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Advanced Illustration Diploma

Study digital illustration online and unlock your career as an artist for film & games

Student work by GeorgiaPedersen

Overview

Illustration course run by top artists

Start your career with expert career training and mentorship

Discover how to create professionally polished art for films, video games and publishing! With mentorship from an established artist and a curriculum focused on job outcomes, the Advanced Illustration Diploma helps you build critical job skills and a portfolio to impress employers.

Why study digital illustration at CG Spectrum:

  • Be mentored by award-winning artists
  • Specialized focus on art for film, games & publishing
  • Extra career support to get you job-ready
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

[more]More[/more]

As a professional illustrator, your job is equal parts Director, Concept Artist, Painter, Cinematographer, and 3D Modeler. At CG Spectrum you’ll get hands-on experience putting these skills together to create the illusion of space in a 2D narrative moment.

You'll master complex illustration techniques and learn how to communicate effectively through art, creating compelling work that captivates and inspires. Meet your mentor online for weekly classes, get personalized video critiques of your work, and graduate with a portfolio of original creations!

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Industry Qualification

Advanced diploma

Study duration

9 months

Commitment

20 hrs weekly

Skill level

Advanced

Prerequisites

Concept Art & Illustration Diploma or portfolio submission

Delivery

Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Included software

Adobe Photoshop

Start date

Jan 4, 2021

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Why study with us

Learn illustration from award-winning artists who have worked with major film & game studios

Whether straight out of high school, changing careers, or upgrading skills, our specialized expert-led illustration programs help you build practical job skills that serve throughout your career

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Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Industry Mentors

Learn from mentors who have worked on major films and games

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical, relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Options to help you pursue your passion and start working sooner

Curriculum

Professional career training to launch your career as a digital illustrator

Term 1: 12 weeks
History, Composition & Painting

Discover how to use your human or creature figure to convey the story of your artwork. Explore advanced painting techniques to mimic traditional media, and practice fine art portraiture and digital painting. Examine how famous artists approached paint handling and gesture. Then experiment with composition to guide viewers to the action, and see how light, color and shape enhance your story.

Learn how to:

  • Manipulate light, value and atmosphere
  • Gather quality reference material
  • Receive constructive critiques
  • Speed up workflows with 3D software
  1. Course Introduction & History Lesson
  2. Advanced Staging & Composition 01
  3. Gathering Reference - Models and Maquettes
  4. Light and Value Control
  5. Advanced Digital Painting Techniques
  6. Cinematic Storytelling
  7. Gathering Reference - Using 3D
  8. Advanced Staging & Composition 02
  9. Advanced Color Theory & Application 01
  10. Advanced Color Theory & Application 02
  11. Advanced Traditional Painting Techniques 01
  12. Advanced Traditional Painting Techniques 02
Term 2: 12 weeks
Entertainment Industry Application

The end goal of a successful illustration is to accurately tell a story and sell a product. Explore various commercial markets and learn about creating book covers, card gaming art and marketing art for film and games. Experiment with hand painting, photo-bashing and 3D paint-overs. Assignments are treated like real commissions with hard deadlines so you learn to work under pressure.

Learn how to:

  • Turn rough sketches into final art
  • Manage time and meet deadlines
  • Create art for various markets
  • Work with specific client briefs
  1. Book Cover Illustration 01 - Rough Sketches and Worldbuilding
  2. Book Cover Illustration 02 - Creating a Dynamic Composition
  3. Book Cover Illustration 03 – Level up your Rendering
  4. Book Cover Illustration 04 – Finding your Voice & Cover Art Guest Speaker
  5. Trading Card & Gaming Art 01 – The Responsibility of Card Art Design
  6. Trading Card & Gaming Art 02 - Gaming Art & Visual Hierarchy
  7. Trading Card & Gaming Art 03 – Reference Gathering for Fantasy Art
  8. Trading Card & Gaming Art 04 - Polishing your Art & MTG Guest Speaker
  9. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 01 – Intro to Toy, Game & Film Illustration
  10. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 02 - Composing a Movie/Game Poster & Guest Speaker
  11. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 03 – Keyframe Art & Cinematography
  12. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 04 - Animation Color Keys & Lighting
Term 3: 12 weeks
Portfolio and Career Development

This final term is dedicated to getting you job-ready! With your mentor’s guidance, you’ll polish your best pieces for your portfolio. As a diploma student, you can access additional career development services to learn how to develop your competitive edge, market yourself, and make the best possible impression in front of employers.

Learn how to:

  • Polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Be more confident with negotiation
  • Network & self-promote effectively
  • Tap into the hidden job market 

All diploma students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.

  1. Getting Your Career Started
  2. Self-promotion
  3. Portfolio Prep
  4. Payments and Contracts
  5. Your First Commissions
  6. Finding Your Audience
  7. Staff vs. Freelance
  8. Developing Personal Projects
  9. Path of the Independent Artist
  10. Skill Development Practices
  11. Motivational Guidelines
  12. Emerging Art Career Tips
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Mentors

Get direct access to highly acclaimed film & game illustrators

All digital illustration classes are taught by industry mentors who have worked with major game developers, film studios and publishing giants

Study Options

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn
Study Options

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience

 

Monthly
$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,199 USD

(3 x payments)

Monthly
$1,485 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,999 USD

(3 x payments)

Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.

Studios that hire our students

Our commitment to job-outcomes and focus on career development has helped graduates find work at studios all over the world.

Study Pathway

Your journey to a successful career starts here

Study duration: 18 months
Digital Illustration Course Pathway

We've built our courses based on industry input and focus on teaching skills studios are hiring for. The courses below form a complete study pathway designed to fast track your education so you can land your first job sooner.

Once you have completed the diploma, you may choose to specialize in either advanced concept art or advanced illustration. This pathway here is specific to a career in digital illustration. For a career in concept art, visit the Advanced Concept Art Diploma.

Each course can also be taken separately depending on your skill level and career goals.

Overview:

The Introduction to Concept Art & Illustration Certificate teaches you solid foundations, giving you an idea of what it takes to pursue a career in this field.

This course serves as the first term of the Concept Art & Illustration Diploma, so you’ll already be one-third of the way through the diploma if you choose to continue your journey.

Prerequisites:

Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Duration: 3 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Software: A student educational license of Adobe Photoshop is provided to all students for free

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Overview:

The Concept Art & Illustration Diploma develops your skill level further with more complex techniques and a focus on producing the quality expected in film and game production.

Prerequisites:

  • Completion of Introduction to Concept Art & Illustration Certificate
    (Note: The Introduction to Concept Art & Illustration Certificate is embedded in the Concept Art & Illustration Diploma and serves as Term 01. If you have already completed the introductory course, you are one-third of the way through this diploma.)
  • A digital drawing tablet and a computer that meets the minimum recommended specifications

Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Diploma
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Software: A student educational license of Adobe Photoshop is provided to all students for free

View Course

Overview:

The Advanced Digital Illustration Diploma takes your skills to an industry-standard level, with the final term focusing on career development and building your professional portfolio.

All diploma and advanced diploma students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.

Prerequisites:

Course Summary:

  • Qualification: Advanced Diploma
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Commitment: 20 hours weekly
  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Software: A student educational license of Adobe Photoshop is provided to all students for free

View Course