Elective | 2D Classroom. CG Master Academy
Themed Environment Design
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Registration Starts On
February 26, 2018
Class Begins On
Week of April 28, 2018
Luc Steadman
Principal Designer

Luc has over ten years of experience designing and creating world-class destinations, attractions, shows, and products for a wide range of domestic and international clients. Among other distinguished projects, Luc was a designer on the recently-opened Shanghai Disneyland Castle, the largest and most intricate to date. With his passion for sharing design experience and understanding, Luc teaches Entertainment Design at ArtCenter College of Design. Luc is currently working as CEO and Principal Designer at Steadman Design Studio in Pasadena, CA.

Clients: Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers Studio, Samsung, Paramount Studios, Dreamworks, National Geographic, MNC Land, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Warner Brothers, Resorts Worlds and many more .

Course Description

Build a portfolio displaying a deeper understanding of environment design by creating an immersive story driven experience with responsibility to real-world spatial restraints. In this course, students will refine their use of design fundamentals and gain an understanding of master planning, guest experience, iconic attractors, architectural scale and spatial responsibility. Students will tell their story through the use of character, prop, vehicle, and architectural design. This class is a rare opportunity for designers who want to learn to translate their imagination to reality through this unique design process.

Skill level: Intermediate to Advanced

Course pre-requisite: environment design, perspective, digital painting, some 3D modeling

Software: Photoshop, SketchUp optional

Course Format: Standard
Length: 8 Weeks.
Lectures: Pre-Recorded each week
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual recorded.
QandA: Once a week
*For classes with fewer than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live QandA session.


Course Outline


Conceptual Sketching: Designing a Theme Park Experience

  • Course introduction: What is Themed Environment Design?
  • Genre/archetypal storytelling
  • Using a design process
  • Architecture that tells a story, iconic attractors
  • Who needs perspective when you have elevation?


Planning Spatial Design: Creating a Master Plan and POV Image #1 Layout

  • Design with park operations in mind
  • Queue lines and their functionality
  • Composing a guest perspective point of view
  • Creating depth, draw the viewer in
  • Composition design principles are paramount


Setting the Mood: POV Image #1

  • Design with 4 values
  • Magic hour: colors that sell
  • Defining with pools of light
  • Contrast and areas of focus
  • Leading the eye with paths


Selling the Idea: POV Image #1

  • The proper use of scale
  • People are people
  • Area development: the devil is in the details
  • Rendering with expression


Designing the Guest Experience: Vehicle, Prop, Character, and Set Design Sketches

  • Designing the ride vehicle: opportunities and limitations
  • Character archetype mash-ups
  • Interactivity is key


Story Immersion: POV Image #2

  • Putting the viewer in the audience
  • Capturing the climactic moment
  • Ride system implementation


Feeling the Experience: POV Image #2

  • Understanding visual weight: balance and rhythm, tension and release
  • Striking the pose: dynamic and energetic, passive and calming


Final Visuals: POV Image #2

  • Happy smiling people
  • Rendering techniques