Environment Design Mentorship call for interest
#1
Environment Design Course

Greetings Daggers!

I'd like to test in this thread if there is any interest in an environment design course/mentorship I am thinking of running sometime in the next few months.  This is the equivalent of a CGMA, or Brainstorm environment design course, except it will be totally free.

If you are interested in participating please make a quick comment below .
SIGNUPS ARE NOW CLOSED due to the huge amount of interest.   If you haven't signed up you can still do the assignments and participate in the class threads, but If I take on more I won't be able to guarantee personalised crits due to numbers. Sorry!

If I don't know you already, tell me a little bit about you, a link to your work, what you want to achieve, what kind of things you might like me to help you with through this course.

The Goal
The aim is to help people improve their approach to painting environments and give you some workflow tools and processes along the way. If you do the work you will hopefully also come out with one or two finished environment designs to use in your folio.


The Course
We will work on a process that will develop one (or two) environment designs in a cohesive world and bring them up to a highly polished level that you will be able to use in your folio. The focus will be on coming up with polished, production illustrations that might be used for pitch or promotional work rather than quick concept iteration, but all the fundamentals will still apply.

This is the perfect opportunity to develop a setting for your own IP or we can easily come up with some prompts. 
  • Duration: ~6-8 weeks. (tbc)
  • Starting: tbc. Probably Late September/October. Definitely before the end of the 2015!
  • Time Required: 3-10+ hours per week.
  • Weekly study assignments, and project work.
  • Weekly group Redlines and crit stream / hangout sessions (dependent on the speed of my connection) 
Environment work tends to use all the fundamentals in concert so it will be a workout!  

Open to everybody!
I love being inclusive, not exclusive. This will be running for all to participate in. No special chosen ones here.
That said not everybody will be at the same level. Some basic pre-requisites I recommend you start looking into now before this begins  

Perspective  Learn the basics of setting up 1, 2 and 3 point perspectives. Perspective is is a very technical subject and one that can be intimidating because of the jargon.  I don't think it is necessary to go to crazy levels of understanding to get started with creating spaces for your environments. Understanding the basics of 1, 2, and 3 point perspective construction is a good start as I won't be going into too much detail on this one.

Traditional work is welcome, all styles are welcome. Keep in mind that my expertise is in digital work, so I won't be able to help that much with specific technical tips but I can still help you with the fundamentals of your pieces. 

How it will work
Study assignments and project work will be posted weekly. Weekly deadlines will be set. 
Only work that gets submitted before the deadline will be chosen for crits.
Crits will be streamed and posted so people can ask questions and learn from others' mistakes. 

Why are you doing all this cool stuff for free!?
I won't lie, I want to teach. I LOVE teaching and helping others. I have been doing it through informal critiques and so on for years already. This is just one way of making it more official.  I might use what I learn in this process to create future programs for learning, perhaps focused on self-teachers, but really, I have no concrete plans at this time. It just feels to be the right thing to do.

I also want to encourage people to help each other. It is easy to be a taker and to put the almighty dollar above everything else. I see many programs of individualised mentorship and learning popping up. Now these are a brilliant resource and I respect that time=money in practical terms in the long run, however I want to start by trying something a bit different. I want to try and cultivate a culture of giving! We can all make the world we want to live in by acting accordingly. This is basically open source learning.

Of course running a course like this with personalised critique takes time which is time I am away from paying work! While I want to make it clear that I don't expect this at all, I will accept any paypal contributions you would like to make.  No amount is too small and is a good way to show appreciation and stay accountable to your obligation. 

As a bonus, if you contribute on any given week, I will guarantee a longer crit of your work that week.


Who is this guy? Never heard of him!
I have been on the serious self teaching art journey for about 3.5 years. I quit my cubicle monkey job and became a full time freelancer in Feb 2015.  

In the 5 months of freelance so far, I have worked for Fantasy Flight Games, Storium, a 3D animated Hollywood feature pitch project that I can't talk about, RPG tabletop games, Kickstarters, books and video games (Indies only so far). 

I was one of 12 illustrators to win an illustrator of the Future award last year which is an international competition, and be flown to LA in April 2015 for a week long workshop and oscar style award ceremony. Such an awesome experience. You guys should ask me about it in the streams if you are interested.

