World-Building Art Lab

Develop strong visuals of a digital world based on the narrative concept!

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26. 6. - 7. 9. 2024
1010 participants
10 days
at least intermediate drawing skills
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

1 700 EUR

per artist

Registration Open

Designed for traditional artists to work hands-on together with industry professionals as mentors to take a story of a film or game project and learn to execute the ideas using digital workflows and tools such as Photoshop, Blender, and Unreal Engine to create the digital concept art for it – design and create the style and atmosphere of the environment, design props, and backgrounds, the style of render and FX of your movie or game, explore new 3D digital tools to do the designs most efficiently and smartly.

You will focus on developing strong visuals and digital tools based on the narrative concept you bring to the lab. Emphasis will be on how to establish world-building design elements that reinforce storytelling in digital film production and the highly competitive new AI market.

On completion of the lab, you will

  • develop 4-5 images based on the concept prompts brought to the lab
  • create at least one pitch-ready portfolio image
  • discuss how designs will affect budgets and schedules, and how your designs will be used by other departments down the line in production.
  • Enhance your visual art skills for storytelling using new approaches and digital tools such as Blender
  • introduction to digital workflows and production collaboration with Unreal Engine artists.
  • Enhance your team-development processes and digital workflows

How it works

You will take a chunk of an existing story, or maybe just one sequence, and on a smaller scale, touch upon all the same things they would do to create the design packages necessary for production: storyboards, prop designs, character/costume designs, environment designs, FX design, shot plans (if it’s for a film), and a final story-beat illustration (or two…depending on complexity and skill level of the participant). Explore digital tools to upgrade your workflows and production know-how. Brace yourself up with the top professionals entering the world of AI – what will it bring, how do top artists think about the future of digital art?

At the end of the lab, you will have several portfolio pieces showing your understanding of how to break down a portion of a film or game and design all the elements necessary to be able to move into production. You will understand what digital tools can bring to your professional career as a digital concept artist. The preference is to structure the experience as an overview, where you get to experience designing all aspects of production (props, sets, environments, characters, FX, etc.) and learn to understand that digital concept art goes beyond pen and paper. You will collaborate with colleagues from the Unreal Engine lab, representing the production artists working with concept art assignments. You will be able to attend lectures from both labs.

In the first week, you will focus on designing character beat moments showing key environments within your narrative. Demos of using digital tools and workflows will demonstrate the processes. You will create supplemental digital material that clearly shows your process and design choices and digital skills to designing art digitally. Everything from style and character design to props, graphics, staging, composition, lighting, and color will be discussed. Introducing 3D tools such as Blender for concept art has become essential for producers in digital film productions. The mentor will demonstrate such topics.

The focus during the second week will be on using one of the images to create a more refined digitally illustrated piece. At the end of the two weeks, you should have everything you need to finish an impressive pitch presentation of the project on your own.

The labs include

  • Concept art and digital demo lectures by an accomplished professional
  • Professional mentoring and consulting of your project – film or game
  • Team collaboration with the mentor


Lesson plan

Lesson plan


  • Day 1: Introduction, approach to designing narrative and workflow in digital production (Adobe Photoshop, Blender, Unreal Engine). Discuss the concepts brought to class individually. Decide on key beat moments to develop and plan the usage of the tools.
  • Day 2: Character/costume Design lecture/demo in Adobe Photoshop. Research, digital workflows, tools, tips and tricks.First assignment: Develop a character key beat moment.
  • Day 3: Composition. Characters in action in a set. Research. Develop an action moment. How to quickly produce results digitally.
  • Day 4: Designing an environment, Lighting, and color in Photoshop. Research. Collaboration with Unreal Engine Look dev Lab. How art direction is applied in Unreal Engine. Develop an environment reveal moment.
  • Day 5: Characters in an environment. Continuation working on the assignments in Photoshop. Evolution of the tools: Blocking the space in 3D tools such as Blender. Design characters interacting with an environment close-up set.


  • Day 1: Designing composition and layout using Blender
  • Day 2: Establishing lighting. Shadow shapes and values in Blender and Photoshop
  • Day 3: Understanding color and light sources. Assignments in Photoshop.
  • Day 4: Creating graphics elements and texture. Continuation of the assignment.
  • Day 5: Final critique and refinement. QnA, digital workflows tips and tricks.


Who is it for

The lab is aimed at both beginner and advanced visual artists – illustrators and designers. You should have drawing skills already at an intermediate level and bring their own projects to the lab to boost both their skills, workflows and their projects at the same time.


In order to be eligible for the lab, along with your registration you need to submit:

  • Portfolio to demonstrate expertise and experience in the field of visual art
  • Motivational letter
    Emphasis on career motivation and vision for a project

Participants bring their own materials, computers with Photoshop and projects to work on.

Fees and funding


1 700 EUR per artist


General conditions

  • Possibility to pay in instalments.
  • We advise participants to apply for scholarships for participation fees and/or travel costs in their countries, as many public film funding bodies are usually supporting such training costs.
  • The fee covers the fee of the course. The fee does NOT include accommodation, board and tuition during workshops and travel.
  • Approximate living costs during your stay in the Czech Republic:
    • Accommodation at the venue: 25 EUR / night
    • Breakfast at the hotel – 5 EUR
    • Restaurant meal between 5 – 10 EUR
    • Grocery in general – 50 EUR per person a week

Funding for Czech employees and freelancers

Czech Labour Office (Úřad práce) offers to cover up to 85% of the course fee within the so-called POVEZ II project (Support of Vocational Training for Employees II). See the details and conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

The fee of 30% off the course price applies when canceling 45 days before the start of the course into which one gets accepted.

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1 700 EUR

per artist

Registration Open
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