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CGMA’S 3D Environment Arts Program


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Date Added: 19th June 2018

Looking to apply your skills to game creation? Check out the newest raft of courses available through CGMA's 3D Environment Arts Program…


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The environment artist's role is that of world builder. The mission is nothing less than to craft the spaces that will create a sense of immersion, help tell a story, and work hand-in-glove with level design and gameplay. Environment artists work at the vanguard of game development, typically collaborating closely with level designers to visualize, build, and refine the 3D content that helps define aesthetic as well as gameplay flow. In addition to providing students with an inroad to the games industry, CGMA's 3D Environment Arts Program also acts as an ideal primer for artists looking at more specialized hard surface modeling or digital matte painter roles in the film and animation industries.

Should anyone have any questions or concerns about registration or employer-sponsored education (including how to get a portfolio review for course placement purposes), get connected with Admissions by phone at 1-800-959-0316 or email registration@cgmasteracademy.com. Also, for the very first time, CGMA students are now able to take advantage of 1 YEAR EXTENDED ACCESS to content. Bear in mind this new feature is not available retroactively.


INTRO TO MAYA with David Mooy


Students are introduced to the Maya interface and philosophy, as well as 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and animation. Lectures cover the application of these tools in the VFX, game, and animation industries. Students will work on multiple projects throughout the course.

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ZBRUSH FOR CONCEPT & ITERATION with Michael Pavlovich


This high-intensity class will focus on getting you up and running in ZBrush in as little time as possible, while still giving you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to be proficient enough to begin using ZBrush as an integral part of your modeling tool set. Once you've completed the course, not only should you be comfortable in general ZBrush usage and terminology, you will have also learned skills that will allow you to create models and problem solve for multiple areas of 3D asset creation, from concept visualization to final production model techniques!

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INTRO TO PRODUCTION MODELING with Juan Pablo Chen


The aim of this course is to expose you to all of the things that you need in order to be successful in a professional work environment as a 3D modeler. During this class, you'll learn how to streamline yourself to be a fast, efficient, and effective character artist. One of the core issues that junior artists face when working at a large company is learning how to acclimate to the studio environment. This course will teach you what the expectations are for production modeling and what it's like to work on a production team. You will be creating models that are production friendly using the tools, techniques, and practices that are taught throughout the course. These apply to the game, film, and animation industries. You will create props from provided concept art, and at the end of the class you will assemble them into a scene–creating a vignette you can show in your portfolio or your demo reel.

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INTRO TO SUBSTANCE FOR ENVIRONMENT ART with Ben Keeling


Inside Substance Painter and Designer, you will be taught how to create believable realistic materials for all aspects of environment art. You will take a terrain material from start to finish inside Designer and texture a small prop. You will also texture an asset inside Substance Painter, blending together complex PBR materials to create a realistic finished prop. You will conclude the course with a small set of materials and assets which you will create a final render for in Marmoset. The class will cover: Substance Designer, Substance Painter, and Marmoset.

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WEAPONS & PROPS FOR GAMES with Sean Marino


This course covers the fundamentals of creating weapons and props for games. In this course you will go through the entire creation process: from reference and initial concept to final model. You will learn to deliver creative and appealing models that are optimized for real-time game engines. The course will go over geometry, design, texturing, and rendering–all to create fully-realized weapons and props for your portfolio. (Lectures by Ethan Hiley.)

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VEGETATION & PLANTS FOR GAMES with Jeremy Huxley


During this course, students are going to create an environment for games, with a heavy focus on vegetation and plants. Over the course of 6 weeks we will be going over the creation of plants, trees, rocks and a few blend textures, importing them into the Unreal Development Kit and composing a final, lit scene. We will be using various tools, including: Maya, ZBrush, Substance and the Unreal Development Kit to accomplish our goals. I will provide my own examples and help the students to narrow their style and focus on specific details that will help to create a stronger final piece. We will discuss colors, composition and shape language in order to form a cohesive look. This will serve as a valuable learning exercise which can then translate directly to modern studios. At the end of the class, students will have a final piece which can be used for their portfolio and a knowledge that will serve as a great foundation for their careers in games.

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INTRO TO ENVIRONMENT ART with Andres Rodriguez


During this class students will get to experience the environment pipeline creation from start to finish. Going from initial idea, block in phase, asset creation, lighting, and presentation. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with all the software packages that are used during production. The goal of the class will be to create several high-quality assets that will come together to create one cohesive scene that is well presented.

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STYLIZED 3D ASSET CREATION FOR GAMES with Kevin Griffith


In this course you will create finished key environment assets and props that will work together in a stylized game environment. We will look at various stylistic approaches to games. Lectures and assignments will explore different styles for hand-painting textures, blocking out your scene, modeling your stylized assets, and creating final stylized textures for your assets. The goal is to create a fully-rendered collection of assets that you can include in your portfolio. Software used in this course includes: Maya, Photoshop, ZBrush, 3D Coat, Marmoset, and UDK 4. *Note: Must submit portfolio that includes some digital paintings, textures, & UV maps.

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TEXTURING & SHADING FOR GAMES with Angel Fernandes


The objective of this course is to teach students how to create materials and textures for video games in Unreal Engine 4. Students will also learn high level concepts of material creation, such as what makes a good material and how to create modular materials; modularity saves time and makes materials easier to edit, iterate, and optimize. Once finished, students will be able to take the skills they've learned and apply them knowledge of UE4 concepts, shader functions, and math to other materials not covered in the course. By the end of the course, students will have made these master materials (which they can then carry on to use for mostly all future scenarios when creating scenes in Unreal or other node-based editors): prop material, layered material, refraction material, wind material, hologram material, terrain and architectural material, mesh decal material, and foliage material.

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UE4 MODULAR ENVIRONMENTS with Clinton Crumpler


In this course, students will be taught how to break down reference and develop a list of reusable assets. With this list, students will then use both Maya and the Unreal Engine to create a fully realized environment with portfolio screenshots. The class will cover: Unreal Engine 4, Maya, Quixel Suite, Photoshop, and Mightybake (optional).

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ORGANIC WORLD BUILDING IN UE4 with Anthony Vaccaro


In this course, students will create a game level from scratch in UE4. The course will cover UE4's object placement and layout basics, foliage systems, and lighting systems. The course will help students better understand level and environment workflows, as well as how level designers, game designers, and environment artists fit into the game pipeline.

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LEVEL DESIGN FOR GAMES with Emilia Schatz


In this course you will learn to approach 3D game level environments from a design perspective. The lectures will explore theory of games, shape composition, architecture, and player psychology. You will design and iterate on level setups from the initial planning phases to playable prototypes in Unity. The course will focus on crafting immersion and modeling shapes that intrigue, surprise, and inspire players. We'll explore how to design for game mechanics and narrative, creating level progressions that support character development and player experience.

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