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Environment Design

with Michael Bills & Kenneth Anderson
4.3 rating
4.3
(186)
Learn the basics of how to create an environment as used in illustration and concept design for creative industries. Over 8 hours of lessons, theory and practical assignments!
8+
hours
22
lessons
Beginner to
advanced
level
Michael BillsKenneth Anderson

Your Instructors

Kenneth & Michael are professional illustrators & character designers with 14+ and 8+ years of work experience under their belt, respectively.

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8+
hours
22
lessons
Beginner to
advanced
level

Description

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 a 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 approaches to the brief. This course will improve your environment design skills x 10!

In the course with Kenneth Anderson you’ll get to follow along 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.

Who is this course for?

  • It’s suitable for beginners but you will get more out of it if you have some previous experience with photoshop.
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What you’ll learn

  • Learn the basic of how to create an environment
  • Learn to create a polished image starting with thumbnailing and ending with a final illustration
  • Learn about composition, perspective and digital painting techniques in Photoshop
  • Improve your environment design skills by looking at two completely different approaches to the same brief
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This course includes

  • 8+ hours of on-demand video lessons
  • Full lifetime access

Lesson Plan

with Michael Bills
01

Introduction

06:50

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.

02

Developing Ideas

24:58

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.

03

Thumbnails

35:52

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.

04

Refinining your idea

40:36

Preview class 1

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.

05

Colors & Lighting

33:05

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.

06

Rendering

54:36

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.

07

Final image

15:18

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.

Lesson Plan

with Kenneth Anderson
01

Introduction

02:08

Welcome to the tutorial!

02

The brief

01:07

A look at the brief which ultimately defined this concept.

03

Brushes

03:12

An overview of the brushes I use for this piece.

04

Layers

09:44

A quick run down of how I use layers, blending modes and masks.

05

Composition

06:02

Some general composition concepts which I will be thinking about throughout my process.

06

Detail

02:07

Using selective detail to lead the eye.

07

Tone & value

04:56

The importance of tone/value as a composition tool.

08

Atmospheric perspective

05:31

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

09

Colour

06:48

A few of the main colour ideas which feature in this process.

10

Reference

08:43

Using reference to come up with new ideas and to kick start the design process.

11

Thumbnailing

28:37

Being creative and pushing your ideas by doing quick thumbnails.

12

Process

40:27

With a thumbnail decided upon, it’s time to start painting!

13

Work in progress review

15:20

I take a step back and evaluate the work in progress.

14

Process continues

40:27

Back to painting, making changes to improve the image based on the previous review.

15

Final thoughts

13:46

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

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About the Instructors

Michael Bills
Character Designer & Concept Artist
1 course

Michael Bills is an incredible Concept Artist and Illustrator from the US who has predominately been working on mobile games for more than 8 years. We’ve been working with him for a long time and he always provides exciting and fun contributions! His impressive character and environment design abilities make him a real treasure.


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Kenneth Anderson
Illustrator & Character Designer
3 courses

Kenneth is a professional freelance character designer with 14+ years experience. Based in the UK, he has worked with companies like the 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. His specialties are story driven character based illustration and character design for a variety of mediums, in particular children’s television. In his spare time he enjoys creating characters, illustrating magazines and making games.


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