This course has been designed to offer world class concept art education in South Africa. It begins with the focus on fundamentals which includes the study of perspective, drawing and anatomy, digital painting and basic 3D modelling. Students are taught the fundamentals of design, which focuses on visual storytelling; to design everything from day to day objects, characters, creatures, vehicles, buildings and environments. Students will create projects for the film and video games industries, create standalone illustrations and storyboards; and advance their art skills to new levels of excellence. This course is for the visually inclined. It is for those would want to sharpen their drawing and digital painting skills and learn new ways of using technology such as photo content and 3D to further enhance their artwork. If you wish to takes serious steps towards investing in your artistic and conceptual abilities, and believe that a career in concept art or its related industries is the way forward, then this is the course for you.
What to Expect from your studies
The year is packed with theoretical & practical training that includes:
- Theory and Conceptual Skills
- Perspective Skills
- Drawing & Anatomy
- Digital Painting
- Industrial Design
- Character & Creature Design
- Environment Design
- High End Illustration
- Creating a Portfolio
You will work with the following Software Applications:
- Adobe® Photoshop®
You will be able to do the following on completion of the course:
- Understand the role of the concept artist in the industry
- Demonstrate basic conceptual skills
- Construct forms in perspective
- Draw and understand the anatomy of any object
- Demonstrate digital painting skills
- Use basic 3D models to build frameworks for art
- Design objects ranging from simple objects to vehicles
- Design characters and other creatures
- Design natural and organic environments
- Apply concept art skills in industry related scenarios
- Create complete campaigns for an entire concept art assignment
- Produce a body of evidence showing concept art skills
What you can do with the skills you learn in this course:
- Create concept art for video games
- Create concept art for the film industry
- Create concept art for the animation and advertising industries
- Create high end standalone illustration work
- Create comics and graphic novels
- Develop your own IP
- Become a storyboard artist
- Work in visual effects
- Enhance an existing graphic design skill set
- Expand into industrial design
Note: At the end of this course you will receive a non-NQF aligned certificate of completion and statement of your results. It is important to understand that this course is not a Higher Education Programme in terms of the Higher Educational Act 101 of 1997, and thus does not lead to a qualification registered on the SAQA. The aim of the year is further to create an industry-ready portfolio which is essentially your CV in the creative industry.
Theory & Conceptual Skills
This module is aimed at introducing students to the concept art industry in terms of mindset, roles and responsibilities in the industry and the opportunities they can pursue with the skills they learn during the year. They will also learn basic conceptual skills and design theory during this module which also includes creating narratives and research techniques for developing visual libraries.
Students will start by learning the fundamentals of one, two and three point perspective as well as isometric view. They will implement these skills by creating basic objects and scenes and then further these skills by learning advanced techniques which include how to cast shadows, working with curves and XYZ construction. Students also learn basic 3D modelling skills for the creation of frameworks they will use in later design modules.
Drawing & Anatomy
Students are taught the fundamentals of drawing and make studies of various key elements of anatomy starting with human anatomy and its individual components moving onto more challenging topics like working with expressions and poses. Students further explore the anatomy of other organic forms and develop techniques for sketching any object not just by copying it, but by developing an understanding of its core anatomy and proportion.
Students will learn the fundamentals of digital painting which include creating a core brush set in Photoshop, shading techniques, form creation, working with light and shadow, texture and material creation and then move onto more specialist studies which include master studies, analytical studies and individual studies for developing visual libraries. Student will also learn how and when to incorporate photo textures in a professional manner.
In this module, students will begin designing their own custom objects ranging from simple game assets to complex vehicles. Students will use a variety of techniques to do so ranging from creating from line art, using silhouettes to design, photo bashing and using 3D frameworks.
Character & Creature Design
In this module, students will design characters predominantly for the film, game and animation industries, exploring design methods learned in the previous module as well as some new ones. Students will explore a theory component in this module to create compelling characters which includes the implementation of clothing and accessories and then move towards focusing their skills on creature design which can include anything from aliens to mythical beasts.
In this module, students will design environments for a wide variety of settings including natural environments, alien landscapes, indoor and outdoor settings and architecture. This module features new design techniques and theory for students to implement and aims towards getting students to think globally in creating worlds which are all inclusive and will require strong skills developed in previous modules.
With a core set of design skills in place, students will work in projects involving storyboarding, high end illustration and simulated industry related projects in film and video games. Here students will need to apply all the skills they have learned in the year and combine them in new and challenging ways.
Students will choose a specialist project from an industry of their choosing i.e film or video games to execute a full concept art campaign which will require the skills of all preceding modules to be demonstrated. This project is the culmination of the years work and should represent the student at their highest skill level.
Students will put together a portfolio demonstrating all the skills they have learnt in the year, showing final rendered work, process and should serve as a summary of their skills and as an item that can be used to gain potential clients or placement in the industry.
You must be 18 years of age or older, you must have obtained a Matric Certificate and you must be fluent in spoken and written English. Previous art training is an advantage and basic Photoshop skills are also an advantage.
Why should I study at Friends of Design?
Friends of Design's courses are like no other. The skill level and techniques taught on this course is of an extremely high standard and is actively developed to be competitive against international standards. The focus on all aspects of learning includes an understanding of the theory behind a component of learning and practical projects designed fro students to implement and refine new skills. Courses are built on delivering high quality of information as efficiently as possible and as such, the level of development of students in terms of artistic skill and conceptual ability is of a very high standard at the end of a course.
