PLGR Academy: The Magic Box Masterclass by Jort van Welbergen

The Magic Box Masterclass is the essential course on everything hard surface. Learn multiple approaches to working on any hard surface problem, learn how to observe the world around you and use these observations effectively in your work, learn how objects are manufactured and how to represent this in your designs. This course is given by concept artist and art director Jort van Welbergen.

4 December 2023 - 5 February 2024 (Event has ended)
Entrance fee

Special introduction price of €300 for the 8 week course - available here 

Content The Magic Box Masterclass 

This course will cover prop, product and robot design to explain the theory but the principles you will learn will also allow you to tackle even more complex designs.

Week 1 and 2
Static object design and basic mechanical animation
Week 3 and 4
Ergonomic design
Week 5 and 6
Intrinsic and industrial design
Week 7 and 8
Magic Box and advanced mechanical animation

Each class will consist of a feedback round discussing the assignments of the week before, a short lecture on the design principles we’ll cover that week, a short demo to show how to work with the design principles and instructions for the assignments for the week.

Practical info

Week 1 – Mon 4 Dec – 20.00-22.00 CET
Week 2 – Mon 11 Dec – 20.00-22.00 CET
Week 3 – Mon 18 Dec -20.00-22.00 CET
Week 4 – Mon 8 Jan – 20.00-22.00 CET
Week 5 – Mon 15 Jan – 20.00-22.00 CET
Week 6 – Mon 22 Jan – 20.00-22.00 CET
Week 7 – Mon 29 Jan – 20.00-22.00 CET
Week 8 – Mon 5 Feb – 20.00-22.00 CET

This is an online course. The online environment will be sent to you in advance.

Special introduction price of €300 (regular price €500) including a free ticket for The Art Department Eindhoven (18+19 April 2024). We are looking for participants that are keen to share their experience with us!
Tickets available here.

Imagery: art by Jort van Welbergen

About Jort van Welbergen

Jort van Welbergen is a concept artist and art director from the Netherlands. In his 10 year career he has worked for many companies and on many projects including Killzone, Horizon Zero Dawn, Star Citizen, Star Atlas, House of Dragon and Marvel Eternals. Jort has a passion for designing fantastical but believable worlds, best expressed in his hard surface, vehicle and environment design work. In addition to being an artist Jort has also been teaching for over 8 years at various schools and in private through online mentoring. Lastly Jort has been a part of Playgrounds for almost 8 years as well, having been a part of the very first The Art Department festival.

Testimonials by former participants 

Arash Razavi, art director/concept artist

“I learned a great deal of practical design knowledge from Jort at a pivotal time in my life when I was transitioning from science to concept art, back in the day. His instruction in props and environment design, which covered both 2D and 3D techniques, proved invaluable. What stood out to me also was Jort’s positive energy and generous support all along the way. I’m grateful for the knowledge he shared, and highly recommend his course to anyone seeking to boost their design skills.”

Laura Kempf, concept artist at Guerrilla

“I can highly recommend Jort as a mentor, he is a great teacher!

There were times outside the mentorship lessons when I was struggling with the work that I was making for the mentorship. When I contacted him, I always got a fast reply with detailed feedback and, if needed, he even did an overpainting on my work. At times when I was really stuck, he always found a way to book in an extra mentorship lesson for me. During the lessons he was always passionate about what he was teaching, and he would not give up until I fully understood the subject. You can really see he loves teaching.

During the lessons, he was also focused on the professional aspect of being an artist. He gave a lot of examples from his own professional experience and how you could apply the things he’s teaching in the professional field. He doesn’t only teach you how to improve your art, he teaches you how to become a professional, ready for the field!” 

Andreas Husballe, Creative Director at Vizlab studios

“I had the pleasure of doing a mentorship with Jort over the course of six weeks and during that period I have learned more about hard-surface than six years. Jort has a great way to deconstruct the everyday machines that we are surrounded by and use it as a fundamental pillar in building believable hard-surface sci fi.”