Program Description

Video games continue to increase in popularity year after year. The release of new, easier to access platforms has triggered explosive growth across computers, consoles, and phones. This growth brings with it a high demand for new content, better visuals, and more diverse gaming experiences. In games, great experiences are grounded in great art and here at Game Institute we offer a responsive program for people interested in becoming great game artists. We have first-hand knowledge of what key qualifications the industry looks for when recruiting new talent.

The Digital Game Artist Certificate (DGAC) program will train you to become a professional level game artist. Your training will center around developing core skills for jobs related to Digital Art, 3D Art, Modeling and Environmental Art Design. Once you have completed your program, you will have multiple employable skills including modeling game props and characters, importing required elements into game specific software, animation of game assets, and so much more.

Your program will have four components:

Art Foundations Technical Skills Asset Development Portfolio Development

Upon completion, you will enter the field at or above industry level standards.

This is not like most courses which tend to be ‘all purpose’ programs. We didn’t want that. We created a skills-specific program which will teach you 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 program touches on just about everything, including general design and concept art. You’ll learn the fundamental principles of what makes some art good and some art great and the key social aspects needed for continued growth and professional development.

Approximate Training Hours

Art Foundations 400 hours
Modeling Software Skill Sets 400 hours
Textures and Map Types 100 hours
Advanced Pipeline Modeling Skill Sets 400 hours
Game Engines 325 hours
Character and Prop Animation Pipeline 175 hours
Game Lighting and Environment 125 hours
Portfolio and Professional Development 400 hours
Total: 2000 hours*


Students will be expected to display an effective understanding and application of diverse skills in multiple software programs. There will also be requirements to prove traditional media art skills.

*Note: Hours include both live/video instruction and anticipated student work time.

Semester I

Elements of Visual Design
3D Modeling Techniques I

Semester II

Color Design and Composition
3D Modeling Techniques II

Semester III

Elements of Digital Design
3D Modeling Techniques III

Semester IV

Texture Maps and Digital Painting
Sub D Modeling and 3D Sculpture

Semester V

Game Engines
Character Design and Modeling

Semester VI

Lighting and Environment
Character and Prop Animation

Semester VII

Architecture and World Building
Portfolio and Presentation

Semester VIII

Final Project and Practical
Final Portfolio
All classes are online. Every semester you will take and complete your classes in pairs. Each pair of classes will require about 3 months to finish.

Candidates for the Program

  • Learners transitioning from established/existing Game Institute programs
  • High school graduates interested in a creativity focused career. Must have and be able to display understanding of basic computer and artistic disciplines.
  • Existing professionals considering transferring from related industries (e.g., AutoCAD, visual effects, graphic arts, sculpture, traditional art, etc.)
  • Junior college graduates looking for unique strategies to continue developing their industry skill sets.
  • International students without access to proper training. All ages accepted.
  • College students supplementing an existing degree.
  • Amateur, hobbyist, and independent developers who want to ensure game art competency.


Performance assessments focus on your being able to design, create, and complete new assets and various art pieces. You will work on your projects using both software and traditional media. Each assessment requirement is related to the course’s core competencies. As you advance through the program, your assessments will also begin to include any of the following:

Register NOW Self-Paced, Fully Online Program.
Limited Seats Available.


  • Windows PC (must meet Software minimums)
  • 3-button mouse, with mouse wheel
  • Keyboard
  • Soundcard/Speakers
  • High definition monitor
  • USB Inputs
  • Internet access
  • Pressure sensitive tablet (e.g., Wacom) -- highly recommended, not mandatory


  • Blender 2015 or higher
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 or higher
  • UE4/Unity5
  • nVIDIA Texture Tools for Adobe Photoshop (DDS Filter)
  • Crazybump
  • xNormal
  • Quixel Suite
  • Marmoset Render / Toolbag

Traditional Media

  • 10-pound block sculpting clay
  • Aluminum wire (12 gauge)
  • Various thickness black markers
  • Sketching pencils
  • 12 color packet of pens
NOTE: Students are expected to provide all required equipment, software, and media. Your program fee is for training and support only, no materials or software are included.