter for Stephen Colbert’s “Late Night Cartoons” studio at CBS. Also, Kevin has contributed to projects at Titmouse, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Cartuna, King Games, and Keyframe Digital Productions. He has a strong foundation in traditional animation and experience in 3D applications such as Blender, Maya, and Sketchup. An avid hiker, Kevin believes in the importance of painting and sketching outdoors and from life as much as possible.
Concept Artist / Illustrator
Lane Brown is a concept artist and illustrator working in the entertainment industry. His past projects include work for video games, tabletop games, theatrical poster art, and book cover illustration. Previously working as a concept artist and art director for Goldfires Studios, Lane now works as both a freelance illustrator and fine artist from his home in South Carolina. He specializes in both digital painting and traditional charcoal drawing.
Samma van Klaarbergen
Illustrator and Concept Artist
Samma is a freelance concept artist, art director and illustrator that loves anything related to color and light. As a self-taught artist, he is always exploring and figuring out what makes a good picture or artstyle. Samma has worked with Studios like Insomniac games, Ubisoft and Submarine animation, and is currently art directing multiple projects, including one of his own. He mainly works in Photoshop, but also uses 3D and VR in his workflow.
Chris Brock is an art director at DreamWorks Animation and is currently working on "Boss Baby 2". Prior to that he worked as a visual development artist on "Abominable”. Since 2006, Chris has been instrumental in the design and look of many of DreamWorks films such as Kung Fu Panda films 1,2 and 3, Boss Baby, Monsters Vs. Aliens, and Flushed Away. Prior to that Chris worked as a Background Painter on many other projects at Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks and Disneytoon Studios including, "The Iron Giant", "Samurai Jack", "The Road to El Dorado and "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas". Chris studied Illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Rachel Elese Morales
Visual Development Artist and Illustrator
Rachel Elese Morales is a visual development artist and illustrator who is passionate about storytelling, color, and light. She has worked for studios such as Nickelodeon, Dreamworks Animation, and Warner Bros. Animation where she has contributed to developing characters and environments for 2D and 3D productions. Currently, she is working at Dreamworks Animation as a visual development artist on an unannounced series.
Concept Artist / Illustrator
Axel Sauerwald is a freelance concept artist and illustrator, currently living and working in Germany. While being a part of the team at Atomhawk Design in Newcastle he had the chance to contribute to games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Age of Empires 2:DE and various other unannounced projects, mainly creating character and costume designs, illustrations and marketing art.
Mehreen Bazm is an accomplished motion media designer with a strong educational background and a wealth of professional experience. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and a Master's Degree in Motion Media Design from Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD).
After completing her studies, Mehreen began her career in the vibrant creative scene of Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. During this time, she had the privilege of working with renowned companies such as Motion Picture Company-NY, Vice Media HBO, NBC Universal, Hogarth Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, Beehive, Loyal Kaspar, Click 3x, Spontaneous, Sirius XM, Transistors Studios, Animated Storyboards, Joule, Now what, Launch/Charlex, and Eyeball. These opportunities allowed her to gain valuable industry experience and collaborate on high-profile projects. She has worked with a diverse range of clients, such as Vida, Bitter Sweet, Ford, Rocky Mountain Institute, Charter Support, CMT ID Logos, The Profit, SharkTank, VICE HBO, Comedy Central, New York City Opera LED screen projection-Moses in Egypt, GE, Harley Davidson, La Soiree-Theater New York, Facebook, Adobe, and CNBC Networks.
In addition to her professional work, Mehreen has also ventured into teaching motion graphics. She served as a Motion Graphics instructor at the Art Institute of Colorado and played a pivotal role in revamping the motion graphics online course for Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. Currently, she excels as an online program instructor in 2D animation at RMCAD. Outside of her work, Mehreen is an avid explorer, a sun enthusiast, a passionate traveler, a skilled artist in various mediums including drawing and painting, a musician, a dancer, and an eternal seeker of knowledge. With her diverse skill set, extensive industry experience, and passion for creative expression, Mehreen Bazm continues to make her mark in the world of motion graphics and design.
