21 Draw University | Environment Design

Environment Design

Course Summary: In this course you'll learn the basic of how to create an environment as used in illustration and concept design for creative industries. You'll learn how to create a polished image starting with thumbnailing and ending with and final illustration. You'll also learn about composition, perspective and digital painting techniques in Photoshop. But the best part is that you'll get to follow along with both Michael Bills & Kenneth Anderson as they create a Utopian City as part of a specific real world design brief. This will allow you to compare their individual appraoches to the brief. This course will improve your environment design skills x 10! It's suitable for beginners but you will get more out of it if you have some previous experience with photoshop. 

Duration: Over 8 hours of lessons, theory and practical assignments!

Course Outline:

Michael Bills Course:

Lesson 1: After a quick introduction, we go over the work brief and then talk about how to effectively gather reference for the topic you are going to explore.

Lesson 2: A short overview of thumbnailing and an introduction to a few composition basics that are worth keeping in mind when developing your environment. I'll go over how to quickly create a seamless tiling pattern, and different ways you can create some custom brushes. I also give a brush pack recommendation. 

Lesson 3: We set up a document for generating thumbnails, and then go through the process of using the reference we gathered to develop some environment ideas. 

Lesson 4: After choosing a thumbnail, we begin the process of refining the idea, breaking it up into more manageable groups, (foreground, middle ground, background) and give ourselves a more solid foundation to build from. 

Lesson 5: Using the same layout as the thumbnails, this lesson is about taking our refined thumbnail and developing different color schemes/lighting ideas that we will eventually choose from and use as reference during the final rendering process.

Lesson 6 : In this lesson, using everything we have developed so far, we begin to render out our final environment in grayscale. After we come to a good stopping point, we move onto colorizing the image, using one of our color comps as reference. 

Lesson 7: This is all about finishing touches and final polish such as adding some additional environment fx, color tweaks, and any additional detailing that might be needed. 

Kenneth Anderson Course:

Course Summary: In this course you'll get to follow along with Kenneth Anderson as he completes a brief to design a futuristic Utopian city. You learn about composition, tone and atmospheric perspective as they apply to a real world brief. There are no assignements in this particluar course and it is very focused on the practical aspects of the brief. 

Course Outline:

Lesson 1 - Introduction Welcome to the tutorial! 

Lesson 2 - The brief A look at the brief which ultimately defined this concept.

Lesson 3 - Brushes An overview of the brushes I use for this piece.

Lesson 4 - Layers A quick run down of how I use layers, blending modes and masks.

Lesson 5 - Composition Some general composition concepts which I will be thinking about throughout my process.

Lesson 6 - Detail Using selective detail to lead the eye.

Lesson 7 - Tone / value The importance of tone/value as a composition tool.

Lesson 8 - Atmospheric perspective A basic overview of this natural phenomenon which will bring realism to this piece and can be used to your advantage.

Lesson 9 - Colour A few of the main colour ideas which feature in this process.

Lesson 10 - Reference Using reference to come up with new ideas and to kick start the design process.

Lesson 11 - Thumbnailing Being creative and pushing your ideas by doing quick thumbnails.

Lesson 12 - Process With a thumbnail decided upon, it's time to start painting!

Lesson 13 - Work in progress review I take a step back and evaluate the work in progress.

Lesson 14 - Process continues Back to painting, making changes to improve the image based on the previous review.

Lesson 15 - Final thoughts Reflecting on the whole process and how I used the concepts discussed at the start to come up with the final image.

Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth is a professional character designer and illustrator based in the UK. He has worked with companies like BBC, Disney, Tandem films and Axis Animation. He also worked on Sylvain Chomet's Oscar nominated film "The Illusionist" and the French feature Titeuf: Le film. In his spare time he enjoys creating characters, illustrating magazines and making games.