My work will be published in White Cloud Worlds Vol 3 coming out later this year which is an artbook of New Zealand Science Ficiton and Fantasy Art : http://www.whitecloudworlds.com/

I will be getting an artist feature in ImagineFX soon.

I guess I can call myself pro now however I know my work has much to improve on. I am still early on in the long game, so I will look forward to you guys teaching me a thing or two as well! Now here's some of my work.

[Image: tumblr_nsdzx3tDt81r74bnio1_1280.png]


[Image: tumblr_nqhy20rPz81r74bnio1_1280.png][Image: tumblr_mtv5inqKDI1r74bnio1_1280.jpg]

[Image: tumblr_mtz93tGSSP1r74bnio1_1280.jpg]

[Image: tumblr_mwtg7j3YEw1r74bnio1_1280.jpg]
 
[Image: tumblr_mtv5kazEY51r74bnio1_1280.jpg]

[Image: uc?export=view&id=0B_R_7withutrbVZ6T0ZMbTJvcWs]

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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#2
I so want to be part of this! Thank you so much for offering. 3.5 years, that's so, so inspiring!
Environments is something I really struggle with, especially urban ones.. I think that is probably mostly a perspective issue, which I am going to seriously address with some hard work!

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#3
Very cool that you're doing this, Amit. Will this be mostly geared toward digital work? I prefer to work traditionally for the most part though I dont mind using digital as a secondary means to an end.

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#4
Thanks Adam! The processes I use and my knowledge is geared towards digital for sure, since that is what I work in. I don't see why the same fundamentals can't be applied to trad work! The ground work is the same. I think it would be cool to see trad work in here.
Also the work I posted is a mix of realistic and somewhat stylised, but all styles are welcome as well :)

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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#5
I'm definitely interested into joining this, I hope this is for next month, since I'm currently packed up with couple of challenges I'm doing/personal learning project. And I'm mainly traditional for the time been.

And yeah, you already know me, so I don't think I need to introduce myself, right? :D
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#6
I'm definitely going to join! No work to show, absolute beginner, so no idea what I need aside from all the foundations.... (>; v;)>
Gonna try to get everything I can out of this though.
Thanks for offering this, and cheers!
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#7
i'm interested in environment painting ! this is the best thing ever . thanks you man for doing this ! :)
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#8
I'll join then. Environments are a mountain I've yet to start climbing. Looking forward to it!

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#9
Hey there Amit! First off I'd like to thank you for what you're doing. You're awesome. I hope I am able to do something like this in the future. 

I'm interested in the mentorship, but I'd also like to know when you plan to start it so that I may fully commit and not just take somebody's spot. 

My name is Gabriel Ramos, and I'm an aspiring illustrator. My genre of choice is Fantasy, and I'd like to be able to illustrate for Magic the Gathering. Landscapes is not my think, but for the past months that I've been self training seriously I've enlisted in a couple of mentorships, one of which forced me to do environments, and I ended up loving them. I still prefer to make illustrations with characters interacting, but I found a new love for environments, and I'd like to sharpen those skills further in order to tell stories in a better way. 

Here's a link to my site for both more personal information, as well as my current skill level. Gabrielramos.net

Once again, thank you, Amit!
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#10
@Punk: Git on boahd! Should be fun....and a lot of work...but fun
@Zearthus: Ha, yeah I think we know eachother enough :)
@Adam: Awesome! Hopefully I can help!
@U3-C : All levels welcome man, this is about your development, not about having already jumped through the right hoops. Glad to see you back on the forum! :)
@Xiagabe : No problems man, and nice work! Great character work, and you have some beautiful colour and mood in your enviros already. Hopefully you will learn some new things to amp that up even more. About start dates, I updated the post. I don't think I will be able to start until Mid-Late September at the earliest. Depending on my workload I may have to push it out a little bit more, but I won't start it later than November as I don't want to encroach into people's holiday periods over Christmas

Also in general for anyone reading, once again, THERE ARE NO SPOTS TO BE FILLED. I want all skill levels and anyone who wants to join to benefit. If there are dozens of you, I might have to shorten my crits or choose a couple to focus on each week, but I will do my best to give feedback to each and every one who participates.

