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Online Art Education

The Importance of Feedback

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Feedback is used as a basis for improvement. As artists, it’s imperative that we gauge the strength of our work and we do so through feedback. Here at CGMA, we understand the value of feedback from our instructors as well as from other students. We maintain a collaborative space for individuals to construct their ideas and make room for those ideas to be enhanced—this is just one of the way we make it possible to become a better artist. Through the perspectives our talented and celebrated instructors, who have and been through this creative cycle and back, this is what they have to say about the importance of feedback.

Tyler Edlin, Concept Artist, Illustrator, says:

“Feedback is the very core of improvement and part of a larger success cycle. As both an artist and instructor there will likely be a fair amount of failure and in a variety of ways, failure to- comprehend an assignment, failure to communicate, failure to inspire others etc. Truth is, we cannot grow as people without failure. I feel feedback is a two-way line between instructor and student that embraces failure and helps both parties grow. From the opening email, I like to get that line open with my students and encourage them to open up each week about anything. This has lead to a lot great friendships that has extended beyond the scope of the classroom, everyone no matter the skill needs someone to bounce ideas too and talk shop.”

Check out Tyler’s Fundamentals of Architecture Design and Fundamentals of Design courses, available for registration. Click here for more information.

Gilles Beloeil, Concept Artist, says:

“I think feedback from the teacher on student work is the most important thing to use as a learning tool at CGMA, because it gives the student professional advice on things he or she may have missed in their artwork. Getting the feedback from someone who did struggle on the same problems in his artwork during many years is priceless. The more artwork you create, the more you will be able to see the problems you can fix in your painting. And the more problems you fix, the better your painting and design will be. Therefore, getting a professional trained eye painting over the works you struggled on will save you a lot of time and you will probably learn a lot more this way, rather than watching a video of the same teacher painting his own stuff.”

Check out Gilles Environment Design 2 course, available for registration now. Click here for more information.

Bobby Rebholz, Senior Concept Artist, says:

I will give an answer from a teacher’s viewpoint. I think feedback is important because, as artists, we need constructive criticism if we intend to get better. I remember first starting out in the concept art world and I was very stubborn in my methods of doing things. I thought that criticism was a personal attack and I never really grew in areas where I needed to get better in. As a teacher, I try to be honest with the student and still maintaining that fun atmosphere for my students. It feels good knowing that you’re improving because the criticism you’re receiving is honest. As an artist, if we take a step back and learn to soak in constructive criticism, we can get better much faster.

Check out Bobby’s Creature Design for Film and Games course, available for registration now. Click here for more information.

Shannon Beaumont, Illustrator, says:

“When learning, your attention is often so focused on certain things that many other things will escape your notice. Another eye, which has not been involved in the process, can more easily spot these. However, critique is only helpful when given in a way that can be digested and processed. An art instructor is not just trained at teaching art, but also at how to give the bits of critique and suggestions that are likely to be most helpful to the student. That is, spot the struggles the students are currently facing and finding the suggestions that are most likely to steer them in the right direction.”

Check out Shannon’s Animal Drawing course, available for registration now. Click here for more information.

Poe Tan, Concept Artist, says:

“As a student myself in the 90s, being in college and also the beginning of my career in animation, I learned a lot while I was working with a lot of my colleagues by seeing them work. From their technique, shortcuts and styles, it made me understand how the creative process and industry pipeline flow. Bottom line, seeing is learning.

I enjoy teaching at CGMA, as it gives me the opportunity to teach students who are hailing from all over the globe. To see them grow and move on to other classes then hopefully moving to living their goals and dreams, to me is the most rewarding part as an educator.”

Check out Poe’s Dynamic Sketching 2 course, available for registration now. Click here for more information.

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Fall 2016 Student Gallery

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Since 2017 has now come around, CGMA has been looking to work on self-improvement via recently minted resolutions. For a lot of students, this means becoming a better artist while for others, this means something else entirely. CGMA believes students won’t understand where they’re headed until they’re first reminded of how far they’ve come so it’s only fitting to display some of their student gallery from the last term of 2016.

“As each and every one of our students made their way through curated industry programs, rigorous instruction from top artists, and/or acquiring completely new techniques, we witnessed just how much our students enjoyed our approach to quality instruction. And for us, this has made all the difference”, said Manny Fragelus, Program Director for CGMA.

Environment Design


Fundamentals of Environment Design
Environment Design 1
Intro to Environment Sketching
Environment Design 2
Environment Sketching for Production
Intro to Environment Sketching

Anatomy

Analytical Figure Drawing
Head Drawing and Construction
Animal Drawing

Character Design

Character Design for Film and Games
Creature Design for Film and Games
Costume Design
Fundamentals of Character Design
Storyboarding for Animation
Character Design for Animation
Character Design for Production

Foundation & Design

Perspective
Dynamic Sketching 1
Dynamic Sketching 2
Fundamentals of Design
Digital Painting
Fundamentals of Architecture Design
Anatomy of Clothing
Art of Color and Light

3D Character Arts Program

Program Page
Elective Classes

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5 Tips from Top Digital Artists for Staying Inspired

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How to Stay Inspired as a Digital Artist

Just like you, digital artists—professionals and students—sometimes feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes you’re bursting with confidence and great ideas. Other times, you’re stuck and can’t break through a creative block. Experienced artists have been through it all, and along the way, they have discovered effective ways to stay inspired and blast through those inevitable “frozen in time“ moments. These are five key ways they continue to gain inspiration from the world around them.

