Our Early Registration Discount is available until Wednesday the 29th of May at 11:59 PM.

Intro to Environment Design

Learn an array of tools and techniques to create immersive and visually-appealing environments.

Student Artwork by Samuel Couture

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Teacher Artwork by Seif Ragab

Intro to Environment Design

In this course, you will learn an effective step-by-step process for designing stunning environments befitting any genre or story. With your teacher acting as your art director, and your assignments simulating the industry environment, you will learn how to make crucial design decisions when developing many iterations of a concept, all the while using design principles to convey a mood and develop a that will fully immerse your audience.

Over the duration of the term, you will gain expertise in designing environments which complement and showcase the specific qualities that are unique to the world and characters that you are building. You will also learn how to best control the lighting and level of detail in your work so as to direct the viewer’s attention to the specific areas that drive the story.

By the end of this course, you will have all the knowledge and skills needed to create environment designs for any industry, be it games, movies or television. In addition to having stunning new portfolio pieces, your improved workflow and sense of design will give you the confidence and ability to create more breathtaking designs in the future!

  • Course Type Online Concept Art Classes
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 3
    Level 3

    These courses are for people who can already draw and paint realistically and can create complete digital illustrations.

    Level 3 classes will help students to give a new edge to their images, properly render their digital work, and bring them closer to a professional level.

  • Language English

You can now combine 3, 4 or 5 classes to avail a 5, 10 or 15% discount on your purchase and get a free spot in a webinar this term!

$429 (save USD $50.00 ) $379 USD
Register Now


Note: This class will be offered online only

Term: Summer 2024

Class Timings: Thursdays from 7 PM to 10 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC-4h)

Date of first class: July 4th

Duration: 10 weeks

Please note that our classes times are listed as EDT (GMT-4) but that starting on Sunday, November 3rd, 2024, all class times will go into EST (GMT-5).

If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.


*Please note that this class' duration is subject to change (to either 1.5 hours or 2 hours) depending on the number of enrolled students.

These shorter class formats are conducted with more of a personalized mentorship style, allowing students to have more time devoted to their assignments' critiques and the ability to ask more questions in class, while still maintaining all of the theory and planned curriculum for the regular class length.



Skill requirements 

To enroll in this course you should have: 

If you are unsure of your skill level, please contact [email protected] for additional guidance.


Language and age requirements

You should have at least intermediate level English to take this class. Please be advised that there could be artistic nudity in our classes. Students should be 14 years old to enroll.

Required Materials

Material List: 

  • A desktop computer or laptop with Photoshop installed*
  • A  graphic tablet with pressure sensitivity (from brands such as Wacom, Huion, or Xencelabs), OR a tablet-laptop hybrid (also with Photoshop installed) with pressure sensitivity (such as the Wacom Cintiq Companion or Microsoft Surface Pro).
  • PureRef (free software)


Important note: 

Please note that the vast majority of our digital classes are taught using Adobe Photoshop and that this is also the recommended program for students to use. You may consult our FAQ for more information on other software which may be potentially used for class, however, please note that no technical assistance will be provided by instructors on the use of alternative painting software as they may not be familiar with the program.


Please ensure that all of your hardware and software are functioning properly before the start of the term; there will not be any time to resolve technical issues in class.

*Please consult our Tech Requirements below for more precise computer specifications.



Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes 
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome 
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Syn Studio Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

Course Outline

*Please note that the following outline is subject to change slightly at the teacher's discretion.

Week 1

Learn how to design your environment based on the constraints of production you are working with so your concepts will fit with the story, characters and art direction.


Weeks 2&3

Understand the importance of themes in the design process so you can create environments that emphasize the full potential of the characters and enhance the overall story.


Week 4

Learn to avoid the common pitfalls during the design process so you can create designs that are not only functional but also visually spectacular.


Week 5

Gain proficiency in the top down navigational design method for games so you can create designs that maximise game play opportunities and optimize the player experience.


Week 6

Develop the skills required to plan and set up navigational landmarks so you can create locations that your audience can easily navigate and understand.


Week 7

Acquire a powerful iterative method so you can improve your design through feedback and speed up the time to completion.


Week 8

Learn the skills required to effectively use lighting and mood in your design so you can direct the player along the golden path.


Weeks 9&10

Become proficient in implementing focused detail so you can direct the audience’s attention to critical locations in your environment. Get invaluable advice on your term work from an additional senior artist so you can further improve your designs and develop them into stunning portfolio pieces.

Check out the entire outline



You can now combine 3, 4 or 5 classes to avail a 5, 10 or 15% discount on your purchase and get a free spot in a webinar this term!

This class is being offered at
USD $379.00
(save $xxx!!)
*All Prices Shown are in USD Dollars
Choose your section:
Register Now

You will soon receive an email receipt for your purchase.

Please bring a photo ID for the first day of class.

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Questions and Assistance

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625

Please consult our FAQ; most of the commonly asked questions are answered in detail there. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to fill out the form below, or, send an email to [email protected]

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