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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#11
I would love to be part of this. My name is Coby and I just want to get better.
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#12
Greetings Amit, thanks so much for offering this! It's a great way to get into the teaching process and it's also very inclusive as you say, which is refreshing :)

And so I wonder if this course could help with my main issue. I'll try to explain. I have a few solid skills, which when put together could give the impression that I'm strong, but, I have ZERO draughtsman skills and I think because of that, I have almost no design sense. 


Examples of that here:

[Image: thumbs-set002s.jpg]

[Image: the-fog-people-1984_by_andy-walsh_1400px.jpg]

The top image I can do because there's nothing definite that requires any specific design. Second image is built in 3d with photos added. But... no photos and I'm stuck!

So all the courses and videos I've ever seen have assumed a degree of draughtsmanship and imagination and then talk about the process of design, totally skipping those key elements. I never see anyone touching upon that. It could be summed up as the process of getting from a blank page TO an idea, not starting out with the idea as though it's a given.

Anyway, all that to say, do you think you understand the issue and can help address that? I wonder if others feel the same way also.

Thanks again!

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#13
OH MY GOD, YESSS! ;U;
I've always been on "an unfriendly path" with enviros... I didn't like them because they seem so complicated, and yet I badly wanted to learn painting these. Maybe it's just my total lack of knowledge showing, and fear of things that are difficult to me.

So I really want to take a part in this and learn all the things I don't know about enviros, but remember - I am a total newbie in this field. Most of my artistic life I stuck to characters and portraits, because I feel comfortable drawing them :C

What I want to achieve in this course is get a new skillset for painting enviro, improve my general painting skills, and finally feel good while drawing something that's been always difficult and painful to me.

Btw, my name is Adrianna, I'm actually a student at art department of my university, but I don't always learn there the things I would like to know. In the nearest future, I'd like to find a job of an illustrator or artist for game dev studio.

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#14
woops change of plans for me then, i want in!

ive always have a conflict on when to go about doing environments, i definitely have delve into the subject unconditionally in the past. but never really got into it.
this is a great opportunity to start.

if i want anything specific to take out of this mentorship , is the process of making a great portfolio piece, something that is a struggle for me.

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#15
Interested in this. I quit my job at the start of the year to go freelance (doing mainly 3D until my painting skills are up to scratch)

After doing so many studies I am mainly having a problem with generating my own environment concepts.

You can see my work here https://www.artstation.com/artist/whirly
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#16
Oh my gosh I hope I'm not too late to sign up for this! I'd like to join Amitt!!

I really really really wanna get better at making environments so I'm really looking forward to this.
I always get my perspective wrong so that's prolly the first thing I gotta nail first.

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#17
This sounds great I definitely want to be part of it!!!

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#18
Looks like a fantastic opportunity to learn about environments which I've been wanting to practice for a long time, count me in!

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#19
YES! YESYESYES!

So... uhm. I'm a biologist, but I want to go into fantasy illustration *caugh* That is probably a crazy idea, but after spending the last a couple of years regretting that I didn't do it sooner, I recently decided to just give it my best shot late rather than never - worst case scenario, I get to fail in style at something I love, lol. If anyone cares to see the level I'm currently stuck at, these are all fairly recent: Wannabe-Portfolio

I got sort of decent at painting over the last years I suppose (at least I've been told so), but everything else (draftsmanship, design, anatomy, understanding of space, form and lighting etc.) sucks big time. I've been meaning to get some finished enviroment pieces done in the next month, but didn't really know how to go about polishing a landscape, so this is perfect!! If I had to build a portfolio now I could probably dig up three environments that are more than terrible old speedpaintings. I'm working on perspective exercises this month, so that should hopefully make a good foundation to build upon.

Thank you for doing this, I'm so looking forward to it!!

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#20
Awesome! Great initiative. Thank you for taking your time and teaching what you know best! I would love to participate in this. I myself am a freelance illustrator, who would love to improve my environment skills. I've been studying for 3 years (got more serious about it this year though) and getting few commission here and there so I would love to step it up. You can find examples of my work here https://sinkevic.carbonmade.com/

Thanks again, looking forward for the journey!

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