Art Direction and Design for Films Mentorship

A 10-week mentorship course focused on learning how art direction helps tell the story and fits within the production pipeline.

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

This course will help you explore the connection between storytelling/character building, and set/environment design in film in order to create cohesive and effective visual development images. Learning the role of art direction as a visual storytelling element of filmmaking is a very important aspect of a successful production that connects with the audience. Additionally, the course will cover production workflow and how art departments fit within the production line.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   10 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Live (sessions are recorded and available afterwards)
Materials:   Photoshop or any other drawing/painting tool like Procreate
Skills level:   Advanced
Prerequisites:   Advanced drawing fundamentals and basic knowledge of perspective

Art Direction and Design for Films Mentorship WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Lecture on Visualization - translating words into visuals. Often simply naming your sketch keeps you focused on the essential elements in it. Here we will learn how direct wording can be transformed into creative designs.
Lecture on Planning - organizing the impending workload. Identifying the finish line and budgeting time we spent working on the projects.
Lecture on References and Design. Identifying and using the right references as an integral part of design and art direction.
Lecture on Styles. Creating the style of the project is a process that is organically connected with the story we are telling. Finding the right style inspirations can be instrumental for the coherent connection between the look of the film and the story told.
Lecture on Implied History. Every town, creature, person, or even geological location has its own history. This lecture is about discovering how to create worlds with a past. Worlds that have not appeared from thin air, but come with their own history.
Lecture on Sets & Story. This lecture is about learning how set design relates to storytelling. Everything in film making is about storytelling. Set design has a role to play in helping the audience suspend their disbelief and support the story of the film.
Lecture on Model Packeting. MPs are the way we deliver designs to Technical. This lecture is about best ways to organize and deliver and our designs to the modeling department. Inaccurate or inconsistent MPs can result in assets that are not in line with the director's vision, and part of Art Directing is to ensure the coherence of that vision, as well as help realize the artist's intent. Model packets are an important element of the production pipeline.
Lecture on Sets & Characters. Set design is an extension of character building. This lecture is about learning how environments, or surroundings, inform of character of the actors whose story we are telling.

Real heroes don't wear capes, they teach

Lectures by Anthony Christov

Anthony Christov has been an industry professional for over 30 years. Starting at Disney on "Rescuers Down Under", working on various projects through the 1990s, his career culminated with art directing for Pixar for the last 18 years. Anthony has art directing credits on films like "Finding Nemo", "Wall-E", and "Incredibles II," as well as countless legacy shorts and roles on many of the well-known Pixar hits. Through the years, he has witnessed the industry change and evolve with technology, and as such he brings invaluable experience and perspective to the students at CGMA.


July 13th!

summer TERM Registration

May 6, 2019 - Jul 22, 2019




July 13th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

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