Concept Design and Development

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Term 1
SCQF Level
Design and Informatics


The focus of this module is to develop in each student a practical understanding of the artistic and technical processes deployed in the field of concept art and production design for entertainment (computer games, film, comics or animation, etc.). Students will explore this field by implementing into their own practice common industrial procedures such as visual research, design workflows, and digital visualisation skills, employing industry standard applications to aid their creative process. Students will produce a portfolio of evidence that will exhibit a firm grasp of digital concept design, development and production methods, by showcasing personal growth through applied practical concept design skills.

Abertay Attributes:


  • Master their subject, understand how it is evolving, appreciate the importance of interdisciplinarity and recognise how what has been learned can be applied.


  • Be equipped and motivated to continue learning and professional development throughout their careers.


  • Be determined, ambitious, articulate, adaptable, self-reflective, resilient, practical, proactive, innovative and enterprising


  • Develop digital fluency, giving them knowledge, skills and confidence to embrace digital solutions
  • Be prepared for the world of work and understand the likely impact of digital technology in their chosen subject and across contexts.


Equip the student with practical skills and knowledge necessary for developing visual concepts relevant to entertainment production.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

  1. Employ visual research skills in the deliberation and formation of novel visual concept designs.
  2. Exhibit a knowledge of relevant topics to this domain such as art history, media design and contemporary industrial contexts; Students should be able to demonstrate an ability to contextualise how this knowledge relates to their personal conceptual and technical skills development.
  3. Utilise techniques and software packages common to concept design practice and an ability to adhere to relevant concept design workflows, from generating initial ideas through to completed well-presented visual concept works.
  4. Employ digital drawing and painting skills necessary for the successful development of concept designs in conjunction with considered implementation of fundamental art theories and principles.

Indicative Content

1 Visual Research

Targeted visual research methods appropriate to concept design, building reliable resources via image gathering, scrapbooks, blogs or sketchbooks, online/offline sources, etc.

2 Observational Drawing

Drawing from life, visual referencing, expanding beyond reality, concepts grounded in real world scenarios, proving fantastical ideas.

3 Concept Incubation

Idea generation, photo collage, sketching, concept development, mood-boarding, thumbnailing, iteration, variation.

4 Defining the Domain of Practice

Explore key figures and current trends; historical grounding for genre, clich�, archetype and representation. Evaluating examples of entertainment design for creature, character, vehicle, industrial, product, environment, graphic design

5 Concept Development

Design drawing, digital painting, 3D layout and sculpting for 2D design, digitising real world sources.

6 Workflows, Process and Pipeline

Identify and assess design problems, identifying creative software solutions, employ an effective design pipeline framework.

7 Artefact creation

Layout design considerations of concept images for effective presentation of completed work for print, pitching, clients, presentation, etc.

Teaching and Learning MethodHours
Supervised Practical Activity26
Unsupervised Practical Activity0

Guidance Notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2023/4, and may be subject to change for future years.