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

Backgrounds for Animation

Learn to craft cinematic worlds for animation

Teacher Artwork by Jordan Jardine

This class will be offered in Spring 2024. Join our waitlist to reserve your spot and get priority before anyone else. Click on the button to secure your spot.

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Backgrounds for Animation

Join seasoned background artist Jordan Jardine as he takes you on an immersive journey into the art of creating captivating backgrounds for animation using Photoshop. Drawing on years of industry experience, Jordan will guide you through essential principles and techniques to craft visually stunning environments that seamlessly complement animated narratives.

From sweeping outdoor landscapes to intricate indoor settings, you'll master the art of creating diverse environments that enhance the storytelling experience. You will gain proficiency in color theory, empowering you to evoke specific moods and atmospheres in your backgrounds, learn tools and features crucial for background design in animation and go over the concepts of perspective, teaching you how to breathe life into your backgrounds.

As you progress, the course will explore texture, detailing, and the delicate balance of incorporating movement into your backgrounds for added dynamism. Jordan will provide insights into scene composition, helping you guide the viewer's focus and establish visual hierarchy within your designs.


By the end of the course, you will have the skills and confidence to create compelling backgrounds that elevate the visual storytelling in animation, whether drawing from reference or unleashing your imagination. Join Jordan Jardine in this exciting exploration of 'Backgrounds for Animation' and unlock the artistic potential within you!

  • Course Type Inactive Classes
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 2
    Level 2

    Second level classes are for students who have a good foundation in the basics of realistic drawing (such as perspective, proportion, shading and colour theory) and already know how to use Photoshop, but need more in-depth knowledge to create professional and complex artwork.

    This level is about expanding knowledge, strengthening skills, and transitioning to the world of concept art and illustration.

  • Language English


Note: This class will be offered online only

Term: TBD

Class Timings: TBD

Date of first class: TBD

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.

It should be noted that students should set aside a minimum of 3 hours per week to complete assignments for this class. Students may even require a bit more time (4-5 hours per week) depending on how quickly they can work through assignments.


*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

You will be needing a sketchbook and pen/pencil for this course. You also have the option of using a laptop/tablet or desktop computer. Coursework may be done traditionally (with sketchbook, pens, etc.) or digitally (with a Wacom tablet, Photoshop, etc.)

This course will also require the use of the latest version of Blender


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

Intros, Role of Background Artist, Course & Assignment Overview, BG Artist Role/Pipeline 

Week 2

Fundamentals 1: Composition, Perspective, Values/Lighting

Week 3

Project Overview, Research, Ideation, Thumbnailing

Week 4

Fundamentals 2: Depth, Color, Materials

Week 5

Blender Basics / Begin EXT

Week 6

EXT (exterior) 1 Refinement of concept (Story Telling, Mood, Comp)

Week 7

EXT 2 Finishing your INT (Rendering, Materials)

Week 8

INT (interior) 1 Build your INT (Story Telling, Mood, Comp)

Week 9

INT 2 Finish your INT (Rendering, Materials)

Week 10

Portfolio Feedback

Check out the entire outline

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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