Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix are looking for artists like you.


The need for content has been higher than ever with competing streaming platforms spending billions on original content. Amazon’s increase in its video budget continues the trend of internet companies entering the media business in a big way. Netflix is expected to spend as much as $8 billion on video content this year, while Facebook dips its toes in the water with a $1 billion total. Last year Amazon was estimated to have spent north of $4 billion on content.

With thousands of original programs spread across these platforms, there has got to be people behind the scenes making all this happen. With a loose budget of $10 billion for programming and Marketing, Netflix is looking to grow their internal studio, Netflix Studios, by recruiting the best artists Hollywood has to offer.
Their strategy is simple; hire the people that can do the job. And if they’re currently working at a studio, drive up their pay to motivate the switch. This shift is in response to the company’s goals to provide more content to drive more subscriptions. This is reflected in the most recent partnership with Dreamworks Animation Television with over 15 projects in fruition currently. So, why does this matter to you?

These studios are looking for motivated artists to expand their library of animated series’ and VFX-heavy productions. CGMA is providing the tools and resources such as relevant industry-standard curriculum and access to the knowledge of master artists to help you land your dream job. You can catch CGMA instructor Brent Noll, teaching Foundation in Modern 2D Animation this Fall, in the credits of Netflix original Trollhunters. Students enrolled in Brent’s new animation course will learn everything there is to know about the professional production pipeline he employs as an Animation Production Artist.

This is just one example of what we believe to be the true value of CGMA, you’re learning from the industry’s best. From adult animation series’ to thrillers in space, Netflix is looking for artists like you. Create work that’s impossible to overlook by requesting a portfolio review for appropriate course placement. Our courses are accessible in over 75 countries with payment plan options available. Artists also receive 1-year access to content even after the course has ended. All requests for information on registration, courses, and employer-sponsored education can be made via phone at 1-800-959-0316 or

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A World of Inpiration


Mark Twain famously claimed that ‘all ideas are second-hand, consciously or unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources’. Or as Steve Jobs simply noted, ‘creativity is just connecting things’. So it goes with the fine art of environment design, where the push to create brave new virtual worlds is almost always most successful when inspiration is taken from the world around us.
“Visual references are very important when designing something,” stresses Gilles Beloeil, senior concept artist at Ubisoft and environment design tutor at CGMA. Regardless of the style or theme of your environment, using real buildings and locations for inspiration provides an invaluable shortcut to creating something with complexity and a sense of practicality – making use of the countless man-hours and incalculable talent will have been invested researching, designing and constructing buildings and environments out there in the real world.

It pays to understand why real buildings look like they do, as determined by fashions and practicalities of the time and place they were built. “Some knowledge of architecture is good to have, especially when working on historically-based games, movies or whatever,” says Gilles. “The last thing you want are any anachronisms.”

Consider gaining an understanding of the basics of each key architectural style – from those of early civilisations through to Baroque, Georgian, Victorian, Bauhaus and Postmodern – and how they relate to one another and you’ll be better able to understand what you’re looking at and how to utilise elements for your own purposes.

While it is possible to focus solely on a building when looking for inspiration, you’ll invariably have more success when looking at the bigger picture. That means looking at it in context, i.e. how a building fits in with and works alongside its surroundings. “It is important to understand this because you will often have to integrate a building in a landscape,” notes Gilles. “You need to know how a real building could be built in different situations. At the very least, you must look at references to understand how it would be built in your environment.”

Pay close attention to the range of materials deployed in any source of inspiration. When it comes man-made environments and buildings, location might again be important (age increases the likelihood that local materials were utilised), as will the aesthetic choices. Again architectural styles will impact on these aesthetics – constructivist buildings will likely feature a lot of glass and steel frames, for example.

Never underestimate the impact that viewing conditions can have on the way we see the world. At the simplest level consider your subject from different angles and elevations, but also try to observe it at different times of day, and ideally even at different times of the year and in different weather conditions. Material properties and even the overall silhouette can seem to change depending on the nature of direct and indirect lighting, atmospheric conditions and so on – a clear summer’s day will illuminate a scene in a very different way to a low winter sun.

“When you create a building, it’s important to understand why similar real-life buildings are built in a certain way,” says Gilles. “To give just one example, how does a building deal with water run-off in the case of heavy rain? A lot of beginner concept artists forget these kinds of details when designing a street for example, and so their design end up lacking credibility. A sense of function is really important, even when it comes to those fine details. They’re the things that will make your design look credible, regardless of whether it’s a realistic or more alien creation.”

Check out Gilles Beloeil’s “Environment Design 2” course here. Too see the full roster of Environment Art courses we have to offer, click here.

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