Karen Kuo

Karen Kuo

Introduction To
Visual Development

Karen Kuo is a Visual Development Artist at Dreamworks TV. In this course she will focus on developing a scene painting. This workshop is for anyone who wants to create better artwork and illustrations for their work. Karen will also show you the fastest way to develop scenes using research and Photoshop.

Learn from
the best

Karen Kuo is a master of visual development. Her years of experience have helped her become a knowledgeable teacher and in this course she’s teaching you her approach to visual development. She shares her process and techniques so you can create dynamic 2d artwork. 

Project based

This workshop is all about making great 2d environmental art. This is a project based workshop that’s designed to help you understand the best techniques in Adobe Photoshop. Through this project you’ll walk away with a deep understanding of visual development. And, you’ll have a sample for your own portfolio. 

Learn the shortcuts used in production

Creating original environments will make your work better. But often, it’s too slow and time consuming to incorporate into your actual production work. Karen wants to help you create polished illustrations, faster! Using her processes you’ll be able to quickly get from concept to polished completion in time to make a deadline.

Karen Kuo

Visual Development Artist, Dreamworks TV

Karen Kuo is an illustrator and visual development artist currently based in southern California. She has a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

She is currently a Visual Development Artist at Dreamworks Television working on Kung Fu Panda, Paws of Destiny.

Mentor Portfolio

See Karen Kuo's work

Course content

What you'll learn from this workshop

Part 1 : Shape Language & Visual Research

Visual Development artists must understand shape language. This simply means the relationship between the shape of objects and the mood they convey to the audience. Doing visual research is a staple of the visual development process.  

Part 2 : Blocking & Line Work

Before painting textures and atmospheric effects, you need to plan out your scene. Planning and line work set the stage for doing your value study. This allows you to quickly decide about the quality of your shot before commitment to painting the final details. 

Part 3 : Framing, Values & Layout

With your overall blocking completed you’ll work on your final shot framing. Then you’ll work on your final value study to determine the lighting and shadows in the scene. This will allow you to layout the scene lighting independent of the final color palette for you scene.

Part 4 : Textures, Gradients & Painting

Now that your value study and framing are dialed in, it’s time to add the magic touch of color, textures and environmental effects. Karen will show you how to quickly create flat textures that can be used correctly in perspective. She will show you her technique for using gradients for lighting effects. 

Part 5 : Lighting & Final Tweaks

The final step of this process is the scene lighting and final details. Karen will show you how to create an atmosphere that casts over the scene and creates a cohesive feel. Then she will add highlights and adjust shadows until it feels just right. This is the final stage of Karen’s process in this workshop. 

Part 6 : Course Apprentice Case Study

For this workshop we asked Ringling graduate Cari Robaldo to be Karen’s apprentice. You will see her go through each step in the process and follow the workshop prompt. This will help you to see the same process repeated by someone else and reinforce the value of this process, starting with visual research, into line work and finally into color and lighting. 

wokrshop preview

Solid approach to visual development

Receive feedback on your project on Slack and Facebook group

Upon your enrollment, you’ll receive an invitation in your email inbox to sign up for our Private Slack Channel. You can also join our Facebook Group. 

Each workshop has a dedicated channel where you can share your work and get feedback from other students and the MoGraph Mentor Crew.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll create!

Slack Facebook Group illustration

Enroll any time

Tons of content

Hours of content

Follow Karen’s process every steps of the way

In-depth tools and techniques review

Watch Cary Robaldo, Ringling graduate, recreate these assignments

And more!

Lifetime Access

Download ressources

Visual Development : Environments with Karen Kuo

A workshop from Karen Kuo

Enroll now for $99 US
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