Overview

Learn game art from industry pros

Get career training & mentorship from an Unreal Academic Partner & Unreal Authorized Training Center.

CG Spectrum’s game art course gives you a solid foundation in 3D modeling and game animation, which you can use to make your own video games! Your mentor will guide you step-by-step through character and environment design, so you can start creating your own incredible art.

Why study game art at CG Spectrum:

  • Mentorship from game artists with real-world experience
  • Learn Maya, Substance Painter, and Unreal Engine
  • Grow your professional network while you learn
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

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The gaming world is growing rapidly and it's a great time to get into the industry. CG Spectrum's game art & animation program is the best introduction to the exciting world of game art. It teaches you how to create high-quality art and realistic assets - even if you're a beginner.

As an Unreal Academic Partner, CG Spectrum works closely with Epic Games to provide high-quality educational opportunities with an experienced faculty, proven curricula and resources to foster personal and professional growth.

Gain confidence using industry-leading software like Maya, Substance Painter and Unreal Engine, learn the latest studio techniques, experiment with different styles, and graduate with original work for your portfolio!

foundations-game-art-overview
Qualification

Certificate

Study duration

9 months

Commitment

40 hrs weekly

Skill level

Intermediate

Prerequisites

Basic computer skills & min. computer specs

Delivery

Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Software

Maya, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine

Start date

Jan 9, 2023

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Curriculum

Industry-approved curriculum to launch your career as a video games artist

Term 1: 12 weeks

Animation & Modeling for Games

Learn game art essentials starting with 3D modeling and animation exercises using Maya, Substance Painter, and Unreal Engine. Practice setting up a professional workflow–a vital skill you’ll use throughout your career. Create game animations using the 12 Principles of Animation, then move on to building game assets. Finish with portfolio pieces ranging from animation walk cycles and combat actions to 3D models of stylized props or weapons.

Animation Foundations (Stream A)

  • How to navigate software used by video game studios
  • Animate and build 3D models from scratch
  • Create believable motion in your animation
  • Retopolgize hi-res objects for clean line flow

3D Modeling Foundations (Stream B)

  • How to set up proper workflows in Maya
  • Retopolgize objects for clean line flow
  • Create 3D assets from film & games
  • Texture using Substance Painter

Animation Foundations (Stream A)

  1. Introduction to 3D Animation & Rigs
  2. Posing a Character
  3. Timing & Spacing
  4. Overlap & Follow Through
  5. Pose Transitions 01
  6. Pose Transitions 02
  7. Lower Body Walk Cycle
  8. Lower Body Run Cycle
  9. Full Body Walk Cycle
  10. Full Body Run Cycle
  11. Walk With Prop 01
  12. Walk With Prop 02

3D Modeling Foundations (Stream B)

  1. Introduction to Modeling
  2. Blocking a Model with Reference
  3. Model Finalizing & Cleanup
  4. Retopology Basics
  5. Modeling Project 2A
  6. Modeling Project 2B & Presentation
  7. Hard Surface High Poly Modeling for Film
  8. Hard Surface Low Poly Modeling for Games
  9. UV Theory
  10. UV Layout & Texture Preparation
  11. Introduction: Substance Painter
  12. Texturing & Presentation
Term 2: 12 weeks

Character Art, Animation & Environment Modeling

Test your new skills with more complex projects! Practice animating characters interacting with their surroundings. Next, learn how they deal with physical force so you can start animating combat actions commonly used in video game production. Jump into a human anatomy lesson, using it to create a 3D character with clothing plus accessories. Finally, using a concept design, create a realistic 3D environment with buildings, trees, rocks and props.

