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Michigan State University

Low Poly Art For Video Games

Michigan State University via Coursera


This course is aimed to give you the tools and knowledge you need to start creating simple 3D art for video games made in the Unity game engine. Through the aesthetic of pixel art we will explore artistic principals like shape language, color theory, and composition as well as show you a step by step workflow for creating assets that you can use to make your own games. The course is broken into 4 main modules, props, environments, characters, and animation. Each of these courses will have a series of video lessons alternating between artistic and technical skills culminating in a peer-reviewed project based assignment. The last module will challenge you to take the knowledge learned in the previous 4 and use it to create your own pixel art asset pack.

This course is aimed at art novices who are interested in creating art for their own games or contributing to game projects. If you are a game designer or programmer, you will find this course helps give you a glimpse into the world of game art. You will be able to better work with artists, or create your own prototype or final artwork. If you are an artist or visual designer who is interested in bringing your style to the world of video game development, this course will give you the workflow to properly interface with a game engine and help contextualize how your artistic sensibilities can enable gameplay.

If you have ever wanted to start making art for video games but have no idea how to start, this course is the perfect for giving you a solid foundation while teaching you usable practical skills. Our goal is to give you a sense of the whole pipeline from creation to setting up in a game engine.


  • WEEK 1: Intro to Low Poly Art
    • In this first week we will talk about the basics of creating a game model in the low poly style. This will likely be the quickest of the 5 weeks, so take some time to check out the optional Maya LT intro to make sure you have a grasp of all the essential skills we will be covering in the course.
  • Week 2: Low Poly Environment Art
    • In this week we will move onto environments. The goal is to create a set of simple models that can be used to create scenes in maya. Depending on the number of models and their complexity this might be a more time consuming than the previous week.
  • Week 3 Low Poly Character Art
  • Week 4 Animating Low Poly Art
    • In this week we will be taking our character from week 3 and animating a few simple animations for it. Rigging can be tricky at first, so make sure you check out the rigging and animation primer if you need to. The goal here is to quickly get a character that we can animate, then create a few simple and expressive animations for use in a 3d game.
  • Week 5: Low Poly Art Project
    • For the final week, take the project assets you have made so far and improve them based on the feedback you received. Take this week to go back and redo anything you would have like to tackle in a different way. The goal here is to finish with a series of low poly assets you could use in a simple 3d game.

Taught by

Andrew Dennis and Ricardo Guimaraes


4.2 rating at Coursera based on 51 ratings

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