Mexican artist Sergio Castañeda is part of the One Pixel Brush team, creating concept art for titles like Last of Us Part 2, Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor, among others. Starting his career as a 3D technical artist, he decided to jump into the professional concept art world in the last years starting from scratch. He is constantly looking for new tools and techniques that allow him to move quickly and get the job done in a short time. Always searching for the best way to tell the story in every single image. He enjoys challenging projects but also family, movies, music, and dogs.
Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist
Anne Pogoda is a freelance artist and instructor whose client list includes ImagineFX, Phoenix Film, Teamworxx, FremantleMedia, Grundy UFA, UFA Film & TV GmBH, RTL Group, Pro 7, Ronin Film, Ballistic Publishing, Falkemedia, Cornelsen, Imagine Publishing, Focal Press, Zenescope Entertainment, Virgin Lands Animated Pictures, Kinesthetic Games, Gamomat GmBH and btk-ak
Ricardo Guimaraes is a freelance Keyframe Illustrator with several years of experience. A Fine Arts graduate, he has a deep passion for the visual arts and he has worked for both the game and film industries. Among his clients are: Blizzard Entertainment, Square Enix, Wizards of the Coast, Type AB, Gunpowder and Sky, Ghost VFX, Axis Studios, Mindbender, and many others.
Illustrator and Concept Artist
Ognjen Sporin is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He studied illustration in college, but dropped out to start pursuing professional art full-time 3 years ago, and never looked back. He currently lives in a small village in Serbia and mostly works on fantasy projects and his personal art. He's done illustration, concept art and visual development for video games, animated movies, books and tabletop games, and his notable past clients include Netflix, Wizards of the Coast, Marvel, NetEase and Volta.
Peter Han is an entertainment and concept designer who graduated from Art Center College of Design. His client list includes Sony, Konami, Cheyenne Mountain, Trion, Vivendi Universal, and many more. His titles include Warhawk, Spyro the Dragon, Stargate Worlds, Silent Hill Experience, and Defiance.
Art Director and Concept Artist
Mauricio is a former scientist turned concept artist living and working in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Molecular Biology before studying Illustration and Entertainment Design at the Art Center College of Design.
Since then Mauricio has worked on a variety of projects in animation, film, video games, children's books, theme parks and more with notables clients such as the Walt Disney Company, Ubisoft, Games Workshop, Simon and Schuster, and more. He's also taught classes in illustration and concept art for the LA Academy of Figurative Art and Brainstorm.
When not working at work he can be found working at home on his own author/illustrator projects which include two well-received animatic short films, a successfully Kickstarter-funded children's book and a whole assortment of fun whimsical illustrations for the imagination. When not doing any of those he's probably thinking of pizza.
Anthony Christov has been an industry professional for over 30 years. Starting at Disney on "Rescuers Down Under", working on various projects through the 1990s, his career culminated with art directing for Pixar for the last 18 years. Anthony has art directing credits on films like "Finding Nemo", "Wall-E", and "Incredibles II," as well as countless legacy shorts and roles on many of the well-known Pixar hits. Through the years, he has witnessed the industry change and evolve with technology, and as such he brings invaluable experience and perspective to the students at CGMA.
Liza is great. She's very accommodating and friendly and her critiques were very constructive.
Was a great guy overall that explained stuff clearly
Liza was fantastic! She was incredibly attentive and helpful, always going above and beyond for us. I would absolutely take another course taught by her again.
[Louis is] awesome. He really wanted to share all of the tips and good technices to deal with real cases of simulation tasks for production.
Chris was great. I'm glad he's not only close with the Clinton, but shares the same overall passion for the industry.
She did it perfectly. I dare to say that she very experienced with speaking in public. I'm not just glad to go through the course under her guidance, I am proud of it.
Adam was fantastic! He always took the time to answer my questions and help me improve my project. I truly appreciate his advice, expertise, and instruction.
Oh, Im so happy that someone so experienced like him gave me feedback. Plus he is a great person with passion about sharing 3D modelling/ texturing tips.
Jared is a great teacher!
Sophie was great and really helpful through the whole course. Any questions were always answered with clarity, and showing us different approaches helps develop the way of thinking required for Houdini
I learned a lot about the Houdini FLIP (fluids) workflow, of which I knew very little about before.
