Design and Composition and various other Notes/class resources for teaching yourself

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  1. #1

    Design and Composition and various other Notes/class resources for teaching yourself

    If anyone here is like me. They have been trying to find some good resources to act as stepping stones for teaching themselves about specifics such as composition and design and other fundamentals and extras.

    I don't have money to afford to go to another college right now. So I have been doing some research not just on the classes people have to take for lets say Industrial Design or Illustration in schools such as CCAD. I've been looking for the specifics of what each class entails. What books they have to read, what materials they use, and what assignments they had. It sounds like I may be a bit too structured and conservative about this, but I'm really not, it's just for the sake of what I'm writing.

    For a while I've been told what to study and what to concentrate on, but I'm having a hard time with what to focus on first and get the hang of so I can benefit from my studies even more so than just jumping around to whatever just interests me. I wanted a system that would discipline me to challenge myself instead of tempt me to jump into the deep end and get into some bad habits. I had a plan to supplement all this by making a thread such as my sketch book, and others so I can get feed back on my progress and a fresh viewpoint on my progress. Give people stepping stones so they can study for themselves, and get rid of the work of trying to find and sift through all this vast wealth of knowledge. It can be very daunting to have to do all that.

    I hope this sparks a conversation.

    I basically want to simulate a college experience, except it is knocked down to only the core classes.

    I read books constantly such as loomis and bridgeman, and other books for perspective. I practice from those, but like I said I need some focus.

    So to the point. I would like this thread to be about resources pertaining to information about classes from schools other people attend. What the curriculum is like. And, also reccomended studies for those of us who cant attend college rightnow. Me personally I'd like more information about industrial designs, and the classes a person had to take whether they sucked or not.

    I just think this would be a good resource so people can get a better idea.

    Anyway, I'll start this off with something I just found that sparked this thought. I have been looking for specifics about design theory and composition and what are good assignments to help with getting things down pat.

    http://daphne.palomar.edu/design/

    Now, I know there is the mentoring threads, and Seedling has great resources in her sig that she created here for people who want to know about creating environments for games, concept art 101 in itself, and perspective. This is the stuff I'm talking about. I'd like this thread to be a huge archive that is organized and makes it easy for people to find.

    I have a hard time sifting through all the threads here trying to find good resources and on occasions those diamonds in the rough.

    I'm not very good at explaining myself, but I hope someone knows what I'm getting at. I just ask not to blow me off, and just say "look around" and join this group or that group. I will do all that, but what I'm essentially talking about is something more... organized. Anyway, please ask questions and add your 2 cents and lets see what we can do with all this stuff I wrote. I will elaborate more.

    Edit:: To add. I think the problem is that when this website tries to create mentoring threads and groups, that since it is free and anyone can join it is hard to keep up. Some mentors might quit teaching because their students don't do the assignments, and peoples time and dedication gets taken advantage of. So I wanted to have something to help with some of this anarchy of learning.

    Last edited by Costau D; December 21st, 2007 at 10:12 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Maybe you can find out if you can audit some classes at a nearby college?

    At least Icarus tried!


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  4. #3
    Well I'd like to see if I could audit classes at ringling. But, I would feel like an ass attending all these classes and "observing" without actually being a part of it. It would just seem awkward. Hmm, I guess a good term to use for what I want to do is to "hack" college curriculum. Find ways to get benefits of learning from these colleges without having to (legally mind you) pay a dime. Well maybe pay for workshops and other small courses such as at ringling. But, I dunno. I'd still be doing most of the work. But I essentially get the curriculum, and make up my own goals and scheduals based off of it and use fine sites like this and others to supplement it all. Have I gone crazy or something? Maybe I'm just dense and thinking about this too much.

    Last edited by Costau D; December 21st, 2007 at 10:22 PM.
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  5. #4
    It feels as if the concept of composition though is more intuitive than anything else. At least that's how I learned it through animation and framing shots. Design theory and techniques is one thing I want to get better at it especially pertaining to industrial design. Creating interesting shapes that still make sense and for a subject. How to apply perspective in a picture, and not be a slave to it (if that makes sense). I'll be doing all these exercises but I also want to learn how to apply them. Advice on how to think and figure things out, and how to apply all this knowledge I'm learning. I experiment a lot but I feel its going too slowly compared to if I had more guidance. Now, I'm not saying I want to become a run of the mill artist who doesnt think for himself. But thats why I want to learn everything about this stuff so I can figure out for myself what I want to apply and what has been done and what is a better way to do something.

    the problem I can run into thinking about all of this. Is I'll spend more time wanting a way to do something than actually doing anything.

    Last edited by Costau D; December 21st, 2007 at 11:52 PM.
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  6. #5
    Sorry to reply a bit short (i'm in a hurry), I personally found the following things helped me a lot when trying to understand and get a sense for composition:

    Starting with these two books, both really really good - and they complement each other really well:

    Nathan Goldstein: Design and Composition.
    Chapters:
    -Design and Composition (principles like balance, emphasis, unity, visual elements.
    -Then a chapter each about Line; Shape; Value; Volume; Space; Texture; Color.
    -Further Compositional Factors; about elemnts interacting, tension, etc.
    -Forming of Compositional Order; outlay and examples of basic compositional structures (the grid, the diamond, the bridge etc etc).
    -Compositions, some case histories (analyses of paintings).

    All quite academic but all very very relevant, thorough and insightful - with loads of images to illustrate the topics.

    Another book is 'Pictures this' - how pictures work by Molly Bang. Which basically builds up an image with shapes and colour and simply shows you what happens, what certain shapes and colours do. Short, but very informative.

    Another thing to learn about composition is by building up your mental library. Looking at a lot of images and making thumbnails sketches, basic shapes or value sketches etc. You can do this from illustrations, photographs, movie stills etc.

    Doing a lot of composing by taking photos is also a really good composition skill teacher I think, and now that much easier with all the digital cameras. Shoot scenes or objects from loads of different angles, rotating, walking back and forth, changing focal lengths and see what does what. Practising that daily for a year definitely builds up your feeling for how things work and what you like and what not.

    Hope that helped/gave some new ideas,
    have fun...

    Last edited by tensai; December 22nd, 2007 at 10:05 PM.
    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)



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    Fuck backgrounds, who needs em.
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  7. #6
    hey tensai thanks for replying. Those book recommendations are great I'll be looking into getting them this week. Thats exactly what I'm looking for actually, very academic books and resources. I started keeping a sketchbook of thumbnails a couple days ago but I still feel a bit lost when doing them. I'm sure that will change with practice though.

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