Bootcamp Curriculum

The Game Art Institute syllabus, above all else, fosters game artists ready to succeed in today’s gaming industry.

Our syllabus does this in the context of learning the skills and the workflows you need to kickstart your career in games from working professionals. You’ll learn to create game art while mastering pipeline and best practices. You will develop a full portfolio project under constructive peer review.

Our syllabus is living and evolving. We constantly improve on it based on the ever changing needs of the gaming industry, and feedback from our students and alumni.  Note that future programs may differ in small or big ways from this.

See Curriculum

What to expect from Bootcamps

  • Small Class Size
    Seats are limited to 15 students in each Track.
  • Serious Commitment
    You bring the desire and we will bring the right support and resources to help you thrive. Recommended time is 20 hours a week outside of class time.
  • Structured Curriculum
    We focus on the right skills in the right order. Our curriculum is battle-tested and constantly evolving to meet the demands of the industry.
  • Live Biweekly Meetings
    Once the Bootcamp begins, you’ll meet with your Mentor and cohorts every few of days with new assignments and new assessments to keep you making progress. You also get access to thousands of very active Alumni.
  • Career Support
    We provide each of our Bootcamp graduates with access to job readiness training, alumni network, connections to employers and opportunities to hone new skills.

Game Artist Bootcamp (Character Track)

Duration: 16 Weeks (8 weeks Game Art, 8 weeks of Character focus)
Cost: $2,997
Class Meetings: 2 live sessions per week
Feedback: Live, customized feedback
Time Commitment: 20+ hours per week

Game Artist Bootcamp

WEEKS 1-4:  CREATE A GAME ASSET
You will learn game arts best practices and tools by creating your first in-game model.
  • Apply the High Polygonal Modeling Approach
  • Convert to Low Resolution Mesh
WEEKS 5-8:  REALISM
Learn how to convey a story and evoke a sense of authenticity.
  • UV Mapping, Texturing
  • Materials, Static Mesh, Lighting

Character Artist Bootcamp

WEEKS 9-11:  FACIAL & ARTISTIC ANATOMY
Learn how to model the basic planes of the human skull.
  • Learn the proportions and essential structures of the human face
  • Deep dive into sculpting the basic planes of the human skull
  • Anatomy overview
  • Understanding anatomy terms and concepts
WEEKS 12-13:  BASEMESH & BLOCKOUTS
Learn how to create your character from a concept.
  • Find references and concepts for inspiration
  • Block out figure with focus on proportions and posing
  • Start a high resolution base sculpt
  • Refine, refine, refine
WEEK 14:  ACCESSORIZE, CLOTHE, REFINE YOUR CHARACTER
Develop your character using the skills and software learned throughout the class such as ZBrush, Marvelous Designer and Maya.
  • Help sell your character by accessorizing
  • Develop realistic props using the high resolution pipeline
  • Learn how to clothe your character using Marvelous Designer
  • Push your character’s realism
WEEKS 15-16:  PREPARE YOUR MODEL FOR IN-GAME
Utilize the latest software to develop your rendering, materials and texturing assets.  Finalize your in-game model.
  • Understand game topology vs sculpting topology
  • How to re-establish topology and keep your high resolution details
  • Learn exporting workflows
  • Create realistic renders in-game by focusing on specularity and other features

Game Artist Bootcamp (Environment Track)

Duration: 16 Weeks (8 weeks Game Art, 8 weeks of Environment focus)
Cost: $2,997
Class Meetings: 2 live sessions per week
Feedback: Live, customized feedback
Time Commitment: 20+ hours per week

Game Artist Bootcamp

WEEKS 1-4:  CREATE A GAME ASSET
You will learn game arts best practices and tools by creating your first in-game model.
  • Apply the High Polygonal Modeling Approach
  • Convert to Low Resolution Mesh
WEEKS 5-8:  REALISM
Learn how to convey a story and evoke a sense of authenticity.
  • UV Mapping, Texturing
  • Materials, Static Mesh, Lighting

Environment Artist Bootcamp

WEEKS 9-10:  REFERENCE, SETTING UP A GRID SYSTEM & MODULARITY
Develop your style guide with reference. Begin planning out your scene and establishing the correct space for a modular workflow. Begin to create your modular 3D geometry.
  • Create block out of environment
  • Plan and break down concept and reference for modular elements
  • Set up a grid system while keeping texel density in mind
  • Place modular assets in scene and determine which additional assets are required
WEEKS 11-12:  TEXTURING, TRIM SHEETS & UVS
Set up UVs and begin blocking out textures to get a sense of color balance and mood. Develop your Trim Sheets to add details to your environment.
  • Plan out and create trim sheet models
  • Create materials and tiles through texture applications such as Substance
  • Unwrap modular assets with tiles and trims with texel density standards
  • Apply materials to assets
WEEKS 13-14:  HIGH POLY, LOW POLY & WEATHERING
Create a focal point for your scene by sculpting, texturing and baking a specific, unique asset to anchor your environment.
  • Learn the approach and workflow for creating unique assets, props and set dressing
  • Baking and texturing workflow
  • Finalize design and detail level
WEEKS 15-16:  SET DRESSING, MOOD & POST PROCESSING
Add variety to your scene by creating props and set dressing. Establish the mood with lighting and really pulse your final presentation with post processing workflows.
  • Place props for storytelling and believability
  • Distress and weathering build up
  • Use lighting to evoke mood and ambience, highlight key areas and establish a focal point
  • Create final look with post processing