1. Build Up Your Visual Library

Stimulate your creativity by traveling to new places. Enjoy endless vistas as a passenger on a train or a bus. Experience the tranquility of a long walk in a park or the visual stimulation of the bustling nightlife in a trendy neighborhood. Learn from the best by watching movies and TV shows with top-notch art direction, special effects, and animation.

2. Showcase Your Digital Art Online

Build up digital collages of your best pieces on websites like Pinterest and Instagram. Share your art with fellow digital arts and students on portfolio platforms like ArtStation and CG Society. Stimulate your creative juices browsing through other artists’ portfolios, noticing their unique styles and approaches. Gain inspiration from artists who are also working in your field of interest such as digital character design, environment design, anatomical drawing, or creature design.

3. Take a Digital Art Class

The top digital artists never stop learning—that’s how they become the best in their field. Whether digital art is a hobby or a career for you, signing up for an online class or an offline class near you can help you climb out of your slump and move from frustration to artistic creation. Remember, inspiration is always out there as long as you keep looking for it.

4. Study Existing Artwork and Games

Visit galleries and museums and come away with new ideas of expression. Inspiration can come from anywhere—an ancient Egyptian mural, a medieval battle scene, or a theatrical costume exhibit. Experience the top games like Call of Duty, Uncharted 4 and Titan Fall and notice the details that impress you most about them.

5. Tell a Story With Everything You Create

Take your time, and think about the mood and story that will involve your audience, no matter how mundane the particular project may be. When you design as many details as possible, it can help you to create a convincing project that results in enthusiastic responses from decision makers.

CG Master Academy is a leading provider of online digital art education for professionals and art students. Through our CG Master Classes in 2D, 3D and VFX, we provide comprehensive instruction by the industry’s top digital art professionals. CCGMA’s digital experience facilitates artistic growth and achievement through a very simple and intuitive program distributed across weekly master classes. To view our full programs and course list visit us here.

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Summer 2016 Student Gallery

2016 Summer Gallery

They say “the proof is in the pudding,” and it certainly is with CGMA. That proof is in the amazing artwork that their students create while in class with their mentors. Over the last 8-10 weeks, CGMA’s community of artists has been working hard to grow and develop their arsenal of skills. From professional artists looking to brush up on their technique, to budding artists starting the road to pursuing their dreams, to hobbyists looking to pick up a class on 3D printing for a personal project, their student body consists of an array of students who prove their talent and dedication on a daily basis.

The best part? The online platform allows CGMA to cater to a global network of artists that has helped build the camaraderie that their community is known for. Students from Canada are collaborating and swapping feedback with students in Angola or Mexico. It’s truly amazing.

CGMA offers a comprehensive variety of classes geared towards the VFX, Game and Film industries. Courses range from 2D Foundation & Design to the more advanced/technical options for Rigging and FX.

CGMA’s new “Installment Plans” payment option allows students to pay 50% up front and 50% at a later date, making the courses more accessible to anyone on a budget.

Installment Plan

Be sure to check out the art from CGMA’s Summer Term students and, while you’re at it, check out their course list for the upcoming Fall Term – classes start in 2 weeks! Courses are offered through 2D Academy, 3D Academy and CG Workshops.

The deadline for registration is Friday, October 14th 2016.

Environment Design

Environment Design

Fundamentals of Environment Design
Environment Design 1
Intro to Environment Sketching
Environment Design 2
Environment Sketching for Production
Intro to Environment Sketching

Anatomy

Anatomy

Analytical Figure Drawing
Head Drawing and Construction
Animal Drawing

Character Design

Character Design

Character Design 2

Character Design for Film and Games
Creature Design for Film and Games
Costume Design
Fundamentals of Character Design
Storyboarding for Animation
Character Design for Animation
Character Design for Production

Foundation & Design

Dynamic Sketching

Architecture Design

Perspective
Dynamic Sketching 1
Dynamic Sketching 2
Fundamentals of Design
Digital Painting
Fundamentals of Architecture Design
Anatomy of Clothing
Art of Color and Light

3D Character Arts Program

2016_fall_studentgallery_animalanatomy

2016_fall_studentgallery_collage_charactercreationfilmgames

2016_fall_studentgallery_collage_charactercasting

Program Page
Elective Classes

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CGMA Fall Registrations: Now Offering Environment Arts Program

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As Fall registration is underway we are proud to present its revamped Programs and a new addition the “Environment Arts Program“. The development of these Programs are in line with our vision of providing quality and affordable mentored education to aspiring artists around the world. Each program has been crafted by industry professionals and recruiters from major studios to ensure a consistency with industry standards and practices. These programs don’t just cater to students, hobbyist and aspiring artists but they also cater to professionals looking to sharpen their skills or develop new ones.

