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ed2go Arts and Design Animation Digital Game Artist Certificate
Return to Animation

Digital Game Artist Certificate

The Digital Game Artist Certificate program trains you to become a professional video game artist. Training centers around developing core skills for jobs related to Digital Art, 3D Art, Modeling, Character Design and Environmental Art Design. Once completed, you will have multiple employable skills including modeling game props and characters, importing required elements into game specific software, animation of game assets, and more. 

This is a skills-specific course which will teach the key components and competencies needed to excel in positions related to 3D Art for Games and Environmental Art for Games. That said, beyond software and game related techniques, the course touches on just about everything, including general design and concept art. You will learn the fundamental principles of what makes good art great and the key social aspects needed for continued growth and professional development.

18 Months / 600 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Triton College

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method


Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

Contact Us for additional information

Digital Game Artist Certificate

Contact Us

Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES3006

What You Will Learn
  • Develop game art skills specific to prop, environment, and character art/animation
  • Learn how to use popular 2d/3d software
  • Mastery of modeling and texturing techniques
  • Learn the fundamental principles of making good art
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 18 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 600 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Employable skills
  • Practical training that can be used immediately in professional projects
  • Hands-on development, assessment, and evaluation of artistic ability


Expand All
I. 3D Modeling I
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Basic Blender Interface 
  C.   Viewport Configuration and Layout 
  D.   Display Settings and Menu Rollouts 
  E.   Select, Undo/Redo, and Space Search 
  F.   Rendering an Image 
  G.   Viewport Controls and Settings 
  H.   Transforms and User Preferences 
  I.   Select and Deselect 
  J.   Primitives 
  K.   Append 
  L.   Primitive Properties 
  M.   3D Cursor and Object Position 
  N.   Edit and Object Mode 
  O.   Grease Pencil 
  P.   Pivots and Object Origin 
  Q.   3D Cursor 
  R.   Transform Orientation and Duplicate 
  S.   Polygon, Vertex, and Edge 
  T.   Object Mode Keys 
  U.   Edit Mode Keys 
  V.   Limit Selection to Visible 
  W.   Viewport Shading and Smoothing 
  X.   Insert, Delete, Dissolve Edge 
  Y.   Edge Split and Create Edge 
  Z.   Merge 
  AA.   User Preferences and Key Commands 
  AB.   Outliner 
  AC.   Modifiers 
  AD.   Piling Modifiers 
  AE.   Snaps (Edit and Object Mode) 
  AF.   Snap to Grid 
  AG.   Splines 
  AH.   Rendering Splines 
  AI.   Splines in Edit Mode 
  AJ.   Curve Modifier 
  AK.   Path Deform Process 
  AL.   Bevel with Contour Controls 
  AM.   Lathe 
  AN.   Mirror and Symmetrize 
  AO.   Insert 
  AP.   Intersect Tool 
  AQ.   Fill, Bridge, and Grid Fill 
  AR.   Bend 
  AS.   Pivot Positioning 
  AT.   Fill 
  AU.   Grease Pencil Revisited 
  AV.   Duplicate and Linked Duplicate 
  AW.   Appending and Saving Selected 
  AX.   Layers 
  AY.   Boolean 
  AZ.   Smooth Shading 
  BA.   Arrays 
  BB.   Solidify 
  BC.   Subdivide 
  BD.   Proportional Editing 
  BE.   Mesh Deform 
  BF.   Basic Light Settings 