AR/VR Development Bootcamp

Duration: 16 Weeks (8 weeks VR, 8 weeks AR)
Cost: $2,997
Class Meetings: 2 live sessions per week (1 group session, 1 individual session)
Feedback: Live, customized feedback
Time Commitment: 20+ hours per week

VR Development Bootcamp

WEEKS 1-2:  UNITY
  • Introduction to the Unity interface and Unity projects
  • Game prototyping
  • Adding story elements to engage your players
WEEKS 3-4:  DEEP DIVE INTO UNITY
  • Prefabs and Objects in the Unity Engine
  • Motion Paths and Animation with Unity
  • Materials, Lights and Lightmapping
WEEKS 5-6:  USER INTERFACES
  • How to properly set up and use the Oculus SDK
  • User interfaces in VR
  • User interactions and getting input from the player and Oculus Devices
  • Unity’s default Character Controller and custom Rigidbody Character Controllers
WEEKS 7-8:  SRP & MORE
  • Scriptable Render Pipelines
  • Post-processing Stack v2
  • The New Unity Shader Graph
  • C# Job System

AR Development Bootcamp

WEEKS 9-10:  SURFACES & PLANES
  • Surface detection and creating planes
  • Placing with anchor points
  • Multi-plane detection and spatial mapping
  • Challenges of simple surfaces
WEEKS 11-12:  LIGHTING & CONSTRAINTS
  • Occlusion between virtual assets
  • Light estimation and matching virtual light to real light
  • Limitations of low-light conditions
  • Working around and with technical limitations
WEEKS 13-14:  MECHANICS & USER EXPERIENCE
  • Mobile AR processing needs
  • Basic AR interaction options
  • Drafting your design and executing your vision
  • Framing user experience and user interface
WEEKS 15-16:  ASSETS & SCENE BUILDING
  • Using anchors to place and position assets
  • Creating your own assets using Poly and Unity
  • Inside-out and outside-in tracking
  • Environment awareness and context awareness

Game Development Bootcamp

Duration: 16 Weeks
Cost: $4,997
Class Meetings: 3 live sessions per week
Feedback: Live, customized feedback
Time Commitment: 20+ hours per week

Game Development Bootcamp

WEEK 1
  • Monday: Game Design Fundamentals (Scope; Core Loop; Prototyping; Theme)
  • Wednesday: Intro To Unity With Visual Studio (Game Objects; Behaviors; How to use the engine; Basic scripting)
  • Friday: Pitching Your Game
WEEK 2
  • Monday: Pitch Day (One game will be selected from 3 possible ideas)
  • Wednesday: Intro To Programming (Access modifiers; Variables; Functions; Loops)
  • Friday: Classes & Objects
WEEK 3
  • Monday: Source Control
  • Wednesday: Debugging 1
  • Friday: Debugging 2
WEEK 4
  • Monday: Switch Statements & Enums
  • Wednesday: Basic Vectors & Transformations
  • Friday: Basic Unity Physics
WEEK 5
  • Monday: Advanced Transformations & Character Controller
  • Wednesday: Advanced Unity Physics
  • Friday: Visual Debugging
WEEK 6
  • Monday: Alpha Due
  • Wednesday: Basic Visual Development (Sprites; Color; Materials; Animations; Meshes)
  • Friday: Basic Audio Development (Faders; Filters; Audio Zones)
WEEK 7
  • Monday: UI Design
  • Wednesday: Level Design
  • Friday: Basic Systems Design
WEEK 8
  • Monday: Inheritance & Polymorphism
  • Wednesday: Programming Patterns 1
  • Friday: Programming Patterns 2
WEEK 9
  • Monday: Data Serialization
  • Wednesday: Intermediate Systems Design & RNG
  • Friday: Unity Editor Scripting & The Resources Folder
WEEK 10
  • Monday: Multiplayer Programming 1
  • Wednesday: Multiplayer Programming 2
  • Friday: Multiplayer Programming 3
WEEK 11
  • Monday: Beta Due
  • Wednesday: Polishing Your Game
  • Friday: Optimization
WEEK 12
  • Monday: Building Your Game 1
  • Wednesday: Building Your Game 2
  • Friday: Demoing Your Game & Playtest Day
WEEK 13
  • Monday: Marketing Your Game
  • Wednesday: Funding Your Game
  • Friday: Shipping Your Game
WEEK 14
  • Monday: Programming Resources
  • Wednesday: Design Resources
  • Friday: Art & Audio Resources
WEEK 15
  • Monday: DLC & Microtransactions
  • Wednesday: Polish Review 1
  • Friday: Polish Review 2
WEEK 16
  • Monday: Final Game Review 1
  • Wednesday: Final Game Review 2
  • Friday: Final Game Review 3
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