Our “Installment Plans” payment option for enrolling and paying for any of their Programs and dozens of course offerings allows students to pay 50% up front (and 50% at a later date), making the courses more accessible to anyone on a budget.

Check out our course list for the upcoming Fall term (which starts in a few Weeks). Our courses are offered through 2D Academy, 3D Academy and CG Workshops.

 

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Foundation and Design Program

In order to establish and maintain a career in Entertainment Design, an artist first needs to have a solid understanding of the field’s core principles, tools, and techniques. CGMA’s Foundation & Design Program was created with this understanding at heart. It combines over ten distinct disciplines into a single comprehensive learning experience that will prepare you for our more advanced Character Design Program or Environment Design Program. After completing the program, you will receive a certificate of completion for the entire program along with individual certificates for each class.

More details.

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Character Design Program

The Character Design Program picks up right where the Foundation & Design Program leaves off. Character design is at the core of any project in entertainment. This ranges from motion pictures and feature animation, to video games and children books. Our program dives deeper into understanding the true nature of the character creation process. Students will be shown how to create convincing character types that also fit believably within a given narrative/world (whether they be stylized characters, realistic looking soldiers, or alien creatures). After completing the Character Design Program you will receive a certificate of completion for the entire program along with individual certificates for each class.

More details.

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Environment Design Program

The Environment Design Program is specifically designed to help prepare you for the role of Environment Concept Artist. Whether for the film, game, or animation industry, an environment artist draws on his/her imagination to create worlds that are believable and full of life and wonder. This program will build on the foundational skills and principles you learned in the Foundation & Design Program. The series will begin easily enough with classes focused on understanding the many different types of environments with courses such as Fundamentals of Architecture Design before really pushing your imagination in more advanced classes such as Environment Design 2 and Matte Painting where you further develop a focused eye on the intricacies of environment design. Finally, after completing the entire program, you will receive a certificate of completion for your achievement.

More details.

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3D Character Arts Program

It’s exciting to create a character that is going to capture an audience’s imagination for a few hours and allow them to escape into your film or video game.  But, in order to do this, you need to develop strong character models. CG Master Academy’s Character Arts program was developed to give you the production skills you need to build exciting and believable characters for the film and game industries.  Each of the programs’ classes are taught by current industry professionals and will equip you with the skills needed to bring your characters to the next level. On this journey, you will solidify your foundational understanding of human and animal anatomy.  With these strengthened skills, you will create and texture imaginable creatures and characters that adhere to current industry pipelines.

More details.

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3D Environment Arts Program

When you immerse yourself into a new video game or film, it is the character’s world that helps to establish a story.  It takes a skilled artist to visually develop this world and tell the audience what is going on before a single word is spoken.  CG Master Academy’s Environment Arts program will give you the knowledge needed to forge one of these story-rich environments.  During the program, you will be guided by current industry professionals in learning programs such as Maya, ZBrush, Substance, and UDK4.  As you go through the program, you will use these tools to master the artistic concepts needed in order to create stunning story driven environments.

More details.

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Is Online Art Education for You?

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Art is everywhere nowadays. Museums, galleries, your favorite TV show, the game you could not stop playing for the past two days, your kid’s book, even in the stupid commercial you cannot get out of your head. So why is it that most people still picture an artist as a Renaissance-style painter facing his easel alone in a confined room?

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During this Italian Renaissance period, art was considered a trade that required a strict training like any other profession. In order to study this trade, apprentices would learn under the guidance of a Master. They would help with the preparation (grinding pigments, preparing wood panels for paintings, etc) and execution of the artistic process. Depending on their skills, apprentices would become professionals of these technical preparations or slowly start on the path to becoming Masters themselves one day.

The smell of linseed oil paint in the air and a bad bowl haircut aside, what really changed?

Apprentices are now called students and then interns, and the computer is the new canvas. The question is, do all students need to be in the same room in order to learn their craft from the Master?

Does the Master need to be in the same room now that the canvas is digital?

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With the shift of the entertainment industry towards digital art, it became standard to hire artists to work remotely to allow for more flexibility between projects and increase accessibility to talent regardless of location. Artists get feedback on their work via video conference and paintovers, and it works.

The industry itself has encouraged remote hiring, and digital art has become the standard for studio work, so we should wonder why a CG art education taught online is still such a foreign concept for so many.

Going even further, if you go to a brick-and-mortar school, you will see a bunch of students in a room on computers with a teacher projecting his screen behind him. So why not take this class online? What would be the difference? You would probably get a little less interaction with your classmates, even if forums and Q&As are there for this specific reason. You can still ask questions to your instructors, share works in progress and talk with other students.

If you cannot afford coming to Los Angeles, or you are local but cannot be in downtown by 3pm, because you already have a job and need to keep it for the moment (all valid reasons by the way), then maybe online is for you. You would have more flexibility to watch your lecture and feedback on your own time.

Ultimately, you cannot pick where the best artists in your field are located. Studios dictate this, not schools or where you happen to live. If you want to learn from these Masters you have to come to them, or you need to let them come to you. In the latter case, before, you had to wait for the occasional workshop. Now, online art education has offered you an alternative by coming to you directly. Would you still say no?

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