  BG.   Basic Edge Placement for Sub D Surfaces 
  BH.   Final Practical 
II. Elements of Visual Design
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Balance 
  C.   Unity 
  D.   Gradation 
  E.   Harmony 
  F.   Dominance 
  G.   Repetition 
  H.   Contrast 
  I.   Gestalt 
  J.   Space 
  K.   Symmetry and Asymmetry 
  L.   Gathering and Filtering 
  M.   Style Guides 
  N.   Form and Structure 
  O.   Silhouette and Visual Reference 
  P.   Tonal Studies 
  Q.   Light 
  R.   Ball Study 
  S.   Visual Depth 
  T.   Tactile Texture / Visual Texture / Pattern 
  U.   Volume 
  V.   Visual Narrative I 
  W.   Visual Narrative II 
  X.   Final Practical 
III. Texture Maps and Digital Painting
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Photoshop Texture Maps 
  C.   Custom Brushes 
  D.   Style Sheets and Ortho Concepts 
  E.   Creature Design 
  F.   DDO, NDO, and 3DO in Photoshop 
  G.   Quixel 
  H.   Map Types 
  I.   What is Physically Based Rendering? 
  J.   Ambient Occlusion (AO) Maps 
  K.   ID Maps 
  L.   Using the Quixel Suite 
  M.   Using NDO I 
  N.   Using 3DO I 
  O.   NDO Practical 
  P.   Accessing Material ID Links 
  Q.   Using DDO I 
  R.   Saving DDO Smart Materials 
  S.   Using DDO II 
  T.   Using DDO III 
  U.   Create Base (Albedo / Specular / Reflection / AO / Normal) 
  V.   Lowering Preview Resolution and Viewing IDs in Real-Time 
  W.   Combining Normal Information 
  X.   Layers and Blending Modes in DDO 
  Y.   The Mask Editor and Mask Paint 
  Z.   Brush Combining in Photoshop and Blender 
  AA.   Grouping Layers 
  AB.   Final Practical 
IV. 3D Modeling II
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Basic Photoshop 
  C.   Tile Texture 
  D.   Wacom Tablet Properties 
  E.   Layers 
  F.   Lights 
  G.   Sizing and Saving Texture Maps 
  H.   Texel Density 
  I.   Basic UV Unwrap 
  J.   The UV Editor 
  K.   Adding Maps to Objects 
  L.   Auto and Smart Unwrap 
  M.   To Sphere 
  N.   Unwrap Follow Active Quads 
  O.   Setting Seams for UVW Unwrap 
  P.   Smoothing and UV Elements 
  Q.   Element Selection 
  R.   Positioning of Unwrap Elements 
  S.   Weld, Stitch, and Breaking UV Elements 
  T.   Relaxing UV Vertices and Elements 
  U.   Packing UV Elements 
  V.   Mesh Smooth and Edge Crease 
  W.   Cycles in Blender 
  X.   Texture Paint 
  Y.   Basic Sculpt 
  Z.   Baking ID Maps 
  AA.   Baked Textures 
  AB.   Creating Normal Maps 
  AC.   Sub-D Modeling Intro 
  AD.   Final Practical 
V. Elements of Digital Design
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Stylized 3d Character 
  C.   Man Made Prop 
  D.   3d Tree 
  E.   Underwater Vehicle 
VI. 3D Modeling III
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Anatomy (Hands) 
  C.   Anatomy (Feet) 
  D.   Anatomy (Head) 
  E.   Anatomy (Arm, Leg) 
  F.   Anatomy (Chest, Back) 
  G.   Anatomy (Creature - Cat) 
  H.   Anatomy (Creature - Horse) 
  I.   Anatomy (Bird) 
  J.   Anatomy (Creature - Dinosaur) 
  K.   Anatomy (Structural Design - Wings) 
  L.   Edge Flow, Relaxed Edge Flow 
  M.   Anatomy and Edge Flow 
  N.   Supporting Edges (Structural) 
  O.   Supporting Edges (Curved Mesh) 
  P.   Mirror and Edge Flow 
  Q.   Weighted Vertices 
  R.   Armature in 3d (Skin Modifier) 
  S.   Edge Flow for Animated Meshes 
  T.   Fixing Texture Seams 
  U.   Digital Sculpting 
  V.   Solidify to Set Up Clothing 
  W.   Script UV Squares Master 
  X.   Script Mesh Align to G Pencil 
  Y.   Final Practical 
VII. 3D Sculpture
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Orthographic Planes 
  C.   Alpha Settings and Transparency 
  D.   X-Ray 
  E.   Blocking Out the Leg 
  F.   Adding the Mirror Modifier 
  G.   Defining the Back of the Neck 