The instructor was great and delivered what was promised of the class. Besides this, it was great to received feedback from someone with so much experience in the industry.
Just awesome. So many tips and even if a question couldn't be answered in the live QnA -they were for sure answered in the class questions afterwards. Provided great and useful feedback. Great
explanations, nice, helpful, etc.
This course has challenged me and many different ways that I otherwise would not have been able to. Nate was excellent at explaining things in ways I've never thought before and had done so in very clear, concise manner.
It develops your eye and attention to detail. This is an excellent course. Walking my instructor through my grooming scene in Houdini and getting real time feedback on things was perfect, I loved that. Having your work reviewed by such a talent really made me want to push the hard work for me. I'm grateful for that because you feel always motivated.
Jane S. Kim
Janneke van den Biggelaar
Ethan it's an awesome teacher, the way he answered all of our questions was super clear, and even if he came across a problem he doesn't know 100% he looks into it to teach us the way to solve it
Diego is awesome! He's very friendly and easy to talk to; he was always happy to answer our questions and extremely encouraging about continuing to learn and grow as artists. He provided a lot of great demos in the Q&As and always gave detailed and thoughtful answers to both specific technical questions and general career related questions. It was a truly great experience to have Diego as an instructor; his enthusiasm for his craft really comes through and his willingness to share his own career experiences and anecdotes is greatly appreciated.
Chris is a great teacher who was always very positive and encouraging, and gave helpful feedback.
Adam was an excellent instructor and offered very insightful critiques and alternative processes that spoke to our individual designs. Always in a thoughtful, patient, and professional manner. As an instructor for almost 20yrs, I'd say you have a winner in Adam Beardall.
Ashley was extremely thorough in her answers to questions and feedback advice, as well as in providing links to external resources related to the questions and feedback.
Diego is awesome! super patient and encouraging.
It really helped me understand some of the intricacies about the pipeline for animated grooms. The reviews were also really helpful.
Ed really showed me great techniques to make sure I got a realistic water simulation. Amazing course!
She is amazing! I'm really happy to have signed up with Ashley, her feedback was very constructive and supportive and I really appreciated that as a beginner.
Seemed like she was very knowledgeable about the software.
Liza was an awesome instructor. She always provided good feedback.
Chris was an absolutely amazing instructor. You can tell he is a very nice guy who is passionate about what he does.
I love how close of a conversation you can have with him. How he seems to have a working example for nearly everything, it's really helpful to visualize if a specific question is more technical.
Really helped me get a better emphasis on material definition as well as gave me the confidence to do something like texture a face from scratch
Instructor was great, gave real world production examples and treated all students respectfully
I now know how to use substance painter, texture a face, and render a scene in marmoset. Incredibly useful.
Nate is an exceptional teacher. It changed my way of taking on new projects and opened up new opportunities and horizons as a freelance artist. I cannot thank him enough for how valuable it was to take Nate's class.
The course helped answer many questions I had coming in, both about the industry and about MAYA. I learned new ways to model things that I wouldn’t have been able to before.
It was great to have an instructor with such a wide background in animation as well as a concentration in one specific aspect.
Ethan is a great artist and also a great instructor, he helped with every problem I had even when they were not related to groom so that was great.
Emiel was simply perfect. He is easy to listen to, he has a mountain of knowledge, he teaches really well, doesn't overwhelm with too much information. I would personally prefer the course to be 2 or 4 weeks longer and taught exclusively by Emiel.
Ashley is the most inspiring Zbrush mage! Her live QAs are super fun and get us hyped about trying something new in the software and in our designs! Found my love for Zbrush with her demos and feedback and hope to learn more :D
Student testimonial here
Student testimonial here
I gained a much better understanding of the project flow for game asset creation and how UVs are handled for video games.
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Magnificent transformation--strongly recommend Louis and his course to every person who wants to advance their skills.
I really enjoyed learning from Emmanuel. He was very humble and knowledgeable. I can tell he put a lot of thought and time in using our face to face time wisely by addressing as many overall issues the class was having with their projects via his demos and lectures. He also made himself available for industry based questions that are so important, yet outside of the realm of just learning how to create.
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