Intermediate Animation (Stream A)
  • How to animate action sequences for games
  • Body mechanics for animation
  • Create 3D environments from scratch
  • Texture, light and render 3D assets

Intermediate 3D Modeling (Stream B)

  • How to create 3D characters & environments
  • Set up a basic scene for rendering
  • Model organic & hard surface assets
  • Apply lighting & rendering techniques

Intermediate Animation (Stream A)

  1. Run and Jump Blocking
  2. Run and Jump Polish
  3. Parkour Blocking
  4. Parkour Polish
  5. Forces & Weight Blocking
  6. Forces & Weight Polish
  7. Weight Lift Blocking
  8. Weight Lift Polish
  9. Combat Actions Blocking
  10. Combat Actions Polish
  11. Fight Scene Blocking
  12. Fight Scene Polish

Intermediate 3D Modeling (Stream B)

  1. Introduction to Character Modeling
  2. Character Modeling
  3. Clothing and Accessories
  4. Character UV and Texturing
  5. Hair in Maya
  6. Character Presentation
  7. Introduction to Environment Modeling
  8. Environment Basics - Modeling
  9. Environment Basics - Texturing
  10. Trees
  11. Making props
  12. Environment Presentation

*Curriculum subject to change based on industry input

Term 3: 12 weeks

INTRODUCTION TO REAL-TIME 3D & VIRTUAL PRODUCTION

In this real-time term, you'll start with the fundamentals of Unreal Engine, learning how to set up animated characters in the engine, along with a wide variety of features, plus rigging and motion capture basics. Developing a good foundation in this area is essential for moving on to the more advanced Real-Time 3D & Virtual Production Course where you'll apply your new skills to creating a film-quality cinematic shot.

  • How to use a wide range of Unreal Engine features
  • Basic animation and rigging skills
  • Working with motion capture
  • An overview of real-time and virtual production pipelines
  1. Learning Game Editors & Industry Workflows
  2. Exporting and Importing
  3. Working with Materials
  4. Setting Up Characters
  5. Implementing Animation
  6. Whiteboxing
  7. Introduction to Rigging
  8. Character Rigging Basics
  9. Motion Capture Fundamentals
  10. Sequencer and Character Animation
  11. Unreal Control Rig
  12. Facial Performance Capture Workflow and Media Reference

*Curriculum subject to change based on industry input

Pricing

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
Pricing

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)

Mentors

Get direct access to game artists with years of real-world experience

To be the best, it helps to learn from the best. Game art classes are taught by industry mentors who have worked with major game developers.

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

Student successes

80% employment success rate

We’re proud to say that the majority of our advanced graduates are now working in the highly competitive film & games industry.

Our courses and in-house career services are created to give you the essential skills to be job-ready after graduation. Still wondering if CG Spectrum is right for you? Chat with our student ambassadors.

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Course structure

Pathway 1: Real-time 3D

Pathway illustration for Foundations of Game Art (Full pathway)

Pathway 2: 3D Animation

Pathway illustration for Foundations of Game Art (Animation pathway)

Pathway 3: 3D Modeling

Pathway illustration for Foundations of Game Art (Modeling pathway)
Frequently asked questions

Foundations of Game Art & Animation Course FAQs

What are the prerequisites for this Foundations of Game Art & Animation course?

For this game art course, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).

What are the software & hardware requirements?

Software:

Students can sign up for an educational license for Maya and Substance Painter.

Hardware:

You will need a dedicated graphics card and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Autodesk Maya and Substance Painter.

Do I need prior 3D experience to start foundations?

No, our mentors do their best to get you up to speed in a reasonable amount of time; however, some experience does help you get started.

What game art careers can I explore post-graudation?

This course is extremely versatile and can lead to a diverse range of career paths. It gives you an excellent understanding of game art and animation fundamentals and depending on your level of commitment, skills, and portfolio pieces, you may be ready to start applying for entry-level artist positions.

However, to increase your hiring potential, consider specializing further with the Real-time 3D Technical Art & Virtual Production Course, Advanced 3D Animation Course, or Advanced 3D Modeling Course.

The advanced courses cover more complex techniques and include an entire term dedicated to career development and portfolio preparation to get you industry-ready. You will have a wider set of skills and a stronger portfolio to show employers.

Some students choose to continue along the game design or game programming study pathway instead. 

Depending on whether you chose Stream A (Animation) or Stream B (Modeling), some of the junior game development jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:

Discover more about these game development jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page:

Other game development courses you might like

Study options for all skill levels, from short introduction courses to full industry programs.