  H.   Creating the Feet 
  I.   Creating the Head I 
  J.   Creating the Head II 
  K.   Creating the Hands I 
  L.   Creating the Hands II 
  M.   Creating the Arms 
  N.   Creating the Toes 
  O.   Eyes and Teeth 
  P.   Final Base Mesh (Ready for Sculpt) 
  Q.   The Multiresolution Modifier 
  R.   Setting Up the Sculpt Menu 
  S.   Laying Down Clay Strips 
  T.   Refining the Sculpt 
  U.   Sculpting Details 
  V.   Duplicate Mesh, Create Low and High Variation 
  W.   Spaced (Relax) Vertices and Tight Mesh Areas 
  X.   Texture Projections 
  Y.   Projection Snaps and Retopo 
  Z.   Final Practical 
VIII. Sub-D Modeling
  A.   Getting Started 
  B.   Add/Delete Edge Loops to Define Volumes 
  C.   Unwrapping Separate Objects (Sub-Objects) 
  D.   Baking Normal Maps (Blender) 
  E.   Baking Normal Maps (XNormal) 
  F.   Apply Normal Maps to Mesh 
  G.   Texture Paint Mode and Brushes 
  H.   Mirror in Paint Mode 
  I.   Stencils 
  J.   UV Unwrap Guidelines 
  K.   Normal Map Errors and Extreme Stretching 
  L.   Normal Map Elements (XYZ, Color, Designation) 
  M.   Additional Projects 
  N.   Final Practical 
IX. Digital Lighting and Game Engines
  A.   Getting Started
  B.   New Project and UI Overview
  C.   Viewport Navigation
  D.   View Modes and Show Flags
  E.   Placing Objects in a Level
  F.   Content Browser
  G.   Material Creation I
  H.   Material Creation II
  I.   Basic Lighting
  J.   Basic Blueprints
  K.   Lights and Settings
  L.   Shadows
  M.   Light Behavior I
  N.   Light Behavior II
  O.   Three Point Lighting
  P.   Time of Day Lighting
  Q.   Translucency and Projections
  R.   Game Engine Lighting I
  S.   Game Engine Lighting II
  T.   Final Practical
X. Character Design and Animation
  A.   Getting Started
  B.   Modeling the Base Mesh
  C.   Sculpting the Character
  D.   Retopology
  E.   UV Mapping and Texture Baking
  F.   Texture Painting
  G.   Rigging the Character
  H.   Creating Animation Cycles
  I.   Setting Up in Unity
  J.   Final Practical
XI. (CAPSTONE) Program Final Practical and Portfolio
  A.   Final Practical and Essay
  B.   Portfolio Development
  C.   Career/Next Steps Consultation
  1. 3D Modeling Techniques I
    1. Getting Started
    2. Basic Blender Interface
    3. Viewport Configuration and Layout
    4. Display Settings and Menu Rollouts
    5. Select, Undo/Redo, and Space Search
    6. Rendering an Image
    7. Viewport Controls and Settings
    8. Transforms and User Preferences
    9. Select and Deselect
    10. Primitives
    11. Append
    12. Primitive Properties
    13. 3D Cursor and Object Position
    14. Edit and Object Mode
    15. Grease Pencil
    16. Pivots and Object Origin
    17. 3D Cursor
    18. Transform Orientation and Duplicate
    19. Polygon, Vertex, and Edge
    20. Object Mode Keys
    21. Edit Mode Keys
    22. Limit Selection to Visible
    23. Viewport Shading and Smoothing
    24. Insert, Delete, Dissolve Edge
    25. Edge Split and Create Edge
    26. Merge
    27. User Preferences and Key Commands
    28. Outliner
    29. Modifiers
    30. Piling Modifiers
    31. Snaps (Edit and Object Mode)
    32. Snap to Grid
    33. Splines
    34. Rendering Splines
    35. Splines in Edit Mode
    36. Curve Modifier
    37. Path Deform Process
    38. Bevel with Contour Controls
    39. Lathe
    40. Mirror and Symmetrize
    41. Insert
    42. Intersect Tool
    43. Fill, Bridge, and Grid Fill
    44. Bend
    45. Pivot Positioning
    46. Fill
    47. Grease Pencil Revisited
    48. Duplicate and Linked Duplicate
    49. Appending and Saving Selected
    50. Layers
    51. Boolean
    52. Smooth Shading
    53. Arrays
    54. Solidify
    55. Subdivide
    56. Proportional Editing
