Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sessional Intructor

I believe to have mentioned in earlier posts about my part time concept art night class I teach at VanArts in Vancouver as part of their game-art/entertainment-art program. Presently, I've been on staff with them for the past couple of years, and it's become my weekly outlet to paint and get jazzed with the contagious enthusiasm from the students. I want to take this opportunity to post, describe, and organize some of the works from in class demos with everyone! I'm hoping this will be benefitual for current, past, future students, and friends who are curious about the class to have a quick glance, line of sight, and some of the lessons and painting processes we discovered and practiced. I will be updating frequently with new and older assignments to share. So keep an eye out for new images!
Location Design
Above are some samples of location design demos. From thumbnail blocking the composition, to painting out structural elements, I would consider these as rough concept sketches. Mainly using up 2-3 hours to thumb and paint before going any further with the design and presentation. In working conditions this painting velocity works great for me, allows room for critique as soon as the impact is there in a sketch without having to hedge my bet on just one fully finished painting.
3D Paint Overs
These images are from demos on showing how 3D artist's can quickly describe a scene by using 3D. In this type of sketch, I consider the 3D to take care of most the drawing, for everything built is structurally sound, in perspective and graphed out. All we need to focus on is the lighting/mood, textures, and painting out the rest of the scene. The less problem's we're solving all at once, the better, and less stressful it'll be. Personally, during production, especially working with level design, I tend to do lots of these paint overs for speed, and consistency with what they have laid out as a level/gameplay space, good for economizing 3D art assets.
Party Assignment
This assignment is adopted from when I was at Sheridan. Always one that was memorable to me when I was studying there. The objective of this assignment is to create an scene and illustrate it from 2 different camera views with out changing anything from the scene in both shots. Take away from this exercise I found is better understanding of 3D space in a 2D image. Measuring distances in perspective, rotation of objects, and consistency. Where I found these practices most useful outside of the everyday sketches was when I got my first taste of generating layouts for 2D animation, shot by shot needed to stitch up seamlessly and correctly. These are just the thumbs from the class. I will add the final image as I do want to paint these two out when I'm free.
Speed Painting
These are in class speed painting's where I demonstrated quick and dirty rapid-vis concept sketches. The first one above was a take on mashing custom brushes together, a tribute to Andrew Jone's work, while the other character sketches were treated way more organic. The take away from doing this exercise is to speed up our painting process, training our artistic integrity to care less of execution, less precious with our works, allowing the designs to run loose and free. The above are generated with-in 20-30 minutes. I introduced this exercise to students by having them do speed painting jams with other classmates, artists and friends.
Thumbnail Generation
This page above is a sample of character thumbnail generation for an in class assignment with a very open brief with-in the fantasy genre. I tend to do most of my thumbnailing on paper with a leaky pen, and sharpie marker to keep things loose and permanent during this stage. Last thing I want to care about is how the sketch looks like, but rather, I want to exhaust ideas, both bad and good, putting them on paper as quick as possible and out of my system. I tend to think of it as dumping all the preconceived/generic ideas out of myself as quick as possible. My execution approach is sort of like creating post-it notes of ideas with 1-2 minute gestures to later organize and pick potential shapes+designs out of to further chase. Attached to the top of the sheet is what I do with potential thumbnails. Quick paint overs of the actual thumbnail sketch, somewhere in the lines of 20-30mins to simply explore a sketch a little without devoting to much effort into a notion before it's validated. Thumbnail stage is definitely one of my favorites of the process, If I could, I would do these all day long, and I encouraged the students to generate as many thumbnails as possible for each assignment.