How many Full Time Courses do you offer?
We offer 4 “stand alone” courses which can be taken one at a time and that compliment each other in terms of related skills. Other courses offered by Friends of Design include:
One Year Higher Certificate in Print Design & Publishing
One Year Higher Certificate in Web Publishing and Interactive Media
One Year Higher Certificate in Game Graphics and Multimedia Entertainment
Can we stagger the courses over a number of years?
Yes! If you wish to do one course and then take a gap year or two, and come back to do another course, that is completely permissible.
What are the prerequisites for the courses?
You need to be: 18yrs or older and have a Matric or Equivalent and be fluent in English. Photoshop skills an advantage. You’ll need to submit a small drawing portfolio to gain access to the course.
Who are your trainers?
All trainers are freelancers and specialists in their industries, so they bring this unbeatable experience into the classroom straight from the workplace. They are passionate about what they do and always ready to help.
What are your students like?
They are a mixed group – some have just finished school, while others have degrees and wish to learn new skills. Some are just 18, and some are moms of two. What they all have in common is a passion and love of art.
Do you provide accommodation?
Friends of Design doesn't provide accommodation, but we do have two great and close by student residences:
What do you get at the end of your studies?
At the end of this course you will receive a non-NQF aligned certificate of completion and statement of your results. The aim of the year is further to create an industry-ready portfolio which is essentially your CV in the creative industry.
Are there exams?
There are no exams for any of our courses at Friends of Design. Each module is assessed by the projects that accompany it. Occasionally you will receive a multiple choice test or similar test, but here at the Academy we focus on developing professionals that are adept at their chosen field of study and ensure that all graduates are well equipped to handle the practical demands of the workplace.
How are we assessed?
Each project is generally marked on its technical, conceptual and aesthetic appeal unless a specific component of the brief specifies otherwise. Work process and method is also given special attention. Each student receives a mark and comments for their projects as well as two reports for each Semester. Work is internally and external moderated to ensure the marking process is fair and correct.
How long are classes?
Classes run from 08.30 - 12.30, Monday to Friday. Students are welcomed to stay after class to work on projects until 17.00 Mon – Fri.
How big are your classes?
We take up to 30 students maximum per class, so big enough to not stand out and small enough to receive personal attention.
Do you provide machines & software?
Yes. All students have a work station (Apple Mac) for the year with the latest software loaded. Students also receive a 1 year Adobe Master Collection Licence built into their fees upon enrolment, plus a Wacom Intuos tablet that they will need to bring to class each day.
What are the payment options?
There are 3 :
- Payment in full in which you receive a 5% discount, or a FREE iPad Mini
- Payment in two installments in which you receive a 2% discount
- 11 Monthly Payments, visa Debit Order
This 1yr Concept Art course is a full time programme which requires you to be an active member of classroom activities. In order to determine if you are ready for the work set out, we have a few questions to ask you and need to gauge your current skill level in terms of artistic ability. Please provide answers to all the questions and submit the portfolio (PDF or Printed A4) with the documents requested in the enrolment application form.
- You must be 18yrs or older – please submit a certified copy of your ID
- You must have Matric or a Grade 12 pass – please also include any other qualifications as well
Question 1 – Motivation
In an essay or a video, tell us about who you are.
For example: Tell us about your achievements and where you see yourself in 5 years. Provide details on what inspires and motivates you. Why do you want to attend Friends of Design? What has been an influencing factor on your life and what role within the creative industry are you are most interested in?
Question 2 – Drawing Portfolio
Please submit the following:
- 1 x Reproduced image on A4. Copy a photograph using grey pencils or similar medium. Please scan or provide the original reference image.
- 1 x Drawing from life. A4. Draw a scene/object of your choice from real life. Take a photo of the scene and include with your submission.
- 1 x Original drawing or illustration of something that does not exist. A4. The theme is up to you.
- 5 x Other free choice artworks. These can be drawings / paintings / illustrations you have done before.
Please send all the above to Chanelle Perumal firstname.lastname@example.org in a zipped file.
The Distinguished Talent Scholarship
Friends of Design is committed to nurturing your potential. If you have the potential to shine as a visual communicator, the “Distinguished Talent Scholarship” programme is for you. We offer one scholarship per year to a talented individual.
One scholarship per year & per course is awarded to the candidate who most impresses us with their creative work and shows drive and initiative to make full use of their potential. If you are a creative, talented, imaginative, and colour, imagery and typography are all music to your ears, then be sure to submit your application today, and stand the chance to win the financial aid you need to afford an education in this field. With such immense talent to nurture, the last thing you need to worry about is funding!
What to Submit
Please go to the submission requirements tab for more details.
NOTE: Application deadline is Friday 24 November 2017.
Note: The Scholarship covers your monthly tuition fee only and excludes additional costs for materials required for drawing modules, presentations and printing.
We had great study projects that were very similar to actual work projects, so that was amazing.
I had a blast at FOD and it broadened my skill range to such an extent that I can do more in my job than expected.
My experience was very favourable. I found the college head to be very accomodating and understanding, the lecturers always very friendly.
Friends of Design opened me up to the digital world and that helped me choose what I wanted to do with my career.
I have learned WAY more in the year with FOD than other juniors who studied for an entire 3 years at a well known institutions.
Now I feel very confident with my software skills. It definitely prepared me for the working environment!