    57. Mesh Deform
    58. Basic Light Settings
    59. Basic Edge Placement for Sub D Surfaces
    60. Final Practical
  2. Elements of Visual Design
    1. Getting Started
    2. Balance
    3. Unity
    4. Gradation
    5. Harmony
    6. Dominance
    7. Repetition
    8. Contrast
    9. Gestalt
    10. Space
    11. Symmetry and Asymmetry
    12. Gathering and Filtering
    13. Style Guides
    14. Form and Structure
    15. Silhouette and Visual Reference
    16. Tonal Studies
    17. Light
    18. Ball Study
    19. Visual Depth
    20. Tactile Texture / Visual Texture / Pattern
    21. Volume
    22. Visual Narrative I
    23. Visual Narrative II
    24. Final Practical
  3. Texture Maps and Digital Paint
    1. Getting Started
    2. Photoshop Texture Maps
    3. Custom Brushes
    4. Style Sheets and Ortho Concepts
    5. Creature Design
    6. DDO, NDO, and 3DO in Photoshop
    7. Quixel
    8. Map Types
    9. What is Physically Based Rendering?
    10. Ambient Occlusion (AO) Maps
    11. ID Maps
    12. Using the Quixel Suite
    13. Using NDO I
    14. Using 3DO I
    15. NDO Practical
    16. Accessing Material ID Links
    17. Using DDO I
    18. Saving DDO Smart Materials
    19. Using DDO II
    20. Using DDO III
    21. Create Base (Albedo / Specular / Reflection / AO / Normal)
    22. Lowering Preview Resolution and Viewing IDs in Real-Time
    23. Combining Normal Information
    24. Layers and Blending Modes in DDO
    25. The Mask Editor and Mask Paint
    26. Brush Combining in Photoshop and Blender
    27. Grouping Layers
    28. Final Practical
  4. 3D Modeling Techniques II
    1. Getting Started
    2. Basic Photoshop
    3. Tile Texture
    4. Wacom Tablet Properties
    5. Layers
    6. Lights
    7. Sizing and Saving Texture Maps
    8. Texel Density
    9. Basic UV Unwrap
    10. The UV Editor
    11. Adding Maps to Objects
    12. Auto and Smart Unwrap
    13. To Sphere
    14. Unwrap Follow Active Quads
    15. Setting Seams for UVW Unwrap
    16. Smoothing and UV Elements
    17. Element Selection
    18. Positioning of Unwrap Elements
    19. Weld, Stitch, and Breaking UV Elements
    20. Relaxing UV Vertices and Elements
    21. Packing UV Elements
    22. Mesh Smooth and Edge Crease
    23. Cycles in Blender
    24. Texture Paint
    25. Basic Sculpt
    26. Baking ID Maps
    27. Baked Textures
    28. Creating Normal Maps
    29. Sub-D Modeling Intro
    30. Final Practical
  5. Elements of Digital Design
    1. Getting Started
    2. Stylized 3d Character
    3. Man Made Prop
    4. 3d Tree
    5. Underwater Vehicle
  6. 3D Modeling Techniques III
    1. Getting Started
    2. Anatomy (Hands)
    3. Anatomy (Feet)
    4. Anatomy (Head)
    5. Anatomy (Arm, Leg)
    6. Anatomy (Chest, Back)
    7. Anatomy (Creature - Cat)
    8. Anatomy (Creature - Horse)
    9. Anatomy (Bird)
    10. Anatomy (Creature - Dinosaur)
    11. Anatomy (Structural Design - Wings)
    12. Edge Flow, Relaxed Edge Flow
    13. Anatomy and Edge Flow
    14. Supporting Edges (Structural)
    15. Supporting Edges (Curved Mesh)
    16. Mirror and Edge Flow
    17. Weighted Vertices
    18. Armature in 3d (Skin Modifier)
    19. Edge Flow for Animated Meshes
    20. Fixing Texture Seams
    21. Digital Sculpting
    22. Solidify to Set Up Clothing
    23. Script UV Squares Master
    24. Script Mesh Align to G Pencil
    25. Final Practical
  7. 3D Sculpture
    1. Getting Started
    2. Orthographic Planes
    3. Alpha Settings and Transparency
    4. X-Ray
    5. Blocking Out the Leg
    6. Adding the Mirror Modifier
    7. Defining the Back of the Neck
    8. Creating the Feet
    9. Creating the Head I
    10. Creating the Head II
