Give your awesome character an awesome world to live in!

Environment design is about more than just making a cool landscape. It's key component of good visual storytelling!

The environment describes the world your character lives in. Where does it take place? Why does it take place there? How does it shape your character's point of view? It can set the whole tone and mood for the story.

Characters don't just exist in a void. At some point, they need to go out into the world and live their stories!

In this course, Jake Parker, with help from Will Terry, will guide you through the process of designing appealing exterior environments.

In this class you will learn how to:

  • Apply basic principles of environment design

  • Understand proportion and balance

  • Use basic shapes as building blocks for environment design

  • Create silhouettes to design and refine your environment

  • Draw from various points-of-view

  • Add tone to your environment to create atmosphere

  • Add a personal style to your environments

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • Introduction

    • Workbook

  2. 2
    • Shape

    • Exercise 1: Designing with Shapes

    • Silhouette

    • Exercise 2: Focusing on Silhouette

    • Thirds and Fifths

    • Point of View

  3. 3
    • Tone

    • Style

    • Design Approach

    • Exercise 3: Subjective Master Studies

    • Exercise 4: Objective Master Studies

  4. 4
    • Lighthouse Demo: Silhouette

    • Lighthouse Demo: Details

    • Lighthouse Demo: Structure

    • Lighthouse Demo: Lines

    • Lighthouse Demo: Tone

  5. 5
    • Assignment 1-2: Exterior Environment

    • Conclusion

About the Instructor


Jake Parker

For the last 19 years Jake has worked on everything from animated films to comics to picture books. For several years he worked for Reel FX and Blue Sky Studios on such projects as Horton Hears a Who, Rio, and Epic. He is the creator of the popular Inktober drawing challenge. Jake currently works as an illustrator and cartoonist on children's books and comics. He works out of his home studio in Arizona.
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