    11. Creating the Hands I
    12. Creating the Hands II
    13. Creating the Arms
    14. Creating the Toes
    15. Eyes and Teeth
    16. Final Base Mesh (Ready for Sculpt)
    17. The Multiresolution Modifier
    18. Setting Up the Sculpt Menu
    19. Laying Down Clay Strips
    20. Refining the Sculpt
    21. Sculpting Details
    22. Duplicate Mesh, Create Low and High Variation
    23. Spaced (Relax) Vertices and Tight Mesh Areas
    24. Texture Projections
    25. Projection Snaps and Retopo
    26. Final Practical
  8. Sub-D Modeling
    1. Getting Started
    2. Add/Delete Edge Loops to Define Volumes
    3. Unwrapping Separate Objects (Sub-Objects)
    4. Baking Normal Maps (Blender)
    5. Baking Normal Maps (XNormal)
    6. Apply Normal Maps to Mesh
    7. Texture Paint Mode and Brushes
    8. Mirror in Paint Mode
    9. Stencils
    10. UV Unwrap Guidelines
    11. Normal Map Errors and Extreme Stretching
    12. Normal Map Elements (XYZ, Color, Designation)
    13. Additional Projects
    14. Final Practical
  9. Unreal Engine 4 Quick Start
    1. New Project and UI Overview
    2. Viewport Navigation
    3. View Modes and Show Flags
    4. Placing Objects in a Level
    5. Content Browser
    6. Material Creation I
    7. Material Creation II
    8. Basic Lighting
    9. Basic Blueprints
    10. Final Practical
  10. Character Design and Animation
    1. Modeling the Base Mesh
    2. Sculpting the Character
    3. Retopology
    4. UV Mapping and Texture Baking
    5. Texture Painting
    6. Character Rigging
    7. Animation Cycles
    8. Game Character Setup in Engine
  11. Program Final Practical
    1. Final Practical and Design Document
  12. Program Final Practical and Portfolio
    1. Portfolio Development
    2. Career/Next Steps Consultation
View All Sections

Instructors & Support

Christian Bradley

Christian Bradley is the Director of Curriculum Development for Digital Media at the Art Institute of California, Orange County campus. He was as an instructor and Academic Director of Game Art and Design at the Art Institute of California, San Diego from 2003 to 2015. For more than twenty years, Bradley was an environment artist and texture artist with more than 35 commercial video game titles for PC, and Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo consoles in his portfolio. He has worked at Interplay, the Dreamers Guild Studios, and the Collective Studios. Some previous clients include Activision, Digital Extremes, and Legend Entertainment.




Basic computer literacy and software installation.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
  • 3 Button Mouse (with wheel)
  • These supplementary materials are recommended but not required:
    • Pressure sensitive tablet (e.g., Wacom).
    • Quixel Suite.
    • Various thickness black markers.
    • Sketching pencils.
    • 12 color pack of pens.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows 7 or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Blender 2015 or newer.
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6+ (not included in enrollment) or GIMP/Paint.NET (free).
  • Unreal Engine 4.
  • Unity 5+.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins. 


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Expand All
Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country’s regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

Does this course prepare for a certification?


When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive eighteen (18) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more:

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the “Contact Us” form.

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